10:40.859N 61:37.917W Back to Trinidad

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Sun 13 Jul 2008 08:23

10:40.859N 61:37.917W Back to Trinidad

Friday – Finished work, well maybe I didn’t finish, but I left anyway – for the 7th year in a row.

Saturday – Did the last minute things that have to be done. 

Sunday – went for a cup of tea with Gill, then set off for Seaford to see Tracey and Anne and then on to Saltdean for a final farewell to my Aunt.  I have spoken to Zoe and my Sister and now it is time to say goodbye to my long suffering Mother and catch for the coach to the airport. 

This is the start of the real going home journey and I love it.  The stress drops off with every mile I get nearer the airport and then with every hour I get closer to take off.

20.50 I chose the coach specifically because there were no changes, but we had to change at Gatwick. Luggage on, luggage off, luggage on, luggage off; in true Karate Kid style.

22.30 Heathrow Terminal 5, looks impressive in the dark.  The place is deserted, but they leave all the lights on, not very green.  With all those C02 emissions from the planes you would think they would make an effort.

I went upstairs to departures.  There were few seats which I am sure they would call ergonomic, I would call them hard rubber/plastic.  I found one of the few that had two seats without an armrest in the middle and could lie down for a nap.


Monday 7 July Heathrow

3.00am had to take my luggage to the loo, incontinent luggage and my seat had been snapped up by the time I got back.  I decided to do some e-mail as I could pick up wifi. 

Looking over the balcony I saw arrivals with Costa Coffee and comfy leather couches that would have been a more sensible place to sleep – my 20:20 hindsight is once more in peak condition.

 It was 5.00am and the checkouts opened.  I had checked in online and only had to drop my luggage off.  Some of the checkouts lit up as Check In and some as Fast Drop; I fail to see the difference.  I could not drop off the luggage until 3 hours before my flight, which is at 9.35, so I went downstairs to Costa.  I did not get a coffee and sit on the soft seats, but I did sit on a ledge on the other side and plug into the socket. 

7.00  with a fully charged battery I set off for Fast Drop, it wasn’t.  I had to pick the queue where the printer was not working.   We moved to Group Check In and that was the bags gone off somewhere, hopefully Miami.  Someone else had to queue for an hour and did not consider it fast, but that is what we Brits do, we queue.  I went through Security to Departures and a quick look in the shops.  It all seems very expensive.  Is this an automatic reaction because I have no job, or because they have Harrods and not Poundland here.

8.00 All I have to do now is watch my flight progress up the boards.  I started the morning on board 3, have just moved onto board 1 and soon set off for the boarding gate.  9.35 Off we go.

I watched 3 films; lunch and tea was included, although I did not eat it.  It is the long way to Trinidad via Miami.  The captain said that we did not have to collect our baggage, he checked with the ground crew and assured us again.  We were told by a BA official that the luggage was being checked through and it was announced at Miami over the intercom.  When we got to Customs without luggage they were rather skeptical.  We said what we had been told, repeated and assured and his response was – ‘and you believe that?’ We shall have to see. 

I have lost 5 hours, so it is only 2pm here.  I stepped out through the exit, it is hot here in Miami, I like it.  I must have been out there for several seconds, but enough of the USA, I have a terminal to pace.

18.45 We took off for Trinidad.  This time I decided to sleep all the way as I was going to arrive at midnight and would have been up for 48 hours.  Perhaps a later start with a rush on Monday morning would have been more sensible, but Sensible is not my middle name.


Tuesday 8 July Midnight, Piarco Airport, Trinidad.  I came out of Customs and was soon being hugged, Mikey had seen me coming out of Customs; how many people get a hug on arrival by their taxi driver.  It is nice to be remembered.  We drove back to Chaguaramas and Mikey filled me in on the news.  My friend Jim had gone back to Ireland for a few weeks and I was going to ask him to get me a ladder to the boat.  1am luckily the boat is near the yard stores and so we lugged an end of scaffold tower to enable me to get on board.

I announced my arrival at 8am on the Cruisers Net and got several hello calls soon after and met a few people I know.  It is good to be back, but it is very hot and humid.

My electricity had been unplugged, so the dehumidifier had not been working.   The extension cable had gone and the plug was hanging in the rain and damp, how long for I wondered.  I e-mailed Jim and he said that he had told Calvin at the beginning of June, but the boat was not damp and the batteries were charged, so no harm done. 

It was the last day to get anything on the boat delivery from Miami and so I ordered a 130w 5’x2’ solar panel, all I need now is to decide where to fix it.  I also ordered a new 2 speed winch, but that is not in stock and has to come Fed Ex. 

I did see a small lizard, there are always lots here, but this was totally knock you eyes out bright green.

There is a pool here, about 12’ square,and I have decided to go in today and every day.  It is very warm.


Wednesday, 9 July

My cash card did not work at the ATM and the bank could not help.  I had not taken any money with me so had to come back.  I invested over half of my TT$ in some internet time and I spent the day tidying the boat; there is just not enough room for all this stuff.


Thursday, 10  July

This is the rainy season and it rained all day.  It made a change from the normal 90 degree heat with up to 98% humidity.  Jesse the other morning described the weather as crisp, well it was only 80 degrees. 

I am the whitest person on this part of the planet.  Most people like to try foreign food, that seems to extend to the mosquitos here.

I took my few remaining TT$ and topped up my phone which reinstated my expired credit.  I walked all the way to the bank in the other direction, only to find the cash card did not work there either.  I e-mailed the bank and waited.  I have had to use a few of my US$ emergency cash.

All the Texas Hold’Em players are away at the moment, so no Poker tonight.


Friday, 11 July

I had asked at 2 places yesterday about cutting me 3 pieces of wood, but had to go back for the estimate.  I was ready to set off, but even if I got an estimate now I would have to go back later and get the wood.  I had found a piece of wood which was the major section of a large board.  It was soaked and looked rough, but perhaps it was worth a try.  I had stood the wood up under the boat off the mud and it had dried.  I had to get started sometime, so I got out the tools. - Jigsaw, mouse sander, other mouse sander (which had the sandpaper in it) big drill, small drill and assorted small tools.  Using the cockpit and my knee as a workbench I cut up the wood.  Once the wood was sanded it was clean and I had decided to cover it anyway.

I put a shelf in each of the three tiny cupboards.  They are good enough and covered in material.  I was pleased that I had done it myself, especially when the measurements were not quite correct.  I did not pay enough attention in maths to be sure about the shape; they are rhomboid or trapezoid, but certainly not right angled.  This is a boat, it is curved with no straight bits and a right angle is a highly sought after item.  I also fitted a shelf in the bathroom. 

I was left with 3 x1’ rails from the cupboards and 1x2’ rail from the bathroom and have found new homes for all but one small rail.

Went for drinks with Mike and soon there were 8 of us.  Half of us dipped out early, but some of them stayed until after midnight - real 24.00, not Cruisers Midnight, which is 21.00.


Saturday, 12 July

The bank phoned me and said it was a security issue and the block would be taken off and I could get cash, I would try later.

I decided to make an assault on the aft cabin and the cockpit locker.  The locker is organized, but the back cabin is just full of stuff that I have nowhere else to put. 

I have got round to reconnecting the gas, I could cook now, I won’t, but I could.

It was so hot that I went for a lunchtime swim. 

In the evening I went to the Shark’n’Bake – battered shark (fried, not beaten up) in a bun with salad; obviously I declined.  I think I could have managed just the fish, maybe some other time.  We went over to the shop to get some beer and I tried my cash card, still no cash.  Then we moved to the BBQ at my marina and met some more new people.


Sunday, 13 July

Today is the social highlight of the week, Mexican Train Dominoes.  I will spend the morning trying to sort the saloon, which is now full of tools and everything from the aft cabin. 

This brings me to the end of my first week back in Paradise. 

It is 8.30 here and I am sitting in the cockpit with a cup of tea and a biscuit and my favourite mug which says: ‘A bad day on vacation always beats a good day at work’.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, enjoy!