W/E 24 August 2008
24 August 2008
Sunday – did something so insignificant that I cannot remember what it was.
Then I went to dominoes, where I won and went out to dinner.
I made an appointment at a dentist because this infection has still not cleared up, must be 6 months that it has been holding on and the tooth was root filled 3 months ago.
I cut the sprayhood round the fittings on the front bar so that it fits again and now I can re-sew what I overzealously tore apart. In the evening I went to TTSA BBQ. I went in their pool, which slopes and I was able to stand up and chat, rather than spend the whole time holding onto the side to keep me up.
I had arranged for someone to take me to get the gas bottles filled and so I took 4 bottles for other people. We got to the plant and the only bottles they would not fill were mine. The old plant could, but the super new plant did not have the adapter. On a score of 1 to 10 you can imagine how pleased I was about that.
I went into Port of Spain on the way back and bought some new bamboo. I was able to buy some silica tablets which should sort the gum infection; I hope so because I cancelled the dentist when I was in the car on the way to the gas plant. We went the wrong way and had to take a route through what used to be called Shanty Town, but has been changed to the Beetham ‘Beat Em?’ Estate. This is somewhere you should not go without a well known local and you certainly do not stop.
When I got back to the boat I found that two more boats that I know had got in from Grenada. Jimmy and Donna had the boat round at TTSA, but were over this side on foot. 9 of us went into Movie Towne by maxi. I lent Donna a T shirt as you have to bundle up for the cinema because the air con is a touch overdone; luckily I had a clean one that I had just bought in Port of Spain, complete with shop shelf fold lines. We went for a meal afterwards, this eating is getting to be a habit. It is good to catch up with people after all these months.
Duck tape, wonderful invention. I padded the corners of the solar panel with tape as they are very sharp and although they do not stick out beyond the sprayhood I could fall against them in rough conditions. I taped up the carry handle on the outboard, it had lasted 2 years quite happily before and feels strong enough. The mistake the outboard repairer made was to use the carry handle to carry the motor, which obviously is a bit extreme, you have to support it a bit somewhere else; even duck tape has its limits.
I still had all the holes in the binnacle from the old autopilot and the big gap round the motor of the new one. These had been duck taped and needed proper repair to stop the water going into the binnacle and down into the ceiling in the back cabin. Really I need to take the ceiling down again and dry out any water. I used filler on the small holes and made rubber washer seals for the large one.
I needed to lubricate the water and diesel filler caps so that they would not get stuck. ‘Two out of three ain’t bad’ as the song goes. The second diesel cap is stuck, but the tank is full. As it managed to fill itself from the first tank while my back was turned that can wait until next year.
I had done well, but was getting fed up of always working on my boat, so went over to Mike – and spend 3 hours helping him glue a new layer of material onto his watercatcher.
Activity at 6am, not me. Bob had been stuck in fishing nets since last night and a boat was going down to take him fuel and a diver.
I played bridge all afternoon, (does this count as play? Seems like hard work to me) but I got over 3000 points this time.
I went on the supermarket run, not that I needed anything really, but there was one specific reason for going.
Bob was picking up Mike’s mooring for the weekend and I helped him. There was a strong current and with my little outboard I was very pleased that I could provide assistance. Bob told me about his struggle with the fishing net. The fishermen were not happy and let him know this fact. He drifted off with the net for about 15 miles and now he has to find out if he owes them for lack of catch and damage, or if they owe him for setting a net 10 miles offshore without proper lighting and causing him damage. He will have to lift out for a few days and check his shaft.
I tidied the boat and went out to dinner, yet again and very pleasant it was too.
Last week was a holiday, not the superboat race, today is the superboat race. There will be hundreds of little boats out watching, but we have been told to stay away or stay very close to the land. The boats go through so fast they would run over a dinghy and not even notice and a yacht under way would just be in the way. The boats are leaving now and all I can hear is the noise of the huge engine and the matching one of the helicopter above it. All there is to see is a huge white wave in its wake, like the vapour trail left by airplanes, but on the water. It is a staggered start, too dangerous to have these boats vying for position.
I have been back on the mooring a week now and seem to have done very little, because I have done very little. I have still been occupied all day and it is great to kick down a few notches. I still have things to do, but they are things I can ignore for a while and get round to as and when. Hopefully now the log will be more interesting than a maintenance file.
So time for a little info on Trinidad.
It is hot, the sun is very fierce and the humidity gets to 100%. It rains every day, usually very hard for a reasonable length of time and there is thunder and lightning. The lightning gives a good night show from a way off, it is more enjoyable from a distance as there is not the danger that it is going to strike the mast that insists on sticking up into the air. So my batteries and water supply are ok.
The water quality is not good in the bay and I have seen a few fish and one turtle.
The forest on the other side of the road is very green and some mornings I can hear the howler monkeys, which are further down the road nearer the west coast.
The parrots fly over to roost in the trees, but I have not seen many pelicans so far.
The dogs are scrawny and pitiful, and when in a pack they are dangerous; the cats are laid back and friendly.
Here they have an airship that flies around for crime control, I did not know that airships were still made, but this is a new one and a novelty to see.
They must be nearly up to 400 murders so far this year, heading for 500, but that does not affect most people. If you are not in the gangs then it is just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and that can happen anywhere; it just happens here more often.
The people can be friendly or miserable, I try to be friendly and there are lots of locals that I chat with.
My friend Stevie is getting married today in the US, for the second time, to the same lady – this is the big wedding, last year was a small one. I would have been there if I could have kept going north and not returned to the UK and had to get the boat back down here. Have a great day Steve and Liz – do you get a second honeymoon?
It rained all day, it was dull and rather miserable. I went to bed at 11.30 until 1.15, after which I read a book. There was a weather warning, but there should be a calm break and 6pm we went across for the Bake ‘n’ Shark. They fry the dough, which is very quick and produces a reasonable bap and the shark is in batter in small clumps; more batter than fish. There was a good crowd of people I know and it made something of the day.
11pm it was rough on the anchorage, the wind generator did not have enough wind to turn a lot of the time, but the swell was awful. This is where you find out that you are not ready for sea by all the things that hurl themselves to the floor and you wish you had done something better with the dinghy. 11.30 a large commercial boat left the dock where it had been tied and motored off; also a yacht went out. It would have been a good decision to go round the other side for the weekend, it generally is better there, but that takes effort. There were genuine reasons for staying put, financial, ease of access to facilities, but mostly it is laziness.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
All is well, we are bobbing about rather more than is comfortable, but it is ok. There is another warning for this afternoon and I will have to decide whether to go to dominoes. I have taken down the water catcher, the breeze catcher and the awning as I do not need any of them today and it means I can get round the boat easily in a hurry and they will not get damaged if there are high winds.
Friday night, Saturday and especially Sunday are generally power boat days. I am next to two sheds, each contain rows of 12 power boats, stacked 3 rows high. They are picked out by fork lift and put onto a tractor and trolley and launched. Then they, together with the bigger motor boats and the local fishing pirogues pass through the mooring field on their way to party or fish. Usually they are very thoughtless of the moored boats and it is very uncomfortable. This is another very good reason to go round the other side. I am ready to move, once I get my gas bottles, but I just have to decide when and where to go.