Trinidad (Carenage Bay, Haul out at Peakes, Back to the UK for 3 months!)

Imagine Of Falmouth Online Log
Jon Constantine
Sat 2 Aug 2008 15:30
Weds 23rd July 08 to Weds 30th July 08

We were both up early this morning after an excellent nights sleep.  Seems to be much hotter here than in Grenada.  We quickly put the boom tent up and dropped the spray hood to try and get some more shade and a bit of extra air flow.  Did the trick. We listened to the VHF at 8am as Trinidad also has a Cruiser's Net.  Much the same format as the one in Grenada but not quite as organised and no Jonathan doing the weather!!!!  We can't get wifi here on the boat but for a weekly charge we can use all the services ashore in TTSA (Trinidad & Tobago Sailing Association) such as the bar, showers, washing machines & dryers and the free internet connection.

                                                                              View of the anchorage looking out towards Port of Spain

The bay itself is very protected with very little swell.  The only downside is the water.  Although we went for a swim when we arrived we didn't do it again.  Each morning we woke up with the boat surrounded by rubbish washed into the bay from the towns further up the coast.  Really gross! We still had a good week here though as plenty to do.  One night we were invited to dinner by Willena and Greg on Kajun Diva together with Barry & Donna from s/y SeaStar.  A great night had by all.  Hilarious when a huge eel-like fish jumped up from the sea and landed in Greg's dinghy with a thud.  Really bizarre.  We were all a bit sozzled by then and no one thought to take a photo as Greg grappled with it and through it back overboard!

Another weird one occurred during a huge downpour earlier that day.  We were sitting under the spray hood trying to keep out of the rain when we heard a big splash.  When we looked round we spotted a large black bird scrambling onto the dinghy.  It was only a young vulture!  It must have been caught out by the sudden heavy shower and had literally fallen out of the sky and into the drink.  All was fine until Jon decided he didn't want vulture poo on the dinghy and shooed it away.  Even though it had stopped raining by then it still couldn't fly and again landed in the water.  I was beside myself thinking it would now drown so we got the dinghy going and tried to catch it.  Yeah right.  Bad plan really, even with gloves.  We actually couldn't get near it and ended up following it as it did a weird kind of front crawl away from us and towards the shore.  We followed it just to make sure it made it OK.  Now you know, if you've ever wondered; vultures can actually swim!  On the return journey we got totally soaked as the heavens opened again.  I tried but couldn't stay angry with Jon for long, it was just so ridiculous...We must have looked a right sight to the other yachties in the anchorage.

     A very wet vulture                                                                                       trying to get dry but he wasn't quick enough for Jon

Anyway, later in the week we also had a 'pot luck' evening ashore in the grounds of the TTSA which was fun.  For those of you who are unsure of what a pot luck is, you basically take a dish of food along to share (say rice, pasta or salad etc) and your own meat or fish to cook on the BBQ.  It's a good way to get to know people plus you get a good variety of different foods to eat.

Thurs 31st July 08 to Sat 2nd August 08

Haul out day has now finally arrived.  We motored back around to Chagaura
mas at 10am as we were told that we may get an earlier slot.  It didn't happen!  We picked up a buoy and had lunch before getting the ok for 1pm.  It's always a little tough on the nerves watching the boat being lifted out of the water but all ran smoothly and Imagine was driven to the secure compound and safely propped up on stilts; her home for the next 3 months while we are in the UK. 

Out of the water with a very dirty rudder, hull and keel                                           Carefully does it!  Jon keeping a close eye on manoeuvres

We'd spent most of the previous week taking sails off and stowing everything away but we still spent 2 days working manically to get everything ready in time for leaving.  The night after the haul out we still managed to fit in a night out in Port of Spain though, for dinner and to watch the Allstars Steel Band playing. 

                                                                                              The Allstars Steel Band

We actually couldn't stay on the boat in the secure compound (thankfully) and spent our last 2 nights in an air conditioned hotel room in the grounds of Peakes, below a restaurant.  Very basic but perfect for what we needed with TV, a good shower and a big bed.  Luxury.  All was ok until Friday night.  We were told there was a party going on upstairs and that we had free tickets to join in.  It wasn't that good a party and we left early for what it was worth.  We got no sleep at all because of the noise.  The music was just as loud in the room as it was at the party!  Now we know why they gave us complimentary tickets.  Hey ho.  We still awoke early ready for our departure to the airport, about an hours drive away, and arrived in good time in one of Jesse James' taxis.  (He's the guy who organises all the tours and events for yachties in Chagauramas).  The only delay we had was just as we were about to board the plane.  We had to wait for the arrival of the President of Guyana who'd been in Trinidad for the Emancipation Day celebrations the day before and was flying home with BA too! 

                                                               A great send off for us?  ..........No, for the President of Guyana (oh well)

And that's it now for 3 months.  This is the end of our first season cruising in the Caribbean.....and what a fab first season it's been.  We'll be back soon.

To be continued................