Fish are jumping

Mystic of Holyhead (successor to Lynn Rival)
Rachel and Paul Chandler
Thu 25 Feb 2016 02:51
On Shrove Tuesday we took a day off to see the carnival grand parade.  It was a disappointment - possibly because we were sitting in the shade of the OAP stand rather than playing mas.  In the mid-day heat it was exhausting to watch let alone join one of the bands togged up in colourful gear, shuffling along the streets to repetitive loud music.  Mindelo was more fun and Gualeguaychu much more outrageous.

The Mounties were on the scene early

Some of the participants were adjusting their dress en route to the start

It's getting warmer - the shuffling masses are, well, shuffling

Has he been dealt the winner?

The heat and humidity must be taking a toll, smiling is hard work

More shuffling masses

One of the few 'proper' bands (making their music rather than following truck mounted ghetto blasters)

Two days later we launched (the Americans say 'splashed' but I think that is careless talk).  Lynn Rival, looking pristine with her freshly coppercoated hull and refurbished topsides, floated.  The engine started and with a bit of help from friends we were soon tied up to the boatyard dock.  From then on it was just a question of testing all the gear, putting up the sails and making sure we were ready to go to sea - about a week's work in the tropical heat of Trini.  Plenty of distractions - like replacing our Brazilian cooking gas bottle with one compatible with North American fittings - kept us busy for a few more days.

We were happy to be leaving.  We've really enjoyed Trinidad with its beautiful scenery, friendly people and exciting food.  And it's a great place to do boat maintenance.  The boatyard facilities and chandleries are excellent.  But the climate is hard-going and the local cruising options limited.

Typical housing in the better parts of Port of Spain

We handed back our rent-a-banger and visited the authorities.  In immigration we were complimented on managing to fill in the forms correctly first time!  At 5 in the evening we slipped our lines and headed out.   The tide was with us so we soon motored out of the anchorage, up the cut separating Monos island from the mainland and into the open sea.  We continued to motor east, close inshore to the north coast of Trinidad - to stay well away from Venezuelan waters.  When we had made about 20 miles easting along the coast we set sail north for Carriacou, sailing close-hauled in the easterly trade winds and west-setting current.

Ready to go, all she needs is captain and mate

By the morning we were making good progress so eased off the sheets, aiming for the gap between Grenada and Carriacou.  The current helped us through but then we had to fight it to keep on a northerly course as we made our way to Tyrrel Bay.  It was dusk as we approached the anchorage so we found a spot outside most of the yachts at anchor.  We couldn't see the bottom and it took 3 goes to get the anchor to hold.  In the morning we could see that patches of weed were the problem.

Tyrrel Bay is a beautiful and well-sheltered anchorage, popular with charter yachts as well as liveaboards.  There's a little boatyard, restaurants, bars and small shops.  Fortunately, there's no large scale tourist development.  With so many cruising yachts and all the associated activity it reminds us of sailing in Greece.

We didn't manage to catch any fish on the way but on our first evening here we heard a lot of splashing around the boat.  Fish were jumping out of the water all around us - as if they were being chased by something big, though we couldn't see anything.  Unfortunately we don't have a big enough net so still no free supper for us.