Monday 30th July 2012
Distance run: 97 nmiles
Eventually unstuck the lines in Port Louis last Tuesday afternoon for the trip south to Trinidad. The last of the squally weather was passing through and we got caught by two just south of Grenada, but then the skies cleared to show a million twinkling stars and a small but bright crescent moon which gave us enough light to see our way. The first half of the trip was lumpy as we headed up into the wind to counteract the west-flowing current and give the gas rigs that sit on the rhumb line a wide berth. Once we were able to bear away, though, it became much more comfortable.
After an exciting ride into the Boca de Mono, a narrow passage into the Gulf of Paria, we motored on flat seas into Chaguaramas Bay and by mid-morning we were tied alongside the customs dock. Checking in involved the usual reams of paperwork, but the process was very smooth and carried out by good-humoured officials in air-conditioned offices close to the marina, so not too painful, or indeed expensive, costing just TT$50 (about £5).
We were then clear to move the boat into CrewsInn Marina, where we are now. It is very well maintained here, and has all the usual amenities. The swimming pool is larger and cooler than at Port Louis, and the showers are excellent (air conditioned, spotlessly clean, plenty of hot water) but not quite up to the standards of the bathrooms at Port Louis! There is a very well-stocked supermarket onsite, restaurant (rather expensive – won’t be going there too often!) and a cafe that serves excellent coffee, cake AND Haagen Dazs ice-cream.
The liferaft was collected on Thursday and we went with it to see it opened and inflated. It is in excellent condition, and we now wait while the necessary spares are sent from the UK to pack it all back up again. The Jonbuoy did not fare as well – water has damaged the fabric and got into the bladder. Probably the bladder has been punctured by the fractured fibreglass flagpole which was incorrectly packed at the last service – don’t you just love the Turks?! Anyway, the upshot is that the Jonbuoy needs major refurbishment, but the good news is they have all the parts, except the light for the top, but this should be easy to source from the UK.
The liferaft inflated and in good condition.
We have spent the last few days contacting people to do the various jobs that need doing – the sails have gone off to be inspected and repaired, and we have a guy coming this afternoon to look at the welding repairs needed to the pulpit. We did find time to join in a game of Mexican Train with a group of yachties yesterday lunchtime – neither of us scored particularly well as we are both somewhat rusty, but it was an enjoyable couple of hours and good to meet a few of the ‘locals’.