Thursday, 6 October 2016

Onward To Trinidad - Preparing For Haul Out & Refit

Afternoon Thunder Storms Welcome Us To Trinidad
After two weeks in Grenada we moved onward to Trinidad, just 80 nautical miles away, in theory.  In practice that distance grew as we first sailed east and then south, avoiding an area known for robbery and occasional attacks on cruising boats - it appears that the desperate social conditions in nearby Venezuela have turned Venezuelan fishermen into opportunistic robbers.

Peaceful Conditions At Power Boats A Dock
Not a problem, we can go around it - so we sailed a large dog-leg of almost 120 nautical miles and arrived in Trinidad relaxed and looking forward to our new home.

Up until this arrival we had assumed that booking a marina berth was like booking a safe, comfortable place to berth our vessel. Not so in Trinidad it seems. Yes we had a berth, but it was a pile berth exposed to the ocean from the south. Waves would break right over the dock we were tied to in any decent southerly wind.  Hmmm - all this and it 'aint cheap my friends. No floating docks, no sea wall - but hey, it's the Caribbean, just chill man. Add another few fenders and every spring line we have, then you can sleep at night. Specially if you drink enough rum.

Tropical Storm Matthew Passes North Of Us
Some two weeks after our arrival here hurricane Matthew passed to the north of us, then unfortunately grew to Category 4 status and proceeded to tear up the island chain and threaten the US south east coast.

Local advice was to leave the dock when southerly winds were possible, so we did just that and anchored up in nearby peaceful Scotland Bay, for a relaxed evening as Matthew (thankfully) turned north and accelerated away from us.  Bless his very dark, black and stormy Force Four heart.

Trinidad is below the accepted hurricane zone, which is why we're here - however, big rotating storms passing just 100 miles north of us tend to focus our attention somewhat. Jeez....

In The Slings, Michael Driving Crystal Blues To Ground
Two days ago we hauled out of the water - at predictably great cost to the management, Crystal Blues was lifted by a sixty ton travel lift using double slings at each end. I felt good, specially after I dived in the filthy dock water to check the sling positions myself. "No Sir, we don't have divers" was the boat yard response - so in I went.

I pumped detergent into the water for a minute or so before diving, just to break up the oil slick on top. Not a tropical paradise here at the dock ....

Ah, but now we're really here - propped on the hard stand in a nice position, immediately adjacent to SV Tegan, friends from more than 12 years back.  Only problem is that they (Janet & Joe) are not here ... they're home in Canada ... so we'll watch both boats.

The daily regime is now up at 6:00am, and get into the work before the heat arrives. Breakfast and coffee are handled quickly, as we contemplate a job list that is probably too long to be completed in the time we have available. Such is the cruising life.


  1. Welcome to Chaguaramas! If you manage to make it over to Peake's, look in on Rutea for us (just kidding). Enjoy your stay and get lots accomplished. Fair winds and calm seas.

  2. Hi, we will be back this Wednesday night. See you Thursday at the BBQ. We are at Peake.



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