Sunday, 26 February 2012

Return to Trinidad

Hi from Clare,                                                                              Saturday 25th February 2012

We returned to Trinidad last Sunday after twelve exciting days in Australia attending Matthew (Andrew’s son) and Mim’s wedding, catching up with family and friends and for me, having a Granny fix drooling over my beautiful three month old grandson, Sammy.


On our return Trinidad was fairly jumping to the tune of Carnivale.  The “Insomnia street party” which goes all night had brought the Port of Spain (the capital) to a grinding halt.  Later we heard of some cruisers who had caught a taxi at 1.30am (to travel the half hour trip back to the marina) and arrived here at 5am.  Fortunately for us we had booked a B&B and escaped the madness.  But on second thoughts we could have joined the insomnia party as jet lag kicked in and kept us awake for most of the night.


On Tuesday we attended the People’s Parade. Sitting in the shade of the grand stand we witnessed a vibrant spectacle as literally thousands of people paraded and danced in the streets to absolutely deafening music. We were also free to mingle with the participants to take photos. I thought the police did a fantastic job of crowd control. They were immensely patient with the crowd giving us time to take close up photos before clearing the street to keep the procession moving.  They carried battens big enough to down a buffalo but used them only as an extension of their arm to hold the crowds back.


This morning I went to the local fresh fruit and vege market.  A mini bus leaves from the marina, goes to the market and returns ninety minutes later. Because we are on the hard I was dropped off at the foot of our ladder. I caught the same mini bus yesterday to do supermarket shopping.  This is a wonderful service as lugging all the groceries is heavy work.  The fresh market was huge and there were a number of vegetables that I have never seen before; this could be interesting.

The people here speak English so you would think this makes life easy.   However, it is difficult to understand them and they don’t understand us. It is just amazing considering that we are all speaking English.  Sometimes Andrew and I listen to the Trinis (people from Trinidad) having a conversation and catch only the occasional word. At times we have even asked “Are they speaking English?” and the answer is always “yes”.  It can be very confusing like this morning when in the fish market. The shop keeper asked me if I wanted him to slice the fish I had bought. I said “no, just gut it and cut the head and tail off”. Something got lost in translation because he didn’t gut it, but he did cut it into chunks like stewing steak and then handed me the parcel with severed head and tail included.  So now I’m about to cook dinner, not exactly sure what I’m going to do with the chopped fish plus guts.

Andrew is busy preparing the boat for another season of cruising. We employed a local chap to rub down the bottom and apply the antifouling paint. We also paid to have the sides cut and polished with an electric polisher. The boat is really shiny and looks terrific. Even with those heavy jobs done for us, we still have plenty of annual jobs to do before the boat goes back in the water next Tuesday.  We still haven’t decided exactly when we will leave Trinidad or where exactly we are going; isn’t life great?

Love Candy xx 


Sunday, 5 February 2012


Hi from Clare,                                       Friday 3rd February 2012

Once again to complete the 105 mile trip to Trinidad we had to sail the Atlantic Ocean. It was a wet and uncomfortable night with a 2-3M swell on our beam and wind 20-33K.  It started to rain so I passed the wet weather jackets up but before Bronwyn got hers zipped up she coped a wave leaving her dripping wet and looking like a drowned rat; remarkably she was still laughing and commented “At least the water’s warm”.  

About the only good thing to say about the trip was that earlier in the day Andrew caught a Wahoo.  Delicious eating but a nasty looking fish with long sharp teeth in a big jaw. It was quite a wrestle just to retrieve the hook. We enjoyed it for dinner the following night in calm waters.

So we are now in Trinidad and Bronwyn left us on Wednesday.  We have lifted the boat out of the water for its annual antifouling, polishing and maintenance. One real bonanza is that the laundry costs $2.50 per load and is open 24 hours a day. At that price I will be washing everything on the boat – at least once!

We will be flying out tomorrow morning to Sydney for two weeks. Andrew’s son Matthew and his fiancĂ©e Mim are getting married on 11th February. So it looks like proper clothes and shoes for us.  One of our long time cruising friends told us of a wedding they attended. They thought they scrubbed up well until they saw the photos. They said they looked like a couple of old hippies; let’s hope we do better!

We haven’t seen anything of Trindad yet but we will be back in time for Trinidad’s Carnival; the Caribbean’s biggest and best party; should be fun.

Love Team Atlantic