Friday, October 12, 2012

A Trip to Trini!

Fair winds and not quite following seas
Last week Sim and I finally decided that we would make the trip to Trinidad to see a few boats we were interested in. I have to say that I was fairly apprehensive about this night sail. What with the numerous nightly thunderstorms we have been having; the oils rigs we would have to pass and the ever present threat from a Venezuelan pirate attack combined with the lack of sleep you always get on your first night at sea – I was a little anxious. Add to that the Chaguramaus shuffle – the notoriously bad deep anchorage which has variable holding and is littered with all sorts of rubbish like washing machines and spare tires to snag your anchor and the severe lack of mooring balls for this popular destination…….and the fact that you have to go straight to the customs dock for clearance procedures before you do anything else. I was a little uneasy.
Beautiful sail

But as it turned out it was another beautiful sail. We left Grenada around 4 pm in the afternoon, set up the sails and let Alianna do her thing. Sim and I sat back and enjoyed the ride. Now I think I have mentioned on numerous occasions that I hate sailing to windward but ease the sails a little and take her slightly off the wind and it’s glorious. Sim and I talked about what we would do in the unlikely event we were attacked by pirates – and it should be noted it’s been well over a year since the last attack, so I was probably over-worrying. As much as we would like to defend our castle we both know that it would be far more prudent to be compliant, but if the opportunity arose we would try and alert attention to other ships in the area. We re-familiarized ourselves with all our flares. Leaving a couple handy incase we need to alert attention and even practiced firing the flare gun into the sea.
Sun setting at sea
With all that done we watched the sunset over the horizon and storm heads brew in the distance. We sat outside for a while in companionable silence admiring the star filled sky until we settled into watches. The oil rigs could be seen over 20 miles away. With the AIS receiver we were able to identify all the big shipping traffic in the area, calling them up by name when we were on a collision course to ask if they had seen us (which they hadn’t!). It was a clear night all the way. I could see lightning in the distance but we didn’t get a drop of rain. When the moon rose, the night became so light it was almost as if it were daylight but in black and white.

Good Morning Trinidad!
Despite the light winds we coasted along at 4-5kts and made good time. We arrived at the entrance to Bocas de Mono around 10am and made our way into Chaguaramas. Chaguarmas is a large industrial shipping centre. Huge tankers and barges lay at anchor waiting for work to be done. But the area is also a national park in the hilly end of the island. Behind the rusty sea faring works are hills of tropical green. Pelicans sit on every available post. Frigate birds swoop down at the back of your boat and the aptly named kisskadees wake you in the mornings with their song. Ali de cat is not allowed ashore here. As we have tide into a marina for a few days “holiday” we have covered the cockpit with netting so she can’t get out. She seems to resent this confinement to the boat but when the parrots fly over head she is easily distracted with kakaka-ing – if only she could catch one!

On our way in to Chaguaramas


Now its down to business and time to look at boats.
A comfy sail to Trinidad
Taking it easy!

Ali pops out sniffing air - she can tell we are somewhere new.

Haul out for big boats


Chaguaramas


3 comments:

  1. Didn't know you were considering cats. Colin and Ricky have Solar Quest listed for sale in Grenada.
    http://www.catamaransite.com/catamarans_for_sale.html
    Scroll down the front page to Solaris 42

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  2. Yes we have seen that one advertised but don't really think its our cup tea.

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  3. Not sure if you saw the Wharam cat for sale notice on Grenada Cruiasers FB page.
    $30K us sounds like a good deal, but then Rosie gets to decide.
    I like the idea of a cat as a living space but don't like the "not seeing forward" part at anchor or as crew under way?

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