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s/v Skylark
It's Always An Adventure
Ed in the Bamboo Forest
Elizabeth
07/01/2012, Macqueripe Park Trail, Chaguarmas, Trinidad

The bamboos are majestic, enclosing us on the trail and making us feel very small.

Life in Trini Part Two
Elizabeth
07/01/2012, Macqueripe Park Trail, Chaguarmas, Trinidad

Our typical day starts between 6-7. I make a pot of coffee, try to access the Internet to check mail and maybe post on the blog. At 8 the cruiser's net on the VHF radio comes on, lasting between 15-30 minutes. Then Luna gets the most boring walk in the world around the boatyard and docks. We're both bored silly by the time we head back to the boat. If Ed and/or I are taking one of the buses somewhere, we usually get ready for that after the most boring walk in the world. I went to the "big city" with two friends, Devi (s/v Arctic Tern) and Ellen (s/v Miclo III) day before yesterday and that was a bustling, intense excursion. The streets are packed with descendants from India whose ancestors were imported as indentured servants after the abolition of slavery. There are of course many descendants of the slaves as well. Only a small handful of people look like me. There are street vendors up and down the sidewalks, a few tall buildings and lots of stores selling everything imaginable. I was shopping for an area rug for the cabin, a doormat for getting on the boat from the dock, a paring knife after losing our favorite one to a pizza box (which went to the garbage bin and promptly removed the following morning prior to our discovering it was missing), and a box fan to direct our a/c into our berth at bedtime (no luck).

Back to our typical day, when we're not doing boat chores sometimes we sign up for something special, as we did yesterday for a hike in Macqueripe park, a long trail shadowed by giant bamboos and quiet howler monkeys. The monkeys aren't always quiet, as their name suggests but we heard nothing from them yesterday. After the hike, some of us swam along with the locals at a park beach. The buses dropped us off at the various marinas by 6. We hurriedly cleaned up for dinner, and then met our friends at the Wheelhouse Restaurant for "Shark and Bake" night, large and delicious fish sandwiches served with a side salad and various local sauces on the side. It's a fun thing to do. I left early because I was beat and wanted to get back to Luna. It was a short walk along the highway from the restaurant to our marina and I felt safe enough walking alone, but in hindsight I probably won't do that again. I was out cold by 9 and Ed got home at 10. Today, being Sunday, we'll attempt to have a low-key day. I'm going to cook our callaloo and make a breadfruit pie. Luna is enjoying our company, hoping we don't leave her again. We had a walk this morning but the most boring walk in the world didn't get any more interesting.

07/04/2012 | BBL
Sorry you must make the most boring walk in the world......but love it inserted into your blog. One really gets the idea of how often and how boring it is. Happy Fourth of July.
Fish at the Market
Elizabeth
07/01/2012, Port of Spain, Trinidad

This is Ed's favorite part of any open market. He stands and watches the men and women cutting the fish to learn new tips. I have to pry him away whether he's buying anything or not.

Spring Onions and Herbs
Elizabeth
07/01/2012, Port of Spain, Trinidad

In many of the Caribbean Islands, you'll see the bunches of spring onions tied with fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill, basil, parsley. The onions are terrific, not too hot and add great flavor to everything we make. These bunches are $20 TT, or $3.33 US.

Sweet Peppers
Elizabeth
07/01/2012, Port of Spain, Trinidad

The currency here is TT's, which is 6 times the value of the American dollar. So if we pay $60 TT's for an item, we are paying $10 US. Green peppers, 3 for $1.00 TT. Cucumbers, 6 for $3.00 TT (.50 cents) How can everything be so inexpensive? Behind the peppers you can see stalks of the callaloo, okra, cauliflower and what I think are long beans all wrapped up.

Open Market Day
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
07/01/2012, Port of Spain, Trinidad

The activities here in Trini are as abundant as the bananas. Ed and I got up at the crack of dawn yesterday to take Jesse's bus to the huge market. We were there by 7:00. Every market is different; all the Islands have certain products that are common between them, like mangos and bananas but the fun part is finding something unique to the area. I haven't seen too much here that I haven't seen elsewhere, but I'm sure I'm just missing something. In Trini, unlike other Islands, they bring in fruits from the US, like apples and pears. We only buy locally grown items, such as spring onions, callaloo, lettuce, mangos, bananas, key limes (itsy-bitsy limes), fresh herbs like thyme, basil, dill, and parsley, pumpkin (which is more like butternut squash), breadfruit (good for all sorts of recipes), green peppers, and eggplant. I am omitting an abundance of other wonderful food. And the avocados....the best. I'll do some cooking today, which is Ed's day of rest but not mine. He's exhausted.

Additional Thoughts about the Turtles
Elizabeth
07/01/2012, Matura Beach, Trinidad

Our friend Urmas who lives and works in Baja California Sur, Mexico researching whales wrote in response to our turtle experience. He was adamant that humans should not touch the leatherback turtles at any point in their nesting ritual. He said they don't actually go into a trance-like state and the volunteers or guides should never allow flashes from cameras or any kind of white light. We trust his wisdom and promised to post his thoughts on the blog. I tried to research the issue myself on the Internet but didn't come up with a lot. Maybe someone out there reading this post will comment or suggest a good website on the topic. The last thing we ever want to do is disrupt the natural rhythm of mother nature.

Hatchling
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
06/29/2012, Matura Beach, Trinidad

After watching two mama turtles lay eggs, with one of them moving back to the ocean, Jesse James, our tour guide went off in search of hatchlings. He found this little fella and we all bid it farewell before guiding it back down to the water. They are born with a yolk in their belly which provides nourishment for about 2 weeks after they hatch. After that, if they survive (and that's a very big if), they eat mainly jellyfish. The females don't start breeding for 25 years, which Jesse says the males "respect". Most of the babies don't end up making it to that age, however. But what a delightful adventure. Next on my list, whales.

07/01/2012 | ty
your commentary is fantastic. feel like i was right off your bow. We envy your experience and only wish we could have come along to share the joy. keep the blog going, day to day stuff is even interesting! Love and Hugs, Ty and Judith - now in auxerre, france, returning to the usa on july 4th for a month
07/01/2012 | Ed Easter
Thanks Ty and Judith! Wish you were here. Or really, wish we were there!

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