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s/v Skylark
It's Always An Adventure
Time for Roti
Elizabeth
07/13/2012, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

This is one of the many iguanas I saw in the tree beside the Roti Hut.

Waiting for St. Patrick's Day
Elizabeth
07/13/2012, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

If you were this iguana, you would always be ready for St. Patty's Day. The local iguanas are bright green and parade around looking for food next to the popular and busy Roti Hut. By 11:30 every day but Sunday, there's a long, slow line of all sorts of people waiting for a chicken, duck, beef or vegetarian roti. The iguanas line up just about the same time and wait for handouts, for example pumpkin slices as seen in this photo. I was making my first roti purchase for Ed's lunch and as I stood there, I saw a tiny lizard scoot into the bushes. I then looked and saw another lizard so large and brown (unlike this one) that I stared at it thinking it must be a yard ornament. Except there was no yard and it moved. I pulled out my camera but missed the shot. Next thing I knew, a fellow cruiser tapped me on my shoulder and told me to look behind me where I saw half a dozen very green iguanas climbing a tree and waiting for "feeding time", which was precisely the same as roti time. They weren't as big as the first one, but were vivid and bright.

Wishful thinking
Elizabeth
07/11/2012, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

This photo was taken when we were still in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in an anchorage all by ourselves. Peaceful, quiet, clean water for swimming. Here in Trinidad, we are surrounded by wonderful cruisers and friendly locals. We have no complaints about being here, other than we'd rather be in turquoise water and on sandy beaches. Who wouldn't?

Ed, Luna and I can get rather sick of each other in these small, confined quarters. Lately I've enjoyed my time below deck while Ed has above-deck chores to do, much like I did if he was out in the yard or in his shop while I puttered in the house. Then again, I enjoy working side by side him doing projects. We often worked in our yard together in that "other" life, with Luna underfoot; we all three enjoyed those times. But everyone needs time alone, which I know we don't get enough of. I feel fortunate we have the kind of relationship where either one of us can say, "Will you be quiet now?" or "Could you pretend you're invisible so I can pretend I'm alone?" Guess who says this sort of thing more frequently than the other? If you guessed me, you're brilliant. Ed is a good sport, almost never taking my comments personally. I have been in other relationships where my partner bristled at anything I said with an attitude. And believe me, I have been known to be an attitude waiting to happen. I am just grateful to be with a man who rarely bristles.

Marina life has its definite advantages and is a necessity for all our boat projects, but there is a dock in a neighboring marina where you can stand and look out beyond the anchored boats into the open water. I find myself yearning to be out at sea again, finding somewhere new to drop our hook, connecting with other cruisers maybe but even more appealing, finding a quiet spot all to ourselves. In the meantime, I am busy cleaning every inch of the boat. Just looking around at how much there is to clean takes my breath away. I get paralyzed and tell myself I can't possibly do this task. Surely someone else can clean this damned boat. Fat chance, sistah! So I break it down into manageable pieces, bit by manageable piece. I determine to clean one side of the aft berth, just the outside of the closets and drawers. I will only go as far as this boundary, no further. And once I'm there, I'm on a roll and sneak on over beyond the boundary. Before you know it, I've finished with both the port and starboard sides of the aft berth. And then on to the aft head. Well, I might as well tackle the ceiling and the aft hatch. And so on. As of today I have completed over half the boat. Since our v-berth looks much like a disorganized garage, basement, attic and shop (combined) I'll have to postpone cleaning that area. My captain's chore? Varnishing the entire topside of the boat. Thank God that's not my job at the moment. It will be if I'm quick with the cleaning, and as much as I wish I could slow down to a turtle's pace, that's not my nature. At this rate, I'll be up there varnishing in the blink of an eye. Unless of course a lovely individual happens by and offers to varnish pro bono.

07/11/2012 | Betty Hutcheson
You know you're writing your first book, right Elizabeth?
Martini Night on Skylark, Photo 2
Elizabeth
07/11/2012, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

Ed, Rob and Mark.

Martini Night on Skylark
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
07/11/2012, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

Martini night was on Skylark to give a proper send off for our friends on s/v Miclo III. We are joined by Mark and Willie on s/v Liahona. Ellen and Rob head to the US tonight for an extended visit and we'll miss their company. But you know, time flies by quickly, just like it did when we had a different sort of existence. You would think we have all the time in the world, and we do in a sense. Yet each day we have things we want to accomplish and somehow, time vanishes without us finishing what we set out to do. Doesn't that sound familiar?

Fried Chicken Wings and Fries
Elizabeth
07/09/2012, Port of Spain, Trinidad

The food offered at the panyard was fried chicken wings and french fries. They also offered chicken necks cooked in a local spicy seasoning but we opted to go with the wings. For dessert? A fabulous peanut butter and banana smoothie sold by a man just inside the large doors to the panyard.

The Renegades Steelband Orchestra
Elizabeth
07/09/2012, Port of Spain, Trinidad

A steel drum or pan is a musical instrument originating from Trinidad and Tobago and played by pannists. The pans, Trinidad and Tobago's national instrument are made from 55 gallon drums, formally used for oil and other similar substances and played by using a pair of sticks tipped with rubber; some of the more skilled pannists use 4 sticks at a time. When French planters and their slaves emigrated here in 1790 during the French Revolution, there were many West Africans, French creoles from St. Vincent, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Dominica who established a community before the country was taken from Spain by the British. The French brought the hugely popular Carnival to Trinidad but the slaves were forbidden to participate and formed their own parallel event called Canboulay. However, stick fighting and African percussion music were banned in 1880 after riots broke out during the Canboulay. They were replaced by bamboo sticks beaten together, which were banned as well. They reappeared in 1937 as an orchestra of frying pans, dustbin lids and oil drums. These steel pans are now an integral part of Trinidad and the local music scene. When the US Navy arrived here in 1941, the panmen were finally recognized without being associated with lawlessness and violence and this helped populize steel pan among soldiers. Thus began its international attention and popularity. (Credit to Wikipedia)

Panyard Scene
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
07/09/2012, Port of Spain, Trinidad

Scene of people liming about in between the bands playing.

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