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s/v Skylark
It's Always An Adventure
Ed and Luna Preparing for My Departure
Elizabeth
08/13/2012, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

These two will have a fine time together, getting into all kinds of mischief and shenanigans. They are already plotting their bad behavior.

Luna's Scheme
Elizabeth
08/13/2012, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

This is Luna after hearing that there's no room for her in my suitcase. She will miss our daily routines and I will surely miss her and that handsome sailor who hangs around Skylark. Ed, I'm talking about Ed.

An Unexpected Holiday
Elizabeth
08/13/2012, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

The T/T nation is in a celebratory mood. From the Washington Post, we learn that 19 year old "...Keshorn Walcott from Trinidad and Tobago pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in the track and field program with a throwing action developed from playing cricket as a kid." We are all very pleased for Trinidad/Tobago, a country with every reason to be puffy with pride. Having said that, we learned on this morning's Cruiser's Net that the Prime Minister had declared today a National holiday in honor of the gold medal. What? Everything will shut down unexpectedly? You're kidding, right? No groceries, no errands, no tools, no marina office? Thank goodness I am compulsive enough to have gotten most of my errands run last week, especially getting my exit letter from Coral Cove Marina or I'd be out of luck today. That letter has to be taken over to Immigrations for stamping prior to my departure tomorrow morning and is necessary for clearing Customs when I return in September. One of the cruisers on our dock didn't have his letter and was scrambling to come up with a solution. And then it hit me....no marina office means no laundry tokens. Shit! I had already stripped the bed this morning and was all set to trot myself up to the laundry to get things washed. No tokens for the laundry meant no wash. That meant dirty sheets back on the bed. No way! I pleaded my case on the radio net and one of our neighbors kindly gave me two tokens. Then, off to Immigration in the dinghy. No problem there, except that ordinarily the exit papers are free of charge but since today is a HOLIDAY, we got charged an "extended hours" fee of $100TT, or the equivalent of $15 US. No biggie, just aggravating. We paid the money, got my exit papers and I headed to the laundry with my borrowed tokens. Half way up there, I realized I had no soap with me. Back to the boat in time for the rain to fall. Oh good, I said, this must be one of those popular "patience tests"! This won't ruffle my feathers, nosireebob. With soap in hand I walked into the laundry room and to my dismay saw that things were totally backed up traffic wise. Washers full, laundry piled up waiting for the next available spot, both dryers going. One woman was keeping vigil, another on her way to see whether her turn had come. I put my laundry in "line" and thought I would make good use of my time with a quick phone call to confirm my taxi for the airport. The phone call wouldn't go through. At this point, I was determined to pass that damned patience test come hell or high water. I walked back to the boat determined (again) to wait my turn at the washing machine by doing something important on my "to do" list. As I was walking down the sidewalk toward the docks, the sky opened up, drenching me. I timed things perfectly, returning to the laundry room just as the washing machine was finishing up for the woman ahead of me. I then had to wait oh so patiently as she asked me to "hold off for 2 minutes" while she finished something on her computer. You want me to wait? For TWO minutes? I smiled and said, "Of course" and muttered "Hurry up" under my breath. When she finally finished her task, she discovered her washing machine hadn't spun correctly and required another spin cycle. Is this some kind of joke? Are all "patience tests" this difficult? The good news is it didn't rain on me when I went back to the boat for the 3rd time. Later in the day I baked bran honey raisin muffins for my sweetie pie to have while I'm away. I've made them several times and they are the best ever. Today? I set the oven at the wrong temperature and the majority of them are gooey in the middle. OK, that's it. Just give me an "F" and let's call it a day.

08/14/2012 | Kathryn Sain
stressful blog!
08/16/2012 | Heather
Sounds like the universe is preparing you to enjoy your time at home even more!
We Need a Sponsor!
Elizabeth (photo by Mark s/v Liahona)
08/12/2012, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

OK, who wants to donate money for our matching ball caps? And color-coordinated noodles? I believe Sarah from Wales calls them woggles, or some such thing. Then, all we need is a larger swimming pool, but what we'd rather have is clean water around our boats. Team Aerobics is ready to roll as soon as someone with big bucks steps up to the plate. Waiting....

Water Aerobics Team
Elizabeth (photo by David s/v Persephone)
08/12/2012, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

These are some of the women who enjoy Willie's water aerobics. "Team Aerobics" is what you might call us, except we don't have matching caps and we never know who will show up for the morning workout. Willie has organized aerobics all over the caribbean islands, which everyone seems to appreciate. I have especially enjoyed the opportunity for a good workout, especially given that the walking around here is problematic, and we all enjoy the social time with each other. From l-r, Lori (US), Karena (Norway), Willie (US), Sarah (UK) and yours truly with the grey hair on the end make up our current group. We miss our two Aussie friends who have come and gone, Annie and Gail. We haven't seen our French representative, Kathy in a few days and miss her as well. The tiny pool can be rather challenging when everyone shows up, but we get creative and carry on.

Friday Night BBQ at Coral Cove
Elizabeth (photo by Willie s/v Liahona)
08/12/2012, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

Each Friday night some of the cruisers at Coral Cove Marina have an informal BBQ. We bring what we want to grill and a dish to share. It's always fun, with different people coming and going. This is a photo of me and David on s/v Persephone who arrived that morning with his partner Lori. They are in the slip next to ours. We got to know them in Saltwhistle Bay and spent time with David in Grenada as well but missed Lori who was back in the US at the time.

I will probably add one more post tomorrow and then I'll be busy traveling to the US. I'm not sure what I'll do with the blog during my 5 week absence, but maybe Ed will take over if I don't keep up with it. Luna will stay here with Ed, except for a brief interval when a friend from Coral Cove will take care of her, allowing Ed to join me. Since I enjoy writing for the blog and taking photos, my guess is I'll periodically check in during my shore leave.

08/13/2012 | Kathryn Sain
won't be long now...!
Muddy Water
Elizabeth (photo by Willie s/v Liahona)
08/12/2012, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

Another photo showing the change in water color from all the runoff. There were calls on the radio about whether conditions were safe to come into the harbours, with someone responding that there was a lot of debris in the water and caution should be taken. All in all, it was a pretty dramatic day. We hope those who were negatively impacted will get assistance and we of course offer our sympathies to the family of the two residents who were killed.

Flooding in Trinidad
Elizabeth (photo by Willie s/v Liahona)
08/12/2012, Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad

Yesterday we woke to hard rains, thunder, lightening and general wetness. Water aerobics was postponed until the afternoon and in the meantime, the city flooded in many locations. Two deaths in the city were blamed on the conditions, the roads broke apart, houses collapsed, mudslides occurred. The cruisers were advised not to take taxis/buses into town, to stay put. Outside the Coral Cove fence, which runs along the double lane road, water was rising making it difficult for passing traffic. I watched as the overflow poured like a waterfall into the boatyard (which is about 3 feet lower than the highway) with the ground quickly looking like a swamp. It was disconcerting seeing all those boats on the hard with the soil underneath them getting muddier and unstable. I heard this morning from a local man that the Chaguaramas, which used to be a submarine base for the American military, was dredged after the US left and filled with coral. That made me feel a wee bit better. This man, who owns a business in the Coral Cove Marina said the boats on the hard don't have to worry since the coral will remain stable. This photo shows the rising water next to our dock. The color, as Willie described it was like coffee. Latte, to be more specific.

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