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Swingin' on a Star
Ship's log for the circumnavigating Saint Francis 50 catamaran, "Swingin on a Star".
RuleMate Swap Out
Randy
01/04/2008, Store Bay

Hideko and I traveled into town today to grab some groceries. We also stopped by Latitude 11 for lunch (which was as good as dinner). After some other errands we headed back to the boat. The beach was breaking which made it a little interesting getting out. The glass bottom Reef tour boats that anchor off the beach were in full swing with a new batch of tourists.

I replaced two more RuleMate pumps today. I am about as disillusioned as you can get with these pumps. Unfortunately ITT seems to own all of the pump brands that you can find in the Western hemisphere. There really is no choice. I have tried to find alternatives in Europe but have not turned anything up yet. I did get an encouraging email from the factory (I finally sent them a quality complaint). They seem earnest and ready to help. I find it hard to believe that there is an installation problem though. It is a pretty straight forward setup (water goes in bilge, pump pumps water out of bilge, repeat...). As fragile as these things are I can't feel very comfortable about their ability to protect the boat should a problem occur. We'll see how discussions with the factory go.

Trinidad and Tobago
Read a Book
Randy
01/03/2008, Store Bay

Some days you just want to read a book.

We also got a lot of Internet biz done though. Our radio labs antenna was key here because none of the laptops in the area could get online.

Later in the evening Michael from Andromeda brought over pizza from the Italian place and we had a movie night.

Trinidad and Tobago
Back to Store Bay
Randy
01/02/2008, Store Bay

Perhaps they call it Store Bay because it is the easiest place to anchor if you need to go to the store? Well it is anyway.

We played at the beach a bit today and then moved over to Store Bay to take care of some things on the Internet and prep for some shopping in the morning. The anchoring takes longer than the sailing for this hop.

Trinidad and Tobago
Wind Surfing
Randy
01/01/2008, Pigeon Point

Another beautiful day in paradise. We spent the new year windsurfing (or for the first time windsurfing more than falling).

Now, if I just weld a couple of stainless steel bars under the bimini I should be able to fit two wind surfers...

Trinidad and Tobago
Happy New Year!!
Randy
12/31/2007, Pigeon Point

Happy New Year!!!

It has been an amazing 2007. I couldn't imagine a more enjoyable way to spend a year.

We spent the day trying to master windsurfing and the evening watching the various fireworks shot up around Crown Point from our cockpit. Some crazy French folks on a classic ketch near by shot off several flares from a gun and one guy lit a hand held flare and jumped in the water with it. This behavior doesn't fall within my safety guidelines but it was fun to watch him swim around underwater with the flare burning.

Once the fireworks were over the entire anchorage went still and starry. It was 2008.

Trinidad and Tobago
Fresh Fish
Randy
12/30/2007, Pigeon Point

We had another fun day on the water sports beach at Pigeon Point. After a hard day of kite boarding and wind surfing, we decided to invite our friends on Doris and Andromeda over for dinner.

We grilled up the fish Hideko caught on the way to Tobago with some rice and asparagus, topped with a nice Hollandaise. Very tasty.

Trinidad and Tobago
Wind Surfing Lessons
Randy
12/29/2007, Pigeon Point

We returned our rental car today and tried the pancake house for breakfast. Jeremy at the rental car place dropped us off which was nice of him. The food at the pancake house was good but service was subject to Caribbean speed and accuracy. Order a berry smoothie, get a banana smoothie, but hey as long as what you get is tasty you're ahead of the game.

After walking back to the beach we moved the big boat up the coast a little to Pigeon point. Pigeon point is one of those anchorages behind a reef that looks wide open but is really pretty settled. You can't get greedy though, if you try to move in all the way to the north east you'll drop anchor in shallow sand over rock. Most of the time this anchorage is much less rolly than Store Bay.

The Pigeon Point is a park and coming from land you have to pay $3 US to get in. If you're on a yacht and land your dinghy on the beach you may have to pay or you may not. Seems to depend on who's on patrol. One guy told us we didn't need to pay when we dinghy in and another guy told us to pay.

There are a number of establishments back in the palms including shops near the entrance, a SCUBA outfit, a dock where the glass bottom boats shuttle folks back and forth to the reef, a fast food and bar area, a proper sit down restaurant and a water sports shack. The water sports folks rent wind surfers and kite board set ups as well as lessons.

Stian and Tina were enjoying the beach when we got there and had their new wind surfer all set up. Stian had bought the wind surfer in Chagarams right before he left for $25 US, not a bad deal! The mast is a little short for the sail but otherwise it is great. Stian spent some time teaching Hideko and I how to get going. It was a lot of fun falling into the water over and over but I think we'll need a day on a starter rig to get going.

Trinidad and Tobago

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