05/05/2012, Pigeon point / Tobago
As planned we walked up the 1/2 mile to Pigeon point Heritage park .. expecting to get a shot at snorkeling one of the best reef's in the world ( according to Jacques Cousteau back in the late seventies or so)
They charge a small entry fee into the park ...18TT or so .. The place reminded me of old days back in Mallorca or Rimini ... but in a much prettier setting ..
First thing we noted, was a rather big sign indicating that there is no swimming allowed outside the buoyed areas ???? Hups .. that probably won't fit us to well
We started wandering around checking out the place (looking more and more like Mallorca to me) ... We left without breakfast so we pretty fast settled on having some fish and chips ( The bar was already in full swing at 11AM)
... To my surprise Jill seemed to enjoy the fish and chips .. she must have been very hungry ..)
After taking the scene in for awhile we came to the sad conclusion that the only way to snorkel the reef in this place is by going on one of the many Glass Bottom Boats (Can you imagine Jill on a glass bottom boat ..)
So there we go 120TT each for 1-1/2 hours tour with some snorkeling time at the reef)
We jumped on the boat with a family of 4 from Trinidad ( all non swimmers) Also a group of visitors from India joined us.(also non-swimmers).
JUST FOR NIYA & ALEX - To enhance the experience please start FAST READING HERE !
Off we go - staring down the glass bottom .. Depth about 1m - fish to see - NONE !!!.. This goes on for about 15 min - my neck starts to hurt from starring down the glass bottom .. then a big event - it get's deep - 10 meter or so according to the captain - "everybody" gets excited - finally we reach the reef - it's actually rather pretty - Jill knows more fish then the captain- of course she does - Now we pick up a mooring - finally snorkeling?- Safety first said the captain- everybody wears a life jacket- everybody HOLDS ON TO THE LINE DANGLING FROM THE BOAT - at this point I thought Jill might loose her mind - we reason with the captain - and he actually let's us go in without life jackets if we promise to stay behind the boat so he can see us at all times - surprisingly Jill shows herself with best behavior and stays close -
Not a bad reef just 15 min is not enough time for "us" - while we paddle around behind the boat the captain manages to get 2 people "wet" - meaning, hanging off the boat holding on to the line with there arms spread out as if they would take off into the air any second- but I guess if you've never done it it's an adventure all right- off we go to the next spot- a small sand bank about 1m deep - there goes the hook in front and the snorkel line in the back - The Indian group all jumps in, holding on to the line standing in 1m of water ... Jill seriously want's to go in with her snorkel - that's how she's wired I guess - water = snorkeling - The little boy from the black family want's to join and jill helps him getting the courage and getting in the water- Jill "dives down to get sand for everybody from the ground and they rub it into their face - Day spa they call it - then scene is unreal but well worth the 120 TT :-) :-)
*** END OF FAST READING SECTION ****
We finish the day at the bar with two beers (Georg) and share another fish and chips ....
I thought is was a success !
|March 2012-May 2012||
05/04/2012, Milfort Bay Tobago
So we moved 6 miles down south to the "main" anchorage in Tobago. Cruisers
currently there are 6 boats in the anchorage.
... It was a rainy day so the first impression was not that great ...
Bucco Reef about 1/2 mile north of us is supposed to be a fantastic snorkel spot .. unfortunately Jill has done some research today and discovered that the reef is in serious trouble because of the over use of glass bottom boats and the general over use by tourist's - mostly dead:(
She is also reading a lot about Dengue fever in the area .. doesn't make her happy.....
If the weather allows we are planning on packing our snorkel gear, walk the 1/2 mile and see for ourselves tomorrow.
|Oct25 - Nov26th 2010||
05/03/2012, Turtle Beach Tobago
The first 5 hours going towards Tobago were a bit a struggle, as we were going 7-7.5 knots on nice close haul, we also had 1-2 knots of current against us pushing us slightly towards the west ...( It looked like we were just making the south end of Tobago= nothing extra as far as the direction goes)
Once the currents shifted, we were making much better progress and were also making better direction towards the east.
All in all it was a beautiful night sail with a single sail trim at the beginning and then 10 hours of turning the dial on the autopilot up and down a few degrees
Winds were at a steady 11-15 knts
2 days before full moon - great visibility - but I didn't see anybody :-(
- It doesn't get much better then that.
We hit one big squall about 15 miles off the coast of Tobago .... I was trying to avoid it but didn't succeed - so we got wet
Of course right at the moment when the squall hit, I noticed some light ahead of us - after turning the AIS on I realized that we were heading towards a650 feet monster (He must have seen us for miles I assume) ... My "lets avoid this Squall Maneuver" must have put us right onto a possible collision course ... I'm sure he was not thrilled watching me do this.
Once I realized what was going on, I changed course clearly to make sure he could stay on his....
After that around 3-AM Jill took over and sailed us as fast as possible to Tobago (She likes to go fast ....)
We dropped anchor in Tobago around 8:00 AM
Now we had to get a taxi across the island to see custom and immigration...
Luckily there were some ganja/Rasta guys hanging out - one of them had to drive to town so we got a ride for $10 TT ( cab back was $60 TT = long live the Ganja guys !)
Trinidad / Tobago officials are PAPER CRAZY as we all know.. but here on Tobago they put it over the top I think ...
So the Island is split into two portions , with the dividing line going through the middle... each controlled by there own Immigration/ customs office.
So in order for you to see both parts , you need to check in/ check out of each office before crossing that line - and then we have to do the same again when heading to Trinidad ....means at least 4 visits!! (check in to south, check out of south, check into north, check out of north)
- all done with three paper copies - so much for saving the rain forest
|March 2012-May 2012||
05/02/2012, Union Island
After spending two beautiful nights at the tobago keys we sailed the short distance south to union island this morning.
Without internet for the past days, I needed to confirm our weather window for the +- 100 mile run to Tobago .
As it turns out the forecast was still on "schedule" for tonights departure
I'll check out with customs and Immigration in a little bit and then we will head out around 5PM
|March 2012-May 2012||
Lazy me ... somehow I could not find the time anymore to write the blog
Currently we are in the Tobago Keys ... This is our second day
We do our usual :
Jill: Snorkeling until the sun goes down
So here is a short recap of what happened over the past week or so
A) we did sail from Rodney bay to Marigot Bay with Jill's friend and some of here girl friends ( Some of the visitors might had one or two too many.. but all in all we had fun)
We did spend a few nights in Bequia and visited Mustique ( didn't pay the Mooring fee 200 EC(+- 80 US) for 3 nights or so ???? - for that money you better find us - no reason for us to walk to the harbor master)
We had to stop in Cannoaun to get cash for the Key's ...
On the way back to the boat we met some nice folks from the US that were about to go on a10 day charter .. we started talking - sharing some of our "knowledge" (as little as it is) about the Islands and soon enough they invited us to have dinner with them at the hotel - and they ended up paying for it = I just love talking to strangers at the bar for no reason ....
Super nice folks .. not sure if we will see them again, as both of us are on a " thight " schedule at this point..
|March 2012-May 2012||
04/21/2012, Rodney Bay St Lucia
So yesterday we sailed up north from the Saints to Point a Pietre on the main land of Guadeloupe .. The winds were as expected on our nose, but we managed to do some nice close hauls
So for the 24H sail to St Lucia I was really looking forward to the first leg between Guadeloupe and Dominica , as we would be going the OTHER direction
= beam reach pretty much ...
Guess what - the winds also seemed to have some commitment in the south for this day and therefore had turned south
= close haul all the way = I was mentally not prepared of that
F%#@* Winds - just like riding a damn bicycle again ..
At the end it was not that bad and we had a nice sail to Dominica ...
Next Problem - Massive cloud formations hanging to the east of Dominica and the rest of the south
Did I read the weather forecast correct ?
I was about to abandon the idea to sail direct to St Lucia because of it (can you imagine Jills disappointment ??? ) when we came up with a compromise
How about we stop a Dominica , double check the weather over the Internet just to make sure ...
Lucky us, because of our long range Wifi antenna on the boat, we didn't even have to stop going - I was able to pick up the hotspot from 5 miles off shore and could confirm what I remember = lot's of rain on the east side of the islands but decent condition on the west side
On we go ....
As it turned out the forecast was dead on - actually the conditions were slightly better then I expected ( we didn't get wet until Jill had here shift at 3 AM , where she had to "survive" two squalls while I was sleeping below)
We dropped sails pretty much 24 Hours after we started in Point a Pietre
|March 2012-May 2012||