Magic's Adventure

21 April 2009 | Georgetown
17 April 2009 | Mayaguana
11 November 2008 | St Croix
07 November 2008 | St Croix
22 October 2008 | St Croix
21 September 2008 | St Croix
15 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
15 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
14 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
07 September 2008 | Scotland Bay, Trinidad
21 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
09 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
06 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
06 June 2008 | Bequia
05 June 2008 | Bequia
02 June 2008 | Bequia
28 May 2008 | Bequia
27 May 2008 | Bequia
26 May 2008 | Bequia
25 May 2008 | Guadaloupe

Back to Trinidad

15 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
We flew back to Trinidad on August 23rd, right into what was probably the worst storm of the season so far. Our flights out of Baltimore and Miami had been right on time but as we approached Trinidad a severe thunderstorm was circling around the island and we had to circle in turn looking for a break in the weather so that we could land. After about an hour of dodging the storm, the pilot announced over the PA system that there was still no break in the weather and as we were starting to run low on fuel we were going to divert to Barbados.

So off to Barbados we went. Fortunately we were only on the ground for about 45 minutes before the captain announced that the storm had abated, albeit temporarily they thought, so we were going to make a dash for Port of Spain. This time we did manage to land, but at the same time as four other planes which had also been diverted. Customs and Immigration were swamped and it took us over two hours to clear in. By the time we found Mike, our taxi driver, outside the airport the poor man had been waiting for us for well over 5 hours. We slowly made our way back to Chaguaramas. The effects of the storm were quite amazing. All the roads into and out of the airport were flooded and there had been mudslides in the south of the island. It was said that over 10" of rain had fallen in just over 24 hours, and from our perspective that could well be right. It was gone 8pm by the time we reached our room at Power Boats. We had again rented accommodation for ease of moving sails and equipment back onto Magic over the next few days and that turned out to be a very good move.

Over the next few days we did what we could to get Magic ready to go back into the water. Our efforts were consistently interrupted as the rain that had caused so much devastation a few days earlier continued to fall intermittently. We took a break from our preparations, and from the rain, and went on our planned trip to the Asa Wright Center (see separate log entry), but less than 24 hours after we returned we were due to go back in the water. We weren't in bad shape. Our new anti-fouling had been applied, Magic's hull was waxed and polished and the sails and canvas we had removed before our US trip were back in place. Magic needed a good clean below and topsides, but that could be done when she was back in the water. We were ready for our launch scheduled on Friday, August 23rd. But we didn't splash on Friday. Kril, a steel boat owned by Michael and Ursula, was due to be launched just before us and would therefore need to be moved before Magic could be lifted. Kril was having problems with her new anti-fouling and it would have caused Michael and Ursula a problem were we to insist she be moved. Monday was a public holiday in Trinidad, but we reckoned a few more days wouldn't be a problem for us as we could continue to work, so we re-scheduled for Tuesday.

But Tuesday came and went and we were still on the hard. Another problem reared it head on Kril just when she was positioned for launch. Her lifting keel would not drop into place. Dave spent several hours with Michael and the guys from the yard but no matter how they manipulated the keel, it wasn't going to co-operate. By 3.30pm it was obvious that we would have another night in the yard. Finally the following day all went according to plan and by 11.30am we had splashed. A few days spent back at Coral Cove Marina enabled us to provision and we were then ready for some time away from the heat and bustle of Chaguaramas.

There are a number of bays within a few miles of the boatyards, and so far we had not spent time in any of them. Scotland Bay was the closest, and it was here that we headed first. We spent an interesting few days there, details of which we've already described, after which we motored back to Chaguaramas to see if Tim and Linda on Matsu had finished their work and were ready for some R&R of their own. They were. We decided to spend a few days in Chacachacare Bay, about 7 miles from Chaguaramas, stopping to spend an overnight in Grand Fond Bay on our way.

Grand Fond is very pretty bay, and very quiet. A few holiday homes dot the shoreline but all except one of these was unoccupied when we were there. The bay is quite deep, although the water shelves rapidly towards the head of the bay. The shallower water is marked by some World War II pilings and we anchored just off of these. Apart from one other catamaran, Matsu and Magic were the only boats in the bay. We enjoyed a peaceful afternoon and then joined Tim and Linda aboard Matsu for a wonderful fish dinner. We had a very settled night and the following morning leisurely made our way to Chacachacare.

Chacachacare has an interesting history. Up until about 24 years ago it was home to a leper colony established in 1924 by Dominican nuns. The remains of the patients' quarters, the doctors' homes and the nunnery are still on the island, although nature is fast reclaiming them. When a cure was found for leprosy the patients were moved to hospitals on mainland Trinidad. The island was abandoned although many personal and household items were left in situ and can still be found in the colony remains today. A lighthouse, built in 1896, is also still in operation and is manned even now.

We arrived at Chacachacare Bay mid-morning and were pleased to find 'Quintessence' already at anchor there. Richard and Sarah had Sarah's parents on board and had spent a little time cruising around the local bays. They had been the only boat in Chacachacare for a few days, but assured us that they were quite happy to have other company. Once Matsu arrived, Tim, Linda, Dave and I took a stroll across the island to Latinta Bay. Although the water in Chacachacare is clean, it is still colored a muddy brown due to the run-of from the surrounding rainforest. The water in Latinta was much clearer and we all dived in for a very welcome swim. We spent a very enjoyable evening aboard Quintessence and another peaceful night.

The following morning Tim, Linda, Dave & I decided to hike up to the lighthouse. We agreed on an early start to avoid the worst of the heat and I, for one, am very glad that we did. The climb was a long and steep one and there was little shade along the route. There were also thousands of mosquitoes and I am deeply indebted to the kind person (I wish I could remember who it was) who recommended Avon's 'Skin So Soft' insect repellent to me. This stuff really works! I wish I'd had it back in Vero Beach, but better late than never. After a climb that seemed to take forever (to me anyway) we finally reached the lighthouse. And it was certainly worth the effort. The guide for this area had stated that occasionally the lighthouse keepers will give tours of the structure, but we'd seen them motor down the trail earlier so we knew that the lighthouse itself was unattended. But the view was spectacular and particularly the Venezuelan coast a mere 7 miles away. We wandered around for a little while and even picked some mangoes and avocados from the many trees surrounding the lighthouse and then we made our way back down the trail. Going down was certainly easier than the climb up.

We spent another day or so at anchor in Chacachacare and then decided that it was time to move on. We had very good friends from the UK, Sue and Steve Glennie who were vacationing in Carriacou, north of Grenada, on a diving holiday. It had been our intention to sail up to meet them, but up until now suspect weather kept us in Trinidad. Even though we had not been directly affected, every day we had seen squalls and thunderstorms sweep by five miles or so to the west and south of us. We wanted these storms to be out of the area before we ventured north.

By Saturday, 13th September the weather finally seemed to be settling down. We left Matsu in Chacachacare and headed back to Chaguaramas with Quintessence. We topped up on a few provisions, said 'au revoir' to some good friends, had a final roti and the following day checked out of Trinidad. We dropped our mooring at 8.40am and managed to get the tide right in the Boca so that we were doing over 9kts by the time we reached the north coast of Trinidad. The wind was light so we were motor-sailing, but we were out of Trinidad and heading back north.
Vessel Name: Magic
Vessel Make/Model: Baba 40
Hailing Port: Ipswich
Crew: David & Donna Glessing