Martinique for Christmas.
19 November 2016
I've now been in Trinidad for over two months! How time flys? A tropical storm came our way but veered north as it approached Trinidad. I had made a provisional book to have my boat tied down in the boat yard but fortunately didn't need that service.
I've managed to get a lot of the general maintenance done here. Being alongside a dock, I have access to shore power. This means that I can run my air conditioner 24/7 if I like. It works really well and as we are close to the equator, and with no wind in the harbor, it's hot! Very hot and humid. The interior of my boat is all solid oiled teak. So that needed a clean and light oiling. I've serviced the main engine. Cleaned and cleaned below. I've sanded and varnished the cockpit combings, cockpit table, hatch boards and eye brows. All teak. I've compounded and polished the top deck gelcoat and cockpit. I've serviced the bilge pump and replaced a couple of pipes in the boat. I've also sanded and varnished the cabin sole.
I've been into the capital, Port of Spain here quite a few times. I've got myself a new Australian passport, as there is a consulate here, and a B1/B2 10 year multiple entry visa for the USA. So now I'll be able to sail into USA waters and not be fined, for a change. I've been fortunate enough to have hired cars with cruising friends here and toured quite a bit of the island. This is the biggest island in the Eastern Caribbean with a larger population than all the other islands put together. I've enjoyed the Indian cuisine. It has morphed a bit but the flavors are great.
And then it was time to start my northbound winter migration again. Winter is the best time to be up in the Leeward Islands as the threat of hurricanes is just about nonexistent. I, in the company of Richard and Lavinia on Partners, left Chaguaramas around midday, motored through the Bocas, between Venezuela and Trinidad, and altered course NNE. Around the oil platforms and straight shot to Carriacou. And there wasn't a breath of wind! I had to motor the whole way. Bummer! With the main sail up and the wind not bracing the boat, she rolls in the swells, causing the sail to slap from side to side. It's no fun listening to your equipment destroying itself. So I lowered the main and held on tight as I rock and rolled my way up to Tyrell Bay, Carriacou. Not a comfortable passage I tell ya!
I anchored in Tyrell, where I always do, close to the beach. It was great to be back in clean water again. I hadn't been able to swim in the sea for two months as Chaguaramas is a commercial port and the water is filthy. It was fun to catch up with friends there, going to Miss Luckys chicken shack, Tante Mavis' for BBQ and the like. It was also a sad time as health has failed a few friends there.
A day or two before leaving to sail up to St. Anne's, overnight, a lovely lady from Slovakia, Anna, asked if she could get a ride up to Martinique as she's headed to Antigua. So I had great company on the passage up. Another passage with very little wind and we motored all the way up.
It's good to be back in the French islands again. Cheese, wine and baguettes!