04 December 2013
might be my favorite island yet
After returning from Guyana and to our own boat we decided to work for a week before launching her back into the water. We cleaned teak, replaced a bit of rigging, put another coat of bottom paint on and did some odds and ends repairs.
Totally exhausted and with sore backs we left Chaguaramas on Saturday morning for Tobago. This is a truly great cruising destination! A small island of only 116 square miles yet has 210 species of birds where other small islands have around 80. Hmmm, this might make it the noisiest island as well. At sunup and sunset the cries of the parrots and cocrico are an amazing treat. There are several waterfalls and and hikes through the rainforest as well as magnificent views from the hills overlooking the bays.
Anchored in Store Bay on the south end of the island we took the bus to immigration and customs to check in. We were amazed at the roads and nice buses that took us to Scarborough. The town was interesting and clean so we walked around for a few hours before returning to our boat. Steve's back is getting worse so we cut the day short. Gretta May, a boat we met in Trinidad, stopped by and invited us over for sundowners. This is the great thing about cruising, there are friends everywhere and some that we haven't even met yet.
Up early the next morning and off to the other end of the island to meet up with Banjo. Ann Louise was there as well and Island Dream showed up the next day. You always know you are in for some nice hikes with Doug and Meyka and this was no exception. This end of the island is very hilly and even short walk is up and down some serious grades. My poor Steve is down for the count. Either a bulging disk or a vertebrae out of alignment, I have prescribed ice and anti-inflammatory drugs. One walk was up to the humming bird house and saw an amazing variety of birds that come to nest this time of the year.
On Friday we rented cars and we teamed up with Pat and Darnell on Island Dream. What a fabulous island. The number one thing that impressed me is that there is very little litter compared to most of the island we visit. Beautiful roads wind along the coast and over the hills. Getting in and out of the car was all Steve could handle and spent the next two days recovering.
One of the worst hours in for years of cruising happened yesterday, moving around the north east end of the island. Conflicting wind, swells and current funneling into the pass caused very turbulent 10+ foot seas. Banjo turned back but we went on, being thrown about like a toy boat in my grandsons bath. Even properly stored items were scattered our broken. The bright spot, a big pod of dolphins, came to play in the big breaking waves. Four or five abreast they were racing our bow or surfing down the waves and then turn around and swim back to do it again. Many juveniles were jumping out of the water and putting on quite a show. They stayed with us until we cleard the pass and the seas calmed, I am sure they were off to find those big waves again.
Once everything was cleaned up and restored, I rode with Island Dream (they moved the day before) to watch the activities of this little town's festival. Boat races, raft races for the kids and other fun contests. All with loud, loud music food and beer.
After a traditional Thanksgiving meal with friends aboard Island Dream it is time to move on. teve is a bit better so we spent Saturday getting the boat locked down and we will leave at first light. Sails will be set on a starboard beat and the autohelm will sail with the wind at 55 degrees. Wind is out of the east as usual so we expect to make landfall around Martinique.
I will miss Tobago, a great island and cruising destination.