Trinidad: Nov 18-28, 2009

Click on the above thumbnail for a map during this time period

Downtown Port of Spain

On 11/20 we caught a maxi-taxi to downtown Port of Spain.   There, we first visited the exhibition set up next to the Hyatt Hotel.  The crew of Receta and Asseance joined us there.  There were a number of vendors set up in tents, and I treated myself to a Trinidad and Tobago birdbook at the Asa Wright exhibit.  At another exhibit Barb was encouraged to pick out some native jewelry in recognition of her forthcoming birthday.   She chose a beautiful bracelet, necklace, and earring set.   Then, attempting to find a cab to get us to Ms. Pat's Bar and Grill, we wondered over to the Hotel itself.   We asked about a taxi, and were mistaken for Commonwealth attendees at the CHOGM conference.   Consequently, we were given complementary passage in a big bus to Ms. Pat's, where we found a large crowd gathered in the street right in front of their bar.   Turned out it was a free concert sponsored by one of carnival bands in order to introduce their 2010 costume lineup.   We called Jesse for a ride back to Chaguaramas, and Mike, the driver, was glad to stop off in Carenage so we could all get some ice cream.

Chuck resting at Port of Spain waterfront (ferry to Tobago leaving port in the background)

Artist Akilah making jewelry for Barb

Others with us also buying Akilah's jewelry

Stage at concert across from Miss Pat's

Models showing off next year's Carnival costumes

The ice cream lady

Everyone enjoying some ice cream on our trip home from the concert

Trip to Market

Beaujolais Nuevo night at TT Hospitality Training Center

One of many appetizer-laden tables

Barb had a (woefully unsuccessful) characture drawn

Guests Janelle and her mother Pat. Pat has been a soca judge for over 20 years.

One of the two mimes present hams it up w/ Chuck

To Joe's Pizza with the crew from Bamboo


Ann and Steve (Receta) were our guests ...

... as were Roxanne and Bill (Bamboo)

Save the Sea

This large vessel developed generator problems and so berthed at Crews Inn.   When they checked in at Customs they reported their shotguns and its ammunition, and remarked to the Customs officer, as they handed over the form, that they also had other weapons on board, but that there was no place on the form for those types of weapons.   Later, Customs officers boarded the vessel, searched and found high-powered rifles and many thousands of ammunition.   So, what did Customs do?   Ask the captain to put in writing what he had already reported to them verbally?   Nope.  They seized the boat and arrested the captain for submitting a false declaration.   The captain spent the night in the hoosegow, and then was released on bail.   At his initial court appearance, the captain plead guilty, but explained why not all of the weapons had been declared in writing.   The judge suspended the proceedings until it could be determined if he could plead guilty technically but in effect plead innocent by virtual of his oral declaration.   The judge further questioned the legal status of the Customs form, given its obvious incompleteness.   As this is written, on the eve of our departure to Grenada (on Friday), the captain is "free" but confined to his vessel, and is scheduled for another court appearance on Monday.