Trinidad: August 11-September 4, 2009

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


This is an abbreviated account of our time in Trinidad, created in haste while we are on our trip to the USA.   We are behind on our blog, not because we have been negligent, but because we have once again been experiencing computer problems.   While we were in Trinidad our new Sony computer began randomly turning itself off.   With the help of a computer technician, we came to realize that the fan was occasionally sticking.   Without a cooling fan, the computer soon overheated and stopped.   So when we came to America we brought the computer with us, and have succeeded in getting a new fan installed under warranty.   So far the computer seems to be working just fine again, and so we can once again attempt to keep the world, or at least the tiny portion of it that has any interest, apprised of our comings and goings and doings.

Look what we caught on the trip from Grenada to Trinidad!

We spent the last part of August at Crews Inn Marina, where we have been before.   We took the local maxi-taxis to the marvelous movie complex and to Port of Spain several times, but mostly had a quiet time at the marina.   Oh, there were some projects.   We commissioned a cover for the dinghy, and we removed the dishwasher from the boat galley.   The space created will be filled with drawers when we get back to Trinidad.  Steve (Receta), Hunter (Arctic Tern) and I also attended a double-header athletic event billed as "Great Balls of Fire":  a cricket game between the West Indies and Trinidad teams -- each supplemented with now-retired former stars -- followed by a soccer (called "football" everywhere in the world except the USA) game of similar description.   It was my first cricket game, and I discovered it is much more "active" than baseball, and very entertaining.   The locals sitting around us really enjoyed explaining the game.

Former spot of dishwasher

"Great Balls of Fire" cricket game

Crowd reacting to a good play on the cricket field

"Great Balls of Fire" football game

Refinishing our cockpit storage box

A wasp sting between my eyebrows caused this puff-face

Playing cards with Devi and Hunter at Grace's Roti Shop

Sunset seen from Crews Inn dock

Pitch Lake

We went on one expedition with the inimical Jesse to the La Brea Pitch Lake, and also stopped at several Hindu temples on the way back.   It started raining shortly after we got out on the Pitch Lake, and so we have too few photos of that fascinating attraction.   The Pitch Lake is the world's largest commercial deposit of natural asphalt which covers 100 acres and is 250 feet deep at the center.  It holds about 10 million tons of asphalt and is estimated to have a renewable reserve which should last for the next 400 years.  The asphalt is mined and exported to countries all over the world where it is used in manufacturing and road paving.  The first record of the use of pitch and its introduction to Europe was by Sir Walter Raleigh in March 1595.  During his search for El Dorado, he discovered Pitch Lake and used the pitch to caulk his leaking ships.  On his second attempt to find El Dorado in 1617, he took back samples of the pitch to England.  In 1792 the Spanish set up a refinery near Pitch Lake but the industry was short-lived when Trinidad fell to the British 1797.  The Spanish were forced to leave the island, but they did leave the name that they gave to that part of the island - La Brea. 

From the rim the large lake isn't really visible

We are standing on pitch that is hard enough to support us

This pump station is used to remove rain water from the surface of the pitch

Braving the rain

Stumps break through the surface on occasion!

Note the gas bubbles and the shoe prints

Beside the temple I spotted these colorful birds ...

... and this Black Skimmer busy collecting his/her lunch

Flames are still visible on this cremation pyre -- and is that a hip bone?

Jesse poses w/ us in a temple

Huge Monkey God at the second Hindu temple

Second Hindu temple

Haul Out

Early in September we were hauled, and the next day we were moved over to Peake's Secure Storage area.   We spent that night in one of Peake's motel rooms, and arose at four the next morning to be taken by Jesse to the Trinidad airport for our trip to the USA.   But that trip, gentle readers, will have to be the subject of a forthcoming addition of this blog.