Chaguaramas, Trinidad: October 15-November 14, 2011

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


After a three-day stop-over in Florida -- during which we rented a car in Miami and drove up to Green Cove Springs in order to fetch our mail and enjoy a dinner near Jacksonville with Steve and Linda (Seaman's Elixir) and John (Sojourn) -- our return to Trinidad from Spain was marked by a busy time for Tusen Takk II and her owners.

Chuck in front of our "home" at St. Brendan's Isle mailing service in Green Cove Springs, FL

One of the staff members at the mailing service

Some of the "high-rise apartments" at St. Brendan's Isle

Before our departure in July, we had engaged Billy Wray for an insurance survey, and his findings required that some work be done before our departure from Trinidad.  Some items I could handle myself, such as repacking the gland on the rudder (which I did although the doing revealed that it need not have been done); cleaning and re-greasing the winch on the mast; and agitating and weighing the many fire extinguishers on board; while other projects required professional assistance, such as repairing cracks in the gel coat that had blossomed on the forward deck and the swim platform.  We postponed replacing the lifelines on the lower deck, alleged to be necessary due to hair-line cracks in the hardware, since appropriate vinyl-covered lines were not available in Trinidad and we chose not to convert to bare braided stainless steel lines, given reports from other cruisers that such lines (a) tend to get dirty and soil anything hung on the rails and (b) tend to "grab" the hair on any passing legs.  We also hosted Justin, a Trac technician, who flew in to work on the stabilizers, replacing a leaking hydraulic ram and a sticky sensor that caused a fin to "chatter" when in the centered position.  And then there were the "usual" non-insurance-related maintenance items to be done by workers at Peake Yacht Services:  cleaning and applying anti-foul paint to the bottom and the rudder; cleaning the propeller so that Barb and I could apply Prop Speed; and cleaning and waxing the hull and cabin. Meanwhile, Barb spent weeks sewing window treatments, pillows, and curtains for the saloon (pictures of which we neglected to take but will eventually provide -- so check here later) and I varnished the name plates and dealt with the problem of replacing two failed Trojan L16-HC batteries -- the problem with the latter being that they were too heavy to lift out of the battery box, given the low ceiling above the box.  In the end, I cut an opening in the side of the box and later installed a hinged gate in the opening.  Another project was the replacement of the continuous-duty 110-volt fan that brings fresh air into the engine room.  The old one had gotten noisy; the new one was in the package, along with the batteries, that came in to Marine Warehouse shortly after we arrived back in Trinidad.  Among the many other minor maintenance tasks was the cleaning and water-proofing of the canvas cover for the dinghy and for the fly bridge.

One should always consider carefully before naming ones boat

Cutting a "gate" in the battery box

Consulting with Hunter (Arctic Tern) about the best way to install a gate in the opening

Gland on rudder shaft

Old engine-room fan

Water-proofing fly bridge canvass

TRAC technician Justin at work on the starboard stabilizer

Taste of Trinidad

On Nov. 7 ten cruisers joined Jesse James on his "Taste of Trinidad" tour through the island and its local eateries. This was not a taste of high cuisine, but rather a sampling of some of the local fare offered at roadside stands.

First stop: salt fish and smoked

Sign at our first stop -- note the spelling of "herring"

Hunter is ready for whatever comes

Our next stop was for cow heel soup ...

... which Chuck found to be delicious

While still in Port of Spain, we stopped to listen to a pan band (composed of fire fighters) practicing

We then stopped to fix a tire ...

... with the tire shop conveniently ...

... across from a Doubles stand ...

Adjacent to the doubles stand, a fruit and vegetable stand, with papaya ...

... and pineapple ...

... and sorrel ...

... and egg plant ...

... and much much more

Buttered cassava

Pigtails ...

... were delicious -- just ask Chuck ...

... and Jesse

Trinis don't pronounce the "h" in "th", which can lead to some spelling errors -- note the word "thigh"

Cassava and pigtails were washed-down ...

... with "rainbow" slushies

Sign across the street from our saheena stand

At this friendly stand we had polourie ...

... and aloo pie ...

... and saheena ...

... the latter made w/ calaloo

Three items very popular, as this sign at another shop attests

Assembled guests enjoying the many tastes

Hindu prayer flags across the street from our friendly stand

Hush-puppy-like treat ...

... that Devi seems to enjoy

Beach front at Manzanilla ...

... where some palms are resisting erosion ...

... and others have succumbed

Interesting sign at the beach

Jesse unwraps the roti and buss-up shot skins that will be used with the six fillings he has purchased

For the rotis and buss-up shots, there was beef ...

... and curry eggplant ...

... and curry goat ...

... and curry mango ...

... and pumpkin ...

... and curry liver

We all crowd around the table for the six treats

Jesse and Devi dive in for clean-up duty

Jesse making pineapple chow for "dessert"

Pineapple and garlic and HOT spices

Hunter and Jesse in the surf

Others just visited while some swam

As we procede down the east coast, we sometimes stop to bird-watch; here caracaras

Our southern-most spot is where a river meets the sea ...

... yielding this panorama

Muslim mosque

We stop briefly at a stop ...

... where Jesse cuts us some sugar cane

At one of our last stops, we have beer, sorrel, and a curry duck "cutter" (appetizer)

Pan, Parang and Pork

On Nov. 13 Jesse's driver Derek took a number of us to the annual "Pan, Parang and Pork" concert which featured a number of parang bands -- the Christmas music with Venezuelan roots -- and the steel pan band The Invaders and an evening meal with pork cutters and main course.

Front row of the Invader steel pan band

Parang band "Los Hombres Sexuales", whose motto is: the more you drink the better we sound

We sat next to this friendly preacher ...

... and his wife, seen here chatting w/ Devi

It was raining when we arrived, so we sat under a tent

Another view of our group

More of our group

Pan and parang and singers in a combined act

The "Terns" enjoy a dessert-sicle





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