Sunday, 30 August 2009
Saturday, 29 August 2009
It's going to be hot and noisy on the water tomorrow, Saturday, with the Trinidad to Tobago powerboat race starting at 6:30am. We got a little preview of Fury yesterday in Chaguaramas Bay.
This weekend is Trinidad's Independence Day weekend and there are lots of activities to choose from including the big parade in Port of Spain on Monday. We have very little planned, except for boat projects and more planning. Perhaps we'll catch a glimpse of the powerboats as they flash by.
For us it's a case of returning home to Australia and we've chosen to sail Bristol Rose with the World Cruising Club's ARC as the vehicle to help us get there. We'll be with the ARC from Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, leaving January 6, 2010 until arrival in Australia in July 2010.
After helping Gerald celebrate his birthday, we once again bid a sad farewell to the Whiskers crew. They're heading west and we hope to see them in the San Blas islands or maybe our reunion will have to wait until Sydney. No matter when, we'll be looking forward to seeing them again.
Friday, 28 August 2009
What happens when the Captain is ashore and his or her boat breaks free of its mooring or the anchor drags? Depending on the current, tide and conditions, a boat could end up miles out to sea, washed onto a reef or against a rocky shoreline, or coming to hard stop against another boat.
Luckily for our neighbor who shall remain nameless, Robert and I were sitting in the cockpit of BR, connected to the internet and occasionally gazing across the anchorage. Robert calmly asked: "Was that boat there before, right next to Inspiration Lady?" In a second he was in our dinghy and then jumping aboard the drifting boat. No one was home and there was no key to start the engine.
I got onto the VHF radio to alert Gary of Inspiration Lady. In about a minute he was in his dinghy, joined by another cruiser and the three rescuers gently manoeuvred the runaway back through the other boats towards her mooring ball. No harm done this time, except a little shock and injury to the ego of the Captain when he returned to the news that in his absence, his boat had been rescued.
An embarrassment but also a learning experience. It can happen to anyone. It happened to us in the Dominican Republic. In winds of 25 knots BR's anchor dragged with a lump of mud along the bottom of Luperon harbour. We'd heard that dragging anchors through the poor holding of Luperon's muddy bottom was too common. Before we left BR for a day out Robert took the precaution of telling our neighbor where to find the key to the ignition, just in case. He must have sensed something or maybe it was just Luperon's reputation for poor holding nagging away at him. I hope we will always remain humble and open enough to learn from our own mistakes and lessons taught by others!
On this occasion in Chaguaramas, the runaway boat had been secured to her mooring ball with just one line threaded through the loop on top of the ball. With the constant boat traffic and change of tides causing the boat to swing and rock on the ball, the line wore through. It doesn't take long, less than a week will do it.
If you've never tied up to a mooring ball, as the Captain had not, you would easily make the same mistake. The recommended method is to use two lines, each with looped ends. When the two lines are threaded through the ball's metal "thimble" and back through their own loops before securing to cleats on the boat, there's less chance of breaking free from wear and tear. A new neighbour moored beside us this afternoon; a shiny Beneteau. The metal "thimble" on their mooring ball sure looks dangerous to me! There's a fine line between interference and giving unsolicited advice.
When we dragged in Luperon our good neighbors on Lorelei, Night Hawk and Essential Part rescued us. We became friends and ended up traveling down the islands with Ray and Genna of Night Hawk, so good things can truly come out of bad luck. We are also reminded to check our lines.
Sunday, 23 August 2009
Friday, 21 August 2009
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Monday, 10 August 2009
Calabash Pan Lovers, Pandemic
We had so much fun last night, we intend to sleep through the Carnival street parties in Woburn tonight and hope the Jab Jab does not bite. J'ouvert will be at it's peak just before sunrise, when everyone will be covered with paint, oils and mud. Soca music has been thumping across the water in Clarkes Court Bay for most of the day. By now the Carnival king and queen will have been announced. Monday and Tuesday we'll get to see the fantastic costumes and street parades.
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
Sunday, 2 August 2009
I've been tempted once or twice. The first time was about 35 years ago. Everyone who does it insists it's a lot of fun. It didn't sound all that much fun to me so I avoided it. Thats all in the past now.
This afternoon, I crossed over and can no longer claim virgin status. Steve and Helen aboard Dignity are more than a little to blame. They do it all the time.
Despite the threat of rain, a large crowd gathered at the Grand Etang Forest. It started innocently enough with a short run up the hill into the mist, then a quick descent down some fairly steep stairs to Lake Grand Etang.
Once in the rainforest it's, well, wet with rain. As people rushed by us, the trail quickly deteriorated into a muddy quagmire. There was no escaping what looked like the playpen of a herd of hippos. Broken and rotting branches and tattered tropical leaves were spewed about where those before us had desperately clutched out. It was an effort just to remain upright. Slipping and sliding, we had little choice but to surrender ourselves to the mud. Up and down we trudged the trail around the lake, for what seemed like five miles.