Tuesday, 1 December 2009

This Exotic Life... New Crew, One Year Anniversary, One Unwelcome Disruption, One Day Off for Shark and Body Surfing.

Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou. BR is third boat from left. Tyrrel Bay Yacht Haulout in the foreground.

The small islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique are part of Grenada. We sailed passed in July heading south so we decided to stop at both on our way north to St. Lucia. After a thankfully quiet hurricane season spent partly in Grenada (5 weeks) and partly in Trinidad (3 months), we're on the move again, this time with a couple of new crew members.

A happy reunion; Robert, Owen and Elliot at Grenada airport.

Owen and Elliot joined us in Grenada on November 19, the one year anniversary of our departure from Maryland in 2008. What a year it's been. We've enjoyed recording our adventures through the camera lens, writings and ramblings whenever a wifi connection becomes available. It means a lot to us, just to know that friends and family are checking in on us through the blog from time to time and we love to get your messages.

Keeping the blog up to date has been difficult in the past few months. Here's a catch up and a last look at Trinidad.

Bristol Rose on a mooring in Chaguaramas.

You can see how the Power Boats yard originally got its name - go-fast boats speed to and from their perches.

"Oh please, don't you rock my boat, 'cause I don't want my boat to be rockin". Bob Marley must have spent a weekend on a mooring in Chaguaramas when he wrote those words. You don't want to be on the mooring just off the Power Boats ramp. The boat traffic gets crazy!

Pirogue (local boat) up close.

Iguanas hang out in the trees by the roti hut, waiting for lunch.

The majority of our time over the past few months has been devoted to work. There's really no escape. Contrary to popular belief, cruising around sun drenched islands is not all beer and skittles. No whinging or whining here. I get a smile on my face when I remember a quote from my friend Wendy in Adelaide, "look at you and your exotic life". Boat maintenance is our reality check.

Here's Fred, who took care of our brightwork in Trinidad and had Robert working as go-fer. In Trini it's not unusual to purchase materials separately and pay workers for their time.

Sterling from Fortress, (one of the businesses in the Power Boats yard), enjoying a Stag beer after work, at the family-size table he made for our cockpit.

With just a little over a week before Owen and Elliot are due to arrive in Grenada, and most of the items required to comply with the World ARC's safety standards sourced, purchased and installed (quite a challenge when situated in the Caribbean!), we do some last minute provisioning, order our duty free alcohol and say our goodbyes to friends.

Just as I was stowing provisions and doing a thorough cleaning to ready the boat for the overnight to Grenada, I discovered a small leak in our mid water tank. The tank holds 60 gallons of precious water and is located under the cabin sole, between the settees. Others may live with leaking tanks because nothing short of a total refit of their boat will fix the problem. With a Pacific crossing in front of us, this is not something we can ignore. After talking with another Shannon owner, John of Alouette, we decide Trinidad is the most likely place to find the expertise to help sort out the problem. It took us a day to determine that Tripleweld, located at Crews Inn, could help us.

The thought of tearing into our beautiful teak and holly sole is a little distressing. This is an unwelcome disruption to our plans. We are grateful at least that Bristol Rose was built with the idea that all systems should be accessible. With advice from the folks at Schulz Boat Company in Rhode Island, who generously gave us their time over the phone, answering all our calls and questions, we begin the process of gaining access to the tank.

Carefully, the teak bungs are removed to expose the screws securing the sections of teak and holly that must be removed to access the water tank.

Bookcase, table and cabin sole are removed. The tank lies on its side before being removed through the companionway.

The whole process takes 5 days from meeting with a welder to re-installing the tank and cabin sole. Many thanks to (and a boatload of admiration for) John of Alouette and Geoff of Beach House and to Sterling who came in after work on a Friday night to help us. If not for their help and encouragement, we could not have done the job at all, let alone in fairly quick time, allowing us to get to Grenada before Owen and Elliot arrived.

Before leaving Trinidad we finally took a day off to explore some of the countryside. We rented a car and drove with Geoff and Pat, through the capital Port of Spain and the rainforest to Maracas Beach on the north coast.

Port of Spain's new Performing Arts Center. Hints of the Sydney Opera House in the design?

Some interesting architecture seen on our drive around Port of Spain.

The road to the beach takes us along narrow, winding roads through lush mountain rainforest.

A stop at the highest point provides little in the way of a view but lots of other things to see. "How does this one look, Pat?" (photo by Geoff)

Maracas Beach, Trinidad

C'mon Mon, this one is perfect for you.

Geoff and Pat

Body surfers. A couple of Aussie blokes get a chance to catch a few waves.

Not babies, Geoff tells me these are a type of shark that don't grow much bigger than a couple of feet. These are on sale at the market and destined for bake and shark somewhere.

I'm shooting the line up for Bake and Shark while Geoff is shooting me.

The "buns" are fried then split in half before the fried shark and fixin's are added.

Sauces and fresh vegetables - take your pick but if you take even a little of everything, you'll have trouble holding it all together.

See what I mean?

A day shared with friends, the sun and surf, good food; it's an Exotic Life!


  1. Jim and Wendy on Merengue6 December 2009 at 22:20

    We see you're on the way to St. Lucia. We are currently in Rodney Bay. We've been watching the ARC boats arrive. Hope we see you before we move north.

  2. Have you visited the Carriacou Museum yet...
    Stop by!