Position 10° 40.749’ N
61° 37.899’ W
Granada to Chaguaramas, Trinidad
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Our cruise from Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou to Prickly Bay, Grenada was one of those perfect events where weather, seas and mechanics all came together. Our new day tank was put to the test for the first time on a passage and performed as expected; Stonewall Jackson didn’t miss a beat! Then the weather performed as well with calm seas and virtually no wind. The 36 nm trip flew by, we trolled a line for most of the time but I guess the only disappointment of the day was that we were completely skunked. We left at 06:30 and arrived in Prickly at 12:30, an average of 6 knots. As we entered Prickly Bay Judy on ‘Fairwinds’ hailed us on the VHF, she had seen us enter the bay and coincidently they were upping their anchor to leave for Tobago so invited us to take their spot in the anchorage, which we did. Sherman was on the bow and we did get in a wave. It was sad to watch them leave as we had not seen them in 6 weeks and would have loved to have had a get-together; we will catch up, another time, another island.
|St. Georges, Grenada|
Friday 23rd. We ventured ashore with Jim and Tammy to the grocery store in Spice Island Mall and stopped on the way to browse Budget Marine. Low and behold while we were there John and Jen from ‘Aeeshah’ happened to be in the store so we had a quick chat and arranged to see them for dinner at Prickly Bay Marina that evening. The bus from Spice Island Marine took only 10 minutes and was EC$2.50 each. The IGA supermarket was exactly as one would expect in a large US town and had just about anything one wanted. We were low on everything so a dilemma arose of how much ‘stuff’ we could carry back to the bus and the boat which would provide the limitation of our haul. Everything to do with boating is a little harder, more walking and more carrying, one just doesn’t realize the convenience of driving a car to the store and driving it home. The hardest part is just unloading the car in ones garage and carrying the haul some feet to the kitchen. Boaters have to get the shopping to a bus or carry it on a long walk, then load all the bags and back packs into the dinghy and then drive the dinghy back to the boat which could be a mile or two away. Then lifting everything again out of the dinghy in a rolly anchorage onto the mother ship is another adventure requiring good timing as the dinghy rises and falls. In other words it is all a little harder on a boat!
Dinner at Prickly Bay Marina with the crowd was great; we had a great curry and sat with John and Jen to catch up on their lives. The last time we saw them they were in Tyrrel Bay with their two delightful grand children onboard, Rhianna and Ethan who have now returned to their parents in Bermuda where they all live.
|The coast of Trinidad|
|Our view of the lighthouse from |
our slip in Crews Inn
I fast forwarded there for a moment as on Friday 30th my eldest son Anthony arrived for a vacation from his home in Jacksonville Florida. We met him at the airport and then drove the long drive back to Chaguaramas with our first exposure to Trinidadian traffic...terrible is the only word to describe it! There are just too many cars on the roads for the roads. Most main thoroughfares are just two lanes and with gasoline priced US$0.91 there is no restraint in usage. The fuel is heavily subsidized by the government and has been the same price for the last 20 years! For us cruisers the price is different and brings the cost to more than in the USA US$4.54 per gallon. As I mentioned before Saturday 31st is Trinidad’s Independence Day and we joined in the festivities during the day by hiring a taxi and guide to take us to Port of Spain and the pan yards. Pan yards are areas where steel bands congregate and play their music. Steel bands originated in Trinidad and this pastime is enjoyed by all the population and is taken very seriously.
|One of many pan yards around Port of Spain|
|Anthony and his rented bike|
When we arrived here in Trinidad we were still fairly low on day to day provisions and with Anthony’s visit looming we listened to the cruisers net on channel 68 on Wednesday 28th August, our first day, so we could glean some information about where and how to shop. We quickly found out that Jesse James is the man, a local character who has made a reputation and living for years by providing excellent services to the cruising community. After the net we immediately contacted Jesse to arrange, first, a taxi to the airport so we could meet Anthony upon his arrival on Friday and then also signed up to join the shopping trip Jesse had set up for Friday to the Hi Lo supermarket and the Mall. Surprise, surprise Trinidad is just like the US, MacDonald’s, Burger King, KFC they’re all here and the stores are just like home, the prices are just less. Trinidad manufactures and supplies much of its own food and produce so the brands we are familiar with are supplemented with the local Trinidadian ones, the choice is huge. We stocked up ready for the hungry sons visit!
|Cruising the Gulf of Paria|
|Oil and gas well drilling ship|
|This is what you call rain!|
|Anthony swimming in Scotland Bay|
The techno for this post is the RO pump and the anchor light repair. The anchor light is a quick rant. While we were in Scotland Bay for the night I turned on the anchor light, you guessed it, nothing. Well, this morning I climbed the mast to find the bulb laying, disconnected from the socket, the light assembly is an Aqua Signal Series 40. Considering that the light is an expensive one I feel that the socket could be of a little heavier build. The socket is flimsy and I had to bend the contacts to hold the bulb in the socket so it would not vibrate loose which is obviously what happened before.
The RO pump is the other rant. When we bought ‘Partners’ she had just had new fuel tanks installed which had entailed the dismantling of many of the systems in the engine room to be able to reach the outboard sections of the hull where the fuel tanks are located. One system which was removed was the water maker. Once our purchase of ‘Partners’ was complete I asked Sailcraft Service, in Oriental, NC, to reinstall the water maker and test it. FOJ (First Officer John) and I tried to make water during our return to Sarasota and were unable to get the system going. A long story, after much time and effort, John worked tirelessly and finally we got the water maker going. Fast forward to Carriacou, Granada last month, the RO pump began to leak oil and water! Here in Trinidad we met Chris who used to work for Echo Marine the big water maker people here in Chaguaramas, Chris quickly informed me that the red transportation cap, ensuring no oil leaks from the pump during transportation, had not been replaced with the orange cap which allows the pump to ‘breathe’ i.e. allows the pressure build up to escape as the pump is in operation. Because of the wrong cap the pressure had ruined the seals in the pump and that is why it had developed the leaks. I am not the expert here but want all of you reading this to be aware that when you employ someone who purports to be an expert ask them how many systems they have worked on. Sailcraft is a sailing boat yard and very few sailing boats have water makers, enough said! Within a couple of hours and US$200 later we had a rebuilt fully operational pump. The outstanding thing here was not only the great service Chris provided but was also that in its rebuilt state the RO pump was now making 37.5 gallons of beautiful RO water and hour or 900 gallons per day. We were happy with the 21 gallons an hour the pump was making before it started to leak, the equivalent of 500 gallons per day. Soooo, thanks to Chris we have discovered we have a 900 not a 500 gallon per day water maker and we didn’t know it!
We have settled in to Crews Inn, home for ‘Partners’ while we are in Trinidad. Now Anthony has departed and we are alone again we will begin our exploration of this big island. Lavinia is all excited to go to the movies; yes they have a movie theatre! There is also an Apple Store so I am hoping to get my iPhone repaired after its dunking in Tyrrel Bay!
September 8th. Yesterday Bill Miller of ‘Ann Louise’ (http://www.journeyoftheannlouise.com) contacted me to say he and Ann would be arriving back in Chaguaramas on the 11th. Their boat, a 48’ Kadey Krogen is on the hard being stored in Peake Yachting Services while they returned back to their home in South Carolina, USA for the summer. We are looking forward to our cruising buddies return and can already taste the celebratory beer! We have not seen Bill and Ann since they continued on their journey to Trinidad from Culebra, Puerto Rico where we started to suffer from a series of mechanical and electrical failures which prohibited us from accompanying them south.
|'Partners' & 'Ann Louise'|
More to come from Trini soon...