Published: October 3rd 2011October 2nd 2011
Home away from home
We had a great time staying at Sue & Jamie’s home for most of the time we were in the US. Thanks also to Mom for the use of the Honda. It was great being mobile while home as well.
Just a quick note to let everyone know that we made it back to Trinidad safe and sound. We left the Albany airport by van operated by Premiere Services with our trusty driver, Joseph. It was great leaving the driving to him. We had a great time visiting with Sonja, an Argentinean. She is a biologist who works in a government lab testing drugs. Our discussion covered politics, education and life in her home, Buenos Aries. Due to our flight being very early the next morning, we stayed overnight in a hotel near JFK. Neither of us had lunch on the trip down so went for a walk and to our amazement found a restaurant that specialized in food from Trinidad. At 3AM Wednesday morning we took the hotel shuttle to the airport for our 5:40AM flight. As you might imagine there was little traffic and no waiting at the curbside check-in for American Airline (curbside check-in is one of the great inventions of this century). We had been sweating out the weight of our baggage to find out we didn’t need to worry as they never were weighed! By the bathroom scales we knew we were close to the 50
Trini food in NYC
We should have known we could get some Trini food while in NYC.
pound limit on all 4 of our bags, but due to the efficient check-in we didn’t have to do any repacking of items which was great news!
We meet cruising friends, Ellen & Rob from Miclo III in line. They were taking the same flights we were to Trinidad and our boats are in the same marina. This meant we were able to use the same taxi from the Port of Spain airport to customs and then the marina. When we got off the plane in Trinidad we were welcomed back with a rain shower and 94 degrees (after leaving NYC and 82 degrees). What a welcome!
In Trinidad if you arrived by boat, you must check into immigration and customs at one of the marinas located here. When you fly out of the country after arriving by boat you must check out at 2 locations, both at the marina and the airport. The same rule is in affect when you fly back into the country to return to your boat. It sounds somewhat confusing, but as we learned the rules are the same for all ships, from the tankers, freighters, cruise-liners to the personally owned small yachts such as
Returning to Trinidad
Near the Port of Spain airport we could see some of the agricultural areas of the country.
ours. The people on the larger ships must hire an agent to process them in and out of the country. Luckily for us cruisers, we have Jesse James. Yes, that is really his name. He is the owner of a company called “Members Only” and is a great asset to all cruisers that come to Trinidad. He is great at explaining all the rules and regulations, getting us to the right places at the right time (and telling us not to go to immigration til the next morning to avoid overtime charges), getting us to shopping malls, taking us on lots of great tours and pretty much answering any question a cruiser might have. He is a great asset to us and we appreciate his great personality and smile no matter what the situation. He always is upbeat and a great ambassador for Trinidad. Thanks Jesse! We had made arrangements before we left Trinidad for Jesse to pick us up at the airport this week and as expected he was right there at the airport waiting for us.
As mentioned above we couldn’t go to Immigration the day we arrived as we didn’t get to customs until 3:55PM and they
Port of Spain - easy entry
The Customs and Immigration officers at the Port of Spain airport made it very easy to check into the country.
close at 4PM. We finished our paperwork at customs – again, they were very pleasant to deal with and we didn’t have any problems with the boat parts that we brought in from the US. The next morning we walked to the Immigration office, completed our paperwork and found out that we must return next Wednesday at 11AM to request an extension to stay in Trinidad. This was a change from when we were here last but doesn’t sound like any problem, we just have to present our reasons for staying in Trinidad longer. With having repairs done at the marina and the hurricane season still being active it doesn’t sound like we will have any problem with the extension.
As soon as we got back to the marina we checked into an apartment that we had booked and then went to the boat to check in on Sailor and to see our “new” Tsamaya. Sailor seemed a little surprised to see people on “her” boat, but after a few minutes she warmed up to us again. Rewarding her with a treat of pounce seemed to help her remember (gee, did that sound like a trick??) We were pretty tired
Sailor at home
Sailor seems to be enjoying getting out of the cabin and lounging in the cockpit even with the hotter temperatures.
from the trip so didn’t stay up very late and decided to not wake up to an alarm the next morning which was very nice.
The last few days since getting to Trinidad we have been following up with the contractors to see where the projects stood. Everything seems to be falling into place nicely. It is hard to get used to the fact that our lovely Tsamaya has now joined the masses of other white hulled boats, but she is still home to us. Bob did mention when we first got on her however that she seemed to have gotten smaller. Guess that comes from our stay back home in Sue & Jamie’s lovely home with lots of room to spread out in. Every time we get back on Tsamaya she is looking more and more like home and we seem to be doing well at fitting everything on board that we brought back from the US thankfully.
Besides following up with contractors we have gotten some work done as well. Bob replaced a thru-hull and is starting to work on an electrical project which includes re-wiring one of the wind generators. Janice has been working on fitting items
Power Boats marina is busy
Power Boats marina is quite full with boats of all sizes and types. Many are living on their boat while working on them. We have been fortunate to have an apartment to escape to after working on the boat.
in to the storage areas and taking an updated inventory of our supplies so we can plan a major provisioning trip.
All work and no play equals a dull life so we have already fit in some socializing. The first night we had a nice dinner out with Ellen & Rob from Miclo III, Thursday night we had dinner with Ian and Jackie from Blackthorn Lady and yesterday we went to the fruit & veggie market at 6:30AM. Monday we are going on a whole day tasting tour of Trinidad. Will report on that trip next time. Guess we aren’t doing too bad with fitting in some playtime. The rest of the day we worked on the boat. Bob had the worse deal in that he had to spend his time in the lazarette working on re-wiring the wind generator. Of course we found out we didn’t have the exact same type of wire so he had to make it up from other wire on board, the last lug he needed wasn’t exactly the same size so Bob had to adapt it – needless to say it wasn’t the easiest of jobs but it is done except for wiring in
Bananas and more bananas
The Saturday market was very busy this week but we were able to find lots of great deals on fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately mango season is over, but we could find bananas.
the switch. There is Tuesday for that. Janice spent today cleaning, re-organizing and inventorying the storage cabinets so we can decide what we need to buy before we leave Trinidad. We are hoping to get back in the water on Thursday – time will tell if all goes as planned.
Well, in the beginning we mentioned this was going to be just a quick note – our apologizes for going on, but wanted to update you on our activities while we still have very good wi-fi connections at the marina.
Take care and please do stay in touch!
There are more photos below