Published: November 20th 2011November 20th 2011
A beautiful sunrise – or is it? Don't look too closely
“No one moves, nobody gets hurt”
No, this isn’t a robbery; it is what we hear on the VHF (radio) every time a storm is upon us while in our current location. We aren’t sure who in the area is saying it, but it gives us something to smile about. What does the message mean? Well, those of you that have been at anchor in a busy anchorage will understand. When the wind picks up just before a rainstorm, everyone first battens down the hatches (literally we close the hatches) but we also keep an eye out to be sure that we don’t drag anchor or get too close to any other boats located in the anchorage. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief when the storm has passed and “no one moved and therefore no one (boat included) got hurt”. The other day we did see our neighbor in front of start to drag toward another boat. Unfortunately no one was on board so Bob rushed over in our dinghy, jumped on board and monitored the situation throughout the storm. Luckily the nearest boat moved out of harms way and when the owners returned they re-anchored their boat with “nobody getting
A closer look
Look closer and you can see a small section of the debris floating in on the tide after a rainy night.
In Trinidad this time of year the typical weather pattern is that dark clouds appear, the wind picks up, the visibility gets poor (to the point where we can’t see the nearby town that we usually can see) and then the rain comes down in buckets! This is when we usually get the bar of soap and towel out in order to get a deck shower. We also make sure that the buckets are set out in strategic places in order to catch as much rainwater as possible. Lately the rain has been coming down heavy enough to fill our buckets in short order. The rainwater is used for numerous things –water for Sailor (see seems to like it better than our tap water) , washing down the boat, rinsing the sinks, flushing the toilet and any other tasks needing water (that doesn’t include drinking it). We could put the water into our water tanks as we have a filter on our water system, but we have not needed to do so as we can make 8 gals an hour with our water maker. We carry enough water on board that this has not been a concern as
A view toward Port of Spain - we always enjoy it when it is calm
we are quite conservative with our onboard water usage.
So what do we do for fun on these rainy days? We typically do not plan our activities around the weather – when the rain hits, you just find some cover and wait for the rain to stop. The other day Janice went shopping in Port of Spain with a couple other cruisers and got caught in quite a downpour. They joined all the others in town that stayed put in whatever building they were near (they happened to be at a KFC), visited with a local woman (Susan) who filled them in on details of what it is like to be a public servant here (she earns the equivalent of $1,032 per month with 25 years of service), waited till the rain slowed down and then continued on with the shopping expedition while hopping over “rivers” of water that filled the streets and sidewalks. Susan was asked what happens to people that are on their lunch break and have to wait for the rain to stop. She said that was a legal excuse for being late back to work. Umbrellas are not traditionally carried as she mentioned that there
The dominoes at play
Reorganizing –working on putting the spinnaker under the bed so it will be handy when we want to use it. Now we can just pull it up out of the bedroom hatch which will be much easier.
isn’t room as most places of employment for any personal items such as a coat or umbrella. How many employers in the US do you think would accept a rainstorm as a legal excuse for being late to work?? Janice did find that after the first year of employment in public service, an employee receives 21 days of vacation time as well as has sick leave. It sure would be nice if the US would catch up to the rest of the world on their attitude toward the necessity for vacation time. Susan stated that most public servants have second jobs in order to make ends meet. She was no exception as she is also an Amway dealer and mentioned that she does very well with that.
We sometimes decide to re-organize. The other day was just such a day. It all started innocently enough by deciding to move one item. Only problem was it happened to be the spinnaker (one of our sails) that had been stored in our quarter-berth. We had been told by another cruiser that has the same type of boat we have that it would fit in the cabinet under our bed. That meant
How about the bed?
Where do we put the things that had been under the bed? On the bed of course while we work on sorting through it all. A home was found for it all!
that the cabinet had to be emptied, find new homes for the displaced items and on and on it went. By the end of the day, every section of the boat had been torn apart, new locations found, items given away and believe it or not space was freed up! It was quite a job, but in the end the place is better organized (at least for the moment). While Janice had “fun” with this project, Bob kept himself busy adapting a new deck light to be attached to the mast. Thankfully he is very handy and was able to cannibalize the old light fixture and modify the new one to fit. We can now say that our deck can be seen for what seem miles when it is turned!
One of the down sides of the numerous rains that we get here is the amount of “garbage” that comes floating into the bay where we are anchored. As soon as the rain and winds appear, so does the debris that floats in. The other morning we woke up to a beautiful sunrise, only to be destroyed by the amount of trash that littered the view. The amount of
Half way there
Still working on fitting everything back into the quarter berth. I should have taken “after” photos as it really did improve from what you see here!
plastic we see all around is quite discouraging. When the next tide goes out, what has not gone upon shore, now rushes back to sea. What we see the most is plastic water and soda bottles and the Styrofoam “take out” containers. We really do need to work on reducing the amount of this type of pollution in all parts of the world.
A truly positive outcome from many of the rainstorms is the sighting of very vivid and full rainbows. We have seen many partial rainbows just like we always saw back home, but the number of “full” rainbows are impressive. We tried to capture it in our photos but it was so large we couldn’t fit it all in to 1 photo! We keep looking for that pot of gold but haven’t found it yet.
We have met many great people on our journey so far. Fortunately the other night we were able to have Peter and Bridget from White Rose over for dinner. They are returning to the UK for a year and leaving their boat in Trinidad so we were the fortunate recipient of some of their diesel. The least we could do was
Hanging out to dry
The “clothesline” was put up to dry out some papers that got wet from a hatch that wasn’t closed completely. Poor Sailor –she did find a small place to lie down while re-organizing around her.
to provide them dinner that evening. We had a lovely evening getting to know them better and picking up lots of pointers about sailing in Europe. It is getting us more and more excited about “crossing the pond” so we can explore Europe by boat.
We are finding that there are so many places to visit and so many different opinions on where we should go next that it is hard to decide. Our plan currently is to explore the Eastern Caribbean this coming season and then proceed to Europe the following year, but then again there is still the Western Caribbean, the Pacific and the rest of the world to explore. Decisions, decisions, decisions. For right now we only know that we are leaving this anchorage this coming Tuesday to explore a nearby river to visit the Wareo Indians for a couple of weeks. After that we will return to Trinidad to re-provision and then continue the journey northward. In February we plan on being in St. Lucia for a visit with some of our family. For now, that is the most we can plan! It sure is a nice change from when we were at work and
Only some of the tools are out
While Janice was working on re-organizing Bob’s tool area is torn apart while working on his deck light project. Luckily he didn’t need to get into all the tool cabinets this time.
had to plan almost every minute of every day (or have it planned for us). Who would have thought we would now have so many choices. It is something we are learning to enjoy!
We will probably be out of contact for a few weeks while on our river trip so don't be concerned if you don't hear from us for some time. Will keep you posted as soon as we can. Hope all of our American friends and family have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
There are more photos below