Trinidad, Spring 2012

With most of the technical issues 
2012 Carnival in Trinidad
taken care of, Wereda was 
getting ready for splashdown 
in preparation for Ginger's
arrival and our most anticipated
sail to Grenada.
On the hike to the Bamboo Cathedral, Trinidad

But in the meantime, Trinidad
was having it's greatest yearly
Wereda docked at the Crews Inn
event, the Carnival. Thanks to Jesse James services I went to see it up close and personal. The video here tries to do the justice to the grandeur of the festivities: T&T Carnival 2012

Some cruisers take it upon themselves to organize interesting events to make life more "bearable" for the folks "stranded" in Chaguaramas. 
Fast Fred (of s/v Liberty) provides an entertainment while he runs the Net and a lot of help
to the cruising community in general. Robin (of s/v Heidi) organizes hike trips to the area beaches and jungles as well as the Mexican dominoes tournaments on Sundays.
Sadie (of s/v Kiss) provides daily weather
reports for those preparing to  sail out from
Chaguaramas. So with Ginger's arrival and our planned sail to Grenada, the Wereda was moved to the Crews Inn marina. We sailed out the next day and at about 20 nm from Trinidad our steering linkage broke down and I decided to sail back to Trinidad using an emergency tiller for steering. It was past 9 pm when we returned to Chaguaramas after negotiating the Bocas de Monos (with it's single rocky tooth right in the middle) in total darkness, and were lucky to find a mooring ball right in front of the Sails Restaurant.
It took more than a week before  a new linkage could be installed. Because of the lost time we   decided to sail to Chacachacare and spend some quiet time there, instead of attempting another Grenada trip again, which would have to be made shorter anyway because of Ginger's flight back to Houston date. 
Sail of DRAKAR. For video click here:
Drakar or here:Drakar Pro for a 
professional version by  Boehnke Thorsten

Hiking in Chacachacare with Dennis and Angelica

In the meantime, besides sightseeing in Port of Spain, we went to the Macqueripe Bay with Robin's hiking group (we did get to see and hear the big red Hollering monkeys in the jungle nearby) and with Jesse James to the Maracas Beach to sample the famous Bake and Shark dish. We enjoyed it, but the Wheel House's Pub in Tropical Marina version seemed tastier. 
We also volunteered to help Roberto get his Viking ship replica, Drakar, ready for a trial sail. Drakar is Swedish (and Viking?) for Dragon. So it was only fitting that we sailed to the Bocas de Dragon on this trial sail. Click here to see our video of the event: DRAKAR and here to see a professional version by B. Thornsten: DRAKAR Pro.
Enjoying great time in Chacachacare

Chacachacare - hiking to the lighthouse

We have spent ten  days in Chacachacare and we have enjoyed every moment of it. Dennis and Angelica that we have met in the meantime, sailed their boat s/v Alma Mia over there a day before so we were able to spend some time visiting each other and  Dennis and I even did a night spearfishing (no fish was harmed, though). They told us that while they were fishing from their dinghy the day before, they saw a pod of dolphins playing and went in the water with them. We were hoping the dolphins would return but we could only see them from a distance. Our reel fishing attempts went without any results either, although Gosia and Chris of s/v Aldebaran told us that they had very good fishing here. Well, we had plenty of food so we were in no danger of going hungry anyway. The picture of the three of us, above, was taken while on our hike to the now abandoned lighthouse built in 1896. The garden was overgrown but we were able to get some bananas and coconuts there. The water, in our anchorage, although clear, had a greenish hue due to the influence of the Golfo de Paria, so the underwater pictures had to be color corrected, but not always with the best results, I am afraid. 

The west side of Chacachacare is only some eight miles from the coast of Venezuela, across the Bocas de Dragon. We have enjoyed the beach on the picturesque La Tinta Bay there. There has been some robbery reported in the past, blamed on the Venezuelans. But frequent visits from the Coast Guard vessel provided us with some sense of security. 
Visiting  guests are always a great pleasure

The island served as a leper colony from 1924 until 1984 when the treatment was developed, mostly eradicating this terrible disease. We went ashore to explore the old village, but it was mostly overtaken by the tropical vegetation. The buildings, the church and dwellings were all but in ruins. On the south-west side of the bay, is what's left of the Nunnery - where all the nuns attending to the sick, had their quarters. The presence of many vultures there, made that place feel quite creepy. 

After ten days of a great and quiet stay in Chacachacare, we had to go back to Chaguaramas and prepare for Ginger's return to Houston.  
On the bad note, as we were walking from the Crews Inn down the main road back to Wereda, in a full daylight, a young guy snuck up behind Ginger and yanked off her small purse looped around her wrist causing her a considerable pain. Giving a chase wearing still wet Crocs was short of comical but ditching them and with a help from people driving by, we apprehended the perp and recovered the purse. Such a sad footnote to the otherwise nice stay in Trinidad.

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