Saturday, 13 December 2014

One year on.....

Today is the one year anniversary of our leaving Las Palmas and setting sail across the Caribbean ...where has the time gone? 


Thinking about this there are quite a few but surely the most memorable must be making land in Antigua. The feeling when we finally tied up at the Customs Quay at Jolly Harbour was great after 19 days at sea. Everyone exhausted but very happy as we made land! We were so grateful to the bar owner opening up at 10.00 am to get us a celebratory drink!!

 The first trip South having been bobbing about in Antigua for four months ! The first sip of Leffe    beer at the bar in Deshaies ....delicious. Guadaloupe so very different to Antigua.

 A really good month in Grenada where I learnt to dive and we sold our dinghy and outboard to Darren for a prize in his Wednesday Bingo night! Bingo nights in Prickly Bay are a little different to the local Gala bingo in England ... Prizes have included a live pig and a goat ! We did buy a new outboard and dinghy by the way! 

 The trip down to the Guyanas was great despite the hard beat down to Guyana and beyond and the problems with water pump all the people we met and the places we saw and the experience of sailing down those Rivers was unforgettable. 

                                         It's BBQ time at Waterland Marina
 As the year has gone by John and I have got used to the laid back and friendly atmosphere of the place. Everyone always responds with 'morning, morning' when you say good morning and they mean it. The locals have always taken the time to explain the local food and menus and on that note The Taste of Trini was an experience I am so glad I undertook. Jesse is the irony of the friendly, happy Trini who just revels in sharing all that is good about Trinidad

We have also met and made so many new friends and yachties so willing to help at the drop of a hat. We have spent many sundowners sharing stories and laughs that lift your spirit no matter what sort of day you have had.

                            Grenadian Train Dominoes we are getting quite good at it now!
We have had some set backs too which is to be expected ....mainly around boat maintenance ....but that's boats for you ! But we are both looking forward to our next year and new experiences, happy times and challenges. Bring it on!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Back to the sunshine

We arrived back in Tobago and decided to stay one night in a B and B before hopping on the short flight back to Trini and the boat. We stayed in a lovely place not far from the airport called Native Abode. It was a very friendly place and the breakfast was great...fresh fruit, a choice of mains, John had smoked herring was yummy and I went for the more conservative option bacon and eggs which was also delicious. We found a small bar at the end of the road where we got a beer to celebrate our return. The other thing about Native Abode...the Internet was great and you could ring back to the UK free of charge. It also had satellite tv so we chose a film off of Netflix and settled in for the night with a bottle of wine. A good relaxing end to a tiring journey!

Back in Chagauramas

The next day we were met by Ian our taxi driver at Trinidad airport and were soon back on the boat. Everything seemed fine except the guy who was supposed to have cleaned and polished our hull while we were away had either done a rubbish job or had not bothered at all! We needed to investigate that a little further! Everything was just as we remembered it hot, sweaty and dusty! 

We had already made a list of jobs to be done before we splashed back in the water. We had lost a prop from our bow thruster which we would need to replace and somehow the anode on the prop had disappeared....both were obviously casualties of sailing in South American rivers but could have been worse. We met two more Nerieds Rally sailors soon after arriving back...Fred and Claude off Magic Swan.....they had a much longer list than us and had had to sail back from French Guiana with no auto pilot and no engine....our little jobs paled into insignificance by comparison!  
It was good to see our friends and fellow cruisers again...many had left to sail either North or West but there are still many like us with just one or two jobs to be completed before Christmas!
We had a new fridge waiting for us at Budget Marine which John has installed without too much hassle and the prop and anode are now firmly back in place. We have cleaned and polished the hull ourselves ....though I have to admit that John did most of the hard work whilst I took on a more supervisory role. Our plan was to shame the guy who was supposed to have done the job ....he told us the the black,smeared dirty hull that we came back to was the best he could do.....Give us a break! We were not born yesterday !! So he did not get paid the money we had retained we had already given him way too much for the garbage job he had done and he knew it so he did not argue.
                    One of our many jobs ....putting the sails back on!
The dilemma

The big question now is which way do we go ....? We had an inkling to go up to Cuba but getting back down to the ABC Islands could be a bit tricky wind wise. We do not have a US visa so Puerto Rico and US BVIs are out unless we mess around in the BVIs but it might be worth it. I think that we are going to poodle around the Leeward and Windward islands and then start to head west next May spending the next years hurricane season in the San Blas and Panama. Who knows ?? It could all change ..... Watch this space.