This is our second month at Crews Inn in Trinidad. We are here to escape the Atlantic Hurricane season so I guess that is a good reason to spend time in an Island where it rains everyday and razor wire is the national product. Actually we are enjoying Trinidad now that we have adjusted to the change from cruising the Caribbean Island chain. There are no pristine beaches or pretty blue water harbors here but as Steven can attest there is every yacht service available and some are excellent and some are scary!! Our varnish work has never looked so good. It has been stripped and is now gleaming with 10 coats of varnish. The work was done by a master that is now a full time mate on the Seabird. Steven has enough chores to keep him busy for months. We have done our part for the national economy by maintaining a steady stream of craftsman on the boat for canvas, electronics, refrigeration and computer upgrades. Originally we planned to have our hull painted but both yards that provided quotes refused to commit to a time line and would not supply enough detail in the quote as to the brand and color of paint and how they planned to do the required fiberglass repairs. It became clear that once the boat was hauled we would have no control as to when it would be completed and launched. We have elected to wait for another port.

Chaguaramas Bay has several marinas of cruisers that are here for the same reason and the area really caters to that community. There are vans that provide scheduled rides to the market, movies and malls as well as organized tours to various Island attractions. We have taken tours to see the Leatherback Turtles and to the Nariva Swamp. The turtle tour leaves in the evening and you travel 2 hours to the NE coast where the leatherbacks that are about 6 ft long and can weight as much as 2000 lbs come a shore at night to lay eggs on the same beach where they were born 20 years earlier. We witnessed the whole process and were able to see and hold some young hatchlings as well. The Nariva Swamp is a few hours SE of Chaguaramas and is home to the Capuchin and Howler monkeys. Our tour was by boat to a small island where we took a short hike and came across several playful capuchin monkeys. They have their own sound and language and once they focus on visitors they come close enough to throw branches and twigs at you from above. Our guide, Jesse James, had a capuchin call that had one monkey trying to take a long stick from his hand. The Howler monkeys were much larger and red in color. They stayed high in the trees and had little or no interest in entertaining a group of cruisers.

We have had visits from my brother Tom and our friends Jim and Sue. Tom was able to witness the local market where they have fish, meat and produce. He was able to get some great photos of pig’s heads and chickens awaiting slaughter etc. I think one trip was enough for Tom. We took the ferry to Tobago with Jim and Sue and spent a couple of nights at the Hilton. It was a nice change from Trinidad as it is a quieter island with more sunshine this time of year. It was too windy for snorkeling and diving but we did tour the Island by car and found some nice spots for a return visit.

Our plan is to be in Trinidad until early September and we will then head west with stops in the Venezuelan Islands, the ABCs and on to the Panama Canal. Stay tuned as our plans are ALWAYS subject to change!!

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