We were lifted out at Power Boats boatyard two days before we flew home. Being lifted is always a nerve wracking experience.

Not only is it 20 tons of boat, it is our home with all our worldly goods aboard!

Captain Concerned!

Captain Concerned!

Needless to say, it all went well and the hoist was driven expertly to deposit us in the tightest gap imaginable!

Up, up and away!

Up, up and away!

As it happened we were parked right next to ‘Charlie 2’, owned by Annimka and Rob, who came with us on the tour of Sāo Antao in the Cape Verdes. We could literally have stepped across onto their deck……..unfortunately they were away in Holland.

When we got back from Blighty, in the dark and after a 9 hour flight, we told the taxi driver where to take us, only to find Island Kea wasn’t there!! A bit of a shock, but we reversed down and found her in the spot that the yard had first allotted to us, before they realised the steel fishing boat next to our spot was doing a lot of grinding and welding………all that swarfe would have played havoc with the decks!

Our new position in the yard.

Our new position in the yard.

Happily, the heavy work has finished and theyare just painting now.

Life onboard on the land is much harder than when the boat is in her element. The novelty of climbing down the ladder for the bladder in the middle of the night wears thin, as does the daily lugging of ice aboard to load into the under seat fridge. That is the most insulated of the two fridges and we can just about manage to keep things cool for 24 hours.

With temperatures in the mid 30s and 90% humidity! we have found it very hard to reacclimatise and have succumbed to the extra expense of a air con unit for the last ten days ashore. We are looking forward to getting back in the water and being able to live more easily again.

This week, we have had Rawley, a local boat polisher and painter, working on the boat. He has more or less finished cutting back the gel coat on the hull and polishing. Not sure it’s the best job in the world, but we’ve learnt a lot for the next time when we think we will tackle it ourselves!

As I think I mentioned before, Chagauamas is a working port and out side one of the boatyard bars is the local fishing fleet. The seas around here are apparently teaming with fish……we have yet to catch anything!……. This haul was sitting on ice in a box waiting for collection. The biggest fish were a metre long!

Big Fish in a big green box.

Big Fish in a big green box.

Every morning at 0800hrs there is a ‘Cruiser’s Net’ on channel 68 on the VHF radio. It serves to knit the cruising community together and gives information about the weather and allows you to ask for advice about local services and where to get the best deals. It also keeps everyone aware of the various social events and there is a ‘treasures of the bilge’ slot, where cruisers can trade or barter unwanted pieces of equipment. We announced our return during the ‘New Arrivals or Returning Cruisers’ section and found that Claire and Allan, who we thought were long gone, were still in TT. Being Saturday, we arranged to meet them for the weekly Bake & Shark at the Wheelhouse.

'Bake & Shark' with Allan and Claire.

‘Bake & Shark’ with Allan and Claire.

It was good to catch up with them again, before they set off for Guyana. I think they are getting a bit stir crazy, having been here since the beginning of August.

Jamming at Coral Cove boatyard.

Jamming at Coral Cove boatyard.

Work started on the boat on Monday and we were struggling with the heat and humidity as we carried on the cleaning and preparation at snail’s pace.

In the evening we went along to the next boatyard to a barbecue and jamming evening. It’s amazing what people have on their boats…….electric guitars and full a PA system with mixer!

Since being in the UK we have both put on weight, so I have started to jog every morning for 40mins to try to increase my fitness and get rid of the pounds. I took this photo one clear morning just before I set off.

Meals are now at more regular times and we try to eat our main meal at lunchtime and have a light meal in the evening. Unfortunately temptation is close at hand for Marcus!

The view from our boat. The blue building is the Bar!

The view from our boat. The blue building is the Bar!

On Tuesday night, what is known as a ‘tropical wave’ passed through between 3 and 4 in the morning. The winds got up to 50 miles an hour and the boat was shaking as if there was an earthquake. After the initial concern when I looked out and saw the palm trees with a side parting, we both decided everything was fine and went back to sleep, only to be woken at 6.30 by Rawley wanting a coffee before he started work! He got his coffee and some words of advice from Marcus about ‘reasonable hours’.

As I said, we have been working all week and in the evenings catching up with friends and making new ones. We had Rob and Annimika and Another Rob and Rhian on board for an evening of drinks and dinner. Rhian and Rob know Steve and Helen, from Brighton, and he put us in touch via email when we were in a rush to suss out which boatyard to be lifted out in. It turns out hat Rhian grew up in Hurst Green …….. four miles from Edenbridge! We know quite a few people in common. It really is a very small world.

Another ‘Bake and Shark’ last night and we caught sight of this sign that sums up the laid back attitude here!

Licensing laws in TT are more relaxed than in England!

Licensing laws in TT are more relaxed than in England!

This was another chance to catch up with old friends over a meal. Frank, a single hander we met in Jacaré and a very French Frenchman is just a few boats away from us and is getting his lifting keel hydraulics repaired came and sat at our table. Sven and Kirsten have also turned up here in Trinidad. We met them through Dan and Jenni in Las Palmas and saw them again in the Cape Verdes. They have been to Gambia, Brazil and French Guyana. They are a great young couple who are extremely resourceful. When their dinghy and outboard were stolen in French Guyana, they set to and built their own dinghy. It’s a great job….ply and epoxy. They whittled their oars as they didn’t have any shaping tools on board. They have just made a ‘bumper’ out of swimming ‘noodle’ floats, covered with awning material and attached to the gunwales with studs. It was great to catch up with them and hear their exploits. What a great thing to be doing at 29.

Sven and Kirsten in their 'self build' dinghy.

Sven and Kirsten in their ‘self build’ dinghy.

Rowing back to their mooring.

Rowing back to their mooring.

It’s Sunday today……our day off……so we have taken a short cycle ride to the Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association that is in the next bay and returned to get on the internet. The anchorage seems a preferable one to Chagauramas……cleaner water and less commercialised. It’s also got a swimming pool, so I think I might incorporate it into my morning exercise programme. We’ll see once the anti fouling is completed.
Another week of work ahead of us. This is not the normal idea of retirement, but we love it!

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