Nov 29 - Update

As you'd expect from a "sticky" place like this, there is an active cruisers VHF net at 0730 on ch 66. Lots of goings-on, commercial ads and typical yachtie stuff. We ate 1/2 price pizzas at Prickly Bay Marina restaurant with Paul & Gina; most restaurants run specials on various days of the week to entice business. Finding our way back to the boat at night is always a bit of a challenge, but no drama. This morning, we re-anchored closer to the hub of things; it's calmer, we anchored in 25' instead of 35', and it's a closer dinghy ride to shore.It appears that boats are arriving and departing all the time; we're planning a sight-seeing excursion soon.

Nov 28 - Safe arrival Prickly Bay, Grenada

The seas were running about 6' and we rolled quite a bit with the wind and seas off the quarter and behind us, but the hardest part was slowing the boat down to make a daytime entry into Prickly Bay. Overall, it was a good passage, our first overnight since arrival in Trinidad. The island of Grenada showed up where it was supposed to...and entry was straight-forward. There's a flotilla of boats here, but we found a place to anchor without a problem. After breakfast and a brief rest, we dinghied to Budget Marine and I walked about a mile to the closest ATM to get Eastern Caribbean currency; present exchange rate is 2.67 EC/1 USD. I'm on the hunt for a boost pump for the watermaker. The Jabsco Water Puppy died, and the plan is to replace it with a March centrifical pump. Finding one is a challenge, and it looks like it will have to be shipped to Grenada, incurring an additional modest tax and charges. But, sometimes if you can just find the right item, it's worth all the hassle.

Nov 27 - Departure plans

We went into town for last minute stuff and a good lunch at the Suck Hole (ya, really...that's the name...) Bar & Restaurant. After, we bought some wahoo steaks, 4 for 40TT. Returning to the boat, we stowed gear and planned for a late afternoon departure. It's about 83 nm to Prickly Bay, Grenada, so makes for a (hopefully) easy passage.

Nov 26 - Happy Thanksgiving!

We had purchased a small turkey in Chagauramas, and had Paul and Gina from sv Solace for dinner. Paul was kind enough to loan us his BBQ bottle of propane, which was a good thing as we had run out of propane and that turkey would surely have languished. The girls did an admirable job, and Paul made his famous margaritas. Good times. Prior to that, I had a hard time getting the dinghy thru first gear, so figured I had stripped the thrust bearing. Sue helped me pull the motor up so I could lay it down in the dinghy, and it was quickly apparent that the propeller had stripped its hub. Replaced, problem solved. We managed to Skype and exchange emails with family, and felt blessed to share another beautiful day.

Nov 25 - Pirates Bay

We motored up to Pirates Bay, Charlotteville, at the north-west corner of the island. The anchorage is deep, 55-60 feet, but holding is good and there’s plenty of room for everyone. We’re getting slow wifi a long way from shore. The dinghy dock is at the main dock in front of the small town, but use a stern anchor to keep the dinghy off the dock. Several small stores, bars and restaurants line the bay. The local fisherman’s coop and gas station is nearby. I bought a few jerry jugs of gasoline, but no diesel was available. Propane is not available here; get it in Scarborough. Actually, not too much is available here; one of the charms of this small place. Potable water is found at the end of the dock, available from a yellow hose. Customs and Immigration are at the rear of the small Health Center, but hours seem a bit erratic and no one seems in any hurry. Small town living; relaxing, but not that convenient for cruising needs, should you have any.
Pic:The quaint small village of Charlotteville is the fishing center for the island.

Nov 23 - A quick trip to Scarborough

It’s been windy, squally, and rolly here at Store Bay. Finding the dinghy landing was a bit exciting. You motor around a rock breakwater, leave a black buoy to port, avoid any swimmers in the water, and hope the tide’s out a bit so you can beach the dinghy. Then, lock the dinghy thru a chain link fence around a post and there you are. When the surf’s rolling, it’s impossible, as one of the French catamaran’s captain explained to us as he stopped by looking for an alternate landing place. He was thoroughly soaked, but didn’t realize we were first-timers here, so unable to give him any better suggestions. Once ashore, trash bins are around, and a short walk up to the road allows you to point your hand downwards, thereby signaling to any “share a ride” vehicle that you need a ride to wherever; in our case, Scarborough. The ride cost 7TT each, one way, the radio is loud, but the view and company pleasant enough. We cleared in, and out, with Customs and Immigration, had a quick snack at the Ciao Coffee shop up the hill near the Customs office, bought some fresh fruit, stopped at one of the local grocery stores, and did the entire find a ride thing in reverse. We don’t really trust any moorings, as maintenance is always the issue; with the wind gusts hitting over 25 knots we were glad to be back aboard. Our plan is to move further north along the coast tomorrow morning. Tobago is set up in two distinct districts, so checking in and out in Scarborough, then Charlotteville, is necessary should you be coming this way and planning on seeing a bit of the island before pushing off.
Pic: Map of Tobago, approximately 7 miles wide, 22 miles long. We're in the SW corner by the airport. We'll travel the north coast eastward.

Nov 20 - Safe arrival in Tobago

We anchored near Chupara Point last night and awoke early for a 0530 departure to Tobago. With Mr. Perkins humming along at 1700 rpm, we generally saw 4 knots. That means some of the time we were doing in the 3's; occasionally (but not too often) in the 2's, but no 5's. Hmm. Winds on the nose the entire way, 10-15 knots, occasionally higher in the gusts; swells about 2-3'...but the current was something to reckon with. It had to be anywhere from 1.5-2.5 knots, on the nose (of course), and made for a long day of motoring. We had the mainsail cover off - wishful thinking. It was a motor trip, pure and simple. The good news is that we pulled into Store Bay at 1530 and took a mooring ball. It's possible to anchor in deep depths, but there were a few available mooring balls, free wifi and our friends nearby. Our first eastern Caribbean island; we can't wait to explore. All's well.
Pic: Arriving at the mooring field in Store Bay. We'll have to catch a ride to Scarborough to check in with Immigration and Customs. We were so entertained by a pod of dolphins swimming alongside us as we hugged the north coast of Trinidad for over 2 hours.

Nov 18 - Preparation for departure

I was in the dinghy at daylight inspecting the pee hole; no obvious blockage. I started the engine; it kicked in immediately and had good water discharge. My guess? I probably picked up something that partially blocked the water intake yesterday (the water here is not too clean), and by this morning, everything was back to normal. The exhaust riser was wrapped in exhaust wrap, and things are looking good. Sue went on a shopping excursion with Members Only (Jesse James) to Pricesmart; we plan to check-out with Customs tomorrow morning.
Pic: The many boats here at TTSA (Trinidad & Tobago Sailing Association), are seasonal on moorings with bow & stern line .