It is hard to go back…it’s a saying I’ve heard often…but it is our experience. Expectations can be high based on you only remember the best of your experience. We began this adventure in this very boatyard and so it will always be the starting point.
We are certainly enjoying being re-united with friends we met here six years ago. As well, the main yard staff remains and with fellows like Brent and Rico running things, you can be assured that your work will get done and you will be looked after. However, we have been 4 months on the hard and can only at best give mixed reviews to the work that has been done during this refit.
The price of most things is thru the roof, and despite the fact that work is slow, the prevailing attitude seems to be, ‘we’ll charge this guy enough to make up for all the ones that got away”. It is always a difficult time having the boat on the hard. The boat is not happy and we look forward to ‘splashing’ this coming week.
Part of visiting Chagauramas is getting to know Jessie James and his Maxi Taxi Service. He is a local Trinidadian and he offers a wide variety of services including weekly hikes, grocery shopping for the gals and a variety of Island tours. One of the highlights of our visit this time was our outing with Jessie to the beach to watch the leatherback turtles come to nest.
I will say despite the ‘schlep’ to get there, and waiting for nature to take its course, we felt it was one of the most incredible experiences of our lifetimes. To hold the newborn hatchlings and feel the strength in their tiny flippers, single minded purpose of getting to the water, and then to be there when a 700 lb turtle digs her nest, hole in the sand, above the high tide mark, dragging her huge bulk thru the shifting sand is a feat that tires you just to watch, but then to see her slowly and with such purpose, dig her nest, to her exacting specifications, with just the correct amount of moisture and temperature to accept the more than 100 eggs she will drop. During the time when she is actually laying her eggs, she becomes quite trancelike, and it is possible to touch her leatherback skin, which on her head resembles the consistency of a helmet, but only inches away, on her neck she is as soft as velvet.
This is definitely as close as I will probably ever get to 750 lbs of reptile giving birth…a truly magical moment and one not be missed if given the opportunity.
Kaija, on the other hand, likes to hike and had the opportunity to go with Jessie and a group of sailors to Rincon Falls. There guide was a gentleman from the military who teaches wilderness survival and is known as Snake Man. The hike was on the north shore of Trinidad , thru the jungle to a beautiful water fall so big that it did not fit in one picture. The trail was slippery in spots due to the shale under the light under growth cover. We saw many tropical flowers, coconuts, plants that could be eaten if you were lost, and plants and rocks that were used for cleansing the face and adding that wonderful red to your cheeks.
The Hike was about three hours up, on skinny paths, up hills, down hills (holding ropes to get there), and ended at the falls with its swimming pool at its base. We swam and ate lunch here and then back we went. Our guide found us “donkey eyes” also known as “hamburger beans” to most of us. They do not grow on a tree but on a vine. So now I know where they come from. He also found us a false coral snake and showed us how he got his name.
This great all day trip ended at Maracas Beach eating Shark N’ Bake at Richard’s. This is a Trini special of a shark burger with many toppings.
Our plan as we enter year 7 is to sail west thru the Venezuelan coastal islands and on to the ABC’s for Christmas.
Keep looking for our updates as we can make them available. Six years has shown us a wonderful world and we are as excited about seeing all of it as we enter our 7th season sailing along the North Coast of South America, Venezuala, ABC's, Cartagena, San Blas & Panama …so please come along and join the fun….who knows…maybe the Best is yet to come. We look forward to hearing from you.