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Trinidad & Tobago Log

Thursday May 9th, 2002

Jo started the morning with a snorkeling and scrubbing the bottom. Dave worked on the website and now he is working on our new dinghy floor. I did some exercise, did some sail maintenance and now I am working on the website. -SLC

I'll be working on the new super dinghy floor for a couple days. I wish we would have bought the wood floor instead of the inflatable floor in the first place, but it will be most excellent when the new floor is done. -DWH

Alix stopped by after fishing today. It is always good to sit and talk with him. -DWH

Alix in pirogue after a day of fishing

Friday May 10th, 2002

We were working hard this morning. I rebuilt the port toilet. The last time I rebuilt it was in the San Blas Islands. It was pretty gunked up, but was still working fine. I was just finishing up when we heard a familiar voice from shore. It was Frank. We headed in to say hello. He called Melissa and told her to come down right away. We had a few beers and then went to pick up Little Frank at day care. What a cute little fella. He was just a big lump in Melissa's belly when we left Tobago 20 months ago. It is great to be see old friends and very new friends. - DWH

Saturday May 11th, 2002

Worked on some boat stuff in the morning. I worked on the new dinghy floor, Stacy worked on the sail cover. Jo did some varnishing and rebuilt the starboard head. In the afternoon Frank yelled from shore. We went and played a little pool with him. While we were playing pool a guy named James stopped by. James runs a fish processing and exporting business and buys all of Frank's fish. He invited us over to his place for dinner. After a few beers Frank whipped up some fish curry and dumplings. Fantastic! The food and company was excellent. -DWH

Sunday May 12th, 2002

Stacy and I called our moms and I also called my grandmother. I also got to talk to my dad. It is good to hear voices from home. We also updated the website today, but mostly we relaxed. Around 8pm we headed into Buccoo for "Sunday School". We listened to the Buccooneers steel drum band. They really put on a good show. We were hoping to see a lot of our local friends, but I think most of them had Mother's Day plans and were not able to come out and lime with us. Eventually we ran into James and Mark, another guy from Barbados. Mark is here with a boat that sailed over to watch the Angostura Regatta. He said there are almost a hundred boats at Crown Point. Wow. When we went by on Wednesday there were twelve and it looked pretty full. On Friday there were about 35 and it looked jam packed. Many of these are cruisers or spectator boats. Meanwhile here we are, a mile or two away at Buccoo Bay, all by ourselves in anchoring paradise. -DWH

Monday May 13th, 2002

I worked on the dinghy floor. Stacy made some fixes to the dinghy cover and worked on a shelf for under the sink in the port head. Jo changed the oil, oil filters, fuel filters, water pump impeller and water pump seals. Everything looks good. The fuel filters probably didn't need to be changed, but we have lots of spares. We have heard of some people who change fuel filters every other time that they change the oil, but we don't know how often they change oil. We change the oil about every 100 hours. I actually read somewhere that it should be changed every 50 hours, but this is out of line with what I've seem most other places. Most people I have talked to change it anywhere from every 100 hours to every "couple hundred". -DWH

After all the hard work I took a short kayak trip at sunset. It was relaxing. I especially enjoyed watching the pelicans fishing. Pelicans are like moose. They look so awkward, but when they are doing what they do best, pelicans flying and moose running, they are so graceful. The pelicans are a little less graceful when they dive. And then once they come up with a mouth full of water and fish if they are lucky, the other birds swarm them hoping to pick up a free meal of droppings. -DWH

Tuesday May 14th, 2002

Frank yelled from shore this morning. We went in and got the scoop on what he was arranged for the party. He is hoping to head out fishing for a couple days but gave us all the info. It looks like it will be a great party.

I put in the new dinghy floor this morning. It is pretty nice, better than the "inflatable floor" even when it held air and tons better than a flat "inflatable floor". I really should have bought a wood floor to start with, but it's certainly good now. After getting the dinghy put back together I changed the oil and oil filter on the port engine (hours = 2208). I also changed the fuel filters. It has only been since Mossel Bay, but we have lots of spares so it seemed like a fine thing to do. While I was working on the engine Jo and Stacy did some maintenance on the main sail. There were a few loose stitches where something had chafed. It all looks good now. It is good to catch little problems early so they don't become big problems. -DWH

Stacy repairing some stitching on the main sail

We heard a "Mayday" call from a sailboat, but did not catch the name or any other info. Stacy tried to call back but got no reply. It was very strange. There was also no other radio traffic at all. We figured it was a race boat and that they were being helped, but we could not know for sure and it was frustrating to not hear anything or get a reply. I hope whoever it was is OK. -DWH

In the afternoon I went for a swim while Jo did laundry and Stacy baked peanut butter cookies. I saw a lot of fish including angel fish. I also saw squid. When I returned to Ladybug Jo was busy scrubbing the cockpit. I helped him wash the floor and get it ready for painting with new nonskid. Then Jo painted it while I stayed out of the way.

Since we needed to keep off the cockpit floor, we decided to go to check out the party scene at the Angostura Regatta headquarters over at Crown Point. It was definitely a happening place. Not long after showing up we walked by the Trinidad and Tobago Tourism booth and were recognized by Ryan D'Arcy, who was on Ladybug back in Trinidad (see Sept 16th, 2000 Guest Log). Next we ran into the crew of Dejavu - Ian, Jenny and their kids(Amy, Tyla and Travis). We met them in St. Helena. Along with them were the crew of Golden Sovereign - Clive, Anne Marie, Claire, and Shaun. We made sure to invite them to the Braai on Sunday. You can always count on South Africans to show up for big chunks of meat over fire and for cold beer. When that group headed back to their boats we went searching for food and ended up sitting with a couple from Trinidad. It was the famous "swimming suit lady" from Chaguaramas. We didn't meet her when we were there, but we had heard of her and know a lot of people who had swimming suits made by her. She was partying with 4 or 5 women friends. They were a fun group. Next we ran into James and a lovely young lady. (I commented that she was too pretty for him. He probably thinks that Stacy is too pretty for me, so we are probably even.) We also ran into Mark, who we met at Sunday school. It was one of those nights were we were constantly running into cool people that we knew, knew of, or had some connection with. In addition to all the fun people there was also an excellent local band and we danced like idiots. Life is good.

Oh, we found out about the Mayday call today. We heard two stories. One was that a guy got hit by a boom and the other was that he had a heart attack. Either way he ended up dead. It is sad news. -DWH

Wednesday May 15th, 2002

Another day of working hard on Ladybug and then cleaning up. The old girl is looking pretty fine. Tomorrow we have our first guests arriving. -DWH

Thursday May 16th, 2002

We did a little cleaning up around the boat, but she is looking pretty good. Murdock showed up in Buccoo in the afternoon. It was really good to see him. He isn't fishing any more, but he's been busy. He has another child. He has also started a football club for some of the local kids. He especially tries to take care of kids who have lost a parent or have problems at home or in school. Right now there are 37 in the club. It sounds pretty exciting.

Alix and Murdock limin on Ladybug

Jo went to the airport to meet Pat and Barry, our first guests from home.

Our Green Bay Packer football finds a good home on the hands of Murdock's son. - Jo

Friday May 17th, 2002

Jo and Pat went to the airport early hoping to meet Steve and Jill. Stacy and I went a little later to meet her family. They were later than expected, but we had fun while we waited.

Steve and Jill were missing in action, so Pat and I went back to Buccoo and joined up with Barry to walk around the village. Dave and Stacy arrive with the family and we spent the afternoon lounging on Ladybug. Suddenly one of the fishermen requests my presence on shore. Sure enough Steve and Jill made their way in. Safe, but without luggage, we spent the rest of the evening waiting for the fishermen to bring us dinner back. We end up grilling out an 18lb mahi-mahi over at the house that Barry rented for the week. - Jo

While enjoying a fabulous fish dinner we were surprised by our next set of visitors. Eric and his friend Cindy had found their way to where we were by going straignt to Buccoo and asking a few questions.

Saturday May 18th, 2002

Frank took Stacy to the airport to wait for Kris, Tammy, Sue, and Cathy. Unfortunately they did not come in. After some checking our best info is that they have not reached Trinidad yet. That's too bad. We are anxious to see them. The rest of the crew spent the morning swimming, kayaking, skin diving, or just relaxing. At about noon we all got together and went sailing. Sailing!!!!! What fun!!!! We had about 25 knots of wind and had a spirited sail. Some of us laid in the net and let the waves crash over us. It was wet but fun. It was definitely not a wine and cheese sail, and we even started a new club - the "bucket brigade" - made up of those that got a little sea sick. -DWH

Sunday May 19th, 2002

I was having a breakfast with my family at Eleanor's when Dave showed up with 4 pretty girls!! I was so happy to see Kris, Tammy, Sue and Kathy. It has been a couple of years since we were all together, but some things never change. I immediately took them out to the boat. I knew their stay would be short so I was anxious to get them on the boat and spend some time with them. I gave them a tour and then we started to organize equipment for snorkeling. As we were ready to dive in the water James and Rachel came by in a pirogue with Lemon. Lemon was taking them for a snorkel out on the reef so we decided to join them. We had a great time! The girls really enjoyed it.

I am very lucky to have such cool friends. Tammy will be here for less than 24 hours. Kris, Sue and Kathy will be here just over 24 hours. This is a long way to travel for such a short time. Thanks a million. You guys are the BEST! -SLC

After much preparation the party was underway around 3pm. The food prepared by Susan, Bud, Peazy, Richie, Chassa and a few others was excellent. Beyond words. Cold drinks, good food, loud music, dancing and fun people were the ingredients to a great afternoon! Eventually we made our way over to Sunday School to listen to the steel drums and do some more dancing. Around 9 pm we found that our last guests had arrived. Steph and Betty moved smoothly from traveling into party mode. We all danced and had a great time. It was a late night and lots of fun. A better party than we had ever hoped for. A million thanks to everyone that helped make it happen and to our friends and family for traveling so far to help us celebrate. -SLC

Click here for story and photos from the party.


Monday May 20th, 2002

It was a pretty lazy day. There was a little swimming on the reef, but in general everyone was laying pretty low. Tammy had to leave early in the morning to get back to work. She was only here for about 22 hours, but she made the most of it. In the afternoon Kris, Sue and Kathy also took off. The visit was way too short, but we sure had fun while they were here. -DWH

Everyone went out in the glass bottom boat while Dave and I went back to shore to say goodbye to Kris, Kathy and Sue. So hard to say good-bye, but I will be home soon.

In the evening Dave and I had dinner with my family, Steph and Betty. It has been a crazy couple of days with people coming and going but it has been so great to see my family. -SLC

Steve and Jill went snorkeling on the reef, while Pat, Barry and I went for a ride around the island with Bujo. We toured the coast up to Plymouth, then all the way to Speyside for dinner at Jenna's - Jo

Tuesday May 21st, 2002

Today we toured the island. Stacy arranged for a bus last night, and it arrived at 8:30. We loaded it up with the whole American crew plus Frank and Melissa. We also loaded up on beer, soda and snacks. We made a brief stop in Scarborough and then headed up along the coast on the Atlantic side. About half way up we stopped and hiked about 15 minutes to the Argyle Waterfall. We had a lovely swim in the cool fresh water. After the waterfall we continued on along the Atlantic coast up to Speyside where we had lunch at Jenna's, the famous "treehouse restaurant". Next we took the bus through the rain forest and over to the Caribbean side. A large part of the island is rainforest while much of it protected by law since 1763.

A stop at the Argyle Waterfall

Pat, Barry and I head out to the airport to see Jill and Steve catch their flight to Trinidad. Big plans where discussed on how to recreate Sunday School in Madison. Barry is already carrying back 3 tapes loaded with the best tunes given to us by DJ Ricky - Jo

Steph (AKA Diamond Toe) gets flowers from Donston

Wednesday May 22nd, 2002

Eric left early this morning. It's always good to have him visit. He is doing us a huge favor by carrying a backpack full of books back to the US for us. We want to lighten the load so it isn't so hard to get everything home when we sell the Bug. We spent most of the day hanging out with Stacy's family and then saw them off in the late afternoon. Steph and Betty also flew out.

It was hard to say good-bye to everyone even though we know we will see them all in the next couple months. Stacy even cried when we left the airport. That is the one really tough thing about cruising, missing our friends and families back home.

We ended the day by going to talent contest at a local bar. The competition was stiff, but our friend Melissa sang a beautiful gospel song and took first prize. It was an exciting night with lots of cheering for all the contestants. -DWH

Barry, Pat, Charisse, and I eat a great dinner over at Karawak -Jo

Thursday May 23rd, 2002

The last of the party guests, Pat and Barry, flew out this morning. After seeing them off Jo went to customs and immigration. Even though we are cleared into the country, we still need to check in with the officials in Trinidad, so we are carrying the paperwork from the Tobago officials. Stacy and I did some laundry and work on the internet. We all made the rounds to say good-bye to our friends in Buccoo and then went out to the Bug to prepare for departure.

4:30 pm: Anchor up. It is hard to leave Tobago and all our friends, but it's time to move. Trinidad here we come. -DWH

Oh, one other big piece of news.....our friends Dave and Lola from Tonga got married today. The best of luck to the happy couple!!!!!

Friday May 24th, 2002

12:30 Wind is very steady and I am starting to see the lights of Trinidad very clearly.

2am: Lights everywhere, ships everywhere(1 oil rig, one ferry, 3 ships), lots of current (added over 15 degrees to autopilot in the last 30 minutes to stay on course). -SLC

We listened to the cruisers net on the VHF while approaching Chaguaramas The chatter was crazy. We had forgotten what "cruising" was all about.......card club, dinner parties, buying and selling parts, writers group, etc. Cleared in and tied up at Hummingbird Marina around 9:30am. -DWH

Spent the day celebrating. Went and saw our friend Tanya at the internet cafe. Stacy and Tanya have stayed in contact since we left Trinidad 20 months ago. We went to our favorite roti shop for lunch. Later we ended up at the Bight. We didn't meet any other cruisers, but we did meet some other cool people including a guy named Ricky who works on a 90 foot ketch. We ended up back at that boat at the end of the night. -DWH

Saturday May 25th, 2002

Stacy was the project queen today. She definitely was the high energy member of the crew. One of her little projects was getting new steps for our swim ladder. The top step was getting close to breaking. Stacy got the guys from Fortress Woodworking to make new ones out of teak....very pretty and very strong. (The plastic ones only lasted 10 years, but these will outlive me.) The guys in the shop were fun and even mixed us rum and cokes when we picked up the steps.

We had a surprise visit from someone we met in St. Helena. At that time Monique was crew on another cat at that time. Those people have put their boat on the hard and flown home. She had to find another boat to move onto very quickly, but she it really trying to get to Florida. We might just be able to help her with that. Later we were joined by Ricky and Sammy, who works with him on the big boat. We had pizza at "Jo's", went to the Bight, and finally ended up on Ladybug listening to music. It was a very pleasant evening. -DWH

Sunday May 26th, 2002

It was a mellow day of getting Ladybug ready for departure. We fitted the new swim ladder steps, tuned the rigging, made a couple changes to the dinghy floor, filled the water tanks, scrubber the deck with fresh water. Later Jo went up the mast to inspect the rigging. Everything looks good. We ended the day with a pasta dinner. Tanya and Jumoke joined us. Sammy also came over. We had good conversation and Tanya even sang for us.

It looks like we will have additional crew for our trip to the BVI and Florida. Monique is going to join us. -DWH

Monday May 27th, 2002

We have a few things to do this morning... check out, buy more sunbrella, update website, etc... Then we we head for the Virgin Islands. -SLC