The calm weather continued. Once we had reached the the eastern end of the north coast of Trinidad we turned north towards Tobago. We had to steer at 60 degrees magnetic to have a course over ground of 35 degrees magnetic. From this we estimate that the current is around 2 knots. We arrived at Buccoo Reef about 10 am. We then proceeded carefully through the channel and dropped anchor around 11 am. Frank's fishing boat had come in just before us, and we were given a warm welcome and good news......Alix and his wife had a baby boy on August 14th!
After making Ladybug shipshape we went ashore to say hello. It was good to see everyone. We ran into "Bulldog" who said he had a shirt for us. Back when the Buccoo Goat Race was going on I wanted to get a Goat Race tee shirt. There was a guy walking down the street who had one on, so Stacy asked him where he got it. The guy introduced himself as Stone and said "You like this tee shirt? Then it's yours. I'll give it to you later." We had forgotten about it, but Stone had not. He gave it to Bulldog to give to us when we came back.
Note: our engine hours are now at 1167, with almost all of the 19 hours since we filled the diesel being motoring at 1800RPM. -DWH
Saturday September 2nd, 2000
Today is the "Great Race". This is a power boat race from Trinidad to Tobago. The finish is at Crown Point, which is right around the corner. We took to dingy over, watched the boats roar in, and then joined the party on the beach. There was lots of food, drink, and music. We spent a lot of time with the Buccoo Bay crowd. They brought crab and dumplings which was very good. Later in the afternoon the crew, owner, and friends of Solo, the winning boat, came past us on the beach. They all had their Team Solo shirts on. Bulldog, who is an avid boat racing fan and loves working on boats, was yelling something at the throttleman from the team. For those who don't know, the throttleman is the most important man in the race boat crew. The guy laughed, took off his Team Solo shirt with "Throttleman" on each sleeve, and tossed it to Bulldog. By the look on Bulldogs face you would have thought that he had won the lottery.
Just for the record: Solo did the race in 1:00:15, a new record. Ladybug did about the same course in 20 hours. Oh well, they have 50 time the horsepower.-DWH
We worked hard on the boat today. Stacy worked especially hard on the port head. She's still got a lot of work to do, but she wants to get it in at least decent shape before my parents arrive on Wednesday. She finally got to the point where she can paint the bulkheads and put the doors back up. It looks great!
Jo and I worked on the windlass. It is a mounting challenge as the space is not made for such a big windlass.
Jo went in to town to watch the second half of the T&T vs. Canada football match. T&T won 4-0 and is close to clinching a spot in the World Cup. Stacy and I listened on the radio on the boat. Later we went in for Sunday School. We met up with Royston and listened to the pan music. -DWH
We went to the internet cafe to send a more detailed plan of our Pacific Crossing to the insurance company. Then back to the boat to start cleaning. -DWH
Cleaning Ladybug in preparation for Mom and Dads' visit. I flew to Trinidad in the evening so I could meet their flight. They arrived around 8:30pm. We got a hotel in Tunapuna for the night. -DWH
Mom, Dad, and I took an early flight to Tobago. Stacy met us at the airport. They got a room in Buccoo. Later we took reef tour in a glass bottom boat. We ended the day with a surprise birthday party on the boat for Dad. (72!) -DWH
Shopping. Mom bought some dresses, and Dad bought a big floppy hat and a tropical shirt (who said men can't shop?). Jo did some exploring on the reefs around the boat. -DWH
Sailing with Mom and Dad! Eleonore, who runs the quest house where Mom and Dad are staying, also came along. We had a nice steady breeze all the way up to Castara Bay and back.
Saturday September 9th, 2000
We did a little shopping early in the day. Later we went to see our friend Smokey and his Afro/Caribbean/Tobagoneon drumming group. -DWH
We got up early and went fishing on Sahara Dust with Frank. Along with Jo, Dad and I were Antje Tretow and Michael Preikschas, a very nice German couple who are staying at Eleonore's guest house with Mom and Dad. Later Mom, Dad, Antje, Michael, Frank and Melissa came out to Ladybug for dinner. We had Bonito, curried red fish, and lots of side dishes. We finished dinner just in time to head to shore for Sunday School. The pan (steel drum) music was great, and the party went on well into the night. Jo, Stacy and I finally went back to Ladybug around 2am, but things were still going strong. The guest house where Mom and Dad are staying is right next to the party. We had suggested that they sleep on the boat for this one night, but I don't think they really understood how loud and late the party would be. Next time I think they'll sleep on the boat. Anyhow they seem to have enjoyed it despite the lack of sleep. .-DWH
Went to Scarborough to see Fort George and do a little more shopping. -DWH
Took Mom and Dad to the airport. I think they had a pretty good trip.
We prepared to leave. Jo ordered some boat parts for Matti to bring down. We went to meet Alix's wife and see their new baby boy. Said good-bye to all of our friends here. We are all a little sad to be leaving, but we promised everyone that we will be back in two years.
We decided to move the boat to Pigeon Point and then leave very early in the morning so we can reach Trinidad before dark. (We would not be able to leave Buccoo Bay before sunrise due to the reef). We did not want to sail at night because the wind usually dies, but when we got out of the reef it was blowing nicely. We decided to skip the night at Pigeon Point and head straight to Trinidad. It was a lovely sail. We were down wind and down current. The wind got light, but never died. There was also a full moon which is always cool. -DWH