Still in same bay of Tobago...This time not because of "some problems", but because WE WANT. Nobody was locking us here. We could have gone to other bay many days ago, but as you see-we didnt:) We are still in Charlotteville enjoying this amazing bay. We feel here so confortable, safe and relaxed that is really difficult to put an anchor and leave.
Actually it happens when we stay longer than usually in some place.. We become friends with locals and sailors around, than dinner on one boat, breakfast on another , drinks on ours and so on. Also we start exploring all surroundings and discover special spots where lime trees grows for a rum drink, or find a place where wild bananas grow and we finish having 50 or more small bananas which in 2 days become ripen and we have to eat them almost all at once:)
We enter to daily routine which creates feeling more of a real life in one place than traveling..
Days goes and goes and we get use to live slow. For example normal day on anchor looks something like this:
it starts with the sun rise ( no alarm clock..nothing..we wake up alone!) wake up, than quick jump to water and morning swim...(that is one of the best things you have living on boat!!!)..than coffee preparation and breakfast and after we start doing some small works on boat (the list in endless!) which can take hour, two or three. and than again to water and if the water is clear and there are no jelly fishes around in the water (some days who knows why but all bay is full of small jelly fishes ) we go snorkeling and Egoi tries to catch some fish for lunch. Than lunch and after of course siesta time. Later short dinghy ride to the beach, some swim, yoga or play beach padlle game and before dark back to boat thinking what to make for dinner. And after all - glass of rum and movie time!
Other days we go for long walks- to the highest point of the mountain around or next bay or next village. In the need of sightseeing or searching for fruits. Its so green and wild here that we love these walks. Sometimes we go two of us alone and sometimes in a company of our friends Helma and Bob from neigbour boat ,Sunny Spray, from Holland. Locals never go more than 50 meters by foot so we are always alone on road...I think they take us as crazy when they see us four walking from one vilagge to other by foot. Specially when it rains like crazy and we, beeing totally wet still need 5 kilometers to make...
Believe it really rains here! Since the last week. We thought that the rainy season is finishing, but it seems that we are wrong. Luckily our boat is dry because we managed to reseal all windows just before the rainy days came. So now inside is dry, just the maraton of opening and closing hatches its starting to bore us. You cant imagine how many times a day we need to close and open all windows on boat!....
.At least one thing is good- rain lets us colect lots of fresh water for showers and all. In beginning we were sleeping with all windows open and than at night when its started to rain one would wake up and rush to close all them....But the last days we sleep with all closed and even if its hot as in sauna inside we prefer sleep swetting but relaxed than worrying to didnt hear rain comming and make all baot wet. Thats the life on boat:)..
Once a week we try to catch a local transport and go to Scarborough (The Capital of the island)-for shopping. Like most of the people do when they work all week , no?...So do we. It takes almost and hour or more to get there but thats Ok cause we have time:) Scarborough has two 'normal' supermarkets where you can find not all but at least more than here in Charlotteville. Prices are quite high, but in Caribbean islands this is to what everyone needs to get use. Forget fresh dairy products and fruits like apples, pears, some vegetables like salads and tomatoes because they are crazy expensive.. And the meat...This is like delicatessen here. ALl is frozen and even than its very very limited. And the same with wine. Cheapest wine bottle can cost around 7 euros and believe its really not even a good wine...Better do not try and stay with Local Rum and local beer. Good that we still have some bottles of wine from Spain left, but when they,ll finish we will need to wait till Martinque. This is the island where mostly all boats sails to stock. And so we will. For sure:) But not just for shopping:)
Till than there are still many island on the way to see. First of all it will be Grenada, but we are waiting till the hurricane season oficially will end(end of this month) to leave. Till than we will still stay in Tobago and once we are ready we.ll try some more bays to see. This island has all you need for cruising life-people are friendly, its very safe and you have good health centers in each town if you need some help.
I,m talking about that because i had my both ears blocked and more than two weeks strugling trying to hear . But finally i gave up and went for doctor. And i was really surprised when they attended me without any problems and cured me:) And all for free! I just had to write my name and my date of birth. Thats all. Amazing...No one asked mine nationality...nothing! Just listened to my problem and fixed it...Incredible:) So simple and human....
p.s. I,m forgetting something! . There is one curious thing I discovered about Tobago. To tell the true the sailors couple from Russia told us about that.
Do you know that in seventeen century Tobago was a colony of Latvia?????????...
To be more correct -a colony of Courland which was a vassal state of LIthuanian-Polish union.
But for more exact information I leave you here a text from Wikipedia:
Great Courland Bay Monument
Courland had a population of only 200,000, mostly of Latvian, German and Scandinavian ancestry, and was itself a vassal of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at that time. Under Duke Jacob Kettler (ruled 1642-1682), a Baltic German, it established one of the largest merchant fleets in Europe, with its main harbours in Windau (today's Ventspils), and Libau (today's Liepāja). During his travels to Western Europe, Duke Jacob became an eager proponent of mercantilism. Metalworking and shipbuilding became much more developed. Trading relations were established not only with nearby countries, but also with England, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and others.
The Duchy's ships started undertaking trade voyages to the West Indies at least as early as 1637, when a Couronian ship attempted to found a colony on Tobago with 212 settlers. An earlier European settlement on the island, a Dutch colony, formed in 1628, had been wiped out a few months earlier by Spain. The first Couronian colony met a similar end, whilst a second attempt was essentially blockaded by Spain and strangled in infancy by 1639. In 1642 two ships under Captain Caroon with about 300 settlers attempted to settle on the north coast near Courland Bay"
You live and you learn...
You travel and you learn....
If you want to live slow......start to live on a boat in tropics!!!...
Maybe its the heat, a culture or all togather, but here, even the most nervous person can discover his inner peace..
Yesterday we checked the calendar and could not believe that is almost a month since we left Europe and are back on boat. Time is flying, but we not:) And we start to like it !
SO now we are in Tobago. island which long time ago we wanted to visit by boat. 2009 we were here during the time when we were visiting Trinidad, Chaguaramas bay by sy RagaineII. We came to Tobago by ferry from Trinidad, Port of Spain with Egoi parents who came to visit us on Around the World trip. But now, we arrived here with our own boat! And thats another story:)
When we lay in the beach and watch Grain de Sable swinging on anchor in front is still hard to believe we are here. And not in a hurry!...We can stay as much as we want!..Funny how dificult it can be to accept that you are in paradise and you can have it all for you:)...Our brain need more time ...
Even if we are slowlly entering caribbean rythme...still we are not stopping to make plans, prepare boat, paint, varnish, sew, clean and so on and so on.....
And in Suriname it was even worse!!!.. Uff..CRAZY..
After a quite tiring flight (and some adventures in Amsterdam Airport- they didnt want to let us flight without return ticket or other ticket proving we will leave Suriname after) from Amsterdam to Paramaribo with a local Suriname airlines we arrived to our boat. .It was dark already so we decided to sleep outside on deck because it was too late to start instaling all electricity and so on. First night on boat with sounds of jungle and of course mosquitos bites too:)
Than the next morning came...Time to inspect the boat and see what these five months did harm for her.
To be sincere we epxected worse situation...Ok. There were lot of humidity inside and we had to clean all, but all all all inside, but apart from that all the rest was Ok. Thanks to Noel from waterland Marina who took care about Grain when we were out. Electricity worked without any problem, engine started without any extra effort too, all equipments turned on...Only in the mast we found a few wasps nets and on the arc two small birds made a nest and laid some eggs there..
And the hull. River and its current left its mark..Almost all antifouling paint went out..
So since the first day we started to prepare our Grain for sailing. Working from sunrise till sunset- in the heat of 37 or who know how much. If we had to do it for someone else probably in the first few days we would quit the job. But when its your own boat ...suddenly you become a superman and become a working machine:)
Later after arriving to Caribbean Sea and jumping to blue water you feel like you won a prize and all hard job was worth the effort. We were very happy to visit and discover Suriname, super country! ...But after some time we started missing clear water...snorkeling...and swimming without any fear of any Anaconda or Crocodile attacking you:)
Also we had a very good friend Juliet visiting us and wanted her to have a nice time sailing and enjoy togather some days on anchor in Tobago.
So after almost two weeks of hard work preparing our boat finally we left towards Tobago.
According pilot guide it supposed to be calm and relaxed trip with trade winds blowing from the east and current pushing us up toward Caribbean Sea. But .....ufff.....
What a trip we had!
First ...leaving the river. Wind and steep breaking waves totally to the nose ...Luckily current was helping us all time ( again Total Tide program was right) so we could made our way foward. But for taking the last boy in marked channel ( water here is very shallow and you have to follow strictly the buoys) we had nothing to do but switch on engine if we did not wanted to finish aground . Wind was totally on the nose and there were no way to do it just by sail. After the boyed channel we could finally turn west and start heading towards Tobago. But than a big black cloud came.
A VERY BIG!!!!........and a thunder...So, genoa out ... jib on...main sail reefed and wait.. What will come?
A HUGE SQUAL AND TONS OF WATER!!!.Thats what came...Welcome to Tropics!...Black clouds here will be quite frequent. But worst of all is the waiting process, when suddenly wind calms, comes the dark ...and who knows what gonna happen.
We will need to get use to that.
After this cloud a fresh wind came and all next day we had nice 20 knots wind from the beam and 1 knot current helping us . We were making 6-8 knots all time, counting miles and planning time of arriwal. ANOTHER MISTAKE!....Never plan so early. The third day another black cloud came...And a very strong wind, which suddenly start blowing almost to the nose. And like this from 3 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon. We saw gusts reaching 50 knots sometimes!!!! And the current too. It changed direction and start slowing us...Lets say it was not the most relaxed passage at all. Grib files were showing 15 knots from the east all time, but what we got its just one more time shows that apart from global there is always a local weather to consider. Be prepared for all.
Poor Juliet:) It was not what one can imagine when decides to come to visit friends living on boat and sailing in exotic countries which they show on their photos:) At least the last day she could enjoy watching dozens of dolphins and fregatas around us getting close to the island ....And a turtle comming to say us hello after setting an achor. But as a first time sailor she managed all so well and made us super company! And now has great adventure to remember.
It was really a pleasure to have you with us, Juliet!!
Now we stay in beautiful Pirate Bay in Charlotteville in the northwest of Tobago. There are more boats around than we expected to see, but all of them are long term cruisers (and mostly french again) - so good company around. Some retired couples, few french families with small childs, one young russian couple from Moscow, another couple from french part of basque country and two boats from South Africa. When you speak with sailors who spend more than a season in Caribbean Sea most of them say Tobago its is one of their favourite island here. And Charllotville as a bay too. Looks that good choise we made:)
Its really great here! Bay is big, so there are plenty of space to anchor. Its deep,13 meters where we are now, so we had to put all chain and some meters of rope too, but bay is very well protected and holding is good. Later we saw it was possible to anchor closer to town , but we got used to our place and decided do not move.
Vilage is very small but we like small places. There are few little shops( better, like this less money to spend) for very basic needs and a great library where all cruisers go to get wifi. Our " second home" how we call it:)
Bay is surrounded by jungle and in a short walk we could find lots of fruit trees. Pitty now is not the season for mangos...but oranges, bananas and papayas are already on our boat:) Also lots of cacao trees everywhere, but like we say we are still not so prepared to start roasting cacao seeds and make chocolate. But time will come...for sure:)
So days goes relaxed.. .Every day some small job on boa, .bath, snorkeling...hiking around and for now enjoying the moment.- Caribbean style:)
How long we will stay here yet no idea. Two weeks, month...more?
This is a story about our life journey or better said is a story about our life afloat a sailing boat. Our trips, our adventures, our challenges and problems found on the way. Our everyday life floating and our unforgettable moments of sailing and tasting the worldl!
Need a skipper for delivery, boat charter, teaching you to improve your sailing or learn cruising secrets online?
Check here for more!
"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters."
"The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use."
"There are more sharks on the land than in the sea"
If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late.
Don't worry about the world ending today. It's already tomorrow in Fiji.
" Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit."
"A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind. Live passionately, even if it kills you, because something is going to kill you anyway."
"A bad day at SEA is still better than a good day at work"
"The perfection of a yacht's beauty is that nothing should be there for only beauty's sake."
"Remember 'It was a professional who built the Titanic, It was an amateur who built Noah's Ark"
"Sailing - The art of slowly going nowhere at great expense. "
When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.