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!
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"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.