Weeks 23 & 24 — The low seas

We made it. We’re in Trinidad and after days of hard work, the boat is in the water. We have slept on it (like heavy rocks) for two nights now and all is essentially well. We’ve still got to put up netting around the boat and find some harnesses for the kids so we can strap them in underway.

We’ve NOT sailed it yet. Not ’til we finish with the netting so we can keep the kids on board while performing some of the more challenging maneuvers.

At 10 degrees north, we are essentially in the doldrums here and the heat is CRAZY. Oppressive, while not quite understated, would certainly be a mundane word to describe it. It’s about 90 degrees with 90+ percent humidity and not a breath of wind.

Every afternoon, it rains. Sometimes it opens with an apocalyptic black form that forms from nothing in minutes, then begins to strew monstrous thunder cracking and tearing across the sky from far, to overhead, and off to far again. Then the wind picks up to 30 miles per hour and then you see the sea streaking with whitecaps and then thick gray of drenching rain marching towards you, engulfing you and making it hard to breath.

But with the heat and dead, wet air, it’s just the thing to change up the day — much like power outage in an office building.

We haven’t had time to take any photos, here, but have taped a few times, including launching the boat and some driving about time.

It’s a hard country, not meant for tourists, but the “yotties” are welcomed in the upper left-hand corner of the island. The infrastructure is rough, people drive like maniacs and there are dozens of potholes large enough to stop a truck dead in it’s tracks.

There are no real indigenous people, so everyone was either dragged here as slaves or came to help in the oil fields in the past couple of hundred years. There is a distinct lack of this racism or cultural snobbery we are used to that makes a visitor feel like an outsider. If you are here, it seems good enough to the people that live here. They’re just here too.

I’m off to buy more “zip-ties” for the netting and am already looking forward to the afternoon rains. Yesterday I did the same, taking the dingy around “the outside” where I took up a plastic bag and burned out the impeller. While that may not mean much to you, imagine rowing a rubber dingy with a broken outboard engine and flimsy oars for an hour or two against a 1.5 knot tide.

I made it though, and found two rum-drinking “fisherman” (by now it was 8:30 in the morning) who gave me a ride back to the boat to pick up parts and then back to the dock I rowed to where I got it fixed. They laughed when I said it was too early to drink with them, stating “early has nothing to do with it, we drink when we need it!”

After spending $850 TT (about $150 US), I know what to expect with that engine. And seeing as it’s our primary mode of transportation, it’s well-spent.

1 Comment »

  1. rick said,

    November 28, 2006 @ 7:03 pm

    Ok, I registered and am leaving a comment. Do I get to see what comments others have left, or is this just fancy email without spell checck? I am not quite sure what a blog is, but it makes me think I get to see stuff others have written. Then again, for many years I thought Candice Bergan and Linsey Wagner were the same person. I also think that Candice Bergan and Martha Stewart look earily similiar. However in this case A is not = to C. I know that Lindsey Wagner and Martha Stewart look nothing a like.

    If you haven’t guessed, I am having a slow day at work.

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