12.04.09 – Trinidad at last

Good Friday was good indeed. At Natal, the shoulder of Brazil, sailing north suddenly becomes a joyous affair. The trades and the west setting current both split there and finally we had them both in our favour. We stood several hundred miles out across the Amazon estuary mouth and and for a week we ran up 200 mile days, with current giving us up to 240 miles across the ground. Flying fish galore, one dozey basking shark and, nearing the Venezuelan coast, more of those magnificent frigate birds. We did 200 miles through the water and over 230 miles across the bottom in the last 24 hours, which we haven’t done since the Pacific. 13 flying fish on deck this morning. 240 miles to Trinidad.

And today, Easter Sunday, Trinidad was sighted at 0900. Oil rigs galore. Big sloppy quartering swell and light breeze giving Aries a hard time.

ETA Galera Point 1400, with Chagauramas anchorage just round the corner.

Trinidad029And at last, calm anchorage with rich smells, lush foliage, smiling and cheerful locals.  

We hauled Tainui at Chagauramas for the cyclone season. Trinidad is just south of the cyclone belt (for now) and since Grenada was flattened a few years ago, US insurance requirements have turned Chagauramas into a major yachting facility. Much too major for my liking, with literally thousands of cavernous plastic catamarans, Beneteaus and the like standing deserted in the large yards along the northern shore of the bay. It is certainly the place to get work done though, and I took the opportunity to replace 35 year old chainplates and much of our 10 year old standing rigging. I also pulled the propshaft and had it rolled (it and the cutless bearing suffered badly when our prop picked up a stray bit of line while motoring off Salvador). Then home, giving Tainui another well-earned rest. She had a cheap domestic air conditioner running 24/7 down below and should be well ventilated, mould free and dry when I return.


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