Still Working in Trinidad - Page 2

18 October 2018   Chaguaramas, Trinidad
Yesterday, I spent half a day wire-brushing and treating rust, but this morning, I spotted more surface corrosion.  I removed the sea water pump again, so that I could get better access to the areas beneath it.  I spent another two hours wire-brushing, applying rust treatment and applying the primer.  

Water-maker Panel

The primer has to be left for about 6 hours to cure, so in the afternoon, I tackled the water maker.   About a year ago, I bought a new high pressure valve because the old one is slowly failing, but I’ve been putting off fitting it because we are so dependent on the water maker while cruising - if I damaged something, it would be a disaster.  (OK, I’m a coward, but sometimes the old adage makes sense - if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it...)

I pulled the water maker panel to pieces and then discovered that the pressure valve is different from the old one.  I don’t have any high pressure fittings, so I bundled everything into my rucksack and walked the mile to Echotec.  One of the technicians said that all I needed was a different T-piece - hmmm, might be complicated.   I asked if he could sort it out for me and fit it all back onto the panel.   Sure thing, pick it up tomorrow…  What great customer service. 

It’s been raining most of the day, so Glenys decided that it would be good to give the teak deck a good cleaning - despite treating it for mildew in June, there lots of dark grey spots appearing.  I think that the problem is caused by too much rainfall with humid conditions and no sea water going over the decks.  

We’ve run out of Tri-sodium Chlorate (TSP) and they don’t seem to sell it here, so Glenys just lightly scrubbed with some washing up liquid and a cup of bleach in a bucket.  I’m sure that we’ll have lots of sea water over the decks in the next few months which will stop any more mildew forming.

Copper-rumped Hummingbird

In the late afternoon, I painted a coat of green enamel paint on the engine, but the results were a little disappointing because the undercoat is a very vivid white and making the whole thing look patchy.  I’ll have to put on another coat of green paint.  In any case the engine looks a lot, lot better than it did before I started.

19 October 2018   Chaguaramas, Trinidad
We went on one of Jesse James’ legendary trips to visit Yeretté, which is the home of a Hummingbird enthusiast called Theo.  He lives high up in the Maracas Hills and has set up over 50 nectar feeders which attract hundreds of Hummingbirds.  There are 18 different species of Hummingbirds in Trinidad and Tobago and 14 of them regularly visit Yeretté.

Theo sat us down on his patio for an introductory talk about his Hummingbirds.  Unfortunately, he digressed onto on a lengthy and rather boring talk on the Amerindians - the indigenous people of the Caribbean, who were wiped out by the Europeans when they arrived in the 1500s. All very interesting for a couple of minutes, but after 20 minutes of his slow monologue, I was itching to take photos of the hundreds of hummingbirds whizzing about and excused myself to wander around the garden.

Unfortunately, it rained for most of the time that we were there - this didn’t deter the Hummingbirds, but the poor light meant that taking photographs of the fast, tiny birds was very difficult.  I couldn’t take fast shutter speed photos and there was no sun to glint off their iridescent feathers. 

After a pleasant lunch, the rain became torrential; stopping us going into the garden, but Theo showed us a presentation of the hundreds of fabulous photographs that he has taken of the various species of Hummingbirds that visit his home.   His photographs showed a lot of the fascinating behaviour of the birds including their tiny nest, which are held together by spider’s webs.

Engine back together

The torrential rain continued all afternoon, so Jesse postponed our trip to the Caroni Swamp, where we were planning to see Scarlet Ibis coming home to roost.  The drive back to Chaguaramas was slow due to the huge amount of rain on the roads, but we were back on Alba by 16:30, which gave me enough time to apply the second coat of green paint to the engine.

20 October 2018   Chaguaramas, Trinidad
The second coat of green paint had covered up the patchiness on the engine, so I was able to put the engine back together.  It took a couple of hours to replace the seawater pump, the alternator and starter motor.  Thankfully the engine started and ran OK.

I pottered around for the rest of the day finishing off many little jobs, so by mid-afternoon, the boat was looking shipshape. All I need to do now is put the water maker back together and we’ll be ready to go sailing.  There’s another patch of heavy rain due tomorrow and the following day, so our aim is to leave on Tuesday 23rd.

Glenys spent the afternoon cooking a fabulous Indian meal.  “Jackster” and “Relax” came for dinner and we had a good time catching up on each other’s adventures since we all left South Africa.

21 October 2018   Chaguaramas, Trinidad
Being a Sunday, we had a quiet day pottering about and catching up on some administration.

The heavy rain on Friday was so extreme that huge sections of central Trinidad are flooded.  Jesse James and a few cruisers went out yesterday and today to help rescue people who are trapped in their homes.  The ITCZ has moved north of the equator and is bringing this heavy rain to the region.  We'll probably wait until Wednesday or even Thursday before we sail to Grenada.

There are more photos in our Photo Album section.