22 October 2018 Chaguaramas, Trinidad
First thing in the morning, I walked the mile along to Echotec, but the flooding south of Port of Spain has prevented people coming into work, so my water-maker panel was still in pieces, which is a major setback. They say that it should be done tomorrow.
Back at the boat, we took down the awning and Glenys gave it a good scrubbing. When it was fairly dry, she dragged out her sewing machine and did some essential repairs, reinforcing stitching that had perished in the tropical sun. We had heavy rain showers in the afternoon and evening. In a brief lull, we managed to get the bimini back in place. It looks nice and clean now, but the water proofing has been scrubbed off and it leaks like a sieve.
The weather looks good on Wednesday & Thursday. Assuming that the water maker panel all fits together, we’re aiming to leave for Grenada on Thursday night.
23 October 2018 Chaguaramas, Trinidad
I contacted Echotec first thing in the morning. The technician who was going to do the job, still can’t get into work, but someone else is going to do it. It was a nice sunny day, so Glenys pulled back the boom awning and let the bimini dry out. She then brushed on a whole load of water proofing.
Echotec dropped off the watermaker panel at lunch time and I soon had it all connected together. Unfortunately, the new pressure valve protrudes backwards more than the original and the panel didn’t fit into the wooden housing. I had to cut another piece of wood to angle the panel forwards and then plug the existing screw holes with cocktail sticks and epoxy. I’ll have to finish it off tomorrow morning when the epoxy has set.
24 October 2018 Trinidad to Grenada (Day 1)
It was a beautiful day, so I quickly finished fitting the water maker panel and we went out for a test sail. The engine performed well; the steering worked; the rigging and sails looked good; and the water-maker ran fine for 20 minutes. Our sea trials were completed by 11:00 and the weather looked fabulous, so we decided to go back to the marina, clear out and leave for Grenada tonight.
At 14:00, we went over to clear out. Immigration was ram packed and the immigration officer moved at the speed of a sloth. It took over an hour to get our passports stamped, so we didn’t get to customs until 15:15, but we were cleared out by 15:30. We had some spare Trinidad dollars, which are hard to exchange, so called in at the Duty Free shop and picked up 8 bottles of wine and a case of beer - £4 to £6 for a bottle of wine - not bad for the Caribbean.
Glenys went to pay the marina (and get rid of our last Trinidad dollars), while I put the dinghy on deck. We were soon all ship-shape and motored out of the marina at 16:30. There was hardly any wind, so we motored out of the Bocas channel, encountering some 2-3 foot over-falls at the entrance because of the outgoing current against the ENE wind.
We motor sailed for a further hour until we’d travelled a few miles offshore, where the wind settled down to a constant direction. I was expecting ESE wind, so that we’d be on a beam reach, but the gods were against us and we were very close hauled. At least we had a current with us. There was a beautiful full moon and we had a pleasant night sail even though hard on wind.
25 October 2018 Trinidad to Grenada (Day 2)
Our land fall was perfect. Glenys watched the sun rise and, by 07:30, we were anchored in Clarke's Court Bay (Benji Bay) at 12°00.30N 061°43.83W in 12 metres depth on good holding mud. We were in time to listen to the Grenada Cruiser’s net on Ch.66 at 07:30. We were surprised to learn that it’s Grenada’s Thanksgiving Day today, so most businesses are closed and even if the customs is open, we’ll get hit for overtime.
Glenys rustled up some bacon butties and a cuppa tea for breakfast and then we chilled out for the rest of the day. I dropped the dinghy into the water and went for a swim. It’s the first time that I’ve been snorkelling since June and the visibility isn’t too bad.
We’re in a good spot with a reef about 50 metres behind us. I’ve put on loads of weight after being in the UK, eating too much food and doing no exercise, so I’m determined to get fit again. I’m planning to swim to the reef and back every day and start doing my morning exercises again.
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