Apparently Trinidad’s northern range of mountains which reach over 3000 feet in places is an eastern spur of the Andes. If that sounds a bit exotic it is - the flora and fauna of Trinidad is closer to that of S America than the other Caribbean islands with howler monkeys and parrots as well as many black vultures (the locals call them “Corbeau”) who spend their days soaring over the mountain tops or checking out the local rubbish tip!
After the noise and bustle of the boatyards of Chaguaramas our next anchorage was Chacachacare, the furthest west of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago and a former leper colony only abandoned in the 80’s. The island has no inhabitants except occasionally the lighthouse maintenance staff. We trekked up the islands only road to picnic on the verandah of their breezeblock quarters under the gaze of thirty or more vultures perched on both the lighthouse and the adjacent radio mast. We were also able to pick a few avocados and some mangos from the trees there before descending back to sea level during a heavy deluge, grateful for the trees that sheltered us from the worst of it but happy to get soaked and therefore cooled. Zach and Joely made some new friends in the form of two French boys of a similar age from SY Tadorne. Their parents, teachers from French Guyana who are at the start of a year’s sailing sabbatical, were equally glad that their boys had new playmates, there was endless swimming back and forth between both boats during the two days we were at anchor there.
With the prospect of the weekend crowds filling Scotland Bay and a forecast of more southerly winds which would make the bay uncomfortable, the following morning Temptress headed out for pastures new. Chris Doyle’s Guide failed to furnish a phone number or VHF channel for our intended destination and a quick search online once a mobile service was gained only delivered a “wrong number”. Regardless Temptress ploughed on; the seas lumpy but not too much so, the wind on the nose making sailing impractical. We rounded the southern end of Gaspar Grande, the island that forms the southern boundary of Chaguaramas Bay and enjoyed distant views of Port of Spain, an oil rig and various commercial vessels whose purposes we could only guess at – oil rig supply vessel, cable layer, gas carrier, deep sea tug?
Facebook page for some of these.
Zipitt a zipwire-tree canopy adventure Zach and Joely had been wanting to do for several days but we’d not been able to squeeze in due to the horrendous traffic delays on the sole road into and out of Chaguaramas. They and their father Nick were dressed in safety helmets, industrial gloves and harnesses over hairnets and latex gloves, then after a quick briefing headed up to the treetops. There are seven interconnected zip lines and a great time was had by all as Annie blagged some Carib from a local heading home for the three of us who remained on terra firma!
One postscript; our take on the semi-comic service at Crews Inn's restaurant where we attempted to eat one evening can be found here