Sunday 30 June 2013

Extra Help...

Saturday morning we helped at a program for children who require extra help with their reading, writing, math.  It is run by a lady who supports and hosts the program out of her garage, which is set up like a classroom.

The program relies on volunteers to come and assist with the children, aged from 4 to 17 or so.

 Richard was assigned two boys, who were very bright and were having extra reading.

These three were my young boys.  Aged 4 and 5.  Very eager.  Two of them I helped with spelling and numbers, the other I helped by showing him how to hold a pencil and write his name - he had lost his Mum to cancer very recently, and seemed to really enjoy female attention, ending up lying with his head in my lap.

Their attention span was only so much, so I showed them how to make paper planes and we went outside flying those to give them a little break.

After working "one on one", we all sat and Jean tested the older children on their spelling for their upcoming spelling bee.

At the end, they are given juice and cookies.

It is a great program and awesome to see children wanting to learn and improve.

Friday 28 June 2013

Hello Grenada...

After clearing Immigration and Customs, it was time to go shopping...
the only thing on the shopping list - dive gear!

We cant believe how hard it is to find a selection of dive gear since we arrived!  
We have surfed the web, we have been to the stores,
and again, here in Grenada it is not the selection we were hoping for.  
Richard needs the dive gear NOW!

Theresa suggested we put a radio message on the morning Net, 
so we did, how lucky are we... 

We had an immediate response from some cruisers who were selling all their gear 
as they had sold their boat.  He was a dive instructor also, and had been teaching.  

We are now very happy owners of 4 BCD's, 3 complete Reg sets, 
Computers, Compasses, Fins, Masks - you name it we have it - plus lots of spares...

Mr Robinson was a very happy man!

Theresa and Brett invited us over for some sundowners, 
it was really lovely to be so welcomed.  

It was also fantastic to see "Seismic Wave"... 
we felt we already knew her from when she was "My Catlyn" 
and the photos we had followed on their blog

Goodbye Trinidad...

Isnt it funny how some signs are a bit strange: 

If it’s a cafĂ© why cant you eat or drink?

This is some of the hand signals you need to learn for your drivers licence in Trinidad

Why is a 150tonne travel lift lifting a tiny tender (looked funny)

A Beautiful Pelican - Saturday morning we headed to Immigration, then Customs – it was time to leave.  Our final land stop was “duty free”, then we finally lifted anchor and we were off...
 the first start of our journey “on our own”…

We headed to Scotland Bay, where we arrived early afternoon.  
3.00am the next morning we were up and ready to go.  Our destination Grenada.  
A lovely full moon meant that our visibility was pretty good, we headed out from the headland, we had a Easterly which meant the wind was very close to the nose.  
Richard put up the main and let out the jib – motors off, we were away! 

We had been watching other vessels moving about, 
however about an hour out there was a boat coming directly at us on our port side.  
We blasted our horn 5 times (what are your intentions), no change of course, 
we again blasted 5 times – 
we had already started up the engines and we immediately changed course drastically. 

The vessel – a pirogue – passed across our bow within feet.  Wow, it was pretty scary.  
There had been quite a bit of talk about “pirates” off the Venezuela Coast (approx 20km away).  
Well, it turned out that it was probably just a person that had gone to sleep or just simply didn’t care.

Our sail to Grenada was as close to the wind as you can get – we arrived mid afternoon.  Within a couple of minutes of dropping anchor we had a dinghy come up behind us – “hello, hello” it was Brett and Theresa from Seismic Wave to say HI, with a cold beer in hand – what a lovely welcome!

Friday 21 June 2013

Lovely Day...

We decided to alter our helmseat.  We then needed to have some extra upholstering on it, which was when we met Kay (the upholsterer).  She also made us hatch and winch covers, doing a fabulous job - we would highly recommend Kay for any canvas or upholstery work

Kay and her husband Colin very kindly asked us over to their place for lunch.  The live on an island not far from where we are moored, so on Wednesday (a public holiday here) 
Kay, Colin and Kays twin sister Kathy came and collected us from Our Rose.  

What a lovely day we had with them.  
We went to a gorgeous spot, where we anchored 
and went swimming.
We passed some lovely properties set right on the water...

After a beer in their Jacuzzi, Kay cooked us NZ Lamb for lunch - yum.
Their property is lovely - they have planted lots of fruit trees, bourganvillea, Trees etc etc.

After lunch, we played pool, drinking cognac - what a great end to a fabulous day

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you - you made our Trinidad visit very special!

Back In The Water...

First thing Monday morning, Don came and lifted us up onto the special catamaran trailer, so that we could finish the final touches of our Anti-Fouling

 We have been working around the rain all week, however Monday morning stayed clear for the guys to finish the buffing on the gelcoat, then mid afternoon we were again heading back to the water...


It would be remiss of me not to mention something about "Liming"...

Liming is the national pastime here in Trinidad - they have it down to an art - Liming is hanging around chatting - or "the art of doing nothing".  Liming sometimes involves food and drink (often quite a few drinks, whiskey and Rum are very popular here).  The exchange of tall stories ad jokes - PROVIDING the activity has no explicit purpose other then hanging around.

Liming in Trinidad is acknowledged as a form of performing art!

Monday 17 June 2013

Steel Pan

Saturday morning up very early to watch the All Blacks thrash France!  30 - 0 "Go the All Blacks!"

When we were in St Helena, we had tied onto a mooring with too much rope.  The rope had scraped a little of the anti-fouling off the bottom, so we decided that due to us being out of the water we would repair this.  Well, this turned into us sanding and re-antifouling the complete bottom again - we were both covered in "black" sanding and anti-fouling by the end of it.  Now we know why they wear the painting suits!

Last night we went to listen to Steel Pan Bands.  There were 5 of them.  The hosting band showed us their trophy room - these are just some of the trophies, certificates they have won since 1940's...

The room was full, both sides with trophies.

The steel pan bands compete each year.  The music they create is extraordinary, the energy and fun they all have is wonderful.

Friday 14 June 2013

More on Trinidad...

We had a break from the boat repairs and headed to Asa Wright - It was a former Coffee-Cocoa and Citrus Plantation, now a Nature Reserve comprising of about 2000 acres.  They have numerous bird and butterfly species, along with 4 venomous snakes and other wildlife.  It was gorgeous in this Tropical Rainforest...

The photo on the left below is a "Jack Fruit"  They are the heaviest Tree Borne Fruit in the world

 We had never seen Hummingbirds before - what energetic little birds!

After leaving Asa Wright, Jesse stopped at a property where we were treated to fresh mangoes from this mans tree - the mango trees, which are in the background were huge.  He also gave us lots of lovely limes (guess what they were for?)

We then headed to "Caroni Swamp" - an estuary system comprising of 5611 hectares of Mangrove Forest and Herbaceous Marsh.  We boarded a flat bottom boat and headed off.

This "Boa" Snake (on the right) was sleeping up a tree (thank goodness).  We were directly below this snake in the boat.

The red in the photo below are Scarlett Ibis - they are the national bird of Trinidad.  They flock to this area of the swamp in the early evening.
The sight is magnificent and the colors of the birds are extraordinary...

Friday 7 June 2013


Day after we arrive its Richards birthday - I can tell you that making a surprise Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache, was not such a surprise!  I made this while we were crossing from Tobago to Trinidad - the aroma alone was a huge give away!

Upon arrival we were immediately greeted with radio contact "Our Rose, Our Rose, this is Sea Rose" - Sue and Brian who had taken us sailing from Cape Town to Saldhana were here - what to do but to catch up for a drink or two (and dinner of course).

The cruisers here have a radio connect at 0800 every morning, welcoming new cruisers, asking if anyone needs advice on contractors or help in any way, offering information on "social" get togethers etc.  We have found the cruisers are a very very social bunch so far!

Sue and Brian had introduced us to Bill and Gene from catamaran "Out of the Bag"  Last weekend, Bill and Gene (Aussie and NZ'er) asked us to join them and we went to Scotland Bay for the night.  It was a wonderful break from the organising of work on Our Rose.  We had a lovely time, swimming, eating, drinking and telling lots of stories and jokes.

Out Of The Bag
Our first thing on arrival inTrinidad was to find the right contractors for our repairs.  This ended up taking over two weeks to find and co-ordinate, so on Monday 2 June we were once again hauled out of the water.  Bill and Gene kindly came and helped us also.  What a professional operation this was.  At Power Boats, Don, who is so friendly, helpful and professional asked us to be ready at 13.30.  Of course at 13.15 it started to pour with rain - Murphys Law!  However, once it stopped, Don was there with his guys ready - they have built a purpose built trailor to haul out catamarans - it has hydraulic arms that support under the bridgedeck and the slings that support the hulls are moveable, to support all different widths of catamarans.

Where we are here there are literally hundreds or maybe thousands of boats, most being stored here for the "hurricane season" and others having repairs like us.  This is a lovely sunset overlooking some of the stored yachts.

There is a guy here "Jesse James" - his business is called "Members Only" He has targeted his business to Cruisers, offering trips to the supermarkets, fresh markets, movies etc.  He also organises trips to various spots on the Island.  Two days ago we did the "Taste of Trinidad" trip.  We were collected at 0900 and arrived back at 2000.  During the course of the day we tasted over 80 different foods and met some interesting characters.

We tried cow heel soup, lovely fruits this lady is selecting for us

These trees are Cocoa Trees - the white flesh in the Yellow Pods was delicious.  Inside the white flesh was the cocoa pod/seed.  Apparently, the cocoa here "saved" the cocoa from extinction (so Jesse says).  By the way, he also says "Brian Lara" is the best cricketer in the world - this caused quite a bit of discussion with the Australians and Us on the trip!

Stairway to Heaven Man, he sold fresh watermelon, huge snails and fish - Richard just about got "wasted" chatting to him as Richard was down wind - check out the size of the "herb?!" smoke in his left hand!

Jesse James does a wonderful job and we would recommend him if you are ever in Trinidad