above: Coming in through the "Bocca" - mouth of the Gulf of Paria
above: Arriving in Chaguaramas
above: Hauling out and being placed next to some awesome neighbour's - Soba from Brazil and Baltic Sun from SA. We had met both amazing families in Tobago over Christmas.
above: Surprisingly happy bilge rats after taking on the awful task of cleaning our contaminated diesel tanks
above: Boatyard cricket
above: Our neighbour Ricardo from SV Soba painting his boat and all the Brazilians giving their opinions on the quality of his work - haha funny stuff
above: Our new fold-up bicycle we got from our friend Joe - it's super awesome!
above: Painting anti-fouling with the help from our friend Gorm.
above: Painting the courtesy flag for Grenada
above: Wil doing some miracle work on our windlass
above: The regular braai's at the Roti hut at Power Boats
above: Happy us and happy Melody as she goes back into the water
We had a good and safe trip down to Chaguramas, Trinidad and after a week of taking it easy, it was back to work. Trinidad, we found, is a great place to sort things out on a yacht. The biggest task we had to conquer was cleaning out our diesel tanks. They had, to our horror, acquired a bacterial growth, known as the dreaded "diesel bug". This turns your diesel into a thick syrup which, as you can imagine, an engine doesn't appreciate. Cleaning the tanks was a pretty disgusting job and a sure way to test our commitment to this adventure but somehow we finished the task laughing. We now have clean tanks, good diesel and a much happier motor and team.
While on the hard we took the opportunity to give old Melodious a new coat of anti-fouling with the awesome help from our Danish friend, Gorm. We installed a new depth sounder and can now proudly read our depth while the motor is running (the old one would conk out when we started the engine). When filling up our water tanks we discovered, to our dismay, vast amounts of water in our bilge. As a result we removed the tanks, took the chance to chip and repaint the bilge and installed a new water bladder. A set back we hadn't counted on but rather it happen now then later.
Every morning a "Cruisers Net" is presented on channel 68 over the VHF radio. This net is a wonderful source of valuable information for all the visiting cruisers in the area as well as a forum for people to trade and barter unwanted goods. We were lucky enough to snatch up a super CQR anchor, one of the best you can buy, for an awesome deal. With this great score Wilhelm decided to tackle our faulty windlass (the anchor winch). This required hours and hours of driving around some interesting areas on the Island to find all the bits and pieces we required for some true back yard engineering, which to our amazement actually worked! In our happiness we bought some new chain and are now hoping for less eventful anchoring stories. Chaguramas, the area we are staying in, is a bit of a bubble bustling with foreigners and shops that are geared solely towards yachties. Hiring a car and gallivanting around the island was a great way to see different places and meet some amazingly friendly and helpful locals.
Having to take your boat out of the water and keeping it on the hard is never fun, especially if you are living aboard during that time. This is the third time we've had Melody out on the hard and as usual it was hard work but somehow we have still had a great time. We set out on this adventure with a dream of travelling the world and seeing incredible places, and yes it has been life changing. What we have come to realise, over the last few months, is that it's not only about the places that you see but even more importantly, it's the people you meet and the relationships that you form while sailing that are making this adventure so inexplicably special. BBQs, celebrating birthdays, going on mystery tours, trying out local foods, beach days, drinks and the never ending chance encounters have made our time in Trinidad a memorable one.
We are now back in the water (yay!!!) and are getting things ready to start heading up to St Maarten.