On The Move Again
08º 13.945' N, 59º 00.894' W
Contrary to what I wrote in my last blog entry, we did not leave next week after all but a week later. There were several reasons for the delay such as getting our outboard repaired, receiving a refurbished SSB radio from the US, and both of us recovering from a nasty flu which, according to the locals, was brought to the island by the Chinese.
So far during our travels, for some reason or other, we have never considered ourselves as being members of any international sailing community. Normally, we have always been in a hurry, coming or going and never staying in one place for more than a few days. But this time we stayed for a total of five weeks, and during that time we felt as if becoming part of the local sailing community. And it was a good feeling!
The day before we left, we went on a sightseeing tour with another sailing couple, Chris and Geoff. We rented a car and, coming from Australia, Geoff was chosen to be the driver since, as in Trinidad, they too drive on the wrong side of the road. We left early Sunday morning and drove along the north coast of the island and then headed south over a mountain ridge to reach the Asa Wright Nature Centre, located in the middle of the rainforest. There we spent the rest of the day watching and photographing hummingbirds, honeycreepers, woodpeckers, etc. And although it was raining for the better part of the day which prevented us from going on a tour with a local naturalist, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It is a grand venue for bird watching and one of the places I would definitely return to if only possible.
On Monday, October the 3rd, we eventually weighed anchor. First, we motored to Peak's Boat Yard where Sarema was hauled out for about an hour to replace the ice propeller with a regular one. Then off we went to Customs and Immigration on the other side of the bay to check us out of the country, and then finally to the fuel dock to fill our tanks with diesel and water. There Pekka noticed that our wind instrument was not functioning and that the autopilot was not working properly either. So we ended up staying tied up to the fuel dock till early Tuesday morning by which time Pekka had managed to fix the autopilot so that we could continue our journey.
While still in the Gulf of Paria, sailing was good and we even managed to catch a fish. We could not identify the species but as it looked very edible, we had it for lunch. After going through the Serpent's Mouth, we were forced to tack continuously for two days due to headwinds and a counter current. After trial and error, we discovered that we should stay at about ten metre depth to avoid the current which improved our situation considerably. We still have to tack every now and then and also try to avoid hitting any of the dozens of wrecks submerged near the shore. But despite these downsides and the fact that we are making very slow progress at the moment, we are extremely happy and excited to be on the move again. Yesterday, while sailing past the Orinoco Delta in Venezuela, we were listening to Enya's Orinoco Flow and joined in the chorus to our hearts' content: 'Sail away, sail away, sail away...!'
Leaving the Caribbean waters behind marks the end of this blog. We have opened a new blog that will cover the rest of our circumnavigation, at www.caribbean-alaska.blogspot.com