At last we can go…
The wind is forecast to be light and from the East, we have got all the parts on board and there is time to checkout and get duty free onboard, so we do it, just running into their out of hours customs charges as it is 15:45. It does take until 16:15 to complete all the paperwork even though we were at immigration for 15:00. The charge was minimal and our remaining currency was spent in the duty free store, conveniently situated next door to customs and right by the dock.
It took us another six hours to store solar panels and put the contents of the lazerette and tools away ready for sailing.
By 22:00 we were leaving the Bocas del Dragon, a fast flowing Channel between Trinidad and the Islands to the West, into an area called the ‘Dragons Mouth’.
It was a bumpy ride, where the tidal stream meets the Equatorial current that began to sweep us westward. Dolphins accompanied us out, their shape and wake looking like torpedos in the bio-luminescence, visible in the dark water under the black sky.
Once we were clear of land everything settled into an easy motor sail, not enough wind to get us going without the engine. We were both tired and started short watches to enable each of us to get some sleep. We extended our watch system to four hours once we were in the familiar groove.
Dawn on day one at sea brought a beautiful sunny day but still no wind. It’s so beautiful to be in open water which is clear of floating debris. Dolphins came to play around the boat briefly and no fish were caught. By the evening there was just enough wind to turn the engine off and sail slowly under a starry moonlit sky enjoying the peace after having the diesel engine throbbing away all day.
A larger pod of dolphins stayed with us for over an hour entertaining us as it got dark. The stars were fantastic, with many meteors or shooting stars. After a very busy 5 months it was quite therapeutic to be so connected with nature again.
Dawn on day 2 at sea saw sufficient breeze to raise the Parasailor, this was an hour’s exercise to prepare the sheets and sail ready for the hoist.
After a small tangle in the lines was sorted she was flying, but by then unfortunately we could see rain and the wind had died again. We doused the parasailor and left her hanging secure in the sock and decided on a clean up of the aft deck. This had been the storage area for all the ropes and sheets whilst we had been pulling wires through for the new arch. We hoped the rain would help rinse the dirty sludge we were loosening but it seemed to skirt around us, tantalisingly close. Eventually one did deliver the fresh water rinse we wanted.
The day’s wildlife we saw consisted of seabirds of several varieties as we approached the Islas Los Roques Islands. Our other company were two cargo ships that caused us to nearly be the meat in the sandwich between them.
There was a flying fish on the deck in the morning that would have fed the cat in Trinidad.
Another pod of dolphins came to play and this time Lesley was able to take a video clip from the cockpit. She also captured what appeared to be a sailfish swimming around us. It checked out the lures but didn’t bite, although Derek found that something had eaten his hooks! Just as we were tidying up at sunset we caught a fish! a Yellowfin tuna weighing 22lbs.
After a quiet uneventful night motorsailing, dawn on day 3 at sea left us with 70 nautical miles to go with an eta of Sunday afternoon at approximately 16:30.
We had hoped to stop in the Islas Los Roques islands and Bonaire to dive before arriving for the start of the ‘Suzie Too’ rally, however our delays in Trinidad meant we had to sail past both to be there for family arriving and the start of the rally festivities.
We arrived around 16:30 to cheers from Boca 19 Marina and Beach, where familiar friends were swimming at the regular ’16:00 Hrs Beer and Bob’.
Entering into Spanish Waters, we headed for the designated anchorage, ‘Anchorage C’, set up for the rally boats and were met by fellow rally participants Tim and Nancy, who we last saw in Trinidad, who came to help us with lines as we had to tie stern-to, to a long line, our home for the next week.