Thursday, November 24, 2011

Read My Latest Article!

 My second article was just published in the Caribbean Compass! It's entitled "A Taste of Trini: Feasting Your Way Around the Island," and tells of our trip with Members Only Tours, run by Jesse James (yes, that's his real name) and his wife, Sharon Rose. Jesse drove us over much of the island, stopping at road-side stands here and there to sample local foods. It was fantastic, and we all waddled at the end of the day. Check it out at, pages 24-25. These are pictures of Chris eating a barbequed pig tail (yup, it's just what it sounds like), and a woman selling hot sauces outside of her home. We bought a couple, and they really light up our food (in a good way!).

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Divali: Hindu Festival of Lights

Entrance to the Divali fair
Not only for sale, but many women were wearing similarly gorgeous outfits

Some of the Hindu gods

 The population majority here in Trinidad is of East-Indian descent, and many are Hindus. Divali (pronounced Diwali) occurs in October on the new moon. We went to two events associated with the festival. First was a fair, which was much like the state fairs you might visit in the states, except with lots of statues of Hindu gods, and pepper rotis instead of elephant ears. There were booths selling all manner of goods, a long row of food booths, but no alcohol. And unlike many state fairs, where casual is the name of the game, here everyone was in their finest Indian clothing. Women wore saris and other traditional outfits glittering with sequins, and the men wore beautiful long brocade coats. Absolutely gorgeous. In the main tent, we watched dancers and singers (OK, Indian singing isn’t really to my taste), and listened to the Trinidadian president give a speech (typical politician chatter). The second event was the actual night of the new moon. Jesse James, tour guide extraordinaire, took us to a Hindu village in the west-central area of the country. There we had a traditional Indian vegetarian meal, then, as dusk fell, we wandered the village streets to look at the lights. The streets and many houses were decorated with electrical lights, but the highlight was the lighting of the deeyas (clay bowls of oil and wicks). Long shelves made of bamboo stalks cut in half lined the streets, with dozens of deeyas on them. Other deeyas were positioned in various shapes and designs. We walked all around, exchanging Happy Diwali greetings with the many residents who sat outside their homes offering traditional sweets to passersby. What an intriguing look at a different religion and culture.

Friendly boy in traditional Indian garb
Lighted deeya

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cruising Kids

We’ve met several boats with kids of all ages. Most times it’s a family that’s taken time off to cruise for a few months, a year, or more. Here in Trinidad we met another kind of cruising family: Hans, Eva, Lola, and Luka on Kamiros.  Hans and Eva left Gemany to cruise about 13 years ago, and have been cruising ever since. Their daughter, Lola, and son, Luka, have lived their entire lives aboard, except for two years on New Caledonia in the South Pacific. They’re as at-ease on a boat and in the water as anyone I’ve ever seen.  And beautiful to boot!

It’s So Good To Be Back In The Water

The painting is done, and we’re back in the water.  Here’s a picture of a beautiful sunrise from where we’re anchored in Carenage Bay, Trinidad. It’s just a taste of some of the beautiful photos I’ve got coming up.

Doing a Bottom Job: Sounds Rather Personal, Doesn’t It?

It’s the boat bottom, so quit thinking whatever you were thinking. Painting the boat bottom requires just as much work as painting the topsides, but work of a different kind. Fiberglass boat bottoms develop osmotic blisters when seawater intrudes and reacts with the fiberglass resin. These blisters are usually localized and small, and dealt with by grinding out to dry fiberglass, then re-glassing and/or filling with epoxy. Antifouling paint then goes over all. The bad news: it’s a lot of work. The good news: the bottom is underwater, so it doesn’t need to be as pristinely smooth as the topsides.