Sail with us from Grenada to Trinidad and Tobago and back again. Explore the main commercial port, Chaguaramas, and Peke’s Boatyard. Get a feel for what it’s like to have your boat in and out of the water. If you ever plan on going to Trinidad for hurricane season or for boat work this five-part series will prove to be very helpful. Not only can you check out the facilities but you’ll gain a deep understanding of what it’s actually like to be in Trinidad.
Part 1: Grenada Sailing To Trinidad and Tobago
We (Simon, Me, Sienna, and our crewmember Dowe) sail from Grenada to Trinidad to have our boat hauled during hurricane season. Before leaving Grenada, we wait for a weather window in Prickly Bay, Grenada. Prickly is a good spot to wait and we offer a bit of information about the bay.
When we sail to Trinidad and Tobago we left at night and turned off our AIS system. Discover what it’s like to book in and what to wear. Get a view of Chagaramus where most boaters go to have boat work done or the boat put on the hard for hurricane season.
Resources Mentioned In Sailing Grenada to Trinidad Video
Part 2: Haul Out In Trinidad, Med Mooring & CopperCoat Update
In this video, you’ll see how we prepared to leave our boat the hard in Trinidad – all the jobs we did, having the boat hauled out. There’s a Med Mooring demonstration. If you’re going to go on the dock at Peke’s Boatyard before hauling you can stay on a mooring ball or go on the dock.
This video also covers our ongoing saga with CopperCoat. In Trinidad and Tobago, we manage to get a whole new CopperCoat paint job completed. See a demonstration on how Peke’s takes boats out of the water. Find out how you have to book out of Trinidad while leaving your boat there. There’s also a bit of information on what life is like when the boat is on the hard.
Part 3: Boat Life – On The Water & In The Water & A mast Hitting The Swell
The video starts off with the boat on the hard. We share a couple of minutes of what we got up to in the UK and America. On our way back to the boat our luggage was full of boat parts and pieces. We share what we took with us. The video covers what we did to prepare the boat and whether certain measures worked or not. Trinidad and Tobago is one heck of a hot and humid place. We were concerned about Mold and Mildew.
Simon shares a silly, but easy to make, mistake. He also discusses some issues we had with our Perkins engine. And we end with a crazy situation where an earthquake causes a humungous swell forcing the boat next to us to swing into us!
Part 4: Boat Life – Dirty Water, Loud Music & Engine Failure
Take a break from the boatyard and the dirty water in the commercial harbor and sail over to Scotland Bay for a break. While we’re chilling you can see what boat kids get up to and see what our cockpit table looked like after it was revarnished. Get a massive warning about what the Trinidad and Tobago people do when they’re on a party boat.
And for a little excitement discover how we handle engine failure, get a side-by-side tow from a catamaran, and find safety in the middle of the night.
Resources Shown or Mentioned In the Above Video
- DampRid Moisture Absorber (on Amazon)
- Lavender oil (on Amazon)
- Simon’s Tshirt: If you want to tack well you’ve got to be good between the sheets
- Find Concrobium, the mold inhibitor mentioned in the video on Amazon/Concrombium. (Mentioned in the last video to prevent mold from growing while Britican was on the hard)
Part 5: Boat Life – Troubles In Trinidad and Tobago
Our intention was to leave Trinidad and Tobago and head 90 miles north to Grenada.
After two different Diesel engine leaks, pulling up someone else’s anchor chain, fouling our prop with a huge fishing net, and getting an unidentifiable alarm, we wondered if the gods were against us. And that’s before we had a run-in with suspected Venezuelan pirates.
Thankfully, we sailed overnight and arrived safely in Grenada. Watch the video to get an idea of our troubles and for a longer account of our Venesualan pirate boat incident read below.
More About Our Troubles In Trinidad and Tobago
So…Simon seemed relaxed about what happened on our journey. I think he was still a bit stunned by it when he recorded the video. This is my take on what happened…
Around 3 am in the morning I was sleeping on the port side cockpit bench. Simon was on night watch. Something woke me up. I noticed lights shining on the back of the davits and quickly jumped up to look forward. Simon then stood up and said to me, ‘it’s that darn boat that’s been around us for the last hour.’
Before I knew what was happening my adrenaline was in full supply.
We heard lots of yelling in Spanish and kept hearing the words ‘Tuna’ over and over. At first, I thought perhaps they want to sell us a Tuna but then I thought they must have nets and we’re getting too close. They were shining lights on us and yelling. Simon said that they’ve been around him for over an hour. Surely they saw us.
The boat seemed to be fishing in that it was going back and forth. Only at the last minute, it got closer to us and then appeared to be running at full steam towards the side of our boat.
Simon shined a light on the sails and started yelling, ‘we are a sailboat’ indicating that we couldn’t maneuver quickly. As it was we were sailing around 8 knots and the seas were very choppy.
As the boat charged towards us, Simon had the engine on (he turned it on the second we heard the yelling). When the boat got a couple of boat lengths from hitting us Simon had to turn to port quickly to avoid a collision. Simon beefed himself up and started yelling words that I care not to repeat.
Simon came across like a total bad-ass.
By this time Sienna, our 8-year-old daughter, was in the cockpit wondering what was going on. I, of course, was asking Simon if he had to be so vulgar. Little did I know that it’s a tactic to make ‘Pirates’ think that you’re insane.
Our sails all went to the wrong side (we were forced into a crash tack). Simon circled the boat (no – there were no trailing nets) and then we sailed off under full engine and sail power. The fishing boat immediately fell off and we watched in slight terror as it grew smaller in the distance.
Simon and I like to give people the benefit of doubt so we thought perhaps we simply got in their way.
However, several weeks later we learned that over six of our boat friends (six separate boats) experienced the very exact same thing. My current thoughts are that the boat was trying to ram us and board.
When we got to Grenada we announced our troubles in Trinidad and Tobago to the cruisers net and interestingly we were met with some hostility. Cruisers over the net questioned our experience. They said that we must have misjudged the situation. So, we didn’t report it and chalked it up to something we couldn’t figure out.
Fast-forward to today, several months later, and now boats are having to travel down and up to Trinidad in convoy with Coast Guard escorts. The situation in Venezuela seems to be going bad to even worse. Just last month a Venezuelan fishing boat tried to board a sailboat 24 miles south of Grenada. When the boat couldn’t board, thanks to high seas, they then opened fire and shot towards the cruisers.
Other Articles/Videos About Caribbean Islands
- St Vincent & The Grenadines
- Bequia Island St Vincent
- Union Island Grenadines
If you’d like an overview of all the places we’ve visited in the Caribbean please read our destination overview: Caribbean
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