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Trinidad.jpg

Place:

Latitude:
10.67
Longitude:
-61.65

Back in 1498, the ambitious Columbus came again with his fleet to the New World, this time from the southwest after being becalmed for more than a week in the sweltering doldrums. When finally the southeast trades filled the sails, the fleet saw three small peaks.

Christopher Columbus named the land for the Holy Trinity.

The hills he saw, reportedly from 40 miles out, are still called the Trinity Hills.

Thereafter, Trinidad remained rather removed from the action in the rest of the Caribbean, except for a flurry of activity when a city of gold known as El Dorado was rumored to exist far up the nearby Orinoco River, a rumor that led Sir Walter Raleigh to mount an expedition there.
While Raleigh never found a trace of gold, his imagination went wild some would say: he wrote luridly of a country "that hath yet her maidenhead; the graves have not been opened for gold, the miners not broken with sledges nor their images pulled down out of their temples"-in fact a place that was "the mother load of all rich metals." (Read his diary: The vast Highlands of Guyana) "A great and well written book"

Unlike Columbus and Walter, most yachtsmen approach Trinidad from the north, often on a close reach from Grenada and usually with some bewilderment as they discover how far the west-going current has set them off course.

From Venezuela you would approach from the west with Bahia San Francisco as the last anchorage on the peninsula of Paria usually motoring by night when the wind dies.

In fact a landfall during the last hours of darkness makes sense, in order to take advantage of the powerful Chacachare Light and less wind. Plan, by all means, to come through the Bocas in daylight!

The usual choice among the Dragon's Mouths is the Boca de Monas, where the current, if you hit it at the wrong time, may be running as much as 5 knots. In this case you will find les s current in Boca de Huevos. The current sets north except for about two hours at each change, when, in effect, it is only neutralized. The current almost never sets south.
Sea conditions are generally rough as a result of the confluence of winds and currents coming out of the Gulf of Paria and around the north coast of Trinidad.

No Caribbean island is as racially diverse as Trinidad.
Most prevalent are the blacks and East Indians, about equal in numbers; then, to add to the mixture, are Chinese, Portuguese, Syrians, Jews, and various Latin Americans. These are the people who stage each year the carnival of all carnivals and who initiated the sly and beguiling calypso, which, in turn, led to the invention of the steel drum. Far from being simply an upside down, sawed-off oil drum, it is in fact a precision instrument, its top (bottom) hammered to a certain stage of concavity, with the musical notes hammered into oval shapes around the perimeter and tempered by means of glowing charco al to just the right pitch.

The rainy season comes in June, July, and August; the driest months are March and April. A big plus is that Trinidad lies south of the hurricane paths; in fact on only two or three occasions in the island's recorded history has there been storm damage to crops.

Port of Spain
The only port for entering and clearing, is now a yacht haven for yachties needing repairs and overhauls on there boats.
In the Bay you will find hundreds of boats from all over the world a fantastic sight Across Wrightson Road from the quarantine station is the Mariners' Club, a clean, well-run establishment supported by a church auxiliary in England for the benefit of all seamen, and it may still include yachtsmen, including free showers, free movies several times a week, a bar serving beer and soft drinks, a clean swimming pool (for a nominal fee), and a small restaurant producing good, home-cooked meals at very reasonable prices + the special atmosphere created here.

Port-of-Spain to Dragon's Mouths
As we have said, this northern pincer of the island is where the yachts are, but the water is uninviting for swimming and the coast is exposed. We are now progressing west from Port-of-Spain, after getting police permission to move.

Trinidad Yacht Club
Which lies in 61°34.2'W, took a merciless chop every afternoon until a breakwater of sunken wrecks was built and a marina constructed in its lee.

Repairs (Best in all of the Caribbean) can be made there. Make arrangements with the club manager. Water, fuel, and ice are available.

Trinidad Yachting Association
Based in the cove on the NE side of Pointe Gourde. Unfortunately, it is also quite open to the prevailing swell, unless a much-discussed breakwater has been built. This club caters to the sailing population hereabouts and has good facilities, but no fuel. The racing season extends from November to May.

Chaguaramas Bay
Formerly the U.S. Navy's lend-Iease base, provides one of the snuggest anchorages in the area up in its NE comer, but it's crowded with permanent moorings. The Swan-Hunter Shipyard, which used to repair yachts, has been developed into many different is closed. Fuel is available at Island Home.

Staubles Bay
The local name of the next bight to the W. Here you will find good shelter, fuel, groceries, and a coast-guard station that is an excellent source of "local knowl­edge" about this area.

Scotland Bay
Attractive, very snug, and so popular with local yachtsmen that it is usually crowded on weekends. Contrary to the chart, the deep water runs way up to the end.

Monos Island
Gives you Morris Bay, also the bay on the SE side of the island called Copper Hole by local residents. Though it would not appear so from the chart, this latter bay is quiet at almost all times.

Chacachare Island
Offers good anchorage deep in the western portion of this bay. When you are rounding the SW point of the island, there is safe water for passing inside of Diamond Rock to an excellent anchorage called Tinta Bay. Drop the hook anywhere off this reef-strewn shore.

Lower Gulf of Paria
Running down the W coast of Trinidad (in case you want to have a look at the forest of drilling platforms and maybe a 200,OOO-ton tanker or two), stay well off the shallow mud flats all along this shore. On the sail down, the oil rig in about 10°28' N, 61°33' W makes a conspicuous mark along an otherwise nondescript shore.

From here a circular cruise might be made to the fishing port of Guiria, an artificial harbor on the Venezuelan shore and first stop for Columbus on his third voyage, thence back to the island in the Dragon's Mouths. The necessity of clearing in and out of Venezuela keeps most people from doing this. Guiria is a port of entry to Venezuela.

The North Coast of Trinidad
AII the bays along this shore are subject to big swells, but Las Cuevas Bay is said to be tenable when the wind is south of east, generally from March to October.

We can arrange a 2 week crewed charter cruising trough the Eastern Caribbean Islands onboard the sailboat Camiguana with capacity for 6 persons including: Captain and cook and all meals with open bar. The price is $185 per person a day with a minimum of 4 persons. For more information please contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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