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Sunday, 18 December 2016

Happy Christmas 2016

British Virgin Islands ? Little Jost Van Dyke

Here is my Caribbean Xmas card wishing you all peace health and prosperity, our thoughts travel far with a moments contemplation. As this snap shows there are places around where peace and seclusion occur daily. Just imagine standing in the tepid water and wiggling your toes.
What fun we have had since I last wrote. It continues as the rainy season helps to dry out the hull but I suspect nothing more on the workers front til the New Year.
In the meantime, the job list is almost finished! (unheard of).
Budget Marine had a Customer appreciation Day and gave a marvellous rum punch as we walked in, then discount on their products (while we sipped the punch) and celebration bags to take the goodies away. To cap it all a lucky draw as we were leaving, in which Malcolm snagged a $50 prize.

The big news was the Earth Tremor which occurred the other week. Piano shook and rattled in a new dance. I was sufficiently worried to wonder if I should get off the boat but decided it was safer aboard. Many other people felt it too , the news the next day was that there had been an earthquake off Tobago (6.2 ) which had caused it.
We went on our second ‘Taste of Trinidad’ tour with Jesse James and other cruisers. It was just as good as the first one with plenty to tantalise your taste buds. A real foodies bonanza!
Jesse adding a few fruits to clear our palettes

Crews Inn Marina were so disappointed that we hadn’t taken our berth with them invited us to their Xmas party. It was great to see all the familiar faces and hear of their exploits and dreams for next year. Interestingly I won a prize here which will be appreciated nearer Xmas.

The next event was a Pig Roast at Sails Resturant, in Power Boats Yard. Fortunately we booked a table since all would have been taken had we not! and we were joined by Nancy and Bill (S/Y Brizo). This was the Pig - and jolly yummy it was too!

On Sunday we return to the Queens Hall for a Choral evening starring the Lydian Singers, A Christmas Calabash, with the Alleluia sung by the Marionette Chorale. 

OK so that wraps it up for this blog, it only leaves me to wish all my avid readers a Happy Christmas wherever you may be, with Health,Happiness, and prosperity for the rest of this Year and into next.
  When next I write we may know if and when we can go sailing next year.....

Monday, 28 November 2016

October-November 2016

After our summer in the UK we arrived back in Trinidad to our home aboard S/Y Piano. I must say she looked a sorry sight in the dark! We slept the first night comfortably in an apartment at Power Boats then went for our first inspection very early the next morning.
   While we were away it had been found that the hull also needed drying out and after contact with Ghislaine we went ahead and had it stripped right back. This has taken quite a while with liquid stripper, then sanding, preparation and finally new layers.


Andy, who also doubles as a phone technician! Awesome.

Meanwhile, Alan and his son Brandon have done a superb job refurbishing the tired Fridge freezer- it looks like new again! As do the toe-rails and (wood below?) Another minor job since we returned was to seat the new Navigation screen in the old hole, Alan’s team have helped with this too.
Abdu the varnisher has completed his work on the saloon table which now has protected fiddles which will not scratch!
Busy Bee and various boaters have relieved us of many treasures of the bilge. (i.e. items packed far below and never used or just surplus to requirements.) We now have a modern car radio for the music center, so I am trying to amalgamate all the work done before we set sail. I had digitised the old Cassettes and L.P’s, Malcolms Reel to reel recordings and started to produce MP3’s while still at Darby Green. This has paid off big time, but there are still many CD's to finish. Meanwhile chaos rules with with the different operating systems being used, Windows 10, I-tunes and Linux not to mention all the formats to contend with lets not go there! To register the App on the radio I had to invent a car the same age as Piano, these do not exist! It also appears that the App can only be used while on line (and this never happens while we are on passage!) so technology has still to come up to Pianos standards. Plus after all that hard work it turns out that the new car player cannot cope with the latest stick it does not have sufficient memory! So back to the original MP3’s which I made all those years ago. Malcolm is also making new folders to cope.
Life on the hard has been a depressing trauma apart from the highlights of eating out with friends. We had S/Y Minnie B (Phil and Norma) round for a poor excuse of Chilli- and it was all devoured even without the kidney beans -. We also ate shark & bake at the Wheelhouse Pub on a Saturday and either pork ribs, rib eye steak, or fish on a Tuesday. 

Chris and Sharon invited us and Minnie B over to S/Y Quicksilver for the large Moon show. No-one was particularly impressed with it, but the Chicken Mediterranean with garlic bread was delicious- thanks Sharon.
Kay has finished the new dinghy chaps which look awesome, and fit perfectly. She has also made a cover for the outboard and a new one for the cockpit table. Malcolm has been busy putting a fluorescent paint layer onto the back of the dinghy for greater visibility at night. All the security padlocks are fully functioning and ready for use.
Shopping always has to be done but one exception to the household stores was a trip to visit Debbie at Rumpa swimwear, to pick up my new swimming suits. I took Norma and Sharon along and we had a smoothie at elevenses these are made to order on the spot and sooo yummy.

Maybe 20 plus blenders and racks of fruit shows these Smoothies are in demand.

of course Debbie mentioned the Christmas Bazaar at Movietown and after a quick word with Jesse we arranged one of his maxi’s to transport us there and back.
This is the Caribbean version of the many that mum has been making for Christmas.

 The whole Island sends crafts people to show their goodies, food, drink, pastries, knitted goods, chopping boards, jewellery, handmade soaps and candles, jigsaws from Tobago, all in an air conditioned conference center! We also had coffee in a swanky coffee house…