Entry for October 12, 2007

It is Friday evening and our 5th day on the mooring in Chagauramas harbor.  We’ve just about completed our list of pre-haul out tasks so tomorrow we are going to go sailing for the day and see more of Trinidad from the water. 

The weather the past few days has been hot – low 90s with 100% humidity.  The wind has been light and variable.  It is less than 5 knots right now even though we’re supposed to be seeing 20+ knots in this area.  I’m sure it’s because of the land buffering us from the eastern trades.  It has been warm for sleeping but our fan in the cabin has been cooling us down enough to sleep without sweating.

Speaking of sweating, today I changed the oil, oil filter and fuel filter on the main engine and the oil in the generator.  Even though I’ve done this several times now, I still haven’t figured out how to do it without making a mess.  It’s probably a little less mess each time, but it’s still a mess.  After 2 ½ hours around the hot engine room, I was soaked with sweat and exhausted.  Being in this harbor for several days has given me a chance to check out what’s happening and it’s pretty interesting.  There are a fleet of Chinese fishing boats that seem to have a contract with Peak Marine.  They are pretty good sized – 100 to 120 feet – and come in covered with rust before they haul out.  Then, usually later in the day, a sparkling clean fishing boat get’s launched.  No.  It’s not the same one.  There is a huge field in the back of the boatyard where all these fishing boats are being worked on.  Seeing them all in different states of repair / painting is pretty neat.  Today I watched them launch one of the bigger ones and 11 people (adults and children) got on-board before they took off.  The picture is the huge (150 ton) travellift at Peak Marine launching one of the fishing boats.

The Chinese fishing boats unload their catch about ½ mile from here behind a huge drydock.  I was looking for a marine store in my dinghy the other day and saw them unloading.  I watched for about 5 minutes and saw them unload at least 10 tuna in the 200-300 pound range.  They would pull the tuna out of their holds, put them on a big table, cut off the fins and head, then hoist them over to the warehouse.  It was quite a sight.  This morning, 4 of them came in from fishing.  I think they go for a couple weeks and I heard someone say on the docks that they go about 1,000 miles east of here between South America and Africa to a good fishing ground.  Anyway, this was the first time I had seen them coming in and you could tell they made out ok.  All 4 boats were loaded right down to the waterline and looked like they would sink if a big wave came along.  I can’t imagine motoring 1,000 miles with a rolling powerboat that low in the water but I guess they know what they are doing.  There is a whole world out there that we never even think of…..

The next major task we have to look forward to is taking down and stowing our sails.  We’ll do this on Sunday afternoon while we are on the mooring right next to the haul out dock.  I’m sure that will take us a couple hours to get the sails down on deck and fold them up.  I hope the wind doesn’t decide to come back on Sunday!!

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