Tag Archives: Jesse James

Leaving Trinidad

We have left Trinidad, probably not to return on Snowaway. We have enjoyed our time there as it is very cruiser friendly. There is a cruiser’s radio net every morning including Sundays at 8 am on VHF 68. The net provides weather, help, social activities and local services. Sadie from Kiss while providing excellent weather reports also provided us with check in info for Grenada, St Vincent and the ABCs.
Power Boats, Trinidad We have left our boat every season with Power Boats. The office staff, fronted by Charlene and Simone, are very helpful, including arranging services for us. Rico came aboard Snowaway regularly while we were home in Canada, ensuring that she was always in perfect condition when we returned to her. Power Boats, Trinidad And Michael, the Travelift driver, always got Snowaway out of and back into the water without incident. We could not be happier with the service we received from Power Boats.
Jesse James of Members Only Maxi Taxi provides weekly transportation for the cruisers to three major stores and the local farmers market as well as Tuesday night at the movies. Jesse also arranges sightseeing trips. We were pleased to have travelled with him to visit Asa Wright Nature Centre (twice), the Caroni Bird Sanctuary to see the scarlet ibis (national bird of Trinidad), the Nariva mangrove swamp, the Angostura distillery (home of the infamous Bitters), to see steel pan construction, and to hear an international steel pan competition, and of course to see the leather back turtles laying their eggs (twice).
Roti Hut at Power Boats, Trinidad In the Power Boats yard is the Roti Hut, our favorite lunch spot. We had their veggie roti or buss up shot every second day during our time in Trinidad. One needs to be there by noon or they can run out of food! And also on site is Sails, a restaurant that makes the best callaloo soup we have had in the Caribbean. Their Wednesday night barbequed kabobs are a special treat.
Crews Inn, Trinidad Just before we get hauled out and once we splash down we like to spend a few nights at Crews Inn Marina. They have a very nice swimming pool to help one cool down after a day of working on the boat. Once a month they have a cocktail party to thank the cruisers which includes rum punch and appies. The shopping complex has a café, a restaurant (with great she-crab soup and pumpkin soup), a grocery store, a wine store, and the Customs and Immigration offices. A very easy lifestyle for the cruisers….

Leather back Turtles, Trinidad

Karen with a leather back turtle We had an amazing experience last night. We went with Jesse James of Members Only Maxi Taxi to Matura Beach to see the leather back turtles come on shore to lay eggs. Matura Beach is a 2 hour drive from Chaguaramas and we stopped on the way for dinner. Just as we arrived at the beach we were informed by Nature Seekers Inc., the group that patrols the beach nightly during nesting season, that a turtle was on her way out of the water. Leather back turtle, TrinidadWe hurried down to see the show. And what a show it was!
Leather back turtle, Trinidad Our turtle was 5 ft 2 in in lengthalong its shell and weighed about 800 lbs. They estimate weight by the length and width of the turtle. This was a new turtle to the Nature Seekers so they tagged her. They also put a tracking devices on some turtles. The process of coming out of the water, choosing a spot to lay the eggs, laying the eggs (during which we were allowed to take photos), burying the eggs, and then disguising the nest took about 2 hrs.
Richard with a leather back turtleThe turtles are about 25 years old when they start laying eggs. They return to the beach where they were born. The year they start laying eggs, they create 5 or 6 nests that season with a 3 to 5 day period between each nesting. Each nest has between 80 and 120 eggs. We were told only 1 or 2 turtles per nest survive to maturity. The females usually nest every 3 to 4 years but continue for their entire life; they can live to 90.

Asa Wright Nature Center

Asa Wright Nature Center, Trinidad TrinidadOn November 24 we went with Jesse James of Members Only Maxi Taxi service to the Asa Wright Nature Center located in the Northern Range and to the Caroni Swamp on the south coast. It was one of the wettest days that we have had here; we had to dinghy in wearing ponchos and once there we carried umbrellas as well. We still got wet as the rain was so hard it came through the umbrellas!
Asa Wright Nature Center, TrinidadAsa Wright Nature Center, Trinidad Asa Wright center was originally a coffee and cocoa plantation and you are still served coffee that is grown on the site. It was too wet to go on a hike through the rain forest (aptly named!) but we were delighted at the number of birds we could see just from the veranda. We loved the purple and green honeycreepers and the crested oropendola with their amazing colours. We also saw a blue gray tanager, lineated woodpecker and copper rumped hummingbird.
Asa Wright Nature Center, TrinidadThe center puts out fruits and bread to attract the birds and animals come to feed as well. There was an agouti that arrived to eat the bread; it looked like a large rat. The agouti are hunted by Trinidadians for food and it is open season outside the Nature Centre.

Trinidad On the way down the mountain we had to remove some trees that the rain had washed across the road. TrinidadLuckily a Trinidadian was coming by who had a chain-saw and machete with him (he obviously travels this road frequently!). Jesse’s van just squeaked through under the trunk of the fallen tree.

Caroni Swamp, Trinidad Caroni Swamp, TrinidadWe took a boat into the Caroni Swamp to see the scarlet ibis, the national bird of Trinidad, come home to roost. On the way to the viewing area we were treated to a boa curled up in a tree. It was beautiful to watch the red and white ibis flying in large groups and landing on the tree. The scarlet ibis tend to land on the upper part of the trees while the white ibis tend to land on the lower branches. The locals refer to it as the Christmas Tree.
There are more pictures in the gallery under Trinidad, I have already taken over 500 pictures so choosing a few for the blog is very difficult.

Nariva Swamp

Navira Swamp, Trinidad Nariva Swamp, Trinidad Karen got to do some sight seeing on Thursday November 19th while Richard had the engine heat exchanger checked and had the re-cut inner foresail measured by Mark of Soca Sails (they are the Doyle Sails rep in Trinidad). Karen took a trip with 6 other cruisers to the Nariva Swamp. Jesse James of Members Only organized the tour for the cruisers.

Navira Swamp, TrinidadThe swamp is included in the list of Wetlands of International Importance established under a treaty signed during the convention of Wetlands signed in Ramsor, Iran in 1971. It is said that there are 96 different types of mosquitoes residing in the 1634 ha that comprise the swamp; we think we met 82 of them!! The mossies thought Peppy on Beez Neez was tastier than Karen, a rare occurrence. We saw a mother red howler monkey with a baby clinging to her stomach. We startled a pair of parrots eating a mango. I was thrilled to see the blue morpho butterflies that we first discovered in Costa Rica. The most amazing thing about the swamp was the trees including the cannon ball tree (we actually saw one in bloom), the silk cotton tree that has huge roots that extend upright and the sand box tree.
Beach, Trinidad After the swamp we stopped at the beach to wash off and cool down. This is the Atlantic side of the island and the waves are much bigger here than on the leeward side.
Trinidad On the way back to our boats we stopped to buy fresh fruits and brazil nuts… The vendor was extolling the benefits (to male sexual performance) of the white flower on the brazil nuts; he was quite the convincer as he made a sale!