What a difference a week can make

Position 10°0’614N 061°8’4184W

At anchor, Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Hi dear friends, thank you for following my journey. Here is this week’s update.

Although we failed to progress further in the FIFA world cup I thought the lads did well considering at times it was 11 (later 10) against 12, I am sure the ref holidays in Portugal.

Life on board:

What a difference a week can make for my guest arrived on Thursday of last week, Pinta was obviously jealous as it was know longer just me and her, the trip back to Trinidad turned out to be a ‘night of broken dreams’. After a good days sailing through the ‘Galleons Passage’ the wind dropped so I used the engine to help me approach the Boca’s or Dragons mouth but unfortunately I lost the forwards gear, I had reverse. I secured the dinghy alongside and used it’s five horse power outboard engine to approach the Boca’s, unfortunately by the time we arrived the current was just turning making it interesting approaching the Boca’s. I had David. in the dinghy, Julie steering and my sister on lookout duties besides being the gopher while I navigated and passed instructions from the chart table.

After a good attempted I aborted and ended up making two 5-mile tacks while we investigate the cause, we checked all the control cables, then removed the gear control cable so to operate it by hand, the shaft was turning but you could stop it with your hand. This indicated to us that it was a clutch failure. At daylight we made slow but good progress through the Boca’s under Genoa only, as usual the wind drops once passed and so once again I used the dinghy to move us forward. Shortly after an English vessel kindly offered a tow which I accepted. An hour later we were at anchored in Chaguaramas bay.

Later we heard about another English vessel that spent three days trying to sail to Chaguaramas through the Boca’s only a few miles or so away, like us he also accepted a tow.

It is nice to have company once again and we have had several good runs ashore that is apart from the compulsory shopping trips into town for cloths and the like . To all those who know my sister and Julie will tell you this is normal, they are the experts at shopping and can spend days (and nights if open) shopping.

The girls turned out to be light weights and were always I bed early although to be fair it had more to do with the time difference. Well that’s what they say.

The boat:

The gearbox problem turned out to be a clutch problem as suspected although this will not be confirmed until Monday when the Yanmar specialist here will remove the gearbox. It could have been a lot worse for should this have happened anywhere else in the Caribbean I would have had to sail to Trinidad to get it fixed. The only people who have the expertise and parts are located here.

I also had a slight problem with the steering which developed during my trip to Tobago to pick my friends up, it turned out that the cable had jumped off one pulley causing a 6 – 12cm movement in the steering wheel. This made it almost impossible to steer so I ended up using the auto pilot most of the time.

Fair winds and calm seas.