Saturday, September 1, 2007

Return to Trinidad

Oh, while you were away, a worker was stabbed at the ATM…. other than that, things have been pretty quiet. Side-by-Side was in perfect shape as we again sweated our pa-tuties off prepping her to go back in. All of our cash was spent paying the marina bill before we left. Unfortunately, we did not think to bring greenbacks with us. Off to the same ATM where the worker was stabbed, I reported that the card was rejected. Angie tried several machines, just to have hers eaten. Long story short, we had opened a new checking account for my dad to be able to pay some bills. Schwab, without ever telling us, cancelled EVERYTHING with our current checking account. Why would we need it since we had a ‘new’ one. Of course, the new checks, etc did not make it to Trinidad. No cash, not a good thing. Angie spent about $20 making calls to Schwab and got a promise of “overnight” delivery of new card. 5 days later, we had our cards. A similar story occurred with our internet antennae to be ‘overnight’ to Trinidad. The antennae which was to be received in Michigan, then Florida while we were there, but the no problems I received from the staff at Radio Labs turned into large problems. A replacement was “overnighted” I was assurued on 9/2/2007. After almost daily checking and finding out how packages are “held” at customs, it arrived in Trinidad, long after we had left on November 11.. 2 months later. Now you know why we had not updated our blog, no wifi antennae, no internet access. These are the stresses we experience....a complete paralysis to speed up packages, have working phones, internet, the basics that all Americans take for granted.

We motored around the corner to TTSA (Trinidad and Tobaga Sailling Association) where we reconnected with Puddle Jumper who we had last seen in North Carolina, and Sea You Manana with their two boys. There we met the self proclaimed “queens” of England, Chris and Chris of Grace. They had their Rainbow flag, Speedos at lunch, and TMI to make even us blush. And so it was … the beginning of a great friendship.

“Dis e the Y-Sat sutl, No problm, I’ll be der en won mint,” was the voice heard continuously on the VHF radio. Trinidadians by their nature cut short every word and speak in melody with a happy lift. Ann Vanderhoof, the writer of the cruising book “The Embarrassment of the Mangoes” said, “I fell in love with the soft, musical, lilting, smiling, flirtatious, seductive, down right sexy, melt-your-heart, Trini voice.” Ann is still out cruising and happened to be tied up at the marina across from us. Angie took her book to be signed, saw she wasn’t there and stopped by our friends on Alize to say goodbye. “Well Ann’s here on our boat having sundowners.” Angie and Nadine had a delightful chat with her and their books autographed.