Posts Tagged island time

On Island Time in Paradise – Trinidad 3

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March 2, 2012

Late yesterday when I stopped writing, I set out from my hotel to find
a little adventure and fun.  It didn’t take long.  I went to a street
vendor stand not far from my hotel and enjoyed a great little meal and
a bottle of Carib beer, bottled here in Trinidad. In that bottle I
found a winner.  It is good by any standard and on your next trip to
these islands you should try one or two of these.  This company makes
several other products but the only other  one I have tasted so far is
Stag Beer. It is a really good beer.  I don’t think they export it,
but if you ever find a bottle anywhere, snap it up and all the others
they have keeping it company.  I think you will enjoy it.

I said I had a great little meal and, I did.  Never would I have
expected to be eating Indian curry at a street vendor in Port of Spain
in Trinidad, but there is obviously an Asian influence down here.  As
I said the food was good.  I am really fond of goat though I know
there are a lot of people that don’t care for it much and, I am told
that is what the curry was made of.  Anyway after I left there I did a
little exploring outside of the neighborhood where I am staying.  I
spoke with tourists from the US, the Netherlands, Spain, France, the
UK and Brazil and all of them said the same thing…”get off the beaten
path.”  We definitely were not off the beaten path last night.  We
were just a few blocks from the docks on Ariapita Avenue at a little
corner bar called Crobar. While I admit it was little touristy, I
think the cold beverages, music and friendly staff made up for it.  We
talked, told stories and spun tales of our travels until the wee hours
of the morning and Crobar was a great venue for all of that.  Also, if
you have a taste for a little of the famous Trinidad style BBQ, this
is a pretty good place.  We all shared a couple of plates and I have
to tell you, I had a blast. Luckily, one of my new friends had a
rental car and I grabbed a bottle of wine and I caught a ride to my
hotel where we sat up enjoying the fruit of the vine and each other’s
company until the first rays of sunlight began to cast long shadows
through the damp streets of the Belmont area.

Today, though,  I am taking my new found friends advice and getting
off the beaten path.  I am about to rent a scooter here in Port of
Spain and set a course around the countryside.  This is a fairly large
island and I could probably stay here for several weeks and not see
all there is to see, but at this point I don’t know how long my
interest will keep me here but, it could be for a long time.  I have
got to find a good map to slip into my backpack and set a course for a
Trinidad adventure.  A breakfast of fresh fruit, cheese and a warm
roll is now fueling my sense of adventure and I am on my way.   It is
a beautiful day, temperature in the high 70s F with wispy, high clouds
floating high above this island paradise.  Though I don’t know yet, I
think I will be heading south today if I can find something there that
will interest me and I don’t foresee any problem in that category.

At any rate, I am ready for adventure and, I am off to visit another
corner of paradise.

William Fair Roberts…on island time in paradise

On Island Time in Paradise – Trinidad 2

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March 1, 2012

This morning I got up long after the sun rose.  I was hoping for
bright sun and warm breezes blowing in from parts unknown and today
was a little different.  The sun had been up for hours and it was
hidden beneath a thick blanket of clouds.  The temps are warm but it
is very cloudy today.   After a couple of cups of coffee my boat mates
for the past month and I  said our good-byes and if they stick t ho
their plans they are headed to Aruba.  I made my way to shore with my
meager belongings.  I have been finding my way around since I got on
terra firma.  I located a small hotel about three blocks off the water
and got a very reasonable room for at least tonight.

This is my first time on the island so I have a lot of exploring to
do.  A great place to start on any of the islands in my portion of
paradise is a friendly tavern.  I have located a couple of promising
spots near my hotel and will be checking them out soon.  I have
already found out that this is a pretty good time to visit the island.
Most of the revelers have evacuated the island since they were here
primarily for the Carnival.  The Carnival in Trinidad is arguably the
greatest in the Caribbean and Mardi Gras is a wonderful time to visit
if you are an amateur tourist.  But if you want to see the people as
they are and view the island as it really appears it is best to stay
away from the peak tourists weeks.  I found a nice little apartment
for a very reasonable rate on Pelham Street in Belmont.  It is about a
mile and a half from the waterfront and though it was a long walk, it
will be a very short scooter ride once I rent one tomorrow.  Just down
the street from my room are two pretty nice restaurants.  As usual, I
am going to stay away from them for the time being.  I am going to
find some little stand or hole-in-the-wall in which to “dine in style”
tonight.  I would like to stay very close tonight.

William Fair Roberts…on island time in paradise

On Island Time in Deshaies, Guadeloupe

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September 26, 2011

I have said before that every day should be an adventure.  This week I have done my best to live up to that mantra. This week’s journey sort of reminds me of the theme song to Gilligan’s Island the old TV show.  We left Roseau early in the afternoon, a week ago Sunday, and began our short journey to Marie-Galante a short 20+ miles from the Island of Dominica.  We should have made it there in a matter of just a few hours, but wouldn’t you know it, the weather felt the urge so remind us that we are in the tropics and that a beautiful day can turn into a pretty dismal mess in a hurry.  Sunday was a good example of that. 

Without incident, we sailed up the eastern coast of Dominica and out into the open 18 or so mile stretch of water that separates Dominica from Marie-Galante.  We were only a few miles out when clouds started to build to the west and to the south of us.  With a heading pretty much due north, we thought we could outrun the storm behind us.  If I had to guess, I would guess that we are not the only sailors to ever make that mistake.  Within the hour, the weather had caught us and the blow began.  Thom and Sarah’s boat is a seaworthy craft, but we were tossed around for most of the night.  We finally decided to stop the run and turn and face our medicine, or to be more exact the storm, head-on.   Our headlong drive into the storm put a little off course, but thanks to the great navigator, Sarah and the salty captain Thom, we were never in danger.  Sarah was able to re-plot our course as soon as the weather permitted.  By daylight on Monday morning we were about half way between Marie-Galante and Gaudeloupe.  Since only about twelve miles of water separates them we had a choice to go to either one.  I was given the option of which port to call our next one, and in my normal decisive manner I chose neither and asked if there was any place to anchor and fish for a while. Sarah soon had us on route to Petite terra Guadelupe, a tiny little island on the north east tip of Gaudelupe.  By late in the day we had arrived at the tiny island paradise. We were not alone there. More than a dozen sail boats, all about the size of the Wingate’s boat the Sanitas.  We chose to navigate our way into Petite terra pass the home of some of the most beautiful water in the Caribbean.  The pass is fairly shallow with plenty of places to anchor and stay for a few hours or a few days.  With water so blue you would think it had been colored with food coloring, and so clear the the boats seem to hover in the air above flying schools of fish beneath their hulls, this may be the place I have searched for my entire life.  One thing led to another and Monday turned to Tuesday and Tuesday to Wednesday before we even talked about moving on. 

However, let me back track just a little. On Tuesday, I rose before sunrise and took a quick dip in the waters of the pass.  As the sun quickly rose, the waters of the pass seemed to glow as the beams struck the small waves to my east.  I treaded water for a few minutes and then climbed on the boats stern and slipped back into my shorts and made coffee for me and the Wingates.  The peacefulness of the morning on Petite terra is without rival.  I have not been everywhere, but of those I have traveled, this tiny island is among the most peaceful.  The sweet smells of others cooking on the boats float on the wind and mingle with the aroma of coffee and the sweetness of the natural vegetation from the island as they passed us at anchor here.  I took the inflatable to the flats to the south of us and snorkeled and fished for most of the day on Tuesday and that night we dined on the bounties of the sea.  I brought a bottle of rum on board and with that and a couple of limes and some sugar I mixed-up rum drinks for all of us.  We sat on deck and watched the stars appear above us as night fell and before we knew it, we had drunk that whole bottle.  With the night on Tuesday came a strong wind and I decided to sleep on deck so I could enjoy the stars.  Though the clouds threatened a few times, the night was dry and windy and I slept peacefully with nothing but the heavens above as my cover. 

Each day there was the same but different.  I started with a swim and coffee and I spent some time reading and trying to forget that the world exists beyond my vantage point here in the islands.  There was time for snorkeling and visiting with the other sailors over lunch or dinner or a drink. 

Today I am still technically with Sarah and Thom even though they are not here and won’t be for a couple of more days.  On Thursday we sailed to Deshaies, Guadeloupe.  The boat is anchored at marina and I am spending most of my time on board with only short trips to shore when I need necessities like beer (found a great one here…Corsaire) and ice and a fresh baked croissant or two. There is promise of more bad weather and we are going to stay here until that threat moves back to the more normal range.  From what we understand there is a weather system forming to the northeast of the islands, but it really shouldn’t do much but provide us with bands of strong wind and rain.

Once the Wingates return to their boat, they have promised me a couple of days on the island to explore, but I haven’t yet decided whether I will stay a while or move on with them as they head wherever it is they are headed.  I think I have written enough for today.  My fingers are tired, my computer battery is low as is my personal battery, so  I think I am going to indulge in a little afternoon nap before  the sun goes down.

One last thought before I stop placing words into cyber space.  Having a little time to think, a boat on which to rest , people from every corner of the earth doing the same things you are doing a stone’s throw from you on a the deck of their own little home on the sea helps to bring the world into perspective. We are indeed all just passengers on this stone tumbling through the universe and I am glad this stone I am one is 3/4ths covered with water.

William Fair Roberts…on island time in paradise.