27th-28th May – Passage to Trinidad

It is 80 miles from the south coast of Grenada to the north coast of Trinidad, too far for a daylight passage, so an afternoon or evening departure was the way to go, but what time exactly. Leave too early and with a fast passage it would still be dark on closing the Trinidad coast, something to be avoided, leave too late and with a slow passage the risk of arriving as eve falls the following day. So a noon departure was fixed on, the forecast looked good and leaving Wednesday should ensure an arrival before the weekend so we wouldn’t have to pay overtime to customs and immigration. Ian decided to leave at the same time.
Raising the anchor I headed out to sea, taking care to give a good clearance to some offshore rocks, the Porpoises, sometimes hard to see but identified by the breaking waves over them. Once past I could set a course, allowing for the west flowing current. It soon became apparent that the current was strong so I had to adjust the course to windward, not the nice beam reach I was hoping for but a close reach about 60 degrees off the wind, which was nice and steady at 15 to 17 knots and the sea state was kind. Time to settle back and enjoy the passage, “Martha” seeing to the steering I just had to monitor progress and watch for shipping. Indeed about 3 hours out 2 ships appeared, one in front and one behind, in the event one passed safely across my bows about a mile off and the other overtook me on my port side about a mile off.
Sunset and although it was cloudy the moon, about three quarters full, shone through them so the night was not dark and it was a pleasant sail.
There are a couple of gas platforms about 25 mile north off the Trinidad coast and they provide a good seamark, lit up like christmas trees they can be seen miles off. Dawn saw us about 10 miles off the coast but gradually the wind was dropping, a little later I spied a sail and then the AIS beeped, it was Ian in “Naomi”. With him being a bigger and faster boat I was very surprised to see him again and be so close after such a long passage. Transpired he had been worried by the set of the current and gone a good way to windward to avoid being set to the West whereas I had sailed a slighter shorter course.
Calm fell so we motored the last miles. closing the Boca de Monos, a passage between the mainland and Monos island. The coast was very dramatic, steep wooded cliffs falling to the sea and there were hundreds of pelicans flying in formation. Through the channel and then turned into Chaguaramas bay, threading a way through all the boats large and small we tied up alongside the customs dock to report our arrival. 80 miles plus, the log had stopped working awhile probably blocked by seaweed, there has been a lot of pelagic Sargasso weed this year. Ian had logged 100 miles.

Boca de Monos
Boca de Monos

One thought on “27th-28th May – Passage to Trinidad”

  1. Ahoy. Is Trinidad your last port of call before nipping back to Blighty? Will be great to catch up when you’re back!

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