Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Trinidad for summer 2006
We sailed from Grenada overnight and arrived in Chagaraumas, Trinidad on July 8, 2006. I had reserved a slip back in February at the Coral Cove Marina for the entire hurricane season (July through November); the nicer marina called Crews Inn was already booked for the summer when I contacted them in February. Coral Cove was fine for us. The major advantage in staying at Crews Inn is that they have a very nice swimming pool; whereas Coral Cove has a dinky tiny thing they call a pool that is more the size of a hot tub. We met some very nice people staying at Coral Cove.
Not much positive I can say about Trinidad. Jesse James and his wife own a driving service and tour service called Members Only and they really are great people. They are the best of their country. But the general work ethic in Trinidad needs some severe readjustment. Workers usually show up for work about 3 days out of 5, so work is never performed in a timely manner. And we were quoted prices 300% higher than the previous year. It was like the local businesses knew that we were all there because our insurance companies would no longer allow us to stay farther north in Grenada after Hurricane Ivan; so they were trying to take advance of a captive group of cruising boats.
There was a little crime wave during the time we visited Trinidad. Eighteen dinghies and outboards were stolen in Chagaraumas during the 3 months we were there. The police did nothing and the Coast Guard did nothing. There were 4 armed robberies of cruisers; each time on land, not on their boats. There was one incident involving 4 armed men boarding and attacking the young Danish occupants of one cruising boat about 1 a.m. one night. But can you really expect the police to get excited over this whenever they are dealing with hundreds of murders and kidnappings each year. It is just not a good situation there and conditions will not improve until the police are more adequately funded and staffed.
There are lots of places to see and fun things to do in Trinidad and others might have a more positive experience than we did in 2006. We probably will stop there on our way back to the Caribbean in 2011, depending on how "cruiser friendly" Trinidad is at that time.