So for those who have never heard of Tobago, it is a the little sister to Trinidad and lies east of Trinidad separated by a 25 mile channel. it is the opposite of Trinidad by being small, beach and water oriented and very clean. It is where the Trinis come to holiday and play in the water. The Tobagonian is a very friendly, hard working and proud person. We have been met with only kindness and genuine willingness to help us love their island and we do love it!
There is one main town called Scarborough which is your typical caribbean town and is the center for government and transportation. We spend only minimal amount of time there.
Tobago lacks really safe and secure harbors for sailboats so the one thing negative about our stay was that we rolled and rocked whenever there was a north swell or anything other than east wind. However we got used to it. We hoped our guests would too because this is where we were planned to have the kids join us for the holidays.
First to arrive were Jim and his girlfriend Jen from Seattle. Due to limited space we could only have additional guests when the whole family was not here. We have 4 extra berths and "they are not as big as they used to be. Jim took Jen on a private sail aboard Maraki’s newly renovated sailing dinghy.
We had a wonderful time making our way from Store Bay at the West End to Charlottesville on the east end. A big draw for the kids to Tobago was that it had great surf whenever the north swell was around.
The main surf spot is called Mount Irvine and we could anchor the boat next to the surf break in most conditions. Ideal for those who want to spend all day surfing. I could post about 1000 shots of surfing here because it was awesome but many have already been posted in Facebook.
Jim brought 2 boards with him, Maraki had one old board so Chris rented 1 board from Pablo on the beach. Many hours of playing in great surf!
Jen was a keen fisherman and together they did a lot of night time fishing. here is an example of a juvenile pompano caught on light line.
Usually we eat what we catch but little ones like this we release. Beautiful little fish!
The 10 days with Jen passed quickly by with a bit of sailing, swimming, snorkeling and hiking each day mixed in with reading, relaxing and sunbathing. She was a great easy guest that adapted to our lifestyle well.
Then it was time to go back to Store Bay to pick up the rest of the Maraki gang as they staggered in for the Christmas time family vacation. Store Bay is located within a 10 minute easy walk to the airport so each day someone came or went. The biggest challenge was the lack of a dinghy dock which meant that it had to be beach landings. Not a problem as long as we did not have a swell running. Anyway most of the time we managed to land without major water damage.
Santa and parents are patiently but excitedly waiting loving the chance to have all of us together for 2 weeks.
Christmas eve found us in Castara, a lovely little bay with no other sailboats just fisherman and locals. We hiked up to the waterfalls for our fresh water bathing and enjoyment.
This is command central for most of the time on the boat. Phones are not for communication here because no one had SIM cards except us but they are vital as cameras I guess.
Charlottesville was a favorite spot and some remember this bay from 1998 when we stayed here during our circumnavigation. It is a small village with lots to do both in the water and on land.
We found the best restaurant on the island here strangely called the Suckhole.
It was a beach bar, not very big but served huge meals of fish, chicken, ribs or burgers with local vegetables and lots of garlic! We all loved it.
The vacation was meant to be relaxing and a time to slow down and reconnect with each other. I think we accomplished that very well.
Two weeks went by too fast. Loved having them all with us just like old times. If you are a Facebook friend some of these pictures you have seen before. However i wanted to get my blog going again. It is easy to forget it. They all started to head off to their lives again. Hopefully we can repeat this in December 2015 somewhere new. Tobago was a magical place for us. Onward westward for the Maraki too heading first to Trinidad for a few repairs.
Closing shot of the Maraki crew!