Monday, February 20, 2017

Morning tea - the boat yard, Trinidad

The Morning tea post is a brain dump of stuff I currently have floating around in my head. It is usually brought on with unusual amounts of caffeine hitting my system when I am in the right mood to be sharing. This doesn't happen very often because I am usually busy messing around in a boat. Lately my thoughts are focused again on cruising rather than repairing, allowing my mind to wander a bit. This is a good indicator that I am ready to start posting regularly to the blog instead of blowing gobs of money on the boat. My brain is yours.  

Life on the hard is hard.

Every time a fork truck goes by the whole boat shakes. At first we were thinking earthquakes.

They have many earthquakes here in Trinidad. One time we shook and it WAS an earthquake.

One of my favorite radio shows is called Whole Lotta Shakin which we stream once in a while. The DJ announces his show and a fork truck carrying a heavy load goes by. It's shit like that which makes my day.

The longer we are here, the more things we find to repair. The more things we find to repair, the longer we are here.

There's beer at the top of the ladder.

There's a bathroom at the bottom of the ladder.

You would think going up and down a ladder all damn day would be a good workout.

The locals here do not wear shorts.

My skinny white legs get frowned upon wherever we go.

Our cameras are failing us.

Trinidad has a problem with Lithium batteries. There are none.

We have a growing list of things to bring back including batteries and new cameras.

I used to work for Eastman Kodak. I hated the place.

The only camera on the boat that works now is our 15 year old Kodak camera.

I try not to take photos of people without their permission.

Everyone here has a cell phone

I wonder if my skinny white legs appear in any local memes.

I was picking on Debra for buying a shitty Sony camera, bragging about my new Olympus

The screen died on my new Olympus piece of shit.

I order from the street vendors out front. I ask for slight spice. I get fire.

I order from a street vendor, "Veggie Roti with potato salad on the side". I get a veggie roti stuffed with potato salad.

Deb should order our food.

Always greet with good morning or good afternoon. Usually it is said twice. "Good morning, good morning!" We always get a response.

My morning greeting at the Doubles hut the first time was met with stares and no response. "Good morning! How we doin today? Yeah, I'll take two doubles. One spicy and one plain. What do I owe ya, about ten bucks right? Where do ya get coffee around here?"

People are very soft spoken in Trinidad unless they are arguing or singing.

How do Trinidadians work so hard in this heat?

There is a really nice boat next to us with a really nice person who works really hard every day. Damn her :)

I have been doing better with the fluid intake and not just beer. Keep hydrated down here or pay the price.

Migraines are triggered by dehydration.

I am basically not wearing glasses at all except sunglasses. I really do not understand this but I like it.

I wonder how many words I spelled wrong in this post?

My grammar is pretty bad. I need an editor. Where is Deb?

Sunscreen is slowly becoming a morning ritual now. This is good. I feel the need to protect myself from the sun now more than ever.

One of those floppy bucket hats seemed to be the way to go as it protects my ears but apparently my nose still gets burned.

Our survey went well despite some miscommunication.

Our surveyor is a Scotsman. I asked him to slow it down a bit. We laughed a lot. He spelled my name wrong. I do not want to be known as Paul Ryan.

There is always someone in the yard that is on the same bathroom schedule as I am. Very annoying.

Lot's of sailors have their boats prepped before they get here. Imagine coming back and having your boat ready to go? I will keep imagining this.

When you put your boat back together yourself you notice abnormalities.

Abnormalities have a rating system:
1. Meh.
2. Well, that's strange.
3. Ah shit.
4. Are you friggin kidding me!
4a. Is the beer cold?
5. Holy shit we could a friggin died!
5a. We still have Rum?
6. I better not tell Deb.

I really make a mess when I do projects.

Hearing someone climb the ladder means you owe money, help has finally arrived or there is something under your boat that someone wants.

I put an old fender out by the garbage can and someone came over and asked if it was available for them.

I put expired flares out under the boat and someone asked if they were available for them.

I put a manual windlass under the boat and nobody even gave it a second look.

I had a wrench laying on the deck for a few hours. I went to grab it. I dropped it pretty quick and ran cold water over my hand.

I wear shoes on the deck to prevent a hot foot.

Climbing into the cockpit the toe of the flip flops caught the deck and I fell head first. My head was fine but my shin had a nice egg on it.

Flip flops have been banned on deck.

There were kids flip flops at the bottom of the ladder one day. What the hell?

The Rasta dude working the shaft install has some small feet and colorful taste.

My beard was getting annoying so I shaved it off. Where the fuck did my chin go?

The ladies at Budget Marine laugh because I say goodbye, see you in July, and they say see you tomorrow.

I am drinking instant coffee.

I started getting facebook ads for instant coffee brands from Trini.

Facebook is getting scary.

I will be happy when we have little Internet except I will miss our video chats with the family.

Without getting too political, we are a little on edge these days with all the talk of eliminating health care and privatizing social security. This would be a hell of a shitty way to end our cruising life.

Sometimes folks think we are being unsociable but really, we are just on a low budget.

If we had to do this work to the boat anywhere else it would have broken us.

Yes, I said I was drinking instant coffee. How low I can go?

For the most part tea is still for me.

Some days I just require more of a kick start.

What's with the Trini love for KFC?

Corporate food is taking over.

We find ourselves eating in most of the time.

Knock on wood, my stomach issues of the past seem to have vanished.

Robot Bees for pollinating where the real ones fail. What could possibly go wrong. Robo Bees.

If you are walking along the border taking a stroll and a bunch of Robo Bees are following you just act normal and check that your papers are in order.

I keep playing with the windlass and I usually do this while Deb is in the salon staring at a game on her iPad. Apparently it is quite noisy down below when that chain comes out of the locker :D Did you not get top score?

Guitar practice has suffered the last few months. Trying to get back at it. I sound terrible again.

Deb keeps sweeping and dusting but the wind keeps blowing and the dust keeps flowing.

Now see, if we had air conditioning....

The surveyor asked 3 times if we had air conditioning. Three times he shook his head and then looked at the salt stains on my shirt.

Surveyor looks at your wiring and says, marvelous, lovely, good stuff. Proud you are.

Surveyor comes to the boat before we washed it from 5 months in the yard. "Uh, I will come back in a few days. You need to wash this. This is not good. You do not want me to start the survey today."

Green is not a good look for a deck.

We will never leave the boat for that long a period.

The boat next to us had a shrink wrap covering and green was not a good look for them either.

Our laptop is back in action but so is Microsoft. Bastards keep trying to forcefully upgrade me. I hate you Microsoft.

I have lost some of my PC skills.

I think PC now refers to Politically Correct instead of Personal Computer with a windows OS. I have lost some of those skills as well.

Every cruiser has a different cost of living.

Why do people want to know how much we spend per month doing this? If you see people from all walks of life out here sailing then it's totally within your reach. Results may vary.

Buying the new Beneteau 47 footer and parking it at every marina all the way down here and then saying cruising is out of your reach financially is really making me laugh.

We are looking forward to just sitting at anchor and getting a few "cheap" months in our books.

The surveyor laughed at our liferaft. "You will puke all over yourselves and die." I like this guy.

When a surveyor says, "You're not crossing any oceans are you?" and then does not explain, it is very unnerving. I don't like this guy.

I hit my hand with a hammer. I have a lump that refuses to go away.

I fell into the cockpit and whacked my shin. I have a lump that refuses to go away.

I have taken my lumps and apparently I am keeping them.

You start working on the boat and someone will stop by with a price to get it done faster.

In the US you start working on the boat and some prick walks up and tells you how he does it better and if you want I can show you my boat that's way better than yours.

In the US you start working on your boat and someone from the marina drives up and charges you for materials not purchased in their shop. "You buy that sandpaper here?" Prick.

There's a lot of Pricks in US boat yards.

Do I really need a high output alternator? Fucking belt dust.

Mosquitos sit in your boat and wait until you go to bed before they try to land in your ear.

This coffee is really bad.

Being out of the water for so long really makes it hard to stay calm when it's time to go back in. You start thinking about what you did to the boat that might screw you when you are 100 miles away from a dock.

Some people just return and slap some paint on and go.

We heard about a boat that launched and then took off for Grenada at some horrible hour of the morning then spent the better part of that horrible morning calling the coast guard to tow them back.

Maybe I'm just paranoid but I worry quite a bit about shit like that.

I imagine sailing with me at times is a lot like having Woody Allen onboard...without the creepiness. Maybe.

I guess if I was that bad Deb would not be out here.

Where is Deb?

This wifi is a real distraction. We are parked in front of one of the antennas. Best signal we ever had.

Today I woke up thinking it was like 2am. Two minutes later it was daylight. Not really used to this quick sunrise and sunset.

The yoga instructor down the yard wears bright clothing. She always waves to me in the morning. We are on the same schedule. I have donut dust on my lips and she is sweaty from a healthy workout. What is wrong with me?

Some men can do yoga and that's great. I would love to try it but my brain fights it. "You will get stuck in a position and fall over while farting. Don't embarrass yourself."

I think I will go for a walk today. Hey there's the yoga lady.

I have been wearing my hiking boots in the yard because it is dusty and gritty. Socks too. Not the usual footwear in this place.

"Hey Paul where you heading?" Yoga class. Kidding, Just to the boat shop over there. They glance down at my boots.

"You play guitar?" Nope. "But I saw you.." Nope. "Someone said you.." Nope.

I am not ready for prime time musical talent shows.

We go through a lot of paper towels.

There is no room to anchor in this harbor.

As usual most mooring balls are taken by local derelict boats or boats that we will see for the next several years with ever increasing bottom biology.

We were just thinking that knowing what we know now if we were to ever go back to Sodus Bay we would be anchored out all the time and only come in to pump out. We will never be anchoring in Sodus bay.

For those still in Sodus Bay remember the whole bay is no deeper than about 30 ft and you all do not have to anchor in that tiny space on the west side. Seems so stupid now.

It may take a few tries to perfect this whole automatic chain dispensing thing on the bow.

My brain has decided to wander off on other things so I have to stop for now. There is a boat to prepare for launch tomorrow.

I think I will have another coffee.

Zoom. Zoom.

Now thinking of dinner.

I make a simple pan of pasta. I add about 4 cups of butter. (Edit: Tblespoons not cups you bavarian butter eater!) Add garlic. Maybe some red pepper flakes. The pasta. Then I add about a half a cup of the pasta water. Then I stir in an egg yoke. Lots of pepper. Some parm. Toss with Broccoli. A nice pinot. Dinner tonight.

When I wake up I think tea or coffee, then food. I don't think of breakfast. I think of dinner. Weird eh? I have to be really hungry to think of breakfast in the morning.

Lunch is unimportant. If you get food great. If not, meh. Lunch kind of slows me down to be honest. I want to nap afterward.

When I was a kid I immediately poured a bowl of cereal. Usually raisin bran. I was a pretty regular kid. I waited for the test pattern to go away and the national anthem to come on the TV. Then cartoons!

As a kid, lunch was big. We ate good. German grandmother made sure I was full. Usually I was stuffed with liverwurst slathered in mustard.

Grandma would not understand vegetarians. She always said we needed animal fat to keep our hair shiny and healthy. Hmm...

I could just hear the EMT's commenting on my amazing hair while they hook up the AED to restart my sausage filled heart.

I took a ride in an ambulance once. It was in 1967. I asked if I was going to die. Don't think so kid but if you keep doing stupid shit like that last stunt they will just call for a street sweeper instead. The two jerks laughed as I watched the trees go past. Back then the ambulance was pretty much the same as a hearse only white instead of black.

While I watched the trees and heard the siren wail I also heard the radio. The Rain, The Park and Other Things was playing. All I could think of was I was going to die listening to the fucking Cowsills. It couldn't be the Beatles or the Doors but the fucking Cowsills. I passed out. A Whiter Shade of Pale would have been aprapos.

I'm running around like a dufus trying to get the boat ready and Deb is baking cookies. What the hell!

Deb is like, the motor runs and the sails are on. Settle down squirrel.

I have a few things to do and hopefully it will not result in finding more shit to work on but it looks like we will be heading north soon. Quite a switch from the last year and a half. Thanks for staying with me for the odd post from my strange mind. I will have to get back to describing some of my dreams to you guys as Debra should not have all the fun of hearing it all by herself. Bizarre but funny stuff. I was kicking the bookshelf the other night, trying in my dreams to get away from cat paws clawing at me. The cats were my sisters. WTF does that mean Sigmund?

We may be off the grid for a bit which is a good thing I think. The world is getting very connected and I think we, the humans are not handling it very well. Just like the early days of travel and exploration brought new disease, slavery and destruction; The new communications have exposed us to paranoia, false reality, distrust and manipulation. Humans exploit very well. It's what we do. I never thought I would miss the days of sending post cards and letters.

Good thing we still have blogs to entertain us. OK, maybe it just entertains me but where else can you freely express yourself without getting locked up? Yeah I just jinxed myself.

Enjoy your day and keep your dreams to yourself if you want to maintain friends.


posted from Bloggeroid


  1. I had some good chuckles from this while drinking my morning Nescafe. Then I hit that part about your instant coffee woes. Um, dude, I live in the Pacific Northwest, own a lot of Starbucks stock, and am a coffee snob starting about 25 years ago. Three years ago I went to Scotland and was introduced to Nescafe because that's what they serve for coffee in the hinterlands: read anyplace but the city. I liked it. I liked it alot. Me, a coffee snob who knows how to order my double shot with lots of the best words. I drink it every morning, especially while catching up on blogs. Maybe I need to blog about this. Also, yes. The interwebs. We abuse the hell out of people with it. I'm considering writing letters when we finally get this tub going and are out of this country. I wonder if they will let us back in if we don't have a phone they can scan for data?

  2. I have to wonder if all the shaking that is caused by trucks and otherwise, is causing more things to break....

    I have to take a nap now from laughing so hard at this post.

    Thanks for sharing!

    - Lisa

  3. Correction!!! That would be a stick of butter not 4 cups unless you really do want to thicken your blood a bit and maybe give yourself some wonderful looking hair. I meant 4 tablespoons but i usually just toss in the stick.