"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain


>> Sunday, March 2, 2014

A fast passage from Grenada of less than a day saw us bearing down at dawn on the "Dragon's Mouth," the narrow passage between small islands that lead to Chagauramas, Trinidad. After clearing customs, we hauled back on the windlass in searing heat, bound only eight miles west to Chacachacare, an abandoned Leper Colony. The buildings--dorms, hospitals, cinemas--are quickly being reclaimed by nature, and only the buzzards call them home these days. Medical records, medications, vials--all left out, as if the place was abandoned suddenly. After reading the short story How to Escape from a Leper Colony, whose setting was Chacachacare in the 30s, we cautiously explored the grounds. After returning for supper, we geared up for a night snorkel on the reef, if for nothing else to add to the spooky nature of the place.

The next morning we motored east toward Port of Spain, Trinidad's capital, and anchored off the T&T Yacht Club.

Laura Ifill photo
Carnival season is in full swing here in Trinidad, and we took in our first taste of the holiday at "Kiddie Carnival," a scaled-down version of Tuesday's larger celebration. The students, versed in the spectacle's history and practices, were primed for the music, costumes, color, and food. All are eager for Tuesday's main event!

Laura Ifill photo
Today (Sunday) we are exploring the great birds of the island at the Asa Wright Bird Sanctuary and the Caroni Swamp, where the scarlet ibis, the national bird once harvested for carnival costumes, roost. Tomorrow we'll take in some natural wonders at the Paria Falls, and discuss the intersections] of culture and sustainability at Maracas Bay, where we'll sample the famous shark sandwiches. Tuesday will be devoted to Carnival: an exhausting spectacle of music, costumes, dancing and street food.

Wednesday, we'll shake the dirt of Port of Spain off out feet and head north. North, bound for the DR and then home!


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