Friday, November 27, 2015
An important part of the morning net is the weather report not only for those trying to find a weather window to depart but also for those trying to complete weather sensitive boat projects like sanding/varnishing, bottom painting, waxing/buffing, rigging, etc.... But we all know this when we come down here and we adjust. I simply do what the locals do and roll with my umbrella in my bag at all times. Still beats snow, ice, coats, gloves and such.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
|The T3 gang - BA pic|
T to the Power of Three is what our group nicknamed this famous tour. It all started from a brief discussion with T3 veteran Bruce (s/v Wild Matilda) on what to take along on our tour. He agreed a bottle of water was a must and also suggested that he was going to take a towel or small washcloth since we would basically be eating in the van the whole day. I laughed and said "Too bad we don't have any of those bibs you get a seafood restaurants in the US." Later Tom and I were talking and decided that bibs would be a great idea and T3 was born. A few days passed, and I was in Port of Spain where I found a package of brightly colored wash clothes and some purple ribbon - instant bibs, no sewing needed. I used a big Sharpie to apply the T3 and we were set for the big day.
|Jesse James (Member's Only) in his T3 bib - BA pic|
|Local stand selling rough skin lemons (rare) and other fresh fruits and veg - BA pic|
But seriously, it's a terrific way to learn about the rich and diverse cultures that make up a country and specifically in this case, Trinidad.
|Doubles stand for the doubles virgins|
Our group consisted of 8 cruisers plus Jesse. Bill and Sharon (s/v Casa Blanca - fellow Caliber 40 owners, woot woot), Chris and Margret (s/v Storm Bay - as Aussies, the international contingent), Steve (s/v Slow Flight), Bruce (s/v Wild Matilda -and as I mentioned before, veteran T3 having gone 4 times before on the tour on previous visits to Trinidad) and of course us.
|My T3 bib - BA pic|
Jesse picked us up promptly at 9am and we surprised him and the other participants with the official T3 bibs. Jesse loved it. Inside disclosure - Jesse keeps his van immaculate and the thought of being the one to spill inside the van worried me. The bibs were a form of self protection for me and the poor van!
|Bhagi, smoked herring, fried aloo and roast bake - BA pic|
So off we went. But actually we drove 25 yards down the side of the road to a food stall outside Powerboat Boatyard for our first sampling. Even though it was right in our backyard so to speak, none of us had ever been to this food stall.
|Fancy food stand. Most are a tent and card table - BA pic|
And so the day went. Jesse would pull over, dash out of the van and then bring back a sampling of whatever food/drink/fruit/sweet/etc....then he or Bruce would divide it up, giving us all a little sample. We tried many, many, many, many unusual and yummy things.
|Saheena and kachouri|
Bruce played official photographer. Thank you Bruce for all the wonderful pics. Tom was our official scribe keeping track of all the things we sampled.
|Bruce cutting up a custard apple|
Which brings up another important factor. I told you this tour is world famous as is Jesse. He does this trip many times during the year. Each time the tour is slightly different depending on where he goes, what is open and in season. For whatever reason, a "challenge" has developed to see if each group can break the record for number of things tasted. The current record stands at 99. We did not break that. However, we did darn good at 86. We were "full as ticks" when we waddled back to our boats 12 hours later.
|Mauby drink - popular but many versions and not all taste alike|
I am not going to bore you with detailed description of all 86 items and pics of all. However, I will list them all out and of course give you plenty of pics to make you drool. Big thanks again to Bruce for sharing his pics. I got a few good ones but the bulk of what you see are his - labeled BA for credit.
|Chris and Margaret s/v Storm Bay|
We had a spectacular day. Our group was fun and interactive, trying everything and peppering Jesse with a wide variety of questions. A few in the group were.....ahem....doubles virgins when we departed but returned that evening virgins no more! Ha! We all agreed that what we learned about Trinidad food on this tour will and has helped us expand our knowledge on what we order when eating out at a restaurant or food stand and also in what we buy at the fresh market.
|Doubles virgins no more - BA pic|
If you ever come to Trinidad, you simply MUST to this tour. Hands down, one of the best tours we've ever taken anywhere.
|Green curry mango (on plate), plums (in sack at bottom), sour cherries (in sack on right) - BA pic|
Summary for Taste of Trinidad 11-12-2015 with Jesse James
1.) Pick up at 9:00 sharp. First stop is roadside stand outside Powerboats
· Roast Bake – flat bread, not fried
· Bhaji – greens
· Smoked Herring
Aloo (potato) fried
2.) Westside Cuisine at Caranage
· Cheese Pie
· Meat Pie
· Fried Bake
· Saltfish Buljol
· Pommecythere Chutney (golden apple)
3.) Frankies on Aripita Avenue in Woodbrook
· Sada Roti (without split peas)
· Baigan Choka (smoked eggplant puree)
· Tomato Choka
· Fried Okra
· Bitter Melon (actually a vegetable)
4.) Cow Heel Soup Center on Aripita Avenue, Woodbrook
· Cow Heel Soup with potato and dumpling
5.) Tasty Pies, a roadside stand in downtown Port of Spain – three pies:
6.) Fruit stand outside of downtown Port of Spain
· Portugals – similar to Clementine Oranges
|Tom goes for the HOT peppa double|
7.) Doubles stand in corner parking lot outside of Port of Spain - Tom trying SUPER hot peppa sauce
8.) Roadside stand just past Doubles stand
· Red and Black Sorrel
9.) Small cafe in town of Velencia
· BBQ Pig Tail
· Macaroni Pie
· Fried Casava
· Chicken Pelau Rice
10.) Small café in Sangre Grande
· Callaloo Rice
· Dahl Sauce
· Green figs
· Stewed Pork
· Sweet Potato
· Mauby drink
· Bananas – Chiki Toe and Silk Fig
· Sugar Apple
11.) Roadside stand in Sangre Grande
· Rambutan – small red spiky fruit
12.) S and S Roti Shop in Sangre Grande
· Potato and Chana Curry
· Curry Pumpkin
· Chicken Curry Gizzard
· Fried Shark
· Stewed Chicken
· Roti Bread – Dahl Puri
· Curry Mango
· Sorrell Drink and Peanut Punch
Stopped at Manzanilla Beach for a picnic lunch where a stray dog ran off with a package of Dahl Puri. The rain came and we ate in the van.
13.) Watermelon stand on Manzanillo Beach Road
|I know they look like olives but they are Trinidad plums. Similar texture to olives, different taste|
14.) Roadside stand just past Mayaro
· Coconut candy – like a red sugar cake
· Green Mango Candy
· Plums (more like olives)
· Sour Cherry
· Tamarind Ball (brown sugar lump)
15.) Hoseins Bakery in Rio Claro
· Coconut Ballerina – rolled red cake
· Casava Pone (like a bread pudding)
· Soursop Punch
· Bread Pudding
· Fruit Slice Bread
· Coconut Turnover
· Pommecythere Fruit
· Coconut Drop
16.) Bakery truck that passed by while we were stopped at a small lumberyard
· Custard Pie
· Red Cake
17.) Clieves Bar in Tabaquite
· Roasted Port Cutters
· Kurma (like cinnamon sticks)
· Fruit Slice (heavy cake aka Bellyfull)
· Coconut Bisquit
· Phdouri (donut holes)
· Tullum (Toolum – molasses and coconut balls)
18). Stop to trespass on farmland to collect fruit (we later learn the land is owned by Jessie’s uncle)
· Cocoa Beans
19.) An unknown café/bar on the way to Chaguanas
· BBQ Chicken Cutters
· Custard Apple
|Busting open the "liberated" coco beans for a sample|
20.) El Pecos, Trinidadian fast food buffet on Aripita Avenue
· Festive Rice
· Baked Fish
· Baked Lentils
· BBQ Lamb
· Macaroni Salad
· Spicy Pickle Salad
· Corn Pie
· Jerk Pork
· Portugal Juice
· Passion Fruit Juice
Total of 86 different items
Also purchased limes and honey (Seenath’s in Manzanilla (1084 Eastern Main Road)
As long as I had Little Nellie (my sewing machine) and all the stuff out this week on the staysail conversion, I decided to do a few other projects.
I made covers to protect our jerry jugs from UV rays. The sun beating down day after day on these jugs on the rail effects the petrol/water/diesel inside and breaks down the plastic jug over time.
Thanks to Roberta off s/v Celilo and Sarah off s/v Cape for your pattern ideas.
We got our mast boot repaired. Actually, beefed up. What is the mast boot? Oh, sorry. It's a wrap around the bottom of the mast where it meets the deck. This special "boot" helps keep water from running down along the mast into the cabin. When Tom asked Gary our rigger about it and made mention of perhaps putting a new "mast boot kit on", Gary said "Nah. Save the money. We will just use an old inter tube." Sure enough. Gary showed up with an old inter tube off one of the boatyard travel lifts - think big farm machinery size tire and they fitted that over our existing mast boot, put on a new clamp, heat sealed it shut and boom - new mast boot.
|Our new mast boot cover|
While a cover around the base of the mast might seem like an easy project to sew, I have found nothing on a boat is easy to sew. There are usually no patterns and everything is irregular shaped. Luckily, I was over on s/v Casa Blanca (Sister Caliber 40 ship) and they already had a mast boot cover. Woo hoo - pattern. I borrowed theirs, made adjustments in size for our new, beefy mast boot and sewed a new one up for us. Thank you s/v Casa Blanca.
As part of a complete re-rig of sv Honey Ryder, we also decided to convert our hank-on staysail to a furling staysail. The old hank-on set up meant that one of us had to leave the comfort and safety of the cockpit, and go forward on deck to raise and lower the sail. This in turn meant that we didn't use it as much as we would have liked to. Me = "Do you want to put up the staysail?" Tom = "We could. Do you want to go forward to do it or should I?" Me = pause....."Nah. Never mind."
|Sabrina's Temporary Sail Loft|
The current staysail is old but still has some life left. Most people either order a new staysail or have a professional sail loft do the conversion. To finish getting life out of that sail and save $$, I decided to take on the task of converting that sail from hank-on to a furling one.
Generally this is done by cutting off the entire luff edge of the sail and then sewing in "luff tape" that allows the sail to be feed into the slot on the furler (raising the sail) and then furl it (roll up).
Easy-peasy - NOT! The head, tack and clew of the sail (the corners) are very thick with hardware, webbing, luff, leech and foot lines. These would all need to be re-sewn. Even though I have a heavy duty Sailrite sewing machine, I would not have been able to get through thicknesses like that.
I also questioned my ability to sew luff tape in straight.
This summer Tom found an alternative on the internet. Kiwi Slides. I did some investigation then visited ear to ear with the USA distributor, Alfred Poor. He was very helpful. I also visited with the USA distributor for Profurl which is Wichard USA in Annapolis. This seemed like the best solution for us given my sewing skills so I placed an order. The slides arrived immediately with a personal thank you note inside the package from Alfred. Not something you see these days. Alfred also promptly responded to email questions I had once I got ready to start the project.
|The actual Kiwi Slide - I added the green chalk mark|
|Old hank on the staysail|
The first task was to get the brass hanks off the staysail. Tom did this for me. Special note - The tool below was given to Tom by his good friend Kevin Haefner. It's a hybrid pipe wrench-channel lock-crescent wrench made by SnapOn, part #PWZ-1. This tool is amazing and can generate incredible gripping power.
|Tom removing the hanks|
I was concerned that the grommets would be tough on the sail when furled. Tom offered to drill them out but then I would need to content with the loose luff line. Instead I decided to simply cover them with seat belt webbing. I borrowed a zipper foot from s/v Curare so I could sew as close as possible to the grommet.
The next step was to attach the Kiwi Slides. Alfred suggested placing them just above or below the grommets. I opted for above. The size of Kiwi Slide and sail, determines how many, spacing and distance between sail edge and furler. I stitched them in three horizontal places and then two vertical for extra strength.
|Covered grommet and Kiwi Slide|
Since this sail was a hank-on sail, it lived below deck or in a deck bag and out of the sun. This meant it would need a sacrificial strip on the leech and foot to protect it from the UV rays when furled. I just sort of guessed at how wide. Actually, did a quick look at s/v Casa Blanca's staysail but accidentally reversed the leech and foot measurement. D-Oh. Luckily, we did a test furl after I got the Kiwi Slides on and made an adjustment to my measurements. I had Tom triple check my calculations for fabric needed. It doesn't seem to matter how many times I calculate fabric needed for a project, I always come up short and thus I buy extra. Oh well. I bought four yards and used most all of it.
Trinidad has fantastic fabric stores with all kinds of fabric at terrific prices. This includes marine grade fabrics of all sort. We decided to go with a fabric like Sunbrella - a knockoff, if you will. It was $65 TT per 60 inch yard or $10.83 per yard.
|Adding sacrificial UV protection material|
60 inches wide is great but I found smaller panels were easier to sew into place. When sewing on any sail, there is a lot of rolling of fabric this way and that to get it into the machine and into place so the sail can be sewn. This project was no different. The ultra thick corners of the sail made it tough as well. I used double sided seamstick to help hold the panels in place but even then they wanted to move around
|Clew that will be covered when furled at anchor|
Covering the thick corners with the hardware and webbing was a conundrum. Tom and I discussed the three corners and decided that we would leave them open. Normally these are resewn but again, my machine would not be able to do those thicknesses. The tack will be covered when furled up. When we are at anchor, it will be covered with a Velcro wrap that I make for the hank-on that is no longer used. The tip top edge of the head will just be exposed. We will keep an eye on all three areas as the season progresses. Judge if you will but that is how we are going to roll.
|Final Kiwi Slide attachment - hand stitched|
Finally, I decided to hand stitch the area between the Kiwi Slide and sail edge to get right up next to the sail and add stability.
We will keep you in the loop as we start to use the new furling staysail.