Friday, April 29, 2016

Charlotteville Tobago

sv Honey Ryder at anchor in Store Bay with sy Tango

After spending several weeks anchored in Store Bay, basically using it as our base to explore more of Tobago as a whole, we decided to move up to Charlotteville on the north end of Tobago.  Man of War Bay there is huge.  We tucked up in a small corner of the bigger bay called Pirates Bay.  It was lovely, simply lovely.
Man of War Bay - Charlotteville
sv Honey Ryder anchored in Pirate Bay
"Wilson!  Ohhhhh Wilson I'm sorry"  OR "A three hour tour...."

Maybe the professor off Gilligan's Island fashioned this

Charlotteville is a sleepy little fishing village of approximately 2600 people.  It is somewhat isolated.  Resources are slightly limited.  There are a few small shops selling basics.  Once a week on Thursday night a guy comes to town and sets up a fresh fruit and veg market that runs through Friday evening.  There is one gas station.  It ran out of gas twice in the week and a half we were there.  There is one ATM but it only works with that bank's debt cards.  A one way trip down to the capitol city of Scarborough on the windward side of the island is an hour and 15 mins by big bus or Maxi Taxi on a good day, often times longer.
View into town from our anchorage in Pirates Bay
Beach workshop for dinghies - this one belonged to a German boat with two small boys - this was THEIR dinghy

In a small village like this, many are related, everyone knows everyone else and there are NO secrets.  The sense of community is strong and they are proud.  Many, many people stopped us to say hello and to ask if we are enjoying their community/bay.  While some they offered their services as hiking, bird and tour guides, for beach trips and BBQ's, fishing, diving/snorkeling and such, they were also genuine in wanting to be sure we were finding the things we needed to make our stay a good one.  
Info board

A community chalkboard helps kept locals informed of specific events.  However, it soon became obvious that the daily gathering at the outdoor fish market was where real community things get discussed, argued and settled.  Or at the card game of gin rummy that took place near the pier each afternoon.
The fish market - I took this late.  Normally it was buzzing with people
Sunset at the pier

Each night the lights of the cricket field in the middle of the village came on in case anyone wanted to use it.  Several times saw kids playing cricket and football (soccer) there.  The local library was very nice and we used it often for internet as did the locals.      
Very nice

ATM but NOT for us
There were never more than six yachts anchored in Man of War Bay during the time we were there. We briefly shared Pirates Bay with one other yacht but most of the time we had it all to ourselves.  Locals said this is the low/slow season.  December and January are high season as well as hurricane season.  Although there are NO yacht services in Tobago (so you better be self sufficient), apparently many yachts choose it as their hurricane hideout.  Probably a good one given it's south of the hurricane zone.

Oh what
It didn't take long to get to know many locals.  Especially the fishermen.  Tom even went out fishing with one local guy but more later on that.   

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