Carnival festivities go on for weeks, and during that time it is almost impossible to convince a contractor to do any week. There’s just too much going on, and no one wants to miss all the fun. We took a break during a lull in the activities and booked a three-day visit to Tobago. Rather than sail the 60 or so miles upwind, we’d decided to ride the fast ferry to maximize our time there and to minimize wear and tear on us and the boat. We joined two other couples, cruising friends Gary and Patti from Native Dancer and John and Genie from Island Time, for this visit. The ferry to Tobago departed at 6 AM, but we were advised to arrive very early to beat the rush of locals who travel daily to and from work, so we booked one of Jesse James taxis for a ride to the terminal.
Off we went at 04:30 to board the T&T Spirit, an Incat 060 catamaran motor vessel that is 97.22 meters in length with a cruising speed of 30-40 knots. It can accommodate 765 passengers and 200 cars and has a cafeteria, a bar, and a VIP Lounge.
In spite of this vessel’s massive size, she pitched and rolled as she plunged through the big offshore waves at 35 knots. The handrails in the photo to the left are there for a purpose; you don’t walk far without holding on. Two good sized cafeterias served up inexpensive, tasty, breakfast fare, and by the time we reached the dock in Scarborough, we were rested, fed, and ready to travel. Scarborough, the capitol of Tobago, is a good sized city filled with all the hustle bustle you might expect of such a place. Vendors surround the terminal , and someone is always trying to draw your attention to their wares.
Finding our taxi driver was quite an experience; we made multiple phone calls first to Jesse James, who had arranged our trip back in Trinidad, then to the taxi operator, Milton, in Tobago, and eventually we reached the driver who was just running a little late – 45 minutes or so. When we asked the other cabbies if they knew our taxi operator, Milton, no one had any idea who he was. We learned later that if we’d asked for “Pussycat” we’d have found him right away. It seems everyone on the island knows Pussycat. There’s quite a story behind that one.
Once our taxi, Island Vibes, arrived, the driver introduced himself as Wendall, and he drove us directly to our accommodations, the Crown Point Beach Hotel, located at the very western end of the island near Pigeon Point. He dropped us off to enjoy the day with a promise to return in the morning for our all day tour of Tobago.