Enter the Harbor at Chaguaramas

I think every cruiser knows that Trinidad is a haven for cruisers, south of the hurricane belt, protected from the prevailing winds, with a plentitude of available services. What I didn’t realize is that Chaguaramas harbor is also a very busy commercial port. The first thing we saw as we rounded the southern end of Boca del Monos was this huge oil rig with three ships moored alongside. I think we counted 22 oil tankers anchored in the harbor and countless other smaller service vessels. We motored further into the harbor and passed the local coast guard and navy docks where there were several large warships moored, and not much further in we came upon the dry docks you see below where the level of activity was beyond our wildest imaginations.

One of Many Oil Rigs in the Harbor
One of Many Oil Rigs in the Harbor

As we move deeper into the harbor we come across ships and yachts of every size and possible description. The mooring area is crowded with all manner of craft, fishing vessels, tenders, yachts, water taxis, you name it.

Busy Dry Docks and Shipyard
Busy Dry Docks and Shipyard

On the advice of friends we met in Puerto Rico we’d made reservations at Crew’s Inn marina rather than taking a mooring. Anchoring here is all but impossible as depths reach 60 feet and more, and the bottom is littered with all kinds of debris. Seeing boats drag at anchor is a rather common occurrence.

Just a few of the Huge Ships at Anchor
Just a few of the Huge Ships at Anchor

After making contact by VHF we obtained our slip assignment and proceeded to enter the marina’s narrow fairway where we carefully backed Ocean Angel into her temporary home at Crew’s Inn, so named because the inn serves not only as a resort, but also as the inn for workers coming from and going to the oil rigs.

Clearing Customs and Immigration was non-eventful, and after paying fees of about $9.00 US, we had our three month visa and clearance into the country. When we moved the yacht ashore, we would have to clear out of the water and onto the land – odd, but that’s how it is.

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