Passage South to Trinidad

Not long after reaching open water, dawn began to peak over the horizon, just a glimmer of light at first, then a brilliant sunrise. Having never made this passage before, I was overly concerned with the possibility of piracy, even though the last incident was several years ago. Because of this unreasonable fear, I set a course that would take us 12 miles to the east of the rhumb line, just west of the Deep Horizon oil platform. This route added miles to our day’s journey, but it did two things for us – it eased that level of fear, and it provided a course that was about 10 degrees more off the wind as we neared Trinidad. The final course steered was by far the more important of the two because the closer we got to Trinidad, the stronger the wind became. By the time we approached Boca del Monos we were blasting through very large waves caused by an east flowing current bucking up against a 28 knot wind from the east.

Trinidad's Most Northern Gas Rig - Poinsettia
Trinidad’s Most Northern Gas Rig – Poinsettia

As we entered the Monos Pass, the wind followed the curve of the coast at first, and we had a 25 knot breeze pushing us rapidly into the unmarked waters. As soon as the seas calmed, I doused the small jib, started the engine, and we carefully navigated our way into the pass, deep for much of its width, but shoaling very rapidly in places to less than our draft. Caution was required.

Boca del Monos
Boca del Monos

With Joy carefully watching the charts and me piloting, we very carefully worked our way into the pass. At one point, Joy said, “We’re not moving.” I glanced at the knotmeter and told her we were definitely moving at 3.5 knots. No, we’re not. Had our electronics locked up, I wondered. Then I glanced ashore; we might have been moving through the water, but not over the ground. There as a 3.5 knot current ebbing out towards the north We stood dead still!
Scotland Bay, a most beautiful anchorage popular with locals and cruisers alike.
Scotland Bay, a most beautiful anchorage popular with locals and cruisers alike.

We safely anchored in Scotland Bay and within an hour or so, Peter and Lynn on their Beneteau 50 pulled in and anchored beside us.
Peter and Lynn's Beneteau 50
Peter and Lynn’s Beneteau 50

Tucked up between the hills our anchorage was flat calm with just a hint of a breeze, but plenty of music It was a holiday week end, and the local boats were anchored all around us including a raft-up of 7 power boats. It seemed that each boat was playing a different tune, very loudly, and the party continued long into the night, and began again the next morning at 6:15AM. Wow, do the Trinis like to party -30 holidays per year!

Motor On into the Harbor