Thursday, August 13, 2009


We are now at the Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association harbor in Trinidad. While from the water this is very similar to a lot of other long term cruiser anchorages (thinking of Salinas and Luperon) the facilities at the club here are great. They have a laundry facility, clean showers, a work shop, bar, restaurant, WIFI, a TV area and nice pool. The cruiser gets full access to all of this plus free water and trash service and you can dock for free one day each week and use the electric to charge things up if you need to, all for only $100.00 US per month.

I am flabbergasted at all of the boats who refuse to come down here because they have read or been told such horrible stories about the crime here. This is a great island with more to offer cruisers than any we have been to for a LOT less money. The expertise of the people at the yards is unparalleled by any I have been too yet including Sailcraft Services in Oriental (sorry guys). If you have repair issues or need a haul-out these yards are GREAT.

On that note let me tell you what we have been wrestling with as far as boat issues. On the crossing from Grenada to Trinidad we were, there’s no better way to describe it than, dropped into a trough between two waves. The whole boat fell far enough that people on beds found themselves air born for a moment. When we landed (hard) the electricity all flickered for a moment and I knew that we had a short somewhere. Well soon the alternator’s charge dropped to almost nothing and then quit altogether and the batteries started to drain…

Over the next few days I pulled apart the cockpit, opened the floor and with the help of our new friend Andy (a single-hander from Australia) we traced out the problem. The alternator cable had broken loose from the shunt that splits controls all of the chargers and sends the charge to the battery banks. When this cable came loose, presumably in that offshore drop, it must have arced and burnt out the diodes in the alternator. The house bank which we just replaced with new EXPENSIVE AGM batteries in Oriental less than 2 years ago, seemed to be dropping in charge but no longer accepting a charge from the battery charger. Our worst fear was that they had somehow been damaged as well but it turns out they had simply dropped very low and our charger was too “smart” to charge them up. They are now almost fully charged after a week of tricking the charger by letting them cool down and restarting it every couple of hours. Our friend Andy, who also happens to be an electrical engineer, is going to help me rebuild the alternator, showing me how to do it as we go.

In closing… if you are a cruiser and are choosing not to come to Trinidad simply because you have heard horrible second or third hand stories… I am telling you as a cruiser who is here right now… you are missing out on a great stop. Come on down.

Captain Tofer


  1. Tofer,
    Glad to hear that you all like the new place! Good luck with the repairs. Take care of my sis, those beautiful kids and yourself.
    Love you guys!
    And Yes! Trinidad is great! We enjoyed ourselves! Recommend anyone that has a chance should visit.

  2. Hey no need to throw the Sail Craft boys under the bus!

  3. Oh No please don not misunderstand my comment! Sailcraft was the best haulout experience we have ever had.. I was simply saying that there really is no way they could compete with the services available here for less money... we love Alan and the crew and would recommend them to anyone.

  4. Your not directing these Triniphobic comments towards me are you? Sounds like you have a nice deal.

  5. Glad to hear you are enjoying in Trinidad. Where are you going to be in October and November? We fly back to Grenada Oct 6th. We hope to see you when we get back. We have had two visits with S/V Salt and Light & S/V High Five in the last month.

  6. Blake, did you make a Triniphobic comment I missed? Hehehe no we just heard them a lot in PR and VI last year, but it is an easy sail over come visit... we are not sure when we are heading back up at this point.

    Melissa, I know we read Salt and Light's blog... made us miss you all. We will be back in St Thomas in November working for the winter again. But we will be in Trinidad for October if you want to come on down from Grenada.

  7. Maybe we will shoot down in October.