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Update: February 2009

Carnival in Trinidad.
February 6-25

Carnival King
Carnival King during the King and Queen parade.

We're back at our summer home in Crews Inn Marina in Trinidad. Normally, we would not be back until the end June but we came back in the middle of cruising season to participate in Trinidad's Carnival festivities. One of the things that makes Trinidad different from Mardi Gras in New Orleans are the pan bands and the judging of the incredible costumes that precede "J'ouvert" , the French name of the opening of Carnival which starts a 4 am on the Monday before Ash Wednesday. The pan bands in Trini are incredible; they start with a dozen players in the small bands to over 100 players in the large bands that can blow the house down. The elaborate parade costumes which have been built by the adults and the children are also spectacular.

Many of the histroical costumes are based on characterizations developed by the original freed slaves. The slaves re-created costumes that they saw at the French planter's Carnival Sunday parties, but they used their own available materials and added their own tradition. With no plantation house for their parties, the freed slaves took over the streets. "Respectable" planters who wanted to enjoy the down town festivities would hide behind masks, which eventually was added into the costumes over time.

You can check on the Cruising Updates to see the most recent pictures from various venues.

 

Tobago.
January 23 to February 5 .


Tobago fishermen on the beach.
Tobago fishermen working from the beach at Plymouth.

We arrived in Tobago early in the morning on January 23rd after a windy and bumpy night from Bequia. We anchored in Store Bay on the western end of the island which was deep and not particularly comfortable. We found out later that it was probably the best spot in a country that is not well known for good anchorages. Originally, we had planned to spend a week or so circumnavigating the island from one anchorage to another, but the high wind and waves made us change our mind and we stayed put. Tobago is a beautiful island with lots of great beaches and dive sites, but it rained extensively while we were there, so it was hard to enjoy it. We did a very nice van tour around the island and did a wreck dive and a wall dive. Eventually we had enough of the weather and the anchorage, so we left early in the morning on the 5th of February to sail down to Trinidad.


 
Copyright © 2009 Jan Buskop