Page September 2006 . The Boca by xumiaomaio


									September 2006 . The Boca   Page 
 Page 2                                                                                                         September 2006 . The Boca

   Last month The Boca showed a photograph              to say with any certainty exactly how long. To fix
captioned “Panman Ed Epstein of s/v Ruby leaves         one thing, you need to fix something else and it just
for Grenada”. Nothing was said about why he was         goes on. This is what Ed was faced with.
leaving but the results of his departure have now          What caused the immigration officer to take an
come to light.                                          interest in the fact that Ed was here is not known.
   One week after he was driven from the safety of      What is known is that in spite of the fact that the
Chaguaramas, word began to filter back that all was     boat was in the water, the officer demanded a letter
not well. Ten miles off the Coast of Grenada, and       from a boatyard to verify the condition of s/v Ruby.
hours after being forced to leave Trinidad, the s/v     Clearly, a situation designed by someone who knew
Ruby sank to the bottom of the sea.                     nothing about boats.
   Ed was here, like many others, making good use          In sight of Grenada is where things started to
of the marine facilities, to work on his boat. Like     go wrong. The seams of his sails began to come
some others he, for whatever reasons, elected to do     apart. This was one of the items that Ed had asked
the work himself. It is normal; some people prefer      for time to repair. The current was strong and
to do it themselves. Any boater with an old boat will   was pushing him to the West so he is now beating
know of the difficulty that they must go through to     close to the wind and the loads became greater. As
find replacement parts. In most cases those parts are   the sails turned themselves to rags in the wind, Ed
no longer available and some type of alternate part     started the small auxiliary engine and pointed to the
or fitting must be found. Working on an old boat        nearest shore. Then there was a loud noise and a
takes longer than normal and it is almost impossible    shudder that came from deep within the hull. The
                                                        engine was still running but the boat speed fell back
                                                        to almost zero. Going below, he saw that there was
                                                        water above the floorboards. Starting the pumps,
                                                        he was unable to find where the water was coming
                                                        in. The boat was filling up slowly, as the water was
                                                        coming in faster than the pumps could handle. The
                                                        Grenada Coast Guard quickly answered his Mayday
                                                        call and set off to find him. He could see them but
                                                        for some reason they could not see him. He tried
                                                        on his radio to direct them to his location but had
                                                        no success and then his handheld went dead. He
                                                        saw them turn away and return from where they
                                                        came. In the dinghy now, he cut loose from the
                                                        sinking hull and waited for the inevitable. The next
                                                        morning he was spotted by a returning fisherman
                                                        who picked him up, gave him some food and water
                                                        and took him to St. Georges.
  September 2006 . The Boca                                                                                                                            Page 

          Speeding pirogue SlamS                        as the cause of the accident.                            of dialogue with the fishing community so we can
                   into odySSey                           The bumpkin probably saved my children’s lives         break through the “Them and Us” polarization.
by Vanessa Astrop s/v Odyssey                           because it lifted the bow of the pirogue. It certainly   Giving a human face to each side makes targeting
   The age-old issue of boats, especially pirogues,     saved our stern. Nonetheless the bumpkin and             the other more difficult.
speeding through the anchorage was rammed               pushpit were severely damaged and this accident
home to us recently when a pirogue skipper lost         has delayed our departure and has cost us dearly                         Boat Break-in
control of his boat and veered sharply into our boat,   in terms of time, money and emotional fall-out.            The day after being launched and anchored in
Odyssey, at high speed, almost killing my family in     Thousands of dollars and post-traumatic stress!          Chaguaramas Bay, s/v Vesla was boarded in the
the process.                                                                              We       are     not   early morning by three gun wielding men under
   The       pirogue                                                                      hopeful of gaining     the guise of joining a cockpit lime.     The crew
rammed            our                                                                     any compensation       was threatened for two hours while the gunmen
dinghy in which my                                                                        from the owner of      rummaged for valuables. As they left the boat, their
two small children                                                                        the pirogue.           dinghy was slashed. Up to press time, the police
and partner were                                                                            Fellow yachties      have been thoroughly investigating the matter.
sitting, before hit-                                                                      helped     out   by
ting our bumpkin                                                                          photographing                  rio macareo information
and riding high up                                                                        the incident, while      Not many people have explored the Rio
onto our pushpit.                                                                         another took down      Macareo but for those that have come back, it was
My children ended                                                                         the details of the     experiencing a voyage that will never be forgotten.
up     under       the                                                                    skipper and the        If you need a navigation guide of the Rio Macareo,
pirogue and Jeremy in the water under the whirring      boat, and another called the coast guard. Others         The Boca office has complete details and charts
prop of the pirogue as it swung round on impact.        gathered for moral support. The coast guard took         with GPS way points, river depths, locations of
   I was about to board the dinghy and what I           a statement but said this was not their jurisdiction     villages, and recommendations for trading items.
remember through the chaos of the moment was            and that the accident had to be reported to the
my overwhelming need to get this revving boat off       police.
my children and I couldn’t because it was stuck in        I spoke to the fishermen afterwards about what
forward gear. There was no evidence at any point        this means to us as a family and asked them to
of a kill switch being used. My kids, miraculously,     apologise to me and my children, which they
were unscathed but Jeremy still had not surfaced.       did (they have yet to apologise to Jeremy).          I
I got my traumatized children out of our deflating      challenged them to honour this by staying out of
dinghy into one of the dinghies that gathered in        the anchorage and not speeding. I also asked
response to my screams and someone’s call on            them to talk to other skippers in the village.
channel 68 about the accident.       When Jeremy          But, ultimately, some governing or policing body
surfaced he demanded an apology from the                has to make this anchorage their jurisdiction before
fishermen who responded with aggression and             any real change will happen. In the meantime we
refused to apologise, citing their broken outboard      can make some changes by opening some kind
Page    September 2006 . The Boca
  September 2006 . The Boca                                                                                     Page 

by Honoree Cooper s/v Will-O-the-Wisp                   shovel does not hurt the beans as they are pushed
   After a two hour bus ride with Trump Tours,          and piled again, over and over. As the music starts,
through the City of Port of Spain and eastward,         the dancer does a slow rhythmic step smashing the
turning north up a winding, jungle filled road, the     beans and pushing them outwards while the shovel
three buses filled of yachtees arrived in Lopinot       gently lifts them up and back under the feet of the
to partake in the festivities of the annual harvest     dancer. The pile becomes slippery and oily as the
which coincided with Emancipation Day.                  bean is released from the shell. This process is
   The Lopinot complex is a former cocoa estate         said to increase the flavour and adds to the price
that has been restored and is open to the public        the farmers receive for their harvest. There is a
for picnics and celebrations. The ancient Samaan        similar dance for smashing grapes. Anyway, I felt
trees provide shade for the picnic area. Lovely         privileged to do the dance getting the oils and beans
gardens surround the area and we were in awe of         caught between my toes, but first I had to do the
all the bromeliads filling the trees. The small wood    shovelling which is not as much fun or therapeutic
bridge that connects the complex to the main road       as the dance. They were gracious to present me
is perhaps indicative of the talented local craftsmen   with a small bag of ground beans and another bag
for it is adorned with hand-painted figurines. A        of various local spices. What a treat!!! Part of the
table of local crafts were available for sale as were   Lopinot complex includes a large earth oven where
local spices and foods. We enjoyed a delicious meal     bread is baked. The bread we tasted was cooked
of ground yams, smoked fish, pastas, breadfruit,        on top of an open flame due to trouble with the
and smashed plantains. After a concert of some          dirt oven. It was tasty none the less. Chicken
local parang music consisting of a harp, a bass box,    was cooked or smoked under huge fig leaves or
and an electric guitar, we were treated to the cocoa    what we call banana leaves. Again the open flames
dance. A traditional dance where a pile of beans are    were used. We look forward to returning to this
placed in a heap, the dancer on top, and another        charming village perhaps to hike on the jungle trails
person using a wooden shovel to push the beans          or picnic in the shade of the magnificent Samaan
back under the dancer’s feet. The special wood          trees.
Page 6                                                                             September 2006 . The Boca

                               dat good                                         think carefully
              Why do you pay big bucks for a new pair of            Prices are going up and it’s becoming
           Duomax A6 name brand trainers? However you            harder to make ends meet. You may need the
           choose to answer that question, it comes down         money but that is not a reason to quote a high
           to a very simple and basic truth. Your image          prices. When you do that, you will just chase
           and how it impresses others. How they see you.        your prospective customer away. Find ways to
           There are other types of footwear that cost a lot     do the job more efficiently. That will allow you
           less, but you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing         to charge less or increase your profits. Get
           that stuff. The boat owner, like you, will not be     there on time and do a good job, you will get
           satisfied with a substandard work. He too has         many more. Mean it when you say that a job
           an image to maintain and will not be happy            will take two days and cost x amount of dollars.
           with your claim of “dat good”, to what he sees        Remember, if you need help or you are not sure
           as a bad job. Do not expect him to pay high           of all the things that go in to making a quotation.
           prices for flip flops.                                Ask YSATT to show you how.
              You can help by letting others know what your
           ideas and feelings are. Let us know how we can
           help. Editor

            If you are interested in playing the National        Fowl Trust is located smack in the middle of a
         Lottery, here is how you can be a big winner.           petrochemical complex. Molly made it clear that
         However you may have to share the multi million         the Trust depends on the generosity of personal
         prize. Read on and you will see how easy it is to hit   and corporate donations. Holiday Foods provided
         the jackpot.                                                                            Plantain Chips to all
            Last       months’                                                                   and that disappeared
         SSCA Breakfast was                                                                      even          before
         as usual, hosted by                                                                     breakfast started.
         The Boca, however                                                                       PriceSmart set up
         this time at the                                                                        an attractive booth
         Sails Restaurant and                                                                    loaded with free
         once again brought                                                                      giveaways and ably
         together          the                                                                   manned by Rochelle
         many Cruisers in                                                                        Maxwell and Litchila
         Chaguaramas. This                                                                       Goodchild. Guest
         breakfast meeting                                                                       were also encouraged
         was filled to capacity                                                                  to sign up for
         when it became                                                                          shopping Cards. A
         known that not only                                                                     food hamper from
         SSCA        members,                                                                    Dockside Foodmart
         but everyone was                                                                        was presented by
         invited to attend. Never intended to be a closed        Manger, Geralyn Joseph and this is where the bit
         shop affair, we are happy that is was brought to our    about the Lottery up top comes in. If you want to
         attention.                                              win the big prize, let Anne Donlop of s/v Freya of
            Apart from the food which was excellent and          Clyde pick the numbers. You cannot go wrong. It’s
         generated numerous requests for the recipe,             the second win for Anne. Her first was a free lunch
         there were also other attractions. The feature          at Café Feel Oh, clearly this is a winning streak.
         presentation was led in person by environmentalist      Don’t forget the Breakfast Meeting is open all, so
         Molly Gaskin President of the National Wild             get your tickets early and see you there on the 14th
         Fowl Trust. It is interesting to note that the Wild     September at the Bight Restaurant.
September 2006 . The Boca   Page 
Page 8                                                                             September 2006 . The Boca

         Special thanks to Bill Rouse, s/v Security              security personnel in marinas, added new security
            Confronted with the sudden increase of               equipment, revised their security procedures and
         unwanted incidents in Chaguaramas and the visa          increased their efforts to have frequent Police and
         limitation by the Immigration that is forcing sailors   Coast Guard patrols in the area. YSATT has also
         to leave Trinidad during the hurricane season, the      taken the initiative to have a security post erected
         cruisers decided to take action. As a result of the     along the harbour area.
         meeting held at the Bight Restaurant, Frank Lupoli         Bill Rouse and Tony Bullard requested that the US
         of Carisea set up a night watch group of cruisers in    Embassy act as their advocate with the authorities
         the Chaguaramas anchorage, to scan the areas at         in Trinidad. Kevin O’Connor of the US Embassy
         irregular intervals with powerful spotlights, letting   Citizens Services Dept. responded immediately
         strangers know that someone is watching. They           and wanted to meet with all the cruisers to get an
         also have direct access by radio and telephone to       understanding of the issues at a meeting on the
         the Police and Coast Guard. The group, since            24 August. Representatives from the British High
         its inception, has been successful in reducing the      Commission, Canadian and German Embassies
         number of dinghy theft incidents to zero.               also attended the meeting that saw 160 cruisers of
            Another group Andy Pell of Tixi Lixi, Don Perrine    all nationalities and business interest, present.
         Jade Explorer, Sid Curtis Antares, Bill Langis Hope,       Mr. O’Connor, after listening to the problems
         Bill Rouse Security and Tony Bullard Columbine set      of the cruisers, strongly recommended that all
         to work on producing a report that was presented        incidents be reported to the Embassy as well as
         to the businesses in the area. The 50 page report       the police and coast guard. Doing so he explained
         outlined their concerns about Immigration issues        would make the Embassies aware of the dates and
         and problems due to the apparent lack of security.      type of event that took place. He also strongly
         The report also highlighted the contribution made       recommended that all cruisers register with their
         by cruisers to the economy of Trinidad and Tobago.      respective Embassy or Consulate. US citizens can
         As a result YSATT reports that the business             to this online at
         community has already reacted by increasing             ibrs/
 September 2006 . The Boca                                              Page 

  Excerpts from the Safety Leaflet recently handed to cruisers in
  · Always ensure that your boat is properly locked and secured at
    all times.
  · Do not anchor your boat in a deserted anchorage.
  · Ensure that you hire contractors known to the boatyards,
    YSATT and other cruisers. Do not hire someone “off the
    street” to do work for you.
  · Be aware of your surroundings when handling cash and/or
    credit cards in public places (ATMs, banks, shops etc.)
  · Do not invite strangers onto your vessel. People may not be as
    friendly as they first appear.
  · Pull your dinghies out of the water at night and make sure that
    they are properly locked to your vessel.
  · Travel in groups as much as you can.
  · Use the YSATT shuttle between the marinas.
  · Listen to the cruiser net, which airs every morning from 8:00
    – 8:30 a.m. on Channel 68 for ongoing matters and updates
    related to safety and security.
  · If you are a victim of crime or a crime has been attempted
    against you, it is imperative that you report the incident to the
  · CDA Police – 634-4304, 634-4312 extension 300. The CDA
    police are expected to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a
    week to incidents of crime within the Chaguaramas area.
  · Carenage Police – 637-3123. Let them know that you have
    reported the crime to the CDA. If the situation warrants it, ask
    them to request assistance from the Coast Guard.
  · If for some reason you are unable to get through to the CDA or
    Police, call Rapid Response at 999.
  · If the incident occurs in a boatyard or marina, report it
    immediately to the Security personnel.
  · Note that the Coast Guard as well as the CDA monitor Channel
    16 at night, you can call on your VHF to request assistance. The
    Coast Guard will respond to distress and medical emergencies
    and request from the Carenage Police.
Page 0                                               September 2006 . The Boca

                            Some contact addreSSeS
          Immigration              Minister of National Security, Senator The Hon.
                                   Martin Toney - Email:
          Tourism                  Minister of Tourism, Senator The Hon.
                                   Howard Chin Lee - Email:
          Australian High Comm     Phone: 868 628 2 and/or 868 628 06
          Royal Danish Consulate   Email:
          German Embassy           Email:
          U.S. Embassy             Email:
          Netherlands Embassy      Email:
          French Republic          Email:
          British High Comm        Email:

                                 gripeS or goodieS
             The Boca needs your input. Good or Bad. Grumbling in the bar or
          lunch room about what bugs you gets nowhere. Possibly, what you say
          will do more harm than good and the old talk just gets bigger and juicer.
          Don’t let your words be distorted. We know that you might be shy, so
          we will not show your name if you don’t want to. Photos would be nice.

                                  5k cancer claSSic
             Women Against Breast Cancer sponsored by Scotiabank, invites you
          to join them in raising much needed funds at their marathon on the th
          September 2006. Join the cruisers team. Entry is TT$30 and all finishers
          get a commemorative medal. Contact s/v Cloud Nine on VHF 68

                               for Sale...freSh fiSh
             The fishermen of Almorings Cooperative want cruisers to know that
          they are welcome to the first choice of their fresh catch of the day at
          regular market prices. The entrance is between CrewsInn and Tropical
          marinas (or by dinghy). There are two “Fish Stands” or if you may wish
          approach one of the pirogues directly. The sale of fish starts around
          :0pm when the boats return. Be there to pick out the one you want.
  September 2006 . The Boca                                                                                                                                         Page 

                                                The Boca claSSifiedS
Classified ads: Easy as 1 2 3 - 1. Write the ad - Type it if possible, Don’t forget the phone number, 2. Count words - a phone number counts as one word; - multiply count by $3.45
(.00+VAT). . Mail or deliver - Enclose cheque or cash to Boaters’ Enterprise Ltd at CrewsInn Hotel & Yachting Centre. Strict deadline always at pm on the 0th; no late ads will
be published. All Ads\Orders should be accompanied with payment. Bonus; get 15 issues for the price of twelve. As an extra bonus, the classifieds appear on the website: www.

            marine SerViceS                                                      rentalS                                       BoatS for Sale cont’d
Fire Extinguisher Service. Fire suppression                                                                              52Ft. Irwin Ketch Ph: 60-
systems. Fire Tech 6-02.                                  “CAR RENTALS-CONVENIENT CAR RENTAL
                                                              LTD. Located at Tropical Marine, Chaguaramas
                                                                                                                         Yanmar 36hp diesel Outboard Ph: 60-
                                                              Tel: 6-0 or VHF 68. We deliver!”
Scuba Tank Refills. Rick’s Dive World, Tardieu
Marine 6-Dive (8).                                                                                                  Hunter 33.5 (“Eurasia”) 1988 27 Yanmar. All
                                                            EXCLUSIVE CAR RENTALS Westpoint Hotel                        tip-top condition US$,000. Tel: 68-20
D Brush Specialist. Looking for quality varnishing          Chaguaramas, No. in price with free delivery. Ph:
and Awlgrip painting also teak deck repairs. Call           6 2/68 8. All major cards accepted.                 WhitneyYachts - Carib 41. Extensively refitted
Stephen 6-0.                                                                                                        and upgraded in 8. With Yanmar Diesel 0
                                                            Looking for the best rate! Check Econo-                      HRS. Generator, Air Cond. Fully Loaded. All
Astro - Foil! Insulation for ceilings and fridges.          Car Rentals at CrewsInn, Shipwright Building,                Luxuries incl: Hatteras Hard Top. Electric Heads,
Call First Mate Ltd. 686-.                              Chaguaramas, Tel: 6-2.                                  Radar, Garmin GPS Map, Dinghy Honda O/Board
                                                                                                                         and more. Everything works. Asking US$K Call:
Webster’s Canvas & Upholstery Ph: 2-68                                                                               628 0 / 680 866 / 6 8
                                                            Tobago Self-Catering Accomodation. Ideal                     Sunlight 30 Jeanneau 1988: Two double cabins
                                                            location overlooking by golf-course, walking                 well equipped $0,000USD
Newspaper Direct: International Newspapers                  distance to beaches. Local Breakfast and daily               offer in Trinidad & Tobago.
Delivered 6-2.                                         specials 6-0 or 6- www.tobagosuites.
                                                            com                                                                          reStaurantS
Amicus Maternity Centre. Midwife-Obstetrician-
Gynaecologist available 2hrs. Pre-natal Delivery,                                                                       Joe’s Pizza at Coral Cove Marina 6-22
Post-natal, Surgical services. La Puerta, Diego
                                                                          BoatS for Sale
Martin. 6-608, 6-.                                 Boats for Sale Classifieds…On Line. Why not                  The Bight at Peake Marina 6-20
                                                            list your Boat For Sale on the Web? Take advant-
Master’s Laundry. Full Service Laundry, free                age of over ,000 website hits per month currently          Sails Restaurant at Power Boats 6-2
delivery, wash, dry, fold & iron. Mon - Fri 8am -           on, the premier website for the
pm. Tropical Marine, Chaguaramas. 6-2,                yachting and marine industry of T&T. Expose your
After hours 8-606.                                       boat to the World. Special introductory prices!
                                                            Call Giselle (868) 6-BOCA/20 or email:
3GA Imaging (formally Norton Studios) One         
hour film processing, Passport photos, Camera
Repairs 622-0                                            CLASSIC GERMAN 40 FOOT YACHT. Habeking
                                                            and Rasmussen, 2 structurally sound includes
Sea of Styles Beauty Salon - Unisex cuts,                   solar panels, windgenerator, dinghy, outboard.
perms, highlights, waxing, massages, manicures              Going for storage fees $000 US. Call Charlene
& pedicures etc, Mon-Fri am-pm. New location              at Power Boats, Trinidad. (868) 6 6.
Shipwright building CrewsInn Marina 6-22.
Page 2                                                  September 2006 . The Boca

          Fri 0         Lisa O’Conor, Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago, Cor Jamaica
                         Blvd and St. Vincent Ave. Federation Park
          06-6          Kywanda Abraham and Judith Shaw Art exhibition, Art Creators
                         Gallery St. Ann’s Rd. St. Ann’s
          Thur  Boca-SSCA Breakfast Meeting, 8:0, Bight Restr.
          Sat 6         Courts Golf Tournament, Moka Maraval
          Sat 16         Underwater Coastal Clean-up 2006, free air refill, Register
                         w/Rick’s Dive, Tardieu Marine
          Sat 6         Int’l Coastal Clean-up 2006, Register w/YSATT
          Fri 22-0 Carifesta Festival IX various performances and venues, Call
          Sun 2         UWI Golf Tournament, Point a Pierre
          Sun 2         Republic Day
          Mon 2 Public Holiday
          Sat 0         Agostini Ladies Golf Tournament, Moka

          Please notify The Boca of events that may be of interest to the
                         Chaguaramas community.

          0800 Daily              Chaguaramas Cruisers Net; VHF Ch 68
          600 Mon                Måndagsmöten Roti Hut kl. för skandinaver Medtag
                                  glatt humör och böcker att byta! Roti Hut at Power
          200 Mon & Thu Alcoholics Anonymous, Power Boats
          0730 Tue                Boat Maintenance Net; VHF Ch 06
          0800 Tue                Propane Empty Bottle, Pick-up at all boatyards
          00 Fri                Butane Empty Bottle, Pick-up at all boatyards
                   Fri            Veterinarian visits on board, Tenderheart 6-88
          1900 Fri                DJ Lime; The Bight, Peake Yacht Service
          1730 Sat                Holy Mass; “Star of the Sea” Chapel, Gasparee
          00 Sun                Jehovah’s Witnesses, 0 Salazar, St. James
          1900 Sun                Dinner and Pan; Sails Restaurant & Pub, Power Boats
September 2006 . The Boca   Page 
Page                                                  September 2006 . The Boca

                                     PerPlexed in T&T
             It seems as though the local immigration officials are adamant about
          limiting the sailing cruisers, similar to us, to a 90-day visa period in Trinidad
          & Tobago. We are currently at a marina in Chaguaramas. We know of no
          less than 6 people who are being pushed to leave within the 90-day period
          by the immigration officials. What is difficult for me to understand is that
          the people being forced to leave are the people who are creating jobs in
          Chaguaramas. These jobs include employment at the marinas, employment
          at the chandleries, fiberglass contractors, sail makers, cabinet makers, engine
          mechanics, plumbers, electricians, etc.
             Today I saw some statistics on the number of yachts in Trinidad for the
          current 18 month period versus two previous 18 month periods. The
          number has doubled to about 1,400 vessels with the vast majority being US
          documented vessels. I am sure that the immigration officials are not aware of
          the reason for this increase. The reason is insurance. My insurance company
          is now requiring the boat to be located below 10.5 Latitude North during the
          hurricane season. Chaguaramas is at 10.4.
             Recently a cruiser by the name of Ed Epstein of s/v Ruby was forced to
          leave before all of the repairs were complete on his vessel. His vessel sank
          between here and Grenada. Fortunately he was rescued.
             I believe that someone at the US Embassy in T&T should get involved. I
          am not asking for myself because I have no intentions of staying where I am
          not wanted…I will spend my money where it is wanted. But I urge you to
          get involved for the other not so particular folks.
             I estimate that the economic impact of 1,400 vessels including the
          occupants is about $360,000,000 per year. This group of people is unlike
          normal tourists. The communication within this group is as good as it gets.
          Everyone is talking to everyone else about this situation. Most of those
          talking are making plans which do not include T&T in the next hurricane
          season. My estimation is that the recent tightening of the immigration
          rules has already negatively impacted next year’s economic potential to
          Chaguaramas by 30%.
          Charles W. (Bill) Rouse s/v Security
             It is indeed a problem in that immigration has changed its policies relating
          to automatically granting extensions or 3 month entry visas. After a lengthy
          discussion with an immigration officer, the Boca was advised that a number of
          boaters over past several years have had numerous extensions for “maintenance
          of their boat” which is now being questioned. Were they working on their boat
          or Were they “in residence”? As a result, the decision was apparently made that
          immigration must now seriously question all requests for extensions. It seems
          that immigration may have over-reacted by denying extensions by not recognizing
          legitimate reasons for granting a longer stay especially during hurricane season or
          for extensive repairs.
             To solve the problem of boats stretching their welcome in Trinidad, it seems that
          immigration should consider “Not throwing out the baby with the bath water”.
  September 2006 . The Boca                                                          Page 

by Debbie Scott
   On June 30th a team of Optimist Dinghy sailors arrived in San Juan Puerto
Rico to match their skill against other competitors at the 2006 North American
Championships. Seven youngsters between the ages of 12 and 14 were picked
to represent T&T and the team included a coach, a team leader and a country
representative. After discovering that our sails and other gear would not be
arriving until the following day, we set of for the town of Ponce which is a 2-
hour drive across to the southern side of the island. We felt at home with the
surroundings that resembled our own Trinidad, with rolling hills and forest,
but with better highways. There were three rooms assigned to the ten of us,
but the kids did not complain. The hotel had lots of attractions but we quickly
dropped our gear and headed for regatta headquarters, The Ponce Yacht and
Fishing Club. It’s a huge place with a large marina, 2 swimming pools, tennis
courts, mini golf course, an excellent restaurant and a beach long enough to
hold 190 boats, each on its own trailer. But most important of all, there was
a massive TV. We could watch the World Cup Football.
   Without their sails, the team used the time to meet and renew friendships
formed at previous regattas. Many of them had been to last years North
American Championships in Tobago and claimed that it was the best all round
regatta that they had ever taken part in. A record number of teams arrived from
22 countries and the strongest contingent was from South America. There
were teams from New Zealand, Germany and Singapore who were invited to
take part as part of the IODA effort to raise the level of competition around
the world. The organizing committee was very friendly; they informed us
that our sail would be now arriving on the following night.
   The regatta conditions were very extreme. Lots of current wind and waves;
wind speed between 18-22 knots, gusting to as much as 28 knots on some
days. Rough seas, with strong currents made racing quite challenge for the
sailors of these little boats.
   After 2 strenuous days of battling waves and heavy winds the team qualified
for the Team Racing. So the on the third day, with no training in team racing
for the past year, the team did a great job. They beat Bermuda on the first
round. The second round was a close finish but Peru won. Then on the third
round, Argentina won and sent us back to shore. We were thankful for day
number 4, it was a rest day and the team relaxed with their new friends.
   Day 5 and 6 was back to hard work. With the wind picking up the wave
tops gusting to 28kts and the current running like a river, the challenge was
even greater. The fact that they fought on, wet, hanging on to their tillers with
blistered fingers and sore knees, made us, including our local coach Marcus
Gomez, proud. The whole team agreed that the last race was the most extreme.
Against a fleet of 190 racers, James Leighton finished 19th, Wesley Scott 66th
Alexander Weedon 67th; Annick Lewis; Nicholas Deane, Nicholas Landreth-
Smith and Nicholas Knox, 100, 136,161 and 162 respectively.
   The Trinidad and Tobago Optimist Team that went to Ponce, take this
opportunity to thank their generous sponsors B Mobile, Budget Marine,
Republic Bank and Peake Marine. Also thank you to Horizon Travel for all
the travel arrangements.
   A special thanks to our coach, Marcus Gomez, who did a fantastic job both
on and off the water. To TTYSA and all their members for their support and
last but by no means least, thank you to all the families for their dedication and
support. Without you, we could not have accomplished this special event.
Page 6                                                                                        September 2006 . The Boca

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