Thursday 12th February 1998

Jeff’s log continues with the entry for Thursday 12th February 1998

Thursday 12th February 1998

We rose at leisure. Rene and I quite some time before Les. The clouds still covered the sky but more thinly than yesterday.

Once breakfast was done and away, we dinghied ashore and walked the steep hill to Fort King George. On the way, various folk that we passed greeted us warmly as we strode through the untidy streets of Scarborough. I struck out for the summit of the hill looking all about me to see if there was anything special of interest. Nearing the top of the incline I looked round and discovered that I was on my own. Surely they had not turned back!

Eventually they came into sight strolling easily along happy with each other’s company. I had perched myself on a low cement wall and they joined me for a little while. By now there was some promise that the sun would make its debut before very long.

The last leg of the journey took us through the hospital grounds and we carried on through to the fort itself. It is a delightful place almost to the point of being manicured. The views are magnificent though slightly marred by the lack of sunshine that would help to identify the reefs in Rockly Bay more easily. There was also a surprising lack of bird life. On my last visit there had been an abundance of brightly coloured avis. Today there were very few but I did spy a bird about the size of a thrush, coloured powder blue on its topside. When it banked to pass between two branches it exhibited a rust red underside. A couple of Humming Birds flitted swiftly about the branches of the tree, under which I sat, but their colours were lost against the brighter light of the sky.

We visited the Museum where a delightful young lady, Kimbrily, (that’s the way it sounded rather than Kimberly) met us and chatted knowledgeably about the exhibits. She had got her degree in California and was here studying further the West Indian history and that had led her to become interested in African history as well. It was money well spent as we wandered round. A lot more time could have been spent there but we left after a couple of hours and lunched on a roti before returning to “First Light” where we picked up the ship’s papers.

We wandered through the dusty streets of Scarborough to the Customs office. Once again I fell foul of the Officer in Charge. He gave me stick for not reporting in sooner. He said that we should not have stopped at any anchorage enroute for Tobago. He became really snotty and eventually he signed me in after relieving me of one hundred Trinidad and Tobago dollars for harbour tax dues. He was most obnoxious, which seems to be par for the course here in Tobago. Immigration was no problem and soon we were out in the heat again.

Les wanted to return to the boat for a nap but I suggested that we catch a bus to the other side of the island, just for an outing. We had met Simon, Stella’s son, and his girlfriend Anncilla, just before we went to Customs. He must have told Stella for a note was left in our dinghy from them that they were in Mount Irvine Bay on the western side and it was rolly there. Our ride to Plymouth passed through Mount Irvine Bay and we were glad that we had not gone round to anchor there. It was right lumpy with the yachts rolling viciously from side to side. Some were just plain untenable. There was no sign of life on “Chancy”.

I had very vague memories of Plymouth and when we were dropped there we visited a famous grave with an unusual inscription that I recounted on my last visit. Also we stopped to buy a drink from a kiosk. As we drank, a black fellow came up and tried to sell us a carved bamboo vase. He had some aloe in his hand upon which I commented. He promptly started to rub the aloe into Rene’s skin. It has amazing properties, one of which is to ward off insects and another is to ease the sting of the ‘no-see-ums’. Something, which no other medication seems to touch. Then he demanded twenty dollars and finally came down to five. Rene was very embarrassed and to cover things up, I gave him two dollars. He went away swearing at us but did no harm.

We visited the small fortress that was set on the hillside. Again we watched the yachts in this harbour pitch and roll unmercifully. There was not much to do, so we stayed only an hour before taking the hair-raising ride back to Scarborough.

End of Thursday 12th February 1998

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