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April '09: Staying with a Break - Trinidad

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We didn't really know what to expect coming to Chaguaramas/Trinidad. But we knew it must be a yachties' heaven for overhauls and works on boats - that's what it really is! We found out very quickly. Several ship yards, most of them with some marina spaces, offer almost everything one needs owning a yacht. If you want to do it yourselves or hire contractors, one has just to decide. Several chandlers and numerous hardware shops will get you anything you need.

For us we basically wanted to have our MELMAR Y stored on the hard during our planned home leave of about three to four months till after hurricane season 2007. We decided for the yard PowerBoats, which also in hindsight was a very good decision. The travel lift crew hauled very professionally and carefully and security made a serious/good impression. Then we cleaned everything on and in the boat and stowed everything properly away (e.g. sails, all ropes, life raft, dinghy, ...).

There we left her, out of her elements in the tropical heat and the tropical rain floods but especially outside of any hurricane paths. As for us, we flew directly into the first hurricane of the season for Florida/USA... But we survived and spend some lovely days along the Keys to Key West before we visited our dear friends Sandy & Don Goodman (ex DESTINY) in Miami. We had a great time with them and also traveled up to the Orlando area to enjoy some amusement parks.

Back in Switzerland we soon found out that Melanie was pregnant. That of course called for a major replanning. We decided to have the baby in Switzerland. Melanie picked up some part time work and we found ourselves a tiny apartment in Luzern where we could stay till our return back to our boat in Trinidad. Next to seeing lots of family and friends we moved and prepared everything for our baby to come. Marc flew for a few months back to Trinidad to fix some very urgent issues (e.g. reglueing all windows) so we could then leave our MELMAR Y without having to worry for a full year longer than originally planned. Back in Switzerland Marc started working as an IT/computer project leader at Zimex, a very fine aviation company close to Zürich.

Beginning March, a little bit later then calculated, Kyle was born and a new life started for all three of us... Nevertheless, we tried still to do things we did before: visiting our friends Angela & Wieland in Vienna (Kyle's first flight), following the invitation of the wedding of Chelsey (the youngest of the three au-pair girls Melanie was taking care of a long time ago) in Los Angeles (Kyle's first long haul flight and time change), a.s.o. We gave Kyle and ourselves about nine months before we closed up everything again in Switzerland to fly first to Miami for a good week. We had a great time again with Don and Sandy and we got some time to adapt not only to the warmer climate but also to the time change of six hours.

Beginning January 2009 we arrived (back) in Chaguaramas/Trinidad. Since our boat was on the hard and going up and down an almost four meter high ladder with a baby seemed not such a good idea, we stayed in a little apartment at the ship yard. A good decision since the apartment had air-conditioning. Marc worked now for a month on MELMAR Y (setting up everything to live on board & launch the yacht, applying new bottom paint/antifouling, a.s.o.). It was a tough time and also hard for Melanie since it was primarily her to take care of Kyle in an environment not really suitable for a baby/toddler - no good beaches close by, lots of poison on the yard grounds and a not too friendly and safe area/town.

Right before splashing MELMAR Y into her elements again we got some relief as Nathalie, Kyle's godmother, visited us for a full month. She helped to bring our yacht to the marina, she helped to take care of Kyle, she helped even with works on our boat (e.g. one of the very time consuming works was to put up a net around the deck so Kyle and a lot of other things wouldn't fall overboard). We also enjoyed carnival time together - one of the finest in the world people say. And since Nathalie was flying out of Tobago, we joined her and spent a week in a beautiful, tranquil and relaxing hotel. Eventually we got some time at the beaches for us and Kyle!

To cut a long time short, we worked as much as possible on the boat and the never ending list of jobs-to-do with as little time as one can imagine since Kyle took the majority of it. After having solved the very long lasting servicing of our life raft for recertification of our Swiss registry, we were more than ready to move out of Chaguaramas. The place is ideal to do lots of boat work, but with a toddler it's not such a great place to be - that's at least our opinion. But the time spent was not always so terrible, we also met many nice people with which we hopefully will stay in good contact…

pictures to this logbook entry: West Indies XVII - Trinidad - Haul-out West Indies XVIII - Trinidad - Launch West Indies IXX - Trinidad - Carnival West Indies XX - Tobago - Tranquil Paradise

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