Trinidad & Tobago from Cruising Info Community

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The Coiley Family - SV Double Waters - Tobago

Mike Bickell - Grandpas maps covers the following:
Anse Bateau – 11°18.68'N, 60°31.52'W
King 's Bay – 11°15.76'N, 60°32.90'W
Chaguaramas Bay – 10°40.64'N, 61°38.27'W
Carenage Bay – 10°40.82'N, 61°37.36'W
La Vache Bay – 10°45.95'N, 61°28.53'W
Scotland Bay – 10°42.02'N, 61°39.84'W
Chacachacare - Sanders Bay – 10°41.24'N, 61°44.55'W
Chacachacare - Convent – 10°40.78'N, 61°45.16'W
Grande Riviere – 10°49.72'N, 61°03.01'W
Caroni Swamp – 10°35.37'N, 61°27.31'W
Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge – 10°41.51'N, 61°13.35'W
Scarborough – 11°10.76'N, 60°44.14'W
Crown Point – 11°09.49'N, 60°50.60'W
Mount Irvine Bay – 11°11.45'N, 60°47.90'W

Reports cover:
Chaguaramas – 10°40.00'N, 61°30.00'W

1) Information Submitted by Simon & Kitty Van Hagen - Duet Rosemarie & Alfred Alecio - Ironhorse Malcolm Dobson - Spirit of Lundy

2) Date 1999 & 2005

3) Harbour or Area Covered Include Lat & Long Tobago, West Indies, 11°00’N, 60°50’W, approx.

4) Suitability and Attraction for Yachts Tobago lies about 21 miles NE of Trinidad and together they make up one country. Nowhere is beyond the reach of the Atlantic swell. Most reasonably protected bays are on the west side. Tobago waters are ‘Caribbean clear’ as opposed to the murky and nutritious Tinidadian waters. Tobago is a small, generally rural and very quiet island with no industry. It relies on tourism and benefits in its provision by enjoying the same services as Trinidad. There are many delightful walks into the countryside. Flora & fauna, especially birds, are wonderful. No marinas or charter fleets.

5) Marinas, Berthing or Anchorage Scarborough offers the best protection in most conditions but we understand from others that the holding may be suspect. Also, the anchorage area is rather small and in some demand since all new arrivals must take their yachts in there. Charlotteville & Man O’War bay. Take a stern anchor for your dinghy when landing at the dock which suffers from bad swell. Cruise ships’ tenders take up the only decent landing and the swell and wind direction make is such that you m must keep your dinghy from being swept under the staging. Good holding. We were there in November when there was little breeze. Speyside on the other side of the island is a much nicer anchorage. Good holding but room for only about 3-4 yachts. The diving and snorkelling are excellent here, as is the dive shop, Aquamarine Dive. Kings Bay on the east coast is deep and seems to offer the best protection on that side (we did not venture with the boat on that coast). Other cruisers had reported that all bays offered rolly anchorages, to a greater or less extent. We visited in January, during the early part of the dry season and would support this finding! Probably depending on the strength of the Trades, landing varied in each place from reasonably comfortable to impossible. We visited Store Bay, Mt. Irvine, and Man-o-War (Charlotteville) and found the holding in each no problem. In Mt. Irvine Bay, a stern anchor, keeping our bows to the swell, was useful. Store Bay has no landing jetty but does have a fresh water tap near the beach, phone booths and a bus stop close by. Pigeon Pt. slightly north, is a private resort with a jetty. For a small sum one may use all facilities, phone, bar, showers & collect fresh water at 50c per gallon. Mt. Irvine Bay has no jetty. Plymouth (not visited) has a jetty.

6) Entry Ports Scarborough only

7) Formal Requirements for Yachts Entering/Departing: a) from/to same country In Jan ‘99 it was possible to arrive elsewhere in Tobago and then take the bus into Scarborough to clear in but this may change in the future. Malcolm Dobson - Spirit of Lundy 2002/3 b) from/to abroad Usual documents & clearance from last port. Fairly straightforward, small charge for arriving & departing. An overtime fee is charged if arriving outside normal hours of 0800-1600 weekdays. Information from Malcolm Dobson - Spirit of Lundy 2002/3 Check in is now available at Charlotville. Customs& immigration are at the back of the playing fields. When we left Tobago we anchored tight in behind Bucco reef and used the jetty belonging to the private beach club{ small charge} . We then caught the bus to Scarborough to check out! saving the difficult trip by boat.This was no problem. c) visa requirements

8) Location/Existence of:

b) customs/immigration Immigration should be told, in advance, about crew members both arriving and departing, particularly those arriving by air with no hotel booked.
d) police Every small town has a Police station

9) Control of Foreign Yachts Cruisers may check in at either Trinidad or Tobago. If you then move to the other, you need to check out of the one you were in first, so that their info can be forwarded. If checking out of Trinidad find out whether you need to go to Scarborough first. Regulations change so fast.

10) Attitude of Officials to Visiting Yachtsmen

11) Repair/Hauling Facilities No haul out yards or marinas.

12) Sailing Directions or Charts BA 493. Detailed chartlets in Chris Doyle’s ‘Cruising guide to Trinidad & Tobago’.

13) Cruising Guide and where Obtainable. Include Phone and/or E-Mail

16) Yacht Club(S) None

17) Other Facilities:

chandlers Hardware stores around the island, but little in way of specialist provision for yacht repairs.

bank Banks are prolific in Scarborough and the SW, but not all small towns have one.

shops/market Scarborough & around Crown Point . There are reasonably well stocked mini-marts and small vans/stalls selling fruit & vegetables, all around the island. Shopping & business hours are generally between 0800 & 1200, 1300 & 1630, except for Saturday pm & Sundays & holidays.

restaurants/hotels Eleven Degrees North, just off Pigeon Point road.

post office/telephones including mobile facilities Scarborough. All small towns have at least one booth. Be prepared with coins, multiples of 25c & phone cards. Not all allow calls via Credit Cards. TSTT has a direct line to the USA. Phone cards can be purchased at some supermarkets & bars. Each small town has a PO.

transport/air services Airport. Public transport is a combination of buses, maxi-taxis and car-taxis. (The latter two have ‘H’ at the beginning of their registration plates).The blue & white buses are cheapest and cover most island routes. There are timetables, but check carefully. School bus schedules can ‘modify’ any timetable. Tickets must be purchased from small shops or the tourist bureau in advance. Negotiate before you ride in any form of taxi. Many choices of hire car companies, but all near the same fees. Drive with UK, USA or International licence. Near Scarborough or the SW, the car can be delivered to you.

medical facilities/hospital At the fort above the harbour. Each town has a health centre.

18) Recommendations or Warnings The most frustrating thing was trying to land, even where there is a jetty. Scarborough would seem to be the exception. The swell was often extremely big, and dinghies let tided to them, even with a good stern anchor, were very vulnerable We heard of many, but witnessed two seriously damaged, mostly by being trapped beneath the a jetty in the swell. A light dinghy could be dragged/carried up the beaches and safely left, although it could be a wet landing and launching! The weather was kind to us during the 3 days we toured the island by car from Charlotteville, the dinghy remaining unscathed. Within 2 days it would have been impossible!

19) Other Information – please include here general impressions, opinions, comments or any other matter which might be of use to those visiting. Charlotteville has a jetty and a fresh water tap opposite it. It is the commercial fishing area. Buy from the small boats as they come in. Good food stores and bus service. In all of these bays we enjoyed good snorkelling over some very pretty reefs. Several have glass bottomed boats for the less adventurous to view the reefs. For the most adventurous, the best SCUBA diving areas are off the NW-NE coastline.

Chaguaramas – 10°40.00'N, 61°30.00'W

1) Information Submitted by Harold La Borde. (Harold used to own a marina called Humming Bird Marine Limited, now called Sweetwater Marine (634 4046), normally handling power boats, but does have the occasional yacht.) Kitty & Simon Van Hagen - Duet; Anne and Alan Dunlop "Freya of Clyde"

2) Date 2009

3) Harbour or Area Covered Include Lat & Long Chaguaramas, Trinidad. 10°40’N 61°30’W approx.

4) Suitability and Attraction for Yachts In the Chaguaramas Peninsula where all the facilities for yachts are located you can get almost anything done.

5) Marinas, Berthing or Anchorage: Crews Inn Marina, Tropical Marine, Coral Cove, Power Boats, Peakes and IMS. There is also a large anchorage area which has several moorings balls owned and serviced by YSATT (the Yacht Services Association of T&T) and Simon the Diver. Also available to visiting yachts are the facilities at TTSA (the Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association) where for a fee you can anchor your boat in the bay outside the yacht club and use their facilities. To the east of Pt Gourde peninsula is the Trinidad and Tobago Yachting Association (T.T.Y.A.), a sort of Yacht Club where visitors may anchor and use the facilities. The holding has been reported as poor in Chaguramas bay.

6) Entry Ports Chaguaramas, Trinidad, or Scarborough in Tobago.

7) Formal Requirements for Yachts Entering/Departing:

a) from/to same country Can cruise anywhere in Trinidad without special permission. You can enter in Tobago (Scarborough) & exit in Trinidad or vice versa but Immigration must be informed at Entry port.

b) from/to abroad. Any yacht not wishing to pay overtime must enter the 12 mile limit after 0800. If you come to the dock at 0800 you will be charged overtime. 1000 or after, but before 1600, is a good time. There is a small charge for using the navigation aids covering the first 30 days. Additional charges for longer stays. When you check out of Customs you have 4 hours to clear the country. Firearms must be declared upon entering. The firearms will be kept by the police or Customs until you leave. You may try and get away with a flare gun but that is up to the boarding officer. c) visa requirements

8) Location/Existence of:

b) customs/immigration In building near Crews Inn marina. Yachts must go direct to Customs dock just beyond the marina., There is no boarding except at the dock. All crew have to go to Immigration.

9) Control of Foreign Yachts On entry into the country you will be granted a stay of up to 3 months. This may be extended for a further 3 months upon application 1 week before the first 3 months expires. It is fairly easy to leave yachts ashore in long time storage.

10) Attitude of Officials to Visiting Yachtsmen Most officials are courteous but you do get one sometimes that could be over officious as in all countries.

11) Repair/Hauling Facilities: Coral Cove, Peakes, or Power Boats. There are six haul out facilities here ranging from 250 tons to 15 tons and lots of space for long or short term storage. Anyone wishing to book long term space should do so early, say, December, if they wish to remain here for the hurricane season. Y.S.A.T.T. will give you the phone numbers/e-mail addresses or fax numbers of all the yards upon request but there is no shortage of space Dec.-April. There are excellent fibreglass workers & painters but a list of approved workers should be found from Y.S.A.T.T. for objective information about local contractors or labourers. Also good sailmakers & upholsterers. There is local teak in abundance & many a deck has been done here. Fuel tanks can be cleaned out. Peake Yacht Services are the only yard with a big enough travel lift to take large yachts without having to remove their forestays or backstays. Spare parts can be imported free of duty and VAT so long as you label them ‘Yacht in Transit.’ This also goes for flying in parts or shipping them. There are also agencies who will organise this for you but at a price.

12) Sailing Directions or Charts BA 482.

13) Cruising Guide and where Obtainable. Include Phone and/or E-Mail Chris Doyles ‘Cruising Guide to Trinidad and Venezuela’ For detailed information request an up to date Boaters Directory, from YSATT. These are available free from any marina or chandlery in the area of T&T. This comprehensive book is invaluable.

14) Port Radio Services Customs & Immigration stand by on VHF Ch 16 and so does the Coastguard. Coming from the north, call North Post Radio which is the Government shipping radio. The calling channel boat to boat is Ch 68 and so is the local net at 08.00.

15) Weather Forecasts Call Eric on VHF Ch 68 for weather and other information. On the morning net you will get a weather forecast, some of it taken taken from the NOAA sites and from the local airports via the internet.

16) Yacht Club(S) TTSA which is further east from Chaguaramas and welcomes visitors. It is nearer to town. T.T.Y.A. also welcomes visitors at stated above and operates a 125 ton Travel lift.

17) Other Facilities:

drinking water available at all marinas and is safe for drinking. Bottled water available at supermarkets.

Fuel: Most yachts fuel at the ‘Power Boats’ dock. Fuel is charged at international prices but it is clean.

Gas (propane)/gaz: every Friday morning Ian of Ian’s Taxi will pick up Propane or Butane bottles. Gas is not expensive, but the price changes regularly. The depot is far out of town.

Chandlers: There are several good chandlers in Chaguaramas Bay - Crews Inn, Peakes, Power Boats, Budget Marine, I.M.S. and Marine Warehouse.

There are two banks operating at Chaguaramas, one at Crews Inn and one at across the road from Peakes. All banking facilities available. Shops/market

There is a supermarket at Crews Inn, Peakes and at Power Boats. Restaurants/hotels

There are restaurants at Crews Inn, at Peakes, Power Boats and I.M.S. Crews Inn has accommodation and there is accommodation at the West Palm Hotel, near Peakes. There are also some rooms available at Peakes and Power Boats (fairly basic).

Post office/telephones: There is a Post Office at Coral Cove. Pay phones, Fax and E mail, internet cafes and wi-fi available everywhere.

Best mailing address. Best for forwarding mail & small packages. Poste Restante, Careenage Post Office, Western Marine Road, Trinidad, West Indies. Large P.O. in town.

Showers at all marinas.

Laundry: All marinas have washers & dryers.

Transport/air services: International airport, good crew changing place. Good buses ply the Chaguaramas route every half hour and so do many mini buses (locally known as "maxi taxi 's" (very cheap). There are several Travel Agents in the area but Irena Travel Ltd at Tropical Marine, on Ch 68 (634 2949) is very good. Taxi services: See "Members Only Maxi-Taxi Service", run by Jesse James - extremely reliable, very friendly and most capable - phone number 683 5202.

Medical facilities/hospital: General Hospital mainly for locals in town. There are several good clinics, the nearest to Chaguaramas is West Shore Medical about five miles from Chaguaramas. There are excellent doctors - many British or US trained and almost any operation is possible in Trinidad.

18) Recommendations or Warnings The people are friendly enough, but don’t leave your boat with people working on it, always lock up.

19) Other Information – please include here general impressions, opinions, comments or any other matter which might be of use to those visiting.

Visitors to Trinidad & Tobago are not allowed to work or solicit work from other yachties. Work permits can be granted so long as the proper proceedings are adhered to.

Pets, dogs & cats are not allowed on land even if you have a valid Quarantine Certificate.

Trinidad waters are not ‘Caribbean clear’ like Tobago, but are murky and nutritious.

The Chaguaramas area is very picturesque and abounds with bird life and there are several roads leading in to the forested hills.

Please do not jog or cycle on these roads alone or at night. The main roads are wide and are safe and well lit.

It goes without saying that you do not go exploring Port of Spain at night or on foot.

The yachties on Trinidad are quite organised and lay on for themselves all sorts of tours and hikes in groups so there is no shortage of outdoor activities. These are highly recommended.

Please secure your dinghy at the various marinas .

At anchor it is suggested that you take your outboard on board and lock it. Dinghies & outboards have been stolen here and not only by locals. Please lock up the vessel when going ashore.

Do not leave the vessel unattended in quiet bays of our outer islands and go the few miles by dinghy to the restaurant etc. Boats have been broken into even with other yachts in the bay. Look out for the boat that may be ‘just fishing’ near your boat, be friendly but firm.

Trinidad is not a quiet backwater of a place, like Tobago is, and even there you should take the same precautions. Do enjoy yourself in Trinidad and Tobago and visit YSATT on arrival before you make any decisions on repairs, travel, medical etc.

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