January 1, 2009
SAILING INTO TRINDAD
I awoke early on New Year’s Day to the realization that the ship, though still traveling rapidly, was traveling forward only, and not side to side. It seemed safe to take a much needed shower. While in the Amazon we were asked to conserve water usage and to shower briefly, and only as needed. Good environmentalist that I am, I complied; knowing that once we were out into open waters the supply would be plentiful. The ship makes its own water, but was unable to do so while in the river. What I did not realize was that for the next two days the ship motion would make it unsafe for me to use the shower. Gratefully I was able to start New Year’s Day smelling sweet again.
With no lectures scheduled, after an early breakfast, I spent the morning bringing my blog up to date. The day was dismal and we were still racing along, so most of the outer decks remained closed because of the high winds. During lunch I met up again with Marissa and her group—since her lectures she has become well known and everyone stops to chat with her. We had planned to travel together to the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, but the closer we got to port the worse the weather became. They decided that the logistics of traveling with Florence in a wheel chair to the bus then boarding a small river boat was not practical. As I thought about it, I realized that maybe I should also forgo the trip.
We are now in port and it is still raining heavily. It is almost four o’clock and we have just cleared customs. The roads are wet, the decks are slippery, and my nylon parka is not designed for heavy showers. A code blue has just been called for deck five—which means there is a medical emergency and a doctor is needed STAT for a passenger in trouble. I was on the outer deck on five while the ship was entering the harbor, and it was dangerously slippery.
As I look out my window now, the roadbed is heavily puddled, the rain is still coming down and it looks like it will not stop soon. I have been to many bird sanctuaries in Florida, Louisiana, Costa Rica and in zoos which feature tropical birds—so I am sure that while the scenery will be beautiful it will be more of the same old. In fact, while I was on the Amazon River I was surprised to see how many birds we saw which were the same species as those that inhabited our own Wakadahotchie and Green Cay.
We do not leave port until late tomorrow and I have signed up for a scenic drive around the Island, so I will get to see some of Trinidad before I leave. Guess there is nothing more to do now than find a quite spot and start another book. I will be well read by the end of this trip.
I took my book up to observation lounge, forward on the seventh and top deck, hoping the rain would stop. The visibility was poor—low clouds and fog hung over the city, hiding the mountains beyond. Suddenly everything cleared, and in the bright sunlight a major city of colorful high rise buildings came into view. From one end of the dock to the other was a magnificent double rainbow. All of us with cameras went out on the wet deck slippery deck in the drizzle (the sun has gone in as suddenly as it had appeared) to capture the rainbow before it faded. The shot I got was not great, but half the rainbow is in the photo.
When I returned to my cabin to change my clothes for dinner, there was a note on my door notifying me that the trip I had signed up for tomorrow had been canceled because of a landslide, caused by the rain. Fortunately I met several people in the dining room who had also been canceled and were interested in highering a van to see the sites. Two of the couples will try to make arrangements and get back to me by nine am. I really have not minded staying on the ship so many days in a row, but how can I sit outside the major port of Trinidad and say that I only saw the island from the dock.
Not a great beginning for the New Year—but I am still enjoying myself.
Happy New Year to all--.