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“We are sailing, we are sailing ………………”

Day Eight:

On the spur of the moment last night, before the effects of the panic-consumed bottle of vino took hold, I’d booked my place on a catamaran that was going to a desert island for a snorkelling, picnicking, swimming day out. The taxi came for me at 9.30am and we went off to another hotel to pick up some passengers who were going on the same trip. Bit of a gamble being thrown together with a bunch of strangers but these were 4 young Argentinians, 3 blokes and a girl, each of whom, as it turned out, had a tremendous sense of humour and were great fun to be with. None of them spoke any English and my Argentinian is a little rusty to say the least, but we laughed a lot right from the start trying to make each other understand what we were saying, mainly by over-gesticulating and miming. We arrived at the Marina only to be told that the catamaran had been overbooked and was full. Initial disappointment was instantly replaced by delight as they said that instead we would be on a motor cruiser laid on specially which would rendezvous with the catamaran just for the snorkelling when both vessels had arrived at the desert island.

Our little group was then joined by a charming and funny French businessman who was with his young son, and Hyemi, a very bright and fun lady originally from South Korea but who now lives and works in New York.

Hyemi shivering everyone’s timbers
Approaching the desert island
Enjoying life on the ocean waves:
Rendezvousing with the catamaran
leaving the main land, half way to paradise
The massive, packed catamaran

The snorkeling was good but no different from the previous day’s outing really, other than the sea being quite a lot choppier which when surfacing threw you about a lot more especially when you were trying to hang on to the boat to heave yourself out. I tried to do that when no one else was around as unless you are super fit, it is not possible to look in anyway ‘cool’ as you desperately try to gain a foothold on the lower step and gather your strength.

Arriving at the island there is a wooden, open-fronted restaurant and bar on raised decking, where we were welcomed with a vast tureen of steaming paella and piles of bread on long tables with bench seating enough for about 50 people. All that fresh air and exercise had worked up an appetite for everyone and it was great fun meeting a lot of new people and swapping stories of our respective holidays while we enjoyed the lunch. Good banter.

Then we all sloped off to find our own bit of ‘paradise’ and really soak up the privilege of being where we were. Gentle swimming in the crystal blue water, sipping a cool beer and taking in a scene that most people can only dream about. But not you I hope!!  Do try to get out to Cuba. You’ll love it.

hermit crabs abound but true to form, hide until you’re gone

After a couple of hours of languishing, it was an easy cruise back sitting up in the cockpit chatting with the ‘Captain’ and the others. Terrific day out.

Wonderful dinner at a table in an open-air restaurant in the heart of Trinidad with some of my new found friends, with a mix of lots of laughs and serious but stimulating discussion; then, much later, back to the casa and upstairs to a balcony seating area overlooking the inner courtyard, gazing up to the stars, listening to some superb music and singing coming from a live performance at a nightclub next door whilst I once again savoured a Cohiba and a large glass of Havana Rum. Perfect end to a perfect day.

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