Bye Bluebird

Bluebird left the boatyard today. Turns out time is money for Bluebird – sorry, I mean Maverick. Seriously? Who calls their blue boat Maverick. I mean come on. She’s totally Bluebird.

The foreman was busy telling me he reckoned they’d splash on Wednesday – with a slightly resigned, ‘What can you do? The sea’s too big right now.’ An hour later, I go upstairs and Bluebirds’s having her chocks removed. Foreman’s looking a bit quiet. It’ll take them two days to get up to St Lucia. He mentioned a night stop in Bequia in the Grenadines.

Perhaps the foreman didn’t want to leave Trinidad. After all, Trini is the Caribbean’s big comfy cushion. The richest country in the region by far – through oil and gas. Trinidad doesn’t need to settle for anything less in this land of plenty. Unlike the other Caribbean countries, it doesn’t rely on tourism. It’s not unknown of course, but they tend to leave tourism to their blue-water sister island, Tobago. She’s fifty odd miles away. Proper coral reef zone. I wonder if Trinidad keeps Tobago for beach days out.

Tobago is much more rural than Trinidad. For example, these little red crabs live on the strand line here at the boatyard. The Peakes security guard told us that where he’s from on Tobago, fisherman use these crabs for bait. If they don’t catch any fish, they eat the crabs. Nothing goes to waste. When we asked if they do the same here in Trinidad, he shook his head firmly. 

He told us then that residents can fly and ferry between Trinidad and Tobago for free when they’re retired.

‘For free?!’

He nodded. How’s that for a pensioner’s bus pass? The guard said he’s living specially just for the moment he can do it. Wow! That plane’s gotta be filled with retired day trippers with their own sandwiches. Holding onto their retirement passes. Like the 237 to Shepherd’s Bush.

We haven’t sailed to Tobago on Quest. With its easterly position, it’s a little off the cruising track. We honeymooned here with little baby Lulu (and no Delph, Lulu likes to reminisce) in Tobago. Englishman’s Beach. Not a soul in sight. Just one sailboat anchored offshore. We’d stared at the boat from the beach for a couple of hours. The crew jumping off the boat, then hanging in their hammock. A crazy plan formed in our heads.

Here we are in Trini, thirteen years later. Watching Bluebird go off to make more money or be the plaything of some rich guy who likes Top Gun. Time always gets me like that. Fair winds, Bluebird. 


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