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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 25, 2012-Charlotteville Pirogue Festival

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Charlotteville Pirogue Festival.
Chris (left) from Shady Lady,and Liz, join Judy at the festival.

“The rainy season in Charlotteville extends past Christmas,” said Clarence Thomas, by way of explaining why he opposed the November Pirogue Festival date, “I suggested it should be in July.”

“You see, the merchants here depend on this festival to make some money, and if it gets rained out, they don’t make anything. It should be held in July. It never rains in July in Charlotteville.”

But Clarence Thomas, who runs Tanty’s Restaurant and Bar here where we can get ice cold Stag beers and watch CNN, is an outsider in Charlotteville; he’s only been here a few years, and outsiders are not held in high regard in Charlotteville. So his advice was discarded, even though, year after year, to hear him tell it, the Charlotteville Pirogue Festival gets rained out in November.

Sunday, November 25, was the date of this year’s Charlotteville Pirogue Festival. It rained Friday, November 23. It rained Saturday November 24. And it rained Sunday morning, November 25, but by the afternoon it was clear, so this year’s Charlotteville Pirogue Festival wasn’t exactly rained out. It was just a little soggy. We went. We had fun. We got a little wet, but not bad. The rum merchants, and a couple of restaurant owners, got some of our money but we have no way of knowing if the festival met their expectations. Being outsiders ourselves we weren’t exactly in the inner circle here in Charlotteville.

Nobody shared their business results with us.

But we stayed ‘till dark, watched the Pirogue race (Pirogues are small fishing boats with big outboard motors, not meat pies) drank some rum, got our ears blown out by the biggest sound system I have ever seen or heard, bar none, and generally had a good time.

But we went home early.

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Lauging Man in Bow of Blue Boat.

The music went on all night, we could hear it, but by Monday morning all was quiet and the whole town was dead, not a living soul to be seen. Assumedly they were all inside somewhere counting their receipts.

We like Charlotteville. It is a scenic little town nestled in the valley at the head of Man of War Bay, on the north end of Tobago Island, surrounded by mountains and it is blessed with an abundance of water.

Sunshine, on the other hand, is parceled out sparingly. Our water tanks are full but our solar panels are getting a vacation.

Still, we love it here. The town is nice, the bay protected, and the bus ride to Scarborough, where the nearest supermarket is to be found, is stunning. We took that bus once, (twice, if you count the return trip). The road is narrow and twisting, and the drivers go pretty fast. We were lucky; we only had four close calls and one minor crash. Now we know why some sailors here sail the twenty-five miles rather than chance that bus ride.

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Charlotteville is also an out-of-the-way gathering point for international yachts and we’ve met some old friends here: Shady Lady, from Langkawi, whom we last met in Africa, Top to Top and Artic, both we know from St. Helena, and a few other boats. It is an insider’s stop on the ‘round the world circuit.

But our stay here in Charlotteville is coming to an end. We’ve enjoyed it but we’ve got places to go, people to see. And I need a new phone; somehow mine got wet and is ruined. Tomorrow we will set sail for Grenada.

Click here for more images from the festival

Click here for more photos from Charlotteville

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Charlotteville, Tobago

December 8, Updated: Ruth and Angus, yacht DoIt, Whom we met in Africa, showed up the last night and we had a nice reunion with them.

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Blogger jan roswold brown said...

Eh? What did you say? Oh, yeah, lost my hearing at the festival. Oh well, it's raining, let's sail. Love lil sis

28 November, 2012 20:23  

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