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8th January, 2019

Port of Spain, Trinidad

It was a very calm and mystical sunrise this morning as we made our approach towards Port of Spain, Trinidad. There was a light mist tip toeing above the horizon, which evaporated as we approached the pilot station for embarking at 0745. Alistair our Chief Officer kept the con (control) of the ship to complete our engine astern tests, and steering tests before embarking the pilot. We do this prior to each arrival as a standard procedure. He then handed the con to the Staff Captain who guided the ship through the narrow buoyed channel until the inner harbour where he completed a swift pirouette (the ship not himself!) and then “backed up” to the berth. We were all fast by 0830, and Guests were ready to go ashore shortly after 9 0’clock when we got clearance from the local authorities.

Port of Spain is the capital and commercial centre of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago and the country’s third largest town. It has architecture from around the world from Hindu temples to gingerbread Rococo. Trinidad, home of the carnival and the steel band, it is an astonishing melting-pot of people and cultures – including African, Oriental, Indian, European and New World. It is also home to an interesting array of South American flora, as well as more than 400 species of birds.

There were 6 tours on offer with one of them heading to the Caroni Bird Sanctuary. It would appear that this was a real highlight for many guests. The Caroni bird sanctuary was established in 1953 and sprawls across a tidal lagoon and maze of mangrove lined waterways. One of the most spectacular features of the Sanctuary occurs at sunset when thousands of Scarlet Ibis and Egrets return to make their roost for the night. Apparently this happens like clockwork every day.

With everyone on board by 1900 hrs we slipped our lines and retraced our tracks through the harbour and buoyed channel. Next stop Barbados for our final port of the Caribbean.

Captain Julian Burgess

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