Carnival time in Tobago
Trip Start Nov 27, 2007
6Trip End Feb 14, 2008
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During some of the weather days I took the opportunity to visit Ft. King George on the hill above Scarborough. Tyler and I also got the chance to see the "Our Boys Steel Pan Orchestra" a collection of about 30 players playing all types of steel pans from high pitched lead soprano pans to the lowest 9-drum bass pans. It was interesting to see how the bands ran their rehearsal. It felt alot like some of the marching band rehearsals I've been a part of. The director seemed very cool and the music was absolutely awesome. If you have some time to search online look up the annual PANORAMA festival on google. it's the steel pan orchestra competition held every year in Trinidad and Tobago. It Starts in mid-January and ends during Carnival.
One night after Dinner with everyone (including 3 client representatives, ugh!) one of our sonar operators decided for some reason that he really badly wanted to go into Scarborough to go drinking. Nobody wanted to go with him so he proclaimed that he was going by himself and he would take a taxi home
On the 14th and 15th of January Peter Martin got to come off of the Count Turk for some shore leave. He wanted to see some of the island interior on his day off so Tyler and I took him on a long adventure around the island. We had originally planned on going up to a place called Argyle falls. But along the way, we got distracted. First by all the neat little bays and fishing villages along the North side of the island. We didn't stop at ALL of them but just about. They we spent some time on a strange hiking trail and ended up going on an hour long hike in the Tobagonian Rain forest. While hiking out we ran into a couple from the UK who were living on a sailboat in Pirates bay at the time. They turned out to be civil engineers so we struck up some good converstaion rather quickly. We gave them a ride to the Northern tip of the island where they were anchored and they took us aboard for the afternoon. It was so relaxing! I would love to do that kind of lifestyle some time but I think that I would have to do it in a crusing boat rather than a sailboat, I'm honestly not a very good sailor. The coolest part about their situation was the fact that there was no fee to anchor your boat at 90% of the bays and cays in the Caribbean, so it's really inexpensive to live once you've bought the boat. We enjoyed the company until it got dark and they headed back home on the very windy road back to our house
The job continues into February, we are all starting to get short with each other and I feel like this is an episode of the Real World. I could have made a mint if I had set up cameras all over this house to tape the digression of peoples politeness toward each other. We got a weather window around the first of the month and were able to finish the geophysical side of the survey. Unfortunately the divers found live coral on almost all of the sites where they want to do drilling so that means they'll have to look for a new place to bring the pipeline on shore. Our job is not extended any more because we have surveyed the whole south half of the island!
As I was putting the final touches on my map for the second time, I got a phone call that would rock my world again
Well, it seems like someone is listening to what I have to say..... We took the Turk out to the survey site and when we were about 100m from the start of our first line, our generator blew and we had to go back to the dock. The generator was fixed but by that time the weather had kicked up and we went on weather down time for Carnival. Whoever worked that one out, thankyou....
So, Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, if you don't know, wikipedia it. It's like nothing else on earth. I haven't seen this many people on a three day benders since the last time I got 72hrs shore leave in South Louisiana. Carnival starts on the Sunday before ash Wednesday. the children have their parade usually on sunday, then the party really gets kickin with the adults. On Monday at three in the AM, J'ouvert begins and the streets fill with partiers and revellers
The typical thing to do during carnival is to join a band. A band consists of one or two large semi trucks with speakers stacked floor to celing, bumping the loudest SoCa Music you can imagine, behind that is a group of 25-200 revellers in their feathers, t-shirts, short shorts or whatever costume the bands come up with. some bands are themed, others just follow the carnival theme. Behind that is a van, filled with coolers holding all kinds of beautiful rum drinks and water for the revellers. On Monday and Tuesday, people parade around the city in these "bands" and they drink and party all day long. The party goes from one end of the city to the other, and then goes back to the park and starts over the next day. It is said that the carnival activities rival those in Rio and top the festivals in New Oreleans.
After Carnival, we flew over to Barbados to wait for the rest of the surveyors and boats to arrive.