Swimming with the dolphins cruising Down the Islands by Nadia Ali in Sweet T&T, Sweet TnT Magazine, Trinidad and Tobago, Trini, vacation, travel

Let’s go cruising Down de Islands

By Nadia Ali. Living on a twin island there’s so much fun to be had in the water, under the water and on the water. Needless to say, the best on the water fun is definitely cruising to the Bocas Islands which lie between Trinidad and Venezuela and are locally known as “Down de Islands”.

The boat we rented allowed eight guests alongside the two crew members to go out for a day cruise. Some took to the sun-kissed deck of the boat, others relaxed under the shade of the canopy and the rest sat in the open sunshine. As the boat slowly pulled out from the marina, the silhouettes of the skyline of Port of Spain dazzled in the morning sunshine.

Once in the open waters, the captain increased the speed churning up thick sea foam that trailed behind the boat. The spray of sea water refreshed our faces, the Caribbean wind blew through our hair and with a flick of a switch the sound of music filled the air as we set sail for our day cruise.

Chacachacare, the largest of the islands between

We sailed between huge tankers, small boats with fishermen and chunks of islands. As we passed the abandoned island of Chacachacare, the largest of the islands between Trinidad and Venezuela, our captain gave us a brief historical story. He said it is horse-shoe in shape, about 900-acres in size and that it had been used as a whaling station, leper colony and a cotton plantation.

We then continued on the open waters taking in the sights as we headed between the last two islands. The captain then stopped the engine, turned off the music and advised us all to be quiet. Were pirates after us? Was the Loch Ness Monster lurking in the waters below the boat?

Down de Islands. Photo Nadia Ali.

“Look!” he said, pointed out to sea, “there’s dolphins ahead!” Suddenly, there was a frenzy on board, we ran onto the deck, others hung over board to catch a glimpse.

“They are coming this way,” announced the captain. The boys in our group ran and dived into the water. I wasn’t that brave and grabbed a bright orange life-jacket and with a splash hit the water.

There was sheer excitement bobbing up and down in the bottomless, open sea. We were told there were about ten dolphins heading towards us, arching in and out of the water. Bobbing up and down in the waves we could barely see the approaching fins of the dolphins, whereas the others onboard screamed directions, “Over there! Over there!” Pointing to the left and to the right. The waves rolled in and in them we saw the dolphins smiling at us. It was unbelievable! The dolphins kept a safe distance as they playfully dived under the waves. It was such a thrill and yet a little scary at the same time as we saw them up close. Then they began to swim away.

After watching them swim into the distance, our captain started the engine, switched on the music and we sailed towards a shallow bay area where lunch was served. We swam for a while and then as the sun began to set we began the cruise back to the yacht club. My cousin turned and said to me, “This place is like a paradise!” It had been a very long time since I had last heard of Trinidad being referred to with such high regard. As we sat on the deck of the boat skimming over the sea heading back to the yacht club, it certainly felt like it… paradise.

December 2014 – Issue 13     www.sweettntmagazine.com

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Chacachacare – come to my island!

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