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Heading South to Chaguaramas Trinidad

Heading South to Chaguaramas Trinidad

Trinidad is synonymous with safety in the hurricane season, and Chaguaramas is the destination. It is nestled in the lee of the western arm of the Northern Range punctuated by the “Bocas” or “Dragon’s Mouth.” These are the dramatic gateways from the Caribbean Sea into the protected Gulf of Paria.

Chaguaramas’ strategic location has long been recognized. It was leased to the Americans during World War II where a Military Base was established providing a safe, sheltered harbor for their fleet of ships and submarines. Much of the infrastructure remains, with many historical sites in the area and surrounding islands. Chaguaramas is deemed a National Park, and is the main base for Trinidad’s Coast Guard and Regiment. The leisure marine industry in this bay has grown, most rapidly since the early 1990s.

Power Boats

Power Boats was the first facility to recognize that visiting yachts needed a marina. Originally, only power boats (hence the name) were stored and launched there with tractor and trailer. The Directors saw the potential, and so began the transformation to the first true marina in Chaguaramas. Known for efficient and friendly service, it offers stern-to slips for yachts (up to 80ft in length). It boasts the only fuel dock for yachts in Chaguaramas, and provides all the amenities as well as apartments to rent, Sails Restaurant, grocery and roti hut. The boatyard has a new 60 ton Travel Lift and a full complement of professional boat repair services.

Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association (TTSA)

TTSA was the first anchorage and facility specifically for yachts in Chaguaramas. The site was leased in 1972 and the Association has grown into a vibrant club and sailing school with races held most weekends from November to May. Visiting yachts are welcome to anchor and for a reasonable fee can become temporary members. This allows use of the dinghy dock and facilities, which include the Spinnaker Bar, restaurant, pool and laundry. Its friendly club atmosphere makes it a favorite with cruising families.

Peake Yacht Services

Peake’s main store at Cocorite has always included a range of chandlery items. To meet the demands of the growth in the yachting industry the company opened a marina, boatyard and chandlery in Chaguaramas. The dock accommodates yachts up to 115 ft, stern-to with amenities. Its 150 ton Marine Travel Lift easily accommodates catamarans, up to 31 ft beam. A full complement of boat repair services is available on-site. The hotel and newly opened “Zanzibar by the Sea” restaurant is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens overlooking the marina. www.peakeyachts.com

Crews Inn

It is instantly recognized by the Lighthouse Restaurant, so named for the landmark red and white lighthouse welcoming yachts into their marina. It boasts the largest hotel (with pool) and the most slips, easily accommodating super yachts. It has all the amenities one would expect at a marina and more. There are conference facilities and areas ideal for special events, a HiLo grocery, Duty Free liquor at Apadoca’s and even a hair salon. It is the site of Customs and Immigration in Chaguaramas, so whatever your ultimate destination in Chaguaramas, you will first make landfall there! www.crewsinn.com

Coral Cove

This marina has stern-to docking with amenities, and can accommodate catamarans. It is the site of the popular “Joe’s Pizza” and the post office is nearby. There are a number of self-catering hotel rooms and a small pool. There is a 60 ton Travel Lift and several marine shops. www.coralcovemarina.com

Tropical Marine
This small marina with stern-to slips is best known for the Wheelhouse Pub serving freshly caught swordfish and steak. The owners have a fleet of fishing vessels ensuring that fresh fish is served as a daily delicacy. There are a number of on-site shops and services.

A Place to Feel at Home

Many cruisers call Chaguaramas “home,” and they are right. There is no residential development in Chaguaramas. Boaters are the only civilian residents, and to meet their needs, a village of services has grown up around them.

WiFi is widely available in Chaguaramas. All marinas are within walking distance of each other. Skizzo’s Water Taxi service is a convenient alternative during the day and by arrangement, at night. Transport to Port of Spain is provided by “Maxi Taxi” or bus at minimal cost. Based in Tropical Marine, Jesse James of Members Only Taxi Service is a registered tour guide, a Port Officer of the Ocean Cruising Club for Trinidad and Co-host for the Trinidad Seven Seas Cruising Station.

If dock-side living is not your choice, the Yacht Services Association of Trinidad and Tobago (YSATT) has a number of secure moorings in the bay that are available for rental at a minimal fee. www.ysatt.org

Next: Part 2 – Services in Chaguaramas

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