1. There is no hot water at Trinidad & Tobago Sailing Association. Sounds awful, but it’s actually ok, because it’s pretty warm here anyway and a cool shower is very refreshing in the afternoon. Just don’t expect to have it if you come.

2. Caribbean J/24 sailors are pretty hard core. Many regattas are up to 90 miles or more away, and these are the islands, so competitors sail there. That’s ~16 hours to and from. Seas this time of year are generally 3+ meters to Grenada, and winds in the afternoon are anywhere from 20-35 kts. Boats are also generally wet sailed.

We’ll get to experience the Trini Js firsthand the 19-21st for Tobago Race Week. More info on that then.

3.  “Mas” means masquerade. Since we arrived I’ve been seeing flyers talking about mas for Carnival, and given my Latino roots and Trinidad’s proximity to Venezuela (6 mi), I’ve kept trying to figure out what “more” for Carnival referred to. Today we went down to Jesse James’ office to sign up with Members Only Maxi Taxi for rides and tickets to some Carnival events, and I learned mas is short for masquerade, and we’ll be seeing mas tonight, at the King & Queen’s preliminary competition, in which competitors dress in costumes reputed to approach the size of parade floats, but worn only by one person.

We’ve also signed up to see the Panorama pan finals for medium and large bands late this week. Pans are what we call steel drums back in the states, and large bands number >100 pan players in competition on stage at once. On next Monday morning at 3 a.m. a week from now, we’ll be picked up from TTSA for J’Ouvert, which means “daybreak”, dressed in our own mas costumes, and taken down to our host band in Port of Spain for a supposedly singular experience filled with body painting, nonstop dancing, mudslinging, food and local rum to kick off the true Carnival celebration Monday and Tuesday the 15th and 16th. We’ll also be attending the Parade of Bands on Tuesday, which is the culmination of Carnival festivities.

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