Places and Events throughout the Eastern Caribbean
Carnival in Trinidad - 2020
I decided to hang around in Trinidad to do Carnival this year again. This decidion was very fortunate as Covid-19 struck just after carnical. I participated in a few of my most favorate events and one new one.
The Classic Carnival
The Old Time Carnival is held on the campus of the University of the West Indies. The students and faculty bring the classic carnival and its typical characters back for everyone to see. They tell the story of how carnival has evolved to its current form. The Moko Jumbies, or Stilt walkers were a great hit as always. The midnight robber was well done. I could not do half of their stunts on my two feet. Not 20 feet in the air or more.
The Children's Carnival
The Childeren's Carnival was a new experience. It was held on the stage on the savana. The costumes were judged within each age group. Many very elaborage costumes, that might have had a bit of parental help.
The Main Parade
The Tuesday parade is always a spectacle. This year was no exception. The group of us left Chaguaramas for Port of Spain at sunrise to get there in time to get good seats in the stands. We then were able to settle in and get breakfast before the days events started. The parade continued with out much interuption until it was time to leave about five. The parade continues on into the night. The colors and the music were overwelming at times. People watching was extraordinary as always.
Please click on an image to see a larger version or to see related pictures.
Carnival in Trinidad - 2019
An unexpected benifit of needing to stay over in Trinidad into the late winter, was a chance to experience Carnival for a second time.
The Classic Carnival
The Old Time Carnival on the campus of the University of the West Indies has brought the classic carnival and its typical characters back for everyone to see. They tell the story of how carnival has evolved to its current form. The Moko Jumbies, or Stilt walkers were a great hit. I could not do half of their stunts on my two feet. Not 20 feet in the air or more.
As always, people watching was excellent. Especally the little kids.
The Main Parade
The Main Parade was as colorful as always. They changed the routes to allow the bands to march in many different directions, but for us in one place, we missed a lot. But, the backup of last time was avoided.
Carnival in Trinidad - 2014
We experienced Carnival on several islands in the Eastern Caribbean. Each island has a unique style and flavor. Carnival is the big event on most of the islands. Trinidad hosts the largest and most exciting.
Carnival in Trinidad consists of a great number of different events spread over more than a month leading up to the main parade downtown Port of Spain on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.
Pan music is a uniquely Trinidad invention. Each pan yard competes with each other for honers and prizes. The competition is high with honors and prizes going to the winner in many categories.
Many say that the big parades downtown have lost the "real" carnival spirit. The Old Time Carnival on the campus of the University of the West Indies has brought the classic carnival and its typical characters back for everyone to see. They tell the story of how carnival has evolved to its current form.
The main Carnival parades on Monday and Tuesday are spectacular. An all day event with bands large and small parading past. When we left at 5 in the afternoon, bands still waiting to appear stretched as far as the eye could see.
Carnival elsewhere in the Caribbean
We attended the main parade in Grenada and enjoyed the many groups and costumes. While not as big or elaborate as Trinidad they made up with enthusiasm.
The carnival parade in Martinique was around the main square. The spectators were decked out as much as the participants. They decorated the cars with all sorts of fancy murals. The people watching was world class.
Carnival in Saint Anne, Martinique - 2017
The Carnival here had a much more small town flavor, but still had a great amount of energy.
Sailboat Races and Regattas
For the cruising sailor, the Antigua Classic regatta and Antigua Race week, shortly after, are a mecca. From watching the racing, to enjoying the parties, to catching up with friends, April is a date in all our calenders.
My first experience with the regatta. Arrived too late for many of the races, but enjoyed the parties.
I returned for a second year to enjoy the Classic Yacht Regatta in 2015. The first day I was fortunate to get a spot on one of the spectator boats and the second day I found a spot overlooking the race course.
This year I was determined to get many more pictures of the races and perhaps even get out on one of the race boats or the press boat. Did not make either, but did get out on the water to watch the races one one of the spectator boats. I did manage to help the race organizers out by providing some pictures of the after race activities.
This year I worked part time as an offical photographer for the Classic Yacht Regatta. It was interesting meeting other local photographers. I did get the opertunity to ride along on one of the boats.
Most of the islands have regattas of the locally built boats. I was fortunate to be anchored on the course to the windward mark for one in Deshaies, Guadeloupe. I am also fortunate that i don't understand much French as I suspect that a few racers were not commenting on the weather as they passed by.
Le Tour des Yoles Rondes (Yoles Boat Race Tour)
The Yoles visited Saint Anne while I was there in 2018. Spectacular sailing in clasic boats. We got a front row seat for several days of racing. I am not sure the skipper appreciated the anchored boats being in their way.
Cricket is almost a mania in the former British islands of the Caribbean. In Trinidad we were fortunate to attend both a 20/20 and a 50/50 match. We had an excellent commentator in our group which added to the fun. I must admit that the matches in Trinidad have much of the flavor of their Carnival.
In Antigua, were the West Indies Team recently played England, a national holiday was declared to allow people to attend or watch the match. We attended the first day of the five.