Looking back at 2013
This is where we "celebrated" the start of 2013 - on deck of Corinthian, putting fibreglass on the deck.
After putting down the fibreglass, we made the deck smooth using epoxy filler. Which meant many rounds of applying filler and sanding it down. Here Laura is about to start the next big step: painting! First with a grey primer.
The first coat of primer has been applied! Now let's quickly go below the boat, take off the masks and other protective clothing.
Our new dinghy - a 12' Porta-Bote CRIB. It sure looks big lying below "Corinthian" like this, but luckily it folds up so we won't have any problems storing it on board.
Time to take the CRIB out for a test spin. We soon find that the best combination is the CRIB with our Torqeedo electrical outboard.
It was a great afternoon to test the CRIB, and we enjoyed the brief break from (or maybe reward for?) working on the boat.
Middle of March 2013. Laura's brother Philipp came to visit us, eager to finish the work on "Corinthian" and go sailing.
Philipp's first project on board - replacing soft wood around the rudder shaft. In the inset: gluing a new, perfectly-shaped piece of wood in place. Main picture: Job finished. Everything glued in place and weighed down until the epoxy sets.
And this is what the final, finished product looks like - after fibreglassing and painting the wood and making and polishing the metal plate.
Laura's project: adding extra insulation around the fridge. First step is to construct and glue in place a wooden frame in which the insulation foam will sit.
Et voilà - after weeks of work, waiting for wood, sanding, measuring, etc., the fridge project is finished!
Thorsten is busy with his own project: fibreglassing around the rudder bearing.
The worktable was always well used. Thorsten is working on the mounts for our additional solar panels and Philipp is polishing our new chain plates.
Taking a break after working hard all day.
Who can recognise this fruit? Weekly trip to the market in Port-of-Spain - great for fresh fruits and veggies, herbs, eggs, chicken, beef, fish...
... and sharks. We're not experts in shark biology, but these look like young sharks to us. It's sad to see so many of them stacked on the counter for sale when many shark species are threatened by overfishing.
At this stand you can even buy small hammerhead sharks. All species of hammerhead sharks are of high conservation concern, according to the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature).
Fresh food from the market - these fruits and vegetables will see us through another week. Can you recognise everything in the photo?
Laura's birthday gift - a trip to Nariva Swamp. You only need to follow the noise to find these red howler monkeys high up in the trees.
Next stop was the Pointe-à-Pierre Wildfowl Trust. Thorsten is in his element behind the camera, watching and filming the ducks, herons, anhinga, purple gallinule and other birds.
The black-bellied whistling ducks didn't want to put on a show for us.
This cormorant is waiting patiently for its meal to swim by.
From the water to the mountains... This hummingbird looks at us inquisitively at the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad's Northern Range mountains.
While this hummingbird is more interested in pruning itself.
These leafcutter ants are fascinating! The leaf pieces they're carrying are much bigger than themselves, and they travel long distances to bring the leaves back to their nests. So be careful where you place your foot if you don't want to step on a leafcutter ant "highway".
On our night walk we stumbled upon this brave little crab, who valiantly stood up to the camera, holding his meal out as a sword - or maybe an offering?
Laura helps the head gardener at Asa Wright plant a shrub along the roadside. Some of the plants he is growing will be planted at local schools as part of Asa Wright's education program.
The students at a local school in Arima are excited to put plants from Asa Wright into the ground in their schoolyard.
Carl and Caleb want to find out more about the birds of Trinidad with their bird banding project. Each bird is catalogued and examined for general health, length of feathers, age/stage of maturity, weight, etc.
Carl holds this bird carefully to show its wing feathers - an interesting combination of juvenile and adult plumage.
Watching leatherback turtles come on shore and lay eggs on the beach at night - and in the first light of dawn - is a magical, awe-inspiring experience.
While "Corinthian" was on the hard, we accompanied our friends Dario and Sabine from TOPtoTOP (www.toptotop.org) as they left Trinidad. Laura even got to sail a few metres on their boat "Pachamama" before she had to quickly jump into the dinghy. Watch the short film about our projects here.
Another opportunity to sail with friends - we joined Michael and Nathalie as they sailed from Trinidad to Grenada. First their newly-acquired boat had to be baptised with its new name - "Marlin"
Back to work - Thorsten mounting our new mast steps...
...while Laura gets her first sewing lesson as she repairs our second-hand binnacle cover.
A major milestone. The mast - newly painted, with new standing rigging, new electrical cables and mast steps - is being put up again. Glen, the mast crane drive at Power Boats, did a wonderful job.
There's not a minute to lose once the mast is up, so Thorsten sets to work on the night shift. Here he is at the top of the mast, checking the standing rigging, mounting antenna, lights, etc.
Time to come down, dinner's ready! Laura has prepared a pot of spaghetti in our outdoor kitchen below "Corinthian"
More than a year after we put her on land, "Corinthian" is happy to be on her way back to the water. We feel exactly the same.
One last trip before we leave Trinidad - to Caroni Swamp. The scarlet ibises are flocking back to the mangrove trees for the night.
The trees become alive with colour as hundreds of scarlet ibises and egrets return to roost.
Our first stretch sailing west - from Grenada to Curacao.
What a coincidence! The first person we met in Curacao was Wolfgang, a German sailor who was familiar with "Indiana", the first boat Thorsten sailed on from Germany to the Canaries, and whose wife owns a DVD of our film "Hitchhiking across the Atlantic"
The floating bridge opens to let us pass as we sail into Willemstad, where we will store "Corinthian" for several months.
Back out of the water again - "Corinthian" is hauled out at Curacao Marine.