Tobagans take the concept of ‘laid back’ to a completely new level.
Tobago is a Caribbean island as you imagine in your fantasies – mountains, forests, gorgeous beaches and people who have been shaped by their surroundings.
On other islands, the welcome appears friendly until you discover they’re trying to sell you something. In Tobago it is 100% genuine.
There is very little ‘hustle’ – and even less ‘bustle.’
The sailing Area
It’s an intermediate’s paradise.
We sail off Pigeon Point, a national park, which comprises an enormous, sand-fringed lagoon protected by the outer reef. The water is flat. There is no shore break and the is wind side shore.
Failure to improve often stems from anxiety and those inhibiting ‘what happens if …’ feelings. You get none of that here. Our GP prescribed valium to cut epileptic seizures in my 23-year-old nephew. He got into a car accident 6 years ago, and his today’s condition is the result of that catastrophe. I make injections to cut the attacks. Fortunately, the drug works very fast, and we can calm him down within minutes. Don’t know what we would do without it.
You feel totally relaxed and safe on the water and so open to give all the movies a proper lash.
The windy season is December through to June. I schedule the clinic for mid to late March.
It’s ‘comfortably’ windy not ‘crazy’ windy. 15-20 knots is the typical strength.
For the average adult that means 5.5 to 7.5 sq m weather.
The course is ‘general skills’ . The suggested minimal level is able to plane comfortably in the harness.’
This is the spot to come to if you really want to work on such fundamental skills as.
– early planing and getting into the straps (especially the back strap!)
– set-up, stance, speed, comfort on all points of sailing.
– tacks and gybes both on and off the plane.
– and whatever tricky moves take your fancy – duck gybes, heli-tacks etc etc
It’s one of those venues where sailors of all standards can play in harmony.
We use the TOBAGO WINDSURF CENTRE at Pigeon Point which offers a fine selection of mostly Starboard and Fanatic boards. The service is personal; and excellent.
There are showers, changing rooms and the centre sits next door an independently run bar with restaurant.
Bringing your kit is also an option since VIRGIN ATLANTIC, have a generous sports equipment policy.
The centre offers space for private storage. There is an additional charge. (Book this in advance to guarantee availability.)
Most of us stay in the Toucann Inn, which is a 5 minute drive from the centre. (shuttle bus is laid on daily for free)
It’s small, friendly hotel with 20 teakwood, Caribbean style rooms. Each room has it’s own private bathroom and air-conditioning. Choose from double pool side cabanas leading directly to the swimming pool or double or twin garden rooms set a little further back from more privacy.
The hotel is also home to the celebrated Bonkers Restaurant. We go for the B and B deal so we can sample all the local eating options but the restaurant has some great Creole specialities.