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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

2010 Trinidad Carnival - Silent Morning

Hi-Ho, Kermit D. Frog here, bringing you coverage of feteing on the high seas here in Trinidad Carnival 2010. It is Carnival Friday and I am on my way to attend Silent Morning, a boatfete on the Treasure Queen. The ship is scheduled to leave promptly at 9:00 a.m. from Pier II and it is 8:55 a.m. and my crew and I are flying up the Chagaramas road praying not to get left. We pull into the car park with one minute to spare only to see the boat still readying for departure and a mass of people in line to get breakfast. PHEW! We heaved a sigh of relief and joined the line to chow down on some bake and fish. Before long the “all-aboard” was sounded and we made our way on to the ship to get the activities started.

The Treasure Queen has 3 levels and since we boarded on the lowest for convenience (and laziness) we set up shop right there. This was a bring-your-own-liquor-in-a-plastic-bottle fete so I was equipped with 2 squeeze bottles of Grey Goose while the rest of my crew had consolidated their liquor in a gas can. Yes peeps, they toted a 2 gallon plastic gas can with liquor to the fete and a more perfect container you could not find so if you see this trend kick off from now, remember that it was the Triniracer that started it all. So we are on board, the music is playing and we dispatch a soldier to get chaser to dilute the liquid fire we brought. While waiting to begin consumption, I looked around and started taking some “before” pics because I had a feeling that there would be a vivid contrast between the pics taken before the ship sailed and when it returned. The vibe was chill now, but I knew that once the drinks started flowing and the ship started rocking that everybody will PARTY HARD, YES THEY A GO PARTY HARD, and as it turned out, I was 100% correct.

It was around this point that I noticed that some time had passed since the chaser-getter had departed and not only was he not back, but the ship had not left either. As it turned out, the bars were swamped with people that didn’t realize that they were supposed to bring their own liquor, so it was taking a while to get through and as far as the ship not yet sailing, apparently a drummer was scheduled to perform and he was running late. By now it was around 10:00 a.m. and a story was related to me that had I heard it from anyone other that this particular individual, I would have discounted it as urban legend.

Apparently, a group of feters were on their way to catch the ship (and were running late of course) when their car began experiencing transmission problems. As the story goes, after a few minutes of these problems the driver realized that the chances were rapidly dwindling that the car would make it all the way to the ship so he made an executive decision. He stopped the car at the side of the road, ordered everyone out, locked the car, chweep-chweep’d the alarm, stopped a maxi-taxi and the whole posse rode out to the boat, abandoning the car! The rationale was that the car can’t move anyway and there was no point in missing the fete so they will deal with the transmission when they get back. Peeps, I have the utmost admiration for this individual and if I were to ever meet him, I would buy him a drink. This was the greatest example of I-will-make-this-fete-come-hell-or-high-water that I had ever heard and I thought to myself that it would be extremely difficult to top that but little did I know that that particular milestone would be COMPLETELY ECLIPSED a mere couple of hours from now and I tell you if I wasn’t present to witness and document this piece of madness myself, I would definitely not have believed it.

Anyway, before too long, the chasers and the drummer man reached, lines were cast off and we were underway. The DJs were warming up and everyone was working on getting their sea legs and adjusting to the slight roll of the sea. Conveniently, there were plenty pipes overhead which one could use to steady one’s self while wining and several feters were making full use of them. Of course, other feters discovered that the pipes were strong enough to pull one’s self up on it and so they were doing some warm-up and stretching exercises on the pipes which was also all good, however doing both activities in close proximity to each other was like smelling gasoline and lighting a match to look for it. BOOM! Fellas were acting like a wining spiderman up in de people ceiling and while you would think it would be difficult to wine while suspended from pipe on a moving ship, these folk made it look easy. The party is now in full swing, all three decks are fully involved and the ship is a-rocking. I swing up to the top level to see what’s what and discovered that things were on fire up there as well except there was a cool breeze blowing which complemented the hot sunshine quite nicely. People were dancing here too but this was also the chill out area and as I enjoyed the scene I gazed out at the sparkling sea and noticed a pirogue (a small, flat-bottomed boat of a design associated particularly with fishermen) approaching our ship with some people aboard.

As you know, peeps, what I write in my commentaries is what I myself observe in the fete and my pictures, while some are posed for, many contain candid shots reflecting the action that was really taking place during the fete. According to the FRC, The Frog Reporter’s Code (yes, there is one), I give you my word that what I am about to recount is what I saw and the pictures will reflect my narrative.

When I first saw the pirogue, I thought nothing of it; I thought that here were some idle fishermen that decided to buzz our ship and maybe take a gape at the lovely ladies partying on board. As I went downstairs to the “ground floor” the pirogue was now keeping pace with our ship and the people on the boat were clearly visible. There were three men in the rear of the boat who were clearly fishermen but there were two others toward the middle that looked too well dressed to be fishermen, and these two were trying to get the attention of our ship! As I snapped a couple pics of this group I wondered what exactly was going on? I mean, this was not Somalia so piracy was highly unlikely but why would these two be buzzing our boat? Apparently these individuals, having missed the sailing of the ship, decided “NAH! We not going out like dat! We go rent a pirogue and have them give we a drop to de party ship.” So said, so done! Some say they were actual ticket holders that simply reached REAL late and some say that they were superstormers. Whatever their situation, they were determined to make it into this party so as the pirogue pulled close to the rear of the “ground level” of our ship, these two fellas (now turned party legends) clambered over the rail, past the “security” and joined the fete. If I hadn’t seen this with my own two eyes, I would have discounted this story as mere urban legend, but peeps, I was there and have the pictures to prove it. MASSIVE PROPS to these two individuals. Since they did not know exactly where the ship was, they had an entire ocean between them and the party they obviously had to search for us before attempting to board. I have no idea what the final cost of their escapade was but I am sure the pirogue was not cheap and I sincerely hope that they got their money’s worth because as great as the fete was, I for one would not have been on that pirogue.

After the little Pirates of the Caribbean episode, I refocused on the party which had gotten way out of hand. By now the partygoers had either gotten through to the bar and had organized an ample supply of chaser and ice or they had said to hell with chaser and ice and were batting their liquor straight and lashing it for six! De people an dem were wining back-to-back, front-to-front, back-to-front, and well you get the idea! One Liverpool fan (We Never Walk Alone by the way) was perched on a cooler looking around for a victim like a spider looking for a fly and if you were the lucky(?) lady to pass too close to his web, he is on you like char-su on pork!

The rest of the boatride was pretty much bumper to fender right up until we mysteriously appeared back at the dock. To attempt to describe every piece of wildness, spiderwinery, and wotliss palancery that took place on the Treasure Queen that Friday would be an exercise in futility. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I have attached well more than half a million words to this commentary so that hopefully you can catch a glimpse of what went on for the approximately four hours we spent at sea. As we disembarked and milled around in the car park, we watched them clean and restock the Treasure Queen for another party that was to sail later that afternoon and we knew that no matter what happened on that sailing, they will never have as much fun as we did on that Silent Morning. I had heard about the New York Silent Morning experience being compared to the legendary Hawke’s Boatrides from Labor Days past and after having experienced both, I can unequivocally state that the only difference is the size of the vessel. The intensity and sheer enjoyment felt by the patrons is hard to miss especially when you look at the pictures. In all of the pictures the subjects are either smiling broadly, shouting, waving, or looking in disbelief at the winery or the finery present. This was as BESSS a boatride as I could ever hope to attend and I am reserving my ticket for next year one time (and planning to leave an hour earlier to get there so as to avoid any potential assness).

Enjoy the pics peeps, Break Biche is next………..


caisoqueen said...

EXCELLENT COMMENTARY KERMIT!! I saw you there...taking pics and taking mental notes and I couldn't wait to read your thoughts on this BESS BESS BOATRIDE! You have captured every feeling I felt on that boatride...clearly my BESS carnival 2K10 jumbie releasing fete fuh de season! And your pics...well......all smiles and total exuberance! I'm bouncing off my chair at work still feeling de energy. I will be there next year fuh SURE!!! I would have left meh car lock up on de side of de road and I would have been on that pirogue to get to that fete lol!!!

chris said...

This was sooooo funny. Spiderwinery!! Fantastic!!

jv said...

I was at this fete and I too had a blast even thou my crew and I arrived late but we had plenty liquor and had a great time

Carnivalcocoa said...

Well yes, a helluva review from Kermie. Well done as usual. But lawd lawd lawd, those fete pirates took the cake for real!

shells said...

Kermit I love dis review!!! Fete pirates and spidewinery in one fete?! Fabulous!!!

dougla_1 said...

That is the best association of Somali pirates and a Trini fete, ever, all positive jokiness mind you :)

I hope to be man onboard next year (ontime for sure, lol)!

Springmoon said...

Quick! Somebody come up with a "spiderwine" for 2K11!

Wuzdescene said...

Kermit .... 655 pictures??? .... you take 655 pics on one outing .... YUH WIN!

shells said...

Wow Kermit: sooo many pics!!! Looks like a great time was had by all. Niiiice

Caribbean Food Recipes said...

I loved the review. I was at the fete and it was great!!


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