This is one of the things that sucks about moving south so late in the season. We don’t get to spend as much time in places as we would like. Unfortunately big bad hurricanes are still coming and we need to be moving. So.. Our visit to TC must come to an end fairly quickly. Its kind of a good thing as I don’t think our wallets could handle it here much longer.
So an update. I believe the last time I updated we were in Rum Cay having feeling overwhelmed at the locals hospitality. We left Rum Cay at 4:00AM bound directly for Turks and Caicos. It was a 200 nautical mile sail directly over open ocean. The passage ended up taking 36 hours almost exactly from anchor up to tying up to the dock. It was a beautiful motor sail on absolutely flat calm seas. While I tried to pinch every last ounce of energy out of the wind, we still had to motor 30 of the 36 hours. Even our buddy boat (Sea Frog) had to do the same thing. Anyway, the trip was completely uneventful except for the school of sail fish we motored through. It was all hands on deck as the reel started screaming, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to land a fish on either the Rod or the Cuban YoYo. Actually, the fish we hooked on the Rod fought so hard he(or she) actually tore the tines off the hooks. That’s right, I didn’t break a line or leader, but the actual hook broke.
Upon arriving in TC, Rhonda and I discussed it and decided we would spend the money and head into a marina. This decision was not taken lightly as our $2500/month budget has a tough time absorbing $225 for a 3 day marina stay. We justified it by the fact that the kids might have gone insane if we kept them on the boat much longer. So, upon arriving at Provo, we hailed South Side Marina and headed towards the GPS coordinates Bob (the owner) gave us. This was the most excitement of our passage as we were coming in at low tide and may not have enough water to actually get into the marina. It was a nail biter of an entrance as our depth sounder read ZERO multiple times during the final leg. Thankfully we made it in unscathed and tied up to a dock in a SUPER protected cove. Unfortunately Sea Frog wasn’t able to squeeze as much out of the wind as us and didn’t arrive in time to enter the marina in the light, they had to anchor in the dark.
The next morning, we help direct Sea Frog to the marina and lounged around for some rest. In the early afternoon, Bob (the marina owner) drove a bunch of people to the grocery store for provisions. After buying a few critical items, Rhonda came back to the boat and promptly setup a cruisers Pizza night. Bob agreed to get the Pizza and host the cruisers up in the bar. A fantastic night was had by all, and a few cruisers were pretty “dusty” in the morning (Ahem Stacy).
The next couple of days flew by in the marina as we all discussed weather and how to move forward on the next leg of our trips. Its at this point, that I’m happy to report we finally found some people as insane as us that are moving south at this time. Up to this point we had not met another boat (other than Sea Frog) that was going south. In fact many people we met thought we were crazy to be headed that way. Now, all of a sudden, we had six boats headed south. So we all discussed weather and hatched plans to move along. Us, Sea Frog and Smitty decided to head out early and motor sail across the bank in case a weather window appeared. The other 3 boats decided to delay a day or two in hopes of seeing the island.
So we set out across the bank bound for a small overnight anchorage in south Caicos. I fished the whole way and caught 3 barracuda. One was quite large at about 4 feet long. Being that barracuda are known carries of ciguatera, I opted to throw all of them back. We arrived at our temporary anchorage at about 6:00pm and anchored for the night in mostly settled conditions. A squall kicked up at 2:00am that had Rhonda and I running around naked (why get more clothes wet) to remove laundry off the lifelines. The next morning, we pulled anchor and headed over to Cockburn harbor.
We have now been at Cockburn harbor for a day and half and had an incredible day at the sailboat regatta the town was putting on. It was a wonderful experience of music, dance, food and culture. We ate, drank and socialized with the other cruisers.
However, it wasn’t all fun and games as we met with immigration and completed the process to check out of Turks and Caicos. If the weather window holds, we will be bound for Luperon, Dominican Republic at 1:00pm tomorrow. It’s a 100 nautical mile passage that should take about 20-24 hours!