February 23, 2009

WANTED: Comfortable Anchorage

Will pay in seashells, sand or salt water. The Turks & Caicos have been interesting, though mostly because we cannot find a comfortable anchorage. Either one is open to the wind or open to the ocean swell, and in some places both.

We arrived Monday morning a week ago as I write this to Provo. We came in the south side onto the Caicos bank to Sapodilla bay after a very uneventful 18 hour crossing from Atwood harbor. The first thing that struck us was how much more substantial the investment in properties is in the T&C verses the Bahamas. The construction quality is much much higher. Provo itself has some good provisioning and some good restaurants. However, all things are very spread out and thus always require a rental car/taxi to get around, which is a bit expensive and inconvenient. The T&C are renown for their diving, and while we have not had an opportunity to go diving owing to an inability to rid ourselves of Jake and Isabelle, some of the snorkeling has been very good.

We were presented with a weather window to go onto the Dominican Republic on Thursday/Friday. Alas we thought that was too little time in the T&C and decided to use the nice weather to explore some of the small uninhabited cays. We stopped at French Cay, Ambergris Cays and then at South Caicos. South Caicos was once the economic hub for the T&C owing to its salt production, however, with that industry shut it is essentially a fishing village in some disrepair with very nice people. In retrospect the lack of any really suitable anchorage throughout the T&C has us pining for Luperon in the Dominican Republic where we can rest peacefully.

We are now in the mating grounds for the Humpback whale, which stretch from the Mona Passage up through the Turks Passage. We had arrived to early at the Sandbore channel to head into Provo so waited deep water. At about 6:00 am Rae Ann heard a very loud whoosh, about 100 yards from the boat a whale surfaced a couple of times then showed us his tail as he dove into deeper water. We look forward to seeing several more on our voyages farther south.

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