March 2013

By Steve • • 3 Mar 2013

Friday 1st March, Turks and Caicos Islands (TCIs)

Having embarked Aus and Sue Dancey yesterday we did our grocery shopping, collected the repaired windlass and left the marina around noon.  Our anchorage for the night was off Little Water Cay at the eastern end of Providenciales.

Tuesday 26 March, Georgetown, Great Exuma, Bahamas

Having been somewhat delinquent with updates for the last three weeks here is a quick recap of what we’ve been up to this month.

Sue-and-Sheryl

Sue and Aus spent about two weeks with us cruising the Turks and Caicos Islands.  I think Sue got to tick most of the boxes she had in mind and there were some spectacular highlights.  The first night with us we went to a fish fry in Provo and Sheryl and Sue enjoyed a few “Island Viagras”, a local cocktail made from gin and coconut milk. Attempts to reproduce it on board failed miserably.

We spent a few nights loitering around Little Water Cay, off the east end of Providenciales.  As luck would have it we were there a few days after the full moon and were able to witness the mating display of an aquatic glow worm.  It is quite spectacular as the female discharges her eggs into the water and the male homes in on the luminescence.  Sad to say that after fertilising the eggs he dies and sinks to the bottom!

Whilst at anchor I had Aus haul me up the main mast to see why one of our jib halyards had jammed when crossing the Atlantic.  The answer was a broken block and I took the opportunity for some photography….Top-view

Also in the area of Little Water Cay are iguanas…..Iguana

and the inevitable gorgeous beaches…Little-Water-Cay

A thorough sailing experience was provided for our guests including an anchor dragging and running aground exercise – actually it wasn’t an exercise it was for real!  Fortunately Emma Louise didn’t suffer any damage as we were stuck on soft sand for a few hours.  After that we retreated to a brand new, not yet open marina….Leeward-Marina

We were allowed to stay for free and even got ice for the same price – bargain!

A whale watching trip was organised……Whale

This was followed by a night passage to South Caicos and then a trip across the Columbus Passage to Grand Turk.  On the way Aus wanted to do some fishing and this was the result…

Dorado

Unfortunately the blighter managed to wriggle off the hook and get back over the side!  No BBQ fish then.  Next was an exploration of Grand Turk.  There really isn’t much to see but it does have a lighthouse built in England from ships plate and sent to Grand Turk in kit form…..Grand-Turk-Lighthouse

The island’s museum is housed in 160 year old Guinep house…..TCI-Museum

Grand Turk was used by the US Air Force during the Friendship series of space missions.  John Glen’s historic “first American in space flight” splashed down off the TCI and he was brought ashore to Grand Turk.  The (apparently) original Friendship 7 space capsule is on a plinth by the island’s airport…

Friendship-7

The TCI flag features the Fez Cactus…Fex-Cactus

The Dancey’s cruise was finished off with a trip back over the Caicos Bank as reported in February’s missive.  We dropped them on a resort beach at the West end of Providenciales so they could get a taxi to the airport.  Sue later reported that they were harassed by the resort’s security personnel and ended up having to pay $120 for a ride to the airport – sorry guys!

Once the Danceys had departed Sheryl and I had to spend a couple more nights at the west end of Provo waiting for suitable weather to continue north to the Bahamas.  In that time we ran out of Propane, got low on diesel, food and fresh water.  The joys of cruising!  Anyway we made landfall in Mayaguana, stayed one night without going ashore and continued for a further 125 Nm to Clarence Town on Long Island and the Flying Fish Marina.

Long Island is aptly named – about 80 miles long and only a few miles wide.  At the north end of the island is a memorial to Christopher Columbus…..Columbus-Memorial

I’m not sure why anyone partly responsible for the genocide of an entire native population should have a memorial?  Anyway, there it stands above Cape Santa Maria.  Long Island is one of several sites that may have been Columbus’ first landfall in 1492.

Clarence town has two churches built by the architect turned priest, Father Jerome.  He built this Anglican one….Anglican-Clarence-Town

and then converted to Catholicism and built this one….St-Peter-and-Paul

 

Close to Clarence Town is a blue hole…Deans-Blue-Hole

If Sheryl walked 20 paces forward she would be in over 200m of water!  Whilst we were in the marina we met a British film crew who were making a film featuring a world record holding free diver – 102m with no weight belt or fins!

Another local attraction was a manatee which seemed to be living in the marina…Manatee

After a couple of nights in the marina we went to anchor off Strachan Cay, another lovely spot…Strachan-Cay

North again and so to Georgetown on Great Exuma which is where we are now.

Continued in April.

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