We are finally out of the Bahamas! We arrived in Turks and Caicos on 1/15/08. Doug crewed on the Christa, a 32ft. Westsail, for our friend Christian, a single hander heading to Columbia. Also, along with us was, Loon, an English couple, Ian and Tracy. The beginning of the trip was a little rough, but later settled down. True to form Mike had to change the alternator belt while underway, but all went smoothly. The ocean on the rest long journey was like glass, so we motor sailed the entire way. It was so smooth that at dinner time we fired up the barbie and cooked steaks on the stern of the boat. We then had the great idea to pass a couple of steaks to Doug and Chris, the bachelors surviving on PB&J. We did a 180 to meet them which is unheard of on a crossing and tossed the steaks and some A1 across to them as they had pulled up to our starboard side. The transfer was a success as Doug saved the day when Mike threw a short pass and he lunged to catch the bounty. The crossing was truly comfortable, and the weather was beautiful. No complaints here. We arrived just before sundown so we anchored at the mouth of the bay. The transit across the bay is 10 miles which we completed in the morning because there are coral heads everywhere. We are now anchored up in Sapodilla Bay along with 11 other boats. After anchoring we met up with our friends from Tomahawk, Gary and Mark, a father and son team who are also headed for Columbia. We met them in Georgetown just before Christmas. They told Mike where to clear customs. In the afternoon we headed to shore with Christian to explore the island. Provo, as the island is called, is more modern and there is a lot of development here. This is an offshore banking haven so there are very nice houses and some franchise stores. We ran into Jim from Sierra Hotel, a Lagoon 47 catamaran. He had a rental car that was so tiny that Chris nicknamed it tic tac. It was so low to the ground that each time we hit a bump the tire would scrape the inside of the fender well. My golf cart had bigger tires that this car. He was kind enough to give all 5 of us a ride into town which is about 4 miles from the bay. We pulled the clown trick as we loaded into the car. We then decided it was a good idea to rent our own tic tac. At the Budget rental agency there was a candy bowl filled with condoms. The sales lady quickly informed us that there were different flavors so Mike handed a few to Chris who is still in search of a long flowing haired woman with a healthy appetite. You can imagine the conversation from there… We had the people in the agency in hysterics. We asked the question, what does one call themselves when they are from Turks and Caicos…a Turkcaician? The answer we found, is that they call themselves Turks Islanders.
Our next stop was the grocery store called the Cost Right. It is a very mini Sams Club that sells in bulk. They also had a pizza counter. This sounded so good after months without pizza so we ordered three. We were all so hungry that we sat in the parking lot next to our tic tac and chowed down. It was after dark so we decided we had better head to the dinghy. We had carried it up past the hightide waterline and tied it to a tree to remain while we were gone. With groceries in had we headed down the path to the beach and were shocked to find that the tide had receded 50 yards. Our dingy was quite secure! I’m sure the Turks Islanders got a chuckle out of that. Next, we had to carry the dingy along with our purchases to the water in the dark across the mucky sand taking breaks because we were laughing so hard. Our next little quandary was, “I smell gas.” “Do you smell gas?” Our bags of groceries were sitting in the bottom of the dinghy in gas that had spilled from the gas tank as we carried the dinghy to the water. So we unloaded the bags onto a towel and washed each item which took about an hour. The joys of cruising! Today, we still have our tic tac until 5pm. We are planning on running errands and will offer our neighbors an “experience” with a ride in our tic tac.