Friday, December 29, 2006

Thursday 28th December

Turtle Cove Marina
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands.

21 47.136 N
72 13.602 W

Sun rise found us just off the NW point of the Providenciales, (known as Provo) part of the Turks & Caicos chain of Islands. We tore down the Bahamian courtesy flag and hoisted the Q (quarantine) flag that we are required to fly until customs and immigration have cleared us. We found our charts to be lacking in detail of the area and the cruising guide also seemed a bit vague about the area apart from informing us to be careful of the reef that almost totally surrounds the island. We were tired and desperately wanted to get into a marina slip, shower, turn on the air conditioning and sleep but we heeded all warnings and even asked the marina to send out a pilot to guide us into the marina (the charts advise this). As the Marina office didn’t open until 08.00hrs we had to spend some time circling around outside of the reef. We were so glad that we did ask for a pilot as the reef runs almost the entire length of the island with one usable “cut” once through the cut you still have to negotiate the channel which is very skinny water in places, luckily the pilot knew the way! The other problem is that the big fishing and dive stink boats don’t have a problem with their draft so they roar through the channel without a care for anyone else – there is not a “no wake” zone here! At times we had less than a foot beneath our keel – enough to scare anyone. We tied up at the fuel dock and then had to wait for the customs people to come down to the boat and clear us and the boat in, this took until about 10.00hrs, they were very polite, professional and efficient and for only $15 transit fee we can stay for 7days (longer costs more as you then need a cruising permit). Once cleared by customs we changed our Q flag for the British Red Duster ( it should be the blue one but we don’t have one), filled our fuel tank and jerry cans and headed into our allocated marina slip where we tied up and hooked up to power, took the laundry to the office to be done for us (no self serve Laundromat), took apart the gen set bits to be fixed, found the internet cards for purchase and read our emails. The pilot who brought us in to the marina has found someone to do the welding for us, he’s coming to the boat tomorrow so hopefully we will get it fixed pretty quickly and we can be on our way. I have to add a bit here because it fascinated Gerry and made me realize just how much abnormal stuff I’ve seen over the years and take for granted – the pilot’s assistant, a very helpful young man has 6 fingers on each hand, Gerry didn’t notice this, despite handing him money until I pointed it out. It makes you wonder if it is a bit of inbreeding or a family trait.



Post a Comment

<< Home