Sunday, January 07, 2007

Tuesday 2nd January

Sapodilla Bay
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands.

21 44.3 N
72 17.3 W

We were up fairly early as we wanted to make sure that we could leave here while the tide was still fairly high. Our first problem of the day was to get the customs officers to appear and clear us out – as you will have guessed they didn’t show up yesterday afternoon – we could have gone to the beach! Gerry headed over to the marina office to pay our bill, exchange another couple of books and get them to contact customs again. When he arrived back with the receipt for the marina bill I started to log it into our accounts and noticed that they had charged us for 6 nights when we were only there for 5, it also meant that the water and power charges were wrong as there was a minimum daily charge for each. I pointed it out to Gerry, who took 10 minutes to convince I was right (I’m always right, why would he doubt me!) and then he took off back to the office with his stamped passport in hand to prove that we hadn’t arrived the first night that they were charging us for. A short while later he returned and we were $60 better off – rather in our pocket than the marina’s ! We disconnected the dock power and water supply and tied down anything that might become a flying missile all ready for leaving then we sat and waited for customs to arrive. It took about another hour and they finally showed up as I was making sandwiches ready for lunch underway. With formalities completed and another $15 handed over we were ready to take off. We cast of all but one line which was supposed to keep us from bumping the dock poles – huh, the current and wind blew the stern hard into the dock and caught our Fortress stern anchor on the pole. The pole survived and slightly bent our anchor which up until now was unused and in pristine condition! We made it out of the dock into the extremely narrow channel that divides the island from the surrounding reef. The tide was much higher than when we came in so it wasn’t quite so torturous going out – we just reversed the track line made by our GPS on the way in and made it safely out though the reef. I took some pictures of the sea breaking over the reef but it wasn’t as spectacular as on the way in due to the higher tide.
Once we were out in the open water we unfurled the jib and motor sailed for the first part of our trip. We reached appoint where we had to change direction to get around a land point and had to put the jib away until we were back on a heading past the point. Luckily the wind stayed with us and we were able to motor sail for 2/3 of the way only having to solely motor at the end when we were beating into the wind and sea. Our trip for the day took us literally from one side of the island to the other. If you went by land across the island it was 5 miles but sailing it meant that you had to go around the island, past a lot of reef for a total of 32miles – yes I did say 32! Still it was a nice day and we had no dramas, we arrived in the early afternoon at Sapodilla Bay and dropped the anchor into a massive 7feet of water (that only gives us 2’2” below the keel – not much of a clearance). We sat in the cockpit enjoying the sun and reading for the remainder of the afternoon. I shot a few pictures of the sun set and the moon rising within minutes of each other causing the sky to light up with some pretty colours.
Tomorrow we plan on leaving early for Big Ambergris Cay so it’s going to be an early night for us both.



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