Providenciales - Turks & Caicos Islands 21:44.57N, 072:17.32W

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Sun 17 May 2009 16:17
Our sail across the Caicos bank yesterday ended just before sunset when we arrived in Providenciales, the most developed and touristy of the Caicos group. This is where the jetset spend their time in the high class resorts, flying direct to the international airport from the USA or UK. It' seems a million miles away from where we had just spent the last few days, anchored off a small but happy fishing community complete with various abandoned cars, boat wrecks and unfinished shells of properties that may not see occupancy.for a very long time. Amazing how 40 miles can make such a difference.
Yesterday we were fortunate. We had not made a specific plan to get up early to head across the Caicos bank,as the weather has been so up and down recently. An early start would have been better but then we thought from reading the pilot that if we ran out of daylight then dropping anchor in 10 feet of water was the norm with miles of shallow water and a sandy seabed to hold the anchor. What we didn't expect and therefore allow for was the short sea state that built up with the 20knt following wind that blew us across that expanse of shallows. Whilst anchoring would have been technically feasible it certainly wouldn't have been pleasant, and in hindsight,having just endured a very windy night at anchor here in the relative shelter of an anchorage behind a headland being anchored out in the banks would have been intolerable. So our departure from Cockburn Harbour was just about on the limit for us to get across comfortably before it became too dark to keep an eye on the seabed, especially as some 15 miles of the trip had us in water with just under 6ft under the keels. Scary!
Now we are here we need to achieve two objectives 1) Stock up with some fresh provisions & 2) Clear Customs & Immigration. Both could involve some hiking or moving the boat to another location. Watch this space.