Caicos Bank T&C

Moonstone of Aberdour
Allan and Claire Foster
Fri 6 Feb 2015 01:37
Tonight we are anchored under a golden moon half a mile off a low spit of sand called French Cay in the Turks & Caicos.  We are about 15 miles from the nearest habitation and our neighbours are the sea birds chattering with each other as they circle us.  With the deck lights on we can clearly see the ocean’s rocky bed only 2 metres below our keel and for a while after we arrived we watched a very large fish patrolling the water in our floodlights - it feels like we are in the middle of an ocean.
To get here we had to make a long crossing over the Caicos Bank from east to west.  We have been told that the area is the third largest barrier reef in the world and there are three passages across it. The most direct is too shallow, the middle one looked too scary as the depths above the coral would less than 1 metre from the bottom of our keel, so we plumped for the 3rd option, the Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s Passage or the back passage as its known here on board Moonstone as it wasn’t much fun.  Scooting across the reef in 20 kts of wind, playing dodgems with coral heads in less than 3 metres of water for 30 miles was nerve wracking to say the least and following our successful return to deep water it demanded a very stiff Claire made a strong cup of tea!
Tomorrow we head onto Providenciales and civilisation.