Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Provo Turks N Caicos to Luperon, Dominican Republic

June 15th,2007-Provo, Turks & Caicos to Luperon
Waterspout in Sapodilla Bay, Turks & Caicos

Friday June 15th.

0600hrs. Randy has been up for awhile. We continue to have challenges with the GPS.
We will be crossing the Caicos Banks to day heading for Big Ambergris. We have read we need to keep to the southern shoal area to remain in safer waters.

0700hrs. We’re on our way. By 1030 I have spent the last hour and a half on the bow as we are going through a minefield of rock and coral in only eight to nine feet of water.
By mid afternoon we are finally in 16 feet of water which is making us both feel a lot more comfortable. We finally see one fish, one shark and a ray.

By 1610 we are anchored off Big Ambergris which is a privately owned island. The last two hours I spent back up on the bow as we picked our way through more coral reefs. The colors are vibrant, absolutely beautiful however dangerous. The reefs are only a couple of feet from the top of the water.

On Friday evening and all Saturday the winds really picked up and the seas are very choppy. The weather reports do not look favorable, so we decide to stay another day. I know we are all anxious to get to Luperon; however, at this point when we are only a couple of days away we need to wait for better weather conditions. The choppy seas make it hard to see the coral heads.

While waiting out the weather Randy and I decided to explore a bit in the dinghy. As we got closer to shore we realized the shoreline was getting more and more crowded with people. These people were in fact guards walking up and down the beaches; shot guns in hand. There also were guards patrolling in golf carts. We definitely were being watched and did not feel welcome. The island has an air strip and planes were taking off and arriving on a very regular basis. We let our imaginations run.

Monday June 18th.

0600hrs.Randy slept out in the cockpit again last night as it was so blustery. It’s actually almost cold this morning. Randy and Ron are reviewing weather reports.

We went over to Enterprise last night for Sundowners. We exchanged cards and novels. Virginia & Ron have two daughters Caitlin four and a half and Katrina who is eight.

The decision has been made to pull up anchor around 0900 to give the sun time to get farther up into the sky so we’ll be able to decipher the coral heads. We are crossing the Columbus Passage to get to our last anchorage Big Sand Cay before heading to Luperon. Again we are dodging large elk coral heads which is most stressful. The water is an incredible deep turquoise color and absolutely gorgeous. We manage to sail and motor sail basically on one tack.

By 1655 we’re anchored in 16.4 feet of beautiful Sand. The beach also is beautiful. We had a wonderful swim and a nice walk along the shore. Three boats have joined our anchorage.

Another beautiful sunset.

Tuesday June 19th.

0700 I’m up…..letting Rand rest as he spent most of the night in the cockpit. Ron mentioned last night that they may not be able to leave this afternoon as we had planned. Their motor is acting up.
01000 .Randy has put another four jerry cans of fuel in the boat.

We’re taking Virginia and the girls to shore to Beach comb and swim.(SO Ron can fix the motor). We spoke with a young fellow off one of the boats. They also are heading to Luperon. He and his mother are on separate boats single handling their trip. I can’t imagine.


Bay at Big Sand Cay

Virginia, Katrina & Caitlyn

By 1400 we’re getting organized for a 1500hr. departure. Ron feels he can trust his motor for the crossing. We will be traveling close to 98 miles.

At 1513 our anchors are up and it’s starting to rain. “SUITS US” has just called and asked if we’d call her when we’re about five miles out to give her an update on the weather conditions. We’ve got both sails up; seas are six to eight feet with about 20 knots of wind. We’re traveling between 4.5 and 7 knots under sail. AWESOME!!!! We calculated we need to do an average of 5 knots in order to be outside Luperon before 0900 tomorrow. We keep in regular contact with Enterprise as Ron will be on his own overnight as Virginia and Caitlin get seasick. As the sun sets we seem to be the only two boats to the horizon. By midnight the seas have really picked up with the swells being a good 10 to 12 feet. Every hour we check our co-ordinates and find on average we are 5 miles closer to Luperon. We get really wet a number of times during the night as the seas crash over our bow and hit us on our port side. Randy reminds me I must finish that dodger! Then he says ,”Ahhh we won’t need the dodger as we won’t be out in this weather ever again”. Then we both laugh. During one of our big “hits” Randy said it felt like he was hit by a wet sock. He looked down at the grates below his feet and low and behold there was a flying fish!! We continue to stay on one tack for our transit which is amazing. By 0400 we begin to feel cold and try to warm up with a blanket. I finally had a nap around 0430 but Rand stayed awake all night. “Auto, where are you?”

We arrive off Luperon around 0700 hrs. and wait for Enterprise. We have read that the markings going into Luperon are a little suspect and Ron feels he has good waypoint information so we say we will follow him into the harbor.

At 0900 we’re anchored in 14.5 feet of water. There are probably 60 to 70 boats here. WE’RE IN LUPERON!!!

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