Where is Provo?
05 January 2012 | Sapodilla Bay, Provo, TCI
1/5/12 - Where is Provo? Well, first let's say "Happy New Year" to all of our blog followers who we have not already wished a Happy New Year. But since there are no rules about Happy New Year wishes, let's just say again that we wish ALL readers of our travels a very Happy and Joyous New Year and a prosperous 2012!
It seems like our last blog was a long time ago. In fact, it was last year that we filled everyone in on our travels. Seems like such a long time ago when you say it like that. But we are here in Provo. No, we have not jumped thru a black hole and ended up in Utah (although there is nothing wrong with Utah). We are anchored off an island called Providenciales in the country of Turks & Caicos. Now you see why they call it Provo. The TCI are made of 7 major islands but Provo is by far the most visited and the most developed. It is like a little Nassau in commerce and tourism. It is famous for its diving, as the beaches drop off steeply close to the shore which makes for some awesome dives sites. But I am getting ahead of myself.
We arrived here last year (December 29th) and anchored with the other cruisers including our friends on "Legacy" in an area called Sapodilla Bay on the south side of the island (21 44.5'N:72 17.25'W). There were about 7 boats when we arrived and now there are about 14 although they are leaving at a rapid pace. But again, I am getting ahead of myself.
We cleared customs and immigration with a 7 day permit (for $100) and began to plan our visit. We had the New Year to celebrate, some diving to do, a little provisioning to make, as well as some weather to avoid. I am glad to say we accomplished all of our plans and are now ready to leave for the Dominican Republic (DR). But I keep getting ahead of myself.
So, backing up. New Year Eve ended up as a fairly laid back occasion by going to a nice, but highly recommended, restaurant within walking distance of the boat with our friends. The restaurant offered a special surf and turf dinner to celebrate and it turned out to be as advertised. Back at the boat we couldn't make the last two hours, but did get up at mid-night, kiss a few times, blew our horns, looked at the beautiful stars and promptly went back to sleep.
Up early the next day to go to West Caicos (one of the other 7 islands) to do some diving. Got in two dives on the previously mentioned wall and got followed around by a couple of Reef Sharks during both. Both were good, easy dives. Then, ta-dah! We used our new air compressor to refill our scuba tanks for the first time. Normally to fill a tank at a dive shop costs about $20 but our first fill cost us a lot more than that. However the second was half price and now we have amortized the price down to about $500 per fill. But we did it on the boat and that's worth at least as much as the fill itself. By the end of the trip we should be way under the going price.
We anchored near West Caicos and Voila! We met up with a couple that I knew of from Miami. I didn't actually know them as much as I knew the boat. Put two and two together and we had a common bond. We anchored again with them the next night at French Cay and had cocktails together. Nice couple, Guillermo and Inez on "Tariro", from Argentina and going the same way to DR as we are going. But they have to go back to work and are going home to Madrid after they arrive.
On our way to French Cay, we stopped at Southwest Reef and did some snorkeling and tested out our new camera underwater. Check the photo gallery for the results. We will get better!
After another quick dive at French Cay, we sailed back to Sapodilla Bay with Tariro where we took pictures of each other under sail. Check the Gallery. It was a great day sailing, but before we could get back a forecasted cold front came in a little early. We got caught with our sails up and a quick 25-30 kts of wind coming at us. After a few hectic moments we got WD settled down, got back to the anchorage, pulled into the middle of the bay, dropped the hook nice and secure the first time just like we were pros! (Which of course we are). There were a lot more boats here this time waiting for the weather to break and head northeast or southwest.
As we anchored, we noticed that one of our friends from Clarence Town was also here and we got together to rent a car (finally) and went shopping (see, now I am catching up with myself). We enjoyed a very nice IGA grocery that would make Ft. Lauderdale proud. Better than our local Miami stores. And the prices weren't too out of line.
Today we explored more of the island, returned the car and made preparations to leave tomorrow. It's about 170 miles to the north coast of the DR and we are planning two stops with a final overnight 80 mile run. We will catch everyone up after we clear immigration in our third country.
Tonight there is a BBQ at the marina and we are attending to say thanks and good bye to our Provo friends.
So, I think I covered all the highlights. Let us know if you have any questions.