Adventures aboard Soul Purpose

03 April 2013 | Mouchoir Bank (Atlantic Ocean) and South Caicos, Turks & Caicos Islands
28 March 2013 | Sapodilla Bay, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands
27 March 2013 | Georgetown, Great Exuma
03 March 2013 | Rudder Cut Cay, Exumas
22 February 2013 | Allans Cay to Staniel Cay, Exumas
15 February 2013 | Paradise Island - Atlantis Resort
14 February 2013 | Nassau, Bahamas
06 February 2013 | Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera
02 February 2013 | Pineapple Cays, Eleuthera
19 January 2013 | Great Harbour Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas
08 November 2012
29 May 2012 | Dickies Cay to John Cash Point (near Marsh Harbor)
28 May 2012 | Fisher’s Bay to Cistern to Man-O-War Cay / Dickies Cay (back and forth across the Sea of Abaco)
27 May 2012 | Green Turtle Cay to Fishers Bay, Great Guana Cay
23 May 2012 | Crab Cay to Bluff House Marina, Green Turtle Cay
22 May 2012 | Crab Cay, Little Abaco Island to Crab Cay off Manjack Cay
21 May 2012 | Great Sale Cay to Green Turtle Cay, umm, nope, how about Crab Cay on Little Abaco Island instead?
19 May 2012 | Lake Worth, FL to West End (Settlement Point), Grand Bahama Island
18 May 2012 | Stuart, FL to Lake Worth (West Palm Beach), FL

Days 70-71: From Georgetown to Providenciales (Turks and Caicos)

28 March 2013 | Sapodilla Bay, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands
Bright starry night...nearly a full moon!
Touchdown and just a few minutes after sundown...again. We dropped the hook in the pitch black anchorage of "Provo" (Northwest corner of Turks and Caicos Islands) after two full days and an overnight run straight from Georgetown. What a great sail, all things considered. We had between 8 and 22 knots throughout the entire trip (mostly 18 knots) always on port tack, with wind angles between 60 and 120 degrees! You really can't ask for better conditions than that in the Atlantic at this time of year. We chose to leave Georgetown after a passing cold front (note the heavy winter foul weather gear in the pictures) because it brought 2 full days of North winds. Some sailors don't like this because it's cold for one and can be a bit less predictable. But we had a great game plan full of fall backs and evasive courses if needed. The boat charged along for 35 hours, averaging 7 knots and even peaking a few times over 11 knots! Now to be clear, Rach and I have a history of terrible overnight sails. It never deters us from doing it again but hitting a gale in the middle of a dark night has become the rule for us, not the exception. Last night was different. We had a huge moon which made the Atlantic swells the same color as the pale sky, looking like 9 foot freight trains riding along with us. It was so bright it felt like a dimly lit day, unreal. Rach made soup for dinner to ward off the cold (yes 72 degrees with wind is very cold for us now) and then she took the first shift at the helm while I tried to get some sleep early (at 8:00 pm).
Derek catching some Z's
Rach at the helm
Taking a shift at the helm means, putting on extra warm wind breaking clothes, strapping on a self-inflating harness, tucking a search and rescue beacon into your pocket and of course sitting down at the helm with a hot chocolate for 4 hours of doing little more than watching gauges and making a few small adjustments to the boat's course. Not being an early closer, I couldn't sleep really so I just tossed and turned listening to the boat creak and moan as it raced over and sometimes through the big swells. I finally gave up after an hour and a half of listening to one particular squeak that could actually drive you insane and told Rach to give it a shot. I went to take a shower and just after my first rinse I hear a shrieking scream like sound from Rach! I ran from the shower, slipping and banging into walls (don't forget the boat is charging through 9 foot swell at 8 knots at this point) yelling "what, what, what is it?!" When I got to the helm I stood there dripping wet and naked looking at a 10 inch flying fish that had flown onto the boat and just missed Rach's head as it crashed into the side of the windshield! Needless to say, it scared the crap out of Rach, mainly because she thought it was bat at first. Weird thing is that we had just discussed earlier that night that our boat was too tall for them to fly on deck and how strange it must be for monohull sailor's who's boats keel over, presenting a wall for the fish to fly into. That's the thing about the almost hesitate to say things out loud or even think too deeply about her and the way she works . It's as if she's listening and might just choose to respond...

The days and nights went as smoothly as could be expected (and hoped). Changing sail trim here and there and occasionally, if the wind got light, switching to our large Genaker headsail became the norm. Sleep for us topped out around 4 hours each that night, as we are still not good at sleeping until we finally get overtired. Oh well, hopefully someday we will get better. We sailed past Long Island, Rum Cay, Samana (questionably the island where Columbus first made landfall), Plana Cays, Mayaguana and finally we were on approach to Turks and Caicos. There was nothing in sight or within 24 miles on the radar so we decided that before checking into a new country that we should break out our guns, re-familiarize ourselves with them and take some practice shots. Of course we both went for the Automatic Rifle! We had a blast peppering off rounds and watching the water blast up into the air. We also took out the 12 gauge shotgun which I had converted into a pistol grip. That was an experience in itself although the kick back almost broke Rachs hand...not her favorite gun, but it is still my bed buddy.
D and his AR

After our shooting frenzy, Rach, as always set out a few fishing lines to see if we could get lucky. We had already lost 3 fish and 3 lures on this trip. A few that bit out in 8000 feet of water, were not exactly meant for our light tackle (80 lb test lines). These fish were big, one biting right through our metal leader lines! We were racing to make Provo before nightfall and about the only thing that we would allow to let us lose a minute of sunlight would be the chance at fresh sushi. The line starting flying out and Rach took the helm to turn the boat towards the fish to release the load. I started reeling...this one was not getting away! Sure enough, after 5 minutes of fighting, we landed a beautiful 30 pound tuna. I fileted it on the spot while Rach got us back underway. I filled an entire large freezer bag full of only the sushi grade parts of the tuna, totaling about 6 pounds of fresh meat! We put it in the freezer to prepare it for tomorrow's feast! Actually this much tuna will feed us for 4 meals at least!
Tuna!Sushi, shashimi and maki - yum!
Approaching Provo is not recommended at night, but fortunately we installed a portable sun in the form of a searchlight fit for a Navy ship. I always dreamed of having a wireless controlled searchlight and now, mounted halfway up the mast I can turn the sun up and down, left and right with a little remote control. We piloted through the entry to the Caicos bank, up "the funnel" and through coral heads until we reached the anchorage. We expected to find it crowded with 20 or 30 boats as this is a main international port and landing point for those headed to the Caribbean. Not a boat in sight...I guess we were the only ones who felt this was a good front to ride south! It seemed fitting as well since we had not seen a single boat in 2 days during our sail. I truly can't describe the feeling of setting an anchor in a calm harbor after 35 hours of mental focus, relentless wind, noise and erratic boat movement. When I shut the engine off I came inside and tried to figure out what to do, the silence was deafening. I didn't even know where to start and Rach looked easily as useless as I did! We cleaned up a bit and went to bed for 10 uninterrupted hours of sleep. When we awoke, still the only boat in the harbor, we were surrounded by kayakers, swimmers and snorkelers all descending with curiosity from the nearby resort. Arriving in pitch black we had no idea that we were at the foot of a major high end resort. I had walked outside stretching in my underwear that very morning! Oh well, time to go check in and see if they will let us into their country...
Changing to the
Vessel Name: Soul Purpose
Vessel Make/Model: Fountaine Pajot Lavezzi 40
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, RI
Crew: Derek & Rachel
Soul Purpose is a Fountaine Pajot Lavezzi 40 catamaran. She is 40' in length with a 21'6" beam and was manufactured in France. [...]
Soul Purpose's Photos - Main
1 Photo | 9 Sub-Albums
Created 2 February 2013
The first of our adventures aboard Soul Purpose
3 Sub-Albums
Created 8 November 2012
25 days in the Abacos (our first trip outside of US waters) May-June 2012
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 8 November 2012
Our Loggerhead Family Photos - Summer 2012
30 Photos
Created 8 November 2012

Home on the Ocean

Who: Derek & Rachel
Port: Portsmouth, RI

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2013 Copyright. D&R Ottaviano
2013 Copyright. D&R Ottaviano