South Side Marina
13 April 2011 | Sapodilla Bay, Provo, Turks & Caicos
Troubadour docked at South Side Marina, just on the other side of the Ritz-Carlton power boats for their development on West Caicos.
We did get in a short hike along the Chalk Sound before Chris "blew out a flip flop", as the sole of his sandal started separating and flapping wildly (hopefully now corrected with a liberal application of 3M 4000UV adhesive caulk). With a long walk out of the question, it was back to the bar for a few more Turks Head Ales on the porch.
We sailed over to West Caicos on Wednesday, and broke out our scuba gear for our first diving in a while, since we didn't want to waste air in the shallow waters of the Bahamas. We dove on Rock Garden, a shallower site for our "checkout dive". It was a great first dive; a school of jacks and a large barracuda were right under the boat, and a good variety of fish in the scattered coral heads at the bottom of the mooring. We started a second dive on Elephant Ear Thursday morning, but the current was strong, and visibility poor, so we only did about fifteen minutes before cancelling the dive and getting back aboard and heading towards South Side Marina.
We needed to enter on the high tide, as the charted depths were a good foot less than our draft. We didn't encounter another boat in the marina with a draft over five feet. Nevertheless, with Bob's encouragement, we headed in along their waypoints and following their buoys, and did pretty well until just before the marina, where we had to motor through a shallow sandy point just before entering the dredged marina confines. Made it in! We tied up and checked out the place.
They have an outdoor bathroom with cold running water for the shower, which felt nice after an afternoon in the sun. We got 50A shorepower to feed our electric without running the generator, metered water to wash down the boat, and a strong WIFI signal. Laundry was available for $10 a load wash/dry (again cold water only). Happy hour under the gazebo is at five every evening, with cruisers bringing their own drinks and appetizers. Thursday is the potluck, with everyone bringing their own meat to grill, a dish to pass, and the Marina provides ice cream for dessert. We spent a lot of time under the gazebo drinking, eating, and talking.
We had heard a lot of great things about Simon, but alas, he had returned to Europe by the time we pulled in. Bob and his friend Campbell were gracious hosts, giving rides to the marine, hardware, and grocery stores. We had heard horror stories about taxis, so this was very welcome. Along with restocking, we got our scuba tanks filled at nearby Caicos Divers, and completed some routine tasks like an oil change for the genset and another coat of Semco on the teak handrails.
Alas, at $50/day to stay at the dock, our budget dictated our leaving so on Tuesday we moved over to the fuel dock, topped off the diesel tank, and then exited on the high tide again (stirring up a little sand, again) and returned to Sapodilla Bay. There were 10 other boats here on our return, quite a difference from when we left a week ago. We plan on returning to West Caicos for some wall diving, and then maybe back to Provo or French Cay.
More pictures in the blog gallery and on Facebook!