19 April 2011 | Sapodilla Bay, Provo, Turks & Caicos
Troubadour lies at anchor in the empty West Caicos marina basin, unimproved since construction halted during the Lehman Brothers collapse.
We are back in Sapodilla Bay after three days out at West Caicos. Last Wednesday we sailed over to the Elephant Ear dive site, and got our first wall dive in. It was a nice dive in 80 degree water with around 70' of visibility; we saw the usual culprits highlighted by a large sea turtle and a reef shark. After cleaning up, we headed into the West Caicos marina basin.
The Ritz-Carlton organization has dredged a marina basin, but halted construction some time back (we hear it was funded by Lehman Brothers) before the actual marina and piers were built. As a result, we had a completely protected harbour to anchor in and not have to worry about the swells giving us a rolly night on the boat.
Only one other boat pulled into the marina our first night. No Rehearsal has different problems than we do: they have caught so much fish they didn't have room for it all. We accepted their gift of frozen mackerel and mussels so they could load their new catches into the freezer, then joined them for sundowners to compare notes, as they were headed north to the Bahamas, having come from the Caribbean.
Thursday we did a groundhog day: after waiting for the local dive boats to pick their sites, we grabbed the buoy on Driveway and got in another really nice wall dive. On our way back we noticed the Turks & Caicos Aggressor on Elephant Ear - our liveaboard competes with the big boys!
Having consumed the air in our scuba tanks, we spent Friday beachcombing and lounging on the boat, before sailing out of the basin on Saturday to return to Provo. We headed south past the fishing fleet off the southern point of West Caicos before tacking back up the "Clear Sand Road" channel to return to Sapodilla Bay.
Our friends Sam & Janet on s/v Flying Fish arrived from the Bahamas on Sunday, and we met for dinner (fresh Mahi!) and agreed to split a rental car on Monday after they checked in. We spent Monday touring Provo, going for a long walk at Grace Bay, and returned to the Conch Shack for lunch. Errands must be attended to, and we visited the bank as well as marine, liquor, and grocery stores. The hardest stop was to get our scuba tanks filled: Several of the dive shops would only run their compressors to fill their own tanks, and were not interested in filling ours. Even Caicos Adventures, where we had our tanks filled previously, said they had too many of their tanks to fill and didn't have time for ours. Luckily Flamingo Divers came through and filled our tanks while we waited, overlooking the South Side marina and chatting.
After loading our booty into the dinghys and calling the rental car company to let them know that we were done (Rent-a-Buggy did a great drop-off and pick up at Sapodilla Bay), we returned for another great sunset.
Unfortunately, the pressure switch on our fresh water pump (it turns on the pump when we open a faucet and the pressure starts to drop) picked last night to stop working, so after brushing our teeth with bottled water, I've got my "boat maintenance in exotic places" job for today already selected.