Our insurance contract dictates that we must be south of the hurricane box by the first of June, so we are pushing as hard as the weather will allow. We decided to jump from Rum Cay to Mayaguana, 130nm in one go to take advantage of a weather window. The previous night Alex was quite worried that the Easter Bunny might not know where we were, given our nomadic lifestyle and unconventional living accommodations.
After hunting down chocolates all over the boat, the girls settled down to count their haul. Ever sensitive to sugar, Alex was in fine form. We spent the first six hours of Sunday pounding into Titanic size waves coming at us from two directions, the result of strong winds competing against the gulf stream currents. Throw a cork into your washing machine and you get the picture. We were not sure if your unsettled stomachs were from the weather or the chocolate but you quickly abandoned any thoughts of eating food and found refuge on-deck sleeping away most of the day.
We spent 8 daylight hours anchored off the coast of a VERY buggy Mayaguana and pulled up anchor at midnight for our sail over to Providenciales (Provo) in the Turks and Caicos. We often travel at night so that we can arrive in a foreign port at daybreak which makes navigating the reefs possible. Kathryn often sits with me on watch, drinking coffee and humiliating me at backgammon. Alex does day watch duties and will soon grow into the night cycle and you both usually sit on the bow watching for coral heads as we enter a new area — “reading” the waters became our next lesson in homeschooling…
We decided to stay at a marina in Provo, our first chance to provision since George Town, nine days earlier. Provo is a bustling community very different from the Bahamas which is surprising considering their shared heritage. We found the people friendly and helpful and the locals just seem to have a greater sense of purpose than those we met in the Bahamas. Although you have become very efficient at conserving water, it was great to have a normal shower and spend a night with AC and no rocking. We purchased diesel, propane, water, and groceries before departing early in the morning.
The day crossing the banks was completely calm and although no one likes to motor, it was a welcome change from the pounding of the previous month. The water was spectacular and uniformly 10ft deep, which did take a little getting used to. We dropped anchor at a small island at the edge of the S. Caicos banks and will continue to Sandy Cay tomorrow where we will stage for our departure to the DR. Arrival in South Caicos…Here we swam and snorkeled in the worlds largest swimming pool. No noise, no people (no sharks) — perfect.