ZCZC SEAMAIL Ship v6.0 Xaxero Software
MAIL FOR: ships log
Friday, June, 30, 2006, 06:06 UTC
Stuart: Chapter 2 - Well, I left off with our departure from a lovely cove on Atkins Island for the Turks and Caicos. We had the option of stopping at Mayaguana around 5 pm or pushing on through the night to the T & C's. Winds were very favorable and we had a great sail to Mayaguana. Since the T & C's were on the same course line, we decided to keep on truckin'. Wrong decision. About 2 hrs later, the wind shifted to right on our nose, but we were already committed. Spent the next 12 hrs motoring at about 8 knots directly into 8 ft seas. I would describe this as 'imagine driving your car into a wall continuously for about 12 hours'. All part of sailing. Mark is amazing. During his off watches he actually slept with this going on. I found myself levitating in bed and sleep was definitely out of the question.
Anyway, arrived at Provencale, capital of the T & C's, the following morning and were immediately called by another cruiser at anchor to warn us about Debbie, the immigration witch. Apparently Debbie has this inferiority complex which she takes out by demonstrating her authority over anyone she can. As a custom's officer that authority is significant. She threatened to fine the other cruisers $2,500 for failing to report in the same day they arrived. To our knowledge there is no place in the world you have to report in the same day if you don't leave your boat. She gave them a really hard time and with this warning, we hot footed it to customs where Debbie asked us when we had arrived. Our response of 'about an hour ago' was apparently not suitable as we should have gotten to customs sooner. Our explanation of the time it takes to find a suitable anchoring place, anchoring, getting the dinghy out, getting to shore and walking to customs was simply ignored (as was us) while Debbie went about her important business. It's amazing how one little twit like this can bias your outlook toward a visit.
When we returned to the boat, we were immediately called by Paul (the guy who had warned us) to compare notes on the fabulous Debbie. Paul was traveling along with a second boat with the same general plan as ours (to get south and avoid hurricanes) so we joined up with him and his friends, rented a car for the day, did some shopping and saw the island. Tons of construction. Expensive place. For anyone interested, you can get a 2br. Condo starting at 1.2M. Didn't find this to be a particularly interesting island although didn't get a chance to meet local people. Following day was boat work trying to put us and Stray Cat back together for the next leg. Met with our new friends and went over some of the weather forecasts. Were unhappy to hear that there was an area of tropical disturbance off Puerto Rico (which was the direction we were headed). Since there is no shelter from bad weather for a boat in the T & C's, we decided to get out of Dodge the very next day. Unfortunately, this meant a trip to Debbie in the afternoon to get our port clearance papers. The gods smiled on us and Debbie was in a meeting (hopefully being fired).
Next morning our little pod of now 3 boats left for Manzanillo in the Dominican Republic. Quiet night at sea motoring with little wind and the sun is now coming up as I write this. Fortunately, the disturbance near PR has dissipated. Should arrive Manzanillo late morning and will continue with our progress through the DR as time permits.