Days 26-28: Time to go to another country
Trip Start Nov 10, 2010
32Trip End Ongoing
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We left the harbor with a pretty strong NW wind. The weather system wasn't completely out but it was blowing the same way we were heading, so we rode it out. The winds had tossed around the seas quite a bit so we were experiencing some of the biggest waves we've seen. Since we were going with the grain, it made a quite pleasant sail setting the jib boom for the first time. We were making great time averaging over 6 knots without even setting the mainsail. As we took shifts at the helm throughout the night, we decided to have a little competition, who could cover the most ground during their 2 hour shifts. Somehow Becca showed the rest of us her elite sailing tactics, consistently averaging a knot higher than the rest of us. I don't know how she did it. Nate proposed her and Strolla have some feminine connection that the other three of us could never achieve.
We made it to the island of Mayaguana the following afternoon much sooner than our estimated arrival. It is another 40 miles to the Turks and Caicos and it's best to arrive during the daylight to navigate the shoals and reefs that surround the island of Providenciales. With only a few hours to The Turks and Caicos, we decided to anchor off the south east point protected by a coral reef until around midnight when we'd make our jump to the next country. No more than a few hundred yards inside the reef, we hear that infamous sound we all know so well by now; the hull scraping the ground. Everything we read about Mayaguana said this reef was tough to navigate and you'd have to be a madman to attempt to shelter inside it. Being the young and risk-taking crew we are, we wanted to try first hand and sure enough, we learned our lesson. With a quick 180, out of the reef we were, heading out of the Bahamas once and for all. The winds were still blowing in our favor and our GPS now told us our arrival time would be around midnight. Hmmm...we now had to somehow kill 6 hours until daybreak or pick a new destination. As we took turns napping in the v-berth we debated if we should tack back and forth outside the reef for 6 hours, skip the Turks and Caicos altogether and head straight south for Haiti, or go for it.
We spent the next 2 days in the Turks and Caicos, anchoring off the islands of French Cay and then Ambergris Cays. The second day we had our best snorkeling and spearfishing outing, catching 4 lobsters, 1 crab and 1 conch. Pete steamed the crab and lobsters while I dissected the conch. A slimy mess but well worth the effort.