On Tuesday 19th, we woke up very early in the morning to catch a ferry over to North Caicos. We weren’t able to take our boat over as it is extremely shallow and there are no safe anchorages, sadly. The ferry journey takes you past several small cays to end up at North, where we had rented a car. The car hire men weren’t the sharpest tools in the box - after we’d waited around for ages they finally came over to our car. Mum asked how to move the seat forward. “Is broken”, came the reply. “Ah,” said Mum. “Now that’s a problem, as I only have very little legs.” The guy giggled and said “Yes, is problem!” before walking off and leaving us to it! So Mum began driving perched right on the end of her seat, before eventually allowing Jilli and I to drive as we have much longer legs.
We drove right through North Caicos and over a causeway onto Middle (the Turks and Caicos islands don’t have the most imaginative names!) The views were absolutely beautiful, down over sea and cays to the north, and over green marshland to the south. Our first stop on Middle Caicos was a huge cave system. A guided tour was $30 each but you could explore part of them by yourself for only $10. Obviously we elected to explore them by ourselves, but Riney (nicknamed Rasta - ‘everyone on this island has nicknames, I’m not actually a rasta) offered to show us round anyway as it gave him an excuse to get inside the caves away from the boiling hot sun! This was brilliant as we got to explore much more than we would have done by ourselves - lots of stalactites and stalagmites, land crabs, spiders (I avoided those) and bats which flew out around our heads!!
Riney also recommended us a restaurant for lunch which would be much cheaper than the more touristy places, and phoned up for us to make sure they were still doing lunch. So we each had a huge plate of chicken and freshly-made chips at Dillon’s for $5 ($3) each!! Delicious.
The afternoon was spent visiting several beaches - Bambarra Beach, a lovely long stretch of sand surrounded by extremely shallow, still water protected by the reef, and then Mudjin Harbour - a small, empty beach backed by cliffs, with huge waves rolling in. The only way to get to this beach was by climbing down some steps and making our way through a cave!
We just managed to make it back in time for the 5.30 ferry and weren’t back at the boat until 7pm after having left at 8.30am. A long day and we felt the usual apprehension, wondering if the boat would still be where we had left it…. Luckily it hadn’t moved at all and we watched Black Swan that evening.
For the past few days we have been in Turtle Cove Marina, cleaning the boat and waiting for the wind to settle so we can leave for Bermuda. It has been 30-40 knots in the ocean, and from the north for the past few days, but it is swinging around now so the aim is to leave on Monday. We will be posting daily logs on a different website - I’ll write up the address tomorrow as I’m not sure what it will be yet - and this will also show our position.
Turks and Caicos have been beautiful and we have enjoyed getting to know the island and its people - this morning I walked to the cafe with internet and every single person I passed said ‘good morning’ - we are really going to miss this friendliness when we get home! But equally, we are very excited about Bermuda, especially as a few of our friends from the Arc should be there around the same time as well!