After roughing it for five nights at Ocean World Marina in the Dominican Republic it was time to move on.
The passage from the DR to Turks and Caicos is one of the longest on the “Thorny Path” down island into the Caribbean. One hundred and seventy-five miles is 24 hours in Motivator time. Actually, we had to pull back on the throttles about 4 hours out because we were going to arrive before the marina was open.
A popular option to doing such a long passage is to stop at French Cay, an unpopulated island that is more of a high spot on the Caicos Bank rather than an island. Due to weather and timing constraints, we opted for the longer passage.
Sometimes during the 24 hours of looking at ocean you get some spectacular views.
But, most of the time it is just ocean interrupted by the occasional flying fish. Luckily for us it was a rather benign ocean on this passage.
Pollie off watch
We usually keep to a rather loose two hours on and two hours off watch schedule on long passages.
Pollie on watch
The off watch sleep quality is not that great, so a long nap is usually in order when we get to our destination.
On our previous stop in TCI (Turks & Caicos Islands) we stayed at the South Side Marina. Getting to South Side requires crossing the Caicos Bank’s very shallow water while dodging coral heads. That is something you do not want to attempt at night. Additionally, Motivator dredged the channel entering South Side Marina.
Outbound yacht with pilot boat
This time we opted for Turtle Cove Marina on the northern shore. The north shore and marina is well protected by a reef system. Self-navigating through the reef system is not recommended. We had to hold off shore while a pilot boat was dispatched to lead us in.
Kyle and the pilot boat
After leading another yacht out, Kyle said that it was our turn and that we should stay lined up on his stern.
At this point Kyle advised us to stay dead center between the markers. Even though the channel is well marked, I can see why they recommend the pilot boat. It is too easy to miss one of the markers and take a “short cut.”
Motivator peeking over the dock at Turtle Cove Marina
Looks like we made a good choice. Last time we were in TCI we rented a car to get to the restaurants and shopping that is now in bicycling distance. It looks like we will have to tough it out here in the “gin clear water” a little less than a week before we have good weather for entering the Bahamas.