Yesterday I drove down to the marina to talk about fixing our gasoline leak. As you might have guessed, I took photos.
That's looking back at our house on the hill from the entrance to the marina. only 900 yards in a straight line from our patio to this spot. But its 10.2 miles by road. Bad road, except for a few miles in the middle of the trip.
There is usually a stiff chop in our face coming out of this channel, but it wasn't too bad yesterday. A shame we were not boating.
This is what the natives call "ironshore":
It's not iron. It's limestone. It's what these islands are made of. It erodes into bizarre shapes, crevices and caves. And it will sorely test your toughness and pain threshold barefooted. It's wild and forbidding. It's gnarly and dangerous. It will put holes in your boat, your cooler, your feet, knees and butt if you're not careful. It eats shoes and eyes your toes...
We like it. It does neat things with waves, turning them into dramatic big splashing white sprays of water. It traps all kinds of interesting floating things and hides them for me. Fish live underneath the overhanging ledges of it. And every foot of it is unique. It shapes and smooths driftwood on it's way past:
(I can hardly wait to get some of this stuff into the new workshop)
I talked to the Marine Police at the marina. They were getting ready to go on patrol, warming up their boats at the dock. They know us. They get big laughs out of the dog, especially when he decides to take on the three yard dogs who outweigh him by forty pounds apiece. It gets exciting. They have two big patrol boats at the marina, and a smaller go-fast boat.
This is the smaller, and older of the patrol boats:
We've noticed that they tend to take the other one when they go patrol the Caicos Banks. No wonder, it's newer, and has nice air-conditioned airline-style seats inside for the team. I couldn't get a good shot of it yesterday because it was just leaving the marina on patrol , passing in front of our house:
Since we are going to have such a great view of the Banks from the house, I thought about what we should do when we eventually see a boatload of Haitian refugees on the horizon (we all know it's gonna happen), We should call the authorities, right? Turn them in. Get them busted, fed, and repatriated?
Or should we establish a rapport with the Haitian smugglers so they cell-phone us to find out where the Patrol boats are? I think we will just stay out of it, and observe. For now, anyway.
This is what it looks like from the dock looking straight down into ten feet of clear water. It's not blue, but it's not bad for an enclosed marina:
Things continue to change here, on Provo especially. Here at the marina they are building and expanding. The closure of the businesses at Leeward created some incentives for others to step in and fill some gaps. Here, they are building new marina offices, showers and facilities for boaters, a restaurant, chandlery shop...
We are all for it. Now, if they will just put in some more slips it will be great. Oh, and if we can figure out a way to get here from the house without driving ten miles or swimming. The government has announced they budgeted to pave the road in. Hallelujah.
This is a landing craft. There are several of these around, and they are the "pickup trucks" of the islands. They can land cargo and vehicles on beaches where there are no docks. The only option if you want to build a home on a remote spot.
I mentioned the family living aboard their catamaran. Other cruisers come, stay a while, and then leave. These guys have been here for a while. The husband is a plumber from the UK, the mother a Canadian teacher, with two young kids in school. They bought some property on South Caicos, but I don't think they are going to build on it. Just picked it up as an investment. They have turned this cat into quite a home.
They have a window A/C unit in a plywood door they install when they are dockside. They have a great stainless grill setup. Storage locker on the dock. Parking a few feet away. The boatyard and marina life for friends and entertainment. They sail fairly often, not tied to the dock permanently like some liveaboards we have seen. Usually, on weekends, the kids will be jumping off the cabin into the water, while he works on the boat and the lady has her laptop under the canvas in the lawn chairs. Really nice people. Living a real tropical lifestyle.
Why couldn't I have grown up like that? I always wanted to be either Mike Nelson in "SeaHunt", or one of the kids in "Flipper". These guys are close.
Once you make this jump, you find yourself surrounded by like minded people.
Once again, it seems that it comes back to pursuing dreams. Am I encouraging you?