We are still waiting for the boatyard to sort out fuel problems on our boat. In the meantime, we have been back and forth to Pine Cay a couple times in Big John's Whaler. This morning started out pretty okay, for a mid December:
We left mid morning from Walkin's Marina at Heaving Down Rock. We had heard a lot of ambulance and fire trucks sirens a few minutes before we left the house. We took a short cut through a local neighborhood on a road that pretty much guarantees you won't be disturbed by any Corvettes speeding by late at night:
Actually, this road is pretty typical of Provo roads once you get off the main paved roads. The government has stated that paving the secondary roads is one of their priorities, but it seems to be slow going. Of course, there are a lot of roads like this. It is not going to happen overnight.
That photo will also give you an idea of what the native vegetation here will do when it has a steady supply of fresh water. It stays stunted on the dry hillsides, but flourishes with some moisture.
The quickest way to get the news here is to tap into the "jungle drum" network, and the marina is the perfect place for that. We ran into our friend Preacher there, and he had the story on the sirens. A mechanic at J&B Tours in Leeward has blown himself up working on a boat. From the description of the injuries, it does not sound good. We don't yet know who it was, but we are a bit apprehensive since we know some of the guys from there. We will find out what happened at time goes on. We got a glimpse of the boat from the water as we left in the boat, but could only tell that the entire t-top was blown almost completely off. Gasoline and sparks. Not good.
At the marina we spotted a TCI Santa-in-disguise pulling away with a boatload of wrapped Christmas presents, headed for North Caicos:
Almost all of the shopping in the Caicos part of the islands is here on Provo. And of course most of the transportation between the islands is by small open boat, so this becomes a common sight this time of year.
The dog was doing his dog thing, running around jumping on all his friends at the marina. In addition to Preacher, he had to say 'hello' to Duran, to Dwayne, to Ed, to Omar, and while he was on a roll, to a few complete strangers. That included a couple of people from Atlanta here for a bonefishing trip with Catch the Wave, and he made a new friend today with a gentleman named Leon who graciously allowed La Gringa to take his photo:
The winds were blowing pretty hard out of the north, directly into our faces. So we crept up in the lee of Water Cay for as long as we could, protected from the chop and spray. There are many small isolated places on the beach along Water Cay. I took a number of photos since we were running close to the beach, but because it was still morning the shadows made it hard to get much definition in the photos. But a lot of it looks exactly like this:
The charter and excursion operators such as Catch the Wave, Silver Deep, J&B, etc. will bring you to one of these spots and drop you off for the day with a beach umbrella, some chairs, a cooler full of drinks and lunch. You can have a stretch of this beach all to yourself for the entire day. If you visit the TCI and have the time, I would recommend it.
Today was very breezy, and choppy even tucked in next to the rocks.
I will have to get some more photos of this area in the afternoon when the sun is shining on it. It's really kind of nice.
We got to Pine Cay marina a bit early, so we just waited for our passengers and watched the water from a nice spot out of the wind.
There are worse ways of spending a little time on a cold, blustery winter day ...
(imagine a big sarcastic grin right about here)
We had a pretty uneventful boat trip back. It's always easier running downwind, of course. Drier, too. Big John's guest made the flight back to the US with time to spare, while he is staying on a few more days. We went to lunch at Sailing Paradise, and had some fantastic cracked conch.The view here is always relaxing, even with the wind howling. We watched the sloops bouncing on their moorings.
The knot in the rope holding the canopy down might give you another idea of the wind today. Two years ago we would probably not have taken a small boat to Pine Cay in these conditions. Now, its so routine we don't even think about it. We've done it at night in weather three times this bad in rain and lighting. So a choppy day is nothing much.
I was just thinking about how much our eating habits have changed since we moved to the islands. We eat a lot of conch, for example. It's great tasting and good for you. Basically pure protein from one of the few marine herbivores around. Actually we eat a lot of fish in general, come to think of it. For example, Wednesday night we had grilled wahoo, Thursday for lunch we had grouper fingers ( NO grouper do not have fingers. They are fried strips of fresh grouper) and today we had conch. I might be in the mood for some red meat tonight, but we have decided to check out Iguana's Restaurant. La Gringa promised Omar we would stop by one of these days, and there's no time like the present. If you put things off for too long, they seem to have a way of drifting down the priority list.
So, that was our Friday today. Nothing exciting, nothing unusual except for the accident at J&B. La Gringa and I drove down late in the day to see if we could get photos of the boat, but it's been moved already. We'll find it.
Hopefully the boatyard will finish our boat in the next day or so. We need it. We are running out of conch at the house. Thank goodness we still have a freezer full of wahoo to keep us going until we can get out fishing again.