Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Caicos Sloops, aerials, local boats..

That last photo is the "Ranger" in Chalk Sound. I was helping Ross rig it. He uses it to teach local kids how to sail, and Chalk Sound is calm, protected, and shallow. Ross has a local TV show, "How Culture Works" and gets really involved.

One day he called and asked me to give him a ride down to the boat, picking him up at a "meeting". I walked into a conference room, in shorts, flip flops and a tank top, to find myself sitting in on a meeting for the next 45 minutes with Ross, representatives of all the local media ( TV and three news papers) and the Governor in a suit and tie of course. Subject of the meeting was "self-policing and restraint in the media " after a paper had published a particularly ugly photo of a car wreck, with some spurious stuff as to the involvement of alcohol in a young local girls death. At leastI got to meet the Governor, who is appointed by the Queen of England. Nice guy.

Here's some more of the boat on that day:

That's Ross, light-footing it over the barnacles.

The wooden blocks are Lignum Vitae, an incredibly hard local wood. The missing one is replaced with copper wire.

Ranger in Chalk Sound.

I love taking photos. Took some more just this afternoon, about an hour ago...local boats. Most of the locals here will glass a boat off a mold someone popped off a production boat. There are LOTS of Montauk 17 shaped hulls around, but the topsides are a conglomeration of features..

We took the Andros out this afternoon for a couple hours. It was a 4-5 ft swell offshore, with about a foot of wind chop on top. Lumpy.
Boated one small YFT, and hooked into another one in about 1200 ft. of water. I worked him for about 10 minutes, til the hook tore loose. oh well....we got fresh tuna to grill for about five or six meals.

Here's some local boats:

Cradles? We don't needs no steenkin' cradles!!

Uh..yeah, Boston Whaler...that's it...

"No Hassels", ready to boogie..

Just something to get you from A to B and back, without A knowing about it...

Typical afternoon commute...headed home to North Caicos. Every day..

TCI is in the Trade Wind belt, which means we get winds from the NE most of the time, and they are pretty strong most of the time. 15-20 mph NE winds are very common. Means we usually have some chop on the Banks. And the Leeward side of the islands get the swells coming around the tip of North Caicos from the deep ocean. So, boating, we usually have a choice of steep chop but no swells on the Banks, or bigger swells and not much chop close to the islands on the West side. The winds sweep across the expanse of the Atlantic, and in the summer ( now) they pick up moisture from the warm ocean and when they come up against the islands of Middle, East, and South Caicos, being forced upwards by having to go over the landmass means that they cool due to the increase in altitude, and we get squalls forming over those islands and then they hit the leeward side islands with some pretty good storms. Have seen some incredible electric storms here.

Here's an "ah oh" in the making..

blew by to the south:

If any of you guys know the Dog River Marina, in Mobile, you can tell them I found one of their t-shirts washed up on the beach here, and full of bullet holes.

This is what was originally a channel between Water Cay and Pine Cay. it was closed up by hurricane Donna in 1960. The water in the center section between the islands is about 24 ft. deep. The light water is 6"-12" deep over the flats. The water breaking on the far side is the reef.

This was taken when we were evaluating properties to build on. Our new house location is where the 'X" is. That's serious bonefishing in the salina to the lower right. I may have to take it up.

view of that location from the water.

(sorry to dwell so much on our new house, but its getting closer and we are pretty excited, and pretty tired of being 'homeless' ha ha.)

Donna Cut, between Little Water and Water Cays. Oh SURE, its easy to see the channels and shallows on a calm day from 800 ft. up....the reef is usually pretty easy to find...if you don't pay attention, it will even find you.

This doesn't really belong here, but the dog was so proud of his first rat...he insisted.

We are boating back over to Provo this afternoon to check on the house, get our traditional Friday night pizza, watch a movie on TV....catch up on the news, buy ballyhoo and groceries (priorities!)...maybe grab some conch on the way to drop off to some friends of ours.. ah...Pizza! welcome break. i do all the cooking. Dinner menu this past week:
Rainbow dolphin, burgers, Yellowfin Tuna, hot dogs, Snapper, conch, Cerro Mackerel, pork loin, Tuna again cause I caught another one..... I am ready for some cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms,

(posted in the forum later)
We boated back to Provo this afternoon, but didn't stop to dive for conch. We were dodging squalls the whole way. The boats fast enough to outrun most of them, but about a mile from the slip, we got caught in rain so hard I had to slow the boat to idle. Just couldn't see. We got so soaked, we considered dropping the hook and jumping overboard to dry off a little.

It was clear when we got by the job site. All our workers were gone, they quit early on Fridays. They get paid in cash. Since there are no payroll deductions here, it works. I did catch the guys working on the new 5,000 sq. ft. house across the street from us just leaving:

Seat belts? We don't NEEDs no steenkin' seatbelts!!

We went to Gilleys at Leeward for 5:00. Took a bunch of boat photos, and will post those later. It's time for the weekly pizza!

Local stealth boat. (we don't NEEDS no steenkin' registration numbers... either)

Ed Missick, owner of "Catch the Wave" fishing charters, on one of his bonefish/flats boats

Just noticed...Ed's wearing CROCS!! man am I gonna give him a hard time about it.

"If you wanna hang out you've got to take her out... Propane..." (apologies to Eric Clapton)

This Zodiac spent most of its life on Martha's Vineyard. We brought it down with us. Didn't use it for two years, so we sold it to "Sail Provo" as a tender. They use it every day. The other boat? uh..well....yeah, its a locally made Boston Whaler.. Factory paint...

Two of Sail Provo's boats leaving late afternoon with groups who chartered for sunset cruises.

Gilley's at Leeward. Good place to hang out, have a few drinks, food, watch the local world go by. Gilley (the owner) is the Honorable Galmo Williams MP Minister of Home Affairs, Public Safety and Labour for the TCI.

Everything in this photo except the boats is slated to be torn down within the year.

This boat has been around about the last six months or so. I was told it's used to ferry people out to the new $500 million resort being built on Dellis Cay, but I don't know for sure. Its an unusual boat here, for sure.

Yours truly (the one white guy) hanging out at Gilley's, having a few drinks, and watching the local world go by..

Keeping an eye on the squalls..

Just found out that Trish (the girl with the wahoo in earlier photo) gaffed a YFT this week that yanked the gaff out of her hand, and almost pulled her completely overboard. Haven't gotten the story from her yet as she's taking a few days off with five stitches in her hand.

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