Passage South. Mayaguana to Turks and Caicos

Day 1 George Town to Long Island

 

Day 2 Long Island to Crooked Island

 

Day 3 Crooked Island to Aclins

 

Day 4 Aclins to Mayaguana

 

Day 5 Betsy By to Booby Cay

Passage South map

Passage South map

 

Day 6 Mayaguana to Turks and Caicos

 

After 6 days of waiting at anchor near Booby Cay, Mayaguana for the strong trade winds to subside a bit, we lift the hook around 5 a.m. on March 19th and leave The Bahamas to begin the 37 NM passage for Turks and Caicos.

37 nautical miles is not much but when the wind is 4-8 kts coming from the direction we are going and dropping to 0 at noon for 5 hours, it takes longer to get to destination. We bring down the sails in the middle of the Caicos Passage, Evo puts the rudder all the way to starboard to prevent the boat from drifting back to Mayaguana with the current and we go to sleep, what else to do in dead calm when turning the engines on is not an option? Three mahi-mahis come near the boat and slowly swim around for a bit, teasing us.

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Around 5 p.m. the wind returns from north-northeast at 10-15 knots. Perfection. Fata Morgana is gliding on a beam reach doing 6-7 kts directly towards West Caicos, south of Provideciales. We arrive at 10 p.m. in a place where an anchorage is indicated behind some invisible reefs. We decide not to check in Turks and Caicos as we are far from the official port of entry, Providenciales, and the cruising permit and entry fees are way too expensive even if you are simply transiting. We drop anchor in the dark as soon as the depth sounder is showing 5 feet and we sleep.

Day 7 Turks and Caicos Bank

 

Next day, March 20th, we lift anchor and sail 16 hours inside the incredibly shallow Caicos Bank, at times we only have 1-2 feet under the keels, tacking all day against southeast winds, doing 5-6 kts, covering about 80 NM even though it is only 46 NM to our destination.

9:30 p.m. we arrive, exhausted, at Six Hills Cay, two uninhabited small cays on the eastern edge of Caicos Islands, and we decide to take the next day off. We snorkel in the beautiful water around the cays, collect sand dollars, and rest before the 100 NM Windward Passage to Dominican Republic.

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