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Old 01-01-2017, 05:19   #1
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crossing the Caicos Bank

Hello, I am looking for some advice for crossing the Caicos Bank. I will be heading for the Turks and Caicos soon and then DR and eventually St Thomas. The route I am thinking of taking will be enter Provo at the Leeward Going Through channel and then exit south onto the bank and cross to Cockburn Harbour on South Caicos Island. My main concern is the exit from Provo. The channel there looks narrow and shallow. It looks doable at high tide as my boat only draws 3.5 feet. Anyone have experience with this route?
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Old 01-01-2017, 05:50   #2
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

I did this crossing back in June... I followed the "magenta" lines on the Explorer/Wavy Line charts. I picked a day with a good weather window and was even able to sail some of it. We anchored one night near the 2 small islands (forget their name) and not at Long Cay as most do (local suggested the anchorage over long). In the morning we upped anchor and headed to Cockburn Town where we spent about 5 days waiting for weather.

The Caicos bank was a complete "non-event"... Now the passage between Caicos and DR, that can separate the men from the boys. Make sure you pick a good window there as the seas can get really nasty even in semi benign conditions.
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:14   #3
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

Agree with travelers, Caicos Banks should not be an issue with your draft. If you are then crossing to Luperon, you might want to look at Bahia Isabella, just west of Luperon. You can't enter Luperon at night and Bahia Isabella is a wide open roadstead anchorage easily done at night. You have 20-30 ft of water starting about 1/4 mile off. Would recommend leaving at sunrise, before local customs comes out to visit and guaranteed they will. Luperon is less then 10 miles away, if you leave early before the winds come up, it's an easy motor.
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:23   #4
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I did this crossing back in June... I followed the "magenta" lines on the Explorer/Wavy Line charts. I picked a day with a good weather window and was even able to sail some of it. We anchored one night near the 2 small islands (forget their name) and not at Long Cay as most do (local suggested the anchorage over long). In the morning we upped anchor and headed to Cockburn Town where we spent about 5 days waiting for weather.

The Caicos bank was a complete "non-event"... Now the passage between Caicos and DR, that can separate the men from the boys. Make sure you pick a good window there as the seas can get really nasty even in semi benign conditions.
Thank you for the reply. Did you leave from the Leeward Going Through channel at Provo or use the more southern Sandbore Channel?
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:23   #5
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

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Agree with travelers, Caicos Banks should not be an issue with your draft. If you are then crossing to Luperon, you might want to look at Bahia Isabella, just west of Luperon. You can't enter Luperon at night and Bahia Isabella is a wide open roadstead anchorage easily done at night. You have 20-30 ft of water starting about 1/4 mile off. Would recommend leaving at sunrise, before local customs comes out to visit and guaranteed they will. Luperon is less then 10 miles away, if you leave early before the winds come up, it's an easy motor.
Thanks for the reply. I am planning to go to Ocean World marina at Puerto Plata as my first stop in DR before heading east. Should I consider Luperon?
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:32   #6
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

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Thank you for the reply. Did you leave from the Leeward Going Through channel at Provo or use the more southern Sandbore Channel?
I went the direct route to Provo as did our buddy boat. We draw 3.3ft and they draw 5ft.

I would highly suggest you have the Explorer/Wavy line charts. Although they aren't perfectly accurate (hurricanes have changed some stuff), they are really good. If you follow the lines, you will be %100 fine.

If you want some "down time" before running over the bank, South Side marina is really good. Bob will take care of you.

As to DR. If you are planning on staying for a while (to wait out weather), then I would suggest Luperon. Ocean World is great but isn't the smoothest marina (very surgy) and gets pretty expensive if you stay for any amount of time.
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Old 02-01-2017, 04:58   #7
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

I have the latest Explorer charts, thanks
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:35   #8
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

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I have the latest Explorer charts, thanks
Explorer charts are essential for Bahamas.. Wavy Line charts are essential for TC bank.. Make sure you have the Wavy Line charts as well.
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:57   #9
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

Exiting and entering the banks through Leeward in Provo is a BAD idea. Smaller power boats and fishermen go through there but even they sometimes churn up the bottom. I'd suggest that you exit Leeward the same way you came in pass Dellis Cay, North Caicos, and take the chute between Grand Turk and South Caicos. It's the normal route and gives you a great point straight on to Luperon.
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:15   #10
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

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Exiting and entering the banks through Leeward in Provo is a BAD idea. Smaller power boats and fishermen go through there but even they sometimes churn up the bottom. I'd suggest that you exit Leeward the same way you came in pass Dellis Cay, North Caicos, and take the chute between Grand Turk and South Caicos. It's the normal route and gives you a great point straight on to Luperon.
Ok you guys keep using the word "Leeward".

I'm guessing you both mean "Sandbore Channel" (directly west of Provo Lat/Long 2144.5 7227.7). If this is so, then I wholeheartedly disagree with you. So does Bruce Van Sant as its his suggested route in his book "Passages South". Sandbore Channel is well charted on the Wavy Line charts (with a magenta line) and has plenty of water. There is absolutely no way a "local fisherman" would churn up sand on that channel. Our 5.5ft draft buddy boat made that channel no problem.

I guess that brings up another suggestion. If headed in that direction you should purchase Bruce's book. Its not called the "Thorny Path Bible" for no reason. It is unparalleled for the information included in it (he made that trek over 30 times).

Since I'm posting.. The anchorage we spent a single night at was Six Hills. The "Local Fisherman" suggested it as its a much better anchorage than Long Cay.
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:29   #11
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

No. Leeward is a cut that separates Provo from a few small days and Parrott Cay. There is an IGY marina there as well as Nikki Beach Resort. The current that goes through the cut is about 6 knots so be aware if anchoring there and set two. Leeward cut also is a means to enter the Caicos banks from the Atlantic Ocean, but it's very shallow in the banks and there are many coral heads that are NOT marked on charts so sailors beware. There is also a Conch Farm there where they raise millions of Conch because it's only 2 ft. of water and they can tend the conch beds easily. The small power boat charters there in Leeward use the cut to take tourists to South Caicos and Dellis Cay. I would think twice about sailing through there as a short cut to get to Luperon. I lived on Provo for three years as the Nikki Beach resort was being built is how I know this cutt and portion of the banks.
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:14   #12
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

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No. Leeward is a cut that separates Provo from a few small days and Parrott Cay. There is an IGY marina there as well as Nikki Beach Resort. The current that goes through the cut is about 6 knots so be aware if anchoring there and set two. Leeward cut also is a means to enter the Caicos banks from the Atlantic Ocean, but it's very shallow in the banks and there are many coral heads that are NOT marked on charts so sailors beware. There is also a Conch Farm there where they raise millions of Conch because it's only 2 ft. of water and they can tend the conch beds easily. The small power boat charters there in Leeward use the cut to take tourists to South Caicos and Dellis Cay. I would think twice about sailing through there as a short cut to get to Luperon. I lived on Provo for three years as the Nikki Beach resort was being built is how I know this cutt and portion of the banks.
Ahh thanks.. I assumed he meant Sandbore..

Then yes.. follow Jsta_Rebel's advice.. Those channels are for locals with local knowledge only! Use Sandbore or another of the well marked and known channels!
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:57   #13
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

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Ahh thanks.. I assumed he meant Sandbore..

Then yes.. follow Jsta_Rebel's advice.. Those channels are for locals with local knowledge only! Use Sandbore or another of the well marked and known channels!
On my chart the name of the channel is Leeward Going Through. That is the one that I am asking about.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:03   #14
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

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No. Leeward is a cut that separates Provo from a few small days and Parrott Cay. There is an IGY marina there as well as Nikki Beach Resort. The current that goes through the cut is about 6 knots so be aware if anchoring there and set two. Leeward cut also is a means to enter the Caicos banks from the Atlantic Ocean, but it's very shallow in the banks and there are many coral heads that are NOT marked on charts so sailors beware. There is also a Conch Farm there where they raise millions of Conch because it's only 2 ft. of water and they can tend the conch beds easily. The small power boat charters there in Leeward use the cut to take tourists to South Caicos and Dellis Cay. I would think twice about sailing through there as a short cut to get to Luperon. I lived on Provo for three years as the Nikki Beach resort was being built is how I know this cutt and portion of the banks.
Thank you for the info. I am in a powerboat that draws 3.5 feet. Do you think that cut at high tide would be a bad idea for me?
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:14   #15
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Re: crossing the Caicos Bank

I just think you are taking an unnecessary chance when you don't have to. If you are wanting to stop in Provo, go in at Turtle Cove (sellers pond) that's where everything is anyway. Then go back around northwest point, past West Caicos and head to Luperon . Make sure and check the weather.. The post talking about things getting rough fast is correct.

If St Thomas is your destination, I don't understand why you're headed to the DR unless "tu quiere chicas y divertido". Most leave Provo, cross the Mona Passage and head for PR before making way to St. Thomas. This is the normal power boat route. Where are you headed in STT? AYH, Compass Point, or Charlotte Amile?
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