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Old 23-04-2011, 20:56   #1
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Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

Two couples would greatly appreciate tips from experienced sailors and travelers on the Turks & Caicos. We're sailing there from lower Bahamas in late June, early July (hopefully before Atlantic storms start in earnest), and we've never been before. We are on a 50 foot cat, have almost two weeks, but have not been in these parts. We are looking for great snorkel sites (not diving this trip), fun beach bars, maybe a restaurant or two (focus on food, not fancy decor), and good places to reprovision. Ice is very important to our beverage goals! We're looking for fun, are not opposed to some crazy fun (last summer, we enjoyed the full moon party and "magic" tea at Tortola -- but only for one night), etc. Also interested in great beaches and reefs, wrecks, snorkel sites. Many thanks.
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Old 24-04-2011, 05:44   #2
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, showmethefacts.
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Old 24-04-2011, 07:12   #3
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

Turks and Caicos is great a great place, beautiful water and great people and not many charter boats, it can be pricey though. Spent a few months there a coupla years ago. Everything is spread out so you need time, alot of 45-80nm runs during the day, would advise against night sailing. Definately get the wavy line chart books, all of them. Most sailing is visual and bouys are not where they should be, it gets windy. If you arrive at nite theres a usable anchorage, till morning on the west tip of providencials, by the resort, watch out for dive bouys and boats.getting through the reef at provo is easy unlesss its raging, some bouys there, they may not be, call turtle cove on vhf and they will send an escort if your not comfortable, you should clear in here. kinda tight in there but nice marina bar and shops, we didn't stay there, went thru the inside reef east of marina and anchored in front of pink condos, water like a swimming pool, white sand bottom, surrounded by beach and wi-fi from condos. About a 10 min dinghy from marina or walk up the hill to the big cheaper grocery. not much in sopodilla bay good overnite, nothing on landc , commercial, meet good people on anchor. you usually see the same people, same routes. there is not alot of shelter so plan your day runs and night plans well, watch the weather. Do's wavy line charts provo, all caicos, theres a great deserted shetered harbor on the ne shore of east or grand, in the book, nothing around for 60miles, grand turk, ambergris, the banks and spend a few days at big sand cay alone with the whales jumping. Could go on forever. Ice get it when you can or make it in freezer you get to like staying away from civilization. Wiley cuts doable but outsides quicker and more relaxing.
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:19   #4
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

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Old 02-05-2011, 06:30   #5
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

What a gorgeous location and great video
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Old 02-05-2011, 17:48   #6
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

The Turks and Caicos are the most beautiful and memorable islands in the Caribbean in my opinion. We passed through from South to North and started at Grand Turk island. The water there is incredible, you can see crabs walking on the bottom clearly from 40 feet. If you can get there I highly recommend it. Provo is very developed and is definitely a tourist destination but Grand Turk has the spirit od the old islands. The people are super friendly and nice. Provo has the only high-end grocery store within 1000 miles seems like.

We rented a house in Grand Turk from one of the locals for a few days and started thinking of how we could relocate there permanently.

Crossing the banks is a truly unique experience. It won't be nearly as exciting for you in a catamaran as it was for is in our 7.5 foot draft sailboat. We didn't hit any coral heads but it required a lot of vigilance and looking closely at the chart.

We didn't find the Southern side of Provo to be very nice anchoring due to the wind in the season we were there. But the Northern side, between the reef and the beach was nice. It was definitely a navigational challenge to enter the reef and find a good anchorage. As mentioned, you might want to get an escort if you plan to go all the way into the Turtle Cove marina. We rented a car while there as things are very spread out on Provo. You can get one at Turtle Cove.

Passing through the Exumas you will also be drawn into the vortex of Georgetown and the cruising community there. Those people have it good. Free water, perfect anchorage, beaches, community, watch out, you may never leave!
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Old 02-05-2011, 17:52   #7
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

A bet a Farthing and a fresh plate of Jellied Eels the Royals take their Hunniemoon there.
The Seychelles a ruse diversion.
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Old 02-05-2011, 17:53   #8
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

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Originally Posted by SailingYoungs View Post
The Turks and Caicos are the most beautiful and memorable islands in the Caribbean in my opinion. We passed through from South to North and started at Grand Turk island. The water there is incredible, you can see crabs walking on the bottom clearly from 40 feet. If you can get there I highly recommend it. Provo is very developed and is definitely a tourist destination but Grand Turk has the spirit od the old islands. The people are super friendly and nice. Provo has the only high-end grocery store within 1000 miles seems like.

We rented a house in Grand Turk from one of the locals for a few days and started thinking of how we could relocate there permanently.

Crossing the banks is a truly unique experience. It won't be nearly as exciting for you in a catamaran as it was for is in our 7.5 foot draft sailboat. We didn't hit any coral heads but it required a lot of vigilance and looking closely at the chart.

We didn't find the Southern side of Provo to be very nice anchoring due to the wind in the season we were there. But the Northern side, between the reef and the beach was nice. It was definitely a navigational challenge to enter the reef and find a good anchorage. As mentioned, you might want to get an escort if you plan to go all the way into the Turtle Cove marina. We rented a car while there as things are very spread out on Provo. You can get one at Turtle Cove.

Passing through the Exumas you will also be drawn into the vortex of Georgetown and the cruising community there. Those people have it good. Free water, perfect anchorage, beaches, community, watch out, you may never leave!
Is there a tactic to avoiding the Corral heads? Or is it just dumb luck?
Are they found in certain depth waters?
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Old 02-05-2011, 18:06   #9
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

I assume you are referring to corral on the Caicos bank. Yes, on the Explorer chart books, there are compass courses that you can take based on your draft. The line on the chart tells you how shallow it gets overall, this is how high the sandy bottom gets. However, across the whole bank there are coral heads that you have to watch for. It becomes a bit of a dance as you try to discern the difference between the shadow of the clouds overhead and the black looming below. You generally adjust your course a couple degrees as you see the coral coming and watch it go by. It is fun and challenging.

Due to our draft, we chose the dogleg right route from South Caicos to Western Provo.

You can kind of see the lines on this chart: http://www.waveylinepublishing.com/i...landsTC001.jpg
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Old 02-05-2011, 18:36   #10
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

Simply incredible! Been to most of the Caribbean Islands and with the exception of Dominica, I don't think there is one any more beautiful and unspoilt.
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:33   #11
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

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What a gorgeous location and great video
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Old 03-05-2011, 18:01   #12
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

The people on this blog live there and seem to know the area pretty well. I'm sure they could tell you the spots to snorkel and places to provision.

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Old 03-05-2011, 22:27   #13
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

We're in process of booking marinas for our next trip.
Some are restricted to over 50 feet long, anything smaller, go elsewhere.
Don't go away mad, just go away is their take.

Some of the best deals are to book a slip and a room together. When one does the math, your electricity and water are included and it's sometimes a much lower fixed rate for the slip to throw in the room too.

Sounds odd, but if you plan to rent slips check out all the inclusive cost options.

Most people we know start out with a simple cruise to Bimini, then perhaps another including the Abacos,, then stretch it out from there.

Remember the easy cruising locations bring bad people, the hard locations bring good people.
Security is everything IMHO, and the resorts with slips usually have it down pretty good.
Think it through. Especially visiting 3rd world police states where violent robbery is a major industry, and the criminals are related to the authorities.
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Old 08-05-2011, 18:36   #14
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

We just left T&C last month. Explorer has new charts just this year for these areas which we used & found excellent. Check out SouthSide Marina on Provo - great rates & a fun place to be. For those of you anchoring outside his marina or in Sapillado Bay, Bob from SouthSide includes you in everything - including coming to get you. BBQ's and every night Happy Hour bringing a dish to share was a blast. Pile in the truck for excursions about the island. We made life long friends; teamed up to go diving; etc. Check it out in the Guidebooks.
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Old 08-05-2011, 18:47   #15
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Re: Turks & Caicos: First Visit, Need Advice

we stayed on provo at turtle bay marina i think it was called.nice beaches nearby and the marina was clean and cheap...
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