We pulled into Turks tired, dirty, starving and ready to have our feet on solid ground. Unfortunately, we pulled in at the most inconvenient time possible: midnight. If we knew then what we know now, we would have waited and left Long Island on Saturday night and timed things a bit better – but live and learn.
Many people skip Turks for a few good reasons:
- It is spendy. This island is built around tourism and it is a very trendy place to vacation. There is a $100 Customs fee to enter the country and you have 7 days to enjoy every ounce of the island. If you happen to stay longer than 7 days they up the ante to the tune of a $300 Crusing Permit. Because our lifestyle is solely dependent on Mother Nature and the weather she doles out, many are scared they are going to get trapped by weather longer than 7 days and have to pony up for $300 more. Valid concern.
- Navigation can be a bit tricky. Arriving at Midnight is unfortunate because we were unable to use our main navigation device – our EYES. Visual Piloting is the name of the game here and we literally steer based on what color the water is. Charts, Garmins, etc…are not as accurate here and you need to be able to see what the water looks like. Running smack into a coral head would be the end of us, so best to avoid coral.
Our midnight arrival forced us to go a bit out of the way and pick up a mooring ball in an area where we felt the water was well charted and we could sleep for a few hours. Scuba Diving is a major sport here, so there are plenty of mooring balls the dive boats use during the day. We borrowed one for the night and crashed hard.
The marina we were headed to had very shallow water, so we needed to wait to high tide to get in, and of course that was about 6pm the next day. We busied ourselves with officially checking into customs and immigration and finding a frozen bev while we waited for high tide. We nearly leapt off the dock before the lines were tied in our excitement to be “there!” and see our friends.
We came to a quick consensus that we should declare the next day a “vacation day” and do nothing remotely related to a boat. We hopped in a 24 hour car rental ($50 bucks) and Bo drove his all over the island. His left-side-of-the-road-driving skills are remarkable and he only hit the wipers instead of the blinkers every single time. Morale increased significantly and laughs were had by all.
No vacation day is done without a stop at 2 Grocery stores! We went just to see what they had, but couldn’t help ourselves oggling the produce wall. Veggies are unheard of in this part of the world so our excitement was high!
We loved lunch at Somewhere so much that we went back for dinner!
Safe to say we used every minute of the 24 hour car rental and found this tiny island to be a gem. No island is without a little boat work, so the next day we were right back at it.
Laundry, fuel polishing (don’t ask me what that is…), workouts, food prep, and a massive cleaning spree were all topped off with a little bocce ball.
We are headed out on a our longest passage yet to Puerto Rico. It is expected to be a four day trip, so you can pray I don’t jump ship round about day two. Days/nights get VERY long and boring when you are just bobbing along waiting for wind to take you somewhere. Bo is busy making Naan as we speak so at least we don’t starve on this passage!
Next Stop: Puerto Real, Puerto Rico!