BVI to Turks & Caicos
After a great visit to the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which was concluded by a spectacular lunar eclipse, we set sail for the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) on Tuesday April 15/14 with perfect conditions for a lovely 3-day downwind passage from the BVI.
We were on starboard tack for the whole voyage starting out by sailing wing and wing.
Occasionally we had to bring the genoa over to the other side to keep on course but finished with it poled out wing and wing as we arrived in the Turks and Caicos on Thursday night.
We kept 3 hour watches at night and 4 hours during the day. The nights were bright with the full moon and as we soared along north of the Navidad and Silver Banks we often saw cruise ships on the horizon and on AIS. We only had one short but heavy rain squall during the 3 days. The rest of the time the weather was lovely.
Our port of call was Cockburn Harbour on the island of South Caicos. Here Sheryl raises the “Q” flag to signify that we intend to clear in.
Clearing in was a story... we climbed out of the dinghy in the small fishing harbour on Good Friday, a hot and dusty day in the little town, where we asked the first person we met where we might find customs and immigration. Betty Craigg told us the 2 officers were on the way to their church for Good Friday and invited us to come join in the service. She assured us the officials would be happy to process our paperwork after the service.
Betty Craigg invited us to her church where she assured us we would be able to clear in to the Turks and Caicos with the Customs and Immigration officers attending the Good Friday service.
Turns out to be a rockin’ service at the Firm Foundations Ministries! Great fun and great singing! Thanks to Pastor Hall and Pastor Cooke and the congregation for such a warm welcome! Turns out the Immigration officer, Sandra Hall, is the wife of Pastor Hall, and the Customs officer, Markia Lockhart, is a very active member of the church.
Customs officer Marika Lockhart, left, and Immigration officer Sandra Hall, right, singing on Good Friday.
Sure enough we pop into the back room after the service is over to deal with the paperwork. “Hallelujah! We are Cleared In!!”
Homiest clearance ever!
Fees were $30 for Immigration and $65 for Customs for a 1-week permit. Overtime charges were included since it was a holiday.
We went back again to celebrate Easter Sunday with our new friends. It was an Easter we will never forget! Here are a few photos...
The telling of the Easter story. Pastor Brandford Hall at the pulpit.
Church dancers add to the story.
Customs officer, Marika Lockhart, also does the choreography for the church dancers.
Sheryl with Pastor Cherimay Cooke, who is a fantastic singer! What a joyful and memorable Easter in South Caicos.
We are looking forward to more adventures in Turks and Caicos. On Easter Monday we will be sailing north across the Caicos Bank to the island of Providenciales.
Sheryl and Paul Shard
Aboard SV Distant Shores II
Cockburn Town, South Caicos
Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI)