Kuma Too was returning to Florida from the Virgin Islands with the intention to sail straight through, but the weather had other plans. We had a cold front pressing down from the north bringing strong winds and rough seas. We were not on a tight time constraint, so there was no reason to put the crew in unfavorable conditions.
We ducked into Turks and Caicos to anchor in Sopadilla Bay on Providenciales because it was protected from the northeast winds. As we approached from 27,000-feet of water to 8,000-feet, the deep blue water was so inviting - I had to go for a swim! It was calm, so we pulled Kuma back to neutral and jumped in! It was an incredible experience having absolutely nothing below...all I could see was deep blue water and rays of sun.
As we continued towards the Caicos Bank, the water kept getting better and better. We crossed the ledge to 100-feet of water and could see the ripples in the sand on the seabed! We saw numerous starfish, coral, and a shark as if we were in a swimming pool. Once Kuma was securely anchored, we headed into town to clear customs. Entering the port, we had to put on hardhats and vests to continue on to the customs building 100-yards away. The clearing process was so easy, we were back on board within an hour. We had a nice meal on board with a beautiful sunset and relished a full night's sleep.
The next morning we rented a car to explore the island. Our first encounter was a runaway flamingo…Only on an island!
Because we were in Providenciales for weather, we didn't see Grace Bay Beach in its prime, but the water, even turned up from wind and rough seas, was glowing and the sand was powdery white. Whatever your heart desires lies along the top-rated Grace Bay Beach. Restaurants and shops fill-in the real estate between world-class resorts.
Following a local’s recommendation, we ended up at Da Conch Shack. Conch salad, cracked conch, conch chowder, seared conch, conch fritters, and believe it or not, delicious jerk chicken, are what this place is known for! It blows my mind that the islands aren't running out of conch with how many they go through in a day, but the guy cleaning the conch said they are still plentiful; it is not a concern at this time. The beautiful beach where Da Conch Shack is located has a pack of friendly dogs indulging in patrons' leftovers and a local guy offering tours on horseback. Our evening ended with the much anticipated weekly fish fry. It's put on at a park filled with vendors offering local cuisine and merchandise. A stage is set up and acts rotate throughout the evening. It was the best live music we've heard during our entire trip!
The next day we enjoyed Sopadilla Bay, a small beach lined with private residences. A few locals have set up shop with water rentals, a bar, and grill. This beach is highly underrated! The water is like a pool and compares to Grace Bay Beach without all the tourists and high-end fair. Jerome cooks amazing dishes on his home build grill while Spookman provides liquid courage to the thirsty beach goers. Reasonably priced (for island standards) and delicious, it was the highlight of our time on Providenciales. We met such wonderful people on the beach that day that we ended up getting together on board Kuma Too for the brunch before our departure the next day. A special shout-out to Jerome for giving us his special conch batter and Spookman for taking Austin (our crew) out for a night on the town.
As we made our way across Caicos Bank, again bound for Florida, we began planning our return to this magical archipelago. To learn about charters on board Kuma Too, visit www.SailingKumaToo.com
Until next week, Happy Sailing!