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Reunited and it feels so good! (L to R) s/v Delancey, Selah, and Nightingale Tune docked in a row at South Side Marina for one night only.

After 12 hours of shitty motoring straight into the wind, we had a lot of reasons to be excited about our arrival in Providenciales (everyone calls it Provo), in the Turks & Caicos Islands. From the moment we tied off to the dock, I felt my entire body relax with the sensation of stillness for the first time in weeks. No wind, no waves, no movement whatsoever. Ahhhhh. That, and a first real shower in three months, made me feel brand new.

Deb and Pete were on the dock waiting to welcome us, and Allison and Bo were just one day behind. Reunited, the six of us only had one night together before Delancey sailed on to the Dominican Republic, but we picked up right where we’d left off back in Georgetown, swapping stories from our time apart and hanging out in the only place close enough for us to get to without a car – the bar at our marina.

We saw Delancey off the next morning and got right down to business. Since the Turks and Caicos Customs & Immigration will only grant cruisers a permit for either seven days ($100) or up to three months ($400) with no other options in between, it was imperative that we catch the upcoming weather window and avoid getting stuck (and paying all that extra money). We worked like mad to clean the boat with fresh water from top to bottom, do laundry, lug jugs of diesel, make sail repairs, reprovision, cook passage meals, and check off a dozen boat projects in preparation for our journey to Puerto Rico, which will be approximately four days at sea.

But it wasn’t all work and no play. We set aside one “vacation day” and rented a car to go check out the island. So, which of Provo’s beautiful beaches, stunning dive spots, and thrilling nature trails did we visit? Almost none. Instead, we ate ice cream and drove around. Visited two grocery stores and the marine store. Got lunch at a chill spot on the beach with great food and strong service (we liked it so much, we returned for dinner). In short, we were terrible tourists, but thoroughly enjoyed a rare day of comfort, abundance, and ease. Provo is a beautiful spot, I’d love to return without my boat someday.

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Our sweet little reunion.  (L to R) Brian, me, Pete, Deb, Allison, Bo

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Can’t get enough of seeing our boats all together like this.

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Seeing Delancey off, en route to the Dominican Republic.

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The wheel is on the right and people drive on the left in T&C. Bo did a great job driving us around, despite the fact that deploying a turn signal also turned on the windshield wipers, which made tense moments side-splittingly comical while going through the island’s many roundabouts. (Photo: Allison Cordle)

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Lunch at Somewhere in Grace Bay. We liked the vibes and the food here so much, we ended up going back for dinner. Great fish tacos, tostada, and red snapper sandwich!

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Frozen treats were scarce in the Bahamas because they are costly and difficult to refrigerate, so satisfying our craving for ice cream on that very hot day was a top priority. We stumbled into Island Scoops for good ice cream made on premises.

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The bay at Bugaloo’s. The fishermen use these tables, which stand in several feet of water at high tide, to clean conch and fish.

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Brian in his “going to town” shorts at Bugaloos

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There are two great grocery stores in Provo, Fresh Market and the IGA. Brian was a bit dumbstruck by the variety in the produce section.

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Daily ass kickings by Allison – marina edition

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Passage planning meeting. Here, we’re deciding on our passage strategy for Puerto Rico based on the forecast. We’ve picked a weather window with calmer seas and less wind, which means we will most likely be motoring for a lot of the journey. If there was more wind in the forecast, we’d plan to sail more and chart out a route that would favorably position us for using the wind.

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We took down the main sail to make repairs. UV rays have weakened the thread on the seams, causing them to burst open. Hopefully these fixes will get us to Puerto Rico. This was my first time sewing outdoors on the deck of the boat in the blazing sun.

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We scrubbed the boat top to bottom with fresh water to remove three months of accumulated salt and grime.

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Brian installing a new anchor light with a solar sensor. We will no longer have to remember to turn it on or off, it will happen automatically.

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Bo and I looking up at Brian

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Cooking food to get us through the passage and the next few weeks. This is saag, made with Mexican cheese that I found at the market in Provo.

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Replenishing our supply of homemade pickles. I made three kinds: cucumber dill (pictured), hot peppers, and sweet peppers

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Vacuum-sealed meals ready to freeze

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Pizza has become our favorite passage food. It can be eaten at any time of day or night, tastes good cold, and hits the spot when you’re feeling queasy.

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At the marina bar

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Bocce is serious business on the regulation court in South Side Marina. That’s temporary manager Cam, making sure that everyone is playing by the rules.

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Our  boat’s contribution to the weekly Wednesday potluck – Baked brie with toasted hazelnuts and honey. Perfect with digestive biscuits.

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The bar attracts all kinds of entertainers from boats in the marina. One night there was a woman who juggled fire. I was impressed that this man was carrying a trombone aboard  – he jammed with local guys who have a weekly gig.

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The windex (windvane) that’s at the top of our mast – 57 feet in the air. Spectacular view, right in front of the marina.

I wish we could stay longer, but we have to go while the going is good. Puerto Rico, here we come!