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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Welcome Back!

It's funny the twists and turns that life brings. Here Ron and I were letting the weather dictate our course, which was taking us back to the Turks and Caicos. Admittedly though, we both were somewhat reluctant to retrace our steps, as the lure of the unknown and new is always so strong, and we worried that the familiar might feel stale. But in retracing our route, we received ample rewards which were not expected! Life is like that, filled with unexpected surprises.

We had a fabulous cruise back to the Turks and Caicos. The weather was phenomenal: smooth, glassy seas, crystal clear water, warm sunshine with just a hint of a breeze -- just joy to be relished in the moment! The cold front and high winds that we were fearing held off, stalling somewhere to the north, so that glorious conditions reigned this far south, which was a delight! 

If French Cay weren't in the middle, you couldn't tell where
the sky stopped and the sea began...
As we approached the Caicos Bank, the colors were luminescent, bright and crisp. The clarity of the water was startling; Ron noted that it looked like we were cruising in water just two feet deep, yet it was nearly 15'-20' deep. Our wake astern was trailing these reflected ribbons of light, almost the opposite of shadows, which streamed and twisted in brilliant shades like an aquatic aurora borealis. They were incredibly beautiful and delicate, shimmering and moving, enchanting the eyes! 

The play of light from our wake 
Ribbons of reflected light
You can also see starfish on the sand in this photo
Once we were within range, Ron radioed South Side Marina and Bob, the owner, delightedly greeted us and told us that "our" slip was available, ready and waiting. We also had the luck that McKeever, the Customs officer, was already at the marina and he was willing to wait for us so that we could clear in, even though it would be after the end of his shift. The tide was still too low for us to enter the channel to the marina, so we dropped anchor for the night not far from the marina channel markers, and discovered we had a welcoming committee: our boat-builder/restorer buddy Pinder whom we knew from the marina came zipping by on a jet ski, circling us and waving! And even as we were dropping the dinghy  in the water to head to shore, who else should come jet-skiing out but McKeever himself! How often do you get a reception from Customs like thatWelcome back to the Turks and Caicos! 

Once ashore, hugs and happy greetings abounded from our friends there. Even the marina dogs, Effie and Gemma, recognized us and insisted on a warm welcome! A huge wave of affection enveloped me; it's so nice to be back! Thus, a cruising lesson reiterated: while the unknown always beckons, there can be enormous rewards in retracing one's steps! And what better reward than reuniting with old friends?

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