Friday 25 February – Monday 28 February
Provo is a big Island, 38 sq. miles compared to the 3-5 sq. mile Islands we have been to, it is a “cosmopolitan” Island catering to the tourism business. Everything is spread out along the beaches so there is no one shopping district / downtown area like most Islands. The hotels (major resorts unto themselves), rental villas, restaurants, and shopping districts are all relativity new, all competing for their share of the tourism boom. Unfortunately many are also empty and several major projects have stalled out (ran out of money). They also had some major damage from 2 hurricanes in 2008, Hanna and our old friend IKE. But they are very optimistic about new investments coming back to the Island. South Side Marina is a long way away from everything. Luckily Simon the manager / harbourmaster and his wife Charlyn are most accommodating and will drive marina guest to the store(s) whenever they need to go !! They go above & beyond to help you out. On Friday morning we went with Charlyn & Liz from another boat to the grocery store. Now we had just been to one on Great Exuma, BUT I can not say this enough we never pass up the opportunity to check out a grocery store, especially after hearing how wonderful this one was. Well it was like walking into a store back in the states, except I think they had some produce that you would not find back in the states. So even though we were just going to look to see what they had and what we might need we came out with a basket full of items. Next Liz had to stop at the Do It (aka Home Depot) store. The truck was barely stopped before Steve jumped out to head in to see what he could find. Back to the marina and now we have to find a place to store all the goods we purchased. We keep saying lets use some of the stuff we have before buying anything new, but then we think this could be the last time we see this item so we buy it. Get things put away, wash the deck of the boat as it is covered in salt from our crossing from Exuma. The marina also has a happy hour every night starting at 5, so we go over to mix & mingle with the other boaters here. Saturday we had planned to rent a car, another couple, Tammy & Joe, wanted to do the same so we decided to all go together in the marina “rental” car (better price then the rental car companies). We have a fun day seeing the sights of the Island, seeing a lot of the different areas. Meeting up with Simon and a few other boaters for lunch at Da Conch Shack. Then touring more of the Island before stopping at the grocery store on the way back as Tammy & Joe had not been yet, and yes we did get a few more things :). Make it back to the marina shortly after the evenings HH as started to join in. Sunday we go diving, there are a multitude of dive operations and sites surrounding the island. Four of them operate out of this marina, our first choice was booked up so we went with Ocean Vibes. It could take years to see all these reefs have to offer, dropping down a thousand feet from the shallow waters of the bays to the Atlantic. We got to enjoy 2 sites seeing the amazing coral walls and the small & big fish that call it home, wish we had time for more.
Sunday night starts with the marina's nightly 5 o'clock HH, that's the good and bad part of being at a marina enjoying meeting and visiting with other cruisers, but we sure go through a lot more alcohol then when we are anchored out. Monday we spend the day plotting courses to take us to the DR, cleaning, laundry, and making meals to heat up over the next two days while underway. Tuesday March 1st 7 am departure at high tide for 8 hour trip across the Caicos Bank to anchor at Ambergris Cay.
Link to pictures; https://picasaweb.google.com/103931849054358791487/TimeInProvo?feat=directlink