Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Ambergris Cay in the T&C
It took all day to cross the Caicos Banks, as we carefully picked our way through the coral heads. You do not want to do this trip in any sort of reduced visibility; we were happy the sun was bright and the winds were somewhat calm.
We anchored between Big and Small Ambergris inward from where Van Sant recommends. The anchorage is huge and a bit rolly but based upon conversations with boaters anchored at South Caicos, this is the better choice. There is no internet signal in the anchorage. However, we dinked close to shore near the restaurant on Big Ambergris and I picked up but could not sustain a signal. Holding is very good in sand.
We took a picnic lunch and a long dinghy ride to explore Little Ambergris. We found some incredible conch shells and walked the mangrove creek and the flats, which held many treasures. The shells pictured are 8 inches long and in great shape; it was difficult deciding which ones to take as First Edition is being overrun with my beach findings. The dinghy ride home was ridiculous, with winds around 20 knots kicking up the seas. We were drenched, and cancelled our dinner invite to Celebrian as these seas and darkness would not be a good combo.
Two days later when the wind and seas had calmed, we dinghied over to Big Ambergris, where a luxury real estate development is slowly underway. All over the cay you can find turk head cactus (do I have it right?), accounting for part of the name of this island group. The “lots” were marked with etched wood signs, indicating the ownership. Reportedly, $130 million has been sunk into infrastructure but not many homes were built as of yet. I wonder when these guys bought and how they are feeling about their investment now.
We are anxious to get moving, but wind direction and seas are not terrific for a trip to Luperon. Some boats are taking off, but we may just hang at Big Sand Cay, our staging anchorage, for a few more days to beachcomb and watch for whales.