Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A trip To East Caicos

Hi All,
We have been thinking for a long time about going to East Caicos. It is situated between South Caicos and Middle Caicos. It is an uninhabited island with only donkeys roaming around where there was once a sisal plantation. John and I have traveled by car to the very end of Middle Caicos and thought about using a kayak to paddle to East Caicos. It however seemed to complicated. Early one morning when I do all most thinking, I decided Big Blue was the way to go. They are the best outfitters on the island. They are very eco-minded and that is so important to me. I email Philip one of the two partners and we arrange it. I'm quite excited that Philip will be joining us. He has extensive knowledge about marine life besides being enthusiastic and great fun.
We head out early on "Octopussy" one of their many catamaran motor boats.
The day is drop dead gorgeous and we are all looking for whales. We have taken the route traveling outside the reef all the way around the islands. I have never seen the water so quiet around Middle Caicos. Whenever we have gone by land the ocean has had HUGE unboatable waves. Mudjin Harbor is one of the first land marks as you reach Middle Caicos.

We keep traveling along Middle Caicos until we come to Long Bay where there is deserted beach which seems to go for ever without a soul on it. 
This is the same beach John and I had found by car. We are now approaching Joe's Grant which is a spectacular island that sits in-between Middle and East Caicos. Either there was a look out post or Joe Grant had the most spectacular view one could imagine.
John is standing in the ruins wishing we could move here. Philip tells us the reef outside of Joe Grants Island is spectacular. We head out and have great snorkel. There is massive amounts of coral including Pillar and Elk horn in which large schools of fish, sharks and barracuda are swimming about. https://vimeo.com/152229187 
After climbing out of the water, we feast on sandwiches and brownies before continuing to East Caicos. Our skillful boat Captain Levado anchors right along another spectacular beach. Mike Rosati out great friend, John and I get out to walk the beach and leave Philip and Levado to some snorkeling in the channel between Joe Grant's and East Caicos. As we walk along this spectacular beach with the wind whistling softly through the Casuarina trees, we notice donkey tracks. There isn't anything they would eat along here but they must enjoy the view! 
We head back to the boat to view more of the island. There is an old loading dock where a train used to bring the sisal to ship out. Sisal is used to make rope amongst other things. The island stretches on for a long way then rises up to a high hill which is the highest point in the Turks and Caicos Islands. It is all over grown and there are many hungry mosquitoes hoping we will come inland. I'm beginning to want to head back with hopes of finding a whale or of course dolphins!
We start the long trip back. I'm scanning the water which has gotten a bit bouncy compared to this morning. Just as I start to nod off at the end of North Caicos, Mike and I see dorsal at the same moment. The sun is now pretty low on the horizon but I get in and have a quick swim with a pod of four dolphins one of which is curious about me.  They hang around briefly then resume their trip. Just as I get out, we see a Humpback surfacing right where I was with the dolphins. If only I'd stayed in there longer!
It's too late to properly position ourselves to get out and swim with this whale so we move on. We then see two spouts right together. If only these whales had come by this morning when we were in that magnificent, calm, clear water. However we now know the whales are coming through and hope we can see more later in the week. 
This was a spectacular trip done on a perfect Turks and Caicos day.  I highly recommend it! https://vimeo.com/152282544

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