St Martin, 07 May 2006

7:th letter, Motor breakdown and spectacular dives

We left Bahamas with a whole bunch of wonderful memories. Bahamas was much more than I had expected. The crystal clear water, an amazing wildlife, excellent fishing and friendly people, made the stay in the Bahamas lovely.

On a calm evening we set sails from Georgtown towards the next destination, Turks and Caicos. This country lies on a huge bank with turquoise water and is supposed to be the most beautiful sight viewed from the moon. How the water was going to be more turquoise than we already seen in the Bahamas was for me hard to understand.
Not long after leaving Georgetown we had to start up the engine since the wind almost died. After running about 40 hours (the journey to Turks and Caicos is about 3 days and around 260 nautical miles) the motor suddenly died. Our fist motor breakdown was a fact. We set up the sails and made it close enough to the shore for dropping the anchor. Me and Fredrik started to analyze the problem, and came quite quickly up with the reason why the engine stopped (we thought). We both agreed that the reason why the engine died was air in the fuel system due to a  fuel filter change a few hours earlier. After bleeding according to Terrys( the former owner) instructions the motor started again, but only for 15 minutes. We were still convinced that air in the system was the cause. 36 hours later, a loot of swore dooms, frustration and diesel all over us, me and Fredrik finally gave up. The frustration was enormous and we didn’t have a clue what to do. Suddenly another boat showed up, and we called them up on the VHF and prayed that someone on their boat had experience on diesel engines. An older Dutch gentleman came over to our boat for help. To our surprise he only managed to say about three words in English: poomp, fvent, fvaccum. I wouldn’t call the gentleman an expert on diesels, but somehow his words made us try to set the fuel system on over pressure with our dingy pump. We then realised that only air was coming from the tank…we were out of fuel! Quite embarrassing, but the feeling when the motor started after putting in more fuel was almost unbelievable. Yeeees, we were ready to continue to Turks and Caicos, and having the wind straight on the nose felt like a piece of cake!

The larger and developing island Caicos with its city Provodenciales didn’t impress us much. Everything was scattered and the town center was nothing special. Also the fact that we were not welcome to stay in the marina (to small boat) didn’t change our opinion. The only thing worth remembering around that marina was the restaurant Tiki Hut and it´s chocolate cake with ice cream! It must be world famous, it was the best I ever tasted! The beaches around Provo was occupied with huge luxury resorts, and we were not welcome there either. Therefore we decided to make an attempt to board one of the private beaches in our dinghy. Amazed that we didn’t get discovered by any of the many guards, we walked straight into the luxury beach resort. We there found out that it was an “all all incusive” resort, so we happily ordered drinks and filled our stomachs with burgers and more drinks, all totally free :)

The captal city Grand Turk on the other island Turks was the opposite of Provo. It was a genuine and beatuful little town and just outside the island was heaps of dive spots. We rented diving equipment for two days, and made 3 spectacular dives along the greate wall witch drops from ten meters down to a couple of hundred meters. We enjoyed the wall, caves, turtles, colourful fishes and the crystal clear water. These dives were the best in my life so far. In a beautiful sunset we left Turks and Caicos for another 300 nautical miles to Puerto Rico, still discussing the amazing dives that will long in our memories forever.

Now days a honourable sailor


Private beach on Provo
Next drink please!
Streets of Turks
Cool Walldiving
Getting redy
Crystal clear water
Enjoying no gravity