The Latest Turks and Caicos Trip Report:
by Kevin McGillivray
Caught the red-eye out of LAX and got TONS of love from the check-in at American Airlines. I had a double board bag containing 2 sails, 2 masts, 2 booms, 2 boards, 2 bases, harness, etc. Oversize and overweight, but the lady just looked at it and said, “You know you have to pay $100 for the surfboard, right?” I quickly responded,”YES!!!” I paid as fast as I could, she printed out the tag, slapped it on and asked, “Is it heavy?” I just said, “Kinda.” but she didn’t pursue it. American ROCKS!
Had a stop in Miami where the flight to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands was canceled “due to a tire needing to be changed,” but we were able to get on the next flight a couple hours later…..where we found out from a frequent business traveler that American consistently cancels that particular flight because they never get enough people. Yet they always claim it’s a maintenance issue so they don’t have to compensate the customers. The day before they had just said the same thing. American SUCKS!
Finally got to the island late afternoon. Sailable, but I had to wait for my buddy to bring my gear from the airport (since it doesn’t fit in the taxi.) He got there a little too late, but no prob- it was already happy hour! The next two and a half weeks were followed by tons of sun, fun, wind, snorkeling, diving, horseback riding and liver abuse. I sailed about 8 out of the 16 days that my gear was available. Mostly it was 6.0/ 97L freeride blasting. I’m pretty much a wave snob, but in that crystal clear, warm, beautiful water, I’m perfectly fine just throwing on the iPod and cruising all day. I really just can’t explain how beautiful that water is!! There were a few days of high wind where I was well powered on the 5.3/85L twin. The wind was fairly side-on for this this trip and there was a nice little sandbar offering up tons of backside snaps and jumping. The high wind was the result of a cold front that moved through. The air temp was still about 75 degrees, so no big deal. But after a while, I would start feeling a little chill. So, all I had to do was drop down in the water (about 83 dgrees) to warm up!! NICE!!! How often do you get to do that?!?!?! There was one day that I squeaked out to the reef I normally sail and caught a few side-off head highs. It was just super light wind, so it started becoming more work than it was worth.
As the original planned two weeks was coming to an end, I checked the weather back home and saw all the anticipated chaos and weather anarchy. I decided it would have been too traumatic coming back home right into that, so we booked an extra 3 days. I know I missed some storm sailing back home, but that didn’t bother me one bit. There wasn’t any good wind for the rest of the trip, but it was absolutely perfect “hang out on the sugar white sand beach with a fruity cocktail” weather. The last day was quite the bummer as we were leaving. I’m still not sure why I came back! American got me at the counter this time. In all my trips in the past, the airline check-in people have never charged for my gear when we were leaving. This time they did the oversize and overweight charge, $200 total. I always expect to pay, that’s just the way it is and in the end, I guess the $300 total for the international trip is reasonable for how much stuff I took. The double board bag move was definitely worth it, though. Otherwise, I would have been paying for each board and the quiver bag and probably getting charged around $600 plus.
Throughout the trip we were able to catch up with old friends and made some new lifelong friends. I played around a little with my new Gopro HD cam so I could take you along on the trip. The camera worked great. It guarantees the case is waterproof to 100 feet. I can guarantee that it’s good to 130ft, which is where we were when the shark cruised by. Knowing that that cam needs quite a bit of light, take into account that we were at 130ft and there was still that much light. That will give you an idea of the kind of visibility there is diving there! If you have 6 minutes or so to waste, then click on the Turks and Caicos Water and check out what’s going on over there. The other is just a quick slideshow of a just a few pics from the trip.
Hope you enjoy!!
http://www.vimeo.com/9096600 Turks and Caicos Water
http://www.vimeo.com/9111985 Turks and Caicos Slideshow