5 Ways to Enjoy the Turks and Caicos Islands

17th May 2017 11:31 am

Vacationing in Turks and Caicos is one of the best traveling decisions you will ever make. The archipelago nation’s tourism strikes a careful balance between luxury resorts complete with royal treatment and nature reserves brimming with life and beauty and waiting to be explored.

 

Whether you are are traveling family, a honeymooning couple, or a solo adventurer, there are plenty of ways to enjoy and experience the Turks and Caicos Islands. And because it’s made up of seven main islands and over 40 smaller islands and cays, it’s easy to find a site that suits you and your vacation pursuits.

 

First, let’s get the obvious out of the way: hitting the beaches. Providenciales has several beaches that are consistently ranked among the best in the world by Condé Nast magazine and World Travel Awards. There’s good reason too. With stunning white beaches made of powder soft sand and clear turquoise waters, these beaches are what people think of when they imagine a Caribbean paradise while daydreaming in front of their laptops during a conference call at work.

 

However, if you don’t want to spend your entire trip lounging at the beach, here are some of the favorite and most popular picks by tourists while you vacation in Turks and Caicos.

#1 Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddle board (or SUP) can be done by nearly anybody and nearly anywhere. The waters around Turks and Caicos are warm year round and can be exceptionally calm on the shallow beaches. This makes it a great activity for families, kids, or people who want a more relaxed activity.

 

The great thing about SUP is that it is what you make of it whether you’re a beginner or seasoned paddle boarder. It can be a leisurely way to sightsee or it can be a full body workout—whatever you’re in the mood for.

 

There are even special eco-tours you can take while on a stand up paddle board. You get to venture into mangrove channels and national parks to see delicate ecosystems supporting nesting birds. Or, you can skim over clear waters near reefs and see vibrantly colored marine life right beneath your board.

 

Stand up paddle board is a very affordable activity too. It requires very little gear—just a board and paddle, hence the name. You can try it out for an hour or be out on the water all day on a touring excursion.

#2 Kayaking

Like stand up paddle boarding, kayaking is another popular way to traverse the beaches, shallow channels, tidal creeks, and around the cays. It’s a quiet and non-intrusive way to get close up pictures of wildlife like iguanas and birds.

 

Any accessible waterway can be explored by kayak while you’re on the Turks and Caicos islands. You don’t have to stay on one island either. Kayaks are lightweight and easy to transport with boats and trailers.

 

Kayaks can easily be the highlight your entire Turks and Caicos stay. Become a part of a private multi-day kayak expedition where you will camp or travel inn-to-inn to explore nature reserves and the endless beaches.

 

If you’ve already reached your preferred tan, you can kayak during sunset. Enjoy a completely different experience in cooler temperatures and watch the sky light up in fiery shades of red. You’ll also see completely different marine life as the nocturnal creatures swap with their daytime counterparts to take their turn on and around the reefs.

 

Similarly to stand up paddle boarding, kayak rentals are reasonable and there are a variety of options.

#3 Snorkeling and Diving

Turks and Caicos has marvelous conditions for underwater activities: great weather, warm and clear water, and shallow reefs teeming with fish, coral and marine life.

 

Snorkeling and diving is a real treat that you can partake in every single day you’re on the islands. You can’t get sick of either—there are just too many snorkel and dive sites to visit and no two are the same.

 

In fact, there are snorkeling tours that will take you out to several snorkel sites.  Knowledgeable guides can help you identify the hundreds of different fish and describe the important coral reef ecology.

 

If you’re more comfortable with deep waters, Turks and Caicos is a tough place to beat in terms of quality dive sites. You can descend and scale walls that are dozens of feet to over 100 feet that are overflowing with life.

#4 Kiteboarding

For a unique experience, try kiteboarding. With the islands located in an intersection of trade winds and surrounded by beaches that are shallow for hundreds of feet out, kiteboarding can be a great activity for beginners and experts alike.

 

Since Turks and Caicos is such a hotspot for kiteboarding, it’s easy to find PASA and IKO certified kiteboarding instructors with decades of experience. It won’t take long for beginners to get a good run or an advanced intermediate to pick up and refine the more flashy techniques.

#5 Whale Watching

November to February are great months to spot whales in the Turks and Caicos. This season coincides with the humpback whale migration as they transit towards their northern feeding grounds. You might even catch sights of a few calves as the Caribbean is a known breeding ground.

 

These, of course, are chance encounters. However, if there’s an opportunity, you can bet we’ll let you know when you’re out on a snorkeling or diving excursion. If we catch wind of whales nearby, we’ll pack up your gear and make our way over to give you a chance to snorkel or dive with whales!

 

The opportunity to swim with these majestic creatures shouldn’t be missed.

 

Do… Everything?

Depending on how long your trip is, it might be possible to do every one of these activities. You don’t even have to do them separately. You can sign up for private charters that can take you to places most tourists don’t even see.
These charters aren’t operated by small dinghies. They’re sizable boats that can store kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkeling and diving gear, so you don’t have to pick and choose.



Unique wedding activities when getting married in Turks and Caicos

30th April 2017 7:36 am

It’s hard to top getting married in Turks and Caicos. The spectacular white sand beaches and stunning turquoise waters gives you plenty of opportunities to create picture-perfect moments.

 

Having your wedding or honeymoon in Turks and Caicos will put you in a small but elite group as well. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Tony Parker and Eva Longoria, and Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld all married or honeymooned here.

 

But more importantly, a Turks and Caicos wedding will put you in the perfect place for what REALLY matters: the honeymoon. We’ve previously mentioned some of the most luxurious Turks and Caicos resorts (many of which, offer wedding catering), but this island nation is also the premier location for some of the most exciting Caribbean excursions and activities.

 

Whale Watching

Any wedding can have a live band. But it’s truly a breathtaking moment when you and your new spouse gets serenaded by migrating humpback whales on their way south to their winter feeding grounds (or seas).

 

Whale watching in Turks and Caicos is one of the most memorable experiences for tourists. The best times for whale watching is from December to April, so definitely consider this activity if your wedding or honeymoon falls within this timeframe.

 

While the appearance of these majestic creatures can’t be guaranteed, we can promise that we would make the effort to spot them. Even if you’re doing a snorkel or diving trip, the moment whales get spotted, all of our boats are alerted.

 

Kayaking

With calm waters and shallow channels, kayaking is a favorite visitor activity. Whether you’re paddling into the sunset or just drifting under a full moon, kayaking gives you many ways to enjoy the waters.

 

Many parts of the islands are made of forests of mangroves. If you and your spouse are both adventurists, then kayaking is the best way to truly explore your Caribbean paradise. You’ll learn about the mangrove habitats, coastal ecology, island fauna and flora, and spot animals like iguanas and birds. You can even do multi-day kayaking trips for a truly unique experience.

 

Because a kayaking excursion is whatever you and your spouse make of it, it is a great honeymooning activity whether you are beginners or experienced kayakers.

 

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Like kayaking, stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is a great activity for active newlyweds. And when you go on a Turks and Caicos stand up paddleboarding excursion, you can easily paddle your way into an island national park and nature reserve made up of mangrove forests, channels, coral reefs, and cays.

 

However, if you want a more low-key honeymoon, SUP can also be a relaxing alternative. With calm, clear waters, SUP gives you an unobstructed view beneath the waves surrounding the islands without getting your hair wet.

 

So whether you want an easy 90-minute sightseeing trip or a four-hour adventure, stand up paddleboarding is a low-cost activity that offers the best of both worlds.

 

Kiteboarding

For a truly unique experience, it’s tough to beat kiteboarding on your honeymoon. With year round trade winds, warm ocean waters, shallow coastline, and scenic beaches, couples can let loose after a tightly scheduled wedding.

 

Even if both of you are kiteboarding beginners, our team of instructors has decades of combined experience that will get you cruising on the waves in mere hours.

 

Snorkeling

Put the wedding out of your mind and focus on exploring the coastal marine ecosystem with your new husband or wife. From beautiful reefs to vibrantly colored fish, snorkeling in the calm waters of the islands is one of the best ways to relax after a hectic wedding.

 

The Turks and Caicos islands have plenty of snorkeling sites to choose from, with no two experiences being the same. Snorkel during the night is an entirely different experience from the day, with different creatures taking their turn to be active. Or embark on an adventure like a snorkel cruise or snorkel ecotour or even combine with it stand up paddleboarding.

 

Or, you can keep it intimate with a private snorkeling excursion that will take you to secluded sites and beaches.

 

SCUBA Diving

People from all over the world go to Turks and Caicos for SCUBA diving. And when it comes to diving, smaller is better. New couples will join small groups to keep their diving experiences more intimate, and giving them greater opportunities to see the amazing marine life of coral reefs and walls without the disruptions of too many divers.

 

Dive the world-class reefs and walls in Grace Bay, Pine Cay, NW Point, French Cay and in West Caicos at your leisure. Spend the entire day traveling from site to site to dive unique locations. With favorable conditions and luck, you might even get to swim with whales and dolphins!

 

If you’re both new to diving, there are even diving courses that’ll get you comfortable in the open water.

 

Private Charters

You chose wisely when you decided on a Turks and Caicos wedding or honeymoon. The Caribbean islands are beautiful and there’s no better way for a newly married couple to see it than on an intimate, private charter.

 

Why limit yourself to a single activity when you can do it all on a private charter?

 

Cruise the nearby Caicos Cays or distant West Caicos and South Caicos with your new husband or wife. Stop if you see a spot you like and take out the paddleboards, kayaks, kiteboards, or snorkels for a private adventure.

Biking

While the beaches and ocean are some of the best places to be on a Caribbean island, the island interiors are fantastic in their own right. Enjoy whichever island you are on by bike. Biking the islands is one of the best ways you and your spouse can truly appreciate your honeymoon or wedding location.

 

You can do it on your own (some villas offer complimentary bicycles to their guests) or join a bike tour.

 

The North Caicos biking eco-tour will take you on a 12-mile tour of North Caicos’ interior. You’ll see the farming community of Kew, the Wade’s Green cotton plantation ruins, and the 250-feet deep blue hole, Cottage Pond.

 

So What’s Next?

No matter what you plan to do, your Turks and Caicos wedding or honeymoon will be spectacular. It can be relaxing or it can be full of adventure. In both cases, Big Blue Unlimited is dedicated to helping you create a memorable experience of your first days as a married couple.



The Best Turks and Caicos Kiteboarding Spots

23rd April 2017 7:31 am

In the world of kiteboarding, the Turks and Caicos Islands are still relatively uncharted waters. Truth be told, the best Turks and Caicos kiteboarding spots hold up with any of the top spots in the Caribbean. They’re some of the best-kept secrets in the kiteboarding world, and absolutely worth exploring.

The Turks and Caicos Islands offer beautiful weather year-round, bathtub-warm water, and surprisingly empty beaches, along with cooling winds that make for the perfect kiteboarding conditions.

Best of all, these waters are perfect for kiteboarders of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or you’re learning to kiteboard for the first time, the conditions make for an unforgettable experience—no matter who’s on the board.

Where to Kiteboard in the Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands have an incredible wealth of great spots for kiteboarding or kitesurfing. The best wind conditions tend to be between November and July, which conveniently overlaps with tourist season. Come August, the winds vanish, so don’t expect to get any surfing done in the late summer or early fall.

The water in the Turks and Caicos is always warm, so you can kiteboard right in your bathing suit. The standard kite sizes are 10m and 12m. Let’s take a look at the best locations for kiteboarding:

  1. Long Bay

Long Bay Beach, in the Caicos Banks, is the best spot for kiteboarding in the Turks and Caicos. Long Bay is located a short five minutes away from Grace Bay, the main tourist spot in Providenciales. Long Bay catches the Easterly trade winds thanks to its east-facing location on the northeastern tip of Provo, which makes it absolutely perfect conditions for first-time learners.

What makes Long Bay so special? The white sand beaches are incredibly soft, and they’re complemented by shallow, waist-deep waters that extend out for what seems like miles. At low tide, the water is only two feet deep, and at high tide, they’re still only as deep as 4.5 feet. These waters are especially forgiving to first-time learners, as they’re so shallow for so far that your instructor can easily accompany you on foot. The water can be choppy at high tide, but it’s incredibly flat at low tide.

When you hear “best spot for kiteboarding in the Turks and Caicos,” your mind may immediately jump to “overcrowded beach,” but that couldn’t be further from reality. Long Bay is still relatively undiscovered, and there’s never many more than 20 kiteboarders strewn across the several -mile beach. Luckily, it’s just busy enough that there’s always someone around to help you get up on the water.

The side-on winds of 15-25 knots and flat waters make it a great spot to ride freestyle and freeride. At Big Blue, we do most of our famous kiteboarding instruction at Long Bay.

  1. Grace Bay

Grace Bay Beach is also located at the northeast corner of Providenciales, only five minutes from Long Bay. Grace Bay is a step up from difficulty over Long Bay, only offering conditions for more experienced riders.

The crescent shape of the beach actually makes it so that during normal trade winds, the wind is totally dead offshore. But, when northeast wind systems kick in, Grace Bay becomes one of the best kiteboarding spots in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The water is much deeper at Grace Bay—12 feet deep to be exact—so riders here must be experienced enough to ride upwind, and they must also be able to relaunch in overhead deep water. The beach runs seven miles long, so there are always plenty of clear spots to launch from. The water is typically fairly choppy here, making it perfect for chop hopping.

If there’s a swell, then there’s typically an amazing break on the barrier reef, located a mile offshore, which creates perfect kiteboarding conditions. The North Shore reef brings a huge challenge to even the most experienced riders. Note that you’ll definitely need a boat if you want to get that far out and be able to make it back to shore.

If you’re able to catch Grace Bay during its side-on northeast winds, don’t miss the chance!

  1. North & Middle Caicos Islands

Many riders never make it off Providenciales, but there are many neighboring cays that are perfect for kiteboarding. At Big Blue Unlimited, we offer Surfaris to the Middle Caicos and North Caicos Islands that let you explore these nearly deserted beaches.

Leaving from Leeward, we explore the Turks and Caicos backcountry, seeing many sights that you’ll never forget. If you’re in the Turks and Caicos and you’d like a truly unique kiteboarding experience, be sure to check out one of our Downwinders or Surfing Safaris.

  1. Northwest Point

Northwest Point is a little-known beach at the—you guessed it—northwest point of Providenciales. This untrodden beach is completely secluded, giving riders all the open water they could ever need.

Northwest Point has some of the strongest winds of any point on the island. The waters here are home to many sand bars and small waves that also make for great snorkeling. If there’s a swell, there’s a great break on the reef here too.

  1. Chalk Sound

Chalk Sound has unbelievable turquoise water that always seems to be reserved for the world’s most beautiful locations. Chalk Sound National Park is a sight to behold in southwest Providenciales. This natural lagoon has hundreds of small rocky islands and clear waters.

It can be hard to get up or to launch in Chalk Sound, but once you do, it’s one of the most beautiful kiteboarding spots in the world.

  1. Turtle Tail

Located on the south coast of Providenciales, Turtle Tail is actually a luxurious residential area with some of the most beautiful ocean views on the island. This peninsula is more difficult to get to than Long Bay and Grace Bay, but once you can get there, it provides buttery-calm waters that are great for any skill level.

Just like Long Bay, Turtle Tail is constantly exposed to the Easterly trade winds, which can make for choppy conditions when the winds are strong, but the shallow Caicos Banks typically make for incredibly calm waters.

Learn more about our kiteboard offerings in the Turks and Caicos here, or get in touch with Big Blue Unlimited to book your kiteboarding excursion now!


Filed under: kite boarding

Pro KiteSurfers on Turks & Caicos

22nd April 2010 12:47 pm

Today, after one month we sadly said our goodbyes to Betrand Fleurry (Wainman Kites) and Ian Alldredge (Naish Kites). They had come down with top female rider Tuva Jansen (Takoon Kites) and one of the sport’s leading photojournalist teams based out of Mauritius, Stephane Fournet and Leena Ballack who had left last week, to write and record a kite surfing story in the Turks and Caicos.

They were led by Philip Shearer (Big Blue) and Big Blue’s top instructor and wily pro Wes Matweyew (Cabrinha Kites). Hope Le Vin, our 16 year old local team and sponsored rider (Naish, Big Blue and Blue) was ever present with her enthusiasm and skill as was local rider Stephane Gaudet.
To say we had fun is an understatement. Even if the weather for the month of February was bizarre (with winds blowing out of the south and west for much of the time) and stacking the odds against us for that perfect cross off shore wave, we still managed to score some great sessions both in the flats and in the waves. That said a tremendous of hard work has gone into this story by all involved both in front and behind the camera.
The team were based in Leeward near Big Blue’s base and would venture daily to find waves and wind. We traveled from West Caicos to East Caicos and everywhere in between.

While we wait for the story and images and DVD to be released it is safe to say we enjoyed each others company and vibe a lot. Betrand, Ian, Tuva, Stephane and Leena were welcome guests. We learned from all of them. Stephane and Leena: your patience and professionalism. Tuva: getting the ball rolling. Betrand: great sense of humour and of course a brilliant rider thanks to Wainman Kites. Ian: natural skill and flair with a bit of “I don’t mind, whatever works” thrown in. Hope: infectious passion. Stephane: perfectionist. Wes “handy me my skimmy please” Matweyew: persistent all rounder. Philip “island time” Shearer: the art of self landing a kite!
Thank you one and all. We look forward to seeing you back here for some more cutbacks and sliders!! Safe travels. Philip.


Filed under: kite boarding

2010 Windvibes

22nd March 2010 12:25 pm

The Turks and Caicos Islands 2010 annual kiteboarding/ kitesurfing event, Windvibes held this May was a huge success. With more kiteboarders and spectators than ever before, the 2 day event had great winds (even if the 2nd riding day was postponed), great events and great winners. The event was organized by sponsored local rider, Hope LeVin (BLUE, BIG BLUE and NAISH) with main sponsors BLUE, THE SURF SHOP and BIG BLUE UNLIMITED providing prizes, time and event organizers/ helpers. Hope’s dedication and love of the sport ensured that next years event has a lot to live up to. The event comprised of course racing, freestyle and for the first time with the aid of THE SHADOW BOX (a 3D GPS) highest jumps and fastest rider categories.

All the Big Blue riders featured and while Hope and Philip did not participate on the final day, the events were dominated by Big Blue Unlimited’s very own pro rider and instructor, Wes Matweyew, who won the freestyle, high and speed categories. Well done Wes! Will Pollock who only started late last year, had an excellent showing and came second in the course racing! Nice one Will.

The event which took place on the south side on Long Bay beach worked out beautifully. Lots of different folks helped to make it a success and the spirit that it created and the interest that it generated only confirmed to us why Big Blue is dedicated to the growth of the sport and has a clear vision to lead this sport in the TCI.


Filed under: kite boarding

Big Blue Unlimited Host the Best Kiteboarding 2014 Product Shoot

22nd July 2015 11:38 am

Big Blue continues to lead the way kiteboarding in the Turks and Caicos Islands. No surprise then that the BEST kiteboarding crew joined forces withour team to video, photograph and location scout for what has become their highly successful 2014 product photo shoot. World champion, Your Zoon, extreme kiteboarder, Ruben Lenten, Sam Medesky (Canadian champion), Mike Schitzhofer (Austrian champion), Gisela Pulida (9 x female world champion) and Chris Bobryk (USA) were out on the water everyday with photographer Quincy Dein and videographer, Miguel Willis all under the guidance of Big Blue’s very own veteran local waterman, Philip Shearer. The days were long but the rewards were amazing. Check out the 2 videos below.

Turks and Caicos kiteboarding with Big Blue and BEST 2014 product shoot

Turks and Caicos kiteboarding with Big Blue Unlimited and BEST 2014 product shoot

Killer shots, great footage and great vibes. Philip and Big Blue took the BEST kiteboarding team to some of the best spots in the Turks and Caicos Islands, only accessible by boat. For almost two weeks we had wind and amazing weather, perfect for kiteboarding and photography.

Team Big Blue and the 2014 BEST kiteboarding team


Filed under: kite boarding, Sponsorship

8th Annual Turks and Caicos Windvibe

22nd March 2015 11:10 am

Big Blue Unlimited was once again proud to support and be the main sponsor for the 8th annual Turks and Caicos Windvibes event. What started as a kite event is now billed as a family beach event with kiteboarding, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and swimming races. Windvibes is the perfect platform to showcase the best of these sports and thus the Big Blue experience and Windvibes have become perfect partners.

windvibes 2013

Every year our team rider and Windvibes organiser, Hope LeVin, puts hours of effort into pulling togther this excellent celebration of the watersports lifestyle. On the day she was joined by nearly all of the Big Blue team who bring with them dozens of  kayaks and stand up paddleboards. While Long Bay beach filled up with kites and kiters ready to race it also became centre stage for SUP, kayak and swim races. For those who wanted to stay dry Windvibes organized tug of war, log throwing and the all new concha wonka contest.

As Hope MC’d the event she was able to rely on Ray, Ben, Jason, Wes, Elvardo, Philip, Nicola and Mark to organise and supervise the different events.

Over 60 participants young and old, boy or girl, either kiteboarded, paddled, kayaked, pulled or swam. The beach was one big colourful festival and celebration of beach and water life in the Turks and Caicos. Windvibes gets better every year and this year was the best so far. We look forward to being there next year. See you on the beach!


Filed under: kite boarding

Big Blue Supports Enable Passion & the HTC Atlantic Kiteboarding Crossing

22nd March 2017 10:40 am

Big Blue Unlimited and our kiteboarding team have been asked to support and provide safety for a Turks and Caicos resident kiteboarding party to meet and greet the six riders crossing the Atlantic. The six riders will be met in the open ocean by a group of resident riders who will welcome them home on their last leg of their epic journey!

Expert Big Blue kite guides, Philip and Wes, will lead the six riders to their final destination – the beach in front of Blue Haven resort, right next to Big Blue’s base in Leeward.

The six riders will be riding non stop, 24hours a day, in 2-3 hour shifts. Their journey starts on Wednesday 20th and leaves from Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. If winds and currents co operate they should arrive in the Turks and Caicos Islands sometime between the 7-15th of December.

Big Blue will be ready and waiting and so will Turks and Caicos and the rest of the kiteboarding world.

Stand by!


Filed under: kite boarding

Big Blue & TCI Kiters Welcome Enable Passion

10:34 am

One month ago we were invited to help create a local on the water kiting event to welcome The Enable Passion kiters. The trans Atlantic kiteboarders had yet to leave Fuerteventura and their arrival was supposed to coincide with the Grand Opening of Enable Passion’s sponsors, Blue Haven Resort and Marina, on the weekend of 6th-8th December. 48 hours after their successful Atlantic Crossing, I’ve had time to reflect on what was a real high point and learning experience for our local kiteboarding community.

The idea was perfect, meet Enable Passion riders on the water and ride down wind with them to land at Blue Haven’s beach. Truth be told, the reality was always going to be tricky, fraught with potential hazards and disasters. However, its not everyday that kiteboarders cross an entire ocean. The last time such a famous feat ended in the Turks and Caicos was 521 years ago, under the guidance of Christopher Columbus.

The fact that these riders were coming to Leeward and Blue Haven made the invite to participate impossible to turn down. For those who don’t know Big Blue’s “Rebel Base” is on the water in Leeward. We have been diving, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding and kiteboarding this area for over 15 years and some of us over 30 years. We had to at least try and guide Enable Passion through this stunning area of natural beauty.

Early emails were sent to the local kite community and only but a few responses came back. Bad news, I thought. No one’s interested. Early into their venture, Enable Passion’s Double A had lost not one but both propellers to the deep blue sea and were forced to head south of their proposed route to the Cape Verde Islands. A week or so later, with new propellers, they headed back to sea but their course stayed southerly. Here in the Turks and Caicos most, myself included, thought that they’d never regain their intended North westerly course in order to make landfall. No doubt this was to blame for the lack of initial interest. However, once those trusty trade winds kicked in, as they have for sailors across the centuries, Enable Passion’s dream started to look like a distinct reality.

This time last week we called a safety meeting at Blue Haven’s Salt Bar & Grill. The ultimatum was set. Don’t come and you don’t get to ride.

I had already briefed our Big Blue team about the increasing possibility of this event but had not wanted to get too detailed as their arrival dates kept changing. That evening at Salt, I had no idea if 5 riders would show up or 25. Much to Ingo’s and my surprise local riders kept on arriving. Minutes before seven that evening Ingo introduced the Enable Passion dream and updated the TCI riders on their position. They were less than 100o miles away. A recorded on board video of Filippo and Erik brought their arrival into sharp reality and with it a genuine level of excitement.

A detailed safety briefing highlighting the variables and pitfalls of open ocean riding had most of our local riders on edge.

As the weekend passed and Enable Passion drew closer, local riders checked their gear, honed their self rescue techniques and continuously monitored wind reports on windguru. Tuesday’s arrival date was looking grim. Light wind, got lighter. NE switched to E and was threatening ESE. We ran procedures over again and again. The what if’s, the worst case scenarios, the ideal scenario, a sleepless night. A dummy run on the Sunday by team rider, Hope and myself, proved it was doable and that it would be exciting. It was exhilarating in fact. Blue water sailing, windsurfing or kiteboarding is a rush. But it was no joke. We both knew it. Safety was all that mattered. No heroes, no special cases. All that mattered was to follow protocol.

Cometh the day, cometh the hour. Big Blue was a hive of anxious activity.

A buzzing excitement enveloped our office as waivers were signed, kit was passed out, uniform collected, media, cameras, interviews, timing, skippers checking and rechecking their boats, kiters discussing wind while Enable Passion sailed their way to our open water meeting point. Skippers and crew, Paul, Blue, Dave, Mark, Ben, Elvardo double checked their roles while Hope, Mark, Roberto, Jess, Julien, Tom and I conferred on any potential hazards.

A BIG BLUE Thank you to the TCI riders. You are top sports! Following all safety instructions to the letter. A special mention to guides, Mark K, Hope, Roberto, Jess, Julien, Craig and Tom and skippers Paul, Dave, Mark P, Ben and Blue. You lot ROCK and were and are awesome. Thank you. Philip x A big shout out to Ingo and the Blue Haven team for bringing Enable Passion to Leeward!

Images provided by Andy Mann, Tropical Imaging. Agile Levin, Captain Dave and Tanya…thank you all.


Filed under: kite boarding

The Family Reunion – Transatlantic Kite Boarding

10:21 am

The atmosphere was electric as the family members of the Enable Passion Atlantic Crossing kite boarding team climbed aboard our new vessel, ‘Luna Del Mar’, on Tuesday morning. They were chomping at the bit to get out there to the welcome the riders and see their loved ones again.

We drove up the coast to rendezvous with the kiteboarders and drop off a Big Blue pilot aboard their mother-ship, Double A, a Lagoon 500 sailing cat, in order to run communications and help guide them in to the Blue Haven Marina on Providenciales.

The celebrations began even before we manoeuvred alongside. Flags were waving, horns were blowing, and everyone was cheering madly. The riders themselves were clearly pumped to be nearing land for the first time in nearly a month and of course for seeing their families after their epic odyssey.

The rain came and went but as the wind picked up we peeled away and watched with admiration as the adventurers launched their kites for the last time from the stern of their boat. It is a skill that the team had clearly honed over 27-days of non-stop relay kiting across an entire ocean.

And they kept at until all 6 riders were in the air by which time the fleet of Turks and Caicos resident riders had sailed out into the deep blue to join the fun. At this point we were all about 2 miles outside the reef somewhere off North Caicos. fulmira.com It w

getting excited

as an impressive sight and heart felt welcome from fellow kite boarding enthusiasts although most had never ventured this far from land, let alone out into water this deep.
And then the wind disappeared and there was no choice but to help the other Big Blue rescue boats fish all the Enable Passion and TCI riders out of the water. This was a shame but the Enable Passion riders and their families couldn’t have been happier.

Sooner than expected they were able to consummate their euphoric reunion and girlfriends, brothers, and mothers leaped off the boat into the sea to a warm embrace. We eventually got everyone back aboard and the kiters, beaming from ear to ear, congratulated each other with high fives and hugs all around; they had done it!!

 

true patriots

They had completed their 3750 mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean, following the same route and passion of Christopher Columbus 500 years before them on a voyage of self-discovery and ultimate adventure. It was a privilege to witness these scenes and to be part of the Big Blue Unlimited and Blue Haven teams that welcomed them to the shores of the Turks and Caicos Islands.


Filed under: kite boarding

Wind is up on West Caicos – Kiteboarding

17th January 2012 1:20 pm

It had to come. The wind has finally arrived. It started last w/e with a solid 20 knots and died. But that was only a sign of things to come. This evening Wes and Philip skipped out for a 2 hour evening kiteboarding session fully maxed on 11’s and 12’s. Big time hang time was had if only to prepare for tomorrow’s 25-30 knot and 6-9 foot day. It promises to be EPIC! The small kites are at the ready. Bring it on.

 


Filed under: kite boarding