Where When How — Summer 2017
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Featured Excursion Sunset Sail - Atabeyra
Sophie Newstead

There’s an instant gratification to finding out that something’s handmade, even more so when it’s handmade and a living, breathing piece of the past. In this case, northeast of Grace Bay in Blue Haven Marina, what’s handmade is the stunning 77-foot sailboat Atabeyra, and what’s a piece of the past, is TCI’s trading heritage, depicted by the majestic Schooner sailboats used to transport the likes of alcohol, beer, produce and plants.

Atabeyra, a picturesque 50-person yacht, is one of these traditional Schooners, which since its reincarnation as a sailing charter in 1998, hosts a sunset tour every Friday for enthusiasts of a stellar view and relaxing cruise. The tour is a favourite among visitors and residents, likely because of the winning formula of good music, stunning sunset views and refreshing drinks on tap, all at a reasonable price. In addition, it’s incredibly easy to do; just call to reserve a space, arrive at the dock, hop on the boat and pay at the end. The spacious deck has seats and shade, and the journey is smooth for those wary of seasickness.

Nicknamed the “Tall Ship of the TCI”, Atabeyra was originally custom-built as a rum runner specifically for these waters in 1990, and used as trade ship to transport produce from the Dominican Republic to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Switching purpose in 1998 at the hands of avid sailor David Douglas, it evolved from a trading vessel to a charter symbolising a charming piece of heritage with a wedding-worthy aesthetic (many brides-to-be use this as their bridal boat).


Photography by www.LisaAdaraPhoto.com

The route, starts at Blue Haven Marina in Leeward and passes by Mangrove Cay and Little Water Cay before sailing down Grace Bay. A fantastic opportunity to see the best of Providenciales from a unique perspective, enjoy the sunset on one side, and what’s revered as the world’s best beach on the other. And it’s surprising how far you travel down the bay in the space of two hours… there’s enough nibbles and refreshments on offer to fuel the way, from local rum punch to Turk’s Head beer, soft drinks, and chips and salsa.

When many think about going on holiday, they envision a precious window of time to escape, relax and immerse yourself in a certain place, in all the Mark Twain-like optimism one can muster, ‘Throw caution to the wind. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover’. And with the chance to experience the dramatic sunsets TCI is loved for, aboard a boat that’s part of TCI’s history, you can experience the present and the past; wrapping Atabeyra up into a beautiful depiction of the TCI.

Happy Hour Sunset Tour, every Friday, Price: $40.
Duration: 2 hours | S/V Atabeyra, Turks & Caicos Islands
Bookings & taxi information: 649-231-0624
www.sailatabeyra.com | Facebook: @suncharters

Other excursions available: Glow Worm Sunset Tour,
Night With Da Stars, Sail & Snorkel Day Tour,
Private Charters