April, 2024

Last Logbook Entry  for previous day


 First (and last) trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands

The closed parenthesis marks pretty much tells the story of this expedition.  I went there solo to see if the things we enjoy on tropical islands would exist in enough quantity to give Sue and I a reason to spend more time enjoying what's supposed to be a beautiful area in the Atlantic Ocean below the Bahamas.

Both of us need exercise activities like biking, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, etc. and I specifically need to be able to have fun fishing at these exotic places. Unhappily I didn't find much of the former and even less of the latter.

Earlier in 2023 I'd researched the Caicos and found a somewhat primitive location on North Caicos that seemed to be the kind of spot that we could use as a base to have some fun.  It was the Bottle Creek Lodge located well down towards the south end of that named creek. 

 The lodge was the best part of the trip by far.  Owned and operated by a pair of retired professors who are very nice and accommodating, there are three modest dwelling units on the site; the one I chose was the Seaside Cabana. 

It was a well laid out and equipped single room bungalow style with small, but functional kitchen, sitting table, comfy king bed and nice shower.  For what it's worth, the Wi-Fi was solid every day.  The accommodations were the only highlight of the trip.  Cannot compliment the operators of that (tiny) resort enough.  They were great communicators and hosts.


When I got to the island, I rented a small SUV at the boat landing and toured around North and Middle Caicos for the short period of four full days.  With no restaurant at the lodge itself, I picked up groceries & some wine on the way there and made my own breakfasts and small evening snack meals each day.  Lunches happened at Mudjins Restaurant and My Dees place.  The former was darn good - the latter was a locals hangout and frankly, weird.

Bottle Creek itself is a massive, wide "creek" typical of what is found commonly on islands similar to North Caicos in the Bahamas.  It's simply a broad tidal saltwater river that passes through the island.  In the case of this particular one, it was also very shallow with a mud bottom (not firm sand as I've found elsewhere).

While I spent the first of my four days there doing exploration, paddling the kayak around the "creek" revealed a few things. There are no sea/shore birds present.  No gulls, ernes, frigates, shearwaters, cormorants, pelicans, etc.  Ergo.  There may not be many, if any fish or invertebrates available for easy pickings.  Along the edges of the creek were some juvenile mutton and yellow snappers, of which I caught a few each day.  The dominant fish seemed to be the similarly small barracuda which enjoyed removing my flies relentlessly.  Adding a wire to the tippet just turned all the species off.  I saw a couple of larger predators chasing something in the middle of the flow but never did see a sign of the bones who are supposedly common there.


A trip over the causeway to Middle Caicos was equally uneventful in terms of fishing possibilities.  Trying to walk up the smaller tributary creeks was a disaster due to the hordes of mosquitoes that were recently hatched and looking for fresh blood.  On the drive over to Middle Caicos, I saw the only other two people fishing while I was in the country.  They were with a guide who had staked them out on the flats near a small mangrove island.   Separated by maybe a hundred feet apiece, I assumed they must be waiting for some kind of fish to swim by (bonefish maybe?).  About four hours later, while returning to the North Island from lunch and after doing some hiking, the fishermen were still there, though slightly moved from where they stood before.  Ridiculous way to fish.  I wouldn't have lasted ten minutes with that guide under those conditions. (Thank the gods that I never have to use a guide).

Unfortunately the last three days of the stay were excessively windy and kayaking out to some possibly fishable places in the creek was impossible.  I read a lot.  We had good Wi-Fi, and I could do some research online too.  And that's about the story for this clearly "one and done" trip.

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