The Atabeyra off of the Caicos Cays.
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The Atabeyra—Sun Charters

Providenciales
The Atabeyra in the beautiful waters of the Turks and Caicos.

Sun Charters is one of the oldest sailing experiences in the Turks and Caicos. Having spent more than 22 years in operation, Sun Charters and its vessel, the Atabeyra, have become a popular choice for visitors looking to explore the Turks and Caicos Islands by sailboat.

The Atabeyra is an elegant 77-foot schooner that began life as a rum runner. Today, she caters to private and public charters to the incredible cays, beaches, and reefs of the Turks and Caicos aboard her spacious deck.

Both private and public charters are offered aboard the Atabeyra for up to 50 guests, with excursions launching from the Leeward area of Providenciales. The many possible destinations include Grace Bay, Leeward Reef, Half Moon Bay, the iguana sanctuary of Little Water Cay (Iguana Island), the white sand beaches of Water Cay and Pine Cay, and the famous sandbars and cannons of Fort George Cay. Public beach cruising and sunset trips aboard the Atabeyra run several days per week.

Sun Charters can custom-tailor its private excursions to suit what you want to do, whether it's relaxing on a pristine, secluded beach or exploring nature and wildlife. A private excursion, for example, could include a snorkeling trip to the barrier reef and inshore sites where colorful fish, turtles, stingrays, dolphins, and many other interesting sea creatures live, or to the iguana habitats on several of the islands' uninhabited cays where you can see the critically endangered Turks and Caicos Islands Rock Iguana in its natural environment.

All trips include complimentary rum punch, beer, soft drinks, water, snacks, and on applicable trips, snorkel gear.

Private Charters

The Atabeyra sailboat at Half Moon Bay in the Turks and Caicos
The Atabeyra at Half Moon Bay.

Private sailing charters allow you to explore the incredible marine environment of the Turks and Caicos Islands at your own pace.

Some of the best attractions in the archipelago are its small uninhabited cays, which are home to incredible beaches, snorkeling reefs, sandbars, friendly iguanas, and, of course, palm trees. Some of the better-loved islands include Little Water Cay—a protected sanctuary for the Turks and Caicos Rock Iguana—Half Moon Bay Beach, which offers both an amazing beach and sheltered, shallow lagoon, and the unbelievable white sand beaches of Water Cay and Pine Cay.

Fort George Cay is another favorite pick. This island, found in the middle of the chain of cays between Providenciales and North Caicos, features a network of scenic and shallow sandbars and 18th-century cannons in shallow water where a fort once stood.

Public Charters

The Atabeyra's public beach cruise excursions are popular and allow you to discover the best beaches, cays, and snorkeling reefs near Providenciales. These trips spend time at sites like the spectacular Turks and Caicos Rock Iguana sanctuary of Little Water Cay, Half Moon Bay's tranquil lagoon and beach, quiet Water Cay and Pine Cay, and the sand bars and cannons of Fort George Cay.

Public charters aboard the Atabeyra also take you snorkeling at sites like the barrier reef off of Leeward and Pine Cay. These sites are home to a wonderful array of vibrant corals and colorful reef fish as well as larger creatures, including turtles, stingrays, eagle rays, dolphins, and small sharks.

Sunset and Evening Charters

Sun Charters offers several evening trips aboard the Atabeyra. A long-time favorite of visitors and locals alike is the Atabeyra’s sunset downwind sail. Sunset excursions come with bottomless rum punch and an epic view of Provo's famous sunsets. Both private and public evening sails are available.

The company also offers star-gazing excursions that visit the sheltered channels in the Princess Alexandra Nature Reserve near Mangrove Cay and Donna Cay, which experience very little light pollution. The captain and crew point out stars, constellations, planets, and satellites with a powerful laser pointer.

For many years, the Atabeyra has run a glowworm cruise every third, forth, and fifth night after the full moon in the Leeward and Princess Alexandra Nature Reserve area. An hour after sunset, these fascinating marine creatures light up the water like stars with their phosphorescence. All of Sun Charters' sunset and evening excursions come with complementary drinks.

Weddings

With a spacious deck and capacity to hold 50 passengers, the picturesque Atabeyra is a unique venue for a Turks and Caicos wedding. The crew has a long track record of providing wedding services for visitors and locals. Captain Dave and Jenny, owners of the Atabeyra, were married on the boat themselves over 20 years ago.

You can either exchange your vows while sailing downwind at sunset, or let the boat transport you and your guests to a secluded sandy beach in the Caicos Cays for the ceremony. Sun Charters offers a two-hour, all-inclusive wedding package that includes:

  • All marriage licenses and permits
  • A minister or justice of the peace
  • Flowers for the bride and groom
  • A wedding cake
  • Refreshments
  • Canapés

Drinks and refreshments include champagne, wine, beer, rum punch, soft drinks, and water. Photography and videography from one of the boutique professional local studios can be arranged.

Before getting married in the Turks and Caicos it is best to become familiar with Turks and Caicos Islands marriage regulations.

Snorkeling Charters

The incredible turquoise and blue waters of the Turks and Caicos hide amazing and vibrant reefs, and snorkeling is a perfect way to explore them. Depending on weather conditions, day charters on the Atabeyra typically either visit the exquisite barrier reef of the Princess Alexandra National Park off of Grace Bay, Leeward, and Water Cay, or more sheltered reefs in the bay.

Underwater sightings always vary, yet commonly-seen sea creatures include many types of colorful reef fish, stingrays, spotted eagle rays, turtles, small sharks, and sometimes even dolphins.

Snorkeling equipment is provided for guests.

About Sun Charters

Captain David Douglas

David is the owner and skipper of the Good Ship Atabeyra. He originally built the boat as a freighter in 1990, refitting her as a charter yacht in 1997. Atabeyra kept the island stocked with rum during the Haitian embargo of the early 1990s and traded fruits and vegetables from Hispaniola through a farmers market that once operated in central Providenciales. She is now a classic sailing yacht offering all comers access to the Caicos Cays and secluded beaches of the Turks and Caicos.

The good ship Atabeyra (also spelled as Attabeira or Atabey) is named after the supreme mother goddess of the Taino people, the first-known inhabitants of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahamas, and other regional islands. Not much is known about these pre-Columbian peoples, and not much evidence has been left behind, yet it’s thought that they arrived to the archipelago 700-1,000 years ago.

Guest Meeting Location

Sun Charters and the Atabeyra operates out of Leeward on the eastern side of Providenciales. Meeting time varies by charter.