It’s not every day that one is given the opportunity to sail on a rum runner in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The mere thought of hopping aboard a 77-foot schooner in the heart of the Caribbean’s’ bluest waters seems like a scene right out of a Hollywood movie. On a brilliant Sunday afternoon in Providenciales, 12 adventurous souls did exactly that when they took off on Dave Douglas’ Atabeyra for a four-hour tour.
When Douglas moved from the Bahamas to Providenciales in 1992, he began hauling rum, beer, and who knows what else between Turks and Caicos and the Dominican Republic. After keeping a close eye on the surging Providenciales tourist trade, Douglas christened Sun Charters tours in 1998 and began transporting wide-eyed tourists on sailing excursions full-time.
For the well-traveled Douglas, the Atabeyra is a boat and a business he and his wife Jenny literally built with their bare hands. The schooner’s two towering masts even came from pine trees grown in the forest just outside the Douglas’ former New Orleans home.