Times of the Islands Winter 2015-16


Presents the "soul of the Turks & Caicos Islands" with in-depth features about local people, culture, history, environment, businesses, resorts, restaurants and activities.






A call for hope and action


TCSPCA speaks


Delving into this private island


A luxury condo and villa resort community

The Perfect Combination...

The privacy of a luxury villa

The convenience of a penthouse

• Located on exclusive Long Bay Beach

• The security of a full service resort

• Full access to resort amenities

• The opportunity to earn rental




A “10 Best Island Beaches Around the World”

- Condé Nast Travellers List


“Future Location of Villas”

Award winning developer of luxury

beachfront condos for over a decade.




I N C L U D E D ®


Enjoy all the luxuries of a world-class,

five-star resort, except, at Sandals ®

Resorts, everything is included.

Gourmet Discovery Dining at up to 16

restaurants with top chefs from around

the world. We’ve raised the bar on our

bars, with up to 11 at each resort. Suites

with pools in the sky, private Tranquility

Soaking Tubs TM

on the terrace, and

butlers to cater to every whim in toptier

suites. Every land and water sport

you can imagine—even scuba diving for

certified divers and golf*. At Sandals,

you really can have it all, because it’s

all included, all unlimited—all the time.


Visit sandals.com,

call 1-888-SANDALS

or your Travel Professional

Butler Village Honeymoon Romeo & Juliet

Sanctuary 1 Bdrm. Villa Suite w/Private Pool

at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Jamaica



*Visit www.sandals.com/disclaimers/timesoftheislandswinter2015 or call 1-800-SANDALS for important terms and conditions.

The Leading Private Bank in the Turks and Caicos Islands

Where values are growing

Wealth Management • Bonds/Fixed Income

Investment Strategies • Foreign Exchange

Stocks/Equities • Precious Metals

Fixed deposits/CD’s • International Transfers

Turks & Caicos Banking Company Ltd.

The Regent Village, Unit H102, Grace Bay Road, Providenciales

Tel: +649 941 4994

Email: services@tcbc.tc • www.tcbc.tc

Regulated by the Financial Services Commission, Turks & Caicos Islands

The cool side of classic.

7 2 W E S T


P A R A L L E L 2 3

The Palms (formerly Regent Palms) may totally inhabit the role of

an elegant, luxurious, award-winning resort, but beneath that cultivated

exterior beats an untamed heart. Parallel23 sprinkles every dish

with a dash of the unexpected. 72West offers you the moon and the stars.

Whimsy rules at The Palms Courtyard Shops featuring Wish Boutique.

And your senses are utterly seduced at The Spa at The Palms.

Feel free to visit and indulge your inner wild child in all we have to offer.


649.946.8666 | thepalmstc.com




10 From the Editor

15 Getting to Know

From Grand Turk to Grand Cru: Shane Jones

By Trish Flanagan

20 What’s New

A Turks & Caicos Original: Wellington Williams

By Zahrya Musgrove ~ Photos By Davidson Louis

79 Faces & Places

Third Annual Ladies Hat Luncheon

Photos By Paradise Photography

80 Crossing Africa

The Journey Begins

82 Shape Up

Get Fit with PaddleFit

By Morgan Luker

You are What You Eat

By Dr. Sam Slattery

84 About the Islands/TCI Map

89 Where to Stay

91 Dining Out

94 Classified Ads/Subscription Form


36 Ocean Country

Excerpts By Liz Cunningham

46 A Voice for Those Who Cannot Speak

By Kathi Barrington

57 Treasuring Pine Cay

By Sara Kaufman ~

Photos By Paradise Photography

Green Pages

24 No Place Like Home

By Kathy Lockhart, Lily Zhao & Heidi Hertler

28 Green Living in the TCI

By Amy Avenant

30 The Iconic Nassau Grouper

Story & Photos By John Claydon & Marta Calosso

33 Birding in Paradise

By B Naqqi Manco ~ Photo By Eric F. Salamanca





On the Cover

Marta Morton is an avid resident photographer,

documenting the beauty of these Islands since 1998.

This fall, she braved the heat and humidity to climb

Jim Hill and shoot this scene overlooking the entrance

to South Side Marina and Cooper Jack. Two hours and

500 photos later she was dehydrated and had to head

home to her “day job” of running Harbour Club Villas &

Marina, but had captured this stunning image. See her

blog for more at www.myturksandcaicosblog.com.



66 An Unfinished Story

By Dr. Donald H. Keith ~

Photos By Windward Media

72 The Original “Snail Mail”

Story & Photos By Peter Marshall

75 Grand Turk’s Postcard Man

By Sherlin Williams


6 www.timespub.tc

Turks And Caicos Featured


Real Estate

Mandalay Villa

Completed in 2012 this one-of-a-kind estate on sought

after Long Bay Beach sets the standard for luxurious

living in the Turks & Caicos. Features include “drivethrough”

gate house, travertine driveway lined by fruit

trees, multi-level infinity pool with central lounge

and waterfalls, Creston smart home technology, and

sumptuous furnishings. There’s nothing like it!


North Brae Villa

4BD/4BTH “Spanish-inspired” mansion built on the

beach in Thompson Cove w/ its own private boat dock.

Exceptional and unique - custom staircases; custom

metal-work; extensive use of Brazilian hardwood and

mahogany. It’s all here - formal dining room, “luxury

fitted” kitchen, etc. All centered on the infinity pool,

jacuzzi and the ocean beyond.


Bernadette Hunt

cell ~ 649 231 4029 | tel ~ 649 941 3361


Bernadette is an Irish qualified attorney who

began practicing law in the Turks & Caicos in

1997. Working in a general practice she dealt

with conveyancing, immigration, licensing,

company and trust formation and estate

planning. In 2000 she co-founded Turks &

Caicos Property, Ltd. (“TCP”) taking the lead

on sales and dividing her time between law

and real estate.

Seven Stars 3 Bedroom

Beachfront suite 1201/02 provides 2,672 sqf of luxurious

living space. Granite counters, marbled bathrooms,

travertine flooring and GE Monogram appliances. The

main living areas and master suite enjoy turquoise water

views. The additional bedrooms have a lockout feature

for rental flexibility. Part of the fabulous Seven Stars

Resort in the center of Grace Bay.


Grace Bay Development Site

Right between The Mansions and Villa Renaissance

on Grace Bay. Suitable for condo development (resort

or residential), a boutique hotel or for an estate home.

There is a two storey residential building on the southern

portion. A resurgent tourism industry and a busy real

estate market mean the timing is now perfect.


Villa Renaissance Penthouse

This beautiful 2BR penthouse suite is in pristine

condition. Enjoy direct Grace Bay beach views from

the terrace and additional rooftop space incorporating

a private jacuzzi and BBQ area. This feature is unique

in the development - its like your own a private

spa. If you are searching for the ultimate 2 bedroom

suite on Grace Bay this penthouse is a must see.


Grace Bay Beach House

5 BR / 4.5 BTH villa w/ pool on an acre of Grace

Bay beach. Powdery white sand at your doorstep,

snorkeling on Smith’s Reef, close to Turtle Cove

Marina, restaurants and shops. Dazzling views from

the 3rd floor wraparound balcony. Enquire for shortterm

vacation rental earnings info.


Bernadette retired from law in 2007 to focus

exclusively on what was already a successful

real estate business. Since then, based on

independent MLS data, she is the only TCI

agent with active sales (i.e. introducing the

buyer) exceeding US$100 million. Her gross

sales figures and transaction numbers are also

unrivalled. This proven level of efficiency,

experience and up-to-the-minute information

provides a platform for quality service that

you can count on every time.

TCP is the leading independent real estate

brokerage in TCI with offices located on

Grace Bay Rd., and at Ocean Club West.

TCP’s reputation and success has been earned

over time through the dedication, enthusiasm

and consistent performance of Bernadette and

the Turks & Caicos Property team. Bernadette

works 6 days a week from her offices in Grace

Bay and delights in meeting new people and

making new contacts.

Call Bernadette if you would like to find out

a little more about owning real estate in the

Turks & Caicos Islands.

Turks & Caicos Property

Boutique real Estate Brokerage


Turks Caicos

Resort Villages & Spa






Turks & Caicos, the last of the true exotics, includes absolutely everything you could think of for the ultimate

family vacation. A thrilling 45,000 square-foot waterpark with 10 water slides and a surf simulator. Fabulous land and

water sports including unlimited waterskiing and scuba diving*. PADI even named Beaches Resorts one of the top

fi ve dive operations in the Western Hemisphere. Superb Gourmet Discovery Dining at 21 restaurants, and 14 bars

serving unlimited premium spirits for adults. Authentic island entertainment for everyone. Cool hangouts for teens

and Sesame Street ® fun and games for the kids. Complimentary accredited nannies for all ages, all day and into

the night. Beautifully appointed family-sized rooms, suites, and villas, some even with butler service. Take a closer look

at Beaches Turks & Caicos and see why we continue to enjoy an unparalleled record of award-winning success.

beaches.com • 1-888-BEACHES • or call your Travel Professional

*Visit www.beaches.com/disclaimers/btctimesoftheislandswinter2015 or call 1-800-BEACHES for important terms and conditions.

from the editor


Marta Morton struck photographic gold again with this amazing shot of a group of flamingos on Salt Cay. With the help of Candy Herwin, she

discovered this flock in an area called North Creek, just past Government House.

Got Yer Back

I remember a time, probably a dozen years ago, when a vicious hurricane was headed towards the Turks & Caicos

Islands. At the last minute it swerved northward, narrowing missing the country. The Weather Channel reporter

quipped, “There must be some praying folks out there.” I think there were. I’ve long believed that the backbone of

the TCI’s remarkable good fortune and progress are the humble, generous, hopeful women and men who daily call

upon God for their families, friends, community, government and country, with simple, faith-filled prayers.

These thoughts came to mind when I read Ocean Country, a book excerpted within this issue. With a concept

conceived in the TCI, the book will serve as a powerful call to action for the future of our planet. The same intention

for positive change echoes in our story about the TCSPCA, which has been working to bring a “voice to those who

cannot speak.” And somehow, in spite of the terrors our world sprouts, there are many young people of the TCI

who are doing amazing things. Meet Mario Rigby, who will be crossing Africa by foot with the intention of sharing

his journey to inspire others. Or Shane Jones, who took a passion for wine and turned it into a prestigious career.

Or Wellington Williams, whose determination and entrepreneurship are breaking ground in the world of crafts and

jewelry. And the folks who work for DEMA, the School for Field Studies, and the National Museum, who regularly

use their skills to conserve TCI’s natural and cultural resources. This cornucopia of encouragement says to me that

Someone’s “got our back.”

Kathy Borsuk, Editor

timespub@tciway.tc • (649) 946-4788

10 www.timespub.tc





Monday - Friday: 9am - 4pm

Saturday: 9am - 2.30pm

Closed: Sundays

Adults $12.00

Children $10.00

Leeward Highway, Leeward, Providenciales

Phone: (649) 946-5330

I do.

Say “I do” to a Free * Wedding.

We do.

Share your love with the ones you love.

















Beaches Resorts also

offers a fully customizable

destination wedding,

where you can have all

the romantic touches of a

traditional wedding in the

most spectacular settings in

the Caribbean. Plan every

moment from the location

and color palette to the

cake and music.

It’s the day you’ve dreamt of your entire life, a day you pictured sharing with the people who mean

the most to you. At Beaches Resorts, your dream comes true…and keeps going on even after you’ve

exchanged your vows. While you enjoy the honeymoon of a lifetime, your guests get their own

incredible vacation. And with more included at Beaches, you can do it all—every land and water

sport under the sun, Gourmet Discovery Dining at up to 21 restaurants, spacious and luxurious

Together Nest Suites for you and the family. Of course, you can even choose to do nothing at all.

With more quality inclusions than any other resorts in the world, it’s a celebration everyone can enjoy.

More to do.

Absolutely everything’s included for your honeymoon.


A BUBBLY WELCOME A bottle of chilled sparkling wine elegantly

arranged in your room upon arrival to toast your future.

A ROMANTIC GESTURE A special turndown service that includes

flower petals on your bed on the first evening of your honeymoon.

WAKE UP TO WEDDED BLISS Delight in a delivery of fresh flowers

and a decadent breakfast in bed one morning of your choice.

R e s o r t


by Sandals


beaches.com/weddingmoons • 1-877-BEACHES • or call your Travel Professional

*Visit www.beaches.com/disclaimers/bchtimesoftheislandswinter2015 or call 1-800-BEACHES for important terms and conditions.






Kathy Borsuk




Claire Parrish


Amy Avenant, Kathi Barrington, Kathy Borsuk, Marta

Calosso, John Claydon, Liz Cunningham, Trish Flanagan,

Heidi Hertler, Sara Kaufman, Dr. Donald H. Keith,

Kathy Lockhart, Morgan Luker, B Naqqi Manco,

Peter Marshall, Zahrya Musgrove, Claire Parrish, Pat Saxton,

Dr. Sam Slattery, Sherlin Williams, Lily Zhao.

Love your home


Amy Avenant, Jim Budd, Marta Calosso, John Claydon,

Charlie Costello, Trish Flanagan, David Gallardo–World of

Oceans, Shane Jones, Kathy Lockhart, Davidson Louis,

Peter Marshall, Marta Morton, Claire Parrish,

Paradise Photography, Eva Ramey, Eric F. Salamanca,

Pat Saxton, School for Field Studies, TCNM Collection,

TCSPCA, Windward Media, Wine & Spirit Education Trust.


Wavey Line Publishing


Franklin-Dodd Communications, Hialeah, FL


Award-winning architecture firm RA Shaw Designs

has created some of the most sophisticated and

technologically advanced luxury properties

in the Caribbean. Recently voted

“The Best Architecture & Design

Company of the Year”

for the second consecutive year by Caribbean

World Magazine, our team specializes in creating

a unique sense of place by integrating building

techniques and architectural details with the

surrounding culture so that you too can

love your home.

Times of the Islands ISSN 1017-6853 is

published quarterly by Times Publications Ltd.

Copyright © 2016 by Times Publications Ltd. All rights reserved

under Universal and Pan American Copyright Conventions.

No part of this publication may be

reproduced without written permission.

Subscriptions $28/year; $32/year for

non-U.S. mailing addresses

Submissions We welcome submission of articles or photography, but

assume no responsibility for care and return of unsolicited material.

Return postage must accompany material if it is to be returned. In no

event shall any writer or photographer subject this magazine to any

claim for holding fees or damage charges on unsolicited material.

While every care has been taken in the compilation and reproduction of

information contained herein to ensure correctness, such information is

subject to change without notice. The publisher accepts no

responsibility for such alterations or for typographical or other errors.

Business Office

Times Publications Ltd., P.O. Box 234,

Lucille Lightbourne Building #1,

Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands, BWI

Tel/Fax 649 946 4788

Advertising 649 231 7527

E-mail timespub@tciway.tc

Web: www.timespub.tc

To learn more, visit us online or call 1.649.941.4394

14 www.timespub.tc

getting to know


Grand Turk native Shane Jones was the “Red Shirt” for the Loire table at the 2015

Decanter World Wine Awards.

From Grand Turk to Grand Cru

Meet wine expert Shane Jones.

By Trish Flanagan

We’re being chauffeured through the crimson, gold, and russet vineyards of the Champagne region in

France. Think New England fall foliage on a smaller scale. Autumn here is a glorious blaze of multi-coloured

fields, as the meticulously pruned vines die off after harvest. I’m in the company of Grand Turk native and

wine expert Shane Jones. He’s the holder of the prized Moet and Chandon scholarship for top marks in the

sparkling wines’ exam of his diploma. A trip to two of the world’s top Champagne houses is his reward. So

how did this Turks & Caicos Islander find himself in the rarefied world of wine expertise?

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 15

Born in Grand Turk in 1978 to Hattie Francis and

William Jones, Shane enjoyed a happy childhood in

Overback, where his mother ran a small sweet and rum

shop. He went on to H.J. Robinson High School where he

came into his own. In fact his time there led to his first

introduction to Europe. “I was part of the debating team

and I played clarinet in the marching band. I was also a

member of the scouts and travelled to the World Scout

Jamboree in Holland in 1995,” he recalls.

Always top of the class, he became Valedictorian. But

his ambitions weren’t clear. “I didn’t have a strong career

path as I was able to do a lots of things. My father wanted

me to be a lawyer but I wasn’t interested. Instead I took a

gap year and worked at Radio Turks & Caicos.”

He may then have been unclear about his future

career, but what’s obvious now is his extensive knowledge

of wines. We’re at the splendid 18th century house,

Le Trianon at Éparnay, with Yumi Laforge, Moet and

Chandon’s Maison Ambassador. Originally the home of

the Moet family, and then the Chandon family, the house

hosted Napoleon Bonaparte on several occasions. After

an aperitif of the world’s most popular Champagne,

Moet’s Brut Imperial, in a beautifully decorated and mirrored

salon, we’re guided to the library for lunch. Yumi

and Shane begin an intense discussion of the merits of

three rosé Champagnes which will accompany our food.

It’s a long way from the library of the University of

the West Indies in Barbados, from where Shane graduated

in 1999 with a joint Economics/Accounting

Honours Degree. Returning to Grand Turk he joined the

Department of Economics and Statistics. “It was a broadbased

experience focusing on project management,

helping departments budget for major capital projects

and preparing submissions for EU, UN, and Caricom funding.”

After only a year he was approached to head up the

Land Registry, where as Registrar of Lands he oversaw the

transfer of all properties, registration of charges, collection

of stamp duties, and fees.

He brings the same attention to detail from that job

to his new role. Shane has a particular interest in rosé

or pink Champagne, whose popularity is increasing,

although it’s still not taken seriously by many professionals.

“Traditionally it was seen as a trivial drink for giggling

girls, but if it’s aged impeccably and matched properly it

can stand up to serious food,” he emphasises.

The rosé Champagnes to complement lunch are from

1985, 1999, and 2006. Shane explains the difference to

me. “The younger ones are more accessible to unexperienced

palates beause the black fruit notes are obvious

From top: Shane Jones is enjoying lunch at Moet and Chandon’s Le

Trianon residence. The gardens at Le Trianon are shown below. The

trip is part of Shane’s Moet & Chandon scholarship that he won from

the Wine & Spirits Education Trust.

— plum, blackberries, and dark cherries. The older ones

are more complex, and the terminology changes. For

example, flavours may be described in “game” terms. It’s

more difficult to assess, especially if people are unfamil-


16 www.timespub.tc

iar with shooting wild fowl, and hanging it to intensify the

flavour,” he explains.

It wasn’t a straight transition from Registrar to wine

educator. In 2003 Shane took a postgraduate course in

property valuations in the UK. As a high achiever, Cass

Business School (part of London City University) was his

first choice. “It was the leading institution in the area, and

I felt that the education would be a way of building on

the practical experience. The plan was to go back to the

Turks & Caicos.”

However the plan changed after two years in London,

when he realised that he had the opportunity to add international

experience to his CV. He worked for a number of

property companies, advising international clients on luxury

property investments in the Caribbean, France, and

Croatia. Travelling through Europe he had the opportunity

to visit vineyards and taste wine.

But his first experience of wine bore no resemblance

to our tastings at Le Trianon. “It was some time in the

1980s and it would have been a fruit wine, or a gallon

container of an American brand like Gallo or Paul Mason.

I can’t remember my first taste of wine or how old I was

at the time, or even that I was immediately taken by it.”

He only started to take wine seriously when he was work-

Is opening its


Now Enrolling for

September 2016

Our mission is to provide a world

class international education that

prepares students to be world

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Please contact us for further information.

(649) 941 5186 . info@precioustreasuresschool.com


Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 17

Here, Shane is shown “nosing” a glass of wine. When smelling a wine,

the taster dips their nose into the upper portion of the wine glass and

breathes in the aromas coming off of the wine.

ing in the city of London in 2007. Bishopsgate Institute

offered an introductory course, which he took during his

Friday lunch breaks.

His passion is obvious as he and Yumi discuss the

finer points of the Champagne and food pairings at lunch.

According to Shane the intensity of the wine matches the

food perfectly, and the savoury flavours are drawn out.

The 2006 is served with red mullet; the black truffle ravioli

blends beautifully with the 1985 vintage; and the 1999

is paired with the lamb, which has been slow-cooked for

seven hours. Shane’s mother, the late Miss Hattie, a great

cook, was famed for her buds and rice, and souse. He

understands and appreciates good food.

His ease with his subject is down to a combination

of experience and knowledge. In January 2012 Shane

signed up for his first professional wine course, the Level

3 Certificate in Wines and Spirits at the Wines and Spirits

Education Trust (WSET), a leading global provider of wine

education. “I learned how to taste properly, to match

food and wine. The main focus was an introduction to the

world’s major wine regions. We tasted everything from

around the world,” he says.

He passed with distinction and won the top scholarship

the Vintners’ Bursary — which awarded him a

travel bursary to visit any wine region of his choice. He

spent ten days in the Ahr Valley, Germany to increase his

understanding of Pinot Noir wine.

The diploma was the next step and was more challenging.

“It was about being more critical. You form an

opinion and have to defend it. It helps to understand

wine’s quality and authenticity. There’s more independent

study, attending trade events, and reading trade

publications. You have to know what’s happening in the

marketplace to prepare you for understanding the business

better.” Shane achieved a Merit in the diploma — the

first Turks Islander to hold such a qualification. He also

won the Moet and Chandon scholarship, which is what

has brought us to France.

The WSET qualification has opened up lots of career

options for him. Diploma-holders work in the offices

of wine importers and manage portfolios of producers

from around the world, ensuring representation in leading

bars and restaurants. They also work as journalists,

brand ambassadors, marketers, and auctioneers in auction

house like Christie’s.

To build up his knowledge and experience, Shane

worked in wine retail at Oddbins, one of the largest high

street wine retailers in the UK, Decanter magazine (the

only UK consumer wine magazine), and various annual

fine wine encounters. He has hosted tastings at the multinational

British retailer, Marks and Spencer, and he also

spent time at Vinopolis, the consumer wine destination

in London, providing memorable consumer experiences,

like matching chocolate or cheese with wine. One of his

career highlights was hosting Champagne master classes

on the iconic tourist destination, the London Eye. He’d

recommend it to anyone living in, or visiting London.

“It’s about enjoying an amazing drink while looking at an

amazing city. Whenever I hosted it I just felt really lucky.”

Through the wide range of work experiences he

discovered his real passion was education. Wine is a subject

he loves — he wants to get people to enjoy it also.

“Teaching brings people together from different backgrounds

who want to understand a little bit more about

this fantastic drink. It’s great to see people go on a journey

and enjoy it. You feel so good when people take a

shine to the subject.”

Shane takes a particular shine to sparkling wines. “I

bought my first case of Champagne in Grand Turk over

15 years ago — I knew I liked it but it was years later

that I made the effort to understand it better. The bubbles

make it stand apart from anything else and it can

be many different things — Champagne, cava, prosecco.

I love the taste of it.” He enjoys quizzing winemaker,

Pierre Casenave, at the Veuve Cliquot house in Rheims,

about the technicalities of blending red and white wines

for the perfect rosé composition. Afterwards we compare

non-vintage and 2004 Veuve rosé Champagnes under

the guidance of the charming Hospitality Manager and

Ambassador Maison, Camille Berdin.

18 www.timespub.tc

POC15-Times of the Island 3 7-16 x 6 3-8 Ad FNL 111215.pdf 1 15-11-

Our tours of the cellars in the Moet and Veuve houses

are an insight into the journey a bottle of wine takes to

maturity. Moet’s cellars, the largest in the region, were

carved out in the 17th and 18th centuries. They’re over

17 miles long. It’s a romantic experience to walk through,

and imagine the various processes being done by candlelight,

before electrification. “I like to think of all the

delicious Champagne being stored in waiting. It’s like a

caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. The yeast sediment

is removed, it’s bottled and labelled. The bottle

then takes off as an adult to be enjoyed in another part

of the world,” Shane enthuses.

For someone who’s new to wine he recommends

sparkling wines because that’s what he loves. But he’s

quick to point out that everyone has a different reaction

to wine when they taste it. Shane’s most memorable

reaction was to a Dom Perignon 1996 Champagne, at a

Decanter magazine fine wine experience. “It was exhilarating

and very overwhelming but so pleasurable. I can

still taste the intensity of the wine. If I think of that wine

I can taste it.” Dom Perignon is the Benedictine monk

remembered in legend as the father of Champagne. We

enjoy a glass of a 2006 Dom Perignon vintage, after the

Moet cellar tour.

So how would he like to bring his knowledge and

experience to the Turks & Caicos? He says the wine scene

is much better than when he was young, especially with

people travelling more widely. But he’d still like to educate

people to see how a local dish can be improved

with wine. He’d also to train people directly involved in

offering wine to others to do it in a better way, a more

enthusiastic way. “It’s about educating customers and

staff — from opening a bottle of wine to having the confidence

to encourage a diner to be more adventurous,

and then that customer stepping outside their comfort

zone when ordering.”

As we leave the Champagne region behind, I feel I’ve

been given the confidence to be a little more adventurous

in my taste. I’ve been lucky to be taken on a journey of

discovery with such a skilled and passionate wine expert

as Shane. I also like to imagine that many of the bottles

of Champagne we saw in those French cellars will take

flight, and be enjoyed in the Turks & Caicos Islands. a

Shane Jones’ wine experiences are available in London,

UK and the Turks & Caicos. They include private and corporate

tastings, introductory courses, workshops, and

intensive training sessions. He may be contacted by email

at shanedj@hotmail.com or on Twitter - @shane_d_jones












facials | massage | nails | waxing | thai stretch


Core Fusion | barre | barre+cardio | yoga

Yoga | power | flow | chill

Visit exhalespa.com to begin your journey.

Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks + Caicos

649.941.7555 | exhalespa.com | gansevoorttc.com

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 19

what’s new


Opposite page: Amber Hall, Miss Teen Turks & Caicos 2015, models a selection of Wellington Williams’ original creations.

Above: This is Wellington Williams in his downtown Provo workshop, where he lets loose his creativity!

A Turks & Caicos Original

Wellington Williams creates unique jewelry inspired by the sea.

By Zahrya Musgrove ~ Photos By Davidson Louis

It’s not always easy being a young man or woman trying to get a business started in the Turks & Caicos

Islands. Besides a good idea and business plan, you need money . . . contacts . . . influence . . . time. That’s

why we’re so impressed with 19 year old Wellington Williams. Not only is his handmade jewelry elegant and

creative, reflecting the beauty of the country’s seas, but he has a determination that spreads to the horizon!

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 21

POC13-Times of the Island 3 7-16 x 6 3-8 Ad2 FNL.pdf 1 13-11-12 10:50 AM









Harbour Club Villas

Turtle Tail Drive, Providenciales

Six one-bedroom villas.

Dive operators at our dock

Bonefishing in the lake.

Fabulous beaches nearby.

Ideal for couples or groups.

Trip Advisor

Travellers’ Choice

Awards Winner

E: harbourclub@tciway.tc

T: 1 649 941 5748

See our website

for details


Wellington Williams began his journey of becoming

an entrepreneur at the very young age of eleven. It all

started at Clement Howell High School in Providenciales

when he began to sell Rastafarian jewelry to his fellow

students. He quickly noticed that this was a very profitable

business. From then on, he took it on as a passion.

After graduation, he went to the TCI Community College

to study Hotel Management. From there, he began

his own business called Exclusive Accessories.co by Wellington

Williams. Now he sells his work weekly at the Island

Fish Fry and caters to fourteen different hotels and

stores, including the Grand Turk cruise ship centre.

Wellington said he picked the name Exclusive Accessories.co

by Wellington Williams because his products

are exclusive and he wanted a name that was unique.

He choose jewelry-making as a business because it is

something that he enjoys doing and it makes a profit.

When asked about how he makes his jewelry, he was a bit

close-mouthed, saying that it is a secret! But he did tell

me what he uses: real starfish, sand, and seashells, along

with a special construction liquid and thyme!

Wellington says the next big project for his company

is clothing. He wants to make clothing that showcases

pieces and scenarios of the Turks & Caicos, utilizing such

objects as the conch shell. In ten years time, Williams

sees himself as a store owner with a variety of selections

that will range from spa products, Christmas ornaments,

clothing, and of course, jewelry.

Although he currently works as a concierge/guest

services agent at West Bay Club, Wellington comments,

“They say it is always better when you work for yourself.”

“It means that you don’t have to follow company rules,

wear a uniform, work by a clock, and you are not getting

the same salary every two weeks. You are the one cutting

the checks, you keep all the profits for yourself, you decide

your attire, and work on your own time. You are in

control of what you do.”

He told me that one of his biggest challenges was

when he asked to join a jewelry-making company in the

Young Enterprise program, but he was turned down by

the owners. At the time he thought it was a bad thing

but now he sees that without that decision, he may never

have started his own company. A boost to his confidence

came when the company that he did join won “Company

of the Year” honors. He now thanks the people who

turned him down because it spurred him towards becoming

a successful entrepreneur.

Wellington said that he still faced the challenge of

getting people to let him sell his product in their stores

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BH_TimesofIsland2015.qxp_BH_timesisland 11/16/15 13:17 Page 2

e x e c u t i v e c h e f

c r i s t i a n r e bol l edo

kitch en 2 18

W W W . B E A C H H O U S E T C I . C O M

6 4 9 . 9 4 6 . 5 8 0 0

This sampling of Exclusive Accessories by Wellington Williams shows

the fine craftsmanship and strong marine influence.

and boutiques. He explained, “People were not willing to

take a chance on me.” He was competing against other

jewelry-makers as well as “Made in China” products. He

expressed his concern that tourists would rather buy ten

$3 bracelets to take home rather than one $30 bracelet.

He overcame this challenge by advertising his product

better. He also reassured buyers and store owners

that, although his products may be slightly more expensive,

they are of a better quality and therefore worth

every dollar. Their uniqueness and appeal comes from

being handmade in the Turks & Caicos Islands.

After all of his trial and error he now sees that everything

happened for a reason and that it has all worked

out for the best. He wants to tell young and upcoming

entrepreneurs to never give up because in the end there

is a reward for all of your hard work. a

Zahrya Musgrove is a fourteen year old student of the

British West Indies Collegiate. Her dream is to go into

a career field, such as journalism, where she can be a

brave and confident voice expressing thoughts in the

form of the written word on current issues.




Cakes &


for special


Call Adele on 231-1898 • See The Cake Lady on

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 23

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newsletter of the department of environment & maritime affairs

head office: church folly, grand turk, tel 649 946 2801 • fax 649 946 1895

• astwood street, south caicos, tel 649 946 3306 • fax 946 3710

• national environmental centre, lower bight road, providenciales

parks division, tel 649 941 5122 • fax 649 946 4793

fisheries division, tel 649 946 4017 • fax 649 946 4793

email environment@gov.tc or dema.tci@gmail.com • web www.environment.tc

The Spiny lobster uses reef structure for habitat as part of their adult phase.

No Place Like Home

South Caicos is the base for monitoring the Spiny lobster.

By Kathy Lockhart, M.S., Lily Zhao and Heidi Hertler, Ph.D.,

School for Field Studies, Center for Marine Resource Studies

“Beautiful by Nature” has defined the Turks & Caicos Islands for many years. While pristine coral reefs,

abundant megafauna, and a unique cultural heritage may be the first beauties that come to mind, one

should not overlook local fisheries that provide economic stability and community cohesion. In fact,

beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, as many persons would agree that the Panulirus argus (spiny

lobster) is not the most attractive organism to look at, but is one of the most economically sought species

in the TCI. The country’s three main commercial fisheries include: spiny lobster, queen conch, and

fin-fish. Each of these fisheries is supported by the diverse marine environment surrounding the TCI

including sand flats, mangrove forest, sea grass beds, and fringing reefs.

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South Caicos (coined the “Big South” during its reign

as the epicenter of TCI’s salt industry), is the fishing capital

of the Turks & Caicos Islands. In recent history, conch

and lobster have replaced salt as the economic driver

of South Caicos. Seventy percent of the population is

involved in the commercial fisheries and either directly or

indirectly depends upon them for their livelihood.

The spiny lobster is a crustacean (a group of organisms

with segmented bodies and exoskeletons which they

must molt to grow) that lives in the shallow clear waters of

the Turks & Caicos Banks. The lobster has been used as a

source of protein since the time of the Lucayans, the TCI’s

first indigenous people, as early as 750 A.D. The importance

of this species to the economy has grown as both

tourism and international trade, particularly with regards

to the United States.

Fishing methods have developed over the years with

more sophisticated techniques and preservation of final

products. In the mid-1950s, the spiny lobster were captured

with “bully nets” or the “toss”, which snared the

lobster and pulled them from their dens. Fishermen then

threw the lobster into a waiting vessel. Today, fishermen

free-dive with mask, fins, and snorkel to depths of more

than 40 feet and “hook” lobster, then return to the boat

and continue the tradition of throwing the catch into the

waiting vessel. These free-diving activities now account for

approximately 95% of the fishing activity for the species,

with traps and artificial habitats making up the remaining


The commercial lobster industry has grown since the

1970s with the introduction of freezer technology and

more advanced preservation techniques. With an ever

increasing local tourism market, spiny lobsters are being

sought for not only the export market, but local cuisine. It

is now that the need for sustainable stocks is most important

for economy and the preservation of the species.

The TCI Department of Environment and Maritime

Affairs (DEMA) monitor the species and the commercial

landings, as the fishery does not belong to only the

TCI. As with many species, spiny lobsters practice larval

dispersal. As the eggs of the spiny lobster are released

From top: The spiny lobster is commercially landed at the processing

facility on South Caicos.

This map shows the dispersal of spiny lobster larvae in the Caribbean


This is a diagram of the life cycle for the spiny lobster.


Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 25

green pages newsletter of the department of environment & maritime affairs

and transformed into transparent larvae, they are carried

hundreds of miles in ocean currents. For example, it is

possible that lobsters landed in the Bahamas originally

hatched in Turks & Caicos waters. Countries wishing to

monitor local stocks must determine what stocks they will

consider local or “home.”

Although spiny lobster stock assessments and factors

affecting recruitment success have been studied elsewhere

in the Caribbean, resource management plans are

most successful when local human and ecological pressures

have been taken into consideration. For example,

the growth rate and frequency of molt for spiny lobster

are dependent upon water temperature, food availability,

and other environmental factors that change depending

on location. Including these parameters in a monitoring

program help to understand the success (and sometimes

failure) of a stock.

With most of the commercial catch being landed on

South Caicos, an opportunity exists to monitor this species

more closely. So in the early 1990s, DEMA (previously

Department of Environment and Coastal Resources DECR)

increased its monitoring of individual lobster at the commercial

landing sites in South Caicos.

As with many small nations, resources are often limited

and as part of an ongoing collaboration between

the School for Field Studies Center for Marine Resource

Studies (SFS CMRS) and DEMA, the school has been able

to provide assistance with data collection. In 2014, CMRS

offered their assistance to consistently collect valuable

information that may help to describe what is happening

with the local spiny lobster stock and assist the stakeholders

with open discussions about the fishery. Several

South Caicos commercial processors and fishermen have

volunteered to work in collaboration with SFS to gather


SFS CMRS staff and students visit local processing

facilities where they take multiple samples of lobster.

DEMA, given the mandate of natural resource protection

and management, became accountable for collection

and monitoring this species and has more than 35 years

of continuous commercial catch data. Commercial landings

have oscillated over the years with highs in 2006

(446.4 MT) to lows of 160.1 MT in 2008, with an average

of 279.2 MT over the past ten years. Stakeholders, fishermen,

processors, and government officials are aware

that catch data do not provide enough information on the

status and sustainability of the species. Catch per Unit

Effort (CPUE) not only accounts for weight, but effort put

forth by fisher to capture the product (boat-days). CPUE

provides a more accurate indication on the status of the

species with regards to the amount of effort placed on the

species. CPUE has risen and fallen, but the overall trend

for the past ten years is declining.

SFS staff and students both measure and weigh samples of the spiny

lobster at processing facilities in South Caicos.


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As each vessel enters the weighing station, a sub-sample

of the catch is collected. Each individual is weighed,

measured by carapace length, and sex, sexual maturity,

molting stage, and reproductive stage are determined.

Fishers are asked where they captured most of their

product and at what depth. The data is provided to all

stakeholders. This in turns acts like a “springboard” for

open discussions between TCI Government, fishers and

processing operators.

In addition to assisting DEMA with commercial catch

information on the spiny lobster, SFS has also monitored

juvenile recruitment that is independent of commercial

catches. After extensive evaluation, one site near South

Caicos was selected for the study. Here, ten juvenile

lobster “condos” have been deployed since 2008 and

monitored for numbers of juveniles to recruit to these

condos. The habitat for this location is that of Larencia

sp., an alga in which juvenile lobsters find safety from

predators and an available supply of food.

Once a month, SFS CMRS staff and students visit the

“condos” and collect all juvenile lobster. Individuals are

measured for carapace length, sex, and stage of molting.

These lobsters are then released to continue their growth

and progression into the fishery. This information can

be used with commercial catch data for comparison and

potential predictions of future commercial catches.

Fishing industries are often prime illustrations of the

universal push-and-pull between economic and preservation

interests. While maintaining this delicate balance

is still difficult for the TCI spiny lobster, South Caicos

stakeholders have assembled the collaboration needed to

monitor, predict, and thereby mitigate potential declines

in spiny lobster stock and recruitment levels. Continued

collaboration between economic and ecological interests

will lead to mutually beneficial marine management

strategies for TCI fisheries. With increasing stakeholder

involvement, DEMA guidance, and research support from

the School for Field Studies, we can be proactive to protect

these economically important species. a

The School for Field Studies (SFS) is a US-based academic

institution that provides multidisciplinary, field-based

environmental study abroad opportunities to undergraduate

university students. Each SFS program (nine in total)

highlights a different region of the world, with its own

distinct cultural and ecological characteristics and unique

From top: SFS interns collect juvenile lobsters from “condos,” measure

them as part of faculty’s ongoing research, then release them

back into the sea.

environmental challenges. Faculty and students at the SFS

CMRS on South Caicos work in close cooperation with local

partners including the TCI’s Department of Environment

and Maritime Affairs (DEMA), TCReef Inc. (www.tcreef.

org), and local fishermen and processing plants to protect

and enhance the management of the island’s coral reefs

and other marine resources. To learn more, go to www.

fieldstudies.org/tci. a


Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 27

green pages newsletter of the department of environment & maritime affairs

Green Living in the TCI:

15 steps you can adopt to make a change!

By Amy Avenant, DEMA Environment Outreach Coordinator

“Green Living.” We hear the term thrown around on television,

radio, and social media sites, but what exactly

does it mean and how can you start “living green?” In

laymen’s terms, living green and sustainably means

creating a lifestyle that works with nature and does

no long-term or irreversible damage to any part of

the environmental web. This is the ideal, but do not

be discouraged! Here are 15 small steps that you can

incorporate into your everyday life that will make a

world of difference to Planet Earth:

• Stop the junk mail

Sure, we don’t have an extensive postal system in the

TCI, but if given the choice, opt for electronic bills and

pay your utilities online. Fortis TCI offers a convenient

online bill payment service, which both allows you to

avoid long queues and to save paper (www.fortistci.


• Give up bottled water

Disposable plastic water bottles are not meant for multiple

uses. A plastic bottle made from #1 polyethylene

terephthalate (PET) is fine for a single use, but reuse

can lead to bacterial growth and leaching of dangerous

chemicals. Apart from the health risk, bottled water is

expensive! Make use of the water dispensers dotted

around the Islands to refill one or five gallon bottles,

store water in recycled glass bottles in the fridge, and

never leave home without your reusable water bottle.

(Metal is usually best.) And while you’re at it, drink your

beverages without the unnecessary plastic straw.

• Reduce your waste

Reducing the amount of waste you bring in and the

amount of trash that goes to the landfill is an important

part of any green lifestyle. But there’s a lot more to it

than just recycling plastic or throwing your trash in a

bin. Make a composting pile in your backyard — one

that allows for the natural decomposition of organic

waste without having it rot in the depths of the landfill.

Re-use and recycle when and where you can: glass bottles,

tin cans and plastic containers can all be re-used

Green living is easy in the TCI! You just need to get going.

or recycled to have a completely new use. Don’t forget to

take your re-usable shopping bags to the grocery store!

• Conserve Energy

Don’t leave your door wide open while the A/C is running.

Unplug appliances not in use. Switch lights off when not

in the room. Make use of eco-friendly light bulbs and

use rechargeable batteries. These are just a few tips that

could assist you with saving energy and reducing utilities

bills. The Internet is filled with energy-saving tips,

just remember to switch your computer off when you are


• Conserve water

An estimated 50% of all household water usage is wasted.

It goes down the drain while we wait for it to warm up or

evaporates more quickly than it needs to. In an era when

our fresh water supply is diminishing due to pollution

and drought, it’s important to conserve all the water we

can, as well as learn about and put to use greywater recycling

practices. Re-use your laundry water on your lawn

or to wash your car; close the tap while you brush your

teeth; limit your shower time — it really boils down (pardon

the pun) to using water consciously.

• Green your transportation

Bicycling, walking, or carpooling are the best ways to

commute sustainably. Inflating your car tires, driving

slower, and combining trips will all help you save gas

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green pages newsletter of the department of environment & maritime affairs

when driving is necessary. And for long trips, purchase

carbon offsets which invest your money into alternative


• Go chemical-free

Forego toxic chemicals such as chlorine and choose

sustainable options when cleaning your home or gardening

(vinegar is a great base for most natural cleaning

agents). You’ll not only limit disposable containers and

save money, you’ll create a healthy living environment

for your family at the same time.

• Green your personal care

Simplify your personal care with natural products:

bicarbonate of soda can be used to make toothpaste

and deodorant when mixed with some essential oils.

Take sink baths to reduce water, use organic products

or no products at all, opt for an easy to manage haircut.

Also remember that healthy food leads to healthy skin

and body.

• Raise healthy, eco-conscious children

Okay, let’s zoom out to some bigger choices we can

make. Raising our kids to be healthy and aware of the

environment is crucial. Model with your actions and

talk about the choices you make. Don’t nag or lecture,

but instead make it interesting and interactive. The

Department of Environment & Maritime Affairs arranges

frequent clean-ups and environmental awareness programs/competitions

that kids can get involved in.

• Support locally-owned businesses

Small businesses are more likely to support other

businesses within the community, care for their

environment, and conduct business in an environmentally-responsible

way. They also work harder for your

business, contribute more to charitable causes, create

more jobs, limit outsourcing, and keep money circulating

within a community, among many other things.

reasons why green living matters with the myriad of

resources on the internet and in libraries. The National

Environmental Centre, at DEMA, is a great resource to

educate yourself on the natural environment of the TCI.

• Educate others (gently)

The biggest influence you can have on others is through

your actions and your attitude. Be open and honest

about your choices, but without judgment. Don’t push

the matter, just let your example be inspiration and

keep the lines of communication open so that friends

or family will have a seasoned pro to turn to when they

are looking for ways to go green.

• Build a strong community

We live within a very disconnected culture, even on our

tiny islands. Make time to care for yourself and find

enjoyment in your life. Make talking and laughing with

loved ones a priority. Volunteer and help those in need.

Be a part of your community. And rediscover the wonders

of the world by enjoying nature walks, planting

trees, organizing neighbourhood clean-ups, learning

about the native plant and bird species, all as ways to

go green.

• Contact your representatives

Email or call your community representative or district

commissioner and ask them what your community is

doing to go green. Remain in contact with them, attend

public consultation meetings, and vote with your conscience

instead of your party line.

• Invest in carbon offsets

Even the greenest lifestyle still has an impact. Lessen

yours by switching to solar energy or investing in carbon

offsets. The money you spend to go solar soon

pays itself back in rebates and monthly refunds and

purchasing these credits will be invested into alternative

energies or other sustainable ventures.

• Continue to educate yourself

As you’re practicing these ways to go green you’ll

likely spark a lot of conversations. Get familiar with the

So now you have no excuse! Kick-start your green

life with these 15 easy tips and, don’t forget: when in

doubt, pop into DEMA for some advice! a

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This juvenile Nassau grouper is showing typical behavior of remaining stationary in a rock ledge as snorkelers or divers swim by.

The Iconic Nassau Grouper

Regionally endangered, locally abundant

Story & Photos by John Claydon, PhD & Marta Calosso, MS, MA — TCI Nassau Grouper Project leaders

Go on any SCUBA dive or snorkel trip in the Turks & Caicos Islands and you would be very unlucky not to

see a Nassau grouper or two. It is no exaggeration to say that there is nowhere else in the world where

you encounter this species so frequently. When they see you from a distance, they usually remain quite

stationary except to turn their heads to track your movement as you swim by. Often they can be curious,

and they may approach divers — however, this is typically a sign that the fish is accustomed to being fed

which should not be encouraged.

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It is also quite easy to find them on a dinner plate:

many restaurants will offer this locally caught fish, usually

listed simply as “grouper” on the menu. We take this

for granted, but in some other countries Nassau groupers

have become so rare that it is illegal to catch them. In fact,

the species is considered endangered by the International

Union for the Conservation of Nature, the organisation

tasked with assessing species’ risks of extinction.

Nassau grouper is usually considered to be a coral

reef fish, but that is a little misleading. When grouper

spawn, eggs are released high above the substratum;

eggs then hatch into larvae and spend about forty days

in the water column drifting offshore and potentially dispersing

long distances in the currents. Eventually, once

they have grown about an inch long and become capable

swimmers, larvae are ready to swim back to shallow areas

and settle, but typically the habitats they choose are not

reefs, but seagrass or algal areas.

In the TCI, early juvenile Nassau grouper often use

discarded conch shells and “blowout” ledges — the shelter

formed by exposed roots and rhizomes in seagrass

beds. After spending about a year in their early juvenile

habitats, Nassau grouper migrate to shallow patch reefs,

and then to deeper reefs, where they become reproductively

mature at four to eight years of age. While some reef

fishes breed year-round, Nassau grouper has a very short

spawning season of two to three months only, which in

the TCI runs from December to the end of February and

synchronises with a phase of the moon. Nassau grouper

breeding can be spectacular: they form aggregations

of thousands (reportedly up to one hundred thousand)

with individuals capable of migrating over sixty miles to

spawn at the same location year after year.

Unfortunately, the demise of Nassau grouper

throughout the region is directly linked to fishing spawning

aggregations. Large numbers of big fish found at the

same time and place each year are attractive targets for

fishers, but such fishing has rarely been sustainable, and

sometimes an aggregation of tens of thousands can be

“fished out” in a few years. When this happens, the local

population crashes, the fishery is no longer viable, and

your chances of seeing one on a dive are close to zero.

From top right: Nassau grouper are common fare in TCI. Here, they

are shown at the fishing dock in South Caicos.

Renowned local fisherman and free-diver Conrad Kennedy displays

his impressive catch of Nassau grouper in South Caicos.

Early juvenile Nassau groupers commonly shelter in discarded conch


Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 31

green pages newsletter of the department of environment & maritime affairs

Even worse, there are few signs of populations recovering.

Fortunately, the TCI has been quite lucky compared

to rest of the region: commercial and export fisheries

have focused on lobster and conch, and although most

fishers know about the aggregations, they do not fish

them much. The single most effective management

strategy is to prevent such fishing, and although the

pressure is currently low, it does appear to be growing.

Consequently, as a proactive measure, Nassau grouper

will be protected during their breeding season (December

1 to February 28) through Amendments to the Fisheries

Protection Ordinance introduced earlier this year. During

this closed season, Nassau grouper will be off-limits to

fishers and off the menu in restaurants, in much the same

way as the closed season for spiny lobster.

The social and ecological dynamics of the Nassau

grouper fishery and the species’ ecology in the TCI is

the focus of an ongoing research collaboration between

DEMA, the Reef Environmental Education Foundation,

Oregon State University, and Scripps Institution of

Oceanography, UC San Diego. Our goals are to better

understand the complex dynamics of the Nassau grouper

fishery in the TCI and to document the status of spawning

aggregations and the stocks in general, so that the

TCI can continue to enjoy its unique status where fishers

can still catch groupers, tourists can still see them in the

water, and everyone can enjoy eating them.

The project was initiated in 2014 through a grant

from The Flagship Species Fund, Fauna and Flora

International which enabled us to spend three months

all over the TCI conducting interviews with fishers and

various stakeholders, monitoring dock landings, collecting

biological samples, and tagging Nassau groupers on

SCUBA. We are very grateful for the support provided

by Big Blue Unlimited, The School for Field Studies, MV

Glen Ellen, and a friend of the Turks & Caicos Reef Fund.

Special thanks go to the community of South Caicos. a

From top left: Dr. Scott Heppell, Marta Calosso, and Dr. John Claydon

stand ready to tag Nassau grouper on SCUBA with Big Blue Unlimited.

Dr. John Claydon collects biological samples from a mature Nassau

grouper at Caicos Fisheries Ltd. processing plant in South Caicos.

Marta Calosso interviews former DEMA Fisheries Officer Christopher

Hall about historical changes in the fisheries.

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This juvenile White Ibis was spotted feeding in a pond in Wheeland in Providenciales.


Birding in Paradise

New guidebook series highlights birdwatching hotspots.

By B Naqqi Manco

For birdwatchers, eco-tourists, and independent travellers, there is a new source of help in finding

one’s way around the Turks & Caicos Islands. Since much of the tourism in TCI is beach-related, it can

prove a challenge to locate sites of interest away from the coasts. Exploring the family islands outside

Providenciales also has some difficulties when one is not familiar with the geography and the hidden

wonders of these special islands, since signage remains largely lacking.

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 33

green pages newsletter of the department of environment & maritime affairs

The Birding in Paradise series features five booklets

focusing on Providenciales, Grand Turk, Salt Cay, South

Caicos, and North and Middle Caicos (combined). The

booklets feature accurate aerial photography maps with

driving directions to birding sites, and walking directions

for those that involve foot access. Also outlined

are travel and ground logistics for visiting other sites of

interest including support facilities and contact numbers.

Introductions to the history, geology, and culture of the

Islands round out the general appeal of the booklets.

Full-colour photos of birds likely to be seen at various

sites fulfil the purpose of field guide, and other wildlife

is featured in detail as well. A comprehensive driving

tour of each island, to cover all sites available, is fully

described in detail with distances noted.

Visitors can feel confident in exploration of the

Islands on their own with the appropriate island booklet

in hand. This was the aim of the authors, who have

worked closely with various conservation bodies in TCI

for nearly twenty years. The booklets were produced

through a partnership of the Turks & Caicos National

Museum Foundation and the United Kingdom Overseas

Territories Conservation Forum (UKOTCF), a federation

of conservation bodies across all the UK Territories,

together with supporting ones in Britain. In-kind support

also came from the TCI Government’s Department

of Environment & Maritime Affairs and the ecotourism


Following the release of the booklets, a brilliant

response came from our neighbours to the north, where

accomplished Bahamas birder Tony White stated, “TCI is

. . . often overlooked as a birding destination, but it has

a variety of easily seen Caribbean specialties (It is the

only place outside Cuba where you can see the Cuban

Crow.) and a comfortable, well-developed infrastructure

. . . a new series . . . Birding in Paradise . . . together

cover all the accessible islands in the territory. They are

excellent and could be used as prototypes for guides to

other Caribbean islands. I have birded on islands covered

by three of the five booklets. The new guides cover all the

birding sites I know and more. I look forward to visiting

the remaining islands and new sites on the islands I have

already visited. These books will make my birding much

easier and more successful.”

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green pages newsletter of the department of environment & maritime affairs

Further accolades came when the booklets were

presented in various international fora, including the

UKOTCF’s “Sustaining Partnerships” conservation conference

in Gibraltar in July 2015. Conservation partners

from Montserrat were so impressed when they saw

the books on publication that they asked for one for

Montserrat that UKOTCF has just published!

Copies of each of the books are available at $10 each

from the TC National Museum on both Provo and Grand

Turk, Unicorn Books, and several other outlets. For those

who want to buy a downloadable pdf version for their

tablet or computer (and for printed copies to be sent

to other countries), go to www.ukotcf.org/birding-in-


UKOTCF has worked in support of many local partners

in TCI for about twenty years. These books were

designed in consultation with local businesspeople, conservationists

and educators, to help expand the types

of tourism and extend the season, while protecting the

natural environment, and to provide an information and

education resource for local residents. a

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 35



Opposite page: This shot of the coral reefs surrounding the Turks & Caicos reminds us of why we need to care about our oceans.

Above: Ocean Country author Liz Cunningham takes a look at a sea turtle hatchling being cared for by Eiglys Trejo during one of Liz’s many

visits to the Turks & Caicos Islands. Her “turtle encounter” is described in the book.

Ocean Country

Quest to save the seas starts in the Turks & Caicos Islands

Excerpts By Liz Cunningham

Liz Cunningham’s new book, Ocean Country holds a special place in my heart. The focus of the book is

how people around the world are practicing “hope in action,” and why it’s time for all of us to join them.

It describe’s Liz’s two year global journey to discover how communities and individuals are fighting to

save the marine world that every living being depends on.

I met Liz four years ago when she was on her first trip back to the Turks & Caicos Islands since 1991

— a visit which spurred the creation of this groundbreaking book. Liz contributed a beautiful, lyrical

piece entitled “Simple Truths” for the Fall 2011 issue of Times of the Islands, along with a second piece,

“A Mosaic of Life” for the Winter 2012/13 issue. We’ve kept in touch, and I am honored to have witnessed

the conception and birth of Ocean Country. I hope the excerpts printed here encourage you to read the

entire book: it is an adventure story, poetic meditation, and, most importantly, a call to action.

Kathy Borsuk

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 37

In this excerpt from Chapter 1, “Beauty,” Liz is

returning to the Turks & Caicos Islandsthe place

where I’d fallen in love with the undersea world,” after

spending 12 years recovering from a kayak accident

and other health problems.

The next day, our boat motored to the Northwest

Point—nicknamed “the Point”—where the violet blue of

the Atlantic trench almost touches the island. The number

of buildings slowly thinned until there was practically

no sign of civilization, and the shoreline was just a narrow

slice of green jungle. A tern hovered above the bow.

A school of flying fish darted across the water’s surface.

My dive buddy that day was a woman from Paris. She

explained to me in broken English that she would need a

few moments in the water to get used to her gear, as she

had not been diving for several months. “I will need the

moment,” she said, “to recover my sensations.”

I smiled. Who could have said it better?

After jumping in the water and finding our equilibrium

as “weightless aquatic mammals,” we swam to what

was called the “wall,” where the reef descended to the

continental shelf. Then, with a long outbreath, we sank

in silence into that luminous, deep blue.

Once we were a hundred or so feet deep, something

changed, as if we’d let go of terra firma and its last

vestigial remnant, the water’s surface, and abandoned

ourselves to the open, watery realm. Its sensations were

at once foreign and yet hauntingly familiar; it seemed to

wake profound, archaic memories.

We descended through a narrow, vertical corridor of

coral like the fluted vault of a cathedral. It was filled with

thousands of tiny silvery fish—silversides. The beauty

was overwhelming. For a moment, my body felt like a

tuning fork; the beauty was so resonant that it reverberated

through my breath and bones.

As we descended, the life of the reef changed every

ten feet or so, the shape of the coral becoming wider until,

at close to 130 feet, they were wide platters, expanding

to collect as much light as possible, like solar panels, in

the darkening depths.

To the east, the ocean went on for thousands of

miles—next stop, North Africa. Just the open sea and the

life for which it was home. We hovered weightless over a

large knob of plate coral. Below us were thousands of feet

of water. The reef wall receded with undulating arcs that

reminded me of pen-and-ink Chinese landscapes in which

mountains fade in successive layers into almost infinite

distances. With each curve, the coral wall became more

opaque, but seemed to go on forever.

A small dot appeared in the blue depths to the east.

It got larger. It had fins, thick ones. Now I saw a roundish

head and wide paddle-shaped front fins propelling

an oval shell with the grace of a long-distance swimmer.

It was nearly two yards long, with a short, stubby tail—a

female green sea turtle. Migrating thousands of miles,

they always return to the beach where they were born to

lay their eggs.

We followed her up to shallower waters and lingered

at about sixty feet as she slowly ascended to the surface

to take a breath, her body a silhouette in the bright blue


Each coral head was covered with clusters of fish

nibbling and chasing and darting in and out of intricate

tunnels and archways. A mosaic of shapes flashed in the

distance. It was a school of horse-eye jacks. As we got

closer, they did look horse-eyed, their eyes bulging out of

their silvery bodies. Every few minutes the school would

quiver and reorchestrate itself into a new shimmering


The beauty of the undersea world was not just the

beauty of seeing, it was also being seen. Hovering in

38 www.timespub.tc

the midst of the jacks, with their alert but calm gazes, I

sensed them allowing me to just be in their midst.

There were damselfish and grunts and snapper.

Gobies. Octopuses. Angelfish. Trunkfish. Pufferfish.

Butterflyfish. Trumpetfish. There was no way to grasp it


At the end of our dive, we ascended slowly to about

fifteen feet and floated peacefully near the boat. We

would stay there for a little over three minutes, doing

what’s called a “safety stop.” A grouper with puffy cheeks

and bulging round eyes hovered beneath the boat. The

water was dotted with hundreds of yellow grunts. My

whole body was smiling. Diving opened up so many unexpected

worlds for me, not just the ocean, but also my own

body and how my breath was connected to the world as

a whole.

Six months later, Liz returns to the Turks & Caicos

Islands. On this visit, she hopes to spend some time

writing and painting, in the hopes of using the “tools

of my trade” in service of ocean conservation. It was

42 days into the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion

in the Gulf of Mexico and the resulting oil spill. Liz,

like most people, was reeling with the staggering

implications of the spill to both the local environment

of the Gulf Coast and the world’s oceans as a whole.

The following are a series of excerpts from Chapter 2,

“A Body Within a Body.”

As the plane flew south, my eyes went back and forth

between a newspaper and the blue-green swirls of water

and lace-like strips of land that formed the Bahamian

archipelago. The newspaper had photos from the oil

spill that were so disheartening that I had almost put the

newspaper in a trash can in Miami.

I turned the pages slowly and allowed the images to

reach out to me: a sea bird mired in oil, its beak and eyes

barely visible; a dead sea turtle suffocated in a wetland

blackened by oil; the hands of a Louisiana coastal zone

director, holding up a handful of oil that dripped in long

elastic strands. The oil was as thick as rubber cement.

A flight attendant swished by, grabbing the last

cups before landing. The plane made a gentle arc over

the islands, which sparkled like silvery-green sardines in

the turquoise sea. Just before the plane touched down

in Providenciales, a flock of birds took flight over Chalk

Sound. The water glistened through the flutter of their

wings. I sighed. I was so happy to be back. It felt like I was

breaking a fast.

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 39

Liz travels to the School for Field Studies field station

in South Caicos, where she is met by Lizzie, an intern

there, and Eva, one of the professors.

The next day we motored out to Long Cay. The outboard

carved a path through radiant turquoise flats that

stretched as far as we could see. Long Cay was a sliver of

an island covered with mangroves. The staff wanted to do

some surveys before bringing their students there.

As we geared up, I reached for my hood.

“What are you wearing that for?” Lizzie teased me.

“It keeps the hair out of my face.”

Lizzie looked at Eva with a wink. Eva smiled. “Liz,

this isn’t Club Med.” Lizzie showed me how she wrapped

a bandana around her head to keep her hair back. “Don’t

worry, you’ll get there. You’ll be a fish dweeb by the time

you leave.”

We hopped into the water. “The mangroves,” Eva

explained, adjusting her snorkel, “are nurseries for juvenile

fish. You might see some when you are snorkeling.”

I’d seen mangroves many times before and thought nothing

of them; they seemed like scruffy bushes. But now I

was primed to pay attention.

The roots of the mangroves arced above the water

and then descended vertically. The reflections of their

leaves flickered on the surface, casting a deep-green hue.

I peered underwater into the labyrinthine root system:

hundreds of baby fish hovered skittishly.

It was like a “fish kindergarten” or an incubator—the

roots formed mazelike bassinets or cradles that protected

the young fish from larger predators. Those miles of

milky blue-green flats that the two-prop plane had flown

over were dense with mangroves and seagrass, nurseries

for millions of juvenile fish.

I stood up and pulled my mask off.

“Nice, huh?” said Lizzie. “The juveniles, they feed on

plankton until they grow large enough to go out on the


“And plankton are …?” I didn’t really know what

plankton was.

“Organisms that drift in the current. Some are microscopic,

others are big, like jellyfish.”

“What kind of fish?”

Lizzie smiled. The partial list: angelfish, grouper,

grunts, snapper.

“Liz!” Eva called out. She was carefully holding a sea

urchin in her hands. Its spines were sharp. “Just touch it

very gently.”

I felt one of the smooth spines quiver. Urchins have

light-sensitive molecules in their spines, similar to the

photoreceptors in our eyes. Researchers speculate that

they may “see”—as in “detect shapes of light”—with the

whole surface of their body.

On the way back from Long Cay, we snorkeled at an

island called HDL just across from the field station. It was

a striking outcropping of stone. It seemed a contradiction

that such a beautiful island would be named HDL. But scientists

do have very dry wits. Maybe HDL was named the

way a ravishingly beautiful woman named Joanna might

be nicknamed Joe.

HDL teemed with juvenile fish too. May and June were

“juvenile season”—swarms of tiny fish filled the water.

Sometimes adult fish would circle and nip each other and

then leave behind a plume of eggs and sperm. After the

eggs hatch, the new larvae then drift in the currents and

find safe havens in the mangroves and the seagrass.

That night, a storm hit South Caicos. It affected Liz


A blast of wind roared in off the open water, and the

rain pelted down.

God, I feel like I’m on another planet.

The field station’s generator was turned off at night,

so there were no lights. It was pitch black. At the edge of

the island we were in the thick of the roaring wind and

rain and tides.

But maybe it’s this—that I’m finally feeling this


In the months before, I’d pored over books about the

ocean. Over 70 percent of the planet’s surface is covered

by water; 96 percent of all the water on earth is in the

oceans. The earth is essentially an aquarium-terrarium.

And the health of the water is in decline. The cultural

revelation was slow and painful. It is easy to understand a

pond or a river being poisoned—like the pollutants in the

Hudson of my childhood. But for many, the ocean seems

too big to be polluted in the same way. But it’s not, and

just like goldfish, sea creatures need healthy water to

survive. And there is no other planet we can race to with

a siphon to perform an emergency water change.

The wind whipped up stronger, thrashing through

coconut trees. I remembered a NASA visualization of the

currents in the Atlantic, swirls of currents and micro-currents,

seas and subseas, all intermixing—each body

of water flowing into its neighbors. And in those seas?

Countless whales and turtles and sharks and tuna, riding

the currents—their “second body”—from the Azores

40 www.timespub.tc


and North Africa to the Caribbean and northward to


My heart beat and my blood pulsed through my

arms and hands. A fact was surfacing as a sensation: I

too was a body within a body. And a body of water at

that. Our blood is 92 percent water, our brain and muscles,

75 percent. And all that water moves and moves

and moves—circulation. That night it was wildly tangible,

as real as the zipper on my mozi net, as the rain pelting

down, as the salty wind blowing through like some

long-forgotten memory of our origins.

It was a year later, and another trip to the Islands, that

spurred Liz to her own “call to action,” in the form of

writing Ocean Country, then traveling to promote the

book and her message of “hope in action.” In these

excerpts from Chapter 4, “The Truths of the Islands,”

Liz goes diving on a Grace Bay site called Boneyard

and experiences an episode of coral bleaching that

took place during June 2012, a month which had the

all-time warmest surface temperatures (of both land

and sea) for June in the Northern hemisphere.








I sat on the upper deck and remembered this spot

from the week before. It was a series of deep sand channels,

densely populated with coral. The finger coral were

shaped like protruding stubby thumbs, and the large

staghorn coral like the antlers of a deer. Hence its name,


Each cluster of coral had between twenty and a hundred

finger coral and staghorn coral colonies, densely

packed together. It was sometimes hard to even see the

coral, because the schools of yellow grunts were so thick.

There were hundreds of parrotfish in all kinds of colors—

maroon and turquoise with magenta and yellow and deep

blue markings—as well as damselfish and hamlets and

grouper and neon-yellow trumpetfish. Turtles. Spotted

rays. Sharks. As we motored out, I remember thinking

that the waters of Grace Bay and the Point were the most

deeply alive place I had ever experienced.

The boat slowed. One of the divemasters used a long

pole to moor on to a buoy. “Okay kiddo, get in the water,”

the divemaster said as he spot-checked my gear. I put the

heel of my hand to my mask to keep it in place and took

one long step off the edge of the back of the boat and

into that world I so deeply cherished.

I exhaled and sank softly into the water. I closed my

eyes for a few seconds to just feel the water river along

my body.

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Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 41

Jeez, it’s warm.

I looked at my dive computer: 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

I turned horizontal as I sank and looked down at the site,

about forty feet below.

Where am I?

It was almost unrecognizable. The sand channels

were there, but hardly a sign of life. Everywhere the coral

was white and brown, with green-brown algae growing

over it. There were a few small clusters of fish and an

occasional lone fish, looking out of place. The coral had


I paused at a bed of staghorn coral. The week before,

it had been filled with so many juvenile parrotfish and

blue chromis that the water appeared to be filled with

the “snow” I had described to Lizzie. Tiny brown-andwhite

damselfish and bright-yellow conies had cautiously

peered out from the shelter of the staghorn coral’s antler-like

structure. Small multicolored fish had darted

mischievously, sometimes chasing each other, or had

nibbled on a piece of coral, nestled in the safety of its

tight matrix.

Now it was barren and whitish-gray, save for one oval

blue tang that nibbled on the algae overgrowth. The other

divers and I searched fruitlessly for a spot that might not

be so damaged.

As I moved my fins slowly through the water, it felt

as if I swam through the ashen remnants of a bombedout

cathedral. Each spot I remembered being deeply alive

and illuminated with life. The mosaic of color was gone,

only a white-brown monotone structure remaining, covered

with algae. What was once brilliant was now muted

and withered; what had shimmered was now grayed out;

iridescent, now bleak and barren.

How could this happen in less than a week’s time?

The devastation was unmistakable. We swam through

a landscape of millions upon millions of near-microscopic

animals, ailing and dead, unable to support the multitude

of life forms they once did. I paused at a yard-wide knob

of brain coral. The week before, small black-and-white

gobies had sped across its Aztec-like patterns. Next to it

had been some bright magenta sea fans. A large school

of yellow-and-silvery-white schoolmaster fish had hovered


The schoolmasters were gone. The sea fans were tattered,

with a blackish overgrowth. Almost all of the brain

coral was covered with algae. A small portion of the coral’s

zigzag structure was visible, but it was a dark brown

and white.

A French physician watched as I took a photograph of

the brain coral. He looked at me with moribund eyes and

then slowly ran his index finger across his throat from ear

to ear, mimicking the slice of a guillotine. I opened the

palms of my hands as if to say, “I’m not sure.”

Before getting back on the boat, I keep looking down

to the reef. I still couldn’t quite believe it. It was incomprehensible.

The next day, John Walch, from the Reef Ball

Foundation, and local marine ecologist Marsha Pardee

explain to Liz the bleaching phemonmenon.

Bleaching happens when the coral, reacting to environmental

stresses, expels beneficial algae, with which it

has a symbiotic relationship. “The coral basically gets sick

and throws up the algae,” John said, “just like when a person

is ill and expels the contents of his or her stomach.”

This type of algae is different from the type that

feeds on nutrient runoff and damages coral. The coral

gets its nourishment from this algae’s ability to make

energy from light, photosynthesis. And it gets its green

and rose and yellow hues from the algae’s color. When it

expels the algae, it loses its color and turns white. It can

survive for a while without the algae, but not too long,

and not if coral disease and algae overgrowth become


When coral bleaches, the fish leave, looking for

healthier terrain. How far they go or where, scientists

don’t really know. John explained that if the temperature

change had happened more slowly, in weeks rather

than two or three days, the coral might have tolerated it.

“Corals and marine organisms have evolved in the most

stable environment in the world. They have no built-in

mechanisms for rapid change. They can take change,

but if we go too fast, that’s where the problem is.” The

four-degree spike in temperature in less than a week is

what the coral couldn’t tolerate.

Marsha cleared her throat. “Take a cockroach in my

kitchen. It can go through fifteen different insecticides in

a year and get used to them all. Coral can’t; they don’t

have the ability to make that rapid a change.”

“There’s no silver bullet,” John said. “Everyone wants

a silver bullet.” Ocean ecosystems are so interconnected;

you can’t just cordon off a portion and preserve it like a

pickle in a jar. Saving coral reefs isn’t just about saving

coral reefs. Their decline is about the quality of our water

and the air we breathe. The damage I saw was a sign of

massive destruction around the globe that was devastating

fisheries, creating extreme droughts and storms, and

42 www.timespub.tc


Liz Cunningham and her husband Charlie spent a week on a boat on the Silver Banks, just south of the Turks & Caicos, where Charlie captured

this awesome photo of a humpback whale breeching.

polluting our waterways. The silver bullet would have to

be a multitude of bullets: stopping overfishing, instituting

proper sewage treatment, and limiting nutrient runoff

and carbon dioxide emissions.

In the Caribbean, scientists had documented an 80

percent loss of hard coral over the last three decades.

The problems are so massive and so in need of international

coordination that paralysis is often the reaction.

What’s needed? A vast collectivity of changes, equivalent

to the damage that we’ve been inflicting. The possibility

of change is in proportion to how many of us are willing

to act. Think of slavery several hundred years ago. How

ubiquitous was that? End slavery? A four-thousand-yearold

tradition that was the very fiber of the economy? An

elite class’s grip on power?

Change came about because many people protested

and voted and signed petitions and lobbied decision makers.

Not to mention the courageous and steadfast souls

who refused to be muzzled, risked death and imprisonment,

and became the voice of generations. “Change,”

the social-justice activist Tom Hayden wrote, “begins in

the individual lives of countless people when they no longer

accept existing conditions as inevitable.”




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Some of the most important tasks for ocean conservation

would be to convince decision makers to do

something about climate change, overfishing, and water

quality. Of course, that pressure is often rebuffed with,

“Oh now, that’s going to be really complicated! And the

economic fallout would be devastating.” Just like a slave

owner thinking how complicated it would be to run a

plantation without slave labor. Okay, it’s complicated.

But more complicated than arctic oil drilling or fracking

or fishing boats that drag 55-mile-long drift nets at sea?

The rest of Ocean Country details Liz’s research on

the California coast, Sulawesi and West Papua, France

and the Mediterranean Sea. She documents the work

of many people who are rescuing the life of the seas

and affecting real change — one small step at a time.

Ocean Country closes with a trip to the Silver Banks

just south of the Turks & Caicos that Liz shared with

her husband Charlie. Here, thousands of humpback

whales breed and give birth every winter before

migrating north to feed in the summer.

Toward the end of the day, we cautiously approached

a mother and calf. The driver deftly maneuvered the boat

as we timed their breaths. Then they surfaced together

once more, exhaled with muffled bursts, and descended

like a submarine and its companion submersible.

“Okay,” said Gene. “Let’s give this a try.”

We slipped into the water. The mother was resting

motionless at about sixty feet, and the calf had nuzzled

itself right beneath her chin with the sleepy-eyed, softmouthed

expression of a baby in a cradle. The water was

suffused with peacefulness and an unthinkable energy I

was at a loss to name.

Every few minutes, the calf stirred and rose, as if

swimming in its sleep, outstretching its newborn fins in

slow motion to propel itself to the surface and take a

breath. Then it sank, tiptoeing back to bed in a trance-like

slumber, and tucked itself under its mother’s chin.

We floated like a loose-knit blob of jellyfish, gawking

silently. There was just an hour or so of daylight left; the

light cast angular, silvery threads through the darkening,

violet-blue water. Once again the calf raised its head and

slipped out from under its mother’s chin. But this time it

seemed to wake out of its slumber.

As it rose, it turned vertically in the water, revealing

the soft-looking pleats beneath its throat and belly.

“When a whale turns its belly toward you,” Gene had told

44 www.timespub.tc

us, “it’s actually positioning itself so it can see you with

both eyes.” The calf spread its fins, took a breath of air,

and began to swim horizontally, bobbing just below the

surface. The mother started to rise, steady as a slow-moving


They both inched toward me, side by side, and eyed

us curiously. Soon their heads were just a few feet away.

The calf wobbled in the sea surge, its fins spread like

the wings of a fledging sparrow. Right behind it was the

mother’s long head. Her eye, big as an apple, was filled

with steady confidence and warmth.

“Bury me here,” I mused. “When I die, bring my ashes

to a moment like this and scatter them.”

My god! I’ve never thought that before! What’s got

me by the throat?

It was so clear it seemed silly that I hadn’t seen it

before. That unthinkable energy that I was at a loss to

name? It was power. Unthinkably massive power married

to … kindness. Forty tons of constant, attentive, steadfast


“Mummy” could break our necks with a casual flick of

one of her fins. Our boat, half her size, wouldn’t survive

a breach on top of it.

But what was she doing? Gently approaching, careful

that her fins didn’t hit anyone, and slowly, as if trying

not to startle us. Soon she would migrate north, navigate

threats of ship strikes and fishing-gear entanglement

and orcas attacking her calf. Despite all the changes in

the seas that we have wrought, she would guide her calf

north. She would forge on ahead.

The calf turned slowly, as if on a spindle, and eyed

us playfully. The pleats on its belly were unscarred, like

the porcelain skin of a newborn baby. The mother calmly

looked on. Our search was over. They were finding us

now. a

Liz Cunningham is currently touring to promote the book

and raise awareness on climate change and water quality.

Twenty-one percent of royalties will be given to the

New England Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Action

Fund (MCAF), which aims to protect and promote ocean

biodiversity through funding of small-scale, time-sensitive,

community-based programs.

The book is available on-island at the Unicorn

Bookstore, through Amazon.com, and more than likely,

at your favorite bookstore or library. For more information

or to order the book, visit http://lizcunningham.net/


Book review

Okay, I admit it. It’s really a treat to be able to read

a book about a place you have lived and to be able to

count among your friends most of the people described

within the pages. I am also fortunate to know and have

dived with the author after we met to discuss ways in

which she could help support the Turks & Caicos Reef


Not many people would change their way of thinking,

doing, and being to try and save the very thing that

nearly killed them. Especially when that something is as

all-encompassing as our oceans. This is not a simple

“save the dog that bit me” exercise. Ocean Country is

Liz Cunningham’s very personal journey which begins

with a near fatal kayaking accident, her revisiting the

scene, and her overcoming her fear of the ocean.

Instead, she dives headfirst — quite literally — into just

how poorly humanity is treating our planet and how

this behavior is killing the very thing that is responsible

for life on Earth. It is a travelogue of sorts detailing her

journey across the globe to observe and record firsthand

what mankind has done to its home.

Liz has a remarkable clarity of style which makes

the book very easy reading, and a delightful read at

that —considering the topic. It is an intensely personal

story and she brings you into her head from the very

first page. She compares her reluctance, acceptance,

and ultimate enthusiasm to write Ocean Country with

her first experience driving a motor bike. What this has

to do with ocean conservation is not too clear until Liz

connects the dots for you and the analogy is brilliant.

Liz has clearly researched her facts and figures, and

presents them, not in a dull regurgitation of numbers

way, but to drive the point home with such clarity as

to make the reader stop and take note. Thirty-six percent

of the Federal fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico were

closed after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. How awful.

That’s over eighty-six thousand square miles of ocean.

Yeah, that’s a lot of ocean. Then she hits it home: That’s

an area the size of Minnesota. Whoa! That’s huge!

What should have been a depressing book about the

horrible way humans have mistreated our planet and

seem hell-bent to destroy our oceans is anything but.

Liz’s unbridled passion is clearly obvious and leaves

the reader thinking that there IS light at the end of the

tunnel. And it doesn’t have to be a train. It’s hope.

David Stone, co-founder, Turks & Caicos Reef Fund

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 45


Opposite page: “King” is a severely injured dog that was rescued by the TCSPCA and recovered under the professional care of Pampered Paws.

King was literally skin and bone, with a huge swelling on his front right leg, when the TCSPCA rescued him from the streets of downtown

Provo. Look at this beautiful dog today.

Above: Donna Doran, owner of Pampered Paws, and TCSPCA Director Susan Blehr (with a recently rescued potcake) stand next to the TCSPCA

“animal bus,” generously donated by Provo resident Larry Costa, parked outside the office and clinic at Suzie Turn Plaza in Providenciales.

A Voice for Those Who

Cannot Speak

TCSPCA has helped animals and their owners for nearly twenty years.

The Turks & Caicos Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TCSPCA) is the oldest established

animal welfare organization in the country. There is no veterinary service on any of our islands except

Providenciales, which is why the not-for-profit group is literally a necessity-of-life for the animals with

whom we co-exist in the Turks & Caicos.

TCSPCA mobile clinics, held one to three times a year on each of the sister islands, are the only time

most animals receive any medical care. The office and clinic on Providenciales have been providing services

to all the animals of Providenciales since August 2008. But long before that, the TCSPCA was helping

animals and their owners.

By Kathi Barrington ~ Photos Courtesy TCSPCA

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 47

And it’s not just dogs and cats that benefit. The original

SPCA was founded in Grand Turk by Tom Saunders

on January 5, 1998, to address the welfare of roaming

cattle, donkeys, and horses. These animals are still monitored

and often helped by the TCSPCA today. In 2014

the two traditional animal-accessible wells on Grand Turk

were cleaned out and the troughs rebuilt, once again providing

water to roaming animals, thanks to the TCSPCA,

funds from the Donkey Sanctuary, UK and help from the

Department of Agriculture. The TCSPCA on Provo has

rescued and treated donkeys, goats, horses, pelicans, flamingoes,

snakes, and geckoes as well as countless dogs

and cats, and once, a manatee.

Staffed by a handful of volunteers and funded solely

through private donations and fund-raising, the TCSPCA

has made a significant difference to all animals in the TCI

for over 15 years. TCSPCA volunteers have earned the

trust of residents, the admiration and support of tourists

and off-island animal welfare organizations, and the

respect of the government.

TCSPCA’s first director and co-founder Beth Vankeep

remembers when the Provo group was solidified as a

working team. She called it the perfect storm. A pack of

wild dogs on the airport runway had prevented the newto-Providenciales

American Airlines flight from landing.

Not good. Add to that the “60 Minutes” reporter who was

chased down “magical” Grace Bay Beach and bitten by a

feral dog, and District Commissioner for Providencales

Kingsley Been receiving daily nuisance dog reports from

residents and hoteliers. Something had to happen.

In September 2000, the TCSPCA was invited to the

first meeting of the TCI Government’s newly formed

Feral Dog Committee. Several months later, the government

contracted the TCSPCA to carry out its Feral Dog

Programme, with a humane trapping program designed

by TCSPCA and endorsed by the Committee. With government

funding behind them and Beth Veenkamp as the

newly hired TCSPCA project manager, the small group got

the ball rolling.

The TCSPCA, with the help of Pegasus, a not for profit

animal welfare foundation, brought in professional help.

Owner of Wildlife Veterinary Resources (WVR) in Montana

Dr. Mark Johnson and his team flew to Providenciales

in August 2001 to help convince government that the

exploding wild dog problem had to be handled on many

levels. Teach owners to be responsible and caring. Trap

and humanely euthanize un-owned dogs. Spay or neuter

pets. (A female dog comes into heat twice each year and

can have a litter of up to 12 puppies. Do the math.) Draft,

From top: It is not only cats and dogs that are helped by the TCSPCA.

Percy the Pelican was rescued and rehabilitated, along with countless

donkeys being monitored and helped in the Salt Islands today.


48 www.timespub.tc

pass, and enforce animal control legislation. Mark’s WVR

team trained TCSPCA volunteers how, where, and why to

set traps and most importantly, trained local residents

Oliver Ferguson and Alco Williams to carry on the program.

For three years the TCSPCA administered the

Programme and succeeded in humanely euthanising over

2,000 un-owned dogs as well as spaying/neutering over

800 dogs and cats.

Weeks prior to setting traps, TCSPCA volunteers went

yard to yard, handing out blue dog collars to people for

their pets. They explained that any collared animal caught

in a trap would be spayed or neutered and returned to its

yard. Radio and newspaper ads also explained the massive

project. Nobody wanted to accidentally kill an owned


During the initial “Kick Start” phase of the program

in 2001, Islanders rallied to this effort. Volunteers

appeared as if by magic to help implement the trapping.

The Graceway IGA provided meat scraps and bones to

bait the traps. When volunteers quickly learned our wild

dogs don’t “do” raw, Animal Control Officer Alco Williams

cooked the scraps of raw meat bait. In three weeks the

Johnson team and TCSPCA volunteers trapped nearly

500 dogs; 293 were humanely euthanized and 182 were

spayed or neutered by Wooding Veterinary Services.

Beth ran the organization out of a rented guest apartment

at Madeline and Terry Erskine’s. She told me they

filled the place and the backyard with puppies and dogs

during and after the trapping program. The Erskine’s two

rescued horses, Hero and Cowboy, watched over this

motley crew. The imported trapping team fell in love with

our potcakes, and several took pups home with them to

the USA. Thus began the TCPSCA’s off-island adoption

programme. Today it is simple and easy to adopt a potcake

or potcat. More than 200 animals start new lives in

the USA or Canada each year.

By this time the organization had formed a Board of

Directors, under the presidency of Kingsley Been, whose

mandate was to ensure all animals in the TCI were cared

for and free from abuse. Two of the original Board, Peggy

Perkins and Barbara Young, are still active directors


In the height of the choreographed chaos of trapping,

spaying, and neutering, Beth discovered she was

pregnant. In April 2002 she returned to Canada with her

husband. Before she left, she convinced volunteer Susan

Blehr to take over the helm as director of the TCSPCA.

The changing of the guard was simple. Beth handed

The longest established legal practice

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E-Mail: ffdlawco@tciway.tc

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 49

to Susan the cell phone and the computer. Susan recalls

that the very next day she was fostering a litter of eight

puppies on her back deck. She’d never owned a dog in her

life and her cat was not amused by the intruders. Today

she and her husband, Bob-the-Dog-Whisperer Blehr, have

a pack. Each was once considered unadoptable.

Susan, with Bob at her back, ran the TCSPCA from

home until 2003. An experienced manager and networker,

she and volunteers set up foster homes for

puppies and kittens. Louise Henderson was hired as the

TCSPCA educational officer to go into all the schools to

talk about caring, responsible pet ownership and the

importance of vaccinations and spay/neuter. The TCSPCA

worked with government to draft legislation to protect

animals and people. They continued to encourage people

to have their pets sterilized and worked tirelessly picking

up animals, delivering them for free surgery, and then

returning them home. The number of dog attacks and

calls about nuisance dogs abated dramatically.

In 2003 the TCSPCA secured a small office upstairs in

Suzie Turn Plaza, which made Susan’s home life slightly

less chaotic. Then in 2004, after the government decided

to take the Feral Dog Programme in-house, the TCSPCA

went into fundraising mode and the Just for Fun Dog

Show (the first of which was held in 2002 in the Graceway

IGA parking lot,) became a vital source of revenue to continue

to pay for the free spay/neuter programme.

When the feral dog population exploded again in

2004, government reached out to contract the TCSPCA

again, to bring Mark Johnson’s team back to trap and

euthanize or spay/neuter dogs, as temporary, stop-gap

measures to control animals in areas frequented by tourists.

Without consistent funding, the TCSPCA was finding

it difficult to subsidize their spay/neuter/vaccination program

for the river of Islanders who wanted to do the right

thing for their pets. Although the TCSPCA received donations

from supporters and funds from resident Heather

Forbes’ Potcake Foundation, they realized that they simply

could not continue paying for veterinary services.

However, another perfect storm was brewing. In

2007 an outbreak of the deadly canine distemper virus

swept the island. The TCSPCA reacted swiftly, obtaining

thousands of donated vials of the vaccination against the

terrible disease. Anyone who had ever administered a

subcutaneous injection was enlisted to go door to door

in the communities to administer the vaccination to pets

in yards and homes. One of the volunteers was a retired

veterinarian, Dr. Rich Sefcik.

Several pets did succumb to distemper, but many

more did not. And Dr. Sefcik, who had bought a house

on Provo in 2004 and retired to the island with his wife

Jan, offered to perform spays and neuters, part-time, for

the TCSPCA as a volunteer vet. However, they would need

a clinic to perform the surgeries and care for the animals

before and after the procedure.

Enter Annie Notley. She and her husband Simon

were visiting Provo and heard of the TCSPCA. After meetings

and consults with Susan, she donated $35,000 to

the organization to secure a small spay/neuter clinic.

Fortunately, there was a vacant room for rent at Suzie

Turn Plaza so Dr. Rich designed and equipped the clinic,

and in August 2008 he performed the first surgery in the

new clinic.

This photo of Annie Notley and Dr. Rich Sefcik was taken on the day

of the first surgery in the new TCSPCA clinic in August 2008.

Five mornings a week, for almost five years, Dr. Rich

advised and reassured pet owners. He spayed or neutered

almost 3,000 dogs and cats. His quiet confidence

and wicked sense of humour made it easy for a diverse

group of volunteers to happily work with him. Owners

and their pets responded positively to him. In short, he

was a Godsend.

With Dr. Rich in situ, the TCSPCA was able to realize

one of their most important goals — to take veterinary

care to all of the Turks & Caicos Islands. In 2010 the

TCSPCA team packed their eight-year-old animal bus with

everything they needed to perform surgeries and wellness

checks, and shipped the van to Sandy Point, North

Caicos. They then drove to Blue Horizon Resort on Middle

Caicos, where they set up the surgery in a warehouse

space there.

Since then, the TCSPCA has held clinics on all the out

50 www.timespub.tc

islands and Grand Turk. The goal is to hold two clinics a

year on each island during the breeding seasons.

Another milestone was the re-launching of a Grand

Turk chapter of the TCSPCA in 2011, which then held its

first spay/neuter clinic that August. The Grand Turk volunteers

run a shop in the cruise ship center to raise funds

and they sell basic animal care supplies to pet owners.

Years of hard work, community outreach, and most

importantly, education by the TCSPCA paid off in large

numbers of pet owners bringing their animals to the Suzy

Turn clinic for vaccinations, heart worm preventatives,

and affordable spay or neuter surgeries. The word was

out — being a responsible pet owner made everyone’s

life easier and better. And then the axe fell again. Dr. Rich

and Jan decided to return to the United States. They sold

their home and said an emotional good-bye in May 2013.

Besides losing dear friends, the TCSPCA faced a crisis

—no veterinary care. Would the clinic/shop survive? Once

again Blehr rose to the challenge. She found veterinary

groups which travel across the world to provide veterinary

care to places where no care is available.

During the first clinic after Dr. Rich had gone, held

on Provo in October 2013, Dr. Jessica Braun and vet tech

Kristine Bucholz performed 134 spay or neuter surgeries

in five days. Since then, the TCSPCA has held more than

a dozen clinics, covering all the islands. During the most

recent clinic in November, Dr. Meghann Vollmer Kruck, of

Kindest Cut in Minnesota, and two of her vet techs performed

107 surgeries in five days. Dr. Kruck will be back

for a month in late spring 2016.

For fifteen years, the TCSPCA has worked with the the

TCI residents through day to day community outreach on

each island, in each village, and reliable, non-judgmental,

affordable services to pet owners in their yards, homes,

or at the Suzie Turn clinic. They are supported by many

island businesses, organizations, and resorts.

Pampered Paws, the TCI’s only boarding, grooming,

and training facility has provided runs for TCSPCA

pups since 2002. Each year owner Donna Doran and her

wonderful staff provide “room and board,” medical care,

training, and loads of TLC to hundreds of pups and older

dogs, many who are in truly terrible physical and emotional

condition when they arrive.

Lew Handfield Shipping and interCaribbean Airways

have been providing discounted or free transportation

to the organization from the early days. TCI First

Insurance insures the animal bus at no charge. Heather

Forbes’ Potcake Foundation raises funds each year for

the TCSPCA. Provo residents John Thomas and Jessica

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 51

From top: Dr. Meghann Vollmer Kruck, of Kindest Cut in Minnesota,

regularly holds spay/neuter clinic in the Islands.

The annual TCSPCA dog show is community-centered and very popular.

The judges (shown here) don’t take their job TOO seriously.

The author’s dog, MottLee and husband Mike were winners of “Looks

Most Like Owner.”

Kyle have recently come on scene, establishing Potcake

Project, a non-for-profit organization that provides funds

to rescue, rehab, and re-home older potcakes. They also

pay visiting vet teams’ airfare.

Long Bay homeowner Larry Costa learned that the

TCSPCA urgently needed to replace their 13-year-old “animal

bus.” He found, bought, and shipped a new E-250

Extended Cargo Van to Provo in January 2015. The van

was inaugurated in April when it was shipped to North

Caicos for a mobile clinic there.

TCSPCA fundraisers are community centered and

hugely popular: The calendar, begun in 2005, features

loving portraits of rescued animals from across these

islands; the annual “Just for Fun” Dog Show, under the

tent provided by Turtle Cove Marina; the now famous

Beach Bonfire BBQ hosted by Kissing Fish Catering at Bay

Bistro’s beachfront restaurant and the Christmas Fair with

Santa’s Grotto. All are put on by the volunteers and local

businesses. Donations from residents and tourists are

their other source of funds.

Director Susan Blehr knows that the organization has

made a huge difference to the lives and well being of

thousands of animals and to pet owners on every island.

The community outreach programmes and the affordable

spay/neuter/vaccination clinics on the sister islands have

achieved an obvious, quantifiable decrease in unwanted,


52 www.timespub.tc

This is one of Pampered Paws’s obedience classes. The last dog on the right, with Pampered Paws’s owner Donna Doran, is Legend, an older

potcake rescued from the Beaches roundabout. He came to the TCSPCA in horrific condition, and he’d never been touched by a human hand.

He became a super, people-oriented, lover of a dog. It is wonderful what loving care at Pampered Paws can do.


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Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 53

Kathryn is a founding member of

Turks and Caicos Real Estate

Association formed in 2000. She

was instrumental in writing and

implementing the manual for the

Association as well as Rules and

Regulations for the membership.

In 2007 she was voted the first

TCREA Ambassador by her peers. In 2009/10 she was part of a

Team that wrote the first Training Manual for TCREA; all new

members are required to complete the course and final exam

before being accepted as full members of the Association. She

served as President of the Association for five years (2008-

2013), as well as serving on many TCREA committees, some of

which she still serves.

Kathryn started her real estate career in Cayman Islands where

she worked for ERA for a number of years until her move to

TCI ERA Coralie Properties Ltd in 2000; she was brought to

implement the ERA system and manage the operation for the

newly franchised Coralie Properties. Over the years Kathryn

has become an active partner shareholder and Director of ERA

Coralie Properties Ltd., as well as being a successful sales

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A background in interior design and retail fit well with a real

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unowned animals. The goal that every animal has a home

is doable on the sister islands. Their stray dog populations

and their owned animal figures, compared to Provo,

are small. The target — to get 70% of the animals spayed

or neutered — is realistic. That’s the magic number

required to achieve decreasing populations, rather than

an increasing number of animals each year.

However, that is not the case on Providenciales. Well

documented research by experts in animal population

control have shown that no amount of spay/neuters

will affect the large, roaming dog population on Provo.

The cold hard fact is that unless one ownerless dog is

rendered incapable of reproducing for each pet that is

spayed or neutered, animal control efforts will fail.

Without an organized, humane, compassionate, trapping/euthanization

programme on this island, for at least

a year, the feral dog population will continue to increase.

Sadly, many of our native potcakes will die of starvation

or dehydration, disease, or car accidents. But many more

will survive, and they will bear more puppies.

For now, Director Blehr focuses on the many accomplishments

of the TCSPCA: the spaying or neutering of

more than 5,000 dogs; the adoptions, on and off-island,

of more than 1,000 potcakes and potcats; the rescue and

rehab of older animals, often in appalling, heart breaking

condition, that have evoked the sympathy and support

of residents and visitors. Unintended animal cruelty by

owners, due to insufficient education about things like

ear and tail cropping, are now rare. The TCSPCA has

clearly seen that the majority of animal owners here want

to do the right thing for their pets, and they know they

can come to the TCSPCA for help, no matter what. That’s

what the TCSPCA is all about.

Susan wanted the last word in this article: “Without

our volunteers, there would be no TCSPCA. They are

always there, always willing, and always caring. I have

learned from them, as I hope they have from me, and

together we try our best to live our motto: Be the voice

for those who cannot speak.” a

If you support the TCSPCA, you are helping all the animals

of the country, making it a better place for the animals,

all residents, and visitors. Please visit www.tcspca.com

or contact us at tcscpa@tciway.tc. You can also follow us

on FaceBook for the latest happenings.

54 www.timespub.tc


3 Positive Forces Set to Reward

Property Investors Greatly In 2016

Greg McNally first started working as

a young lawyer in Turks and Caicos (TCI)

more than 23 years ago. As a founding

partner of what was once one of the

largest law firms on Provo, he quickly

became a fixture of the local business

scene, playing a part in numerous high

profile developments including The

Sands Resort, Northwest Point Resort

and The Island Club on Grace Bay Road.

And although he’s enjoyed much

success from the development of

TCI over the past few decades, he believes

the trends are pointing to a new

renaissance in local investment.

“It’s all about the trends.,” says Mc-

Nally. “Wealthier Canadian and American

travellers who stopped coming

after the financial crash are now returning,

pushing up the prices on the rental market. That’s causing

certain vacationers to look closely at the property market, pushing

up sale prices. And then there’s a whole new audience from

Asia and South America entering the TCI market for the first time.

Investors who get in early should benefit greatly.“

North Americans Are Returning in Big Numbers

Prior to 2008, Turks and Caicos was very popular for North

American travellers, especially from East Coast financial centres

like New York and Toronto. But with the recession came a dramatic

pullback that hit TCI hard as the jet setters sharply reduced


According to McNally, that has now changed. “As wealthy Canadians

and Americans return, they are choosing to rent. This

has caused the rental market to explode. In the past year, my investment

penthouse in Grace Bay has been booked out almost

solid - even during off-season. It’s been quite lucrative.”

The result? It is pushing some wealthy renters into buying.

Growing Property Market to Push Up Prices

Properties like this 4,000 sq. ft. villa are set to appreciate greatly thanks to three powerful trends.

“The guys out of Toronto and New York are smart. They see

that spending $20,000 for a two week rental isn’t the best use of

money. So they’re looking closely at the property market again.”

In McNally’s mind, this will soon lead to appreciation in certain

types of property the affluent jet setters want. In fact, his

latest venture, Caya Private Residences, is set to help smart vacationers

capitalize on this trend. “I spotted an opportunity to help

these investors turn their rental expense into a real asset with

high potential for long-term capital appreciation.”

Whole New Markets Increase Demand

But arguably the most important trend in McNally’s eyes is

the attraction of Asians and South Americans to TCI.

“The people buying and building here are much different

than when I first started years ago. Back then, it was mostly

wealthy finance folks from the US and Canada. Now we’ve seen

different groups starting to take a real interest and invest real

money. This is the most exciting long term positive force for TCI.”

For example, Marriott has announced a project in the famous

beach area of Grace Bay. According to McNally, “What most

people don’t know is that the project is backed by a group of

Venezuelans. Their economy, as with many in the area that relied

on commodities, is in rough shape. They are looking to diversify

and are bringing serious money to the area.”

How to Capitalize on these Trends

If you’re interested in learning how you too could benefit

from these trends, McNally is offering a free investment guide to

qualified investors. You’ll discover how to buy TCI property for as

much as 20% under market rate.

Call 1-888-534-9021

(or internationally: +1-416-900-3522)


Opposite page: The two-mile stretch of beach along Pine Cay’s north shore is indeed “one of the Caribbean’s last great untrammeled beaches.”

Above: This is an aerial view of Pine Cay as you approach from the east. The air strip neatly bisects the island.

Treasuring Pine Cay

The evolution of a private island community.

By Sara Kaufman, Manager, Forbes, Forbes & Forbes Realty Ltd.

Photos By Paradise Photography

Just as the true Caribbean pine is a tree unique to the Turks & Caicos, Pine Cay is one of the country’s

special treasures. Not only is it a rare stronghold of this endangered tree, but Pine Cay has a fascinating

history and a promising future. Since 1960 it has been a focus for development, and fifty years later it

stands apart as a bright and refreshing option for those wishing to indulge in true Caribbean relaxation!

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 57

Pine Cay is a beautiful 800 acre private island

tucked among the Caicos Cays, with a 2,800-foot

airstrip, sheltered marina, and boutique hotel, that

is home to an exclusive membership community.

Amazingly, it was settled in the 1970s when the Turks

& Caicos Islands were totally unknown, with no regular

transport of any kind in and out of the country, or

even between the various islands. Some of the original

owners on Pine Cay actually sailed in local sloops from

South Caicos—the international airport and TCI port of

entry at that time—to get to their property!

Until the 1990s, the entire country was an obscure

pinpoint on the global map, scarcely noticed even

within the Caribbean. Only about 7,000 local residents

populated the seven inhabited islands, with no tourist

industry or other businesses in place. The 1970s

were the heyday of aviation pioneers—private pilots

and low-budget airlines exploring remote nooks and

crannies throughout the Caribbean to find unspoiled

paradise. Both pilots and passengers were eager to live

in the sun and create a special home for themselves.

Early pioneers on Pine Cay relished the isolation

and tranquility of the island, along with the incredible

fishing, despite the many inconveniences. The challenge

of getting to the island was part of the fun and

adventure. The development of Pine Cay underwent

changes in concept, owners, and developers during

the 1970s as the reality of creating a private island

resort became more evident. These early concepts

ranged from a high density resort island of over 400

lots, with commercial sections, fly-in capacity, and

a major hotel compound to a very exclusive retreat

island for a small private group of families championing


The hardy folk who purchased property on Pine

Cay in the early days of its development included business

tycoons, European royalty, and various eccentrics

who together worked hard over many years to combine

the land, concepts, and investors into a feasible

plan. The solution adopted was to set up a home owners’

association with a serious set of rules to protect

and preserve the island. As a result, Pine Cay is the

longest established private member community in the

Caribbean and stands firmly on the original goals in

a world of change. Some rules survive to this day. For

instance, only indigenous plants are allowed and no

private pools, to conserve the precious freshwater lens

underground. Cars are not allowed — only electric golf

carts—to reduce noise and pollution. Yet in acknowledgment

of the modern world, the ban on telephones

and TV has been lifted!

Building in Turks & Caicos Islands, especially forty

years ago, was a great challenge as the country had

little infrastructure, all materials had to be shipped

to Pine Cay, and workers, supervisors, and technical

advisors had to be brought over as well. Despite this

logistical nightmare, members slowly built their family

homes and a secure private marina, completed a safe

airstrip, and created a boutique hotel with gourmet


Fishing–bonefishing in this case–is still a popular pastime in the shimmering flats off Pine Cay’s southern shores.

58 www.timespub.tc

Peaceful freshwater ponds dot the Pine Cay landscape; this one is quite close to the ocean shore.

The Pine Cay Homeowners Association is a very

active and hands-on member group, keeping the

vision of Pine Cay moving forward successfully while

retaining the magic that drew them all to the island.

The Meridian Club has achieved well-deserved

fame over the years, attracting stellar reviews for the

“old style Caribbean” appeal of the hotel, the peace

and privacy to be enjoyed, the attentive and friendly

local staff, and the natural beauty surrounding it. The

Meridian Club is a small and intimate resort with only

thirteen rooms, directly on the glorious beach with private

patios and superb dining. Villas are also for rent

on the island. Visit www.meridanclub.com to find out

more and book your Pine Cay experience.

The Meridian Club’s pool/patio area is steps from the glorious beach.

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 59

Clockwise from top left: Pine Cay’s arrival dock welcomes guests arriving by boat from the Leeward dock in Provo. Guests on Pine Cay are

provided hobie cat sailboats and kayaks to explore the surrounding waters. There is a 2,800 foot airstrip for members’ private planes. In spite

of the modern airstrip, this homey sign welcomes you.

60 www.timespub.tc

Accolades from famous travel writers extoll:

• “A delightful air of natural simplicity and barefoot

informality characterizes this enchanting escapist

gem where sophisticated island purists unwind along

one of the Caribbean’s last great untrammeled

beaches.” Hideaway Report

• “Mind-altering tranquility, as well as delicious

food, an attentive staff, and a perfect two-mile long

beach . . . The atmosphere here is old-money casual:

men are asked to wear collared shirts to dinner, but

shoes are optional.” Expedia Travels magazine

This unique capital asset is jointly owned by the

Pine Cay members, and in essence The Meridian Club

hotel has become the members’ country club for lunch,

the pool, the bar, the office conveniences and for elegant

evening dining. The beauty of the turquoise sea

floods your eyes as you sit on the pool deck under

a tiki palmtop shade, savouring a delectable meal—

amazement indeed that this is available three hours

from New York City! The accessibility of the Turks &

Caicos Islands is a huge factor in the growing popularity

of this destination, and yet Pine Cay remains calm

and untouched, unhurried, a rare treasure.

Admittedly, the image of Pine Cay over the years

was of a spartan, rustic, even snobbish private island

espousing a minimalist lifestyle and cherishing privacy

with fervor. Today, a beautiful boutique resort

and intriguing member families share their pristine

island and welcome visitors. The fishing, snorkeling,

kiteboarding, sailing, kayaking, biking, nature trails,

and fabulous beaches all offer splendid ways to spend

your days on Pine Cay. The members come from many

walks of life, creating a warm and eclectic community

that desired a retreat and respected environmental

ethics to ensure a pristine future. Now, early members,

second-generation members, and new members

from the USA, Canada, France, England, Germany, and

Switzerland share the same love and vision for Pine


Along with the natural environment, members

esteem Pine Cay’s social environment. The staff are

predominantly from nearby islands such as North

Caicos, and many have worked at Pine Cay for most

of their adult lives, building strong friendships with

member-families over the years. Pine Cay members

have set a very high standard for educating the staff

and supporting local heritage and traditional culture.

Formally, the Pine Cay Foundation was set up as a

charity organization to work across the Turks & Caicos

Forbes, Forbes & Forbes, Ltd.

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Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 61


Assisting domestic and international clients for over 30 years

Tel + 1 649 946 4602 • Fax + 1 649 946 4848

Email reception@savory-co.com • Website www.savory-co.com

Islands offering support for literacy, schools, computers,

and scholarships. The original science fair held on

Pine Cay for promising young students was a trailblazing

success and became a touchstone for foundation


Slowly change has come to Pine Cay—gracefully,

step by step—to complete a makeover across

the island. The daily challenges of the early days are

gone as the attentive staff makes sure every need is

met, both for hotel guests and homeowners. In the

past five years, The Meridian Club has seen a total

refresh to the pool, patio deck, and hotel rooms, with

new outdoor dining pavilions, an open lobby office

and shop, with the outdoor tennis courts resurfaced,

and a family beach picnic area completed. The island

power supply and infrastructure has been newly laid

and vastly increased, with solar hot water installation

totally functional.

The marina has been updated with a fleet of

Parker vessels acquired for transport to and from

Providenciales, and a bonefishing boat, snorkeling

excursion pontoon boat, and Kingfisher deep sea craft

ready to explore all the best fishing and snorkeling

spots. A full service marina is maintained, with boat

slips for vessels up to 30 feet in length. Near the airstrip,

covered boat storage is available off season and

mechanics are on hand to ensure your boat is always

ready to go.

A fabulous beachfront home was completed in

late 2014 and extensive modernizations and expansion

projects have been completed on many of the

older cottages. The original homes built on Pine Cay

typically included 1,200 to 1,500 square feet of living

space, and were mostly wooden pod designs raised on

pilings, with small kitchens (as most often members

ate together at the Meridian Club!) The most recent

home built is almost 4,000 square feet, an attractive

two story design with open plan, infinity-view living


The evolution of Pine Cay has led to the current

complementarity of the tiny (yet magnificent) boutique

resort hotel and the intriguing (yet slightly eccentric)

membership community of homeowners who amicably

share the island. This is a unique development,

whereby 600 acres and all capital assets are under

shared ownership, yet members hold their own properties

under separate title. Decisions for the island are

taken together at the PCHA’s annual general meeting,

with many owners on island to actively engage in the

62 www.timespub.tc

Seaquester, Pine Cay

Twenty-five years ago, the owners of this hidden gem sought a large shoreline property on a tranquil beach with warm turquoise waters offering

serenity. With 500 feet of frontage and 5.6 acres, this home site is perfect for expanding the family compound or in its current form as a lovingly

maintained 2 bedroom island retreat with interior space totaling 1,200 sq. ft. and over 600 sq. ft. wrap around private terrace complemented on

the exterior areas by thoughtful indigenous-style landscaping and resident lime trees. Offered fully furnished, it has been updated throughout and

is in move-in condition.

Offered at $3,200,000 | turksandcaicosSIR.com | MLS# 1500103

Dee Agingu

t 649.946.4474 c 649.231.3534


Nina Siegenthaler

t 649.946.4474 c 649.231.0707


Koala Run, Pine Cay

Koala Run is a meticulously maintained home with 300’ of frontage on the Channel with 1,750 SF of indoor living space, including three bedrooms

and three bathrooms, as well as, 1,000 SF of private terrace and raised viewing platform for the outdoor living we all crave here on the islands.

On entering Koala Run, your body and mind immediately relaxes to match the peace and tranquility of the spectacular turquoise ocean views.

Each of the three bedrooms plus the open plan living/dining/kitchen areas all enjoy water views. The home is offered fully furnished and equipped

as a turn-key home including inflatable 6 person Dinghy with new engine, 2 bicycles, 3 kayaks with safety equipment, 2 golf carts, and fishing gear.

Imelda Burke

t 649.946.4474 c 649.242.1241


Offered at $1,049,000


MLS# 1500675

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 63

This aerial shot shows the lovely curve of Pine Cay’s beach.

discussion. Christmas and Easter vacations bring most

families to the island, opening doors to friendships

that last generations and span continents.

The security of your investment in property

on Pine Cay is grounded in the limited membership

devoted to assuring long term protection of this pristine

natural island. In context of Turks & Caicos Islands

real estate, Pine Cay has held its value well. While purchasing

property on Pine Cay entails membership in the

community and the associated financial obligations, it

also secures long term investment value—ownership

within an 800 acre private Caribbean island, with 600

acres of open space, is a rare treasure. The amenities

and staff of The Meridian Club are a very positive factor

in the long term investment value of property.

Come to visit Pine Cay to experience it for yourself—its

charm will astound you. In uncertain times,

well-placed property has always been a solid investment

choice and when you walk the sparkling beach

along the turquoise shoreline in quiet seclusion, you

will realize the true value is priceless.

Homes and properties for sale on Pine Cay range

from a woodland interior lot of five acres offered at

$395,000 to the ultimate 14 acre beachfront estate

with small cottage and space for a new modern home

offered at $8.2 million. Vacant land, older cottages,

and renovated homes are all available at a wide range

of prices. Joining the membership community is a process

quite different to a normal real estate purchase,

yet it reflects the unique “lifestyle” on offer. Meeting

many members and visiting the island often ensures

mutual compatibility and keeps Pine Cay in the hands of a like-minded group of families with agreed goals. It

is a long term decision for your family through generations, and a remarkable chance to preserve this unique

island paradise. a

Sara Kaufman moved to the Turks & Caicos Islands in 1994 after fifteen years in Europe as a top management

consultant. She lives in Middle Caicos and was one of the original developers

of the Blue Horizon Resort. Sara writes frequent articles and e-newsletters

featuring real estate information about Turks & Caicos published internationally.

As manager of Forbes, Forbes & Forbes Ltd., a company created to sell

real estate “Go Beyond Provo,” Sara began a dedicated property sales program

for Pine Cay in 2005 and has sold most of the properties on island

since that time. The company offers full real estate services both for members

selling their properties on island and as buyers-representative for persons

wishing to investigate property and membership opportunities on Pine Cay.

Visit www.pinecayrealty.com for island information and current property

listings available through Forbes, Forbes & Forbes Ltd. Contact Sara at

info@pinecayrealty.com or call (649) 231-4884.

64 www.timespub.tc


newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

front street, p.o. box 188, grand turk, turks & caicos islands, bwi

tel 649 946 2160 • fax 649 946 2160 • email info@tcmuseum.org • web www.tcmuseum.org

A marine archaeologist examines the exposed hull remains of the wreck thought to be the slave ship Trouvadore, one of the Museum’s

“unfinished stories.”

Fill in the Blanks

By Dr. Donald H. Keith, President, Turks & Caicos National Museum Foundation

This issue of the Astrolabe contains two good examples of the “two-way street” type of articles we like to publish. On

one hand they offer entertaining and instructive stories stemming from research conducted by historians, archaeologists,

archival researchers, and other authorities. On the other hand they acknowledge that the stories are often not

complete, that pieces of the puzzle are still missing, and encourage readers to get involved and help fill in the blanks.

The story of the slave ship Trouvadore is one that should by now be familiar to our readers. The Museum has

been piecing it together for the last 22 years and we’re still at it. In the “Unfinished Story” interview on the next

page, filmmakers Richard Coberly and Veronica Veerkamp talk about what you can do to help us finish “The Search

for Trouvadore” documentary, and why the film is a critical part of the research.

Another example of a two-way street approach is Peter Marshall’s article. I recently discovered that Peter, a

colleague for at least 35 years, has a unique and extensive collection of stamps, postcards, envelopes, and even

“Ham” radio QSL cards from the TCI. When he learned of our common interest in these Islands, he was kind enough

to share images of items in his collection as well as his perceptions about their significance. His study of the postal

history of the TCI has raised questions that he hopes local knowledge can answer.

Sherlin Williams’ article about Neal Coverley, Grand Turk’s turn of the century “postcard man,” is a nice complement

to Peter’s, revealing another aspect of postal history from the perspective of the postcard producer!

With hurricane season safely behind us and the “High Season” fast approaching, the Museum is gearing up

with new exhibits, new merchandise in the shop, and new educational programs for students on Grand Turk and

Providenciales. a

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 65

astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Videographer Fujio Watanabe shoots surface operations off East Caicos.

An Unfinished Story

Trouvadore documentary is over 13 years in the making.

By Dr. Donald H. Keith ~ Photos By Windward Media

Prologue: In 1993 Museum Founder Grethe Seim and Dr. Donald Keith discovered a document in the

Smithsonian Institution that set off a large-scale, long-term research project: the amazing but true story

of the slave ship Trouvadore. The Astrolabe has carried articles and updates following this project for

more than a decade, and it continues to this day. In all probability it will continue for decades.

Now what the project needs most is exposure. Not only exposure to the public, but also to other

researchers in other lands with access to other records and resources that could help us find the missing


66 www.timespub.tc

astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Story. The best way to accomplish that is with a documentary

video. In the 21st century the video medium is

what we turn to first for entertainment, to find the answer

to a question, or get a message out.

Recent publicity about discoveries of possible slave

shipwrecks in South Africa, the Florida Keys, and the

Bahamas have generated more public awareness of the

part slave ships played in the African Diaspora. Richard

Coberly (RC) and Veronica Veerkamp (VV) are documentary

producers with Windward Media in Houston, Texas,

who have been researching and filming the Museum’s

Search for Trouvadore Project from the beginning.

In a recent interview with Museum Director Pat

Saxton, they explained how the Trouvadore documentary

film project came about and what it’s going to take to

make it a reality.

Q: When did you first get the idea to make a documentary

about the Trouvadore story?

A: VV: I think it started in the late 1990s when we went to

interview Dr. Toni Carrell at Ships of Discovery in Corpus

Christi. We were doing a documentary film on the discovery

and excavation of La Belle, a ship French explorer La

Salle lost off the coast of Texas in 1686. Dr. Carrell was

one of the archaeologists working on the project at the

time. She mentioned her colleagues had recently discovered

the story of a long-forgotten slave ship in the TCI

that might be even more enthralling, and that they were

planning to look for it.

Q: And that was the Trouvadore?

A: VV: Yes, although that’s just one of the ways it’s

spelled in in the dispatches between Grand Turk and

Nassau, “Trovadore,” “Traubadore,” “Travadore,”

“Troubadour,” etc. Its identity and basic information were

murky because the trans-Atlantic slave trade had been

banned by that time. Secrecy was paramount, so ships

involved in the trade worked hard to hide or disguise

their origins, ownership, and identities. They changed

names frequently and often carried multiple captains,

logs, and sets of papers to support different registrations

and nationalities.

Q: When did you actually start shooting for the film?

A: RC: We started shooting in TCI in 2002, but the first

expedition footage was shot in 2004, so we’ve been at it

for about 13 years, on and off.

From top: Interviewees Veronica Veerkamp and Richard Coberly of

Windward Media share their thoughts on making a documentary

about the slave ship Trouvadore.

Shooting a documentary isn’t cheap, particularly when it involves

filming not only on and under the water, but above it as well!

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 67

astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Q: Did you ever have any tense moments

shooting out in the field?

A: VV: No, not really what you could call tense.

Anxious perhaps.

RC: Well, there was the time when we had

to make a night crossing of the Turks Island

Passage with three 15-foot skiffs and Hurricane

Francis coming in. Then the government sent

all non-residents out until the storm passed.

Of course we had to pack all our camera gear

and fly home, then return after three days to

resume shooting. Given all the gear we require,

that was quite a chore, but certainly better than

the alternative.

VV: Oh yeah, and there was the time that

we were looking for a safe overnight anchorage

and the Caicos Explorer got “embayed” in

Jacksonville Cut in a minefield of coral heads

just under the surface. The whole expedition

could have ended right then and there if the

Captain had made a single false move.

RC: Then the time two of the team members

flipped the ship’s dingy while attempting to

establish a safe passage over the reef. That one

really had the potential for disaster. We lost

some equipment, but amazingly no one was


VV: Don’t forget the “Mag Boys” from Southeast

Archaeological Research. Not only did their magnetometer

get attacked by a barracuda, but the first day out on

the survey, they drowned their computer. Fortunately one

of our camera operators had a laptop to loan them for the

duration of the survey.

Q: How long did the field work take?

A: VV: It took years! After a couple of reconnaissance

trips to East Caicos, which is uninhabited, it was clear

that we would all have to work off a ship. So in 2004,

2006, and 2008, we chartered the live-aboard dive boat

Turks & Caicos Explorer to serve as our “mother ship”.

Anchored outside the reef off Breezy Point, we filmed as

they searched the whole north coast of East Caicos, which

was known to be littered with shipwreck material.

Q: So, when did they actually discover the Trouvadore?

A: RC: Well, that’s kind of a funny story. When we

From top: The reef that guards the site had to be crossed twice each day—not

always with success!

All elements of the project were filmed, including this attempt to repair a

drowned laptop computer.

returned to East Caicos after Hurricane Francis in 2004,

one of the team members who was dodging coral heads

while being towed behind a small boat spotted “something

that didn’t look right.” Divers were dispatched

immediately to check it out, and after a cursory examination

they realized it was the remains of an old wooden

ship. At the time, we thought it was an excellent candidate

for being the remains of Trouvadore, but we called it

the “Black Rock Wreck” because of its location. It took two

more expeditions to fully examine the site, and eliminate

all the other possibilities.

Q: What did you think the first time you saw the Black

Rock Wreck underwater?

A: RC: There wasn’t much to see at first, just a pile of

seaweed-encrusted rocks—the ballast stones that every

wooden sailing ship carried in its belly. It took weeks of

excavation before you could clearly see the hull structure

which had been buried in the sand.

68 www.timespub.tc

astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Q: Just to play the Devil’s Advocate, how do you know

it was the right ship?

A: VV: Well, there was no “smoking gun” like a big brass

ship’s bell with “Slave Ship Trouvadore” written on it—

that only happens in the movies! This was more of a

Sherlock Holmes type of investigation. According to the

archeologists, this was the only wreck on the North coast

of East Caicos that had the right location, artifacts, and

construction characteristics.

Q. What’s the suspected connection between the

Trouvadore and modern-day Turks & Caicos Islanders?

A: RC: We know from the records that 196 Africans

onboard Trouvadore survived the wrecking at Breezy

Point. They were rescued and freed by British authorities,

and after a short “apprenticeship” in local trades, were

given small plots of Crown land in the Caicos Islands to

live on and farm. We believe the area they settled is now

known as Bambarra on Middle Caicos, and their descendants

live there to this day.

be compared with these African databases to find out

exactly where their ancestors came from.

Q: Let’s talk about the film. What happened when the

announcement was made about the discovery of the

Trouvadore in 2008?

A: RC: It went all over the world. Someone called excitedly

one morning to ask if I had seen the news articles

about it on the Internet. I was amazed at the international

interest, even in China. There were nearly 100 articles in

multiple languages, with tens of millions of hits!

VV: Of course, we thought with all that interest it should

be a shoo-in to get funding for the documentary, but

interest does not always translate into underwriting.

Q: How sure can you be sure that there is a connection

between Trouvadore, Bambara in Africa, and

Bambarra on Middle Caicos?

A: VV: Well, what constitutes proof? There’s the similar

place names, to start with. The first Africans in the Caicos

Islands came down from Georgia and Florida after the US

War of Independence in the 1790s. It’s unlikely that they

would have retained the memory of place names or language

families in Africa—but the people on Trouvadore

could have.

We also have local oral tradition. For example, former

TCI Director of Culture David Bowen spent time as a boy

with his great-grandmother in Bambarra, and he recalls

her talking about her grandmother coming from a slave

ship wreck.

Q: What about DNA studies? Couldn’t they help

resolve the origin of the people of Bambarra?

A: VV: Absolutely! Modern medical science has provided

all of us with a way—which until now was impossible—to

establish incontrovertible connections with our origins

and distant relatives. Because humanity originated in

Africa, a tremendous amount of DNA research has been

done there and now huge databases exist. DNA samples

from Africans living on this side of the Atlantic can

Capt. Jean-Francois Chabot shoots the wreck site underwater.

Q: What does a documentary like this cost to produce

and how long does it take?

A: RC: Documentary production isn’t a one-step process.

Every element requires funding of different amounts and

at different times, especially when you have to follow the

process of the archaeology and research. After the actual

expedition shooting is done, the rest of the story must

be written and filmed, edited, and distributed. These are

the things that truly cost the most, and can range from

$200,000 to more than $1,000,000, depending on how

the film is structured. In the case of the Trouvadore project,

all the elements after the expeditions have yet to be

funded and filmed.

Q: Why is it so important to make a documentary film

about the Trouvadore story? Hasn’t it already been


Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 69

astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Search for Trouvadore Project

To view videos about the Search for Trouvadore

Project, go to:



For more information or to contribute to the production

of the Trouvadore documentary contact:

In the Turks & Caicos:

Patricia P. Saxton, Director

Turks & Caicos National Museum Foundation



VOI: 505-216-1795 •Cell: 649-231-1891

For US taxpayers, your support is tax deductible

when made through the Friends of the Turks &

Caicos National Museum Foundation:

Dr. Donald H. Keith, President

Friends of the Turks & Caicos National Museum


39 Condesa Road

Santa Fe, NM, 87508


Cell: 361-779-3861 • Office: 505-466-2240

Among the scores of people involved in the research, excavation, and

filming of the “Search for Trouvadore” is this team of archaeologists,

videographers, and crew members of the Turks & Caicos Explorer

during the 2008 season.

A: RC: Documentary films typically reach the largest possible

audience, more than any other medium, including

magazines, books, or any of the other “traditional” ways

of getting the word out. And it isn’t just getting the word

out, it’s what the word is. It isn’t just one story . . . it’s

many stories.

Q: And how do you intend to tell the Trouvadore


A: RC: Recently there has been increasing interest in

“slave ship archeology” but very few documentaries have

been made on the subject. People are surprised to learn

that only a handful have ever been found and studied,

and Trouvadore is the first to actually be carrying slaves

at the time it wrecked. Given the nature of the African

slave trade, being able to trace anyone’s lineage directly

back to their ancestral homelands is almost unheard of.

VV: Of course, many films have been made about the

infamous “Middle Passage,” and how wrong the institution

of slavery was in the first place, but the Trouvadore

story is different.

70 www.timespub.tc

astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Q: Different? How do you mean?

A: VV: It’s the story of a voyage that ended in shipwreck,

but for the Africans on board it wasn’t a tragedy, it was

deliverance! British subjects in the Caicos Islands resisted

the handsome bribes offered by the Spanish captain, and

reported the wreck to the proper authorities who arrested

the captain and crew and freed the Africans.

It’s the story of how an accidental discovery of an

old letter in the Smithsonian led to a shipwreck with a

direct connection to the modern-day inhabitants of a tiny

settlement on Middle Caicos. It tells why museums and

the artifacts and records they preserve in perpetuity are

so important: human memory is short and inaccurate.

Q: So you’ve been working on this for 13 years?!

Where did the funding come from all that time?

A: VV: Working closely with the TC National Museum

and Ships of Discovery, we’ve had a variety of supporters

over the years. In fact, there’s been a lot of interest and

support from outside the TCI. We received grants from

the US National Science Foundation and NOAA, and the

Dayton, Teddy, and San Francisco Foundations, among

others. In the TCI we got support from the Hotel & Tourist

Association, the Tourist Board, the Hartling Group, the

Krieble Foundation, the TCI Conservation Fund, Mr. John

M. Frey, and others.

Q: So what’s next?

A: RC: Right now we’re working with distributors from

Australia and Canada to partner with international production

companies who would participate in funding and

broadcasting the first class documentary that the “Search

for Trouvadore” deserves.

VV: Even before any major funding can come from international

broadcast partners, the documentary still must

raise funds to produce both the material for promoting

the project, and to make sure the quality of the production

is as high as possible. Even though the Trouvadore

story is an international one, at its core, it really is about

the people of the TCI who we hope will continue to support

the project, and help us finish their story. a

Museum matters

Anniversary celebration

In November 2015, the Turks & Caicos National

Museum will celebrate the 24th anniversary of the

day we first opened our doors. We like to think that

the Museum’s Founder, Mrs. Grethe Seim would

be proud of what we have accomplished. A glance

backward over the last five years shows that we have

come a long way.

In 2015 we

received a donation

from HE Governor


office for a new

exhibit showcasing

a 19th century

colonial office (at

left). The Museum closed from September 1–15 so

we could install that exhibit and upgrade others. The

John Glenn exhibit now is in a brighter room, with

new information about the US bases and the men

who served in TCI. We thank all of the ex-servicemen

who donated their photos, memorabilia and stories.

Other new additions are the information boards and

“windows” into the Salt Industry, featuring a large

scale model of a salina windmill, photos, and artefacts.

Neil Saxton and Charles Kesnel worked diligently

to make sure we opened on September 16. Along the

way they had the usual surprises: rotten wood, termites

and crazy electrical wiring. Remodeling a house

which is itself an almost 200 year old artifact isn’t

easy. But our small, mighty team of workers overcame

the obstacles and our new exhibits are wonderful. We

will be adding plaques naming the past governors

and premiers along with more photography of the

Queen’s visits. Also new is that all visitors will now

receive a guide to the upstairs, explaining the exhibits

along with a bit of history about Guinep House.

Everything will be in place for the grand opening

in mid-November 2015 to kick off our anniversary!

HE Governor Beckingham will do the honors, and it

will be an event for members and supporters. a

Story & Photos By Museum Director Pat Saxton

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 71

astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

A range of early stamps is shown all used together on one postcard in 1927.

The Original “Snail Mail”

A glimpse at the postal history of the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Story & Photos By Peter Marshall

Many people the world over have never heard of the Turks & Caicos Islands. But among philatelists (a

posh word for stamp collectors, myself included), the Islands are famous for the colourful, diverse postage

stamps they issue.

Until the salt-raking stamps were introduced it was only the postcards that told anything about what

could be found in these islands. My own interest gradually became more focused on the postcards and

envelopes themselves, adding to the history of the Islands. I have not found any picture postcard before

1900. Many, if not most, were sent by visitors, and are more likely to be found abroad, as indeed are

most stamps and envelopes.

72 www.timespub.tc

astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

I imagine that few readers of

the Astrolabe can remember stamps

much further back than 1967 when

the Turks Islands celebrated the

100th Anniversary of their “separation”

from the Bahamas. Interestingly,

up to 1900, TCI stamps carried the

Turks Islands name only and thereafter,

Turks and Caicos Islands. Before

1867 there were no stamps but just a

simple postmark to show that postage

had been paid. Given the relatively

small population of the Islands, it

was almost inevitable that properly

used stamps would be scarcer than

those unfranked. As years advanced,

stamps became more and more

important as revenue generators for

the Islands through stamp collectors

rather than just postal use.

There were half a dozen other

issues up until the time of the present

monarch but less than 15 in total

in nearly 90 years before then, and

some of those included stamps for

events such as coronations, victory,


When did they think of introducing

the local postage rate of ¼d?

Perhaps during 1909 when the next

design, showing a portrait of King

Edward VII, was issued but without

that value. The ¼d “cactus” design

came out the following year. Was it a

trial overprint or just a bogus stamp?

Does any reader have an old family

album with perhaps a letter or card

tucked away, which was delivered

with that stamp applied? This is an

example of where the philatelist

often has to rely on local knowledge,

and the longer one does not ask the

question, the less likely that we will

know. Can YOU help?

The customs house produces

another query for YOU! OHMS cor-

Some later issues are shown here, including the George V Jubilee, value across which has

been perforated “SPECIMEN”.

There is no lack of material to interest the serious philatelist. These early “Provisional” overprint

issues of 1881 were introduced as a stop-gap to suit the postal rates of 1881 before the

new stamps were issued in 1882.

Even from early days, most stamps, pre-paid postcards, and pre-paid envelopes were issued to

other nations as “samples” with the word “specimen” added, and one or two applied their own

additional marks (as Portugal applied “Ultramar” to the far right stamp). The lovely “badge of

the colony” stamps, issued at the turn of the 19th century, also had a provisional overprint

of ¼d on its ½d value. These have been assumed not to be genuine postal stamps, but I have

a letter from the late John Challis, a specialist in the study of the TCI, that they were “genuine”

rather than a philatelic issue. The sending of mail by a particular passing ship is often

written or stamped on the card or envelope, but the stamp shown on the far left has the “SS

SEMINOLE” cancelled across the stamp itself.

This plain pre-stamped card was sent “folded” with a reply card attached, already prepaid,

which was valid in any country. This, together with that postcard, begins to show there is

much more to postal history than the individual stamps. Stamps with the badge of the colony

were significant since these were the first stamps that acknowledge that people inhabit the

Caicos Islands as well as the Turks Islands.

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 73

astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Left: Shown here is the back of an envelope sent to Mr. I. Levina in 1939 which had been opened by the wartime censor en route to Montreal.

Apart from bearing one of two types of the “Cable & Wireless” markings (indifferently applied inverted), it has something like the badge of

the colony pre-printed on the envelope’s back flap. Or is it a family crest? If so, are any members of the family reading this?

Right: This OHMS envelope has “Customs House Turks Islands” stamped on it. When was that in use? Does the rubber stamp still exist?

Above: VP5BF is the call sign that belonged to Ken Penchoen, South Caicos, and was sent to

the man with whom he had made radio contact. VP5AA was Hamilton Robinson, VP5DC Bud

(Lorne) Creech, and VP5PH Seth Hodson.

Left: This is the very characterful card VP 5BB. I wonder whether any of Bert Bethelsen’s relations,

or those of others, are still present in the Islands?

respondence was often stamped with an oval marked

“Postmaster Turks Islands,” usually dated in the centre,

but the one above has “Customs House Turks Islands.”

When was that in use (other than the date shown)? Does

the rubber stamp still exist, perhaps with the postmaster?

Much more recently (only 50 or so years ago!),

there was another counterpart to the postcard—ham

radio cards identifying individually owned, non-commercial

radio transmitters, by which communication was

instantaneous, long before the days of the Internet. The

interest I have in these is that they are from residents

and thus include people’s names. All ham radios in the

TCI had call signs beginning with VP5.

Envelopes to or from the following salt merchants

are also in my album: Harriott Salt, George Frith, Alfred

Stubbs, and Neale Coverley. I wonder if relations of those

who worked there are still resident. And what about Oscar

Greg, Edward Cameron (Comissioner at Government

House) or Postmaster T. Lindsay Smith, in the 1920s?

If YOU should find something similar to any of

the items mentioned in the article, perhaps lurking at

the bottom of an old drawer, I would be delighted to

hear from you. I can either be contacted at my e-mail

(ar.01177@yahoo.co.uk) or through the Museum (info@

tcmuseum.org). Help us reconstruct the postal history of

the TCI! a

74 www.timespub.tc

astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

In this popular Edmond Neale Coverley postcard, “Cocoanuts and Guinea Corn,” the child in the foreground is Neal’s oldest son, Litton Flavious

Boller Coverley.

Grand Turk’s Postcard Man

Meet Edmond Neale Coverley.

By Sherlin Willams ~ Illustrations Turks & Caicos National Museum Collection

Edmond Neale Coverley was born on Grand Turk to Flavious Coverley, an Englishman, and Olivia Firth,

a young lady of the wealthy Frith salt merchant clan. Neal, as he was affectionately called, and his wife

Minimia Elodie Astwood, lived with their children in their two story home on Middle Street, directly behind

present-day Dots Enterprise.

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 75

astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Neale became a successful entrepreneur and businessman

on Grand Turk, participating in a wide range of

enterprises and acquiring a broad spectrum of skills. He

owned and operated a store on Front Street, located in

the building now occupied by the Seventh Day Adventist

Church, selling a large variety of items ranging from groceries

to boat anchors! He also did very well buying and

scrapping wrecked ships.

At the back of the store Neale had a workshop where

he made shell products for export, repaired watches, and

pulled teeth (ouch!). A good example of his ingenuity was

the windmill he built to power some of his tools. The

store also contained his photography studio and darkroom—elements

of the profession that made him famous.

The fact that Neale was so good and successful at so

many things shows that he was extraordinarily talented.

And whilst it’s likely that he was not trained at a photography

institute as I was, his photography is in every

respect that of a trained professional photographer.

Likewise, Neale captured the essence of our salt industry

era where none other came close.

Neale was also a bullish entrepreneur. When the government

was looking for persons interested in a scheme

to diversity the island’s economy producing cooking oil

from coconuts, Neale stepped up to the plate and began

operating a coconut plantation at Little Bluff. The venture

flourished for a while until it fell prey to a plant disease

that wiped the trees out.

Neale was the island’s number one cricket fan. His

passion for the sport led him to sponsor a cricket team

that competed with the Police and Cable & Wireless teams.

His business success and other ventures seemed to enrich

him spiritually; he was a member of the Anglican Church,

but regularly visited the Baptist and Methodist churches.

This was at a time when those denominations were not

popular amongst Salt Island elites.

In the wake of the devastating July 1926 hurricanes,

Neale gave financial assistance to many whose homes

were damaged or lost their roofs. He passed away the

next year at age fifty. His tomb is one of the first visitors

to St. Thomas’s Church will see after entering the main


The Postcard Man

Neale’s turn of the twentieth century postcards covering a

This is a photo of Neale “The Postcard Man” and Minimia Coverley.

Middle: In “Holiday – Grand Turk,” note the photographers in the lower

left corner, the Victoria Library on the right, and the large mounds of

salt in the background.

Bottom: In “Barreling Salt for Export,” note the perfect composition:

salt, barrels, donkey cart, and ships in background.

76 www.timespub.tc

astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

In “Lighthouse Grand Turk,” note the man on the walkway at the top

of the tower with a telescope!

cross-section of life on Grand Turk have given us some of

the best memories of the Salt Islands during their heyday.

Apparently he began making black-and-white and sepia

tone postcards in the 1890s. His famous “Holiday Grand

Turk,” “Lighthouse Grand Turk,” “Barrelling Salt,” and

other postcards indicate that he took his photography to

a higher level by moving away from sepia tones and into

the new colour tones.

Some authors have stated that Neale was the photographer

for the “Holiday Grand Turk” postcard taken

on Queen Victoria’s fiftieth birthday or during her Silver

Jubilee celebration, because the crowd seems to be

gathering at the Victoria Library on the right side of the

photograph. My research revealed that Neale was born

in 1877. Queen Victoria was born in 1819 and ascended

to the throne in 1837. Her fiftieth birthday celebration

would have been held in 1869, before Neale was born,

and her Silver Jubilee would have been in 1887, when

Neale was age ten. Although it is possible that a tenyear-old

boy could have accomplished this, I think it was

highly unlikely. Photographic equipment in those days

was very expensive and probably beyond the reach of

such a young man.

We know the Victoria Library on Grand Turk was built

over a period of two years and dedicated in her honor in

1889, when Neale was age twenty-one. The Queen died

in 1901, when Neale was age twenty-four. Therefore, it

is only reasonable to conclude that that this great photo

was taken either at the Library’s official opening or upon

her death, by which time he would have acquired the

expertise, experience and equipment. But I’m inclined to

believe that it was taken in 1901, when the great Queen

passed away.

Notice that there are other photographers in the

photo. These are amateurs. When taking in a large scene

a professional would always get an elevated perspective,

as Neale has done here. His postcard titled “Barreling Salt

for Export” tells me that although he was almost certainly

self-taught, his work was of professional quality. Looking

at this picture, it is easy to tell that the mule-cart and

driver are posed. The ship is in the perfect position. The

subject, salt, is in the foreground along with salt workers:

perfect! The only improvement a photographer of today

might make would be to include a little action. We can do

so nowadays because we have cameras with high shutter

speeds capable of freezing action—something not

available to Neale. That is why this picture appears to be

unanimated. But its overall qualities are so strong most

viewers would hardly notice. a

The author would like to thank the Coverley family and

friends for their valuable assistance in providing information

on Mr. Edmond Neale Coverley, especially Mr.

Carl Coverley, Neale’s grandson, and the late Mr. Oswald

“King Oz” Francis, friend of the family.

Join the Museum

Become a Member and receive a year’s subscription

to Times of the Islands (which includes Astrolabe),

free admission to the Museum, and a Members’

Discount in the Museum Shop.

Senior (62+) $35 • Individual $50

Family/Friend $100

Sponsor $250• Contributor $500 • Partner $750

To join*, send name, address, email, and type of

membership, along with cheque or money order

payable to “Turks & Caicos National Museum” to:

Friends of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

39 Condesa Road

Santa Fe, NM 87508 USA

Or, visit:


*For U.S. residents, support of the Museum is tax-deductible via

Friends of the Turks & Caicos National Museum, Attn: Donald H.

Keith, 39 Condesa Road, Santa Fe NM 87508, our affiliated institution

and registered 501 (c) (3).

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 77

astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Museum matters

Gift shop prepares for the season

The TCNM team is gearing up for the busy season with

lots of new gift shop items. Look for our new collection

of Dune Jewelry, made exclusively for the Museum.

Sterling silver necklaces, rings, bangles and earrings,

all with a touch of sand from Governor’s Beach, make

lovely gifts for someone special.

Our motto, “Take some history home with you,”

doesn’t stop there. We have replicas of the salt windmill,

brass navigational ornaments and handmade

ornaments filled with sea glass, along with flags and

handmade magnets. And of course we continue to

stock baskets from North and Middle Caicos, along with

handmade dolls dressed in the TCI native costume.

Our book department is full of enthralling volumes

on slavery, cuisine, diving, and island living. And don’t

forget those good children on your list with plush donkeys

that actually bray, floppy flamingos, pirate books,

kits to make a “ship in a bottle,” and our famous book

Where is Simon, Sandy?

From tasty culinary salts and relaxing bath salts

produced on Salt Cay to new Christmas ornaments, fabulous

books, and loads of children’s items—make sure

you stop at the Guinep House Gift Shop for all of your

Christmas shopping.

TCI Speaker of the House Hon. Robert Hall, explained the intricacies

of government to Children’s Camp participants.

Children’s summer camp

This year we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the

Children’s Club! A huge thank-you to 101.9FM and TCI

Weekly News for getting the word out about the 2015

Children’s Summer Camp, which was well attended.

Educational outings kept our 8–12 year-olds smiling and

inquiring as we started camp on August 24. With four

days to see Grand Turk, the campers set out by foot,

trolley and boat. On the first day they learned about our

Museum and its Botanical and Cultural Garden. The next

day, Governor’s wife Jill Beckingham opened her historic

home at Waterloo for us to visit. Thank you to Island

Trams for transporting the children to and fro.

On the third day, we were invited to the House of

Assembly by Hon. Robert Hall, Speaker of the House, to

learn all about the TCI Government. On the fourth day

we walked along Front Street to meet and talk with the

owners and staff members of various local businesses.

The kids learned a lot from Grand Turk Divers, Blue Water

Divers, Turks Head Inn, Osprey Hotel, LIME and finished

off with cookies from the Coral Café! Weather delayed our

annual Gibbs Cay outing until September 26, but we had

a great time. Thanks to Oasis Divers for supplying the

boat rides!

The Children’s Camp would not have been a success

without the assistance of the Museum staff: Fred, Cecile,

Nikki and Pat, along with DEMA volunteers B Naqqi Manco

and Katharine Hart. The camp is free and is supported by

the proceeds from Donna Seim’s book Where is Simon,

Sandy? This year we have a new manager, Lavena A.

“Angel” Ben and she brought new and exciting ideas!

We are looking forward to our Children’s Club Saturday

Camps starting in October. a

Story & Photos By Museum Director Pat Saxton

78 www.timespub.tc

faces and places

With main sponsorship from The Wine Cellar, Turquoise Distribution, and Crystal Water, event-goers enjoyed a fun Saturday with great company

and entertainment by Josh Shapiro from New York City and Karen Bizzell from the UK. Pauline Barclay along with Hazel Hegewald and

their committee worked hard to put a seamless event together with the help of the great staff at Asú Beach Restaurant at the Alexandra Resort.

Third Annual Ladies Hat Luncheon

The annual fundraiser was held on November 14, 2015, raising $20,000 for local children’s education. It was

attended by hat-conscious ladies of the Turks & Caicos Islands, as well as regular visitors. The location was the new

Asú Beach Restaurant at the Alexandra Resort on Grace Bay Beach. There were fabulous prizes for Best Hat, Most

Creative Hat, and Wow Factor Ensemble.

By Claire Parrish ~ Photography Paradise Photography, www.myparadisephoto.com

Some of the country’s men joined the event taking on roles including “Champagne chaperones,” judges, MC, and DJ. Jewelry designer Margo

Manhatton flew in from New York City for her second year at the luncheon, donating a piece of her jewelry.

Debbie Travin of New York’s Resident magazine attended to cover the event, seen above centre with organiser Pauline Barclay.

Corporate tables, single tickets, along with silent and live auctions, raised the $20,000 for children’s education. Hat judges were presided

over by the Honourable Chief Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale. Politicians present included the Honourable Akierra Mary Deanne Missick and

the Honourable Josephine Olivia Connolly.

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 79

Crossing Africa:

the journey begins

Visit Turks Kebab restaurant in Provo,

and you’ll likely find owner Zemar Stingl

talking about her son Mario Rigby. Not

only is the 30 year old “Renaissance Man”

her pride and joy, but he is also walking

from Cape Town, South Africa to Cairo,

Egypt. One gets the sense that Blue

Hills-born Zemar is sharing the journey

vicariously with her son as he documents

the experience on social media.

Crossing Africa is a once-in-a-lifetime

expedition to trek across the entire

African continent by foot and paddle

boat. It is a rigorous two year journey

that will cover uncharted terrain through twelve countries

in Africa. Every moment will be photographed,

blogged, then made into a documentary. The trek will

showcase the struggles endured in unforgiving environments

such as deserts, jungles, and areas of civil unrest.

Mario promises to share regular updates with readers of

Times of the Islands as the journey progresses.

According to Mario, the purpose of his mission is to

follow the traces of his ancestors in what is a dangerous

and mysterious terrain. It was an African tradition for

boys to spend 3 to 5 years alone in the “bush,” learning

to survive, eventually emerging as men. Mario wants to

share the raw beauty and keep readers/viewers entertained

with the unexpected circumstances that he will

find along the way!

At the same time, he wants to test the boundaries

of human capabilities. He believes that with excellent

planning and day-by-day goal setting, almost anything

is possible. He says, “The only way to truly know who

you are is to challenge yourself and push your body and

mind to breaking points. In such circumstances, your

true character, strength, and weakness will be revealed.

This adventure will allow me to see life as it was meant

to be — free, miraculous, and full of grandeur.”

At press time, Mario plans to have left Toronto on

November 24, 2015 to travel to Africa for several weeks

of training prior to the trek’s official start. He calculates

that the total distance for the crossing is 12,000 km.

His intentions are to travel solo, although he welcomes

anyone who would like to join him for short durations.

He expects to be sleeping/eating at the welcoming

homes of strangers, camping in the wild, and staying

with charitable organizations along the route.

Over the summer, besides working feverishly on

expedition preparations ranging from paperwork to

gear gathering and testing to contacting schools he

plans to visit along the way, Mario, a personal trainer,

also trained his eight clients, six days a week. Just prior

to leaving for Africa, Mario took a training walk from

Toronto to Montreal in 15 days, covering over 550 km

and carrying everything he needed in his pack.

Ask Zemar and she is not surprised at this the latest

of her son’s goals. He is also an accomplished personal

trainer, professional model, talented artist, and skilled

photographer. He is a former semi-pro track and field

athlete who has represented the TCI in competitions.

Mario and his brother Travis were born in Grand

Turk, but lived in Germany as youth. Zemar did move

back to the TCI with the children, but then emigrated to

Canada. She recalls that Mario always believed in himself,

with her encouragement. “I told him to make sure

he experienced amazing adventures while he is still

young, before he settles down. And he certainly took

me up on that advice!” She adds, “He’s been researching

Africa for years. He wants to be the first Caribbean

man to accomplish this heroic feat. I am sure he will

succeed. I plan to meet him in Cairo in 2017!" a

To help Mario reach his funding goal, visit:


To track his progress, visit:


80 www.timespub.tc



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shape up

Get fit with PaddleFit

By Morgan Luker, PaddleFit Level 3,

PaddleFit Performance Specialist, WPA Instructor

As adventure sports and wellness reach global

heights, it’s no wonder that fitness is redefining itself

in these sports and adventures. The Hawaiian-born

sport of SUP (stand up paddleboarding) has reached an

all-time participation high and so it’s only natural that

a fitness program would evolve to enhance the waterperson’s

lifestyle. And let’s call this PADDLEFIT.

PaddleFit is a complete SUP and outdoor fitness

system. The program uses land-based workouts, paddling

technique, and on-water workouts at its core. The

workouts are spent outdoors and on the water, taking

advantage of the natural beauty of the Turks & Caicos

beautiful seas and shores to enhance the workout

experience, both physically and mentally.

SURFside Ocean Academy has had extensive training

in various SUP training programs, including weeks

with PaddleFit founder Brody Welte and Californiabased

EXOS. Their coach, Morgan Luker, has earned

the accreditation of being the first PaddleFit coach in

TCI. She also maintains the highest level certification

being a PaddleFit Level 3 Coach and SUP Performance


Classes can be water- or land-based, or a combination

of the two. All classes offer medium- to

high-intensity training in a boot camp-style set up and

often integrate other fitness equipment such as TRX,

IndoBoard, hurdles, and more. This training is fun,

challenging, and rewarding.

Classes are offered at both Grace Bay Club and Blue

Haven Resort with a SUP Sunday Funday every week at

Blue Haven on the beach. For more information please

contact SURFside’s PaddleFit Level 3 Coach and SUP

Performance Specialist, Morgan Luker.

In addition to the fitness classes, there are technique

classes, performance clinics, and ecotours

available as well. These can be PaddleFit Basic (Intro to

SUP), technique classes for those looking to increase

performance and develop proper SUP skill from a

certified coach, and the ecoSUP Tour. Morgan Luker

explains, “It’s easy to pick up a stand up paddleboard

and paddle and just go, but

it’s best to learn proper

stroke technique and safety

in order to maximize your

enjoyment on the water, and

minimize injury as well. With

our PaddleFit classes, our goal is for everyone to have

fun and be safe!” See you on the water! a

Morgan Luker is SURFside Ocean Academy’s PaddleFit

Level 3 Coach and SUP Performance Specialist. She can

be reached at 649 231 5437 or visit


82 www.timespub.tc

shape up

You are what you eat

By Dr. Sam Slattery

The old adage, “You are what you eat,” is absolutely

true. Yet in this era of “Good for you” one day and “Bad

for you,” the next, how do you know what to eat? Coffee

is in, now coffee is out. The kaleidoscope of dietary

advice is as colourful as the packet of candies you

are apparently not supposed to eat. From Atkin’s low

carbs, to Paleo’s raw foods, through the exotic olive oil

tossed Mediterranean diets and the gluten free Wheat

Belly, the books and their contents meander through a

chaotic maze of pseudoscience propped up by a cornucopia

of scientifically unsupported hypotheses. Yet, “No

smoke without fire,” so let’s see if we can find some

common sense compromise.

Clearly some things are true. A quick inspection

of human teeth suggests a balance between the sharp

teeth of your pet dog (meat eater) and the flat grinders

of your pet rabbit (plant eater) indicating a simple truth

— Homo sapiens is an omnivore. We are designed to eat

both. An inspection of early human habitats demonstrates

a clear indication of cooking, the invention that

allowed us to spread to every corner and possible place

on the planet. So far, so good, we are adaptable.

What is also a truth is that high fructose corn syrup

was not invented until the late 1950s and was not

added to food until the late 1970s, when the current

epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension took

off. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Table sugar consumption

has been rising steadily since 1820 but not

weight — that occurred when we were told in 1980

to cut out fat and the food industry added high fructose

corn syrup to everything! They also cut out dietary

fibres, who wants to chew?

So as you enter the holiday season, here is my very

simple advice to staying healthy. Turn off the TV and

throw out the processed junk food and drinks. Buy traditional

whole foods, purchase a couple of saucepans

and a sharp knife, grab a bottle of wine to share with

family and friends, then head to the kitchen to cook

some good old-fashioned meals whilst having a good

laugh and sharing the stories of the year.

And for a New Year’s

resolution, keep going for

the whole of 2016. As for

proportions, 80% fruit and

vegetables, 10% animal products,

and 10% grains. Gift

advice: Michael Pollan’s bestseller, Cooked. Good luck.


Dr. Sam Slattery has resided in the Turks & Caicos for

27 years. He trained at St Thomas’s Hospital in London,

qualifying in 1984. He is the lead physician at Grace

PP Scholarship:Layout Bay Medical Center 1 5/20/13 which has 11:53 offered AM Page Urgent 1 Care

and General Practice for 13 years. He was awarded

his Masters (with Distinction) from London University

in Gastroenterology and Nutrition in November 2015.

Please visit our website to see why Provo Primary

School can make a difference to a child’s life...


We have applications from a number of new students

requesting financial assistance for the upcoming year.

We rely on a scholarship fund to be able to help these


This year we are reaching out to local business and

private donators in order to make this difference, and

help families with hopes of educating their child at our

great school.

Call us at: (649) 441 - 5638

Email: director@provoprimary.com

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 83

about the Islands

Map provided courtesy Wavey Line Publishing. Their navigation charts and decorative and historic maps of the Turks & Caicos Islands, the

Bahamas, and Hispaniola are available in shops throughout the Islands. Visit www.waveylinepublishing.com.

Where we are

The Turks & Caicos Islands lie some 575 miles southeast

of Miami — approximately 1 1/2 hours flying time —

with the Bahamas about 30 miles to the northwest and

the Dominican Republic some 100 miles to the southeast.

The country consists of two island groups separated

by the 22 mile wide Columbus Passage. To the west are

the Caicos Islands: West Caicos, Providenciales, North

Caicos, Middle Caicos, East Caicos, and South Caicos. To

the east are the Turks Islands: Grand Turk and Salt Cay.

The Turks & Caicos total 166 square miles of land

area on eight islands and 40 small cays. The country’s

population is approximately 32,000.

Getting here

There are international airports on Grand Turk, North

Caicos, Providenciales, and South Caicos, with domestic

airports on all of the islands except East Caicos.

At this time, all of the major international carriers

arrive and depart from Providenciales International

Airport. American Airlines flies three times daily from

Miami, daily service from Charlotte, and from Philadelphia

on Saturday and Sunday. JetBlue Airways offers daily service

from New York/JFK and Fort Lauderdale, and from

Boston on Saturday. Delta Airlines flies from Atlanta

daily and New York/JFK on Saturday. United Airlines travels

from Newark on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and from

Houston on Saturday.

West Jet travels from Toronto on Wednesday and

Saturday. Air Canada offer flights from Toronto on

84 www.timespub.tc

Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. British Airways travels

on Wednesday and Sunday from London/Heathrow via


Bahamasair flies to Nassau on Thursday and Sunday;

Inter-caribbean Airways travels on Monday, Wednesday,

and Friday. Inter-caribbean Airways and Caicos Express

travels to Haiti daily, while Inter-caribbean Airways flies

to the Dominican Republic daily (except Wednesday);

to Jamaica on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday,

and to Puerto Rico on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

(Schedules are current as of November 2015 and subject

to change.)

Inter-island service is provided by Inter-caribbean

Airways, Caicos Express Airways, and Global Airways. Sea

and air freight services operate from Florida.



Time zone

Eastern Standard Time/Daylight Savings Time observed.


The United States dollar. The Treasury also issues a Turks

& Caicos crown and quarter. Travellers cheques in U.S.

dollars are widely accepted and other currency can be

changed at local banks. American Express, VISA, and

MasterCard are welcomed at many locations.


The average year-round temperature is 83ºF (28ºC). The

hottest months are September and October, when the

temperature can reach 90 to 95ºF (33 to 35ºC). However,

the consistent easterly trade winds temper the heat and

keep life comfortable.

Casual resort and leisure wear is accepted attire for

daytime; light sweaters or jackets may be necessary on

some breezy evenings. It’s wise to wear protective clothing

and a sunhat and use waterproof sunscreen when out

in the tropical sun.

Entry requirements

Passport. A valid onward or return ticket is also required.

Customs formalities

Visitors may bring in duty free for their own use one carton

of cigarettes or cigars, one bottle of liquor or wine,

and some perfume. The importation of all firearms including

those charged with compressed air without prior

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 85

about the Islands

approval in writing from the Commissioner of Police is

strictly forbidden. Spear guns, Hawaiian slings, controlled

drugs, and pornography are also illegal.

Returning residents may bring in $400 worth of

merchandise per person duty free. A duty of 10% to

60% is charged on most imported goods along with a

7% customs processing fee and forms a major source of

government revenue.


A valid driver’s license from home is suitable when renting

vehicles. A government tax of 12% is levied on all

rental contracts. (Insurance is extra.) Driving is on the

left-hand side of the road, with traffic flow controlled by

round-abouts at major junctions. Please don’t drink and

drive! Taxis are abundant throughout the Islands and

many resorts offer shuttle service between popular visitor

areas. Scooter, ATV, and bicycle rentals are also available.


LIME Ltd. provides service on a totally digital 4G network,

including pre-paid phone cards, pre-paid cellular phones,

credit card, and calling card options. Broadband Internet

service, with speeds as fast as 8Mbps, connects the

Islands to the world. Most resorts offer wireless Internet

connection and there are several private Internet cafés.

Digicel operates GSM mobile networks, with a full suite of

4G service. LIME is the local carrier for CDMA roaming on

US networks such as Verizon and Sprint. North American

visitors with GSM cellular handsets and wireless accounts

with AT&T or Cingular can arrange international roaming.


120/240 volts, 60 Hz, suitable for all U.S. appliances.

Departure tax

US $20 for all persons two years and older, payable in

cash or traveller’s cheques. It is typically built into the

cost of your ticket.

Courier service

Delivery service is provided by FedEx, with offices on

Providenciales and Grand Turk, and DHL. UPS service is

limited to incoming delivery.

Postal service

The Post Office and Philatelic Bureau in Providenciales is

located downtown in Butterfield Square. In Grand Turk,

the Post Office is on Front Street, with the Philatelic

Bureau on Church Folly. The Islands are known for their

varied and colorful stamp issues.


Multi-channel satellite television is received from the U.S.

and Canada and transmitted via cable or over the air.

Local station WIV-TV broadcasts on Channel 4 and Island

EyeTV on Channel 5. People’s Television offers 75 digitally

transmitted television stations, along with local news

and talk shows on Channel 8. There are also a number of

local radio stations, magazines, and newspapers.

Medical services

There are no endemic tropical diseases in TCI. There are

large, modern hospitals on Grand Turk and Providenciales.

Both hospitals offer a full range of services including:

24/7 emergency room, operating theaters, diagnostic

imaging, maternity suites, dialysis suites, blood bank,

physiotherapy, and dentistry.

In addition, several general practitioners operate in

the country, and there is a recompression chamber, along

with a number of private pharmacies.


A resident’s permit is required to live in the Islands. A

work permit and business license are also required to

work and/or establish a business. These are generally

granted to those offering skills, experience, and qualifications

not widely available on the Islands. Priority is given

to enterprises that will provide employment and training

for T&C Islanders.

Government/Legal system

TCI is a British Crown colony. There is a Queen-appointed

Governor, HE Peter Beckingham. He presides over an executive

council formed by the elected local government.

PNP Leader Dr. Rufus Ewing is the country’s premier.

The legal system is based upon English Common

Law and administered by a resident Chief Justice, Chief

Magistrate, and Deputy Magistrates. Judges of the Court

of Appeal visit the Islands twice a year and there is a final

Right of Appeal to Her Majesty’s Privy Council in London.


There are currently no direct taxes on either income

86 www.timespub.tc

or capital for individuals or companies. There are no

exchange controls. Indirect taxation comprises customs

duties and fees, stamp duty, taxes on accommodations,

restaurants, vehicle rentals, other services and gasoline,

as well as business license fees and departure taxes.


Historically, TCI’s economy relied on the export of

salt. Currently, tourism, the offshore finance industry,

and fishing generate the most private sector income.

The Islands’ main exports are lobster and conch, with

the world’s first commercial conch farm operating on

Providenciales. Practically all consumer goods and foodstuffs

are imported.

The Turks & Caicos Islands are recognised as an

important offshore financial centre, offering services

such as company formation, offshore insurance, banking,

trusts, limited partnerships, and limited life companies.

The Financial Services Commission regulates the industry

and spearheads the development of offshore legislation.


Citizens of the Turks & Caicos Islands are termed

“Belongers” and are primarily descendants of African

slaves who were brought to the Islands to work on the

salt ponds and cotton plantations. The country’s large

expatriate population includes Canadians, Americans,

Brits and Europeans, along with Haitians, Jamaicans,

Dominicans, Bahamians, Indians, and Filipinos.


Churches are the center of community life and there

are many faiths represented in the Islands, including:

Adventist, Anglican, Assembly of God, Baha’i,

Baptist, Catholic, Church of God of Prophecy, Episcopal,

Faith Tabernacle Church of God, Jehovah’s Witnesses,

Methodist and Pentecostal. Visitors are always welcome.


Incoming pets must have an import permit, veterinary

health certificate, vaccination certificate, and lab test

results to be submitted at the port of entry to obtain

clearance from the TCI Department of Agriculture, Animal

Health Services.

National symbols

The National Bird is the Brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis).

The National Plant is Island heather (Limonium

bahamense) found nowhere else in the world. The

“Schedule subject to change without prior notice”

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 87

National Tree is the Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea var.

bahamensis). The National Costume consists of white cotton

dresses tied at the waist for women and simple shirts

and loose pants for men, with straw hats. Colors representing

the various islands are displayed on the sleeves

and bases. The National Song is “This Land of Ours,” by

the late Rev. E.C. Howell, PhD. Peas and Hominy (Grits)

with Dry Conch is revered as symbolic island fare.

Going green

TCI Waste Disposal Services currently offers recycling services

through weekly collection of recyclable aluminum,

glass, and plastic. The TCI Environmental Club is spearheading

a campaign to eliminate single-use plastic bags.

Do your part by using a cloth bag whenever possible.

Keep TCI “Beautiful by Nature” by not littering!


Sporting activities are centered around the water. Visitors

can choose from deep-sea, reef, or bonefishing, sailing,

glass-bottom boat and semi-sub excursions, windsurfing,

waterskiing, parasailing, sea kayaking, snorkelling,

scuba diving, kiteboarding, stand up paddleboarding,

and beachcombing. Pristine reefs, abundant marine life,

and excellent visibility make TCI a world-class diving

destination. Tennis and golf—there is an eighteen hole

championship course on Providenciales—are also popular.

The Islands are an ecotourist’s paradise. Visitors can

enjoy unspoilt wilderness and native flora and fauna in

thirty-three national parks, nature reserves, sanctuaries,

and areas of historical interest. The National Trust

provides trail guides to several hiking trails, as well as

guided tours of major historical sites. There is an excellent

national museum on Grand Turk, with a future

branch planned for Providenciales. A scheduled ferry and

a selection of tour operators make it easy to take day

trips to the outer islands.

Other land-based activities include bicycling, horseback

riding, and football (soccer). Personal trainers are

available to motivate you, working out of several fitness

centres. You will also find a variety of spa and body treatment


Nightlife includes local bands playing island music

at bars and restaurants and some nightclubs. There are

two casinos on Providenciales, along with many electronic

gaming parlours. Stargazing is extraordinary!

Shoppers will find Caribbean paintings, T-shirts,

sports and beachwear, and locally made handicrafts,

including straw work and conch crafts. Duty free outlets

sell liquor, jewellery, watches, perfume, leather goods,

crystal, china, cameras, electronics, brand-name clothing

and accessories, along with Cuban cigars. a

88 www.timespub.tc

where to stay

Grand Turk

range of daily rates

US$ (subject to change)

number of units

major credit cards



air conditioning

phone in unit

television in unit

kitchen in unit

laundry service


on the beach


The Arches of Grand Turk – Tel 649 946 2941 190–210 4 • • • • • • •

Bohio Dive Resort – Tel 649 946 2135 • Web www.bohioresort.com 170–230 16 • • • • • • • •

Crabtree Apartments – Tel 978 270 1698 • Web www.GrandTurkVacationRental.com 210–250 3 • • • • • •

Grand Turk Inn – Tel 649 946 2827 • Web www.grandturkinn.com 250–300 5 • • • • • • •

Island House – Tel 649 946 1519/232 5514 • Web www.islandhouse.tc 110–185 8 • • • • • • •

Manta House – Tel 649 946 1111 • Web www.grandturk-mantahouse.com 110–130 5 • • • • • • •

Osprey Beach Hotel – Tel 649 946 2666 • Web www.ospreybeachhotel.com 90–225 37 • • • • • • • • • •

Salt Raker Inn – Tel 649 946 2260 • Web www.saltrakerinn.com 55–140 13 • • • • • • •

Solomon Porches Guesthouse – Tel 649 946 2776/241 2937 • Fax 649 946 1984 75–100 3 • •

White Sands Beach Resort – Tel 649 242 1991 • Web whitesandstci.com 130–150 16 • • • • • • • • •

Middle Caicos


Blue Horizon Resort – Tel 649 946 6141 • Web bhresort.com 265–400 7 • • • • • • • • •

North Caicos


Bottle Creek Lodge – Tel 649 946 7080 • Web www.bottlecreeklodge.com 155–240 3 • •

Caicos Beach Condominiums – Tel 649 241 4778/786 338 9264 • Web www.caicosbeachcondos.com 159–299 8 • • • • • • • •

Cedar Palms Suites – Tel 649 946 7113/649 244 4186 • Web www.oceanbeach.tc 250–300 3 • • • • • • • • •

Flamingo’s Nest – Tel 649 946 7113/649 244 4186 • Web www.oceanbeach.tc 175–340 2 • • • • • • • •

Hollywood Beach Suites - Tel 800 551 2256/649 231 1020 • Web www.hollywoodbeachsuites.com 200–235 4 • • • • • •

JoAnne’s Bed & Breakfast - Tel 649 946 7301 • Web www.turksandcaicos.tc/joannesbnb 80–120 4 • • • •

Palmetto Villa – Tel 649 946 7113/649 244 4186 • Web www.oceanbeach.tc 225–250 1 • • • • • • • •

Pelican Beach Hotel - Tel 649 946 7112/877 774 5486 • Web www.pelicanbeach.tc 125–165 14 • • • • • • • •

Pine Cay


The Meridian Club Turks & Caicos - Tel 649 946 7758/866 746 3229 • Web www.meridianclub.com 800–1300 13 • • • • • •

Parrot Cay


Parrot Cay COMO Resort & Spa - Tel 877 754 0726/649 946 7788 • Web www.parrotcay.como.bz 450–4370 65 • • • • • • • • • •






















Airport Inn - Tel 649 941 3514 • Web www.airportinntci.com. 140 18 • • • • • • •

The Alexandra Resort & Spa - Tel 800 704 9424/649 946 5807 • Web www.alexandraresort.com 280–420 99 • • • • • • • • •

The Atrium Resort - Tel 888 592 7885/649 333 0101 • Web www.theatriumresorttci.com 159–410 30 • • • • • • • •

Amanyara – Tel 866 941 8133/649 941 8133 • Web www.amanresorts.com 1000–2100 73 • • • • • • • •

Aquamarine Beach Houses - Tel 649 231 4535/905 556 0278 • www.aquamarinebeachhouses.com 200–850 24 • • • • • • • •

Beaches Resort & Spa - Tel 800-BEACHES/649 946 8000 • Web www.beaches.com 325–390AI 453 • • • • • • • • •

Beach House Turks & Caicos – Tel 649 946 5800 • Web www.beachchousetci.com 532–638 21 • • • • • • • • • •

Blue Haven Resort & Marina - Tel 855 832 7667/649 946 9900 • Web www.bluehaventci.com 250–650 51 • • • • • • • • • •

Caribbean Paradise Inn - Tel 649 946 5020 • Web www.paradise.tc 162–225 17 • • • • • • • •

Club Med Turkoise - Tel 800 258 2633/649 946 5500 • Web www.clubmed.com 120–225 290 • • • • • • • • •

Coral Gardens on Grace Bay - Tel 877 746 7800 • Web www.coralgardensongracebay.com 199-449 32 • • • • • • • • • •

Gansevoort Turks + Caicos – Tel 877 774 3253/649 941 7555 • Web www.gansevoorttc.com 315–720 91 • • • • • • • • • •

Grace Bay Club - Tel 800 946 5757/649 946 5757 • Web www.gracebayclub.com 650–1750 59 • • • • • • • • • •

Grace Bay Suites – Tel 649 941 7447 • Web www.GraceBaySuites.com 99–195 24 • • • • • • • •

Harbour Club Villas - Tel 649 941 5748/305 434 8568 • Web www.harbourclubvillas.com 210–240 6 • • • • •

Le Vele - Tel 649 941 8800/888 272 4406 • Web www.levele.tc 303–630 22 • • • • • • • •

La Vista Azul – Tel 649 946 8522/866 519 9618 • Web www.lvaresort.com 215–375 78 • • • • • • •

Neptune Villas – Tel 649 331 4328 • Web www.neptunevillastci.com 150–400 10 • • • • • • • • •

Northwest Point Resort • Tel 649 941 5133 • Web www.northwestpointresort.com 196–550 49 • • • • • • • • • •

Ocean Club Resorts - Tel 800 457 8787/649 946 5461 • Web www.oceanclubresorts.com 180–690 191 • • • • • • • • • •

The Palms Turks & Caicos – Tel 649 946 8666 • Web thepalmstc.com 595–1700 72 • • • • • • • • • •

Pelican Nest Villa – Tel 649 342 5731 • Web www.pelicannest.tc 429–857 2 • • • • • •

Point Grace - Tel 888 682 3705/649 946 5096 • Web www.pointgrace.com 424–1515 27 • • • • • • • • • •

Ports of Call Resort – Tel 888 678 3483/649 946 8888 • Web www.portsofcallresort.com 135–210 99 • • • • • • •

Queen Angel Resort – Tel 649 941 8771 • Web www.queenangelresort.com 150–575 56 • • • • • • • • •

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 89
















where to stay

Providenciales (continued)

Reef Residents at Grace Bay – Tel 800 532 8536 • Web www.reefresidence.com 275-385 24 • • • • • • •

The Regent Grand – Tel 877 537 3314/649 941 7770 • Web www.TheRegentGrand.com 495–1100 50 • • • • • • • • •

Royal West Indies Resort – Tel 649 946 5004 • Web www.royalwestindies.com 180–695 92 • • • • • • • • • •

The Sands at Grace Bay – Tel 877 777 2637/649 946 5199 • Web www.thesandsresort.com 175–675 116 • • • • • • • • • •

Seven Stars Resort – Tel 866 570 7777/649 941 7777 – Web www.SevenStarsResort.com 365–2400 165 • • • • • • • • • •

Sibonné – Tel 800 528 1905/649 946 5547 • Web www.Sibonne.com 110–375 29 • • • • • • • •

The Somerset on Grace Bay – Tel 649 946 5900/877 887 5722 • Web www.TheSomerset.com 350–1300 53 • • • • • • • • • •

Turtle Cove Inn – Tel 800 887 0477/649 946 4203 • Web www.turtlecoveinn.com 85–180 30 • • • • • • • •

The Tuscany – Tel 649 941 4667 • Web www.thetuscanygracebay.com 975–1300 30 • • • • • • • •

The Venetian Grace Bay – Tel 877 277 4793 • Web www.thevenetiangracebay.com 695–1175 27 • • • • • • • •

Venetian Ridge Villas – Tel 649 341 8045 • Web www.VenetianRidgeVillas.com 99–149 16 • • • • •

Villa del Mar – Tel 877 238 4058/649 941 5160 • Web www.yourvilladelmar.com 190–440 42 • • • • • • •

Villa Mani – Tel 649 431 4444 • Web www.villamanitc.com See Web/AE 6 • • • • • • •

Villa Renaissance - Tel 649 941 5300/877 285 8764 • Web www.villarenaissance.com 295–650 36 • • • • • • • • •

The Villas at Blue Mountain – Tel 649 941 4255 • Web www.villasatbluemountain.com 1200–2500 3 • • • • • • • •

West Bay Club – Tel 866 607 4156/649 946 8550 • Web www.TheWestBayClub.com 235–1163 46 • • • • • • • • • •

Windsong – Tel 649 941 7700/800 WINDSONG • Web www.windsongresort.com 275–925 50 • • • • • • • • •

The Yacht Club – Tel 649 946 4656 • Web www.yachtclubtci.com 250–350 52 • • • • • • •

range of daily rates US$

(subject to change)

number of units

major credit cards



air conditioning

phone in unit

television in unit

kitchen in unit

laundry service


on the beach

Salt Cay

Castaway – Salt Cay – Tel 772 713 9502 • Web www.castawayonsaltcay.com 175–265 4 • • • • •

Genesis Beach House – Tel 561 502 0901 • Web www.Genesisbeachhouse.com 1000–1200W 4 • • • • •

Pirate’s Hideaway B & B – Tel 800 289 5056/649 946 6909 • Web www.saltcay.tc 165–175 4 • • • • • • •

Salt Cay Beach House – Tel 772 713 9502 • Web www.saltcaybeachhouse.blogspot.com 799W 1 • • • • • •

Trade Winds Lodge – Tel 649 232 1009 • Web www.tradewinds.tc 925–1325W 5 • • • • •

Twilight Zone Cottage – Tel 772 713 9502 • Web www.twilightzonecottage.blogspot.com 499W 1 • • • •

The Villas of Salt Cay – Tel 772 713 9502 • Web www.villasofsaltcay.com 150–475 5 • • • • • • • •

South Caicos

East Bay Resort – Tel 844 260 8328/649 232 6444 • Web eastbayresort.com 198–1775 86 • • • • • • • • • •

South Caicos Ocean & Beach Resort – Tel 877 774 5486/649 946 3219

Web southcaicos.oceanandbeachresort.com 120–275 24 • • • • •



Hotel & Tourism Association Member

Green Globe Certified • Rates (listed for doubles) do not include Government Accommodation Tax and Service Charge

Contemporary Style with Bermudian Influences

This centrally located 4 bedroom/3.5 bathroom executive family home and an additional 1 bedroom/1 bathroom nanny suite is

4,545 square feet of open plan Caribbean living with exceptional breezes from its spectacular 75 feet of elevation. Located on .85

acres and surrounded by natural trees and vegetation, views of the Island and Ocean beyond can be enjoyed from every room.

Dee Agingu, Sales Executive

t. 649.946.4474 c. 649.231.3534


Offered at $825,000 turksandcaicosSIR.com MLS# 1300629

Anna Richardson, Sales Associate

t. 649.946.4474 c. 649.232.7751


90 www.timespub.tc

dining out – providenciales

Amanyara — Amanyara Resort. Tel: 941-8133. Light gourmet

cuisine for lunch and dinner with menu changing daily.

Anacaona — Grace Bay Club. Tel: 946-5050. Elegant beachfront

dining for lunch and dinner. Gourmet Euro/Caribbean

cuisine; fine wines. Full bar and lounge. Reservations required.

Angela’s Top O’ The Cove Deli — Suzie Turn, by NAPA.

Tel: 946-4694. New York-style delicatessen. Eat-in, carry-out,

catering. Open daily 6:30 AM to 6 PM; Sunday 7 AM to 2 PM.

Asú on the Beach — Alexandra Resort. Tel: 946-5807. Casual

Caribbean and popular international fare. Open daily for breakfast,

lunch and dinner. Service indoors, poolside and at beach.

Baci Ristorante — Harbour Towne, Turtle Cove. Tel: 941-3044.

Waterfront Italian dining. Brick oven pizza. Popular bar. Open

for lunch Monday to Friday 12 to 2 PM and dinner nightly from

6 to 10 PM. Closed Sunday. Carry-out available.

Bay Bistro — Sibonné Beach Hotel. Tel: 946-5396. Oceanfront

dining featuring creative international cuisine. Open daily

7 AM to 10 PM. Weekend brunch. Catering and special events.

Beaches Resort & Spa — The Bight. Tel: 946-8000.

All-inclusive resort. A variety of restaurants and bars on premises.

Non-guests can purchase a pass.

Bella Luna Ristorante — Glass House, Grace Bay Road. Tel:

946-5214. Fine Italian dining. Full bar and wine cellar. Indoor or

covered terrace seating above a tropical garden. Open daily for

dinner from 6 PM. Closed Sunday. Private catering available.

Big Al’s Island Grill — Salt Mills Plaza. Tel: 941-3797. Wide

selection of burgers, steaks, salads, and wraps in a diner-like

setting. Open daily from 11 AM to 10 PM.

Blue Iguana Grill — Ports of Call. Tel: 339-8741. Fun, casual,

Caribbean-style restaurant and bar. Serving lunch and dinner

seven days.

Bugaloo’s Conch Crawl — Five Cays. Tel: 941-3863. The

freshest seafood in Provo, conch prepared to order, rum, buckets

of beer, live local bands. Open daily from 11 AM to 10 PM.

Cabana Bar & Grille — Ocean Club. Tel: 946-5880 x 1104.

Casual island fare, pizza, burgers. Open daily from 7 AM to

9 PM. Tropical cocktails with a spectacular view of the sea.

Caicos Bakery — Caicos Café Plaza. Authentic French boulangerie.

Fresh-baked breads, rolls, croissants, muffins, quiche,

pastries, cakes. Open 7 AM to 4:30 PM daily except Sunday.

Caicos Café — Caicos Café Plaza. Tel: 946-5278.

Mediterranean specialties, grilled local seafood. Fine wines, dining

on the deck. Open 6 PM to 10 PM Monday to Saturday.

Carambola Grill & Lounge — Airport Inn Plaza. Tel: 946-

8122. Generous portions of local and international fare at

moderate prices in a casual atmosphere. Catering available.

The Caravel Restaurant — Grace Bay Court. Tel: 941-5330.

Cozy restaurant offering island food with flair; something for

everyone. Daily happy hour. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM; Sunday

5 to 9 PM.

Chicken Chicken — Times Square, downtown Provo. Fast food,

fried chicken, native fare.

Chinson Jade Garden Pastries & Deli — Leeward Highway.

Tel: 941-3533. Caribbean pastries, fresh bakery and Jamaican

and Chinese cuisine. Lunch buffet/take-out. Open Monday to

Saturday, 7 AM to 8 PM; Sunday, 2 PM to 8 PM.

Chopsticks — Neptune Court. Tel: 333-4040. Fusion of Asian

cuisines–light, healthy and delicious in a beautiful setting. Take-

away, delivery, on-site dining. Open daily Noon to 3 PM and

5:30 to 10:30 PM. Closed Sunday.

Club Med — Grace Bay Road. Tel: 946-5500. All-inclusive

resort. Buffet-style dining; live show and disco in the evenings.

Non-guests can purchase a daily pass.

Coco Bistro — Grace Bay Road. Tel: 946-5369. Continental

Caribbean cuisine by Chef Stuart Gray under a canopy of palms.

Serving dinner nightly from 6 PM. Closed Monday.

Corner Café — Graceway IGA. Tel: 941-8724. Breakfast sandwiches,

specialty coffees, soups, salads, gourmet sandwiches

and desserts. Open Monday to Saturday, 7 AM to 8:30 PM.

Covered patio dining or take-out. Catering available.

Coyaba Restaurant — Caribbean Paradise Inn. Tel: 946-5186.

Contemporary Caribbean gourmet cuisine in a private tropical

garden setting. Extensive wine list. Dinner nightly from 6 to 10

PM. Closed Tuesday. Reservations recommended. Catering, special

events, private chef visits.

Crackpot Kitchen — The Village at Grace Bay. Tel: 941-3330.

Experience the Island feel, culture and the best of authentic

Turks & Caicos and Caribbean cuisines with an International

twist. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM. Closed Monday.

Da Conch Shack & RumBar — Blue Hills. Tel: 946-8877.

Island-fresh seafood from the ocean to your plate. Covered

beachfront dining for lunch and dinner daily from 11 AM.

Danny Buoy’s Irish Pub — Grace Bay Road. Tel: 946-5921.

Traditional Irish cuisine, standard American pub fare; imported

draught beers. Open for lunch and dinner daily from 11 AM.

Happy Hour specials. Large screen TVs for sporting events.

The Deck — Seven Stars Resort. Tel: 941-7777. All day dining

and cocktails by the water’s edge. Open daily from Noon to 9:30

PM. Bonfire buffet on Sunday evenings. Live music nightly.

Fairways Bar & Grill — Provo Golf Club. Tel: 946-5833.

Dine overlooking the “greens.” Open to all for lunch Monday

to Thursday and breakfast from 9 AM on Sunday. Friday Pub

Nights, Saturday BBQ.

Fire & Ice — Blue Haven Resort & Marina. Tel: 946-9900.

Drinks at the Ice Bar, dessert by the fire pits in the Fire Lounge.

South American-meets-Caribbean flavors and spices. Open daily.

Fresh Bakery & Bistro — Atrium Resort. Tel: 345-4745.

Healthy European salads, soups, sandwiches, bakery, pies and

cakes. Gelato. Open daily 7 AM to 6 PM, closed Sunday.

Fresh Catch — Salt Mills Plaza. Tel: 243-3167. Authentic native

cuisine, from seafood to soup. All-you-can-eat seafood buffet on

Wednesday. Open daily 8 AM to 10 PM. Closed Sunday.

Garam Masala — Regent Village. Tel: 941-3292. Authentic

Indian cuisine, including tandoori charcoal-oven specialties.

Open daily Noon to 3 PM, 5:30 PM to Midnight. Closed Tuesday.

Giggles Ice Cream & Candy Parlour — Ports of Call &

Williams Storage. Tel: 941-7370. Cones, sundaes, shakes,

smoothies, “Gigglers,” ice cream pies and cakes. Pick ‘n’ mix

candies. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM.

Gilley’s Cafe — At the airport. Tel: 946-4472. Burgers, sandwiches,

local food. Full bar. Open daily 6 AM to 9 PM.

Grace’s Cottage — Point Grace Resort. Tel: 946-5096.

Elegant, gourmet Caribbean cuisine showcasing regional foods.

Extensive wine list. Gazebo seating under the stars or indoor

dining in a romantic gingerbread cottage. Serving dinner from 6

PM nightly. Reservations required. Weddings and receptions.

Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 91

Greenbean — Harbour Town at Turtle Cove. Tel: 941-2233.

Internet café, Starbucks® coffee, salads, wraps, pizza, sandwiches,

fresh bakery. Open daily 6 AM to 4 PM.

The Grill Rouge — Grace Bay Club. Tel: 946-5050. Casual

oceanfront poolside bistro, serving international bistro fare.

Cool cocktails at the swim-up bar. Open 7 AM to 9:30 PM daily.

Havana Club — Windsong Resort. Tel: 941-7700. Fine wine,

specialty coffees, decadent desserts, with comedy/magic shows

on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and music and sports nights.

Healthy Treats Restaurant & Deli — Touch of Class Plaza,

Airport Road. Tel: 241-3318. Native Caribbean dishes, fresh

juices, smoothies. Call to order.

Hemingways on the Beach — The Sands at Grace Bay. Tel:

941-8408. Casual beachfront bar and restaurant. Fresh fish,

pasta, sandwiches, salads and tropical drinks by the pool.

Oceanfront deck for great sunsets! Open 8 AM to 10 PM daily.

Hole in the Wall Restaurant & Bar — Williams Plaza, Old

Airport Road. Tel: 941-4136. Authentic Jamaican/Island cuisine

where the locals go for jerk chicken. Full bar. Indoor A/C dining

or outdoors on the deck. Open 7 days from 8 AM. Cash only.

Island Scoop — Grace Bay Plaza. Tel: 242-8511/243-5051.

21 flavors of ice cream made locally. Cones, smoothies, blizzards

and shakes. Open daily, 11 AM to 10 PM.

The Java Bar — Graceway Gourmet. Tel: 941-5000. Gourmet

café serving fresh baked desserts, sandwiches and coffee

delights. Open 7 AM to 8 PM daily.

Jimmy’s Dive Bar — Ports of Call. Tel: 946-5282. The place for

steaks, BBQ, booze and breakfast. Open daily, 7 AM to 11 PM,

(Thursday to Saturday to Midnight); open Sunday at 8 AM.

Kalooki’s Beach Restaurant & Bar — Blue Hills. Tel:

332-3388. Caribbean-infused dishes in an oasis-like setting

overlooking the sea. Open Monday to Saturday, 11 AM to 10 PM;

Sunday 11 AM to 7 PM. Live music every Friday!

KItchen 218 — Beach House, Lower Bight Road. Tel: 946-5800.

Caribbean cuisine with hints of French and Asian fusion and the

chef’s passion for fresh ingredients. Open 8 AM to 10 PM daily.

The Landing Bar & Kitchen — Grace Bay Road across from

Regent Village. Tel: 341-5856. Unique nautical setting for dinner

under the stars. Cocktails, fire pit. Open daily 5:30 PM to . . .

Las Brisas — Neptune Villas, Chalk Sound. Tel: 946-5306.

Mediterranean/Caribbean cuisine with tapas, wine and full bar.

Terrace, gazebo and inside dining overlooking Chalk Sound.

Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM. Closed Tuesday.

Le Bouchon du Village — Regent Village. Tel: 946-5234. A

taste of Paris in TCI. Sidewalk café with sandwiches, salads, tartines,

tapas, nightly dinner specials. Open daily 7 AM to 10 PM.

Closed Sunday.

Lemon 2 Go Coffee — Ventura House, Grace Bay Road. Tel:

941-4487. Gourmet coffeehouse. Sandwiches, muffins, cookies,

croissants, yogurt, salads. Open Monday to Saturday 7:30 AM to

7 PM, Sunday 9 AM to 1 PM.

The Lounge — Grace Bay Club. Tel: 946-5050. Decidedly hip

lounge. Caribbean-infused tapas, martinis, tropical cocktails,

world music and the finest sunset location in Providenciales.

Lupo — Regent Village. Tel: 431-5876. Authentic Italian “comfort

food.” Regional wine list. Dine in or take out ready-made

gourmet meals. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Magnolia Restaurant & Wine Bar — Miramar Resort. Tel:

941-5108. International cuisine with island flavors, north shore

views. Open for dinner from 6 to 9:30 PM except Monday. Wine

bar opens at 4 PM.

Mango Reef — Turtle Cove. Tel: 946-8200. Old favorites in a

new location. Fresh local flavors and seafood, homemade desserts.

Open daily 8 AM to 10 PM. Set price dinner on weekdays.

Children’s menu. Tie-up to dock at Turtle Cove Marina.

Melt Ice Cream Parlour — Regent Village. Tel: 432-1234.

Carefully crafted selection of sumptous and inspired sundaes,

with coffee, champagne and cocktails for the grown-ups! Open

Monday to Saturday, 9 AM to 10 PM.

Mother’s Pizza — Downtown Times Square. Tel: 941-4142.

Best pizza in the Turks & Caicos, available by the slice or the

island’s biggest “large.” Open daily 11 AM to 9 PM; to 10 PM on

Friday and Saturday; Noon to 8 PM on Sunday.

Mr. Groupers — Lower Bight and Airport Road. Tel: 242-6780.

Serving fresh local seafood straight from the sea. Open daily 10

AM to 11 PM.

Noodle Bar + Kitchen — West Bay Club. Tel: 946-8550.

Delicious rice and noodle dishes and hearty staples with

uniquely Caribbean flavors and spices. Open for lunch and dinner

daily to 9:30 PM.

Opus — Ocean Club Plaza. Tel: 946-5885. Wine • Bar • Grill

International menu with Caribbean flair. Wine tastings. Serving

dinner nightly 6 to 10:30 PM. Closed Monday. Indoor/outdoor

dining. Conference facility, events, catering.

Parallel23 — The Palms. Tel: 946-8666. Pan-tropical cuisine in

a setting of casual elegance. Boutique wine list. Al fresco or private

dining room available. Open for breakfast and dinner daily.

The Patty Place — Behind Shining Stars; Le Petit Place, Blue

Hills. Tel: 246-9000. Authentic Jamaican patties and loaves. 18

flavors of Devon House ice cream. Open daily 9:30 AM to 10 PM.

Pavilion — The Somerset. Tel: 339-5900. Chef Eric Wood offers

a global palate, interpreted locally. Lobster tank. Seafood raw

bar. Open daily for breakfast and dinner; Sunday Brunch.

Pelican Bay — Royal West Indies Resort. Tel: 941-2365.

Poolside restaurant and bar with French, Caribbean and Asian

fare. Breakfast, lunch, dinner daily from 7:30 AM to 10 PM.

Pizza Pizza — Grace Bay Plaza/Cinema Plaza. Tel: 941-

8010/941-3577. New York style specialty pizzas. Open daily

11:30 AM to 9:30 PM, weekends until 10 PM. Free delivery.

Rickie’s Flamingo Café — Between Ocean Club and Club Med.

Tel: 244-3231. Local fare and atmosphere right on the beach.

Best grouper sandwich and rum punch! Don’t miss Curry Fridays

and Beach BBQ Saturdays.

Sailing Paradise — Blue Hills. Tel: 344-1914. Casual beachfront

restaurant and bar. Caribbean fare. Open daily 7 AM to 11

PM. Sunday brunch and beach party, daily happy hour.

Salt Bar & Grill — Blue Haven Resort & Marina. Tel: 946-9900.

Casual dining with outdoor seating overlooking the marina.

Sandwiches, burgers and salads, classic bar favorites with local

flair. Open daily from 10 AM to 10 PM.

Seaside Café — Ocean Club West. Tel: 946-5254. Casual fare,

burgers, salads, tropical drinks, served with panoramic views of

the ocean. Open daily from 8 AM to 10 PM. Kid-friendly.

Seven — Seven Stars Resort. Tel: 339-7777. Elevated contemporary

cuisine fused with TCI tradition. Open Wednesday to

Saturday, 5:30 to 9:30 PM.

72West — The Palms Resort. Tel: 946-8666. Beachside dining

with a family-friendly, Caribbean-inspired menu. Serving lunch

daily; dinner seasonally.

Sharkbite Bar & Grill — Admiral’s Club at Turtle Cove. Tel:

941-5090. Varied menu. Sports bar/game room with slots. Open

daily from 11 AM to 2 AM.

92 www.timespub.tc

Shay Café — Le Vele Plaza. Tel: 331-6349. Offering organic

coffees and teas, sandwiches, salads and soup, pastries, as well

as gelato, sorbetto, smoothies, beer and wine. Open daily 7 AM

to 7 PM.

Somewhere Café & Lounge — Coral Gardens Resort. Tel:

941-8260. Casual dining with Tex-Mex flair right on the beach.

Cocktails, beers, specialty drinks. Open early to late daily.

Stelle — Gansevoort Turks + Caicos. Tel: 946-5746. Modern

Mediterranean cuisine featuring fresh fish and seafood. Open 6

to 10 PM daily, until 2 AM on Friday with DJ. Beach bar and grill

open for lunch 11:30 AM to 5 PM daily.

Thai Orchid — The Regent Village. Tel: 946-4491. Authentic

Thai cuisine; over 60 choices! Dine in or carry out. Open for

lunch and dinner daily.

Three Brothers Restaurant — Town Center Mall, Downtown.

Tel: 232-4736. Seafood and native cuisine. Tuesday night buffet

dinner. Catering services. Open daily, 7 AM to 10 PM.

Three Queens Bar & Restaurant — Wheeland. Tel: 243-

5343. Oldest bar on Provo, serving Jamaican and Native dishes.

Serving lunch and dinner from Monday to Saturday.

Tiki Hut Island Eatery — New location dockside at Turtle

Cove Inn. Tel: 941-5341. Imaginative sandwiches, salads, seafood,

Black Angus beef, pasta, pizzas and fresh fish. Wednesday

chicken or rib special. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM. Breakfast on


Turks Kebab — At Craft Market on Sand Castle Drive. Tel: 431-

9964. Turkish and Mediterranean fare. Salads, falafel, gyros,

kebabs, hummus. Open for lunch and dinner.

Via Veneto — Ports of Call. Tel: 941-2372. Authentic Italian

dining in a stylish indoor/outdoor venue. Serving lunch from

11:30 AM to 2 PM; snacks with wine and drinks from 5:30 PM

and dinner from 7:30 PM daily. Closed on Tuesday.

The Vix Bar & Grill — Regent Village. Tel: 941-4144. High-end

cuisine and the finest wines in an inviting ambiance. Open daily

for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7:30 AM to 10 PM.

Yoshi’s Japanese Restaurant — The Saltmills. Tel: 941-3374.

Sushi bar menu plus Wagyu beef, Japanese curries. Open daily

Noon to 3 PM; 6 to 10 PM. Closed Sunday.

Zanzi Bar & Tapas Restaurant — Leeward Highway. Tel: 342-

2472. Sophistication meets class at the new tapas eatery and

entertainment venue overlooking Grace Bay.

dining out – north caicos

Club Titters — Bottle Creek. Tel: 946-7316. Local dishes for

breakfast, lunch and dinner. Live music weekends.

Higgs’ Café — Sandy Point Marina. Tel: 242-9426 or 341-9084.

Local cuisine served daily from 7 AM.

Last Chance Bar & Grill Club — Bottle Creek. Tel: 232-4141.

Waterfront dining. American and Caribbean dishes. Open 10:30

AM for breakfast and lunch; dinner by reservation.

Pappa Grunt’s Seafood Restaurant — Whitby Plaza. Tel/fax:

946-7301. Native & American cuisine daily.

Pelican Beach Hotel — Tel: 946-7112. Well known for native

conch, lobster, grouper and snapper dishes.

Silver Palm Restaurant — Whitby. Tel: 946-7113/244-4186.

Local seafood and international cuisine. Home-baked breads

and desserts. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Screened patio.

Super D Café — At airport. Tel: 946-7258. Local dishes.

dining out – south caicos

Eastern Inn Restaurant — Stamers Street. Tel: 946-3301.

Ocean & Beach Resort — Cockburn Harbour. Tel: 946 3219.

Native cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

Pond View Restaurant — Tel: 946-3276. Native cuisine.

dining out – middle caicos

Daniel’s Restaurant — Conch Bar. Tel: 245-2298/232-6132.

Local seafood, homemade breads. Open Tuesday to Sunday. Call

ahead for groups and dinner reservations.

dining out – grand turk

Bird Cage Restaurant — Osprey Beach Hotel. Tel: 946-1453.

Full bar & restaurant. Lunch and dinner daily.

Guanahani — Bohio Resort. Tel: 946-2135. Gourmet menu of

French, Italian and Asian influence with a Caribbean twist. Open

daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Inn Restaurant & Bar — Grand Turk Inn. Tel: 431-0466.

A taste of Asian fusions. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Closed on Tuesday.

Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville — Grand Turk Cruise Center.

High energy bar and restaurant. Swim-up pool bar and signature

menu of grilled favorites.

Sand Bar Restaurant — Manta House Beach. Tel: 946-1111.

Quinessential beach bar serving local seafood specialties. Open

for lunch and dinner, Sunday to Friday.

Secret Garden — Salt Raker Inn. Tel: 946-2260. Local &

American dishes in a garden courtyard. English breakfast.

Weekly BBQ and sing-alongs.

dining out –salt cay

Coral Reef Bar & Grill — Tel: 232-1009. Breakfast, lunch and

dinner daily on the beach. Full service bar.

Pat’s Place — Island-style garden restaurant in historic district.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

Porter’s Island Thyme — Tel: 242-0325. Gourmet island dining

in open air dining room. Full bar. a

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Telephone: (649) 246-0395 or 232-0933 or 946-2042

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For Vehicle Rental in

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Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 93

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