SAMPLING THE SOUL OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS WINTER 2015/16 NO. 113
A call for hope and action
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W I S H B O U T I Q U E
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
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
SAMPLING THE SOUL OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS WINTER 2015/16 NO. 113
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
Turks And Caicos Featured
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Bernadette is an Irish qualified attorney who
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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.
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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
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TCP is the leading independent real estate
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TCP’s reputation and success has been earned
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Call Bernadette if you would like to find out
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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
email@example.com • (649) 946-4788
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sport under the sun, Gourmet Discovery Dining at up to 21 restaurants, spacious and luxurious
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*Visit www.beaches.com/disclaimers/bchtimesoftheislandswinter2015 or call 1-800-BEACHES for important terms and conditions.
SAMSARA IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR
VACATION RENTAL AT www.SAMSARATCI.com
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 CUSTOM HOME DESIGN
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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
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Submissions We welcome submission of articles or photography, but
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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-
TRISH FLANAGAN SHANE JONES WINE & SPIRIT EDUCATION TRUST
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
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Our mission is to provide a world
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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.
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 email@example.com or on Twitter - @shane_d_jones
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Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 19
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.
T: 1 649 941 5748
See our website
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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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.
Call Adele on 231-1898 • See The Cake Lady on
Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 23
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.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.
green pages newsletter of the department of environment & maritime affairs
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.
EVA RAMEY WWW.1YACHTUS.COM INSTITUTE OF MARINE RESEARCH
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.
green pages newsletter of the department of environment & maritime affairs
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
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.
KATHY LOCKHART EVA RAMEY SCHOOL FOR FIELD STUDIES
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
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
• 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
• 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
Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 29
green pages newsletter of the department of environment & maritime affairs
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.
green pages newsletter of the department of environment & maritime affairs
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.
green pages newsletter of the department of environment & maritime affairs
This juvenile White Ibis was spotted feeding in a pond in Wheeland in Providenciales.
ERIC F. SALAMANCA
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.”
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
DAVID GALLARDO–WORLD OF OCEANS
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.
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.
Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 37
In this excerpt from Chapter 1, “Beauty,” Liz is
returning to the Turks & Caicos Islands “the 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
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
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
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
“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,
“Liz!” Eva called out. She was carefully holding a sea
urchin in her hands. Its spines were sharp. “Just touch it
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
INNOVATION | CONSERVATION | ADVENTURE
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.
STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING | KAYAKING | KITEBOARDING
SNORKELING | SCUBA DIVING | PRIVATE CHARTERS | BIKING
©BLUELINES/p.shearer ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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
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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
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
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
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
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
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,
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/
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
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.
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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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
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
Since then, the TCSPCA has held clinics on all the out
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,
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
associate, consistently being in the top ten.
A background in interior design and retail fit well with a real
estate career; working well with people, high standard of
professionalism, integrity and quality service. Kathryn has
many repeat customers as well as a strong referral network.
If you want to learn about real estate in Turks & Caicos give
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your real estate needs, wants, dreams...
Tel: 649 231 2329
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow us
on FaceBook for the latest happenings.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
Properties for Sale on Pine Cay
Orchid Point - Three bedroom beachhouse, huge views
SandDollar Point -
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Pine Cay Realty Services cell: 1-649-231-4884
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 email@example.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
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
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
t 649.946.4474 c 649.231.3534
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.
t 649.946.4474 c 649.242.1241
Offered at $1,049,000
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
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (649) 231-4884.
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 email@example.com • 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
(firstname.lastname@example.org) or through the Museum (info@
tcmuseum.org). Help us reconstruct the postal history of
the TCI! a
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
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.
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
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
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To join*, send name, address, email, and type of
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payable to “Turks & Caicos National Museum” to:
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Santa Fe, NM 87508 USA
*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
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
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
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
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
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:
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Times of the Islands Winter 2015/16 81
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
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
Call us at: (649) 441 - 5638
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.
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
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
Inter-island service is provided by Inter-caribbean
Airways, Caicos Express Airways, and Global Airways. Sea
and air freight services operate from Florida.
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.
Passport. A valid onward or return ticket is also required.
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
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.
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.
Delivery service is provided by FedEx, with offices on
Providenciales and Grand Turk, and DHL. UPS service is
limited to incoming delivery.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
where to stay
range of daily rates
US$ (subject to change)
number of units
major credit cards
phone in unit
television in unit
kitchen in unit
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 • • • • • • • • •
Blue Horizon Resort – Tel 649 946 6141 • Web bhresort.com 265–400 7 • • • • • • • • •
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 • • • • • • • •
The Meridian Club Turks & Caicos - Tel 649 946 7758/866 746 3229 • Web www.meridianclub.com 800–1300 13 • • • • • •
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
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
phone in unit
television in unit
kitchen in unit
on the beach
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 • • • • • • • •
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
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
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.
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.
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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