Times of the Islands Spring 2018

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

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


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TIMES<br />

OF THE<br />




Wellness in TCI is nothing new<br />


Ecotourism in South Caicos<br />


Solar panels in hurricanes

H O W D O YO U L I K E Y O U R L U X U R Y ?<br />







The refined sophistication <strong>of</strong> The Palms on Grace Bay<br />

Beach, consistently honored by travel publications<br />

for its sense <strong>of</strong> elegance and easy atmosphere. The<br />

savvy chic <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Shore Club, <strong>the</strong> stunning new gamechanger<br />

on Long Bay Beach. Where whimsy rules and<br />

magic awaits around every corner. Each with a style<br />

and a vibe all its own. Both singular destinations, part<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Hartling Group’s stellar portfolio <strong>of</strong> luxury resorts<br />

which also includes The Sands at Grace Bay. Your call.<br />


649.946.8666<br />

<strong>the</strong>palmstc.com<br />


649.339.8000<br />


KIDS<br />

get a great vacation<br />

And so do <strong>the</strong> PARENTS<br />

Vacation time is a great time for everyone at Beaches ® Turks & Caicos. With five villages set on Grace Bay, voted one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> best beaches in <strong>the</strong> world, your clients will have so<br />

much to do, <strong>the</strong>y won’t know where to start. The 45,000 square foot Pirates Island Waterpark is perfect for kids, with 10 waterslides, including a SkySlide, plus a surf simulator<br />

and lazy river. Families can scuba dive* and snorkel along some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> best reefs in <strong>the</strong> Caribbean or swim-up to five bars (with nine more on dry land), because <strong>the</strong> drinks are<br />

always on <strong>the</strong> house. And 5-Star Global Gourmet TM dining means <strong>the</strong>y have 21 specialty restaurants to choose from, satisfying even <strong>the</strong> most finicky eaters. There are luxury<br />

accommodations for every size family, and exciting activities for kids, from an Xbox Play Lounge to a teens-only nightclub to our Very Important Kids (V.I.K.) Camp. Best <strong>of</strong> all,<br />

everything is unlimited and included – even <strong>the</strong> tip, taxes and Beaches transfers*. So while <strong>the</strong> kids are <strong>of</strong>f doing <strong>the</strong>ir own thing, <strong>the</strong> grown-ups can enjoy an escape <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir own.<br />





But when <strong>the</strong>y get toge<strong>the</strong>r, it’s <strong>the</strong> best time <strong>of</strong> all.<br />


In <strong>the</strong> U.S. and Canada: 1-800-BEACHES; In <strong>the</strong> Caribbean:1-888-BEACHES;<br />

In Turks & Caicos: 649-946-8000 or call your Travel Pr<strong>of</strong>essional<br />


*Visit www.beaches.com/disclaimers/times<strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong>islandsspring18 or call 1-800-BEACHES for important terms & conditions.

contents<br />

Departments<br />

6 From <strong>the</strong> Editor<br />

13 Looking Back<br />

Hard Work Brings Success:<br />

Charles Hubert James<br />

By Hope Hamilton-James & Carlton Mills<br />

17 Macaw-very<br />

By Jody Rathgeb ~ Photo By Tom Rathgeb<br />

67 Faces & Places<br />

Swim & Surf TCI Fundraiser<br />

By Claire Parrish ~ Photos By Sandra Shaw<br />

68 Food for Thought<br />

Eating with Purpose: The Retreat Kitchen<br />

By Kathy Borsuk ~ Photos By Manisha Tolani<br />

73 Crossing Africa<br />

The Journey Ends!<br />

By Claire Parrish ~ Photos By Mario Rigby<br />

76 About <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>/TCI Map<br />

81 Where to Stay<br />

83 Dining Out<br />

85 Subscription Form<br />

86 Classified Ads<br />

Features<br />

18 Mirages Come to Life<br />

Story & Photos By B Naqqi Manco<br />

34 A Strong Comeback<br />

By Don Stark & Kathleen McNary-Wood<br />

Photos By Kathleen McNary-Wood<br />

42 Back to Basics<br />

Finding Wellness in TCI<br />

By Ben Stubenberg<br />

52 Hang Tight<br />

Can Solar Panels Survive Hurricanes?<br />

By Paul Chaplin & Kathy Borsuk<br />

Green Pages<br />

24 Piping Plover Persevere<br />

By Eric F. Salamanca, Elise Elliot-Smith,<br />

Caleb Spiegel, Jen Rock, Beth MacDonald,<br />

Kathleen McNary-Wood, B Naqqi Manco,<br />

Katharine Hart and Nicole Caesar<br />

Photos By Eric F. Salamanca<br />

28 Caicos Pine Poetry Competition Winners<br />

31 Tracking Those Teens!<br />

By Katharine Hart & Dr. Peter Richardson<br />

Astrolabe<br />

58 Passing <strong>the</strong> Baton<br />

By Pat Saxton<br />

TIMES<br />

OF THE<br />



On <strong>the</strong> Cover<br />

Chrystel Loyer Kendrew captured <strong>the</strong> detail <strong>of</strong><br />

this unfolding Agave plant. Through Chrystallize<br />

Photography, she <strong>of</strong>fers fine art photography depicting<br />

<strong>the</strong> natural beauty <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>, <strong>of</strong>ten using close-ups<br />

to highlight patterns, colors or textures. Her work can<br />

be seen in private villas, resorts and restaurants and<br />

she <strong>of</strong>fers customised wall art. For more, visit<br />

www.chrystallize.com.<br />

Instagram:chrystallizephotgraphy<br />

31<br />

60 Window to <strong>the</strong> Past<br />

The Legacy <strong>of</strong> Emily Kersteiner<br />

By Emily Malcolm<br />

64 A Homecoming <strong>of</strong> Sorts<br />

By Dr. Michael Pateman<br />


4 www.timespub.tc

TurksAndCaicosProperty.com<br />

Parrot Cay Beachfront - Dhyani House<br />

Dhyani House in Parrot Cay is a “must see” property for discerning real estate buyers seeking<br />

peace, tranquility and more seclusion than many o<strong>the</strong>r Caribbean <strong>Islands</strong> or Providenciales have to<br />

<strong>of</strong>fer. This exclusive 4,691 sq. ft. 3 bedroom beachfront villa is set on an expansive 2.36 acres. Also<br />

included in this <strong>of</strong>fering, is an adjacent lot with an additional 2.31 acres <strong>of</strong> prime beachfront land.<br />

US$12,000,000<br />

Bernadette Hunt<br />

Cell ~ 649 231 4029 | Tel ~ 649 941 3361<br />

Bernadette@TurksAndCaicosProperty.com<br />

Bernadette has lived in <strong>the</strong> Turks and Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong> for over 21 years and witnessed <strong>the</strong><br />

development and transition <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> islands<br />

into a significant tourist destination. Based<br />

on independent figures her gross transaction<br />

numbers are unrivalled. Bernadette has<br />

listings on Providenciales, Parrot Cay,<br />

North and Middle Caicos and is delighted<br />

to work with sellers and buyers <strong>of</strong> homes,<br />

condos, commercial real estate and vacant<br />

undeveloped sites.<br />

Leeward Canal Front - Villa Maris<br />

Villa Maris is a prime 5 bedroom/5 and a half bathroom waterfront property situated on 1.77<br />

acres and includes a seperate guest house complete with its own pool plus a 50 ft. dock. Located<br />

in Leeward in <strong>the</strong> coveted community <strong>of</strong> Columbus Haven. Villa Maris is an excellent Turks and<br />

Caicos property to consider if you are thinking about purchasing a rental income property.<br />

Price Upon Request<br />

Turks and Caicos Property is <strong>the</strong> leading<br />

independent real estate firm in <strong>the</strong> Turks and<br />

Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> with <strong>of</strong>fices located at Ocean<br />

Club West Plaza, Ocean Club West Resort<br />

and Le Vele Plaza on <strong>the</strong> Grace Bay Road.<br />

Bernadette’s reputation and success has been<br />

earned over time through her dedication,<br />

enthusiasm and passion for real estate. Her<br />

personal experience as having practiced law<br />

in <strong>the</strong> islands for more than 10 years toge<strong>the</strong>r<br />

with owning and renovating a number <strong>of</strong><br />

properties means she is well-placed to advise<br />

her customers and developers on what to<br />

anticipate in <strong>the</strong> purchasing and construction<br />

process.<br />

Bernadette delights in working in <strong>the</strong> real<br />

estate industry and her humor and energy<br />

make her a pleasure to work with.<br />

Grace Bay Beachfront - Villa Cerulean<br />

Villa Cerulean is a one <strong>of</strong> a kind 4 bedroom/6 bathroom modern villa boasting 118 ft. <strong>of</strong> water frontage<br />

located on Providenciales’ coveted North Shore. The multi level property has been impeccably<br />

designed to maximize <strong>the</strong> waterfront location and to provide privacy within an open plan living space.<br />

Please contact Bernadette if you would like<br />

to find out more about owning real estate in<br />

<strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />


from <strong>the</strong> editor<br />


This sea island cotton plant in bloom this spring has been<br />

growing on <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> since <strong>the</strong> days <strong>of</strong> cotton plantations in<br />

<strong>the</strong> late 1700s!<br />

Whatever is Lovely . . .<br />

Just looking at <strong>the</strong> many spectacular photos <strong>of</strong> God’s handiwork in this issue is helping to lift a burden <strong>of</strong> anxiety<br />

<strong>of</strong>f my shoulders. They remind me that we haven’t destroyed <strong>the</strong> planet (yet), that rebirth and restoration are possible<br />

after hurricanes, and that I am (still) blessed to live in this beautiful environment.<br />

I chuckled when I read Ben Stubenberg’s <strong>the</strong>sis that current “wellness” trends mimic life in TCI’s outer islands<br />

<strong>of</strong> North, Middle and South Caicos, and Salt Cay. Everything old is new again! All that walking through <strong>the</strong> bush and<br />

toting water from <strong>the</strong> wells; rising to <strong>the</strong> crow <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> rooster; eating ground food picked fresh from <strong>the</strong> fields; conch<br />

and fish <strong>the</strong> staple protein; early evenings in bed when <strong>the</strong> sun went down; sharing and caring between households;<br />

church all day Sunday and Wednesday night; prayer a daily ritual. Turns out <strong>the</strong> old ways were <strong>the</strong> best ways. Easy<br />

does it is <strong>the</strong> way to go. How thankful I am for enjoying 25 years immersed in a culture based on those tenets!<br />

Immerse yourself in this issue and soak in TCI’s beauty and wonder. And for those who are residents or frequent<br />

visitors, ask yourself how you can find a way to combine a way <strong>of</strong> wellness for yourself and your family with <strong>the</strong> means<br />

towards protecting and keeping <strong>the</strong> world, place, community, and people you call home.<br />

6 www.timespub.tc<br />

Kathy Borsuk, Editor<br />

timespub@tciway.tc • (649) 946-4788

The Leading Private Bank in <strong>the</strong> Turks and Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

Where values are growing<br />

Wealth Management • Bonds/Fixed Income<br />

Investment Strategies • Foreign Exchange<br />

Stocks/Equities • Precious Metals<br />

Fixed deposits/CD’s • International Transfers<br />

Turks & Caicos Banking Company Ltd.<br />

The Regent Village, Unit H102, Grace Bay Road, Providenciales<br />

Tel: +649 941 4994<br />

Email: services@tcbc.tc • www.tcbc.tc<br />

Regulated by <strong>the</strong> Financial Services Commission, Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>



Five Distinct Villages to Choose From<br />


BEACHES ® Turks & Caicos, <strong>the</strong> last <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> true exotics, includes absolutely everything you<br />

could think <strong>of</strong> for <strong>the</strong> ultimate family vacation. A thrilling 45,000 square-foot waterpark with<br />

ten water slides and a surf simulator. Fabulous land and water sports* including unlimited<br />

scuba diving*. PADI even named Beaches Resorts one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> top five dive operations<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Western Hemisphere. Superb 5-Star Global Gourmet dining at 21 restaurants,<br />

and 14 bars serving unlimited premium spirits for adults. Au<strong>the</strong>ntic island entertainment<br />

for everyone. Cool hangouts for teens and Sesame Street ® fun and games for <strong>the</strong> kids.<br />

Complimentary accredited nannies for all ages, all day and into <strong>the</strong> night. Beautifully<br />

appointed family-sized rooms, suites, and villas, some even with butler service. Even <strong>the</strong> tips,<br />

taxes and Beaches transfers* are included. Take a closer look at Beaches Turks & Caicos<br />

and see why we continue to enjoy an unparalleled record <strong>of</strong> award-winning success.

S<br />




Savour <strong>the</strong> difference between<br />

dining and 5-Star Global<br />

Gourmet TM dining where<br />

<strong>the</strong> ingredients are freshly<br />

prepared, <strong>the</strong> décor is as<br />

au<strong>the</strong>ntic as <strong>the</strong> cuisine, and<br />

a globally-inspired menu <strong>of</strong><br />

culinary delights is created by<br />

internationally-trained chefs.<br />

&<br />

Turks Caicos<br />

Resort Villages & Spa<br />



For more information visit BEACHES.COM<br />

In <strong>the</strong> Caribbean: 1-888-BEACHES;<br />

in Turks & Caicos: 649-946-8000<br />

or call your Travel Pr<strong>of</strong>essional<br />



20<br />



*Visit www.beaches.com/disclaimers/times<strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong>islandsspring<strong>2018</strong>btc or<br />

call 1-800-BEACHES for important terms & conditions.<br />


TM/© 2017 Sesame Workshop<br />

WE’RE<br />

BETTER<br />


20<br />


Beaches ® Turks & Caicos has held <strong>the</strong> top spot at <strong>the</strong> World Travel<br />

Awards for two decades by <strong>of</strong>fering guests more <strong>of</strong> everything<br />

on <strong>the</strong> world’s best beach. Every land and water sport, an<br />

awe-inspiring waterpark with surf simulator, 5-Star Global<br />

For more information visit beaches.com<br />

In <strong>the</strong> Caribbean: 1-888-BEACHES;<br />

in Turks & Caicos: 649-946-8000<br />

or call your Travel Pr<strong>of</strong>essional<br />

Gourmet TM dining at 21 incredible restaurants, and non-stop bars<br />

and entertainment — always included, always unlimited. And now<br />

we’ve added trend-setting food trucks, new live entertainment, and<br />

re-styled accommodations … making <strong>the</strong> World’s Best even better.<br />



*Airport transfers included. O<strong>the</strong>r transfers may be additional. Beaches ® is a registered trademark. Unique

Five Distinct Villages to Choose From<br />


BACK AND<br />

THAN<br />

EVER<br />


Vacations, Inc. is an affiliate <strong>of</strong> Unique Travel Corp., <strong>the</strong> worldwide representative <strong>of</strong> Beaches Resorts.

PG advert_Layout 1 5/10/17 9:10 AM Page 1<br />

TIMES<br />


Kathy Borsuk<br />

OF THE<br />



Claire Parrish<br />

“Escape to <strong>the</strong> extraordinary.”<br />


Amy Avenant, Kathy Borsuk, Nichole Caesar, Paul Chaplin,<br />

Elise Elliot-Smith, Katharine Hart, Hope James-Hamilton,<br />

Beth MacDonald, Emily Malcolm, B Naqqi Manco,<br />

Kathleen McNary Wood, Carlton Mills, Claire Parrish,<br />

Michael Pateman, Jody Rathgeb, Peter Richardson,<br />

Jen Rock, Eric F. Salamanca, Pat Saxton, Caleb Spiegel,<br />

Don Stark, Ben Stubenberg.<br />


Paul Chaplin, Christopher Davis, FortisTCI, Katharine Hart,<br />

Heidi Hertler, iStock, Hope James-Hamilton,<br />

Chrystel Loyer Kendrew–Chrystallize Photography,<br />

B Naqqi Manco, Kathleen McNary Wood, Marta Morton,<br />

Jon Nickson–eyeSpice Photography, Martin Pepper,<br />

Annie Potts, Jody Rathgeb, Tom Rathgeb, Peter Richardson,<br />

Mario Rigby, Eric F. Salamanca, Neil Saxton,<br />

Pat Saxton, Sandra Shaw, Manisha Tolani,<br />

Jackie Walker, Candianne Williams.<br />


Wavey Line Publishing<br />


sou<strong>the</strong>astern, Hialeah, FL<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> ISSN 1017-6853 is<br />

published quarterly by <strong>Times</strong> Publications Ltd.<br />

Copyright © <strong>2018</strong> by <strong>Times</strong> Publications Ltd. All rights reserved<br />

under Universal and Pan American Copyright Conventions.<br />

No part <strong>of</strong> this publication may be<br />

reproduced without written permission.<br />

Subscriptions $28/year; $32/year for<br />

non-U.S. mailing addresses<br />

Submissions We welcome submission <strong>of</strong> articles or photography, but<br />

assume no responsibility for care and return <strong>of</strong> unsolicited material.<br />

Return postage must accompany material if it is to be returned. In no<br />

event shall any writer or photographer subject this magazine to any<br />

claim for holding fees or damage charges on unsolicited material.<br />

While every care has been taken in <strong>the</strong> compilation and reproduction <strong>of</strong><br />

information contained herein to ensure correctness, such information is<br />

subject to change without notice. The publisher accepts no<br />

responsibility for such alterations or for typographical or o<strong>the</strong>r errors.<br />




PROVIDENCIALES TCI • US TOLL FREE 1.888.209.5582 • T 649.946.5096<br />


Business Office<br />

<strong>Times</strong> Publications Ltd., P.O. Box 234,<br />

Lucille Lightbourne Building #1,<br />

Providenciales, Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, BWI<br />

Tel/Fax 649 946 4788<br />

Advertising 649 431 7527<br />

E-mail timespub@tciway.tc<br />

Web: www.timespub.tc<br />

12 www.timespub.tc

looking back<br />


North Caicos native Charles Hubert James was devoted and passionate about education—values<br />

reflected in <strong>the</strong> long and meaningful life he lived.<br />

Hard Work Brings Success<br />

Charles Hubert James.<br />

By Hope James-Hamilton and Carlton Mills<br />

Charles Hubert James was born in Bottle Creek, North Caicos on July 4, 1916 to Nathaniel and Isabella<br />

James. His parents were hard-working, strong disciplinarians, loving and caring. “Hubert” came from a<br />

humble beginning. He knew what it was to go without shoes as he walked <strong>the</strong> dusty roads <strong>of</strong> Bottle Creek.<br />

He grew up in <strong>the</strong> area that is called Richmond, a farming area, and developed a touch for plants. He took<br />

pride in keeping his kitchen garden where he grew foods for consumption.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 13


The Charles Hubert James Primary School in Kew, North Caicos bears <strong>the</strong> motto <strong>of</strong> its namesake, “Hard work brings success.”<br />

Education<br />

Hubert attended <strong>the</strong> Bottle Creek All Age School (now<br />

Adelaide Omeler Primary School). He was tutored by Ms.<br />

Albertha Seymour, a lady who was very influential in his<br />

life and eventually encouraged him to go into teaching.<br />

She detected that he had exceptional qualities which<br />

should not be left to chance and saw <strong>the</strong> need for him to<br />

pursue this calling. She recommended that he attend <strong>the</strong><br />

Grand Turk High School (now Helena J. Robinson High<br />

School) under Principal Mr. C. E. Crawford.<br />

This was a challenge for Hubert. Being a poor boy<br />

from North Caicos, going to high school in Grand Turk was<br />

a privilege, as very few parents from <strong>the</strong> Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

had <strong>the</strong> financial resources to sustain <strong>the</strong>ir children in<br />

Grand Turk. Hubert also had to follow in <strong>the</strong> footsteps<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> late Raymond Gardiner who was also from Bottle<br />

Creek and who had recently completed his high school<br />

education in Grand Turk. Raymond had performed most<br />

outstandingly, so a lot was expected <strong>of</strong> Hubert.<br />

This was not his only challenge. Shortly after starting<br />

high school, it was discovered that he had problems deciphering<br />

information from <strong>the</strong> chalkboard. He only spent<br />

one year in high school as his sight began to deteriorate.<br />

He was eventually sent to Nassau, Bahamas where he was<br />

fitted with glasses. This was <strong>the</strong> solution to his problem.<br />

Teaching career<br />

Following his return from Nassau, Hubert took up<br />

<strong>the</strong> post <strong>of</strong> assistant teacher at <strong>the</strong> Adelaide Omeler<br />

Primary School. In July 1944, on <strong>the</strong> recommendation<br />

<strong>of</strong> Ms. Seymour, he was appointed as head teacher at<br />

<strong>the</strong> Blue Hills School (<strong>the</strong> only school at <strong>the</strong> time on<br />

Providenciales). This new position brought a new set<br />

<strong>of</strong> challenges, including overcrowding, delinquency,<br />

truancy and under-staffing. He believed that to run an<br />

effective and efficient organization, <strong>the</strong>se challenges<br />

needed immediate attention. He was very outspoken to<br />

<strong>the</strong> extent that he was labelled as “a thorn in <strong>the</strong> flesh <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> authorities.” This did not discourage or deter him. He<br />

could be seen walking <strong>the</strong> beach and going through <strong>the</strong><br />

communities <strong>of</strong> Providenciales looking for his students<br />

when <strong>the</strong>y did not attend school. This inspired him to<br />

develop a good rapport with parents, and <strong>the</strong> situation<br />

started to improve. His concern was <strong>the</strong> welfare <strong>of</strong> his<br />

students.<br />

The year 1945 was a turning point in his career. He<br />

was appointed as head teacher at <strong>the</strong> Kew Primary School,<br />

a position he was reluctant to accept for being too abrupt.<br />

What fur<strong>the</strong>r impacted his move was <strong>the</strong> onslaught <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> 1945 hurricane which claimed <strong>the</strong> lives <strong>of</strong> 45 men at<br />

sea. This hurricane reaped havoc in Providenciales not<br />

14 www.timespub.tc

only killing people, but destroying homes and many <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> fishing boats, having a major impact on <strong>the</strong> island’s<br />

economy.<br />

The government continued to insist that he be transferred<br />

to Kew and it eventually took place in July 1947.<br />

The Kew Primary School served <strong>the</strong> North Caicos communities<br />

<strong>of</strong> Kew, Whitby and Sandy Point. Based on his<br />

experience <strong>of</strong> involving parents and <strong>the</strong> community, he<br />

was quick to foster <strong>the</strong> same kind <strong>of</strong> relationships, gaining<br />

<strong>the</strong> respect and trust <strong>of</strong> members <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> community.<br />

The spirit <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> man<br />

Hubert was not only a teacher but also a community<br />

activist. Following <strong>the</strong> 1945 hurricane, he spent much<br />

time helping <strong>the</strong> people <strong>of</strong> Providenciales rebuild <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

lives, leading <strong>the</strong> relief effort. Even though he was head<br />

teacher with responsibility for <strong>the</strong> school, he served multiple<br />

roles such as Justice <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Peace and Chairman <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> District Board. As board chairman, he was <strong>the</strong> key<br />

link between <strong>the</strong> government and <strong>the</strong> community. He and<br />

his board members were responsible for determining <strong>the</strong><br />

needs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> community and representing <strong>the</strong>se needs to<br />

<strong>the</strong> government.<br />

In 1960, while still in Kew, North Caicos, disaster<br />

struck again. Hurricane Donna struck <strong>the</strong> island levelling<br />

homes and dumping inches <strong>of</strong> rain resulting in severe<br />

flooding. Mr. James’s recovery skills were once again<br />

called into action. He was so concerned about <strong>the</strong> welfare<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> people that he overworked himself,<br />

Juan Martinez Fall 15 sixth_Layout 1 5/27/16 11:58 AM Page 1<br />

falling<br />

ill and having to take a three-month respite. Despite his<br />

health challenges, when Governor Kenneth Blackbourne<br />

<strong>of</strong> Jamaica (with responsibility for <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong>) came to visit, it did not prevent Hubert from writing<br />

an enlightening song called “Hurricane Donna” and<br />

training <strong>the</strong> children to sing it during <strong>the</strong> visit.<br />

Reflections<br />

In July 1969, after serving some 25 years at <strong>the</strong> Kew<br />

Primary School and a total <strong>of</strong> 37 years in education,<br />

Hubert decided to retire. He continued teaching children<br />

privately, writing wills for people, settling disputes<br />

between family members, assisting persons with <strong>the</strong><br />

administration <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir properties and sitting on various<br />

boards.<br />

In 1972, he was one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> leading voices, along with<br />

Ms. Omeler and Ms. Jessie Campbell (two former head<br />

teachers in North Caicos, now deceased), agitating for a<br />

high school on North Caicos. They knew what children<br />

from North Caicos who attended <strong>the</strong> high school on<br />

PHONE:<br />

2 4 1 . 3 2 9 7<br />

2 4 4 . 9 0 9 0<br />

3 4 4 . 9 4 0 3<br />

2 4 4 . 6 1 9 1<br />



<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 15

Grand Turk experienced. They felt that it was time for<br />

North Caicos to have <strong>the</strong>ir own high school where children<br />

could be close to <strong>the</strong>ir parents. The trio went about<br />

ga<strong>the</strong>ring signatures from <strong>the</strong> community. Their efforts<br />

were not in vain. One year later, in September 1973, <strong>the</strong><br />

North Caicos Junior High School opened its doors to 99<br />

students and 3 teachers, with Hubert’s daughter Hope<br />

James-Hamilton as <strong>the</strong> first principal. The school was<br />

later named after Raymond Gardiner and became a fullfledged<br />

high school a few years later.<br />

Mr. James was a loving, caring and kind man. He<br />

was devoted and passionate about education. As a headmaster,<br />

he had <strong>the</strong> distinct honour <strong>of</strong> meeting several<br />

administrators and commissioners <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. He<br />

also served as Returning Officer in three general elections<br />

and was appointed to various government boards.<br />

He was appointed as a Justice <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Peace in 1956 and<br />

reappointed in 1970. In July 1966, he was awarded The<br />

Queen’s Badge <strong>of</strong> Honour which was personally bestowed<br />

on him by Her Majesty during Her visit to <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. In<br />

1974, he was awarded The Member <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> British Empire<br />

(MBE).<br />

In 1984, <strong>the</strong> Kew Primary School was re-named in<br />

his honour as <strong>the</strong> Charles Hubert James Primary School.<br />

Just before his death on August 18, 1997, in June he<br />

received an accolade from <strong>the</strong> Providenciales Native<br />

Men’s Fellowship for his outstanding work.<br />

Mr. James also composed a number <strong>of</strong> songs for <strong>the</strong><br />

children in Kew, including “Welcome to Kew,” “He Thinks<br />

<strong>of</strong> Me,” “Sweetly Sings <strong>the</strong> Donkey,” “Buy <strong>the</strong> Conch News”<br />

and “The Pelican.”<br />

Charles Hubert James was a patriot who dedicated<br />

his life to TCI’s education system. He was not afraid to<br />

speak his mind as he represented <strong>the</strong> interest <strong>of</strong> those<br />

who were voiceless. He was a true example <strong>of</strong> a man who<br />

cared about <strong>the</strong> welfare <strong>of</strong> his students, who he served<br />

with dignity and pride. His life is a tribute to one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

lines <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI’s National Song: “Our Allegiance Turks &<br />

Caicos we pledge and we affirm.” He certainly pledged his<br />

allegiance to making <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> a better<br />

place. a<br />

display ads . . .<br />

are an inexpensive way to reach<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> readers, in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

and around <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

call 649 431 7527 or<br />

email tfadvert@tciway.tc<br />

Dr. Carlton Mills has served as principal <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Marjorie<br />

Basden High School, Raymond Gardiner High School, and<br />

deputy principal <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI Community College. In 2015,<br />

he became principal <strong>of</strong> Long Bay High School. With his<br />

wife Debby-Lee, <strong>the</strong>y own and operate <strong>the</strong> Mills Institute.<br />

Dr. Mills is author <strong>of</strong> A History <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

16 www.timespub.tc

Macaw-very<br />

By Jody Rathgeb<br />

Photo By Tom Rathgeb<br />

Here’s a hurricane recovery story <strong>of</strong> a<br />

different colour: specifically, <strong>the</strong> reds<br />

and blue-greens <strong>of</strong> a Green Wing Macaw<br />

living on North Caicos.<br />

The bird, named Papi, was among<br />

several featured in an article in <strong>the</strong><br />

Summer 2017 <strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. At<br />

that time, his caretakers, Howie Bartels<br />

and Patti Deslauriers <strong>of</strong> Major Hill, had<br />

encouraged him to fly free, and he<br />

became a bright spot in <strong>the</strong> neighbourhood,<br />

spotted on trees here and <strong>the</strong>re<br />

but always coming home for meals and<br />

treats. Then came Hurricane Irma.<br />

Like everyone else, Howie was busy<br />

making preparations (Patti was visiting<br />

relatives in <strong>the</strong> United States). Among<br />

his many jobs was trying to capture<br />

Papi to keep him safe. For three days<br />

before <strong>the</strong> storm, Howie tried to nab<br />

<strong>the</strong> wary bird, who didn’t understand<br />

<strong>the</strong> need to be in a cage again. But with<br />

Irma bearing down, <strong>the</strong> attempts eventually<br />

had to be abandoned.<br />

After <strong>the</strong> storm, Howie went looking<br />

for <strong>the</strong> lost bird. A tip from a<br />

neighbor took him to ano<strong>the</strong>r neighbour’s<br />

yard and one <strong>of</strong> Papi’s favorite<br />

trees for perching. “The tree was blown<br />

down, and Papi was lying on <strong>the</strong><br />

ground,” Howie relates. “I thought he was dead. But<br />

when I picked him up, he moaned.” Howie took him<br />

home and put him in a waiting cage. “He climbed to <strong>the</strong><br />

top <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> cage and hung upside down for two days.<br />

His lungs were full <strong>of</strong> water, and he knew what to do to<br />

drain <strong>the</strong>m.”<br />

When Papi finally started drinking water again,<br />

Howie began giving him antibiotics, and as <strong>the</strong> macaw<br />

improved he was put in <strong>the</strong> flight aviary for exercise.<br />

Several months later he was fully recovered, though<br />

not yet flying free again. There was, however, a new<br />

development in Papi’s life: love.<br />

“Papi decided he wanted to nest,” Howie says. “I<br />

Pre-hurricanes, Papi perches solo outside <strong>of</strong> his caretakers’ home in Major Hill, North<br />

Caicos. Post-hurricane, he/she now has a close pal.<br />

couldn’t keep him out <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> chicken box!” Howie<br />

began to suspect that Papi might be a female and built<br />

him/her a nesting box. “And all <strong>of</strong> a sudden he and Oro<br />

(a blue and gold macaw) were an item.” The two birds<br />

have become inseparable, preening each o<strong>the</strong>r and<br />

defending <strong>the</strong> new box. Howie says he doesn’t know<br />

if Papi is a female, or if she is too old for egg-laying,<br />

but notes that <strong>the</strong>re is definitely something hormonal<br />

going on.<br />

In mythology, <strong>the</strong> phoenix is a bird that rises again<br />

from its own ashes when burnt. On North Caicos, Papi<br />

gave a twist to <strong>the</strong> story <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> phoenix, recovering<br />

from a near-drowning by hurricane to find a new love<br />

in and <strong>of</strong> life. a<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 17

feature<br />

Opposite page: The eggs <strong>of</strong> giant waterbugs (Belostomatidae), affixed to a stem, hatched when this ephemeral pond filled in December.<br />

Above: Locally called “down” (<strong>of</strong>ten pronounced “dawn”) due to its seed fluff having been used to stuff pillows, Dominican cattails Typha<br />

domingensis are also harvested to make baskets and mats. Tattyland Down Pond in North Caicos is abundant in stands <strong>of</strong> this plant, sometimes<br />

growing three metres high.<br />

Walking over <strong>the</strong> cracked, hardened mud <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> flat salinas <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> at <strong>the</strong> height <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> dry<br />

season, it is hard to imagine any presence <strong>of</strong> sweet, fresh water nearby. Even in <strong>the</strong> cooler parts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

year, <strong>the</strong> sun burns down without interruption; <strong>the</strong>re is no shade on <strong>the</strong> salina. A few mangroves and<br />

buttonwoods grow contorted, <strong>of</strong>ten horizontal and prostrate, hundreds <strong>of</strong> years old but only inches tall.<br />

The harsh sea air wisps through <strong>the</strong>m, gusting in salty jets as <strong>the</strong> baked mud below reflects <strong>the</strong> sunlight<br />

in its array <strong>of</strong> saline crystals.<br />

Mirages Come to Life<br />

Ephemeral wetlands <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

Story & Photos By B Naqqi Manco, TCI Naturalist<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 19

Even when rain does fall here, it will only quench <strong>the</strong><br />

thirst <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> salt enough to allow halophytic plants to<br />

grow. They hoard salty water in <strong>the</strong>ir succulent tissues<br />

and only grow inches high because <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> energy <strong>the</strong>y<br />

spend on extracting fresh water from <strong>the</strong> brine. For such<br />

small islands, <strong>the</strong> flatness seems to go on forever—but<br />

<strong>the</strong>re looks to be relief in sight. Just below <strong>the</strong> horizon,<br />

a pool <strong>of</strong> inviting blue lays on <strong>the</strong> parched land. But <strong>the</strong><br />

visible heat haze from <strong>the</strong> land around <strong>the</strong> pool belies its<br />

farce. That pool is a mirage, <strong>the</strong> bending <strong>of</strong> light waves<br />

that produce an optical illusion <strong>of</strong> blue where <strong>the</strong>re is<br />

none.<br />

But just a bit fur<strong>the</strong>r north, behind <strong>the</strong> first ridge, one<br />

can sometimes find a genuine oasis—deep, still pools <strong>of</strong><br />

fresh water reflecting <strong>the</strong> sky and bringing forth life. But<br />

only sometimes, because <strong>the</strong>se wetlands are temporary.<br />

Low areas filled with silt collect rainwater in <strong>the</strong> months<br />

following hurricane season, and <strong>the</strong> saturated, spongy<br />

limestone below allows <strong>the</strong> ponds to stay full.<br />

Life moves in. Eggs <strong>of</strong> crustaceans and insects and<br />

even fish left in <strong>the</strong> mud begin to hatch. Seeds and rootstocks<br />

grow. Sedges and ferns sprout, grasses grow<br />

drunkenly tall, falling lax into <strong>the</strong> pond at its edges,<br />

spreading just below <strong>the</strong> surface. Dominican cattails<br />

Typha domingensis spear skyward and push <strong>the</strong>ir runners<br />

aggressively through <strong>the</strong> mud, quickly filling shallow<br />

corners. Fog-fruit creeper Phyla nodiflora releases its formerly<br />

desperate hold on <strong>the</strong> pond bottom and doesn’t<br />

mind swimming around. Guadalupe water-nymph Najas<br />

guadalupensis sprouts, able to exist supported by deep<br />

water. Normally stiff hatpin sedge Eleocharis bahamensis,<br />

endemic to <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, becomes a<br />

lax mat <strong>of</strong> green hair-grass. Inundated bur-head sword<br />

Echinodorus berteroi plants transform <strong>the</strong>ir leaves from<br />

standing spade shapes to ruffled, flowing blades <strong>of</strong> kelp.<br />

Big-top palm Sabal palmetto and West Indian mahogany<br />

Swietenia mahagoni tangle with buttonwood Conocarpus<br />

erectus at <strong>the</strong> ponds’ edges, content with wet feet. Many<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se plants are useful to people, who extract thatch<br />

for ro<strong>of</strong>s, basketry straw, lumber and even pillow stuffing<br />

from <strong>the</strong>se aquatic gardens.<br />

Among <strong>the</strong> aquatic plants, animals swim and feed.<br />

Clam shrimp, bumping along resembling oblong opal<br />

lockets, speed through <strong>the</strong>ir entire life cycle in just 16<br />

days—one doesn’t know how long <strong>the</strong> water will remain.<br />

Water fleas and copeopods jerk through <strong>the</strong> water, sometimes<br />

clouding it with <strong>the</strong>ir numbers. Maligned as <strong>the</strong>y<br />

are, mosquito larvae dwell here, but are decidedly few<br />

compared to smaller puddles and water collecting in<br />

From top: Green and silver buttonwood trees Conocarpus erectus<br />

flank deeper pools where aquatic plants grow.<br />

A mat <strong>of</strong> hair-like hatpin sedge Eleocharis bahamensis, found only in<br />

<strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, grows in <strong>the</strong> tea-stained water with algae<br />

and o<strong>the</strong>r plants.<br />

20 www.timespub.tc

This elegant, plume-gilled damselfly larva hunt <strong>the</strong> mosquito larvae and o<strong>the</strong>r aquatic animals amongst <strong>the</strong> immersed foliage.<br />

human-related debris—in this pond<br />

world, mosquito larvae are on nearly<br />

everything’s menu. Elegant, plumegilled<br />

larvae <strong>of</strong> damselflies and stout,<br />

deliberate larvae <strong>of</strong> dragonflies carefully<br />

hunt <strong>the</strong> mosquito larvae and<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r aquatic animals amongst <strong>the</strong><br />

immersed foliage. As soon as <strong>the</strong>y<br />

emerge as adults, <strong>the</strong>y flit about,<br />

consuming adult mosquitoes, and<br />

laying sinking eggs back into <strong>the</strong><br />

water. Mayfly larvae with frilly gills<br />

flashing develop quickly into adults<br />

which have precisely 24 hours to find<br />

a mate and lay eggs before <strong>the</strong>ir natural<br />

lifespan expires.<br />

Miniature snails, with flat, coiled<br />

shells looking like Middle Caicos<br />

fanner-grass baskets, drag <strong>the</strong>mselves<br />

through <strong>the</strong> underwater<br />

forest. Inch-long fairy shrimp, with<br />

sky-blue bodies and orange tails,<br />

jet about looking far more impressive<br />

than <strong>the</strong>ir cousins sold as pets<br />

claiming to be monkeys from <strong>the</strong> sea.<br />

Caddisfly larvae haul <strong>the</strong>ir handmade<br />

junk-collector shells along with <strong>the</strong>m,<br />

simultaneous experts in camouflage<br />

and compulsive hoarding. Cartoonish<br />

and bumbling, fat water mites pad-<br />

Clockwise from top left: Miniature snails with flat, coiled shells drag <strong>the</strong>mselves through <strong>the</strong><br />

underwater forest.<br />

The opaline pattern <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1/4 inch-long clam shrimp, which live <strong>the</strong>ir entire life cycle in 16<br />

days, is visible through <strong>the</strong> transparent clasping shell that gives <strong>the</strong>m <strong>the</strong>ir name.<br />

A small brown diving beetle clasps an air bubble under its modified forewings–a scuba diver<br />

millennia before humans.<br />

A young giant waterbug, or “toe-biter,” clasps a clam shrimp in its namesake pincerlike forelegs,<br />

while sucking out <strong>the</strong> shrimp’s innards through a piercing straw.<br />

dle furiously with tiny spider legs pulling along a perfectly spherical body<br />

far too big for <strong>the</strong>m—and yet, <strong>the</strong>y’re predators, terrifying to water fleas.<br />

Backswimmer bugs paddle in fits and starts with <strong>the</strong>ir pair <strong>of</strong> oar-like legs.<br />

Busy diving beetles and <strong>the</strong>ir dragon-like larvae prowl for smaller swimmers<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 21

The still, reflective surface <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se dark-water ponds <strong>of</strong>ten mirrors <strong>the</strong> overcast sky <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> months after hurricane season.<br />

From left: Green herons frequent <strong>the</strong> freshwater pools in search <strong>of</strong> insects and fish. Red, fine-leaved water-nymph Najas guadalupensis is a<br />

true aquatic plant that is supported by <strong>the</strong> water. It disappears completely in <strong>the</strong> dry season, leaving behind only seeds.<br />

while young giant waterbugs, aptly nicknamed toe-biters<br />

or water-scorpions, grab <strong>the</strong>ir prey with forelegs modified<br />

into spiky calipers, and pierce <strong>the</strong>m to feed with a decidedly<br />

unpleasant beak.<br />

On <strong>the</strong> water surface, drowning flies are collected by<br />

skating water striders and whirligig beetles spiraling like<br />

obsidian bumper cars. Hunting through are schools <strong>of</strong><br />

sheepshead minnows, males flashing vibrant iridescent<br />

blue to attract mates and warn rivals. They want <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

territories to be full <strong>of</strong> eggs, deep in <strong>the</strong> mud, that will<br />

survive until <strong>the</strong> next post-hurricane rains.<br />

Where once stood a dry, low, meadow dotted with<br />

crinkly grass and stout weeds, waterfowl and seabirds<br />

forage. They have come inland for this bounty, <strong>the</strong> herons<br />

and egrets as well as <strong>the</strong> sandpipers, plovers and gulls.<br />

Ducks check stock and feed, jumping to <strong>the</strong> next pud-<br />

22 www.timespub.tc

Ferry Fall 17_Layout 1 8/22/17 12:52 PM Page 1<br />

dle—white-cheeked pintails with short bursts <strong>of</strong> flight,<br />

West Indian whistling ducks with deliberate overland<br />

hikes. Grebes and gallinules build <strong>the</strong>ir floating nests,<br />

giving <strong>the</strong>ir constantly-hungry young a bounty <strong>of</strong> subaquatic<br />

invertebrate protein. Walking along <strong>the</strong> edge <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> ponds, diverse alarm calls can be heard clamoring to<br />

one ano<strong>the</strong>r: <strong>the</strong> throat-clearing croak <strong>of</strong> night herons,<br />

<strong>the</strong> gruff squeal <strong>of</strong> green herons, <strong>the</strong> multisyllabic whistles<br />

<strong>of</strong> yellowlegs and willets, and <strong>the</strong> metallic hoots <strong>of</strong><br />

black-necked stilts. They have all come to hunt in <strong>the</strong> still,<br />

settled water.<br />

Stained by fallen leaves and dead wood, <strong>the</strong> water<br />

begins to take on <strong>the</strong> hue <strong>of</strong> Earl Grey tea, preventing<br />

algae from taking over. The still surface becomes perfectly<br />

reflective. Surrounding trees’ images frame <strong>the</strong><br />

clouds, mirrored sharply on <strong>the</strong> water.<br />

As <strong>the</strong> cooler wea<strong>the</strong>r sets in, conditions get dryer.<br />

By February and March, <strong>the</strong> water is nearly gone. By May,<br />

<strong>the</strong> ponds will look no wetter than <strong>the</strong> salina, and <strong>the</strong><br />

real mirage <strong>of</strong> water will have disappeared. The grebes<br />

and ducks will have moved on, <strong>the</strong> dragonflies and damselflies<br />

fledged and left behind eggs, <strong>the</strong> waterbugs<br />

affixed <strong>the</strong>ir progeny to plant stems. The plants will have<br />

replaced <strong>the</strong>ir lax leaves with practical, lea<strong>the</strong>ry blades,<br />

<strong>the</strong> water-nymph desiccated down to nothing more than<br />

dust. Sheepshead minnows, corralled thickly in tiny<br />

mud-puddles, will have been finished <strong>of</strong>f by herons and<br />

sandpipers, <strong>the</strong>ir eggs secure under <strong>the</strong> mummifying<br />

mud.<br />

The dried-down pond mud is rich in nutrients, and<br />

weedy herbs will quickly grow up and dominate <strong>the</strong> newly<br />

exposed ground. Historically, some crops were even<br />

planted in <strong>the</strong>se “garden ponds.” By <strong>the</strong> months before<br />

<strong>the</strong> next hurricane season, <strong>the</strong> ground will turn from<br />

cracked mud to baked hardpan to fine dust. Life locked<br />

in hibernating capsules under <strong>the</strong> desiccated silt will wait<br />

a year, maybe more if <strong>the</strong> wea<strong>the</strong>r is disagreeable, for<br />

<strong>the</strong> next flood <strong>of</strong> fresh water. The teeming, tea-stained,<br />

mirror waters will only remain a memory, a mirage, until<br />

<strong>the</strong>n. a<br />

* *<br />

Temporary suspension PROVO NORTH 12.30pm & 1.30pm Sept 1st to Oct 31st<br />

*<br />

Resumes Nov 1st<br />

If you want to visit TCI’s ephemeral freshwater wetlands,<br />

drive along <strong>the</strong> King Road in North Caicos between Whitby<br />

and Bottle Creek, keeping a lookout for flashes <strong>of</strong> water<br />

in <strong>the</strong> bush beside <strong>the</strong> road; or hike around Kew’s oak<br />

bottoms. In Middle Caicos, a walk along Garden Pond<br />

Field-road near Lorimers will find such ponds. Be sure to<br />

cover up and apply repellant, as some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> most common<br />

citizens <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> freshwater wetlands are mosquitoes!<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 23

green pages<br />

newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

head <strong>of</strong>fice: church folly, grand turk, tel 649 946 2801 • fax 649 946 1895<br />

• astwood street, south caicos, tel 649 946 3306 • fax 946 3710<br />

• national environmental centre, lower bight road, providenciales<br />

parks division, tel 649 941 5122 • fax 649 946 4793<br />

fisheries division, tel 649 946 4017 • fax 649 946 4793<br />

email environment@gov.tc or dema.tci@gmail.com • web www.environment.tc<br />

The number <strong>of</strong> Piping Plover counted this year in <strong>the</strong> TCI<br />

was less than half <strong>the</strong> number counted in 2017.<br />

Piping Plover Persevere<br />

How did <strong>the</strong> hurricanes affect shorebirds <strong>of</strong> conservation concern?<br />

By Eric F. Salamanca*, Elise Elliot-Smith**, Caleb Spiegel***, Jen Rock‡, Beth MacDonald,<br />

Kathleen McNary Wood‡‡‡, B Naqqi Manco*, Katharine Hart* and Nicole Caesar*<br />

*Department <strong>of</strong> Environment and Coastal Resources, Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

**US Geological Survey , ***US Fish and Wildlife Service,<br />

‡Environment and Climate Change Canada, ‡‡SWA Environmental<br />

Photos By Dr. Eric F. Salamanca<br />

An international team <strong>of</strong> researchers has just completed a survey <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> to document<br />

<strong>the</strong> impacts <strong>of</strong> Hurricane Irma and Maria on <strong>the</strong> number <strong>of</strong> wintering Piping Plover (Charadrius<br />

melodus) and o<strong>the</strong>r shorebirds. A total <strong>of</strong> 62 Piping Plover was counted this year, which represents a 64%<br />

decline compared to last year’s count.<br />

All shorebirds were counted during surveys <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>, representing over 15 species and many<br />

<strong>of</strong> conservation concern. While <strong>the</strong> total shorebird count has not been tallied, overall shorebird numbers<br />

were much reduced compared to last year with a 75% lower count at one particularly important site.<br />

24 www.timespub.tc

green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

This year Piping Plover were seen at three locations:<br />

a small cay <strong>of</strong>f South Caicos, a cay between Middle and<br />

East Caicos, and <strong>the</strong> East Bay Cay <strong>of</strong>f North Caicos. They<br />

were missing from a few spots where <strong>the</strong>y had been<br />

observed in prior years. Many quiet cays and remote<br />

beaches throughout <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> were surveyed. Secluded<br />

and undeveloped mudflats and sandy beaches in <strong>the</strong><br />

Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> make attractive wintering areas<br />

for many migratory shorebirds including <strong>the</strong> Piping Plover<br />

and ano<strong>the</strong>r U.S. and Canadian threatened shorebird, <strong>the</strong><br />

Red Knot (Calidris canutus).<br />

There is still some very good wintering habitat in <strong>the</strong><br />

TCI for Piping Plover, but evidence <strong>of</strong> Hurricanes Irma and<br />

Maria was observed during surveys <strong>of</strong> most sites, with<br />

erosion having reduced habitat in some areas, at least<br />

temporarily. Little Ambergris Cay is one place that was<br />

particularly hard-hit by Hurricane Irma, reduced by erosion<br />

and overwashing. Piping Plover had been observed<br />

in multiple places <strong>the</strong>re during prior surveys. Although<br />

a very thorough survey was conducted in <strong>2018</strong>, fewer<br />

shorebirds were counted compared to previous years and<br />

no Piping Plover were seen on Little Ambergris.<br />

It is still unknown exactly how <strong>the</strong> birds respond to<br />

hurricanes, so this type <strong>of</strong> research is extremely important.<br />

The massive storms which hit <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong> in September 2017 could have caused direct<br />

Piping Plover mortality and o<strong>the</strong>r shorebird losses.<br />

However, it is also possible that birds left in advance <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> storm and birds still migrating may have been steered<br />

<strong>of</strong>f course, causing <strong>the</strong>m to winter elsewhere. Numbers <strong>of</strong><br />

Piping Plover were greatly reduced in <strong>the</strong> Bahamas after<br />

Hurricane Mat<strong>the</strong>w (E.C. Dooley 2017, J. Carey 2016). In<br />

combination with Bahamas research and future research<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, it may be possible to figure<br />

out if declines persist long-term or if <strong>the</strong> birds only temporarily<br />

relocate during <strong>the</strong> year <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> storms.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r tool to help researchers better understand<br />

<strong>the</strong> impacts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> storms is marking and re-sighting<br />

birds. In each prior survey year, uniquely marked Piping<br />

Plover were observed. During <strong>the</strong> <strong>2018</strong> surveys, 12 <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

62 birds spotted were tagged birds, marked with individual<br />

coded flags. The marked birds were banded in U.S. (5)<br />

and Canada (7) confirming that <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

is an important wintering area for <strong>the</strong>se threatened and<br />

endangered populations. At one very small cay <strong>of</strong>f South<br />

Caicos some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> same birds have been seen multiple<br />

years in a row. But some marked birds seen previously<br />

were not seen this year. Researchers will be looking for<br />

<strong>the</strong>se birds during <strong>the</strong> breeding season. If <strong>the</strong>y are seen<br />

during breeding surveys or future winter surveys in <strong>the</strong><br />

TCI, that would support <strong>the</strong> hypo<strong>the</strong>sis that birds relocate<br />

for <strong>the</strong> winter after a storm. Alternatively, if <strong>the</strong>se<br />

marked birds are never seen again, it is possible <strong>the</strong><br />

storms cause some direct mortality.<br />

Numerous o<strong>the</strong>r shorebirds were counted in <strong>the</strong> TCI during <strong>the</strong> February <strong>2018</strong> survey, including Black-bellied Plover, Red Knot and Shortbilled<br />

Dowitcher.<br />

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green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

An international team <strong>of</strong> researchers surveyed many <strong>of</strong> TCI’s quiet cays and remote beaches to count shorebirds, including <strong>the</strong> Piping Plover.<br />

Given <strong>the</strong> impacts <strong>of</strong> Hurricanes Irma and Maria on<br />

Piping Plover and o<strong>the</strong>r shorebirds and <strong>the</strong>ir habitat in <strong>the</strong><br />

From top: An important study tree in <strong>the</strong> strongest remaining Caicos<br />

pine Turks population & Caicos, in Middle future Caicos research was blown is needed. over, but Launching it may survive an<br />

if its roots were not too badly damaged.<br />

A extensive Caicos pine survey sapling <strong>of</strong> at <strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong> DECR <strong>Islands</strong> Native requires Plant Garden a lot in <strong>of</strong> Kew, international<br />

was planning planted and by primary support. school However, students. <strong>the</strong> Piping Plover<br />

North<br />

Caicos<br />

is an international species <strong>of</strong> concern and working in<br />

collaboration is essential to assess threats throughout<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir lifecycle and to better understand <strong>the</strong> resilience and<br />

recovery <strong>of</strong> this species and <strong>the</strong> habitat to hurricanes.<br />

Thus, researchers from <strong>the</strong> U.S. and Canada will try to<br />

return next year and work again with TCI researchers<br />

to see if <strong>the</strong> Piping Plover population in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> has<br />

recovered and if <strong>the</strong>y have returned in greater numbers.<br />

What is a Piping Plover?<br />

The Piping Plover is a small, stout shorebird, with a large,<br />

rounded head, a short, thick neck and a stubby bill. It is<br />

a sand-colored, dull gray/khaki, sparrow-sized shorebird.<br />

The adult has yellow-orange legs, a black band across<br />

<strong>the</strong> forehead from eye to eye and a black ring around<br />

<strong>the</strong> neck during <strong>the</strong> breeding season. During nonbreeding<br />

season, <strong>the</strong> black band becomes less pronounced. Its<br />

bill is mostly black, with a small amount <strong>of</strong> orange at <strong>the</strong><br />

base. It ranges from 15–19 cm (5.9–7.5 in) in length, with<br />

a wingspan <strong>of</strong> 35–41 cm (14–16 in) and a mass <strong>of</strong> 42–64<br />

g (1.5–2.3 oz).<br />

The Piping Plover is a rare shorebird that breeds in<br />

<strong>the</strong> U.S. and Canada and migrates to <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>rn U.S.,<br />

Caribbean and Mexico for <strong>the</strong> winter. Wintering birds<br />

from <strong>the</strong> U.S. and Canada spend considerable time in <strong>the</strong><br />

Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, probably due to <strong>the</strong> favourable<br />

climate and habitats.<br />

Wintering Piping Plovers prefer mudflat and sandy<br />

beach habitats. They are particularly attracted to areas<br />

with tidal flats—coastal sandy or muddy areas that are<br />

bare or sparsely vegetated with algae which are flooded<br />

at high tide but exposed by low tides. During <strong>the</strong> breeding<br />

season, <strong>the</strong>y nest on sandy and stony coastal beaches<br />

and feed along beaches and nearby sand and mudflats.<br />

The Piping Plover’s diet includes marine worms, fly larvae,<br />

beetles, insects, crustaceans, mollusks and o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

small invertebrates. When it spots prey, <strong>the</strong> plover will<br />

quickly run after it, stop suddenly and <strong>the</strong>n snatch it up.<br />

Conservation status<br />

The Piping Plover is globally threatened or endangered,<br />

depending on <strong>the</strong> breeding location, with fewer than 9,000<br />

individuals in <strong>the</strong> world. In <strong>the</strong> U.S. Great Lakes region,<br />

it has been listed as Endangered, and it is considered<br />

Threatened in <strong>the</strong> remainder <strong>of</strong> its U.S. breeding range.<br />

In Canada, <strong>the</strong> Piping Plover is considered Endangered.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, this bird is listed as Rare<br />

and Endangered (Wildlife and Biodiversity Protection<br />

Bill). It is globally recognized as Near-Threatened by <strong>the</strong><br />

International Union for <strong>the</strong> Conservation <strong>of</strong> Nature.<br />

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green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

Surveys<br />

In 2011, many local bird enthusiasts had reported small<br />

numbers (less than 5) <strong>of</strong> Piping Plover during <strong>the</strong> winter<br />

months, but no authoritative confirmation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

birds’ migration to <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> had yet<br />

been made. That same year, <strong>the</strong> Bahamas was for <strong>the</strong><br />

first time identified as a major wintering site for <strong>the</strong> species<br />

(Elliott-Smith et al. 2015, Gratto-Trevor, et al., 2016).<br />

Knowing this, in 2016 a group <strong>of</strong> researchers from <strong>the</strong><br />

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife<br />

Service (USFWS), in cooperation with <strong>the</strong> DECR, conducted<br />

a preliminary survey and found 96 Piping Plovers<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. In 2017, <strong>the</strong> same group,<br />

with <strong>the</strong> addition <strong>of</strong> Environment and Climate Change<br />

Canada (ECCC), Turks & Caicos National Trust, <strong>the</strong> U.K.’s<br />

Royal Society for <strong>the</strong> Protection <strong>of</strong> Birds (RSPB) and SWA<br />

Environmental collaborated to conduct a similar study<br />

expanded to cover more areas and 174 Piping Plover<br />

were documented.<br />

Threats<br />

Many anthropogenic activities can negatively affect Piping<br />

Plover populations in wintering areas. Disturbance to<br />

roosting and foraging birds may be caused by vehicle<br />

traffic including jet-skis, airboats and all-terrain vehicles.<br />

Habitat may be lost or degraded by dredging activities,<br />

construction and installation <strong>of</strong> structures including marinas,<br />

roads and dwellings, oil spills and oil spill clean-up.<br />

Also, beach nourishment, storm water and wastewater<br />

discharge, stabilization and cleaning may degrade shorebird<br />

habitat. Predation and disturbance by introduced<br />

animals such as feral cats and dogs can have direct and<br />

indirect effects on resting and feeding shorebirds.<br />

Bird conservation<br />

There is definitely a need to protect habitat and shorebirds<br />

in TCI. Tagging projects have highlighted <strong>the</strong> fact<br />

that many Piping Plover return to <strong>the</strong> same winter location<br />

year after year. If we want this endangered and<br />

threatened bird to continue visiting <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong>, <strong>the</strong>re is a need to address <strong>the</strong> deterioration and<br />

destruction <strong>of</strong> important bird habitat including key roost<br />

sites where shorebirds rest, and sand and mudflats where<br />

shorebirds feed.<br />

If you want to take part in activities that will promote<br />

environmental sustainability, including bird conservation,<br />

Of <strong>the</strong> 62 Piping Plovers counted in <strong>2018</strong>, 12 were banded birds<br />

marked with uniquely coded coloured flags.<br />

contact <strong>the</strong> DECR at environment@gov.tc. a<br />

This year’s fieldworks were supported by BirdsCaribbean,<br />

Turks & Caicos Reef Fund and SWA Environmental, in<br />

addition to <strong>the</strong> financial and in-kind contributions by <strong>the</strong><br />

institutions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> participating team members.<br />

Literature sited<br />

Carey, J. 2016. Hundreds <strong>of</strong> Atlantic Piping Plovers<br />

Are Missing After Hurricane Mat<strong>the</strong>w. Audubon News,<br />

14 December 2016. http://www.audubon.org/news/<br />

Dooley, E.C. 2017. Bird watching: Eyes on plover<br />

population after Hurricane Mat<strong>the</strong>w. Newsday, 20<br />

May 2017. https://www.newsday.com/long-island/<br />

hundreds-atlantic-piping-plovers-are-missing-after-hurricane-mat<strong>the</strong>w<br />

bird-watching-eyes-on-plover-population-after-hurricane-mat<strong>the</strong>w-1.13650617<br />

Elliott-Smith, E., M. Bidwell, A.E. Holland, and S.M. Haig.<br />

2015. Data from <strong>the</strong> 2011 International Piping Plover<br />

Census: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 922, 296 p.<br />

http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds922<br />

Gratto-Trevor C., D. Amirault-Langlais, D. Catlin,F.<br />

Cuthbert, J. Fraser, S. Maddock, E. Roche, F. Shaffer.<br />

2011. Connectivity in piping plovers: Do breeding populations<br />

have distinct winter distributions? Journal <strong>of</strong><br />

Wildlife Management, 76:2 pp.348-355.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 27

green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

Caicos Pine Poetry Competition Winners<br />

The Department <strong>of</strong> Environment & Coastal Resources<br />

(DECR) was overwhelmed by <strong>the</strong> number <strong>of</strong> entries to<br />

<strong>the</strong> Caicos Pine Awareness Month Poetry Competition.<br />

Over 80 students submitted well written, researched<br />

and passionate compositions by <strong>the</strong> closing date,<br />

January 31, <strong>2018</strong>. Entries were judged in three age categories:<br />

ages 7–9, ages 10–12 and ages 13–16. Each<br />

entry was judged according to <strong>the</strong> following criteria:<br />

Form/Style: <strong>the</strong> character <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> poem, like Rhymed<br />

and Metered (RM) or Free Verse (FV). Each poem was<br />

looked at for what it was and not compared to o<strong>the</strong>rs.<br />

Rhyme/Rhythm: whe<strong>the</strong>r rhyme and/or rhythm was<br />

a characteristic <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> poem, and if so, whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong><br />

rhymes were natural and sensible or artificial and<br />

forced, and whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> rhythm (which also applies<br />

to free verse) was consistent with <strong>the</strong> character <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

poem.<br />

Poetic Devices: <strong>the</strong> number and effectiveness <strong>of</strong> those<br />

poetic elements that raise poetry beyond prose — <strong>the</strong>re<br />

are at least 15 <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m, including rhyme, alliteration,<br />

personification, and so on. Without <strong>the</strong>ir use, <strong>the</strong> writing<br />

becomes prose.<br />

Comprehension/Coherence: did <strong>the</strong> ideas presented<br />

hang toge<strong>the</strong>r to create a whole? Was <strong>the</strong>re “meaning”<br />

to <strong>the</strong> writing, and was that meaning realized?<br />

Mood/Imagery: did <strong>the</strong> poem illustrate its message—<br />

could <strong>the</strong> judges feel <strong>the</strong> feelings and/or visualize <strong>the</strong><br />

images presented? How significant were those images<br />

to <strong>the</strong> purpose <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> poem?<br />

Word Selection: had <strong>the</strong> writer chosen <strong>the</strong> words <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> poem to enable <strong>the</strong> poem to reach its intent? Were<br />

<strong>the</strong>re clichés or overused imagery to weaken <strong>the</strong> conveyance<br />

<strong>of</strong> meaning?<br />

Scope/Significance: did <strong>the</strong> poem deal with <strong>the</strong><br />

human experience or in this case, <strong>the</strong> particular <strong>the</strong>me,<br />

and if so, to what extent was <strong>the</strong> poem successful in<br />

adding to our understanding?<br />

Line Endings/Line Breaks: were <strong>the</strong>se visual aids<br />

used successfully to create emphasis and to carry <strong>the</strong><br />

reader to <strong>the</strong> main significance <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> writing? In free<br />

verse, were <strong>the</strong> line endings used to create emphasis,<br />

and were <strong>the</strong> line breaks used to create a longer pause<br />

that was significant?<br />

Marc Smith (at right) receives his award for <strong>the</strong> winning poem,<br />

“The Evergreen Beauty <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Isles.”<br />

Punctuation/Spelling/Grammar: did <strong>the</strong> poet respect<br />

our language conventions and provide punctuation to<br />

aid <strong>the</strong> reader in understanding <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> poem? Did spelling<br />

errors interrupt <strong>the</strong> flow <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> poem’s language?<br />

Were <strong>the</strong>re distortions <strong>of</strong> word order that seemed artificial<br />

and obscure meaning?<br />

Content Realized: <strong>the</strong> poem had a purpose when it<br />

started out—did <strong>the</strong> poem realize its intentions? Did it<br />

lead naturally to its conclusion?<br />

Total: <strong>the</strong> accumulation <strong>of</strong> points in <strong>the</strong> ten categories,<br />

each category affording a maximum <strong>of</strong> 10 points.<br />

A poem earning 80/100 points or greater went in for<br />

secondary consideration.<br />

The winners in each category are printed on <strong>the</strong> following<br />

pages. The DECR extends a big “Congratulations”<br />

to <strong>the</strong>se three winners! To all <strong>the</strong> participants and <strong>the</strong><br />

finalists, thank you for taking <strong>the</strong> time to help <strong>the</strong> DECR<br />

create awareness about <strong>the</strong> plight <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Caicos Pine! a<br />

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green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

Winner Ages 13–16<br />

Marc Smith, Marjorie Basden High School, with a top score <strong>of</strong> 98/100.<br />

The Evergreen Beauty <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Isles<br />

In <strong>the</strong>se beautiful by nature isles<br />

Stands a tree that’s a blessing to my eyes<br />

The Caicos Pine so majestic and regal<br />

Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>: North and to <strong>the</strong> Middle she soars like an eagle<br />

On <strong>the</strong> island <strong>of</strong> Pine Cay her serenity flows regally<br />

When <strong>the</strong> golden light <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> rising sun shines,<br />

Her evergreen beauty emits a mesmerizing glow.<br />

Fine, emerald green needle leaves that entwines;<br />

The s<strong>of</strong>tness <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> afterglow;<br />

A majestic beauty reaching up to <strong>the</strong> clear, blue sky<br />

Oh, how such a tower may grow, so stately and so high<br />

Her existence is important to <strong>the</strong> Caicos Isles’ biodiversity,<br />

For many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world’s precious lives, her strong branches provide a city.<br />

If she dies, <strong>the</strong> precious Caroline’s pink plant and <strong>the</strong> daring rock iguana would not be,<br />

Her fine leaves serves as a building block for numerous birds’ nests, you see.<br />

The Caicos Pine, is in trouble,<br />

She houses <strong>the</strong> pine tortoise scale insect who seeks refuge on <strong>the</strong> double!<br />

Though she welcomes <strong>the</strong>m with open arm,<br />

They repay her by causing her so much harm.<br />

But our National Tree is as resilient as <strong>the</strong> Turks and Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> abode<br />

Through life’s storms and struggles, she still stands strong and bold!<br />

Let’s plant a seedling in our blinding white soil with faith and glee,<br />

And hope for growth and fruitfulness to be.<br />

And keep “The Evergreen Beauty <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Isles” bountiful and glowing,<br />

That her beautiful seedlings can dance to <strong>the</strong> rhythm, forever showing.<br />


<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 29

green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

Caicos Pine Poetry Competition Winners<br />

Winner Ages 10–12<br />

Carson Greatrex, British West Indies Collegiate, with a<br />

top score <strong>of</strong> 96/100.<br />

I stand alone…<br />

The sun is rising along with my sadness,<br />

Human needs have caused this.<br />

Morning dew drops like tears,<br />

For my long lost bro<strong>the</strong>rs gone for years.<br />

We are unprepared and cannot win,<br />

The small invaders eat our skin.<br />

One by one my friends dry up and fall,<br />

My bro<strong>the</strong>r, my sister, <strong>the</strong>y get <strong>the</strong>m all.<br />

Trade winds make my wispy arms sway,<br />

Fire approaching, smoke is grey.<br />

I stand firmly rooted, strong and brave,<br />

One final act, my arms I wave.<br />

I drop my seeds, floating free on <strong>the</strong> breeze,<br />

Consumed by flames, begin to ease.<br />

I hope a fertile home <strong>the</strong>y find,<br />

My dying attempt to save my kind.<br />

Above: Carson Greatrex (at right) receives his award for <strong>the</strong> winning<br />

poem, “I Stand Alone.”<br />

Below: Chelsea Robinson (middle) receives her award for <strong>the</strong> winning<br />

poem, “The Caicos Pine.”<br />

Winner Ages 7–9<br />

Chelsea Robinson, Precious Treasures International<br />

School, with a top score <strong>of</strong> 81/100.<br />

The Caicos Pine<br />

Have you seen <strong>the</strong> Caicos Pine?<br />

The plants are not very fine.<br />

If you could,<br />

Then you should<br />

Save <strong>the</strong>m and put <strong>the</strong>m all in a line.<br />

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green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />


The Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> Turtle Project is contributing to a better understanding <strong>of</strong> sea turtle populations in <strong>the</strong> TCI.<br />

Tracking Those Teens!<br />

Following sea turtle migration via satellite.<br />

By Katharine Hart and Dr. Peter Richardson<br />

They have it down to an art. One stands on <strong>the</strong> bow <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> boat, <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r is poised to kick <strong>the</strong> boat<br />

into gear. Both are scanning <strong>the</strong> crystal clear water for dark shadows that show any sign <strong>of</strong> movement.<br />

Someone shouts that <strong>the</strong>y’ve spotted one and <strong>the</strong> boat takes <strong>of</strong>f, closely following <strong>the</strong> shadow through<br />

<strong>the</strong> water, mimicking every twist or turn that it makes. They are catching sea turtles. Sea turtles are still<br />

a highly valued food source in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, primarily as part <strong>of</strong> a rich cultural history, and<br />

Gilbert Jennings and Dave Clare are <strong>the</strong> best sea turtle fishermen around.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 31

green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

Turtle research in <strong>the</strong> TCI<br />

Dave and Gilbert now lend <strong>the</strong>ir expert skills to a<br />

long-running conservation project. The Turks & Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong> Turtle Project (TCITP), initiated in 2008 by <strong>the</strong><br />

Marine Conservation Society and <strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> Exeter<br />

(UK), has contributed to a deeper understanding <strong>of</strong> sea<br />

turtle populations in <strong>the</strong> TCI, how <strong>the</strong>y use <strong>the</strong> marine<br />

environment, and how <strong>the</strong>y are impacted by traditional<br />

fishing practices. The TCITP conducts an extensive<br />

mark-recapture project with multiple partners throughout<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>, including <strong>the</strong> Department <strong>of</strong> Environment<br />

& Coastal Resources (DECR), Amanyara Resort, SURFside<br />

Ocean Academy and <strong>the</strong> School for Field Studies (SFS).<br />

Sea turtles are captured, measured and tagged with<br />

metal flipper tags. These tags can provide incredible<br />

insight into <strong>the</strong> lives <strong>of</strong> sea turtles. They have allowed<br />

<strong>the</strong> project to confirm site fidelity <strong>of</strong> turtles, where individual<br />

turtles are recaptured in <strong>the</strong> same area over <strong>the</strong><br />

course <strong>of</strong> multiple years. They also provide information<br />

on migrations, where sea turtles tagged in <strong>the</strong> TCI have<br />

been identified as far away as Nicaragua. In December<br />

2017, <strong>the</strong> team was thrilled to learn that a hawksbill turtle<br />

flipper-tagged in South Caicos as a juvenile in 2009 had<br />

emerged as an adult female to nest on a remote beach in<br />

Puerto Rico.<br />


Tracking teenage turtles<br />

In recent years, a team has come toge<strong>the</strong>r annually with<br />

Dave and Gilbert led by Dr. Peter Richardson from <strong>the</strong><br />

MCS along with Jackie Walker from <strong>the</strong> Amanyara Turtle<br />

Initiative, and Katharine Hart from <strong>the</strong> DECR. This part<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> project takes a more in-depth look at <strong>the</strong> elusive<br />

lifecycle <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sea turtles found in TCI waters. It aims<br />

to catch large teenage green sea turtles and fit each one<br />

with a satellite transmitter (satellite tag).<br />

So far, 17 teenage green turtles have been satellite<br />

tagged and tracked by <strong>the</strong> project, including four in<br />

February <strong>2018</strong>. These four satellite tags were sponsored<br />

by Amanyara guests Kim Charlton and Stephen Mering<strong>of</strong>f,<br />

MCS supporters Mr. and Mrs. Flockhart and <strong>the</strong> Gerrity<br />

family, Princess Yachts and <strong>the</strong> Amanyara Turtle Initiative.<br />

The satellite tags are glued to <strong>the</strong> turtles’ shells using<br />

marine epoxy. Each time <strong>the</strong> turtle comes to <strong>the</strong> surface<br />

to brea<strong>the</strong>, <strong>the</strong> tag transmits a signal to a satellite, which<br />

provides <strong>the</strong> precise location for <strong>the</strong> turtle and allows <strong>the</strong><br />

researchers to follow <strong>the</strong>ir movements on a daily basis.<br />

From top: Dave Clare and Gilbert Jennings use <strong>the</strong>ir turtle catching<br />

skills to assist <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> Turtle Project..<br />

Katharine Hart measures a sea turtle prior to tagging it with a metal<br />

flipper tag.<br />

Why tag teenage turtles?<br />

Our tracking research is trying to better understand two<br />

key mysteries: How do teenage turtles use TCI waters?<br />

Where do <strong>the</strong>y go when <strong>the</strong>y leave TCI?<br />

Young sea turtles, about dinner-plate size, settle<br />

in shallow TCI waters after drifting for several years on<br />

ocean currents. We think <strong>the</strong>y remain here for years to<br />

grow into teenagers, making TCI a regionally important<br />

developmental ground for <strong>the</strong>se juvenile and sub-adult<br />

turtles. Teenage turtles are protected under TCI law, and<br />

to understand how best to fur<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> conservation <strong>of</strong><br />

32 www.timespub.tc

green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

Peter Richardson, Gilbert Jennings and Dave Clare release a tagged sea turtle (named Scooter by TCI schoolchildren) back into <strong>the</strong> sea. Where<br />

will it go next?<br />


<strong>the</strong>se turtles, it is useful for us to know which areas in<br />

TCI waters are particularly important for <strong>the</strong>m. But <strong>the</strong>n<br />

where do <strong>the</strong>y go?<br />

The <strong>the</strong>ory goes that once <strong>the</strong>y grow large and near<br />

maturity, <strong>the</strong>y migrate away from <strong>the</strong>se developmental<br />

grounds and settle in <strong>the</strong>ir adult feeding areas which<br />

could be thousands <strong>of</strong> miles away, but closer to <strong>the</strong> beach<br />

where <strong>the</strong>y first hatched, and where <strong>the</strong>y will likely return<br />

to breed as mature adults. This <strong>the</strong>ory is yet to be proved,<br />

so through our satellite tracking study we hope to be <strong>the</strong><br />

first to find out whe<strong>the</strong>r or not <strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong>ory is correct.<br />

Tracking migrations<br />

So far, TCI teenage green turtles have been tracked<br />

migrating to a number <strong>of</strong> different countries including<br />

Cuba, <strong>the</strong> USA, Costa Rica and Colombia. The TCITP is<br />

excited to watch <strong>the</strong> four newly tagged turtles to see if<br />

and when <strong>the</strong>y migrate, and where <strong>the</strong>y might end up.<br />

These long-ranging sea turtles highlight <strong>the</strong> importance<br />

<strong>of</strong> communication and collaboration between<br />

countries and regions. During <strong>the</strong>ir migrations, <strong>the</strong>y are<br />

subject to multiple and varied regulations as <strong>the</strong>y cross<br />

country boundaries. How we conserve sea turtle populations<br />

in <strong>the</strong> TCI undoubtedly impacts <strong>the</strong>ir ability to thrive<br />

in those countries <strong>the</strong>y migrate through, to and from.<br />

School groups from Providenciales were invited to<br />

visit <strong>the</strong> turtles while <strong>the</strong>y were being fitted with <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

satellite transmitters, getting an up-close look at <strong>the</strong>se<br />

incredible, charismatic voyagers and <strong>the</strong> opportunity to<br />

talk directly to <strong>the</strong> sea turtle researchers. You, too, can<br />

join us in following Scooter, Chief, Lumi II and Wayne II at<br />

www.mcsuk.org. a<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 33

feature<br />

Opposite page: Nash’s prickly pear Consolea nashii is a regional endemic cactus, found only in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos, <strong>the</strong> Bahamas and Cuba.<br />

Above: This rocky shoreline is at Jacksonville, East Caicos.<br />

A Strong Comeback<br />

Can South Caicos become <strong>the</strong> ecotourism capital <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI?<br />

By Don Stark, Chairman, Turks & Caicos Reef Fund and<br />

Kathleen McNary Wood, Principal, SWA Environmental<br />

Photos By Kathleen McNary Wood<br />

According to <strong>the</strong> Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), South Caicos was <strong>the</strong><br />

second-hardest-hit island in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos by <strong>the</strong> September 2017, back-to-back hurricanes (Irma<br />

and Maria). The poverty level on South Caicos is already high, hovering around 40% (CDB, 2014), and<br />

<strong>the</strong> primary industry, fishing, is being adversely affected by over-fishing, habitat destruction and climate<br />

change. Consequently, livelihoods <strong>of</strong> people living on South Caicos were already difficult, and <strong>the</strong> devastation<br />

caused by <strong>the</strong> storms only added to <strong>the</strong>ir problems.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 35

Fortunately, with two new resorts—Sailrock and <strong>the</strong><br />

East Bay Resort—recently opening, <strong>the</strong> tourism industry<br />

is heating up on South Caicos. “It is our hope,” says<br />

Chairman <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos Reef Fund (TCRF) Don<br />

Stark, “that by helping people establish small businesses<br />

around ecotourism, <strong>the</strong> people <strong>of</strong> South Caicos can avoid<br />

some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> development mistakes that have been made<br />

on Providenciales. An increasing number <strong>of</strong> tourists<br />

<strong>of</strong>fers <strong>the</strong> perfect opportunity to develop a tourism model<br />

that will help raise <strong>the</strong> well-being <strong>of</strong> all people on South<br />

Caicos, not just foreign investors.”<br />

“South Caicos is in an ideal location,” observes<br />

Kathleen Wood <strong>of</strong> SWA Environmental. “The island is<br />

surrounded on all sides by undeveloped landscapes<br />

<strong>of</strong> high ecological value, providing a perfect backdrop<br />

for <strong>the</strong> development <strong>of</strong> Belonger-owned, small ecotourism<br />

businesses.” In particular, nearby East Caicos<br />

provides significant opportunities for ecotourism.<br />

Ongoing research on that island and surrounding areas,<br />

by SWA Environmental and TCRF, has uncovered ecological<br />

assets that are unparalleled in <strong>the</strong> region. Ten plants,<br />

believed to be found only in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

(“endemic”), have been observed <strong>the</strong>re, in addition to several<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r plant species endemic to TCI and <strong>the</strong> Bahamas.<br />

East Caicos also provides habitat for endemic birds<br />

(thick-billed vireo, Antillean bullfinch, Bahama woodstar<br />

hummingbird, Bahama mockingbird and Cuban crow),<br />

reptiles and insects and is an important breeding ground<br />

for <strong>the</strong>se rare animals.<br />

In addition to <strong>the</strong> rich diversity <strong>of</strong> endemic organisms,<br />

East Caicos is a critical habitat for o<strong>the</strong>r breeding,<br />

migratory and globally threatened birds, including reddish<br />

egret, brown pelican, least tern, piping plover, West<br />

Indian whistling duck and numerous o<strong>the</strong>rs. East Caicos<br />

beaches are recognized as important nesting areas for<br />

Critically Endangered hawksbill and Endangered green<br />

sea turtles. Offshore, East Caicos coral reefs are some<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> healthiest in <strong>the</strong> Caribbean, with live coral averages<br />

approaching 28% and some areas where live cover<br />

exceeds 50%.<br />

“The current lack <strong>of</strong> development on East Caicos<br />

has allowed it to maintain some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> most important<br />

ecological values in <strong>the</strong> Caribbean,” comments Stark. “In<br />

fact, <strong>the</strong> exceptional ecosystem services and biodiversity<br />

values have resulted in <strong>the</strong> European Union recognizing<br />

East Caicos as a Key Biodiversity Area. Such a designation<br />

should be a source <strong>of</strong> great pride for <strong>the</strong> people <strong>of</strong> TCI.”<br />

“We want to ensure that East Caicos’ exceptional natural<br />

heritage is preserved not only for <strong>the</strong> people <strong>of</strong> today,<br />

From top: A small clump <strong>of</strong> mangroves between South and East Caicos<br />

serves as a nesting and roosting site for magnificent frigatebirds<br />

Frigata magnificens.<br />

Lucayan dog fennel Chromolaena lucayana is a Lucayan Archipelago<br />

endemic, with its range restricted to <strong>the</strong> Bahamas and Turks & Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Bahama boxwood Buxus bahamensis is a West Indian endemic with a<br />

range in <strong>the</strong> Lucayan Archipelago, Cuba and Jamaica.<br />

36 www.timespub.tc

ut for future generations <strong>of</strong> Turks & Caicos Islanders,”<br />

says Wood. “In order to do that, we need to make sure<br />

that any development on that island is approached sensitively<br />

and with <strong>the</strong> welfare <strong>of</strong> both <strong>the</strong> environment and<br />

people in mind. Development Provo-style at East Caicos<br />

would be an ecological disaster, but it would also rob<br />

<strong>the</strong> people <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> surrounding islands <strong>of</strong> opportunities to<br />

make a better living for <strong>the</strong>mselves.”<br />

With this in mind, TCRF and SWA Environmental<br />

recently applied for and were awarded a grant from <strong>the</strong><br />

Sustainable Tourism Asset Management Program (STAMP)<br />

which is part <strong>of</strong> Cornell University’s (Ithaca, NY, USA) SC<br />

Johnson School <strong>of</strong> Business. (TCRF’s mission is to help preserve<br />

and protect <strong>the</strong> environment <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI by focusing<br />

on research, education and advocacy. SWA Environmental<br />

is a TCI-based company specializing in sustainable environmental<br />

management through scientific research,<br />

environmental impact assessment, environmental policy<br />

development and support for environmentally appropriate<br />

and sensitive development projects.)<br />

STAMP was started to support development <strong>of</strong><br />

applied research and outreach activities that will increase<br />

collective knowledge and understanding <strong>of</strong> how to more<br />

effectively manage tourism destination assets over time<br />

in <strong>the</strong> face <strong>of</strong> endemic poverty, ecosystem degradation<br />

and climate change. STAMP provides grant funding for<br />

novel and interesting sustainable tourism research projects.<br />

TCRF and SWA Environmental realized that <strong>the</strong><br />

needs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> people <strong>of</strong> South Caicos and <strong>the</strong> natural and<br />

cultural assets <strong>of</strong> South and East Caicos were a perfect<br />

match for <strong>the</strong> STAMP program.<br />

The project funded by <strong>the</strong> grant has <strong>the</strong> objective <strong>of</strong><br />

assessing <strong>the</strong> interest, skills, enthusiasm and needs <strong>of</strong><br />

fisherfolk and o<strong>the</strong>r South Caicos residents to develop<br />

viable plans for ecotourism businesses on and around<br />

South and East Caicos.<br />

Tourism is <strong>the</strong> largest and fastest growing industry in<br />

TCI, but where tourism has taken place, <strong>the</strong> environment<br />

and cultural assets are degrading. In spite <strong>of</strong> TCI’s tourism<br />

boom, South Caicos has not significantly benefitted;<br />

however, because <strong>of</strong> this, <strong>the</strong> environment and cultural<br />

assets remain relatively unspoiled. With <strong>the</strong> opening <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> new hotels on South Caicos, <strong>the</strong>re is an opportunity to<br />

get tourism right. Ecotourism is <strong>the</strong> opportunity to help<br />

people and protect <strong>the</strong> environment.<br />

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines<br />

ecotourism as “Responsible travel to natural areas that<br />

conserves <strong>the</strong> environment, sustains <strong>the</strong> well-being <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

local people and involves interpretation and education.”<br />

From top: Caves and o<strong>the</strong>r karst features are common across East<br />

Caicos.<br />

A silver orb weaver spider Argiope argentata takes advantage <strong>of</strong> an<br />

ample flying insect supply at East Caicos.<br />

Magnificent frigatebirds roost and care for <strong>the</strong>ir young.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 37

From top: Reddish egret Egretta rufescens is internationally considered Near Threatened, but<br />

<strong>the</strong> species thrives at East Caicos.<br />

The ruins at Jacksonville are a historical and cultural asset.<br />

Ecotourism provides a long-term<br />

solution to protect <strong>the</strong> natural and<br />

cultural resources around South<br />

Caicos and East Caicos. By providing<br />

sustainable jobs and business<br />

opportunities, ecotourism empowers<br />

people ra<strong>the</strong>r than “commodifying”<br />

<strong>the</strong>m. The education and awareness<br />

aspects <strong>of</strong> ecotourism help to protect<br />

natural and cultural assets, while<br />

simultaneously providing a broader<br />

distribution <strong>of</strong> economic benefits, as<br />

compared with typical developments,<br />

where <strong>the</strong> greatest economic benefits<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten go to foreign investors.<br />

Ecotourism business opportunities<br />

include birdwatching tours,<br />

kayaking trips, eco-lodges, in-home<br />

stays, traditional cuisine, cultural<br />

tours and potentially any o<strong>the</strong>r activities<br />

that are respectful <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> local<br />

culture, heritage and environment.<br />

By providing positive growth experiences<br />

for both visitors and hosts,<br />

ecotourism empowers people to be<br />

38 www.timespub.tc

Boxit2me_Layout 1 3/14/18 12:15 AM Page 1<br />

<strong>the</strong> masters <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir own destinies, while at <strong>the</strong> same time<br />

encouraging visitors to make positive changes at home.<br />

The defining feature <strong>of</strong> ecotourism is that it leaves people<br />

and places better than <strong>the</strong>y existed prior its introduction.<br />

The STAMP project, “Assessing <strong>the</strong> Viability <strong>of</strong><br />

Alternative and Improved Livelihoods in Sustainable<br />

Tourism at <strong>the</strong> East Caicos Key Biodiversity Area,” was<br />

awarded in mid-2017, but <strong>the</strong> start <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> project was<br />

delayed due to <strong>the</strong> two September 2017 hurricanes. The<br />

project plan includes a preliminary workshop to obtain<br />

stakeholder input on:<br />

• How <strong>the</strong> natural assets <strong>of</strong> South and East Caicos are<br />

currently used ;<br />

• How such use can be sustainably maximized;<br />

• What it would take to expand current activities for<br />

ecotourism;<br />

• Beliefs about <strong>the</strong> viability <strong>of</strong> ecotourism business<br />

opportunities and<br />

• Level <strong>of</strong> interest in becoming part <strong>of</strong> an ecotourism<br />

economy.<br />


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Hugh final_Layout 1 5/29/17 1:15 PM Page 1<br />

Captain Timothy Hamilton and First Mate Marley Hamilton use <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

generational knowledge to provide ecotours at East Caicos.<br />

The project plan also includes field studies conducted<br />

at key sites identified by stakeholders at <strong>the</strong> preliminary<br />

workshop. The field studies will use a multi-criteria<br />

evaluation to assess <strong>the</strong> potential environmental concerns<br />

associated with ecotourism activities at each site.<br />

Following <strong>the</strong> field studies, a second workshop will be<br />

held on South Caicos to review results with stakeholders<br />

and to secure feedback on <strong>the</strong> practical implementation<br />

<strong>of</strong> feasible ecotourism packages on East Caicos and<br />

around South Caicos. At <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> project, up to five<br />

preliminary business plans for ecotourism businesses will<br />

P<br />

E<br />

R<br />

S<br />



AT<br />

L AW<br />

P.O. Box 267<br />

Hibernian House<br />

1136 Leeward Highway<br />

Providenciales<br />

Turks and Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

B.W.I.<br />

Tel 649-946-4514<br />

Fax 649-946-4955<br />

Email hugh.oneill@hgoneillco.tc<br />

&<br />

C<br />

CO. O<br />

N<br />

F<br />

I<br />

D<br />

E<br />

N<br />

T<br />

I<br />

A<br />

L<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 39

From top: The long swaths <strong>of</strong> windswept beaches on East Caicos are<br />

still unspoiled.<br />

Participants at <strong>the</strong> first STAMP workshop on South Caicos expressed a<br />

high level <strong>of</strong> interest in protecting <strong>the</strong> island’s unique assets.<br />

be prepared. TCRF and SWA Environmental are also committed<br />

to providing assistance in helping people get <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

ecotourism businesses <strong>of</strong>f <strong>the</strong> ground.<br />

The preliminary workshop was held on February 6,<br />

<strong>2018</strong> on South Caicos and 49 people attended. The project<br />

objective and <strong>the</strong> rationale for a focus on East Caicos<br />

were discussed, including a review <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> natural and<br />

cultural assets that are found <strong>the</strong>re. After <strong>the</strong> formal presentations,<br />

attendees were divided into breakout groups<br />

to answer questions. It was clear that <strong>the</strong>re are many nat-<br />

40 www.timespub.tc

Blue Loos_Layout 1 5/28/17 4:13 PM Page 1<br />

ural and cultural assets on East Caicos and around South<br />

Caicos that would be ideal for ecotourism businesses.<br />

Expressed was a high level <strong>of</strong> interest in protecting those<br />

assets, so <strong>the</strong>y can continue to be used and shared in <strong>the</strong><br />

future.<br />

Attendees identified challenges to starting ecotourism<br />

businesses, such as complying with government<br />

regulations, preparing business plans, securing financing<br />

and identifying <strong>the</strong> right people for <strong>the</strong> job, but all<br />

were optimistic that <strong>the</strong>se obstacles can be overcome.<br />

“We are encouraged by <strong>the</strong> level <strong>of</strong> support for this project<br />

so far,” commented Don Stark after <strong>the</strong> workshop had<br />

concluded. “The level <strong>of</strong> participation and enthusiasm is<br />

really unprecedented, and we look forward to helping to<br />

make South Caicos <strong>the</strong> ecotourism capital <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks &<br />

Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.” a<br />

Sources cited<br />

CDB. (2014). Turks and Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> Country Poverty<br />

Assessment. Retrieved from https://www.caribank.org/<br />

uploads/2014/09/TCI_CPA-2012-Executive-Summary.pdf<br />

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<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 41


feature<br />

Opposite page: Life in <strong>the</strong> outer, rural islands (shown here is <strong>the</strong> path to Wade’s Green in North Caicos) is like a tropical Shangri-La, where <strong>the</strong><br />

older generation has a naturally healthy lifestyle.<br />

Above: This lovely sunrise above <strong>the</strong> salinas <strong>of</strong> Salt Cay reflects <strong>the</strong> slow, peaceful way <strong>of</strong> life prevalent <strong>the</strong>re.<br />


Back to <strong>the</strong> Basics<br />

Finding wellness in TCI.<br />

By Ben Stubenberg<br />

A tropical Shangri-La hides in our midst. <strong>Islands</strong> where <strong>the</strong> ills <strong>of</strong> modern society—hypertension, diabetes,<br />

cancer, obesity—rarely appear, and people <strong>of</strong>ten live well into <strong>the</strong>ir 90s and sometimes over 100. A trip<br />

to <strong>the</strong> outer, rural islands <strong>of</strong> North, Middle or South Caicos and Salt Cay tells you why: These folks, <strong>the</strong><br />

older generation, do everything right. They eat fresh fruits and vegetables from <strong>the</strong>ir gardens along with<br />

fresh-caught snapper, lobster and conch, and use almost no sugar. They walk or cycle everywhere <strong>the</strong>y<br />

need to go, sleep deeply in darkness and quiet and go about <strong>the</strong>ir affairs with little stress. Above all, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

visit and talk and laugh with each o<strong>the</strong>r from early in <strong>the</strong> morning through <strong>the</strong> day to evening.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 43

The Turks & Caicos Islanders who engage <strong>the</strong>se simple<br />

yet vital practices for health and longevity don’t call<br />

it anything. For <strong>the</strong>m, it is just a way <strong>of</strong> life. As it turns<br />

out, <strong>the</strong> very lifestyle routines <strong>the</strong>y have been carrying<br />

on without much fanfare for some two centuries have<br />

been “discovered” and embraced as an antidote to <strong>the</strong><br />

illnesses <strong>of</strong> modernity. Broadly known as “wellness,” this<br />

holistic approach to living represents a growing segment<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> upper end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> tourist industry—people worldwide<br />

seeking to re-wire and re-centre prosperous but<br />

hectic lives. These “Wellness Travellers” have spawned<br />

a burgeoning demand for personalised, health-centred<br />

vacations that engage, teach, heal, and in some cases<br />

transform <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

The irony <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> financially secure exploring and<br />

pursuing a simpler, healthier lifestyle long cultivated by<br />

people here with little economic wealth is not lost. Nor is<br />

<strong>the</strong> paradox <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> latest generation <strong>of</strong> Islanders (along<br />

with many TCI immigrants) brought up in a modern lifestyle<br />

far different from <strong>the</strong>ir ancestors, and who now<br />

face <strong>the</strong>ir own crisis <strong>of</strong> health and well-being. That still<br />

unbridged social divide necessarily raises a provocative<br />

question: Can you experience true wellness if <strong>the</strong> benefits<br />

<strong>of</strong> a holistic approach to health and well-being do<br />

not extend to all, especially those on <strong>the</strong> lower economic<br />

rungs <strong>of</strong> society?<br />

Catering to wellness on <strong>the</strong> basic level is nothing<br />

new, as spas, medical pr<strong>of</strong>essionals, fitness centres and<br />

upscale food purveyors have long tapped into a desire<br />

to live healthier lives and feel better about <strong>the</strong>mselves.<br />

According to <strong>the</strong> Global Wellness Institute, <strong>the</strong> wellness<br />

economy worldwide generated $3.7 trillion as far back<br />

at 2013, and <strong>the</strong> Wellness Tourism industry alone comprised<br />

$563 billion.<br />

What is new is that wellness vacationers today seek out<br />

destinations that <strong>of</strong>fer long term, life changing answers<br />

that include science-based medical approaches to finding<br />

and enjoying healthier, spiritually connected lives. This<br />

mirrors <strong>the</strong> overall trend <strong>of</strong> more choice as <strong>the</strong> tourism<br />

industry fragments into smaller, specialised niches and<br />

active vacations replace passive ones.According to Travel<br />

Market Report (TMR), a leading on-line news service for<br />

travel agents in North America, <strong>the</strong> industry will see<br />

more demand for alternative treatments and <strong>the</strong>rapies<br />

beyond <strong>the</strong> standard massage. This includes advances<br />

in medicine combined with holistic practices that focus<br />

on “prevention, precision, and personalisation.” TMR predicts<br />

that <strong>the</strong> number one driver <strong>of</strong> wellness will continue<br />

to be stress management and sleep. These tie in directly<br />

Janderlyn Forbes <strong>of</strong> North Caicos, shown above in 2008, continues to<br />

grow what she can for her own consumption. She is a repository for<br />

<strong>the</strong> “old ways” that have kept many <strong>of</strong> her generation healthy.<br />

with diet, exercise and meditation.<br />

The intense interest in wellness programs coincides<br />

with studies <strong>of</strong> “Blue Zones,” pockets <strong>of</strong> humanity<br />

worldwide where people live far longer than <strong>the</strong> rest <strong>of</strong><br />

us. These Blue Zones include Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia<br />

(Italy), Ikaria (Greece), Loma Linda (California) and Nicoya<br />

(Costa Rica) that, not surprisingly, have much in common<br />

with rural pockets <strong>of</strong> TCI.<br />

The Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are well poised to be a<br />

major destination for <strong>the</strong> new wellness traveler. Naturally,<br />

we already have spectacular, world renowned beaches<br />

and gorgeous turquoise water that mesmerise and relax<br />

discerning tourists who come on vacation here. Indeed,<br />

mounting scientific evidence as presented in Blue Mind<br />

by Wallace J. Nichols, indicates that just looking out over<br />

blue water has a calming effect on specific parts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

brain that govern stress. So, TCI is already one big step<br />

ahead. Fortuitously, we also possess a vibrant health and<br />

wellness infrastructure well-suited to meet <strong>the</strong> heightened<br />

interest in lifestyle change—and one that can draw<br />

on <strong>the</strong> rich living history <strong>of</strong> TCI people who lived wellness<br />

long before it became popular.<br />

The advent <strong>of</strong> greater wellness tourism in TCI also<br />

presents an extraordinary opportunity to take on a larger<br />

social mission to address <strong>the</strong> problem <strong>of</strong> young Islanders<br />

drifting far<strong>the</strong>r from <strong>the</strong> healthy, stress-free ways <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

forebears. The transformative benefits from advances in<br />

medicine toge<strong>the</strong>r with changes in lifestyle to achieve<br />


44 www.timespub.tc

peak health can just as well apply to everyone in TCI—<br />

resort workers, schoolchildren, government employees,<br />

labourers. In o<strong>the</strong>r words, wellness amenities for visitors<br />

can be leveraged to create a healthier TCI society, as well<br />

as generate additional tourism revenue. A progressive<br />

idea to be sure, since luxuries enjoyed by visitors seldom<br />

reach <strong>the</strong> people who serve <strong>the</strong>m. But forward-thinking<br />

TCI “Wellness Pioneers” have already established a beachhead<br />

for reaching a broader base <strong>of</strong> people in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Wellness pioneers<br />

David Bowen, former TCI Director <strong>of</strong> Culture and current<br />

Wellness and Entertainment Director at Grace Bay Club<br />

Resort, states plainly: “We cannot sell wellness unless we<br />

connect with <strong>the</strong> rest <strong>of</strong> society because true wellness is<br />

not just a good workout. It impacts our higher consciousness.<br />

It’s all about <strong>the</strong> ‘inner’ expanding ‘outward.’ Fix<br />

yourself first and practice social wellness by relating to<br />

o<strong>the</strong>rs.” Taking wellness to <strong>the</strong> spiritual level, Mr. Bowen<br />

continues, “When we brea<strong>the</strong>, we need to remind ourselves<br />

that we are just one exhalation from death. Then<br />

we really live in <strong>the</strong> moment. We can have emotional<br />

control and balance and be non-judgmental, even for<br />

ourselves.”<br />

Mr. Bowen practices what he preaches. Not only<br />

does he conduct yoga and lifestyle classes to guests<br />

at <strong>the</strong> Grace Bay Club Resort, but he teaches <strong>the</strong> same<br />

healthy living lessons to all new members <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> staff.<br />

“They should be able to benefit from wellness practices<br />

<strong>the</strong> same as resort guests.” Mr. Bowen also teaches well-<br />

ness to young Islanders when he speaks at <strong>the</strong> Edward C.<br />

Gartland Youth Centre and TCI public schools. He tells<br />

young people how <strong>the</strong>ir grandparents and great-grandparents<br />

used to live. “Back in <strong>the</strong> day,” he notes, quite<br />

mindful <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sharp decline in healthy diet, “Turks &<br />

Caicos Islanders ate small portions and indulged in special<br />

foods, macaroni and cheese and ribs, for example,<br />

only during celebratory events like Christmas. Now, we<br />

eat those rich, fatty foods all <strong>the</strong> time—made worse by<br />

<strong>the</strong> ready availability <strong>of</strong> sugar-filled drinks.” The Grand<br />

Turk native knows full well <strong>the</strong> challenge <strong>of</strong> reversing <strong>the</strong><br />

prevalence <strong>of</strong> an unhealthy lifestyle, but also recognises<br />

<strong>the</strong> power <strong>of</strong> a wellness trend that can be harnessed for<br />

good.<br />

Providenciales-born nutritionist Tamika Handfield, a<br />

frequent contributor to <strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> on nutrition,<br />

drives home <strong>the</strong> link between diet, exercise and wellness:<br />

“Convenience is killing us!” she states emphatically. “Not<br />

only do we go for <strong>the</strong> easy, convenient foods, <strong>of</strong>ten filled<br />

with sugar and fat, but we fail to move around. TCI people<br />

used to dive for conch and lobster, work <strong>the</strong> small<br />

farm or garden and build boats. Now we drive everywhere<br />

and sit all day.” Unhappily, that has resulted in far more<br />

cases <strong>of</strong> diabetes, hypertension and obesity, not unlike<br />

what is taking place in North America and Europe for <strong>the</strong><br />

same reasons. Distressingly, as Ms. Handfield points out,<br />

“These diseases once found only in older adults are now<br />

seen in children.”<br />

To combat <strong>the</strong> unhealthy lifestyle and change<br />

directions, Ms. Handfield has developed an extensive<br />


Grace Bay Medical Centre’s recent wellness retreat at <strong>the</strong> Coral Pavilion helps clients incorporate wellness elements into <strong>the</strong>ir daily lives.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 45


“Bush food” is what practically all Islanders ate generations ago;<br />

today it is seen as a healthy choice.<br />

46 www.timespub.tc

media and education wellness outreach initiative called<br />

Nutrition-in-Demand. One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> programs, Kidfit, introduces<br />

children ages 8–12 to healthy habits from a young<br />

age. To make a point visually to <strong>the</strong>se youngsters, Ms.<br />

Handfield will measure out in a cup <strong>the</strong> amount <strong>of</strong> sugar<br />

in a soda and ask if anyone wants to dig in for a spoonful.<br />

Of course, no one takes her up on <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>fer.<br />

Ms. Handfield’s non-pr<strong>of</strong>it also organises <strong>the</strong> premier<br />

running/walking/cycling event on Provo as a fundraiser<br />

and to raise awareness. The Move-a-Thon has grown<br />

quickly by <strong>of</strong>fering something for everyone from a 5 km<br />

run/walk to a full marathon. As a result, far more island<br />

residents are getting fit, becoming more wellness-aware<br />

and taking charge <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir health future. Not incidentally,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Move-a-Thon events have received international exposure<br />

and now draw in visitors from abroad seeking to<br />

enhance <strong>the</strong>ir own wellness in TCI while enjoying an athletic<br />

challenge.<br />

At Carolina Medical Centre on Provo, primary care<br />

physician Dr. Marcela Malcolm brings wellness practices<br />

to <strong>the</strong> people who need it most and can least afford it.<br />

She sees dozens <strong>of</strong> patients every day who suffer <strong>the</strong><br />

same diseases—high blood pressure, high cholesterol,<br />

thyroid, gout, hypertension—to name a few. In almost<br />

all cases, <strong>the</strong>se ailments are lifestyle-related and remedied<br />

by applying wellness concepts and making simple<br />

changes. Of course, it’s never that easy, since <strong>the</strong> underlying<br />

socio-economic causes that lead to high stress<br />

levels and contribute to auto-immune diseases are less<br />

amenable to a solution.<br />

Dr. Malcolm notes that young Haitian men in particular,<br />

some just 30 years old, suffer abnormally high<br />

rates <strong>of</strong> stress and depression because <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> pressure<br />

on <strong>the</strong>m to send remittances back to Haiti. Although <strong>the</strong>y<br />

try to send most <strong>of</strong> what <strong>the</strong>y make back home, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten fall short. And that means families in Haiti suffer by<br />

foregoing basics ranging from regular meals to medical<br />

treatment to high school education. That, in turn, makes<br />

<strong>the</strong> men, and sometimes women, feel like failures, especially<br />

given <strong>the</strong> perception back in <strong>the</strong> home country that<br />

TCI abounds with opportunity for making money.<br />

Undaunted, Dr. Malcolm focuses on diagnosing<br />

exactly <strong>the</strong> nature <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> medical problem through basic,<br />

less-expensive tests and <strong>the</strong>n provides guidance to at<br />

least mitigate <strong>the</strong> impact <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir socio-economic hardship.<br />

This starts with standard counselling for better<br />

diets, like eating less animal fats to reduce free radicals,<br />

and exercising more, especially if one’s job involves sitting.<br />

She also takes an imaginative approach in advice to<br />

The Move-a-Thon has become <strong>the</strong> premier running/walking/cycling<br />

event to raise awareness <strong>of</strong> getting fit among residents and visitors.<br />

her patients who are stressed out: Talk to someone who<br />

makes you laugh, watch a comedy video, have more sex<br />

with your spouse!<br />

For at-risk children, Dr. Malcolm goes straight to <strong>the</strong><br />

parents and tells <strong>the</strong>m to ditch <strong>the</strong> unhealthy, high calorie<br />

snacks and corn syrup-filled candy <strong>the</strong>ir kids are eating.<br />

She encourages <strong>the</strong>m to get children to put down <strong>the</strong><br />

iPads and move <strong>the</strong>ir bodies by laying out a plan. Monday<br />

ballet, Tuesday football, Wednesday dance, Thursday tennis.<br />

If that’s not possible, just play outdoors.<br />

The Grace Bay Medical Centre has for several years<br />

combined an established general practice primary care<br />

with an expanding wellness program that includes naturopathic<br />

and osteopathic doctors, an acupuncturist and<br />

a psychologist. Putting all <strong>the</strong>se medical pr<strong>of</strong>essionals<br />

under one ro<strong>of</strong> allows patients to get <strong>the</strong> full spectrum<br />

<strong>of</strong> standard and holistic healing. Dr. Sam Slattery, <strong>the</strong><br />

founder <strong>of</strong> Grace Bay Medical Centre, explains, “Wellness<br />

is not just about absence <strong>of</strong> disease but ra<strong>the</strong>r about<br />

improving overall quality <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> human experience.<br />

Wellness is about reaching <strong>the</strong> pinnacle <strong>of</strong> health given<br />

an individual’s circumstances.”<br />

For many years, Dr. Slattery and o<strong>the</strong>r TCI health<br />

care deliverers have promoted increased consumption <strong>of</strong><br />

plant based foods, or what is colloquially known as “bush<br />

food.” Indeed, bush food is what practically all Islanders<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 47

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ate two or more generations ago. They supplemented<br />

plant-based diets with fresh seafood and maintained<br />

impressive health despite limited standard medical attention.<br />

With an MSc advanced degree in gastroenterology<br />

and nutrition, Dr. Slattery touts <strong>the</strong> importance <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

“gut” whose complex nervous system is called <strong>the</strong> “second<br />

brain” with its huge colony <strong>of</strong> essential bacteria. Dr.<br />

Slattery points out that <strong>the</strong> gut toge<strong>the</strong>r with <strong>the</strong> liver<br />

are home to 85–90% <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> body’s immune system, and<br />

thus <strong>the</strong> most influential organs in <strong>the</strong> body. A good, predominantly<br />

plant-based diet keeps that immune system<br />

operating at peak performance and reduces <strong>the</strong> chances<br />

<strong>of</strong> disease. Not incidentally, Dr. Slattery notes that he is<br />

seeing more <strong>of</strong> his patients heeding <strong>the</strong> message by eating<br />

better, reducing sugar and alcohol consumption, and<br />

getting into sport or some form <strong>of</strong> exercise.<br />

Dr. Meghan O’Reilly, Grace Bay Medical Centre’s naturopathic<br />

physician, has looked closely at <strong>the</strong> TCI bush<br />

diet and daily lives <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> elders <strong>of</strong> North and Middle<br />

Caicos. “The key to <strong>the</strong>ir healthy living was <strong>the</strong> absence<br />

<strong>of</strong> refined foods and sugars, Dr. O’Reilly says, confirming<br />

<strong>the</strong> observations <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs. “That and consumption<br />

<strong>of</strong> ‘ground food’ like sweet potato, cassava and plantain,<br />

along with greens like callaloo. She continues, “Along<br />

with walking everywhere and physical work, people felt<br />

<strong>the</strong>y belonged to <strong>the</strong>ir communities and thus connected.<br />

Meet someone from North or Middle Caicos now living in<br />

Provo. They long to get back to <strong>the</strong>ir friends and family,<br />

away from <strong>the</strong> hustle and bustle <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ‘Big City.’”<br />

Grace Bay Medical Centre has now taken this base <strong>of</strong><br />

medical knowledge to develop wellness retreats. Clients<br />

get a highly personalised diagnosis and a detailed plan <strong>of</strong><br />

how to incorporate wellness elements—diet, sleep, exercise,<br />

stress reduction, meditation, “me time”—into <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

daily lives long after <strong>the</strong>y return home. Not surprisingly,<br />

many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se elements correlate with <strong>the</strong> lifestyles <strong>of</strong><br />

older generations <strong>of</strong> Turks & Caicos Islanders.<br />

Entrepreneurs <strong>of</strong> wellness<br />

Meanwhile, several cottage industries have sprung up<br />

providing products and services. These include some<br />

that uniquely draw on locally grown bush foods and<br />

plant-based diets that complement wellness tourism and<br />

enhance <strong>the</strong> health <strong>of</strong> TCI residents.<br />

Three years ago, Donna Gardiner started <strong>the</strong> Caicos<br />

Tea Company (see <strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>, Fall 2016) using<br />

<strong>the</strong> same plants from <strong>the</strong> bush that her ancestors used to<br />

augment health and treat various ailments. A North Caicos<br />

native, Ms. Gardiner says, “I wanted to produce a truly<br />

48 www.timespub.tc

au<strong>the</strong>ntic TCI product that had its roots here—steeped<br />

in history and brewed in culture! My grandmo<strong>the</strong>r and<br />

o<strong>the</strong>rs taught me a lot about <strong>the</strong> local bush, and so making<br />

teas is a way to honour <strong>the</strong>m. TCI has a ‘tea history,’<br />

and I want to preserve and share that. The fact that <strong>the</strong><br />

teas have medicinal qualities makes it that much more<br />

important.”<br />

Harvested from <strong>the</strong> North Caicos bush and packaged<br />

<strong>the</strong>re as well, <strong>the</strong> Tea Company produces six flavours <strong>of</strong><br />

tea—mint, fever grass, moringa, Caicos Sunshine, soursop<br />

and soursop/fever grass blend. Each <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m has<br />

one or more medicinal purposes, Ms. Gardiner notes.<br />

Moringa, for example, helps with anemia and flus, while<br />

soursop and fever grass promote relaxation and sleep, as<br />

well as reduce fever. Peppermint enhances digestion. All<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se remedies from bush tea were applied long before<br />

modern medicine arrived in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> and developed<br />

from observations over decades <strong>of</strong> experience. While <strong>the</strong><br />

teas have <strong>the</strong>ir own curative qualities, <strong>the</strong>y go hand in<br />

hand with <strong>the</strong> simple lifestyle and self-reliant culture that<br />

fosters general wellness in <strong>the</strong>se rural outer islands.<br />

Two years ago, sisters Laura and Lindsey Mensen<br />

opened TCI’s first all-vegan café, Retreat Kitchen (see<br />

pages 68-72). Located next to <strong>the</strong>ir yoga studio in <strong>the</strong><br />

Ports <strong>of</strong> Call plaza, <strong>the</strong> café has become quite popular<br />

with vegans, as well as non-vegans wanting to reduce<br />

meat consumption and increase plant food in <strong>the</strong> diet.<br />

Retreat isn’t just about serving one class <strong>of</strong> people, however.<br />

When Hurricane Irma struck last year, Retreat, like<br />

many restaurants in TCI, provided hundreds <strong>of</strong> free vegan<br />

meals to people in need throughout <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>—a wellness<br />

diet in a time <strong>of</strong> crisis.<br />

Regina Radisic recently opened a vegan take-out café<br />

kitchen, Island Raw, next to her Pilates Studio 90 Degrees<br />

in Grace Bay. As a sideline, she started brewing and bottling<br />

locally made kombucha. As sometimes happens,<br />

North Caican Donna Gardiner started <strong>the</strong> Caicos Tea Company to preserve<br />

and share her family’s culture.<br />

<strong>the</strong> sideline product got discovered and quickly became<br />

a major segment <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> business.<br />

Kombucha, essentially a fermented green or black tea<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r with a symbiotic colony <strong>of</strong> bacteria and yeast<br />

(“SCOBY”) creating a probiotic food, has proven to be an<br />

effective digestive aid and <strong>of</strong>ten recommended as part<br />

<strong>of</strong> a wellness diet. Ms. Radisic’s now popular kombuchas<br />

come in a variety <strong>of</strong> flavours that uniquely contain local<br />

bush, as well as o<strong>the</strong>r medicinal plants, including mulberry,<br />

North Caicos plum, moringa, lemon grass, noni<br />

fruit, turmeric and ginger. Some come from Misick’s<br />

Organic Farm on North Caicos, o<strong>the</strong>rs from her own garden<br />

on Providenciales.<br />

For <strong>the</strong> past six years, <strong>the</strong> skin care company and<br />

spa Rejouvenance, located at Grace Bay Court Plaza,<br />

has created and locally manufactured a range <strong>of</strong> coconut-based<br />

products. (See <strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>, <strong>Spring</strong><br />

2013.) Coconuts have many healing properties that people<br />

living on tropical islands all over <strong>the</strong> world have used<br />

for centuries for healthy hair and skin and as a natural<br />

protector against <strong>the</strong> sun. Notably, Rejouvenance pro-<br />


<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 49

duces effective reef-safe sunscreens by combining locally<br />

derived coconut oils with clear sun-blocking minerals like<br />

zinc oxide. These natural sunscreens not only minimise<br />

risk <strong>of</strong> sunburn but don’t contain <strong>the</strong> oxybenzone chemical<br />

typically found in popular sunscreens that has proven<br />

to be harmful to reefs. In this way, Rejouvenance’s wellness<br />

products take care <strong>of</strong> people, as well as TCI’s critical<br />

marine resource, living coral.<br />

Benefits for all<br />

Despite <strong>the</strong> undeniable positive health and wellness<br />

impact <strong>of</strong> island self-reliance in <strong>the</strong> past, we must acknowledge<br />

that life back <strong>the</strong>n was also hard. Nobody, not even<br />

<strong>the</strong> older generation, wants to go back to that existence.<br />

Modern conveniences, for all <strong>the</strong>ir unhealthy baggage,<br />

have made life much less strenuous. That, <strong>of</strong> course,<br />

underscores <strong>the</strong> overshadowing dilemma <strong>of</strong> modernity,<br />

brought into sharp focus in TCI: How best to employ and<br />

enjoy <strong>the</strong> benefits <strong>of</strong> technological advancements and<br />

mass consumer convenience without succumbing to <strong>the</strong><br />

toxic by-products that are killing us slowly?<br />

With a confluence <strong>of</strong> resources in TCI—a legacy <strong>of</strong> living<br />

well, enlightened medical and lifestyle pr<strong>of</strong>essionals,<br />

and a budding class <strong>of</strong> creative wellness entrepreneurs,<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r with magical scenery—<strong>the</strong>se <strong>Islands</strong> could be a<br />

model for how to get it right.<br />

Imagine for a moment <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> as<br />

an international centre for wellness, a tropical island destination<br />

where visitors come to learn and experience what<br />

it is for mind and body to be at its human zenith. Not only<br />

could TCI be at <strong>the</strong> forefront <strong>of</strong> wellness tourism as it<br />

emerges from niche to mainstream, but shape <strong>the</strong> course<br />

<strong>of</strong> how to live well. At <strong>the</strong> same time, envision a society<br />

where <strong>the</strong> tenants <strong>of</strong> wellness become <strong>the</strong> adopted<br />

norms—a society physically healthier but also one where<br />

each individual realises <strong>the</strong>ir capacity to control <strong>the</strong>ir lives<br />

and circumstances.<br />

As David Bowen observed, we cannot sell wellness<br />

unless we connect with <strong>the</strong> rest <strong>of</strong> society. Indeed, <strong>the</strong><br />

benefits can and should flow both ways: Just as advances<br />

in medical knowledge and wellness practices around<br />

<strong>the</strong> world have much to <strong>of</strong>fer TCI, so too does TCI have<br />

remarkable treasures to share with o<strong>the</strong>rs. Linking <strong>the</strong><br />

lifestyle and discoveries <strong>of</strong> TCI people to present wellness<br />

needs generates compelling cross-pollination opportunities<br />

that serve visitors and residents alike.<br />

Luckily, positive signs loom for a more wellness-conscious<br />

TCI in its holistic approach to elevating <strong>the</strong> human<br />

experience—starting with <strong>the</strong> grassroots work done by<br />

TCI healers—<strong>the</strong> primary care doctors, naturopaths, dieticians<br />

and spiritual guides. We also see a strong growth<br />

in participatory sports. Run/walks, swim competitions,<br />

sailing regattas, cycling ride-alongs, rugby tournaments<br />

and mini-triathlons have noticeably spurred more people,<br />

young and old, to incorporate exercise into <strong>the</strong>ir daily<br />

routines. Mainstream sports like football (soccer), bas-<br />

50 www.timespub.tc

ketball and track and field also continue to attract more<br />

players, as have <strong>the</strong> secondary sports. Give due credit<br />

to steadfast TCI government policy and <strong>the</strong> Department<br />

<strong>of</strong> Sports for prioritising sport, not just for competition,<br />

but for <strong>the</strong> positive values <strong>of</strong> health and well-being that it<br />

instills.<br />

Some top athletes have become role models who<br />

make living well a “cool” thing and influence how people<br />

think and act. Who doesn’t want to be like elite TCI track<br />

star Delano Williams? We can’t run like him, but we can<br />

emulate his healthy lifestyle. Musicians, actors, dancers,<br />

designers, models, painters and video personalities—<br />

homegrown and from abroad—also have <strong>the</strong> power to<br />

change perceptions because <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir high pr<strong>of</strong>ile visibility<br />

and engaging talents. Once <strong>the</strong>y adopt a wellness lifestyle,<br />

o<strong>the</strong>rs follow.<br />

The word is getting out about <strong>the</strong> foods and drinks<br />

that harm our bodies and those <strong>of</strong> our children, even<br />

if <strong>the</strong> implementation might be lagging. Often small,<br />

simple actions can yield big dividends—like taking out<br />

<strong>the</strong> Coke machine and putting in vending machines<br />

that dispense coconut waters and o<strong>the</strong>r healthy drinks.<br />

Substitute one convenience for ano<strong>the</strong>r and build on that.<br />

Implementation <strong>of</strong> wellness is not just for pr<strong>of</strong>essionals<br />

in <strong>the</strong> field. We still have a way to go, even as TCI makes<br />

positive gains.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> end, <strong>the</strong> goal must be to close <strong>the</strong> gap between<br />

those who are barely hanging on and those who have<br />

comfortably made it. Wellness <strong>of</strong>fers real hope as an<br />

agent <strong>of</strong> change that breaks <strong>the</strong> cycle <strong>of</strong> poverty and<br />

allows people to rise with a new sense <strong>of</strong> possibilities<br />

for <strong>the</strong>mselves and <strong>the</strong>ir children. Small countries like<br />

TCI can be as bold as big ones and much nimbler. Look<br />

to those already transforming one life at a time with an<br />

approach as holistic as <strong>the</strong> practice <strong>of</strong> wellness itself. And<br />

draw on <strong>the</strong> wisdom <strong>of</strong> older generations <strong>of</strong> Islanders to<br />

show us <strong>the</strong> way. a<br />

The longest established legal practice<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

Real Estate Investments<br />

& Property Development<br />

Immigration, Residency<br />

& Business Licensing<br />

Company & Commercial Law<br />

Trusts & Estate Planning<br />

Banking & Insurance<br />

1 Caribbean Place, P.O. Box 97<br />

Leeward Highway, Providenciales<br />

Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, BWI<br />

Ph: 649 946 4344 • Fax: 649 946 4564<br />

E-Mail: dempsey@tciway.tc<br />

Cockburn House, P.O. Box 70<br />

Market Street, Grand Turk<br />

Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, BWI<br />

Ph: 649 946 2245 • Fax: 649 946 2758<br />

E-Mail: ffdlawco@tciway.tc<br />

Ben Stubenberg is a contributing writer to <strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Islands</strong> with a passion for Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> history.<br />

An avid ocean man, he is <strong>the</strong> co-founder <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sports and<br />

adventure tour company Caicu Naniki and <strong>the</strong> annual<br />

Turks & Caicos “Race for <strong>the</strong> Conch” Eco-Seaswim. Ben<br />

can be reached at ben@caicunaniki.com.<br />


www.caicosteacompany.com<br />

info@caicosteacompany.com<br />

1.649.245.9449<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 51


feature<br />

Opposite page: Solar energy is <strong>the</strong> cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available, and <strong>the</strong> TCI has substantial solar resources<br />

(5.7 kilowatt-hours/square meter) each day with more than 350 days <strong>of</strong> strong sunshine.<br />

Above: FortisTCI and Green Revolution engineers inspect <strong>the</strong> Atlantic Stone/BRM Limited solar panels prior to <strong>the</strong> 2017 hurricanes, when an<br />

inspection was taking place just before <strong>the</strong> system was commissioned.<br />


Today (March 7, <strong>2018</strong>) marks <strong>the</strong> six-month anniversary <strong>of</strong> Hurricane Irma’s brutal attack on <strong>the</strong> Turks &<br />

Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. The flocks <strong>of</strong> visitors from cold-wea<strong>the</strong>r climes continue to land daily, and most see little<br />

evidence <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> powerful storm as <strong>the</strong>y enjoy <strong>the</strong> TCI’s trademark “Beautiful by Nature” sun, sand and<br />

sea. (In fact, Grace Bay Beach was awarded “World’s Best Beach” in <strong>the</strong> TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice®<br />

awards for <strong>2018</strong>, reclaiming its crown from 2016.)<br />

But many scientists fear that extreme wea<strong>the</strong>r may become an all-too-common occurrence, as <strong>the</strong><br />

planet struggles to remain in balance in spite <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> effects on climate <strong>of</strong> an exponentially compounding<br />

global population. With this in mind, solar and o<strong>the</strong>r alternative forms <strong>of</strong> energy are more important than<br />

ever.<br />

Hang Tight<br />

Can solar panels survive hurricanes?<br />

By Paul Chaplin, Green Revolution & Kathy Borsuk<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 53

Key to recovery from <strong>the</strong> most powerful storm to ever<br />

hit TCI was power being restored quickly and safely across<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. FortisTCI accomplished that in a extraordinary<br />

way. In fact, <strong>the</strong> Edison Electric Institute (EEI) in<br />

January <strong>2018</strong> presented FortisTCI with <strong>the</strong> association’s<br />

“Emergency Recovery Award” for its outstanding power<br />

restoration efforts after Hurricane Irma in September<br />

2017.<br />

FortisTCI completed full restoration <strong>of</strong> electricity to<br />

its customers across <strong>the</strong> country on November 6, 2017,<br />

less than 60 days following <strong>the</strong> passing <strong>of</strong> Hurricane Irma.<br />

Damage across <strong>the</strong> archipelago varied, with as much<br />

as 90% <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> electric utility infrastructure destroyed in<br />

some places like Grand Turk and Salt Cay. The massive<br />

response by FortisTCI was supported by parent company<br />

Fortis Inc. and <strong>the</strong> Fortis group <strong>of</strong> companies across <strong>the</strong><br />

USA, Canada and <strong>the</strong> Cayman <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

By <strong>the</strong> time power was completely restored, a total <strong>of</strong><br />

three waves <strong>of</strong> utility workers (120 in total) from Fortis<br />

subsidiaries had arrived in TCI, along with over 60 utility<br />

trucks, 600+ utility poles, hundreds <strong>of</strong> rolls <strong>of</strong> wires<br />

and transformers, palettes <strong>of</strong> tools and food to feed <strong>the</strong><br />

army <strong>of</strong> workers. Over <strong>the</strong> two months, FortisTCI spent<br />

$30–$35 million to restore services to <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. EEI<br />

President Tom Kuhn explained <strong>the</strong>ir choice for <strong>the</strong> award,<br />

“While many <strong>of</strong> FortisTCI’s employees were impacted by<br />

<strong>the</strong> storm, crews worked diligently and <strong>of</strong>ten in dangerous<br />

conditions to restore service to customers safely and<br />

as quickly as possible.”<br />

According to FortisTCI President/CEO Eddinton<br />

Powell, <strong>the</strong> company took <strong>the</strong> opportunity to rebuild a<br />

transmission and distribution network that is stronger<br />

and more capable <strong>of</strong> wea<strong>the</strong>ring massive hurricanes, and<br />

grid resiliency continues to be an important goal.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> Summer 2016 <strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>, we<br />

published “Let <strong>the</strong> Sun Shine,” an article introducing<br />

FortisTCI’s solar energy program. Since <strong>the</strong>n, FortisTCI<br />

made strides in integrating renewable energy sources into<br />

<strong>the</strong> grid during 2017 (pre-Irma!). In February 2017, <strong>the</strong><br />

company signed its first set <strong>of</strong> Utility Owned Renewable<br />

Energy (UORE) Program contracts, one with Mills Learning<br />

Institute in Juba Sound and <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r with Atlantic Stone/<br />

BRM Limited in South Dock. The total aggregate size is<br />

178kW. Both projects were installed and commissioned<br />

between May and July 2017.<br />

FortisTCI plans to integrate 1.2MW <strong>of</strong> renewable<br />

energy on <strong>the</strong> grid for <strong>2018</strong>. This includes a one megawatt<br />

(1MW) large-scale, utility-led solar project awarded<br />

following a competitive bid process and planned through<br />

From top: Key to recovery from <strong>the</strong> unprecedented 2017 hurricanes<br />

were award-winning efforts by FortisTCI. Shown here are linesmen<br />

from Grand Turk, Providenciales, and a visiting worker from<br />

Newfoundland, Canada.<br />


54 www.timespub.tc


an MOU signed in 2016 with <strong>the</strong> Rocky Mountain Institute–<br />

Carbon War Room, a leader in creating clean, resilient and<br />

affordable energy solutions by working with utilities and<br />

governments. The 1MW project will encompass several<br />

sites across <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Paul Chaplin and Jim Dunlop are <strong>the</strong> owners <strong>of</strong> Green<br />

Revolution, a TCI company whose mission is to introduce<br />

renewable energy and energy efficiency into <strong>the</strong> lives <strong>of</strong><br />

Caribbean people. They focus on ideas and technologies<br />

that <strong>of</strong>fer low maintenance, speedy paybacks and are<br />

suited to <strong>the</strong> region’s idiosyncrasies and wea<strong>the</strong>r (including<br />

hurricanes!) They have been working with FortisTCI<br />

on <strong>the</strong> UORE Program contracts.<br />

Paul recalls, “The morning after Hurricane Irma, we<br />

visited our largest electric-grid-tied solar systems, concerned<br />

that <strong>the</strong> storm had been too powerful for <strong>the</strong><br />

hurricane-rated design and specification we had developed.<br />

At that stage we had no clue as to Irma’s strength.<br />

En route to <strong>the</strong> first installation, we noted <strong>the</strong> considerable<br />

damage to surrounding properties, some worse than<br />

o<strong>the</strong>rs. It was clear that <strong>the</strong> south side <strong>of</strong> Providenciales<br />

had been hit <strong>the</strong> hardest—some areas had experienced<br />

worse pockets <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> storm than o<strong>the</strong>rs.”<br />

Opinion in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> is that Hurricane Irma spawned<br />

tornados, which can account for <strong>the</strong> sporadic instances<br />

<strong>of</strong> damage. According to <strong>the</strong> National Oceanic and<br />

Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), when a hurricane<br />

makes landfall, it can create ideal conditions for tornado<br />

formation. As tropical cyclones begin to die <strong>of</strong>f, <strong>the</strong><br />

atmosphere becomes unstable as winds near <strong>the</strong> surface<br />

weaken while higher altitude winds remain strong. That<br />

instability, paired with a strong vertical wind shear, can<br />

spawn tornadoes. Hurricane-generated tornadoes are<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten weaker, says <strong>the</strong> National Hurricane Center, and<br />

typically strike a small, concentrated area.<br />

Paul continues, “Our first port <strong>of</strong> call was our largest<br />

installation, a 166kw grid-tied solar installation at South<br />

Dock. This system is made up <strong>of</strong> 550 solar panels over<br />

an area <strong>of</strong> 20,000 square feet. It produces approximately<br />

220,000kw per year and was <strong>the</strong> first major grid-tied<br />

solar installation in <strong>the</strong> TCI. We arrived at <strong>the</strong> property<br />

and found <strong>the</strong> entire structure to be completely intact.<br />

This was a huge relief! We went on to visit several o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

sites. Damage to our systems from <strong>the</strong> hurricane was<br />

minor.”<br />

Paul and Jim continued to be pleasantly surprised,<br />

“The following day, as winds died down, we decided to<br />

carry out a drone survey for a detailed visual inspection,<br />

as it was too soon after <strong>the</strong> storm to determine whe<strong>the</strong>r<br />

From top: The largest grid-tied solar installation in TCI (Atlantic<br />

Stone) sustained minimal damage after Hurricane Irma.<br />

Flexible racking devices, as shown on <strong>the</strong> AirCool building in<br />

Providenciales, help a solar panel system bend under wind stress.<br />

Ground-mounted solar energy systems are ano<strong>the</strong>r option.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 55

enewable energy solutions<br />

energy efficiency solutions<br />

www.greenrevolutionltd.com<br />

moreinfo@greenrevolutionltd.com<br />

tel. 649-232-1393<br />

TWATIMES_Layout 1 2/16/17 7:49 AM Page 1<br />

Serving international & domestic clients in real estate, property development,<br />

mortgages, corporate & commercial matters, immigration, & more.<br />


<strong>the</strong> building was structurally sound. The drone footage<br />

showed that we had lost a total <strong>of</strong> two panels, with eight<br />

more damaged by flying debris. We were delighted with<br />

<strong>the</strong> outcome! The drone shots also showed <strong>the</strong> devastation<br />

to surrounding properties and severe damage to<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r steel building ro<strong>of</strong>s and wall panels.”<br />

In summary, Paul says, “We reflected on what we had<br />

seen and concluded that with <strong>the</strong> additional structure we<br />

had installed over <strong>the</strong> metal building ro<strong>of</strong> for our solar<br />

panels—and <strong>the</strong> solar panels <strong>the</strong>mselves—we had likely<br />

provided ano<strong>the</strong>r level <strong>of</strong> protection for <strong>the</strong> building ro<strong>of</strong>.<br />

All solar systems we supply are designed to withstand<br />

major hurricanes with winds 155+ MPH, from <strong>the</strong> fixings<br />

to <strong>the</strong> ro<strong>of</strong>, to <strong>the</strong> framing (racking) that support <strong>the</strong> panels,<br />

to <strong>the</strong> clips that hold <strong>the</strong> panels in place. Obviously<br />

direct impact from flying debris will cause damage at<br />

<strong>the</strong>se windspeeds. After a thorough structural assessment,<br />

<strong>the</strong> building was deemed structurally sound and<br />

<strong>the</strong> solar system activated.”<br />

Green Revolution’s experiences support o<strong>the</strong>r reports<br />

from hurricane-prone areas. Hurricane-force winds can<br />

damage solar panel installations in several ways. Ro<strong>of</strong>top<br />

solar panels can be blown <strong>of</strong>f by wind blowing between<br />

<strong>the</strong> ro<strong>of</strong> and <strong>the</strong> panels. Vendors ensure systems are<br />

designed to withstand uplift forces by fastening panels<br />

to <strong>the</strong> ro<strong>of</strong> beams with large lag bolts. As long as <strong>the</strong> ro<strong>of</strong><br />

itself was properly built and maintained, <strong>the</strong>re is little<br />

chance <strong>of</strong> solar panels tearing <strong>the</strong> ro<strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>f your house due<br />

to uplift or o<strong>the</strong>r wind forces.<br />

Testing by solar manufacturers includes a certification<br />

that <strong>the</strong> panels can withstand winds <strong>of</strong> up to 140<br />

MPH, <strong>the</strong> equivalent <strong>of</strong> a Category 4 hurricane. In realworld<br />

performance, <strong>the</strong>re are reports that nearly all solar<br />

panels that were in areas hit by Superstorm Sandy (2012),<br />

Hurricane Michael (2016) and Hurricane Irma (2017) survived<br />

<strong>the</strong> high winds with few individual panels damaged<br />

beyond functioning. Any o<strong>the</strong>r losses were due to <strong>the</strong><br />

destruction <strong>of</strong> an entire ro<strong>of</strong> or structure.<br />

Hurricane Maria’s path through Puerto Rico has given<br />

insight into <strong>the</strong> durability <strong>of</strong> solar energy systems as well.<br />

A 645kw ro<strong>of</strong>top solar array on San Juan’s VA Hospital<br />

installed in 2015 continued to operate 100% post-storm,<br />

even though it was exposed to 180 MPH hurricane winds.<br />

What kept this system intact? The racking and anchoring<br />

systems used to keep <strong>the</strong> solar panels in place were <strong>the</strong><br />

ultimate factor in determining wind resiliency. By utilizing<br />

flexible racking devices, <strong>the</strong> system was able to work like<br />

a chain link fence to bend under stress ra<strong>the</strong>r than staying<br />

rigid and eventually breaking.<br />

56 www.timespub.tc

If you are considering a ro<strong>of</strong>-mounted solar system,<br />

be safe in <strong>the</strong> knowledge that if designed and installed<br />

correctly it can withstand <strong>the</strong> forces <strong>of</strong> a major hurricane,<br />

and in some cases provide an additional layer <strong>of</strong> protection<br />

to your existing ro<strong>of</strong> finish. a<br />

Renewable energy programs<br />

Ready to be a part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> green energy movement?<br />

FortisTCI can assist you in realizing <strong>the</strong> benefits <strong>of</strong><br />

solar energy in a safe and reliable way.<br />

CORE<br />

Under <strong>the</strong> CORE program, customers can install <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

own solar system and connect to <strong>the</strong> FortisTCI grid.<br />

All <strong>the</strong> energy production will feed back to <strong>the</strong> grid.<br />

Customers’ consumption will come from FortisTCI’s<br />

production and <strong>the</strong> Company will buy all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> customer’s<br />

PV system production at CORE Rate/kwh. In<br />

2016, <strong>the</strong> average monthly CORE rate was 18 cents.<br />

UORE<br />

Under <strong>the</strong> UORE program, customers lease <strong>the</strong>ir ro<strong>of</strong><br />

space to FortisTCI. The company will install solar<br />

panels on <strong>the</strong> customers’ ro<strong>of</strong>top and take care <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> operation and maintenance for <strong>the</strong> entire lifecycle<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> system. Customers will benefit from a fixed<br />

monthly lease payment for <strong>the</strong> Company’s use <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

customer’s ro<strong>of</strong> and a variable annual share <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

PV system’s operating results. A typical residential<br />

house with installed capacity <strong>of</strong> 10 kWdc can collect<br />

Harbour Club:Layout<br />

an average <strong>of</strong><br />

1<br />

$2,000<br />

8/17/16<br />

per<br />

10:16<br />

year. The<br />

AM<br />

contract<br />

Page 1<br />

term for<br />

this program is 20 years. a<br />

For more information, visit www.FortisTCI.com.<br />

Kathryn's experience in real estate<br />

began in 1997 with ERA in Cayman<br />

<strong>Islands</strong>. In 2000 Kathryn moved to<br />

Turks and Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> to take<br />

up <strong>the</strong> position <strong>of</strong> Managing<br />

Director <strong>of</strong> ERA Turks and Caicos<br />

Real Estate (formerly ERA Coralie<br />

Properties Ltd.). Kathryn was a<br />

founding member <strong>of</strong> Turks and<br />

Caicos Real Estate Association (TCREA) that implemented <strong>the</strong><br />

MLS for Turks and Caicos. She was instrumental in drafting <strong>the</strong><br />

Ethics and Rules and Regulations for <strong>the</strong> Association. She also<br />

headed up a certified training program for members <strong>of</strong> TCREA.<br />

As well as sitting on many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Association committees, she was<br />

Vice President for 3 years, followed by 5 years as President.<br />

Kathryn has recently been awarded Certificate <strong>of</strong> Distinction, Life<br />

Time Membership to TCREA. Now C.E.O. <strong>of</strong> ERA, she still loves<br />

being involved with listings and sales and has many repeat clients<br />

and customers, most <strong>of</strong> whom have become friends. Kathryn has<br />

been Top Selling Broker for ERA for 15 years. Real estate is her<br />

passion; she consistently provides service with integrity and vision<br />

ensuring <strong>the</strong> best results for both customers and clients.<br />

Tel: 649 231-2329<br />

Email: krbrown@era.tc<br />

Web: www.eraturksandcaicos.com<br />

Kathryn<br />

Brown<br />

Director ERA Turks and Caicos Real Estate<br />

ERA Turks and Caicos Real Estate<br />

Harbour Club Villas<br />

Turtle Tail Drive, Providenciales<br />

Six one-bedroom villas.<br />

Dive operators at our dock.<br />

Bonefishing in <strong>the</strong> lake.<br />

Fabulous beaches nearby.<br />

Ideal for couples or groups.<br />

Trip Advisor<br />

Travellers’ Choice<br />

Awards Winner<br />

E: harbourclub@tciway.tc<br />

T: 1 649 941 5748<br />

See our website<br />

for details.<br />


<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 57

astrolabe<br />

newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

front street, p.o. box 188, grand turk, turks & caicos islands, bwi<br />

tel 649 946 2160 • fax 649 946 2160 • email info@tcmuseum.org • web www.tcmuseum.org<br />


TCNM Director Pat Saxton (far right) shows HE Governor Dr. John Freeman and his wife Corinna <strong>the</strong> Museum’s archive.<br />

Passing <strong>the</strong> Baton<br />

Pat Saxton recalls her years as TCNM Director.<br />

By Pat Saxton<br />

By <strong>the</strong> time you read this, <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum Foundation will have a new Director.<br />

A few years ago, I informed <strong>the</strong> Board that I wanted to retire and it was time we hired someone with<br />

museum credentials. When I took over as director in August 2010, my job was to curtail spending, look<br />

for fresh avenues <strong>of</strong> funding, and <strong>of</strong>fer new tours and exhibits. I am not a curator, nor an archivist. I am<br />

a businesswoman with a passion for this little Museum. Of all <strong>the</strong> jobs I have had, none has given me <strong>the</strong><br />

opportunity to learn so much every day, nor broaden my interests with such a wide range <strong>of</strong> activities.<br />

58 www.timespub.tc

astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

TCNM Director Pat Saxton is helping put up <strong>the</strong> first Bird Trail signs<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

The first part <strong>of</strong> my job was easy. Curtail spending—simple<br />

things like making sure all non-essential air<br />

conditioning units were set at a reasonable temperature,<br />

turned <strong>of</strong>f or replaced with units that were more energy-efficient.<br />

We also painted <strong>the</strong> ro<strong>of</strong> a reflective white. In<br />

<strong>the</strong> first year we cut our electric bill by 67%! We purchased<br />

in bulk, made improvements in <strong>the</strong> gift shop with <strong>the</strong><br />

help <strong>of</strong> volunteers and secured more Island-made items<br />

to sell.<br />

Finding new avenues <strong>of</strong> funding were vastly helped<br />

by partnerships I had forged previously. The UK Overseas<br />

Territories Conservation Forum helped <strong>the</strong> TCNM secure<br />

funding from <strong>the</strong> Infrastructure Fund to install <strong>the</strong> firstever<br />

birding trails on Grand Turk. We were also able to<br />

establish <strong>the</strong> Botanical and Cultural Garden adjacent<br />

to <strong>the</strong> Museum. With <strong>the</strong> help <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI Department<br />

<strong>of</strong> Environment & Coastal Resources and Royal Botanic<br />

Gardens in <strong>the</strong> UK, <strong>the</strong> arboretum was transformed into<br />

a learning garden showcasing indigenous and medicinal<br />

plants. (Unfortunately, Hurricanes Irma and Maria did<br />

quite a number on <strong>the</strong> garden, but we will be refurbishing<br />

it in <strong>the</strong> first quarter <strong>of</strong> <strong>2018</strong>. Carnival Corporation has<br />

since restored <strong>the</strong> garden’s historical stone wall which<br />

was destroyed.)<br />

After proving to <strong>the</strong> Infrastructure Fund that we could<br />

finish <strong>the</strong>se projects on time and on budget, <strong>the</strong> Museum<br />

was granted funds to improve <strong>the</strong> historic Guinep House<br />

building. We installed hurricane doors and windows,<br />

new flooring, a new balcony floor and <strong>the</strong> spacious deck<br />

between buildings where we hold movie night fundraisers<br />

and our “Evening with <strong>the</strong> Expert” series.<br />

We received two British Library Grants and through<br />

<strong>the</strong>se I learned about archiving general practices. These<br />

grants provided for digitization <strong>of</strong> records we currently<br />

hold in our archive.<br />

We also secured funding for new exhibits, including<br />

<strong>the</strong> Jeremiah Murphy and Lighthouse exhibits along with<br />

<strong>the</strong> 19th Century Office exhibit. Hugh Hutchings, descendant<br />

<strong>of</strong> H.H. Hutchings (one <strong>of</strong> TCI’s first Administrators,<br />

who named Grace Bay on Providenciales after his wife)<br />

donated so many items from both his fa<strong>the</strong>r and grandfa<strong>the</strong>r<br />

that we had enough to open a new exhibit.<br />

In total, just over $500,000 in grants and donations<br />

came through during my tenure <strong>of</strong> over seven years.<br />

I leave <strong>the</strong> Museum in very capable hands. Our new<br />

director is Dr. Michael Pateman, who comes with impressive<br />

credentials. He was <strong>the</strong> assistant director <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

National Museum <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bahamas, where he worked for<br />

over 11 years. I could not be happier to have Dr. Pateman<br />

at <strong>the</strong> helm. I first met him when he came to help with <strong>the</strong><br />

Endangered Archive Project in 2016. After three weeks<br />

I was convinced this young, enthusiastic pr<strong>of</strong>essional<br />

would do wonders for our Museum. It only took two<br />

years to convince him! He has a daunting task ahead with<br />

recovery from <strong>the</strong> hurricanes, yet I do believe Dr. Pateman<br />

sees this as an opportunity to start fresh with new interactive<br />

exhibits in Grand Turk and fur<strong>the</strong>r development <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Grace Bay site.<br />

For me, it is bittersweet to leave. On one hand, I am<br />

going to miss all <strong>the</strong> new and exciting things I believe<br />

<strong>the</strong> future holds for <strong>the</strong> Museum. On <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r hand, my<br />

husband Neil and I want to travel, spend time with our<br />

grandchildren, and start our next life adventure. I will<br />

continue my position on <strong>the</strong> Board, and stay connected<br />

to this amazing institution.<br />

I wish nothing but success to Dr. Pateman and <strong>the</strong><br />

rest <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCNM staff. It has been a wild and wonderful<br />

ride! a<br />


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astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

The Kersteiner House today, renovated to serve <strong>the</strong> School for Field Studies on South Caicos.<br />

Window to <strong>the</strong> Past<br />

The legacy <strong>of</strong> Emily Kersteiner.<br />

By Emily Malcolm ~ Photos Courtesy Heidi Hertler, School for Field Studies, South Caicos<br />

The Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are literally “Beautiful by Nature” with crystalline waters, white sandy beaches<br />

and stunning shoreside terrain. An archipelago <strong>of</strong> astonishing and well-preserved ecosystems, it is also<br />

home to well-preserved historical buildings <strong>of</strong> Bermudian-styled architecture found on <strong>the</strong> Salt <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>of</strong><br />

Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos.<br />

These beautifully designed buildings with <strong>the</strong>ir rich history are slowly disappearing from sight due to<br />

man-made and natural disasters such as fire, termite infestation, storms and, most recently, <strong>the</strong> destructive<br />

hurricanes Irma and Maria. The loss <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se buildings should not create a vacuum <strong>of</strong> cultural and<br />

historical knowledge <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> our ancestors.<br />

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So journey with me as we take our first look through<br />

<strong>the</strong> “Window to <strong>the</strong> Past” at Emily Ann Stubbs Kersteiner,<br />

female entrepreneur and native <strong>of</strong> South Caicos. Mrs.<br />

Kersteiner, as she was affectionately known, was a household<br />

name on <strong>the</strong> island <strong>of</strong> South Caicos where she owned<br />

several business entities. Her husband lived on <strong>the</strong> island<br />

for only a short period before returning to Germany. They<br />

had no children.<br />

Kersteiner House<br />

Mrs. Kersteiner’s two-story home, simply known as <strong>the</strong><br />

“Kersteiner House,” was situated on a hill overlooking <strong>the</strong><br />

sou<strong>the</strong>rn and western sides <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> island with a beautiful<br />

view <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Caicos Bank. She had several employees.<br />

Many young ladies received <strong>the</strong>ir training in domestic<br />

work at her house. She had no tolerance for tardiness<br />

and <strong>the</strong> words “spic and span” aptly describe how she<br />

liked everything. Although stern, she was compassionate<br />

to <strong>the</strong> sick and was known to correctly diagnose and successfully<br />

treat many ill persons.<br />

The estate grounds were well-kept even though many<br />

large horses, chickens known as “yardies,” turkeys, ducks<br />

and dogs were raised on her estate. Her animals all were<br />

given very special attention.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> 1960s, Kersteiner House became <strong>the</strong> Admiral<br />

Arms Hotel, <strong>the</strong> first hotel in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

The 14-room hotel was started by Liam McGuire, who<br />

operated <strong>the</strong> Caicos Company. Many small planes flying<br />

between South America, North America, Puerto Rico and<br />

<strong>the</strong> US Virgin <strong>Islands</strong> would stop and visit South Caicos.<br />

Several fascinating aspects <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> hotel were captivating<br />

points <strong>of</strong> conversation. For instance <strong>the</strong> registration<br />

numbers for airplanes flown by every pilot who stayed<br />

at <strong>the</strong> hotel were posted on <strong>the</strong> walls and ceiling <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

bar. The large underwater mural adorning <strong>the</strong> wall in <strong>the</strong><br />

dining room was a backdrop for many photo shoots. The<br />

meals were tasty and delicious but <strong>the</strong> conch fritters were<br />

<strong>the</strong> ones that got international word-<strong>of</strong>-mouth recognition.<br />

The saltwater pool was <strong>the</strong> center <strong>of</strong> attraction, but<br />

most people simply enjoyed lounging around it with a<br />

cool drink, enthralled by <strong>the</strong> majestic view so <strong>of</strong>ten captured<br />

in photos.<br />

The Admiral Arms was also <strong>the</strong> venue for <strong>the</strong> annual<br />

Miss Regatta Beauty Pageant, part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> South Caicos<br />

Regatta Festival. This packed, fun-filled series <strong>of</strong> events<br />

took place for many, many years.<br />

From top: The Kersteiner House was <strong>the</strong> venue for <strong>the</strong> South Caicos<br />

Regatta Festival.<br />

This photo from a promotional brochure depicts guests lounging<br />

around <strong>the</strong> Admiral Arms Hotel pool.<br />

The estate has never been without activity. The late<br />

Eben Mills and George Garland operated <strong>the</strong> island’s first<br />

telecommunication system from <strong>the</strong> second story <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

hotel in <strong>the</strong> late 1960s. Today it is home <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> School for<br />

Field Studies. Every semester sees 30–35 students from<br />

<strong>the</strong> University <strong>of</strong> Boston attending courses in marine biology<br />

and o<strong>the</strong>r related areas.<br />

Carpenter Shop<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r building on <strong>the</strong> estate that was integral to life<br />

in South Caicos was <strong>the</strong> “Carpenter Shop,” a rock structure<br />

now housing faculty members <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> School for Field<br />

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Left: The Kersteiner Shop building housed <strong>the</strong> Caicos Company, shown here with Liam McGuire and Norman Saunders standing outside.<br />

Right: The Kersteiner Tin Shop has been a store <strong>of</strong> some kind for many years.<br />

Studies. Many island tradesmen learnt <strong>the</strong>ir carpentry<br />

skills at this shop, including my fa<strong>the</strong>r and grandfa<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> early days in South Caicos, it was customary for<br />

girls to learn domestic work and/or how to sew. Young<br />

men worked in <strong>the</strong> salt industry or in carpentry.<br />

Kersteiner Shop<br />

Mrs. Kersteiner also owned a two-story building originally<br />

built in 1870 that was always a center <strong>of</strong> activity. Back<br />

<strong>the</strong>n, <strong>the</strong> first floor was a clothing store and <strong>the</strong> second<br />

floor was <strong>the</strong> home <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> resident doctor. Later, <strong>the</strong> second<br />

floor housed <strong>the</strong> head <strong>of</strong>fice <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Caicos Company<br />

started by Liam McGuire in <strong>the</strong> 1960s.<br />

About 1964, and for several years after that, <strong>the</strong><br />

first floor was a general merchandise store, owned or<br />

operated by <strong>the</strong> late Phenous Ritchie and Gladys Mills,<br />

affectionately known to all as “Uncle Rich and Ma Curly.”<br />

They also operated <strong>the</strong> famous Ice-Cream Parlour, <strong>the</strong><br />

popular stop on a Sunday afternoon outing. Many children<br />

went to Sunday School just to ensure that <strong>the</strong>y could<br />

go for ice cream later on. It was a treat to buy a cone for<br />

just one shilling (10 cents) or a cup for one shilling and<br />

three-pence (thirteen cents). Some years later, in <strong>the</strong> late<br />

1970s, this same first floor became <strong>the</strong> general merchandise<br />

store for Caicos Company Ltd. Some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> finest<br />

china could be bought <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

catering primarily to Mrs. Kersteiner’s employees. They<br />

were given first preference to purchase merchandise,<br />

especially if <strong>the</strong>re were any items in short supply. The<br />

employees were able to establish a line <strong>of</strong> credit at <strong>the</strong><br />

store. Weekly deductions were made from <strong>the</strong>ir pay to<br />

settle <strong>the</strong>ir bills. One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> early shopkeepers was Mr.<br />

Benjamin Saunders.<br />

Throughout <strong>the</strong> years, this building has consistently<br />

been a store <strong>of</strong> some kind operated by a number <strong>of</strong> different<br />

owners. Today one can find a grocery store <strong>the</strong>re,<br />

operated by Anise Pierre.<br />

Kersteiner Salt Shed<br />

On <strong>the</strong> Kersteiner estate, very near <strong>the</strong> coastline on <strong>the</strong><br />

sou<strong>the</strong>rn side <strong>of</strong> South Caicos, is an area referred to as<br />

Buttmon. There you can find <strong>the</strong> ruins <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Kersteiner<br />

The Tin Shop<br />

As <strong>the</strong> name implies, <strong>the</strong> Tin Shop was made <strong>of</strong> corrugated<br />

zinc plates. This was a general merchandise store<br />

These are <strong>the</strong> remains <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Kersteiner Salt Shed at Buttmon.<br />

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Salt Shed. This was <strong>the</strong> last stop for <strong>the</strong> salt harvested in<br />

Kersteiner ponds before being bagged and shipped <strong>of</strong>f to<br />

<strong>the</strong> United States and Canada. Trucks delivered raw salt<br />

to <strong>the</strong> shed’s eastern entry where it was first put through<br />

<strong>the</strong> mill to be refined, <strong>the</strong>n bagged and stored until <strong>the</strong><br />

steamer or salt boat would come to pick it up.<br />

At one point, <strong>the</strong> Salt Shed served as a movie <strong>the</strong>atre.<br />

That was in <strong>the</strong> 1940s when Puerto Ricans lived on<br />

<strong>the</strong> island helping with <strong>the</strong> building <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> airport, <strong>the</strong><br />

dock at <strong>the</strong> Buttmon and <strong>the</strong> Old School. I have been told<br />

stories about people sitting on bagged salt to watch movies<br />

shown <strong>the</strong>re. In 1972 this building hosted <strong>the</strong> first<br />

Miss Regatta Beauty Pageant, won by my sister Patsylee<br />

Malcolm. In <strong>the</strong> intervening decades, most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> shed’s<br />

limestone walls have crumbled due to erosion.<br />

Odd Fellows Building<br />

The building that became <strong>the</strong> Odd Fellows Lodge was built<br />

in 1926. Originally it was <strong>the</strong> home <strong>of</strong> Mr. John Godet, but<br />

at one point was owned by Mrs. Kersteiner who gifted it<br />

to <strong>the</strong> Odd Fellows Lodge. They held <strong>the</strong>ir meetings on<br />

<strong>the</strong> second floor in “The Temple” and <strong>the</strong> Eunice Lodge,<br />

Household <strong>of</strong> Ruth, also held <strong>the</strong>ir meetings in this building.<br />

Both organizations were known for <strong>the</strong>ir elaborate<br />

initiation banquets for new members and annual lodge<br />

marches. The ladies dressed in all white, while <strong>the</strong> men<br />

wore all black. Everyone wore regalia depicting <strong>the</strong>ir positions<br />

in <strong>the</strong> lodges.<br />

The facades <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Kersteiner House and Carpenter<br />

Shop have changed through <strong>the</strong> years, but <strong>the</strong>y still retain<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir resemblance to <strong>the</strong> original structures. They were<br />

damaged in <strong>the</strong> most recent hurricanes but are repairable.<br />

The School for Field Studies still occupies both<br />

buildings.<br />

These buildings were renovated and maintained<br />

by some <strong>of</strong> South Caicos’ most skilled carpenters and<br />

masons: Cornelius Basden, Turton Clare, Nehemiah<br />

Williams, Calvin Williams (all deceased), <strong>the</strong> Thomas<br />

Bro<strong>the</strong>rs (Shirlen, Wilfred and Carlton), and my fa<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Walter Malcolm.<br />

Mrs. Emily Ann Stubbs-Kersteiner might not be spoken<br />

about much today, but her legacy as an entrepreneur<br />

continues in <strong>the</strong> minds <strong>of</strong> many residents. a<br />

Emily Malcolm is a native <strong>of</strong> South Caicos and a teacher<br />

by pr<strong>of</strong>ession who owns and operates Elam’s Care Centre.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> Salt Shed, salt was bagged and stored until a salt boat would<br />

come to pick it up.<br />

The Household <strong>of</strong> Ruth annual march was held outside <strong>the</strong> Odd<br />

Fellows Lodge.<br />

She has twice served as district commissioner for South<br />

Caicos, besides holding o<strong>the</strong>r local <strong>of</strong>fices. Emily is a local<br />

preacher in <strong>the</strong> North Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> Circuit <strong>of</strong><br />

Methodist Churches. She has mo<strong>the</strong>red five sons and one<br />

daughter (all nieces and nephews), and has assisted in<br />

<strong>the</strong> upbringing <strong>of</strong> all <strong>of</strong> her o<strong>the</strong>r nieces and nephews<br />

and now, her grand nieces and nephews. Her hobbies are<br />

cooking, reading, writing and handicraft, especially shell<br />

work.<br />

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astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

A Homecoming <strong>of</strong> Sorts<br />

By Michael P. Pateman, Ph.D. Director, TCNMF<br />

It is indeed an honour to be appointed <strong>the</strong> fifth (and<br />

first from <strong>the</strong> Caribbean) director <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

National Museum Foundation. I look forward to continuing<br />

to build on <strong>the</strong> legacy first established by Gre<strong>the</strong><br />

Seim and fur<strong>the</strong>red by all <strong>the</strong> previous directors.<br />


I am <strong>the</strong> only child <strong>of</strong> a Bahamian, Jean (Kemp) and<br />

an Englishman, Peter Pateman. I grew up in Nassau,<br />

New Providence (capital <strong>of</strong> The Bahamas). I was fortunate<br />

that I spent a lot <strong>of</strong> my summers as a child on<br />

our Family <strong>Islands</strong> exploring beaches, communities,<br />

historic sites and caves, amongst o<strong>the</strong>r things. These<br />

visits helped to shape me as an “Island Boy” who loves<br />

to “dig and explore.” This is who I am—both as a child<br />

and as <strong>the</strong> adult I’ve become today. Therefore, moving<br />

to Grand Turk has been like a homecoming.<br />

For <strong>the</strong> last 11 years I have worked at <strong>the</strong> Antiquities,<br />

Monuments and Museum Corporation (AMMC) <strong>of</strong><br />

The Bahamas. The AMMC is a quasi-governmental<br />

agency with responsibilities for Archaeology, Historic<br />

Preservation, Heritage Sites and Public Museums<br />

throughout The Bahamas. I had <strong>the</strong> primary responsibility<br />

for <strong>the</strong> Archaeological and Paleontological<br />

Research Unit, Public Relations and Marketing and <strong>the</strong><br />

IT Department. However, it was through field projects<br />

in archaeology that I had <strong>the</strong> pleasure <strong>of</strong> traveling and<br />

exploring <strong>the</strong> entire archipelago, including <strong>the</strong> Turks &<br />

Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. With my travels <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> islands, I have had<br />

<strong>the</strong> joy to go to <strong>the</strong> very top <strong>of</strong> The Bahamas (<strong>the</strong> Top<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Elbow Reef Lighthouse) and to explore <strong>the</strong> very<br />

bottom (Blue Hole diving with National Geographic).<br />

Dr. Michael Pateman (at right) collects oral history on Cat Island.<br />

New TCNMF Director Dr. Michael Pateman (far right) is on top <strong>of</strong><br />

The Bahamas at Top <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Elbow Reef Lighthouse.<br />

While <strong>the</strong> islands <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bahama archipelago all<br />

share a common history, each island has a unique<br />

history and sense <strong>of</strong> community. While working in<br />

<strong>the</strong> various islands, I have learned how important it<br />

is to engage fully with local communities and this has<br />

shaped my entire career since. I look forward to exploring<br />

<strong>the</strong> histories and heritage <strong>of</strong> TCI’s communities.<br />

In fact, I plan to make community engagement<br />

my main focus. It is vital that residents <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks &<br />

Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> feel that <strong>the</strong> Museum is a part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

communities. To begin this, <strong>the</strong> Museum will launch an<br />

oral history project—first on Grand Turk and <strong>the</strong>n on<br />

<strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r <strong>Islands</strong>. These oral histories will begin to form<br />

a living, interactive museum exhibit where our patrons<br />

will be able to see and hear <strong>the</strong> history <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks &<br />

Caicos as told by <strong>the</strong> residents <strong>the</strong>mselves on touch<br />

screen displays. Additionally, I look forward to partnering<br />

with local schools to ensure that schoolchildren<br />

visit at least one <strong>of</strong> our sites as part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir school year.<br />

My academic research has focused primarily on <strong>the</strong><br />

Lucayans and <strong>the</strong> Liberated African experience. Both<br />

subjects I am excited to continue to explore fur<strong>the</strong>r,<br />

as Grand Turk has <strong>the</strong> oldest pre-Columbian site in <strong>the</strong><br />

Bahama Archipelago. The story <strong>of</strong> Liberated Africans<br />

through <strong>the</strong> slave ships Esperanza and Trouvadore<br />

along with <strong>the</strong> settlement <strong>of</strong> Bambarra are important<br />

aspects <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> history <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos.<br />

This is a new beginning for not only <strong>the</strong> Museum,<br />

but for me. Like Pat Saxton, I believe in answering every<br />

email, call and text I receive. I look forward to <strong>the</strong> relationships<br />

that I will form and <strong>the</strong> adventures to be had<br />

as we grow and expand <strong>the</strong> Museum toge<strong>the</strong>r. a<br />


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Museum matters<br />

Pat’s friends<br />

Over <strong>the</strong> seven years <strong>of</strong> my tenure I have met some very<br />

interesting and unique individuals. One never knows<br />

if a chance meeting will be anything but that or, as in<br />

<strong>the</strong> case <strong>of</strong> David Mayberry, a new friendship will be<br />

forged.<br />

David came to <strong>the</strong> Museum in July 2017 with<br />

his wife Anna. As we talked, David mentioned he<br />

had worked in landscaping. I <strong>of</strong>fered to give <strong>the</strong>m a<br />

personal tour <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> garden while we waited for <strong>the</strong><br />

Museum to open, and <strong>the</strong>y accepted. We had a wonderful<br />

conversation about plants and how hard it is to<br />

grow things on Grand Turk. Being from New Mexico, he<br />

could appreciate <strong>the</strong> difficulty.<br />

Months passed. Then came Hurricanes Irma<br />

and Maria and in <strong>the</strong> midst <strong>of</strong> trying to work under<br />

extraordinary circumstances (non-existent Internet,<br />

no computers, etc.), I finally was able to download a<br />

multitude <strong>of</strong> work-related emails while visiting <strong>the</strong> U.S.<br />

in October. Among <strong>the</strong>m was David’s request to come<br />

and help with hurricane recovery, specifically for <strong>the</strong><br />

Museum.<br />

At first, I was not sure if we could accommodate<br />

his wonderful <strong>of</strong>fer. We were still in total recovery<br />

mode at <strong>the</strong> Museum, Science Building, Garden and our<br />

personal homes. Since he was coming to Grand Turk<br />

before I returned, I asked Museum Chairman Seamus<br />

Day to advise David as to how he could help.<br />

By <strong>the</strong> time I came back, David was in full swing<br />

making new gates for <strong>the</strong> Museum entrance. The precision<br />

and passion he put into that gate was amazing.<br />

The Science Building workshop was literally “buzzing”<br />

again. The smell <strong>of</strong> sawdust filtered to our makeshift<br />

<strong>of</strong>fice in <strong>the</strong> conference room. This small gesture<br />

meant something was being fixed—finally!<br />

The finished product is beautiful. The gate took<br />

on a lovely mahogany look after just one coat <strong>of</strong> linseed<br />

oil. David added his personal touch by cutting out<br />

small Turks Head cactus silhouettes.<br />

After a week <strong>of</strong> hard work, David flew home. We<br />

remain in touch and I do believe David has become a<br />

longtime friend <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Museum and my family. Not only<br />

has David become a member, not only did he fly down<br />

David Mayberry stands in front <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new gates he built for <strong>the</strong><br />

Museum entrance, to replace <strong>the</strong> original gates destroyed by<br />

Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017.<br />

on his own expense, but he and his family have generously<br />

donated to our recovery fund through Friends <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum.<br />

In mid-January <strong>2018</strong> I received an email from Ms.<br />

Clare Meredith. She informed me that in <strong>the</strong> late 1960s<br />

she came to Grand Turk as a young teacher with <strong>the</strong><br />

UK Voluntary Service, and also helped start up Conch<br />

News. She left TCI after serving her term. Clare’s message<br />

said she was planning a return to Grand Turk for<br />

a three-week visit. Could <strong>the</strong> Museum use her as a volunteer<br />

to help with curation issues? I jumped at <strong>the</strong><br />

chance to meet what sounded like a very interesting<br />

woman. Clare and I met up and I took her through <strong>the</strong><br />

Museum, Science Building and archives. She had so<br />

many ideas after seeing <strong>the</strong> Museum.<br />

I would be remiss if I did not mention some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

folks I met through email, phone calls and o<strong>the</strong>r chance<br />

meetings during my time as director. Hugh Hutchings<br />

was one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> first people I had <strong>the</strong> pleasure <strong>of</strong> hearing<br />


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Museum matters<br />

from. He donated so many<br />

things from his grandfa<strong>the</strong>r,<br />

H.H. Hutchings,<br />

who served as one <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> first administrators<br />

for Turks & Caicos. Then<br />

<strong>the</strong>re was Doug Rodgers,<br />

Bill Hockings, and Fritz<br />

Miller—a.k.a. <strong>the</strong> “Range<br />

Rats”—who sent us photos<br />

and o<strong>the</strong>r memorabilia.<br />

O<strong>the</strong>r U.S. servicemen such<br />

as Charlie Wright and John<br />

Conley also donated photos<br />

and paperwork from when<br />

<strong>the</strong>y served on Grand Turk.<br />

Jeff Dodge, our own deltiologist,<br />

has written quite a<br />

Pat Saxton’s plans for “retirement” include spending more time with her husband Neil (far right)<br />

and beloved grandchildren.<br />


Join <strong>the</strong> Museum<br />

Become a Member <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Turks & Caicos National<br />

Museum and receive a<br />

year’s subscription to<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> (which<br />

includes Astrolabe), free<br />

admission to <strong>the</strong> Museum<br />

and o<strong>the</strong>r benefits.<br />

<strong>of</strong> HISTORY and CULTURAL<br />


Senior (62+) $35 • Individual $50<br />

Family/Friend $100 • Sponsor $250<br />

Contributor $500 • Partner $750<br />

We have several options for joining:<br />

• Visit <strong>the</strong> Museum at our Providenciales location<br />

at The Village at Grace Bay or our Grand Turk location<br />

in Guinep House on Front Street<br />

• Visit our website at www.tcmuseum.org/membership-support/.<br />

• Send a cheque or money order payable to <strong>the</strong><br />

“Turks & Caicos National Museum” in care <strong>of</strong>:<br />

Friends <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

39 Condesa Road, Santa Fe, NM 87508 USA<br />

*For U.S. residents, support <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Museum may be tax-deductible<br />

if you join via Friends <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National<br />

Museum, our affiliated institution and registered 501 (c) (3).<br />

See our website for more details:<br />

www.tcmuseum.org.<br />

few books and articles on <strong>the</strong> extensive TCI postcard<br />

collection he accumulated. I believe this passion started<br />

while he was serving at <strong>the</strong> U.S. base here in Grand<br />

Turk!<br />

Salt Cay-born Captain Willard Kennedy sent us his<br />

sextant and o<strong>the</strong>r navigation tools from his years at<br />

sea. A chance phone call from Ms. Adrienne Lighbourn<br />

Butz resulted in her donating copies <strong>of</strong> her book The<br />

Letter Book <strong>of</strong> Captain John Lighbourn Sr and William<br />

Astwood. And who can forget Art St. John who used to<br />

live in Guinep House with his wife Gretchen in 1957–58<br />

while serving as Commanding Officer for <strong>the</strong> LORAN<br />

station at North Base? When he came back a few years<br />

ago to see Grand Turk with his family, he donated his<br />

photographs from his time here. We made a lot <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m<br />

into postcards and are ever so thankful for his photographs,<br />

now in our archive. He remains a lovely friend.<br />

Most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se folks sent an email or phoned. All I<br />

did was respond—and <strong>the</strong> rest is history—history that<br />

might have been lost if someone had not responded.<br />

Everyone has a story to tell, and it is up to us to listen!<br />

a<br />

Pat Saxton<br />

66 www.timespub.tc

faces and places<br />

Left: Sandra Walkin with Swim & Surf founding members Brigida Walkin, Jena Janse and Roechelle Gardiner. Center: Jacynthia Rigby, Swim &<br />

Surf founding member Sandra Shaw and Joshua Bratter, writer and executive producer <strong>of</strong> “The Black Line.” Right: Surfside National Coach<br />

Jessica Sloan and Swim & Surf President Brad Walkin.<br />

Swim & Surf TCI’s First Fundraising Event<br />

Brayton Hall was <strong>the</strong> venue for a formal evening showing <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Indigenous Films production, “The Black Line,” with<br />

Writer and Executive Producer Joshua Bratter present, as well as Shaune Fraser <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Cayman <strong>Islands</strong>, a three-time<br />

Olympic swimmer, CARIFTA champion and Pan-American Games champion. The film brings to our attention <strong>the</strong> contradiction<br />

that Black swimmers are breaking racial barriers in <strong>the</strong> world <strong>of</strong> competitive swimming, yet Black children<br />

are nearly six times more likely to drown in swimming pools than <strong>the</strong>ir White peers. Swimming is a key life skill that<br />

should be available to all. The reasons it is not are discussed in this film, as is <strong>the</strong> rich culture <strong>of</strong> swimming in <strong>the</strong><br />

Caribbean.<br />

Joshua Bratter, Shaune Fraser and Swim & Surf President Bradley Walkin spoke from <strong>the</strong> stage to <strong>the</strong> large audience<br />

along with Swim & Surf founding member Sandra Shaw. The beneficiaries <strong>of</strong> this fundraising event were Swim & Surf<br />

TCI, <strong>the</strong> Edward Gartland Youth Centre and TCI’s <strong>2018</strong> CARIFTA swim team athletes. Swim & Surf TCI and <strong>the</strong> Black<br />

Line Team enjoyed a four day screening tour in TCI bringing <strong>the</strong> film to EGYC members and CARIFTA <strong>2018</strong> swimmers,<br />

South Caicos schoolchildren, and 250 Providenciales middle and high school students with support from Sailrock<br />

South Caicos, The Shore Club and Brayton Hall BWIC. See more on <strong>the</strong> movie at www.<strong>the</strong>blacklinemovie.com and<br />

more on Swim & Surf at www.teamunify.com.<br />

Story By Claire Parrish ~ Photos By Sandra Shaw<br />

Left: The Swim & Surf TCI and Black Line Team had great interaction with schoolchildren in South Caicos.<br />

Right: TCI student screening <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> film at The Shore Club with Shaune Fraser present.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 67

food for thought<br />

Opposite page: Sisters Laura and Lindsay Mensen are owners <strong>of</strong> The Retreat Kitchen, a very special place that helps residents and visitors<br />

eat and drink <strong>the</strong>ir way towards wellness.<br />

Above: The zucchini bowl is one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> most popular lunch choices, regularly changing its primary flavours.<br />

Eating with Purpose<br />

The Retreat Kitchen vegetarian café and juice bar<br />

By Kathy Borsuk ~ Photos By Manisha Tolani<br />

I’m a firm believer in purpose: we all have a unique contribution to make with our life on this earth. If we<br />

discover that best thing to do we are fortunate, and o<strong>the</strong>rs are blessed.<br />

When I met Laura and Lindsay Mensen, owners <strong>of</strong> The Retreat Kitchen, a vegetarian café and juice bar<br />

on <strong>the</strong> upper level <strong>of</strong> Ports <strong>of</strong> Call Shopping Centre in Grace Bay, it was clear that <strong>the</strong>y were operating in<br />

that “zone,” blending <strong>the</strong>ir life experience, training and talents to create a very special place that helps<br />

residents and visitors eat and drink <strong>the</strong>ir way towards wellness.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 69

Every time I have lunch at The Retreat Kitchen, my<br />

body feels cared for, comforted and sated. Every dish is<br />

a combination <strong>of</strong> natural colors, flavors and textures that<br />

appeal to every sense. Made daily with fresh ingredients,<br />

soups are thick without <strong>the</strong> use <strong>of</strong> heavy creams and<br />

rich with flavor from herbs and spices. Salads burst with<br />

color and contrast, combining greens, nuts, vegetables<br />

and cheeses (if you like), enhanced by exquisite dressings<br />

made with cold-pressed juices and oils. Even <strong>the</strong> treats,<br />

such as peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies, manage<br />

to be decadent and healthy at <strong>the</strong> same time!<br />

The feeling <strong>of</strong> being lovingly nurtured starts when<br />

you walk into <strong>the</strong> space. Its clean, white-washed appearance<br />

is accented with darker wood tables, potted cacti<br />

and a selection <strong>of</strong> raw-food and vegan cookbooks. The air<br />

is filled with a fresh lavender scent that is refreshing and<br />

relaxing. You can dine inside or outdoors on <strong>the</strong> balcony.<br />

The Mensen sisters glow with good health and a natural<br />

beauty and vibrancy that is <strong>the</strong> result <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir approach<br />

to living. Laura and Lindsay were born in Canada, but<br />

spent many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir younger years in Turks & Caicos.<br />

Their fa<strong>the</strong>r, Henry Mensen, was <strong>the</strong> original developer<br />

<strong>of</strong> Ambergris Cay. When he spent time at <strong>the</strong> Hippocrates<br />

Health Institute in Florida undergoing intensive alternative<br />

healing through diet, yoga and meditation, <strong>the</strong> sisters<br />

took note.<br />

They spent three months training at <strong>the</strong> Institute’s<br />

raw food program, witnessing miraculous transformations<br />

in <strong>the</strong>ir fa<strong>the</strong>r, o<strong>the</strong>rs and <strong>the</strong>mselves. Laura<br />

recalls, “When we left, we felt physically light, healthy,<br />

clear minded and introspective—like we were learning<br />

Every day, The Retreat Kitchen <strong>of</strong>fers a soup/salad combination,<br />

changing regularly with <strong>the</strong> availability <strong>of</strong> fresh ingredients.<br />

Summer Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce are an exotic vegan treat.<br />

a new way <strong>of</strong> being in <strong>the</strong> world.” Laura continued her<br />

nutrition training, acquiring her certification as a Holistic<br />

Nutritionist through a year-long intensive at The Institute<br />

<strong>of</strong> Holistic Nutrition in Toronto, Canada. Both sisters<br />

went on to gain extensive training in <strong>the</strong> Barkan Method<br />

Hot Yoga and, later, yoga teacher training through <strong>the</strong><br />

Asheville Yoga Center and Rolf Gates Yoga.<br />

Eventually <strong>the</strong>y returned to TCI to create wellness<br />

retreats at <strong>the</strong>ir fa<strong>the</strong>r’s home on Ambergris Cay,<br />

emphasizing raw food, health and yoga. In 2013, Laura<br />

started a small business delivering fresh juice around<br />

Providenciales, with as many as 30 stops a day. In 2014,<br />

<strong>the</strong> sisters opened <strong>the</strong>ir own Retreat Yoga and Wellness<br />

Studio <strong>the</strong>re, <strong>of</strong>fering a variety <strong>of</strong> yoga classes, workshops<br />

and fresh-pressed juice and healthy, vegan snacks.<br />

During this time, <strong>the</strong> sisters recall, <strong>the</strong>ir diet gradually<br />

evolved as <strong>the</strong>y learned to listen to <strong>the</strong>ir bodies. “At<br />

first, we only ate raw foods and <strong>the</strong>n began introducing<br />

some cooked vegan foods and eventually transitioned<br />

back to organic eggs, goat cheese and a little fish. When<br />

we came to TCI, <strong>the</strong> abundance <strong>of</strong> fresh seafood was too<br />

good to pass up, so we became pesca-vegetarian. Our<br />

philosophy now is that people should become conscious<br />

eaters, know where your food is coming from and <strong>the</strong><br />

farming and transportation practices involved in getting<br />

it to you. Eat whole foods, organic if possible, choosing<br />

bright colors and plant-based fare. Most importantly have<br />

fun! It’s all a matter <strong>of</strong> balance and what works for you.”<br />

The enjoyment <strong>of</strong> and demand for healthy fare<br />

caused Laura’s Juice Kitchen to thrive. She marvels, “Our<br />

original Omega 8000 juicer (nicknamed “The Pig”) is still<br />

going strong after a decade <strong>of</strong> daily operation!” It is a<br />

70 www.timespub.tc

slow, cold-press model that keeps <strong>the</strong> vital enzymes, “<strong>the</strong><br />

life force,” <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> produce intact. The juice bar expanded<br />

into <strong>the</strong> Retreat Kitchen in late 2016 when <strong>the</strong> space next<br />

to <strong>the</strong> yoga studio became vacant. The sisters recall,<br />

“We’ve always been passionate about healthy food, so we<br />

decided to put our vision into practice.”<br />

Lindsay and Laura agree that <strong>the</strong>y weren’t quite<br />

ready to start a restaurant, but took on <strong>the</strong> challenge full<br />

force. They were used to cooking wholesome and tasty<br />

food—raw, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free—but not in<br />

quantities to serve more than a family. At <strong>the</strong> beginning,<br />

<strong>the</strong>y laugh, <strong>the</strong> lunch combination was a daily surprise.<br />

They slowly added soups, salads and sandwiches, treats<br />

and beverages a little at a time. Now, <strong>the</strong>re is a weekly<br />

menu from which lunchers can choose from a daily soup/<br />

salad special, along with a standard chalkboard menu<br />

including <strong>the</strong> popular zucchini bowl, summer rolls, and<br />

gourmet toasts, including fig and goat cheese, pear, blue<br />

cheese and walnut and <strong>the</strong> beloved avocado toast.<br />

The Mensen sisters don’t deny it was a steep learning<br />

curve. It was important to procure a steady supply <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

variety and quantity <strong>of</strong> organic fruits, vegetables, nuts,<br />

grains, seeds and spices <strong>the</strong>y require. Ordering enough<br />

was crucial, as <strong>the</strong>re is a limited choice <strong>of</strong> such ingredients<br />

on-island should <strong>the</strong>y run out. A major challenge was<br />

to develop a system for <strong>the</strong>ir growing kitchen staff to follow,<br />

especially since preparation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ingredients is very<br />

time and labor-intensive. They say, “The first year, we ran<br />

on instinct; <strong>the</strong> second year, we actually had procedures<br />

and recipes, which streamlined things in <strong>the</strong> kitchen.”<br />

Like many restaurateurs, Laura and Lindsay say it is<br />

hard to rely on local farmers for a consistent supply <strong>of</strong><br />

produce, although <strong>the</strong>y use fruits and vegetables from<br />

North and Middle Caicos whenever available. Their fa<strong>the</strong>r<br />

has a farm in <strong>the</strong> Dominican Republic and sends over<br />

moringa, cacao, and honey from his beehives that finds<br />

its way into sweet treats, including raw cacao bites.<br />

The first time I visited The Retreat Kitchen, I expected<br />

<strong>the</strong> customers to be ei<strong>the</strong>r ultra-fit super-models or e<strong>the</strong>real<br />

angels. It was a surprise to find so many residents<br />

in all shapes, sizes and nationalities. In fact, <strong>the</strong> sisters<br />

say about 80% <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir business are residents, including<br />

many restaurateurs and business pr<strong>of</strong>essionals. The rest<br />

are tourists who typically discover The Retreat Kitchen on<br />

<strong>the</strong> Internet and social media (TripAdvisor or HappyCow,<br />

Facebook/Instagram).<br />

The sisters believe in keeping <strong>the</strong>ir eco-footprint to a<br />

size 2. So at The Retreat Kitchen, you will find your meal<br />

served with “real” silverware, plates and glasses. Take-out<br />

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Call 649.941.3637 x 1005 to book<br />

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52 Universal Dr.<br />

Providenciales, TCI<br />


<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 71

M Page 1<br />




Lures and Live Bait<br />

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PHONE: 649-946-4411<br />

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Island Auto_Layout 1 12/12/17 12:49 PM Page 1<br />

containers are eco-friendly, biodegradable paper products<br />

whenever possible, and regulars receive a discount<br />

when <strong>the</strong>y bring in glass jars to be refilled with juices.<br />

My friend Sara swears by The Retreat cleanses, and<br />

her sparkling eyes and clear complexion validate her<br />

experience. You choose from a liquid or food cleanse<br />

for three, five or seven days, <strong>the</strong>n collect a bag containing<br />

your supplies for each day: de-tox true green<br />

juice, smoothie, healing broth and tumeric shot with an<br />

optional large salad or soup.<br />

The Retreat Kitchen is also branching out into catering,<br />

most recently serving vegan tapas at <strong>the</strong> opening<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> luxury villa Coral Pavilion. They also <strong>of</strong>fer regular<br />

workshops featuring a variety <strong>of</strong> health topics alongside<br />

naturopathic doctors <strong>of</strong> Grace Bay Medical Centre. In <strong>the</strong><br />

future, Laura says, <strong>the</strong> restaurant will be open for pop-up<br />

dinners and as a wine and craft cocktail bar serving “biodynamic”<br />

wines and incorporating <strong>the</strong>ir fresh produce,<br />

juices and herbs for creative mixed drinks. The sisters<br />

hope to expand <strong>the</strong> existing space to open up much<br />

needed dining and kitchen areas.<br />

Caring for o<strong>the</strong>rs within <strong>the</strong> community is ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

aspect to healthy living. Following <strong>the</strong> destructive hurricanes<br />

last fall, Laura and Lindsay prepared pumpkin soup,<br />

peas ’n’ rice and zucchini bread that was delivered by<br />


For Quality & Reliable Service<br />

& Competitive Prices<br />

The Cruise Center, Grand Turk<br />

Neville Adams<br />

Tel: (649) 946-2042<br />

Cell: (649) 232-0933 or (649) 231-4214<br />

Email: nevilleadams@hotmail.com<br />

Providenciales<br />

Levoi Marshall<br />

Cell: (649) 441-6737<br />

Email: levoimarshall86@gmail.com<br />

Web: islandautorentalstci.com<br />

Post-hurricanes Irma and Maria, The Retreat Kitchen became a comforting<br />

place to enjoy Banana-Walnut Muffins and Wi-fi.<br />

friend Dom Rolle and his crew to Islanders whose homes<br />

were severely damaged by <strong>the</strong> storm. The Retreat Kitchen<br />

also became a ga<strong>the</strong>ring place, as <strong>the</strong>y had power, Wi-fi<br />

(and banana-walnut muffins) within days after <strong>the</strong> storm.<br />

I feel grateful that people like <strong>the</strong> Mensen sisters<br />

choose to dedicate <strong>the</strong>ir lives to helping <strong>the</strong> rest <strong>of</strong> us<br />

more able to enjoy ours. a<br />

The Retreat Kitchen is currently open for lunch from 9 AM<br />

to 3 PM from Monday to Saturday. Delivery is available<br />

via <strong>the</strong> IsleHelp app. For more information, visit www.<br />

retreatkitchentc.com.<br />

72 www.timespub.tc

crossing africa<br />

Clockwise from top: Mario gets a visitor from TCI—his biggest fan and mo<strong>the</strong>r Zemar. Tribal dancers. A view <strong>of</strong> life in Africa near Khartoum.<br />

The journey’s end at <strong>the</strong> Great Pyramid <strong>of</strong> Giza, Cairo, Egypt. Mario with Mama Malak who runs an orphanage in Khartoum.<br />

Crossing Africa Update<br />

The journey is completed from Sudan to Cairo.<br />

Compiled by Claire Parrish ~ Photos By Mario Rigby<br />

When we left Mario in late August, 2017, <strong>the</strong> journey was nearly over after two years <strong>of</strong> walking 11,500<br />

km through nine countries. But Crossing Africa was never a simple journey.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 73

Mario got to Sudan at Metema, enjoyed tea, and was<br />

<strong>the</strong>n turned back to Ethiopia and Addis Ababa for a weeklong<br />

wait for a new visa plus penalties, money exchange<br />

issues and much authority confusion. Heran, an amazing<br />

friend and contact in Addis, helped get him through<br />

<strong>the</strong> immigration process. His ongoing Sudanese visa<br />

had <strong>the</strong> same issues—hence a bus from Addis Ababa to<br />

Khartoum, Sudan with an overnight stop in Gondar. Here<br />

a man kindly bought dinner, showed Mario around town,<br />

accepted money to exchange, and was never seen again.<br />

A defeated Mario ran into a pack <strong>of</strong> dogs and received his<br />

first-ever dog bite. Ten checkpoints and police stops later<br />

he reached Khartoum.<br />

Here, while waiting for his visa extension, Mario<br />

talked about fitness and health on Capital Radio 91.6 FM.<br />

There followed a talk with youth MMA fighters who taught<br />

him about Sudanese youth culture; <strong>the</strong>se NubaWrestlers<br />

are typically from <strong>the</strong> tribes in West Sudan. Social media<br />

caught up with Mario in <strong>the</strong> form <strong>of</strong> a Khartoum University<br />

student who had been following his journey and three<br />

pr<strong>of</strong>essional Sudanese ladies who met him for lunch,<br />

where everything from women’s rights to African poverty<br />

and politics was discussed.<br />

By now <strong>the</strong> dog bite had gotten painful and following<br />

a vaccination and antibiotic prescribed by <strong>the</strong> local<br />

hospital doctor, Mario spent one month in Khartoum<br />

recovering. September 1 is <strong>the</strong> Day <strong>of</strong> Eid, so Mario got<br />

to witness sacrificial rituals <strong>of</strong> sheep slaughtering as well<br />

as enjoying conversations with friends and <strong>the</strong>ir families.<br />

Sheep would be <strong>the</strong> meal at most Khartoum houses for<br />

many days.<br />

During this recovery time, Mario presented in a TedX<br />

conference in a beautiful old town along <strong>the</strong> River Nile,<br />

Wad Madani. Then <strong>the</strong>re were trips to <strong>the</strong> Temple <strong>of</strong><br />

Amun, an archaeological site at Jebel Barkal and to <strong>the</strong><br />

ancient city <strong>of</strong> Meroe, where hundreds <strong>of</strong> pyramids predate<br />

those in Egypt. Camping out with friends in <strong>the</strong>se<br />

ancient areas (despite temperatures a staggering 45ºC)<br />

made for new best-Africa memories; standing at <strong>the</strong><br />

edge <strong>of</strong> cliffs overlooking 3,000 year old ancient temples<br />

carved from mountains.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r Crossing Africa talk to 7th and 8th graders<br />

in a Khartoum school generated questions and excitement<br />

as refreshing as ever. But nothing beat <strong>the</strong> thrill<br />

when Mario’s mo<strong>the</strong>r, Zemar, came from TCI to visit!<br />

Toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong>y went to <strong>the</strong> National Museum, followed<br />

by dinner with new close friends. (Zemar soon realised<br />

alcohol wasn’t allowed in <strong>the</strong> country and juice was its<br />

replacement.)<br />

There followed a visit to Mama Malak who houses<br />

60 children: orphans, children with Down Syndrome or<br />

autism, and more. Some days she has no food for her<br />

flock so Zemar pledged $200 each month to help.<br />

S24 News Television interviewed Mario, <strong>the</strong>n he<br />

caught up with some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TedX talkers for a roam<br />

around <strong>the</strong> town <strong>of</strong> Al Ubayyid, <strong>the</strong> capital <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> state <strong>of</strong><br />

North Kurdufan. Tolerance and acceptance were apparent<br />

as one <strong>of</strong> Sudan’s largest Catholic churches sat opposite<br />

one <strong>of</strong> its biggest mosques. Yet whilst Mario has probably<br />

passed over 75 different tribes and found African people<br />

to be kind-hearted, <strong>the</strong>y still say <strong>of</strong> each o<strong>the</strong>r: Beware <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> neighbour. Mario knows that to get through <strong>the</strong> problems<br />

Africa faces, people must get to know each o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

and work toge<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

When Mario was fit to start walking again he knew<br />

lots <strong>of</strong> deserts, tribal villages and water crossings were<br />

in <strong>the</strong> plan. The Sudanese desert was an adventure—<br />

crossing deserts, ancient temples, pyramids and walking<br />

alongside camels and desert tribes. He saw <strong>the</strong> pyramids<br />

<strong>of</strong> Meroe, slept under <strong>the</strong> stars and even learned Arabic<br />

en route. At an archeological site in Kowikka and Mario<br />

he was given a lesson in finding <strong>the</strong> blueprint <strong>of</strong> ancient<br />

civilizations as far back as 3,500 years.<br />

From Atbara, Mario crossed <strong>the</strong> white desert with<br />

camels bought by Zemar and her friend Dee—sold again<br />

in Karima. The camels carried water, food and o<strong>the</strong>r supplies<br />

for roughly 10 days. Dust storms pierced his skin.<br />

74 www.timespub.tc

Mario enjoyed sleeping next to <strong>the</strong> Nile, listening to waves<br />

lightly splashing to shore. Magzub Nubian Guesthouse<br />

was one <strong>of</strong> first backpackers’ guesthouses seen in Sudan<br />

in <strong>the</strong> small town <strong>of</strong> Abri. The Nubian people are an ethnic<br />

group which originated in present-day Egypt and Sudan.<br />

They have a long history that dates back to <strong>the</strong> Egyptian<br />

dynasty and <strong>the</strong>y ruled Egypt during <strong>the</strong> eighth century<br />

B.C. The Nubians have strong cultural differences, identified<br />

in <strong>the</strong>ir literature, music and poetry, and <strong>the</strong>y speak<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir own, non-written language.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> Egyptian border, more visa issues meant a<br />

12-hour bus back to Khartoum. But <strong>the</strong>re Mario witnessed<br />

an amazing food/cultural festival <strong>of</strong> mostly West and<br />

Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Sudanese people—darker-skinned, incredibly<br />

friendly and beautiful. Conflicts and wars in <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>rn,<br />

eastern and western regions <strong>of</strong> Sudan have dominated<br />

life over <strong>the</strong> past few decades, but for now, traditional<br />

foods and amazing dancing took over.<br />

Egypt is <strong>the</strong> last <strong>of</strong> this nine-country, on-foot journey.<br />

There have been many life-changing moments for Mario,<br />

including a visit to Hope School for displaced youth and<br />

former child soldiers from South Sudan, trying to rehabilitate<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir lives from <strong>the</strong> wars and conflicts.<br />

The last few days <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> journey were tough mentally<br />

as Mario dealt with journey nostalgia. But great hospitality<br />

in Egypt kept him going. Amna was Mario’s support,<br />

guide and light in Egypt. Sarah made him laugh. Sophie<br />

helped Mario ground his thoughts. (Mario met Sophie in<br />

South Africa; she’d come to Egypt from Germany to wish<br />

him well.)<br />

The endpoint finally did arrive. Mario’s Cape to Cairo<br />

journey was completed at <strong>the</strong> pyramids <strong>of</strong> Giza, Cairo,<br />

Egypt on January 24, <strong>2018</strong>. Then he spent time in Cairo<br />

doing a talk at <strong>the</strong> Cairo-American college in Maadi to<br />

200 middle school students. Mario got to be <strong>the</strong> tourist<br />

visiting such places as <strong>the</strong> Citadel <strong>of</strong> Salah al-Din<br />

al-Ayyubi and <strong>the</strong> Great Mosque <strong>of</strong> Muhammad Ali Pasha<br />

or Alabaster Mosque.<br />

We covered this epic journey since <strong>the</strong> <strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Islands</strong> Winter 2016 issue, and congratulate Mario on his<br />

tremendous accomplishment. We end with a poem sent<br />

to Mario, that will no doubt have him walking again soon<br />

. . . a<br />

The Christmas holidays brought a two-week break for<br />

Mario in Zamalek, Western Cairo. He <strong>the</strong>n travelled to<br />

Luxor and Dendera’s sacred and beautiful temple <strong>of</strong><br />

Hathor, <strong>the</strong> most preserved temple in Egypt celebrating<br />

fertility and divine feminine energy.<br />

The last 350km along <strong>the</strong> river Nile to Girga had<br />

probably been <strong>the</strong> easiest <strong>of</strong> his entire journey with cheap<br />

hotels, some costing just $2, every 10km. Living conditions<br />

were not <strong>the</strong> same as Aswan or Luxor but as Mario<br />

stated, “comfort was <strong>the</strong> enemy to progress.” Arrival to<br />

Cairo wasn’t as glamorous as he’d imagined, but it was<br />

majestic. Uwe Schmidt was <strong>the</strong>re, a man he’d previously<br />

met crossing Africa by bicycle.<br />

None <strong>of</strong> your knowledge, your reading, your connections<br />

will be <strong>of</strong> any use here: two legs suffice, and big eyes<br />

to see with. Walk alone, across mountains or through<br />

forests. You are nobody to <strong>the</strong> hills or <strong>the</strong> thick boughs<br />

heavy with greenery. You are no longer a role, or a status,<br />

not even an individual, but a body, a body that feels<br />

sharp stones on <strong>the</strong> paths, <strong>the</strong> caress <strong>of</strong> long grass and<br />

<strong>the</strong> freshness <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> wind. When you walk, <strong>the</strong> world has<br />

nei<strong>the</strong>r present nor future: nothing but <strong>the</strong> cycle <strong>of</strong> mornings<br />

and evenings. Always <strong>the</strong> same thing to do all day:<br />

walk. But <strong>the</strong> walker who marvels while walking (<strong>the</strong> blue<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> rocks in a July evening light, <strong>the</strong> silvery green <strong>of</strong><br />

olive leaves at noon, <strong>the</strong> violet morning hills) has no past,<br />

no plans, no experience. He has within him <strong>the</strong> eternal<br />

child. While walking I am but a simple gaze.<br />

Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy <strong>of</strong> Walking<br />

For more on Mario, visis www.mariorigby.com<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 75

about <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong><br />

Map provided courtesy Wavey Line Publishing. Their navigation charts and decorative and historic maps <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, <strong>the</strong><br />

Bahamas, and Hispaniola are available in shops throughout <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. Visit www.waveylinepublishing.com.<br />

Where we are<br />

The Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> lie some 575 miles sou<strong>the</strong>ast<br />

<strong>of</strong> Miami — approximately 1 1/2 hours flying time — with<br />

<strong>the</strong> Bahamas about 30 miles to <strong>the</strong> northwest and <strong>the</strong><br />

Dominican Republic some 100 miles to <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>ast.<br />

The country consists <strong>of</strong> two island groups separated<br />

by <strong>the</strong> 22-mile wide Columbus Passage. To <strong>the</strong> west are<br />

<strong>the</strong> Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>: West Caicos, Providenciales, North<br />

Caicos, Middle Caicos, East Caicos, and South Caicos. To<br />

<strong>the</strong> east are <strong>the</strong> Turks <strong>Islands</strong>: Grand Turk and Salt Cay.<br />

The Turks & Caicos total 166 square miles <strong>of</strong> land<br />

area on eight islands and 40 small cays. The country’s<br />

population is approximately 40,000.<br />

Getting here<br />

There are international airports on Grand Turk, North<br />

Caicos, Providenciales, and South Caicos, with domestic<br />

airports on all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> islands except East Caicos.<br />

At this time, all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> major international carriers<br />

arrive and depart from Providenciales International<br />

Airport. American Airlines flies from Miami, Charlotte and<br />

New York/JFK. JetBlue Airways <strong>of</strong>fers service from Fort<br />

Lauderdale, Boston and New York/JFK. Southwest Airlines<br />

travels to Fort Lauderdale. Delta Airlines flies from Atlanta<br />

and New York/JFK. United Airlines flies from Chicago and<br />

Newark. WestJet travels from Toronto. Air Canada <strong>of</strong>fer<br />

flights from Toronto and Montreal. British Airways travels<br />

from London/Gatwick via Antigua.<br />

76 www.timespub.tc

Bahamasair and InterCaribbean Airways fly to Nassau,<br />

Bahamas. Flights to: Antigua; Dominica; Cap Haitien and<br />

Port Au Prince, Haiti; Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica;<br />

Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; San<br />

Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Lucia; St. Maarten; Santiago, Cuba;<br />

and Tortola are available on InterCaribbean Airways, while<br />

Caicos Express travels to Cap Haitien daily. (Schedules<br />

are current as <strong>of</strong> February <strong>2018</strong> and subject to change.)<br />

Inter-island service is provided by InterCaribbean<br />

Airways, Caicos Express Airways, and Global Airways. Sea<br />

and air freight services operate from Florida.<br />

Language<br />

English.<br />

Time zone<br />

Eastern Standard Time (EST)/Daylight Savings Time<br />

observed.<br />

Currency<br />

The United States dollar. The Treasury also issues a Turks<br />

& Caicos crown and quarter. Travellers cheques in U.S.<br />

dollars are widely accepted and o<strong>the</strong>r currency can be<br />

changed at local banks. American Express, VISA, and<br />

MasterCard are welcomed at many locations.<br />

Climate<br />

The average year-round temperature is 83ºF (28ºC). The<br />

hottest months are September and October, when <strong>the</strong><br />

temperature can reach 90 to 95ºF (33 to 35ºC). However,<br />

<strong>the</strong> consistent easterly trade winds temper <strong>the</strong> heat and<br />

keep life comfortable.<br />

Casual resort and leisure wear is accepted attire for<br />

daytime; light sweaters or jackets may be necessary on<br />

some breezy evenings. It’s wise to wear protective clothing<br />

and a sunhat and use waterpro<strong>of</strong> sunscreen when out<br />

in <strong>the</strong> tropical sun.<br />

Entry requirements<br />

Passport. A valid onward or return ticket is also required.<br />

Customs formalities<br />

Visitors may bring in duty free for <strong>the</strong>ir own use one carton<br />

<strong>of</strong> cigarettes or cigars, one bottle <strong>of</strong> liquor or wine,<br />

and some perfume. The importation <strong>of</strong> all firearms including<br />

those charged with compressed air without prior<br />

approval in writing from <strong>the</strong> Commissioner <strong>of</strong> Police is<br />

strictly forbidden. Spear guns, Hawaiian slings, controlled<br />

drugs, and pornography are also illegal.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 77

Returning residents may bring in $400 worth <strong>of</strong><br />

merchandise per person duty free. A duty <strong>of</strong> 10% to<br />

60% is charged on most imported goods along with a<br />

7% customs processing fee and forms a major source <strong>of</strong><br />

government revenue.<br />

Transportation<br />

A valid driver’s license from home is suitable when renting<br />

vehicles. A government tax <strong>of</strong> 12% is levied on all<br />

rental contracts. (Insurance is extra.) Driving is on <strong>the</strong><br />

left-hand side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> road, with traffic flow controlled by<br />

round-abouts at major junctions. Please don’t drink and<br />

drive! Taxis are abundant throughout <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> and<br />

many resorts <strong>of</strong>fer shuttle service between popular visitor<br />

areas. Scooter, motorcycle, and bicycle rentals are<br />

also available.<br />

Telecommunications<br />

FLOW Ltd. provides land lines and superfast broadband<br />

Internet service. Mobile service is on a LTE 4G network,<br />

including pre and post-paid cellular phones. Most resorts<br />

and some stores and restaurants <strong>of</strong>fer wireless Internet<br />

connection. Digicel operates mobile networks, with<br />

a full suite <strong>of</strong> LTE 4G service. FLOW is <strong>the</strong> local carrier<br />

for CDMA roaming on US networks such as Verizon and<br />

Sprint. North American visitors with GSM cellular handsets<br />

and wireless accounts with AT&T or Cingular can<br />

arrange international roaming.<br />

Electricity<br />

120/240 volts, 60 Hz, suitable for all U.S. appliances.<br />

Departure tax<br />

US $20 for all persons two years and older, payable in<br />

cash or traveller’s cheques. It is typically built into <strong>the</strong><br />

cost <strong>of</strong> your ticket.<br />

Courier service<br />

Delivery service is provided by FedEx, with <strong>of</strong>fices on<br />

Providenciales and Grand Turk, and DHL. UPS service is<br />

limited to incoming delivery.<br />

Postal service<br />

The Post Office and Philatelic Bureau in Providenciales is<br />

located downtown in Butterfield Square. In Grand Turk,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Post Office is on Front Street, with <strong>the</strong> Philatelic<br />

Bureau on Church Folly. The <strong>Islands</strong> are known for <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

varied and colorful stamp issues.<br />

Media<br />

Multi-channel satellite television is received from <strong>the</strong> U.S.<br />

and Canada and transmitted via cable or over <strong>the</strong> air.<br />

Local station WIV-TV broadcasts on Channel 4 and Island<br />

EyeTV on Channel 5. People’s Television <strong>of</strong>fers 75 digitally<br />

transmitted television stations, along with local news<br />

and talk shows on Channel 8. There are also a number <strong>of</strong><br />

local radio stations, magazines, and newspapers.<br />

Medical services<br />

There are no endemic tropical diseases in TCI. There are<br />

large, modern hospitals on Grand Turk and Providenciales.<br />

Both hospitals <strong>of</strong>fer a full range <strong>of</strong> services including:<br />

24/7 emergency room, operating <strong>the</strong>aters, diagnostic<br />

imaging, maternity suites, dialysis suites, blood bank,<br />

physio<strong>the</strong>rapy, and dentistry.<br />

In addition, several general practitioners operate in<br />

<strong>the</strong> country, and <strong>the</strong>re is a recompression chamber, along<br />

with a number <strong>of</strong> private pharmacies.<br />

Immigration<br />

A resident’s permit is required to live in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. A<br />

work permit and business license are also required to<br />

work and/or establish a business. These are generally<br />

granted to those <strong>of</strong>fering skills, experience, and qualifications<br />

not widely available on <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. Priority is given<br />

to enterprises that will provide employment and training<br />

for T&C Islanders.<br />

Government/Legal system<br />

TCI is a British Crown colony. There is a Queen-appointed<br />

Governor, HE Dr. John Freeman. He presides over an executive<br />

council formed by <strong>the</strong> elected local government.<br />

Lady Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson is <strong>the</strong> country’s first<br />

woman premier, leading a majority People’s Democratic<br />

Movement (PDM) House <strong>of</strong> Assembly.<br />

The legal system is based upon English Common<br />

Law and administered by a resident Chief Justice, Chief<br />

Magistrate, and Deputy Magistrates. Judges <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Court<br />

<strong>of</strong> Appeal visit <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> twice a year and <strong>the</strong>re is a final<br />

Right <strong>of</strong> Appeal to Her Majesty’s Privy Council in London.<br />

Taxes<br />

There are currently no direct taxes on ei<strong>the</strong>r income<br />

or capital for individuals or companies. There are no<br />

exchange controls. Indirect taxation comprises customs<br />

duties and fees, stamp duty, taxes on accommodations,<br />

restaurants, vehicle rentals, o<strong>the</strong>r services and gasoline,<br />

as well as business license fees and departure taxes.<br />

78 www.timespub.tc

Economy<br />

Historically, TCI’s economy relied on <strong>the</strong> export <strong>of</strong> salt.<br />

Currently, tourism, <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>fshore finance industry, and<br />

fishing generate <strong>the</strong> most private sector income. The<br />

<strong>Islands</strong>’ main exports are lobster and conch, with <strong>the</strong><br />

world’s first commercial conch farm once operating on<br />

Providenciales. Practically all consumer goods and foodstuffs<br />

are imported.<br />

The Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are recognised as an<br />

important <strong>of</strong>fshore financial centre, <strong>of</strong>fering services<br />

such as company formation, <strong>of</strong>fshore insurance, banking,<br />

trusts, limited partnerships, and limited life companies.<br />

The Financial Services Commission regulates <strong>the</strong> industry<br />

and spearheads <strong>the</strong> development <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fshore legislation.<br />

People<br />

Citizens <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are termed<br />

“Belongers” and are primarily descendants <strong>of</strong> African<br />

slaves who were brought to <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> to work on <strong>the</strong><br />

salt ponds and cotton plantations. The country’s large<br />

expatriate population includes Canadians, Americans,<br />

Brits and Europeans, along with Haitians, Jamaicans,<br />

Dominicans, Bahamians, Indians, and Filipinos.<br />

Churches<br />

Churches are <strong>the</strong> center <strong>of</strong> community life and <strong>the</strong>re<br />

are many faiths represented in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>, including:<br />

Adventist, Anglican, Assembly <strong>of</strong> God, Baha’i,<br />

Baptist, Catholic, Church <strong>of</strong> God <strong>of</strong> Prophecy, Episcopal,<br />

Faith Tabernacle Church <strong>of</strong> God, Jehovah’s Witnesses,<br />

Methodist and Pentecostal. Visitors are always welcome.<br />

Pets<br />

Incoming pets must have an import permit, veterinary<br />

health certificate, vaccination certificate, and lab test<br />

results to be submitted at <strong>the</strong> port <strong>of</strong> entry to obtain<br />

clearance from <strong>the</strong> TCI Department <strong>of</strong> Agriculture, Animal<br />

Health Services.<br />

National symbols<br />

The National Bird is <strong>the</strong> Brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis).<br />

The National Plant is Island hea<strong>the</strong>r (Limonium<br />

bahamense) found nowhere else in <strong>the</strong> world. The<br />

National Tree is <strong>the</strong> Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea var.<br />

bahamensis). The National Costume consists <strong>of</strong> white cotton<br />

dresses tied at <strong>the</strong> waist for women and simple shirts<br />

and loose pants for men, with straw hats. Colors representing<br />

<strong>the</strong> various islands are displayed on <strong>the</strong> sleeves<br />

and bases. The National Song is “This Land <strong>of</strong> Ours,” by<br />

twr ad <strong>Times</strong> Fall 1/4_Layout 1 8/11/17 7:12 PM Page 1<br />

Tradewinds Radio<br />

on <strong>the</strong> dial at FM104.5<br />

104.5<br />

Enjoy.<br />


Call 431 7527<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 79

㈀ 㠀<br />

吀 甀 爀 欀 猀 愀 渀 搀 䌀 愀 椀 挀 漀 猀 刀 攀 猀 攀 爀 瘀 愀 琀 椀 漀 渀 猀 椀 猀 礀 漀 甀 爀 洀 漀 猀 琀 甀 瀀 搀 愀 琀 攀 搀<br />

爀 攀 猀 漀 甀 爀 挀 攀 Ⰰ 愀 渀 搀 戀 攀 猀 琀 瀀 氀 愀 挀 攀 琀 漀 最 攀 琀 最 爀 攀 愀 琀 搀 攀 愀 氀 猀 愀 渀 搀 椀 猀 氀 愀 渀 搀 搀 椀 猀 挀 漀 甀 渀 琀 猀 ℀<br />

䄀 爀 攀 礀 漀 甀 愀 䰀 甀 砀 甀 爀 礀 吀 爀 愀 瘀 攀 氀 䄀 搀 瘀 椀 猀 漀 爀 㼀 䘀 椀 渀 搀 漀 甀 琀 洀 漀 爀 攀<br />

愀 戀 漀 甀 琀 漀 甀 爀 渀 攀 眀 猀 攀 爀 瘀 椀 挀 攀 ᰠ 䰀 甀 砀 甀 爀 礀 䔀 砀 瀀 攀 爀 椀 攀 渀 挀 攀 猀 ᴠ<br />

<strong>the</strong> late Rev. E.C. Howell, PhD. Peas and Hominy (Grits)<br />

with Dry Conch is revered as symbolic island fare.<br />

Going green<br />

TCI Waste Disposal Services currently <strong>of</strong>fers recycling services<br />

through weekly collection <strong>of</strong> recyclable aluminum,<br />

glass, and plastic. The TCI Environmental Club is spearheading<br />

a campaign to eliminate single-use plastic bags.<br />

Do your part by using a cloth bag whenever possible.<br />

Keep TCI “Beautiful by Nature” by not littering!<br />

Recreation<br />

Sporting activities are centered around <strong>the</strong> water. Visitors<br />

can choose from deep-sea, reef, or bonefishing, sailing,<br />

glass-bottom boat and semi-sub excursions, windsurfing,<br />

waterskiing, parasailing, sea kayaking, snorkelling, scuba<br />

diving, kiteboarding, stand up paddleboarding, and<br />

beachcombing. Pristine reefs, abundant marine life, and<br />

excellent visibility make TCI a world-class diving destination.<br />

Tennis and golf—<strong>the</strong>re is an 18 hole championship<br />

course on Providenciales—are also popular.<br />

The <strong>Islands</strong> are an ecotourist’s paradise. Visitors can<br />

enjoy unspoilt wilderness and native flora and fauna in 33<br />

national parks, nature reserves, sanctuaries, and areas <strong>of</strong><br />

historical interest. The National Trust provides trail guides<br />

to several hiking trails, as well as guided tours <strong>of</strong> major<br />

historical sites. There is an excellent national museum on<br />

Grand Turk, with an auxillary branch on Providenciales. A<br />

scheduled ferry and a selection <strong>of</strong> tour operators make it<br />

easy to take day trips to <strong>the</strong> outer islands.<br />

O<strong>the</strong>r land-based activities include bicycling, horseback<br />

riding, and football (soccer). Personal trainers are<br />

available to motivate you, working out <strong>of</strong> several fitness<br />

centres. You will also find a variety <strong>of</strong> spa and body treatment<br />

services.<br />

Nightlife includes local bands playing island music<br />

at bars and restaurants and some nightclubs. There is<br />

a casino on Providenciales, along with many electronic<br />

gaming parlours. Stargazing is extraordinary!<br />

Shoppers will find Caribbean paintings, T-shirts,<br />

sports and beachwear, and locally made handicrafts,<br />

including straw work and conch crafts. Duty free outlets<br />

sell liquor, jewellery, watches, perfume, lea<strong>the</strong>r goods,<br />

crystal, china, cameras, electronics, brand-name clothing<br />

and accessories, along with Cuban cigars. a<br />

80 www.timespub.tc

where to stay<br />

Grand Turk<br />

range <strong>of</strong> daily rates<br />

US$ (subject to change)<br />

number <strong>of</strong> units<br />

major credit cards<br />

restaurant<br />

bar<br />

air conditioning<br />

phone in unit<br />

television in unit<br />

kitchen in unit<br />

laundry service<br />

pool<br />

on <strong>the</strong> beach<br />

H<br />

The Arches <strong>of</strong> Grand Turk – Tel 649 946 2941 190–210 4 • • • • • • •<br />

Bohio Dive Resort – Tel 649 946 2135 • Web www.bohioresort.com 170–230 16 • • • • • • • •<br />

Crabtree Apartments – Tel 978 270 1698 • Web www.GrandTurkVacationRental.com 210–250 3 • • • • • •<br />

Grand Turk Inn – Tel 649 946 2827 • Web www.grandturkinn.com 250–300 5 • • • • • • •<br />

Island House – Tel 649 946 1519/232 5514 • Web www.islandhouse.tc 110–185 8 • • • • • • •<br />

Manta House – Tel 649 946 1111 • Web www.grandturk-mantahouse.com 110–130 5 • • • • • • •<br />

Osprey Beach Hotel – Tel 649 946 2666 • Web www.ospreybeachhotel.com 90–225 37 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

Pelican House – Tel 649 246 6797 • Web www.pelicanhousegrandturk.com 110-130 3 • • • • •<br />

Salt Raker Inn – Tel 649 946 2260 • Web www.saltrakerinn.com 55–140 13 • • • • • • •<br />

Solomon Porches Guesthouse – Tel 649 946 2776/241 2937 • Fax 649 946 1984 75–100 3 • •<br />

Middle Caicos<br />

H<br />

Dragon Cay Resort at Mudjin Harbour – Tel 649 344 4997 • Web www.dragoncayresort.com 325 8 • • • • • • • • •<br />

North Caicos<br />

H<br />

Bottle Creek Lodge – Tel 649 946 7080 • Web www.bottlecreeklodge.com 155–240 3 • •<br />

Caicos Beach Condominiums – Tel 649 241 4778/786 338 9264 • Web www.caicosbeachcondos.com 159–299 8 • • • • • • • •<br />

Cedar Palms Suites – Tel 649 946 7113/649 244 4186 • Web www.oceanbeach.tc 250–300 3 • • • • • • • • •<br />

Flamingo’s Nest – Tel 649 946 7113/649 244 4186 • Web www.oceanbeach.tc 175–340 2 • • • • • • • •<br />

Hollywood Beach Suites - Tel 800 551 2256/649 231 1020 • Web www.hollywoodbeachsuites.com 200–235 4 • • • • • •<br />

JoAnne’s Bed & Breakfast - Tel 649 946 7301 • Web www.turksandcaicos.tc/joannesbnb 80–120 4 • • • •<br />

Palmetto Villa – Tel 649 946 7113/649 244 4186 • Web www.oceanbeach.tc 225–250 1 • • • • • • • •<br />

Pelican Beach Hotel - Tel 649 946 7112 • Web www.pelicanbeach.tc 125–165 14 • • • • • • • •<br />

Pine Cay<br />

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The Meridian Club - Tel 649 946 7758/866 286 7993 • Web www.meridianclub.com 800–1300 13 • • • • • • •<br />

Parrot Cay<br />

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COMO Parrot Cay Resort & Spa - Tel 649 946 7788/855 PARROTCAY • Web www.parrotcay.com 550–2850 65 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

Providenciales<br />

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Airport Inn – Tel 649 941 3514 • Web www.airportinntci.com. 140 18 • • • • • • •<br />

The Alexandra Resort & Spa – Tel 800 704 9424/649 946 5807 • Web www.alexandraresort.com 280–420 99 • • • • • • • • •<br />

The Atrium Resort – Tel 888 592 7885/649 333 0101 • Web www.<strong>the</strong>atriumresorttci.com 159–410 30 • • • • • • • •<br />

Amanyara – Tel 866 941 8133/649 941 8133 • Web www.aman.com 1000–2100 73 • • • • • • • •<br />

Aquamarine Beach Houses – Tel 649 231 4535/905 556 0278 • www.aquamarinebeachhouses.com 200–850 24 • • • • • • • •<br />

Beaches Resort Villages & Spa – Tel 888-BEACHES/649 946 8000 • Web www.beaches.com 325–390AI 758 • • • • • • • • •<br />

Beach House Turks & Caicos – Tel 649 946 5800 • Web www.beachchousetci.com 532–638 21 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

BE Beach Enclave – Tel 888 434 3981 • Web www.beachenclave.com see web 24 • • • • • • • •<br />

Blue Haven Resort & Marina – Tel 855 832 7667/649 946 9900 • Web www.bluehaventci.com 250–650 51 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

Caribbean Paradise Inn – Tel 649 946 5020 • Web www.caribbeanparadiseinn.com 162–225 17 • • • • • • • •<br />

Club Med Turkoise – Tel 800 258 2633/649 946 5500 • Web www.clubmed.com 120–225 290 • • • • • • • • •<br />

Coral Gardens on Grace Bay – Tel 649 941 5497/800 787 9115 • Web www.coralgardensongracebay.com 199-449 32 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

Gansevoort Turks + Caicos – Tel 888 844 5986/649 941 7555 • Web www.gansevoorttc.com 315–720 91 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

Grace Bay Club - Tel 800 946 5757/649 946 5050 • Web www.gracebayclub.com 650–1750 75 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

Grace Bay Suites – Tel 649 941 7447 • Web www.GraceBaySuites.com 99–195 24 • • • • • • • •<br />

Harbour Club Villas – Tel 649 941 5748/305 434 8568 • Web www.harbourclubvillas.com 210–240 6 • • • • •<br />

The Inn at Grace Bay – Tel 649 432 8633 • Web www.innatgracebay.com 179–379 48 • • • • • • •<br />

Kokomo Botanical Gardens - Tel 649 941 3121• Web www.aliveandwellresorts.com 169–299 16 • • • • •<br />

Le Vele - Tel 649 941 8800/888 272 4406 • Web www.leveleresort.com 303–630 22 • • • • • • • •<br />

La Vista Azul – Tel 649 946 8522/866 519 9618 • Web www.lvaresort.com 215–375 78 • • • • • • •<br />

The Lodgings – Tel 649 941 8107/242 6722 • Web www.hotelturksandcaicos.com 175–255 15 • • • • • •<br />

Neptune Villas – Tel 649 331 4328 • Web www.neptunevillastci.com 150–400 10 • • • • • • • • •<br />

Northwest Point Resort • Tel 649 941 5133 • Web www.northwestpointresort.com 196–550 49 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

Ocean Club Resorts - Tel 800 457 8787/649 946 5880 • Web www.oceanclubresorts.com 180–690 191 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

The Palms Turks & Caicos – Tel 649 946 8666/866 877 7256 • Web <strong>the</strong>palmstc.com 595–1700 72 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 81

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where to stay<br />

Providenciales (continued)<br />

Pelican Nest Villa – Tel 649 342 5731 • Web www.pelicannest.tc 429–857 2 • • • • • •<br />

Point Grace – Tel 649 946 5096/888 209 5582 • Web www.pointgrace.com 424–1515 27 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

Ports <strong>of</strong> Call Resort – Tel 888 678 3483/649 946 8888 • Web www.ports<strong>of</strong>callresort.com 135–210 99 • • • • • • •<br />

Queen Angel Resort – Tel 649 941 8771 • Web www.queenangelresort.com 150–575 56 • • • • • • • • •<br />

Reef Residence at Grace Bay – Tel 800 532 8536 • Web www.reefresidence.com 275-385 24 • • • • • • •<br />

The Regent Grand – Tel 877 288 3206/649 941 7770 • Web www.<strong>the</strong>regentgrand.com 495–1100 50 • • • • • • • • •<br />

Royal West Indies Resort – Tel 800 332 4203/649 946 5004 • Web www.royalwestindies.com 180–695 92 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

The Sands at Grace Bay – Tel 877 777 2637/649 946 5199 • Web www.<strong>the</strong>sandsresort.com 175–675 116 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

Seven Stars Resort & Spa – Tel 866 570 7777/649 333 7777 – Web www.sevenstarsgracebay.com 365–2400 165 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

The Shore Club – Tel 649 339 8000 – Web www.<strong>the</strong>shoreclubtc.com 465–4650 148 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

Sibonné Beach Hotel – Tel 888 570 2861/649 946 5547 • Web www.sibonne.com 110–375 29 • • • • • • • •<br />

The Somerset on Grace Bay – Tel 649 339 5900/888 386 8770 • Web www.<strong>the</strong>somerset.com 350–1300 53 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

Turtle Cove Inn – Tel 800 887 0477/649 946 4203 • Web www.turtlecoveinn.com 85–180 30 • • • • • • • •<br />

The Tuscany – Tel 866 359 6466/649 941 4667 • Web www.<strong>the</strong>tuscanyresort.com 975–1300 30 • • • • • • • •<br />

The Venetian – Tel 877 277 4793/649 941 3512 • Web www.<strong>the</strong>venetiangracebay.com 695–1175 27 • • • • • • • •<br />

Villa del Mar – Tel 877 345 4890/649 941 5160 • Web www.yourvilladelmar.com 190–440 42 • • • • • • •<br />

Villa Mani – Tel 649 431 4444 • Web www.villamanitci.com See Web/AE 6 • • • • • • •<br />

Villa Renaissance - Tel 649 941 5300/877 285 8764 • Web www.villarenaissance.com 295–650 36 • • • • • • • • •<br />

The Villas at Blue Mountain – Tel 649 941 4255 • Web www.villasatbluemountain.com 1200–2500 3 • • • • • • • •<br />

West Bay Club – Tel 855 749 5750/649 946 8550 • Web www.<strong>the</strong>westbayclub.com 235–1163 46 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

Windsong – Tel 649 333 7700/800 WINDSONG • Web www.windsongresort.com 275–925 50 • • • • • • • • •<br />

range <strong>of</strong> daily rates<br />

US$ (subject to change)<br />

number <strong>of</strong> units<br />

major credit cards<br />

restaurant<br />

bar<br />

air conditioning<br />

phone in unit<br />

television in unit<br />

kitchen in unit<br />

laundry service<br />

pool<br />

on <strong>the</strong> beach<br />

Salt Cay<br />

Castaway – Salt Cay – Tel 772 713 9502 • Web www.castawayonsaltcay.com 175–265 4 • • • • •<br />

Genesis Beach House – Tel 561 502 0901 • Web www.Genesisbeachhouse.com 1000–1200W 4 • • • • •<br />

Pirate’s Hideaway B & B – Tel 800 289 5056/649 946 6909 • Web www.saltcay.tc 165–175 4 • • • • • • •<br />

Salt Cay Beach House – Tel 772 713 9502 • Web www.saltcaybeachhouse.blogspot.com 799W 1 • • • • • •<br />

Trade Winds Lodge – Tel 649 232 1009 • Web www.tradewinds.tc 925–1325W 5 • • • • •<br />

Twilight Zone Cottage – Tel 772 713 9502 • Web www.twilightzonecottage.blogspot.com 499W 1 • • • •<br />

The Villas <strong>of</strong> Salt Cay – Tel 772 713 9502 • Web www.villas<strong>of</strong>saltcay.com 150–475 5 • • • • • • • •<br />

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South Caicos<br />

East Bay Resort – Tel 844 260 8328/649 232 6444 • Web eastbayresort.com 198–1775 86 • • • • • • • • • •<br />

Sailrock South Caicos – Tel 800 929 7197 • Web sailrockresortcom 600–800 6 • • • • • • • • •<br />

South Caicos Ocean & Beach Resort – Tel 877 774 5486/649 946 3219<br />

Web southcaicos.oceanandbeachresort.com 120–275 24 • • • • •<br />

Hotel & Tourism Association Member<br />

Green Globe Certified<br />

Rates (listed for doubles) do not include Government Accommodation Tax and Service Charge<br />

82 www.timespub.tc

dining out – providenciales<br />

Amanyara — Amanyara Resort. Tel: 941-8133. Light gourmet<br />

cuisine with menu changing daily. Open 6 to 10 PM.<br />

Angela’s Top O’ The Cove Deli — Suzie Turn, by NAPA.<br />

Tel: 946-4694. New York-style delicatessen. Eat-in, carry-out,<br />

catering. Open daily 7 AM to 5 PM; Sunday 7 AM to 2 PM.<br />

Asú on <strong>the</strong> Beach — Alexandra Resort. Tel: 941-8888. Casual<br />

Caribbean and popular international fare. Open daily for 7:30<br />

AM to 10:30 PM. Service indoors, poolside, and at beach.<br />

Baci Ristorante — Harbour Towne, Turtle Cove. Tel: 941-3044.<br />

Waterfront Italian dining. Brick oven pizza. Popular bar. Open<br />

for lunch Monday to Friday 12 to 2 PM and dinner nightly from<br />

6 to 10 PM. Closed Sunday.<br />

Bay Bistro — Sibonné Beach Hotel. Tel: 946-5396. Oceanfront<br />

dining featuring creative international cuisine. Open daily<br />

7 AM to 10 PM. Weekend brunch. Catering and special events.<br />

Beaches Resort & Spa — The Bight. Tel: 946-8000.<br />

All-inclusive resort. A variety <strong>of</strong> restaurants and bars on premises.<br />

Non-guests can purchase a pass.<br />

Bella Luna Ristorante — Glass House, Grace Bay Road. Tel:<br />

946-5214. Fine Italian dining. Indoor or terrace seating above<br />

tropical garden. Open daily from 5:30 PM. Closed Sunday. Lunch<br />

and pizza in <strong>the</strong> garden. Private catering available.<br />

Big Al’s Island Grill — Salt Mills Plaza. Tel: 941-3797. Wide<br />

selection <strong>of</strong> burgers, steaks, salads, and wraps in a diner-like<br />

setting. Open daily from 11 AM to 10 PM.<br />

Bugaloo’s Conch Crawl — Five Cays. Tel: 941-3863. Fresh<br />

local conch and seafood by <strong>the</strong> beach. Rum, buckets <strong>of</strong> beer,<br />

live local bands. Open daily from 11 AM to late.<br />

Cabana Beach Bar & Grill — Ocean Club. Tel: 946-5880.<br />

Casual island fare, burgers, salads, snacks. Open daily from<br />

7 AM to 10 PM. Tropical cocktails with a view <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sea.<br />

Caicos Bakery — Caicos Café Plaza. Au<strong>the</strong>ntic French boulangerie.<br />

Fresh-baked breads, rolls, croissants, muffins, quiche,<br />

pastries, cakes. Open 7 AM to 4:30 PM daily except Sunday.<br />

Caicos Café — Caicos Café Plaza. Tel: 946-5278.<br />

Mediterranean specialties, grilled local seafood. Fine wines, dining<br />

on <strong>the</strong> deck. Open 6 PM to 10 PM Monday to Saturday.<br />

The Caravel Restaurant — Grace Bay Court. Tel: 941-5330.<br />

Cozy restaurant <strong>of</strong>fering island food with flair; famous for fish<br />

tacos. Full bar. Open daily 5 to 10 PM, closed Thursday.<br />

Chicken Chicken — <strong>Times</strong> Square, downtown Provo. Fast food,<br />

fried chicken, native fare.<br />

Chinson’s Grill Shack — Leeward Highway. Tel: 941-3533.<br />

The <strong>Islands</strong>’ best jerk and barbecue, Jamaican pastries. Open<br />

daily 8 AM to 10 PM; Friday to Midnight.<br />

Chopsticks — Neptune Court. Tel: 333-4040. Fusion <strong>of</strong> Asian<br />

cuisines. Take-away, delivery, on-site dining. Open daily 11:30<br />

AM to 3 PM; 5:30 to 10:00 PM.<br />

Club Med — Grace Bay Road. Tel: 946-5500. All-inclusive<br />

resort. Buffet-style dining; live show and disco in <strong>the</strong> evenings.<br />

Non-guests can purchase a daily pass.<br />

Coco Bistro — Grace Bay Road. Tel: 946-5369. Continental<br />

Caribbean cuisine by Chef Stuart Gray under a canopy <strong>of</strong> palms.<br />

Serving dinner from 5:30 PM. Closed Monday. Look for <strong>the</strong> new<br />

Cocovan airstream lounge with garden seating or take-away.<br />

Coconut Grove Restaurant & Lounge — Olympic Plaza,<br />

Downtown. Tel: 247-5610. Casual native fare for residents and<br />

tourists. Cracked conch, conch fritters, fried fish. Pool and game<br />

room. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM.<br />

Coyaba Restaurant — Caribbean Paradise Inn. Tel: 946-5186.<br />

Contemporary Caribbean gourmet cuisine in a private tropical<br />

garden setting. Extensive wine list. Dinner nightly from 6 to 10<br />

PM. Closed Tuesday. Reservations recommended.<br />

Crackpot Kitchen — Ports <strong>of</strong> Call. Tel: 2313336. Experience<br />

<strong>the</strong> best <strong>of</strong> au<strong>the</strong>ntic Turks & Caicos and Caribbean cuisines<br />

with local celebrity Chef Nik. Open daily 5 to 10 PM except<br />

Thursday; Happy Hour 5 to 7 PM.<br />

Crust Bakery & Café — Graceway IGA. Tel: 941-8724.<br />

Breakfast sandwiches, specialty c<strong>of</strong>fees, soups, salads, gourmet<br />

sandwiches and desserts. Open Monday to Saturday, 7 AM to<br />

8:30 PM. Covered patio dining or take-out. Catering available.<br />

Da Conch Shack & RumBar — Blue Hills. Tel: 946-8877.<br />

Island-fresh seafood from <strong>the</strong> ocean to your plate. Covered<br />

beachfront dining for lunch and dinner daily from 11 AM.<br />

Danny Buoy’s — Grace Bay Road. Tel: 946-5921. Traditional<br />

American pub fare; imported draught beers. Open for lunch and<br />

dinner daily from 11 AM. Happy Hour specials. Large screen TVs<br />

for sporting events. Karaoke.<br />

The Deck — Seven Stars Resort. Tel: 941-7777. All day dining<br />

and cocktails by <strong>the</strong> water’s edge. Open daily 11 AM to 11 PM.<br />

Live music Friday nights.<br />

Drift — West Bay Club. Tel: 946-8550. Open-air beachfront dining.<br />

Creatively used local ingredients. Full bar. Open daily.<br />

Dune — Windsong Resort. Tel: 333-7700. Private beachfront<br />

dining with limited availability. Fresh fare prepared to perfection.<br />

Open daily.<br />

Element — LeVele Plaza. Tel: 348-6424. Contemporary, creative<br />

cuisine in an elegant setting. Open for dinner Friday to<br />

Wednesday 6:30 to 10:30 PM.<br />

Fairways Bar & Grill — Provo Golf Club. Tel: 946-5833. Dine<br />

overlooking <strong>the</strong> “greens.” Open for breakfast and lunch from 7<br />

AM to 4 PM daily; Friday, Saturday and Sunday open until 8 PM.<br />

Great Sunday brunch 9 AM to 3 PM.<br />

Fire & Ice — Blue Haven Resort & Marina. Tel: 946-9900.<br />

Drinks at <strong>the</strong> Ice Bar, dessert by <strong>the</strong> fire pits. South Americanmeets-Caribbean<br />

flavors and spices. Open daily 5:30 to 9:30<br />

PM. Closed Wednesday.<br />

Fresh Bakery & Bistro — Atrium Resort. Tel: 345-4745.<br />

Healthy European salads, soups, sandwiches, bakery, pies and<br />

cakes. Gelato. Open daily 7 AM to 6 PM, closed Sunday.<br />

Fresh Catch — Salt Mills Plaza. Tel: 243-3167. Au<strong>the</strong>ntic native<br />

cuisine, from seafood to souse. All-you-can-eat seafood buffet<br />

on Wednesday. Open daily 8 AM to 10 PM. Closed Sunday.<br />

Carry-out available.<br />

Garam Masala — Regent Village. Tel: 941-3292. Au<strong>the</strong>ntic<br />

Indian cuisine, tandoori charcoal-oven specialties. Open daily<br />

11:30 AM to 3 PM, 5:30 to 10 PM. Dine-in, take-out or delivery.<br />

Giggles Ice Cream & Candy Parlour — Ports <strong>of</strong> Call &<br />

Williams Storage. Tel: 941-7370. Cones, sundaes, shakes,<br />

smoothies, “Gigglers,” ice cream pies and cakes. Pick ‘n’ mix<br />

candies. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM.<br />

Gilley’s Sky Lounge & Bar — At <strong>the</strong> airport. Tel: 946-4472.<br />

Burgers, sandwiches, local food. Open daily 6 AM to 9 PM.<br />

Grace’s Cottage — Point Grace Resort. Tel: 946-5096.<br />

Elegant, gourmet Caribbean cuisine showcasing regional foods.<br />

Extensive wine list. Gazebo seating under <strong>the</strong> stars or indoor<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 83

dining in a romantic gingerbread cottage. Serving dinner from<br />

6 to 10 PM nightly. Reservations required. Native cuisine night<br />

on Tuesday with live music.<br />

Grill Rouge — Grace Bay Club. Tel: 946-5050. Al fresco bistro.<br />

Diverse menu. Fun cocktails. Open daily for lunch Noon to 3 PM,<br />

dinner to 9 PM.<br />

Hemingways on <strong>the</strong> Beach — The Sands at Grace Bay. Tel:<br />

941-8408. Casual beachfront bar and restaurant. Fresh fish,<br />

pasta, sandwiches, salads and tropical drinks by <strong>the</strong> pool.<br />

Oceanfront deck for great sunsets! Open 8 AM to 10 PM daily.<br />

Hole in <strong>the</strong> Wall Restaurant & Bar — Williams Plaza, Old<br />

Airport Road. Tel: 941-4136. Au<strong>the</strong>ntic Jamaican/Island cuisine<br />

where <strong>the</strong> locals go. Full bar. A/C dining or outdoors on <strong>the</strong><br />

deck. Open daily 7 AM to 9 PM. Pick-up/delivery available.<br />

Infiniti Restaurant & Raw Bar — Grace Bay Club. Tel: 946-<br />

5050. Elegant beachfront dining for lunch and dinner. Gourmet<br />

Euro/Caribbean cuisine; fine wines. Full bar and lounge.<br />

Reservations required.<br />

Island Raw — Le Petite Plaza. Tel: 346-5371. Vegan lifestyle<br />

kitchen, <strong>of</strong>fering fresh, organic, raw, vegan, gourmet. Open<br />

Friday, Noon to 2 PM.<br />

Island Conch Bar & Grill — Bight Cultural Market. Tel: 946-<br />

8389. Caribbean and local cuisine. Open daily 11 AM to 9 PM.<br />

Island Scoop — Grace Bay Plaza. Tel: 242-8511/243-5051.<br />

21 flavors <strong>of</strong> ice cream made locally. Cones, smoothies, blizzards<br />

and shakes. Open daily, 11 AM to 10 PM.<br />

The Java Bar — Graceway Gourmet. Tel: 941-5000. Gourmet<br />

café serving fresh baked desserts, sandwiches and c<strong>of</strong>fee<br />

delights. Open 7 AM to 8 PM daily.<br />

KItchen 218 — Beach House, Lower Bight Road. Tel: 946-5800.<br />

Caribbean cuisine with hints <strong>of</strong> French and Asian fusion and <strong>the</strong><br />

chef’s passion for fresh ingredients. Open 8 AM to 10 PM daily.<br />

The Landing Bar & Kitchen — Grace Bay Road across from<br />

Regent Village. Tel: 341-5856. Unique nautical setting for dinner<br />

under <strong>the</strong> stars. Cocktails, fire pit. Open daily except Tuesday<br />

5:30 PM to . . .<br />

Las Brisas — Neptune Villas, Chalk Sound. Tel: 946-5306.<br />

Mediterranean/Caribbean cuisine with tapas, wine and full bar.<br />

Terrace and gazebo dining overlooking Chalk Sound. Open daily<br />

8 AM to 10 PM. Take-out available; private parties.<br />

Le Bouchon du Village — Regent Village. Tel: 946-5234. A<br />

taste <strong>of</strong> Paris. Sidewalk café with sandwiches, salads, tartines,<br />

tapas, dinner specials, wine, cheese, dessert, c<strong>of</strong>fees. Open<br />

daily 11 AM. Closed Sunday.<br />

Le Comptoir Francais — Regent Village. Tel: 946-5234.<br />

French deli, bakery, wine shop. Open daily.<br />

Lemon 2 Go C<strong>of</strong>fee — Ventura House. Tel: 941-4069.<br />

Gourmet c<strong>of</strong>feehouse. Sandwiches, muffins, cookies, croissants,<br />

yogurt, salads. Open Monday to Saturday 7:30 AM to 7 PM,<br />

Sunday 9 AM to 1 PM.<br />

The Lounge — Grace Bay Club. Tel: 946-5050. Decidedly hip<br />

lounge. Caribbean-infused tapas, martinis, tropical cocktails,<br />

world music and <strong>the</strong> finest sunset location in Providenciales.<br />

Lupo — Regent Village. Tel: 431-5876. Au<strong>the</strong>ntic Italian<br />

“comfort food.” Regional wine list. Dine in or take out readymade<br />

gourmet meals. Open daily 11 AM to 3 PM; 6 to 10 PM.<br />

Magnolia Restaurant & Wine Bar — Miramar Resort. Tel:<br />

941-5108. International cuisine with island flavors, north shore<br />

views. Open for dinner from 6 to 9:30 PM except Monday. Wine<br />

bar opens at 4 PM.<br />

Mango Reef — Turtle Cove. Tel: 946-8200. Fresh local flavors<br />

and seafood, homemade desserts. Open daily 8 AM to 10 PM.<br />

Set price dinner on weekdays. Waterside deck, indoor or patio<br />

dining. Tie-up to dock at Turtle Cove Marina.<br />

Market Café — Blue Haven Resort. Tel: 946-9900. Gourmet<br />

c<strong>of</strong>fees, teas, frozen drinks; fresh breads and pastries; grab ‘n’<br />

go salads, sandwiches, smoothies. Open daily 7 AM to 8 PM.<br />

Melt Ice Cream Parlour — Regent Village. Tel: 432-1234.<br />

Carefully crafted selection <strong>of</strong> sumptous and inspired sundaes,<br />

with c<strong>of</strong>fee, champagne and cocktails for <strong>the</strong> grown-ups! Open<br />

Monday to Saturday, 9 AM to 10 PM.<br />

Mis Amigos Cocina Mexicana — Central Square. Tel: 946-<br />

4229. A variety <strong>of</strong> traditional Mexican fare, including salads and<br />

<strong>the</strong> best margaritas in town. Open daily.<br />

Mo<strong>the</strong>r’s Pizza — Downtown <strong>Times</strong> Square. Tel: 941-4142.<br />

Best pizza in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos, available by <strong>the</strong> slice or <strong>the</strong><br />

island’s biggest “large.” Open daily 11 AM to 9 PM; to 10 PM on<br />

Friday and Saturday; Noon to 8 PM on Sunday.<br />

Mr. Groupers — Lower Bight and Sunset Ridge Hotel (near airport).<br />

Tel: 242-6780. Serving fresh local seafood straight from<br />

<strong>the</strong> sea. Open daily 10 AM to 10:30 PM, Sunday 3 to 11 PM.<br />

Opus Wine • Bar • Grill — Ocean Club Plaza. Tel: 946-<br />

5885. International menu with Caribbean flair. Fresh seafood.<br />

Serving dinner nightly 6 to 10:30 PM. Indoor/outdoor dining.<br />

Conference facility, events, catering.<br />

Parallel23 — The Palms. Tel: 946-8666. Pan-tropical cuisine in<br />

a setting <strong>of</strong> casual elegance. Boutique wine list. Al fresco or private<br />

dining room available. Open daily 6 to 10:30 PM.<br />

The Patty Place — Behind Shining Stars; Le Petit Place, Blue<br />

Hills. Tel: 246-9000. Au<strong>the</strong>ntic Jamaican patties and loaves. 18<br />

flavors <strong>of</strong> Devon House ice cream. Open daily 9:30 AM to 10 PM.<br />

Pavilion — The Somerset. Tel: 339-5900. Chef Brad <strong>of</strong>fers a<br />

global palate, interpreted locally. Seafood raw bar. Open daily<br />

for breakfast, lunch, dinner; Sunday Prime Rib special.<br />

Pelican Bay Restaurant & Bar — Royal West Indies Resort.<br />

Tel: 941-2365/431-9101. Poolside restaurant and bar with<br />

Caribbean, French and Asian fare. Breakfast, lunch, dinner daily<br />

from 7:30 AM to 10 PM. Special events each week.<br />

Pepper Town Café — Digicel Cinema, #4. Tel: 246-9237.<br />

Native and Caribbean Dishes. Open daily except Sunday 11:30<br />

AM to 7 PM. Island breakfast on Saturday at 7 AM.<br />

Pizza Pizza — Grace Bay Plaza/Cinema Plaza. Tel: 941-<br />

8010/941-3577. New York style specialty pizzas. Open daily<br />

11:30 AM to 9:30 PM, weekends until 10 PM. Free delivery.<br />

Provence — Le Vele Plaza. Tel: 946-4124. Traditional French<br />

artisan-style cuisine. Fresh pasta, gelato, cheeses, charcuterie,<br />

pastries, desserts. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.<br />

Retreat Kitchen Vegetarian Café & Juice Bar — Ports <strong>of</strong><br />

Call. Tel: 432-2485. Fresh, organic, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free<br />

fare. Fresh juices, daily lunch specials. Open for lunch<br />

Monday to Saturday, 9 AM to 3 PM. Delivery available.<br />

Rickie’s Flamingo Café — Between Ocean Club and Club Med.<br />

Tel: 244-3231. Local fare and atmosphere right on <strong>the</strong> beach.<br />

Best grouper sandwich and rum punch! Don’t miss Curry Fridays<br />

and Beach BBQ Saturdays.<br />

Sailing Paradise — Blue Hills. Tel: 344-1914. Casual beachfront<br />

restaurant and bar. Caribbean fare. Open daily 7 AM to 11<br />

PM. Sunday brunch and beach party, daily happy hour.<br />

Salt Bar & Grill — Blue Haven Resort & Marina. Tel: 946-9900.<br />

Casual dining with outdoor seating overlooking <strong>the</strong> marina.<br />

Sandwiches, burgers and salads, classic bar favorites with local<br />

flair. Open daily from 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM.<br />

84 www.timespub.tc

Seven — Seven Stars Resort. Tel: 339-7777. Elevated contemporary<br />

cuisine fused with TCI tradition. Open Monday to Saturday,<br />

5:30 to 9:30 PM.<br />

72ºWest — The Palms Resort. Tel: 946-8666. Beachside dining<br />

with a family-friendly, Caribbean-inspired menu. Serving lunch<br />

daily; dinner seasonally.<br />

Sharkbite Bar & Grill — Admiral’s Club at Turtle Cove. Tel:<br />

941-5090. Varied menu; casual dining. Sports bar/slots. Open<br />

daily from 11 AM to 2 AM.<br />

Shay Café — Le Vele Plaza. Tel: 331-6349. Offering organic<br />

c<strong>of</strong>fees, teas, sandwiches, salads, soup, pastries, gelato, sorbetto,<br />

smoothies, beer and wine. Open daily 7 AM to 7 PM.<br />

Simone’s Bar & Grill — La Vista Azul. Tel: 331-3031. Serving<br />

fresh seafood and local cuisine. Open daily 11 AM to 11 PM;<br />

weekends 7 AM to 11 PM. Popular bar!<br />

Skull Rock Cantina — Ports <strong>of</strong> Call. Tel: 946-5282. The<br />

place for Tex-Mex; daily drink specials. Open daily, 10 AM to<br />

Midnight.<br />

Solana! Restaurant — Ocean Club West. Tel: 946-5254.<br />

Oceanfront dining from sushi to burgers. Teppanyaki and Sushi<br />

Bar, engage with <strong>the</strong> chefs. Open daily 7:30 AM to 10 PM.<br />

Somewhere Café & Lounge — Coral Gardens Resort. Tel:<br />

941-8260. Casual dining with Tex-Mex flair right on <strong>the</strong> beach.<br />

Cocktails, beers, specialty drinks. Open early to late daily.<br />

Stelle — Gansevoort Turks + Caicos. Tel: 232-4444. Modern<br />

Mediterranean cuisine featuring fresh fish and seafood. Open 6<br />

to 10 PM daily, until 2 AM on Friday with DJ.<br />

Sui-Ren — The Shore Club. Tel: 339-8000. Inspired flavors <strong>of</strong><br />

Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine with fresh seafood and organic<br />

produce in a unique setting. Open daily.<br />

Thai Orchid — The Regent Village. Tel: 946-4491. Au<strong>the</strong>ntic<br />

Thai cuisine; over 60 choices! Dine in or carry out. Open for<br />

lunch and dinner daily.<br />

Three Bro<strong>the</strong>rs Restaurant — Town Center Mall, Downtown.<br />

Tel: 232-4736. Seafood and native cuisine. Tuesday night buffet<br />

dinner. Catering services. Open daily, 7 AM to 10 PM.<br />

Tiki Hut Island Eatery — Dockside at Turtle Cove Inn. Tel:<br />

941-5341. Imaginative sandwiches, salads, seafood, Black<br />

Angus beef, pasta, pizzas, fish. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM.<br />

Turkberry Frozen Yogurt — The Saltmills. Tel: 431-2233.<br />

Frozen yogurt in a variety <strong>of</strong> flavors, with a large selection <strong>of</strong><br />

toppings. Open 11 AM to 11 PM daily.<br />

Turks Kebab — At Craft Market on Sand Castle Drive. Tel: 431-<br />

9964. Turkish and Mediterranean fare. Salads, falafel, gyros,<br />

kebabs, hummus. Open for lunch and dinner.<br />

Via Veneto — Ports <strong>of</strong> Call. Tel: 941-2372. Au<strong>the</strong>ntic Italian<br />

dining in a stylish indoor/outdoor venue. Open from 5:30 PM to<br />

late. Closed Thursday. Saturday is Pizza Night!<br />

The Vix Bar & Grill — Regent Village. Tel: 941-4144. Highend,<br />

island-inspired world cuisine, fine wines. Open daily for<br />

breakfast, lunch and dinner. Available for meetings.<br />

Yoshi’s Sushi & Grill — The Saltmills. Tel: 941-3374/431-<br />

0012. Sushi bar menu plus Japanese cuisine. Open daily Noon<br />

to 3 PM; 6 to 10 PM. Closed Sunday. Dine indoors or out. Carry<br />

out available.<br />

Zest! — Gansevoort Turks + Caicos. Tel: 232-4444. Lunch and<br />

dinner beachfront. Taste <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Caribbean and Americas. Open<br />

daily Noon to 5 PM; 6 to 9 PM. Fisherman’s night Wednesday. a<br />

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<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 85

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Open 8am to 5pm 7 days.<br />

After hours call<br />

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86 www.timespub.tc



At FortisTCI, we know <strong>the</strong> electricity we provide is vital to run<br />

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we rebuilt stronger, and restored quickly to fuel a return to<br />

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Beach Enclave<br />

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We all have dreams, and <strong>the</strong>y are as vast and varied as <strong>the</strong> world is wide. But <strong>the</strong>y all start with<br />

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Venture House, Grace Bay | Resort Locations: Grace Bay Club, The Palms, The Shore Club, The Sands<br />

Each So<strong>the</strong>by’s International Realty® <strong>of</strong>fice is independently owned and operated.

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