Times of the Islands Fall 2018

timespub

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

TIMES

OF THE

SAMPLING THE SOUL OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS FALL 2018 NO. 124

ISLANDS

FREEDIVING

Confronting the Deep

KAYAK FISHING

A South Caicos Original

SEA SHEPHERD

Protecting the Voiceless


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water sports. For others, it’s the awesome 45,000 sq.

ft. waterpark with surf simulator. There’s 5-Star Global

Gourmet TM Dining at 21 incredible restaurants, and

non-stop bars and entertainment —and it’s always

included. Even the tips, taxes, and Beaches transfers*.

We’ve even added trend-setting food trucks, new live

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contents

Departments

6 From the Editor

13 Eye on the Sky

Last Call?

By Paul Wilkerson

18 Getting to Know

Lost at Sea: Rocky Higgs

By Jody Rathgeb ~ Photos By Tom Rathgeb

46 The Sporting Life

Gone Fishin’

Story & Photos By John Galleymore

66 Around the Islands

Making a Cut: SNiP

By Kathy Borsuk

72 About the Islands/TCI Map

77 Where to Stay

79 Classified Ads

80 Dining Out

82 Subscription Form

Features

22 The Voice of the Voiceless: Sea Shepherd

By Kelly Currington

34 Diving Free

By Ben Stubenberg

Green Pages

28 An Unexpected Landing

By B Naqqi Manco

30 Keeping Turtles Out of Trouble

By the Marine Conservation Society

Photos By Marta Morton, Harbour Club Villas

33 Trash to Cash

Story & Photos By Amy Avenant

TIMES

OF THE

SAMPLING THE SOUL OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS FALL 2018 NO. 124

On the Cover

Photographer Agile LeVin captured this magnificent

shot of freediver Samantha Kildegaard, of Free Dive

With Me, at Malcolm’s Road Beach on Providenciales.

Agile, who grew up and currently resides in Turks &

Caicos, has been turning his camera to the country’s

beauty for most of his life. He, along with his brother

Daniel, produce VisitTCI.com, a website filled with

comprehensive and current information about the

Islands and more of his stunning photography.

66

ISLANDS

Astrolabe

54 Casualties of War

By Dr. Charlene Kozy

59 One Page at a Time

By Dr. Kelley Scudder-Temple, Dr. Michael P.

Pateman and Vanessa Forbes-Patemen

COURTESY SNIP TCI

4 www.timespub.tc


TurksAndCaicosProperty.com

Prince’s Turks and Caicos Estate

The exclusive private sanctuary of the late iconic musician Prince. This 6 bedroom oceanfront

mansion is adjacent to other multi-million dollar estates in the upscale Turtle Tail area on the

southern shore of Providenciales. Spanning 5.74 acres this stunning compound perched on over 40

ft. of elevation allows for the most breathtaking panoramic turquoise ocean views. Own a stunning

home and a piece of music history. Contact Bernadette for further details and to arrange a showing.

US$9,900,000

Bernadette Hunt

Cell ~ 649 231 4029 | Tel ~ 649 941 3361

Bernadette@TurksAndCaicosProperty.com

Bernadette has lived in the Turks and Caicos

Islands for over 21 years and witnessed the

development and transition of the islands

into a significant tourist destination. Based

on independent figures her gross transaction

numbers are unrivalled. Bernadette has

listings on Providenciales, Parrot Cay,

North and Middle Caicos and is delighted

to work with sellers and buyers of homes,

condos, commercial real estate and vacant

undeveloped sites.

Ultra Exclusive Pine Cay - McBride House

Discerning investors take note; McBride House a very exclusive Pine Cay island home in the Turks and

Caicos is now available to purchase pending Pine Cay Homeowners Association membership approval.

A true island home, with a laidback vibe and an emphasis on natural beauty and the

simple pleasures in life. Centrally located directly in front of a beautiful freshwater pond

and just steps away from the Meridian Club resort and 2 miles of secluded pristine beach.

US$1,400,000

Turks and Caicos Property is the leading

independent real estate firm in the Turks and

Caicos Islands with offices located at Ocean

Club West Plaza, Ocean Club West Resort

and Le Vele Plaza on the Grace Bay Road.

Bernadette’s reputation and success has been

earned over time through her dedication,

enthusiasm and passion for real estate. Her

personal experience as having practiced law

in the islands for more than 10 years together

with owning and renovating a number of

properties means she is well-placed to advise

her customers and developers on what to

anticipate in the purchasing and construction

process.

Bernadette delights in working in the real

estate industry and her humor and energy

make her a pleasure to work with.

Parrot Cay Beachfront - Dhyani House

Dhyani House in Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands is a “must see” property for

discerning real estate buyers seeking peace, tranquility and more seclusion than many other

Caribbean Islands or Providenciales have to offer. Viewings are strictly by appointment

with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice and only available to view when not occupied.

US$12,000,000

Please contact Bernadette if you would like

to find out more about owning real estate in

the Turks & Caicos Islands.


from the editor

COURTESY FORTISTCI

One year ago, this was a FortisTCI local linesman’s view of Grand Turk, as the energy company worked to restore power across the Islands.

Credit Due

As I write this, next week will mark the one-year anniversary of Hurricanes Irma and Maria hitting the Turks &

Caicos Islands. The strange year that followed has blown by in a gust as everyone struggles to pick up the pieces

and move forward. My stomach rolls at the thought of anything close to a hurricane approaching this year, and we

pray the season remains quiet.

FortisTCI recently released a documentary that highlights the impact of these hurricanes and the company’s restoration

efforts after the storms. (See https://youtu.be/y2UPC9XoBXU). It reminded me how fortunate these Islands

were to have all-important power restored so quickly. Electricity enabled the bountiful winter/spring/summer tourism

season to happen —which is, in turn, fueling the economy’s recovery.

All too often, when a “storm” passes—be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or all three—we forget the people,

organizations and precepts that got us through. In this case it was the resilience of Islanders and residents, the outstanding

businesses that support TCI’s infrastructure and economy, and, for me and many others, a strong faith in

God’s good plans for a hopeful future.

How I try to appreciate each sunny day! Lights and fans! Internet at the office! A hot shower! A cold drink from

a working refrigerator! A truck that runs! A roof that doesn’t leak! And, most of all, the continuing opportunity to

work with our contributors, advertisers and readers in putting together my beloved Times of the Islands magazine.

I know you will enjoy this issue.

Kathy Borsuk, Editor

timespub@tciway.tc • (649) 946-4788

6 www.timespub.tc


TurksAndCaicosProperty.com

Ocean Club West

Suite 332 is a beautifully remodeled penthouse

with 2 bedrooms and 2 and a half bathrooms at

the extremely popular Ocean Club West. The new

furnishings and ocean views of Grace Bay also

enhance the quality of this remarkable property.

US$825,000

West Bay Club

Suite 102 is a spacious 1 bedroom and 1 and

a half bathrooms condo with over 1,490 sq.

ft of living space. Conveniently located beach

front and level providing expansive views of

the turquoise waters of Grace Bay Beach

US$639,000

Bernadette Hunt

Cell ~ 649 231 4029 | Tel ~ 649 941 3361

Bernadette@TurksAndCaicosProperty.com

Bernadette has lived in the Turks and Caicos

Islands for over 21 years and witnessed the

development and transition of the islands

into a significant tourist destination. Based

on independent figures her gross transaction

numbers are unrivalled. Bernadette has

listings on Providenciales, Parrot Cay,

North and Middle Caicos and is delighted

to work with sellers and buyers of homes,

condos, commercial real estate and vacant

undeveloped sites.

Chalk Sound Villa

NEWLY renovated 4 bedroom oceanfront villa

ideal for rental. Located on .46 ac. with 111 ft. of

waterfront. Features a large pool and deck PLUS a

dock right on the turquoise waters of Chalk Sound.

US$1,200,000

The Sands at Grace Bay

Suite 6301 is a reduced 1,028 sq. ft. 1 bedroom

and 1 bathroom penthouse condo. The suite was

elegantly refurbished in 2016. Featuring a spacious

balcony with beautiful resort and ocean views.

US$469,000

Turks and Caicos Property is the leading

independent real estate firm in the Turks and

Caicos Islands with offices located at Ocean

Club West Plaza, Ocean Club West Resort

and Le Vele Plaza on the Grace Bay Road.

Bernadette’s reputation and success has been

earned over time through her dedication,

enthusiasm and passion for real estate. Her

personal experience as having practiced law

in the islands for more than 10 years together

with owning and renovating a number of

properties means she is well-placed to advise

her customers and developers on what to

anticipate in the purchasing and construction

process.

Bernadette delights in working in the real

estate industry and her humor and energy

make her a pleasure to work with.

Asbury Villa - Leeward

Asbury Villa is undoubtedly the most luxurious

canal front villa on Kira Isle. With over 6000 sq. ft.

and 3 bedrooms. Sold in turn key condition with

dock and custom waterfront entertaining space.

US$1,485,000

Barefoot Beach House

Barefoot Beach House is located on over 2 acres

and is just 75 steps from the turquoise waters

of secluded Long Bay Beach. A site worthy of

redevelopment as a high-end luxury estate.

US$3,200,000

Please contact Bernadette if you would like

to find out more about owning real estate in

the Turks & Caicos Islands.


FIVE DISTINCT VILLAGES

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1. Key West Village 2. Italian Village

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3. Caribbean Village 4. French Village 5. Seaside Village

WHERE EVERYTHING’S

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At Beaches ® Turks & Caicos, everyone can create their own perfect day. For some, it’s the

white-sand beaches and calm waters featuring land and water sports. For others, it’s the

awesome 45,000 sq. ft. waterpark with surf simulator. There’s 5-Star Global Gourmet TM

dining at 21 incredible restaurants, and non-stop bars and entertainment —and it’s always

included—tips, taxes and Beaches transfers*, too. We’ve even added trend-setting food trucks,

new live entertainment, and re-styled accommodations … making the World’s Best even better.

*Visit www.beaches.com/disclaimers/timesoftheislandssummer2018 or call 1-800-SANDALS for important terms and conditions.

Hang out with some real

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Discover a whole world of cuisine with

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In the Caribbean: 1-888-BEACHES; In Turks & Caicos: 649-946-8000 or call your Travel Professional


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PG advert_Layout 1 5/10/17 9:10 AM Page 1

TIMES

MANAGING EDITOR

Kathy Borsuk

OF THE

ISLANDS

ADVERTISING MANAGER

Claire Parrish

“Escape to the extraordinary.”

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Amy Avenant, Kathy Borsuk, Kelly Currington,

John Galleymore, Dr. Charlene Kozy, B Naqqi Manco,

Marine Conservation Society, Dr. Michael P. Pateman,

Jody Rathgeb, Ben Stubenberg, Paul Wilkerson,

Candianne Williams.

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Almay Stock Photo, Amy Avenant, Kelly Currington, Patti

Salerno DesLauriers, Barry Dressel, FortisTCI,

John Galleymore, Tim Hamilton, Dr. Donald H. Keith,

David Kennedy, Agile LeVin, Marta Morton, Fay Ninon,

Justin Okoye, Dr. Michael P. Pateman, Tom Rathgeb,

Maria Rigby, Patricia Saxton, Sea Shepherd Conservation

Society, Ramona Settle, Philip Shearer, SNiP TCI, Wikimedia

Commons, Wikipedia, Candianne Williams.

CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS

DECR, NOAA, Wavey Line Publishing

PRINTING

southeastern, Hialeah, FL

Times of the Islands ISSN 1017-6853 is

published quarterly by Times Publications Ltd.

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under Universal and Pan American Copyright Conventions.

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Submissions We welcome submission of articles or photography, but

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

event shall any writer or photographer subject this magazine to any

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

information contained herein to ensure correctness, such information is

subject to change without notice. The publisher accepts no

responsibility for such alterations or for typographical or other errors.

WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS 2015 - CARIBBEAN’S LEADING BOUTIQUE HOTEL

TCHTA STAR AWARDS 2016 - HOTEL OF THE YEAR

TCHTA STAR AWARDS 2016 - RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR - GRACE’S COTTAGE

PROVIDENCIALES TCI • US TOLL FREE 1.888.209.5582 • T 649.946.5096

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eye on the sky

RAMONA SETTLE

After Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the Turks & Caicos in September 2017, the Beach

House resort on Providenciales quickly reinstalled its unorthodox weather station (and

replaced the coconut).

Last Call?

Late-season hurricane surprises.

By Paul Wilkerson

By the time this issue hits the press and is your hands, the Turks & Caicos Islands will have surpassed the

one year anniversary of Hurricane Irma’s unwanted arrival. She descended on the Islands as a catastrophic

Category Five monster that produced tremendous destruction across the entire country, leaving many

continuing to make repairs to this day. However, Hurricane Irma severely underestimated the spirit and

tenacity of all of those who call Turks & Caicos home.

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 13


In the wake of such a devastating season, many

Islanders will frequently be checking in online with the

National Hurricane Center, ever cognizant that the next

big one might be on the way. Many will wonder if the

2018 hurricane season will have more challenges in store

for the Islands. As of early September, thankfully, the season

has been rather quiet, with only seven named storms,

all of which have had no impact on the Turks & Caicos.

Statistically speaking, nearly 80% of all tropical

storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin occur between

August 15 and about October 20. So this means we

shouldn’t expect hurricanes to form after late October,

right? Unfortunately, no. In order to understand why hurricanes

do continue to form late in the season, we must

take a look at some of the parameters that go into hurricane

formation.

When we are discussing hurricane environment, there

are a number of things that meteorologists and other

atmospheric scientists are looking for. Some of the most

important information is gleaned from whether the upper

level environment is calm (light winds) or if wind shear is

present, the current Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) and

current pressure patterns in the Atlantic.

In order for low pressure systems to develop and

thrive in a specific environment, it is important that very

little to no wind shear is present. Wind shear effectively

will destroy the top of a hurricane in short order the stronger

the shear becomes. Think of the top of a hurricane as

you would the exhaust pipe on a car. At the surface of a

hurricane, warm air is being sucked into the middle and

upper levels of the hurricane. Once it reaches the top, it is

able to evacuate the center of the storm and the process

continues. With a car, the exhaust pipe allows gases to

escape the engine. When wind shear is present, this effectively

disturbs the ability of the hurricane to evacuate all

of the mass (warm air) it is sucking into the storm. Over

time, much like a car, it begins to choke, and eventually

begins to weaken and then to be torn apart. In a car, if

you plug the exhaust the car will soon die, as it is not able

to get rid of the by-products of combustion.

With regard to Sea Surface Temperatures, the Turks &

Caicos Islands (and other nearby islands) enjoy very shallow

banks. This can be a double-edged sword. Shallow

banks contribute to the beautiful colors of the waters that

draw tourists from around the world. That is the good

side. The not-so-good side is that these shallow waters

tend to get very, very warm during the summer and into

the fall season. Traditionally, the water in these areas as

well as the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico continue

Sea surface temperatures play a role in hurricane formation. This map

shows the SSTs in the region as of August 9, 2018.

to have temperatures above 80ºF heading into the later

portions of hurricane season. Water temperatures above

80ºF are generally needed to sustain tropical activity. This

provides the fuel that is needed should low pressure be

in the area.

Lastly, the other important criteria is the current

pressure situation in the region. During the later portion

of the season, traditionally we will not find storm development

occurring well out in the Atlantic Basin (east of

the Leeward Islands) due to poor atmospheric and water

conditions. Generally we will be looking at the Bahamas,

the TCI and Hispaniola to Puerto Rico, as well as the

Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico areas. As we head

into late October and, especially, November, cold fronts

from the lower 48 states will move into the Caribbean as

they weaken. These frontal systems are essentially a low

pressure trough that meanders in the warm waters of the

Caribbean as they begin to decay. With warm waters and

light winds, these troughs sometimes can generate low

pressure which can continue to grow and develop into a

tropical system with time.

The reason these are normally few and far between

during the later six weeks of the season is due to the

14 www.timespub.tc


These maps show the sites where late-season tropical cyclones have originated over the years 1851 to 2015.

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 15


typical jet stream pattern that sets up as the seasons

change. Jet stream energy that remains confined over the

northern U.S. during summer, and allows for generally

calm conditions in the Caribbean, migrates south during

the fall into the southern portions of the United States.

This introduces more wind shear into the Gulf of Mexico

and Caribbean, thus the lower rate of storms in the late

season.

So how many late season storms have occurred in

and around the Turks & Caicos Islands over the years?

Looking at data between 1851–2015, the TCI has had

fourteen systems in or near the Islands between October

21–31, nine between November 1–10, and four between

November 11–20. That is a total of 27 recorded storms

either over the Islands or in very close proximity (storm

centers passing within 150 miles of TCI) based on 164

years of recorded data. That is quite a few tropical systems.

As you can see, it is very important to maintain vigilance

throughout the entire hurricane season. Contrary to

popular belief, hurricanes do form in the waning portion

of the season. Island citizens must always stay alert to

what Mother Nature is doing.

Fortunately, on August 9, 2018, as I prepared this article,

forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration (NOAA) noted that “Conditions in the

ocean and the atmosphere are conspiring to produce a

less active Atlantic hurricane season than initially predicted

in May.” (See chart below.) This seasonal update

takes into account several factors, including that El Niño

is now much more likely to develop with enough strength

to suppress storm development during the latter part of

the season. As well, sea surface temperatures across the

tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea have remained

much cooler than average. A combination of stronger

wind shear, drier air and increased stability of the atmosphere

in the region where storms typically develop will

further suppress hurricanes. However, NOAA warns that

the hurricane season is far from being over and urges

continued preparedness and vigilance.

By remaining weather-aware, the Turks & Caicos

avoided any loss of life during Hurricane Irma. That alone

was easily one of the miracles of the year! I wish you

health, happiness and a hurricane-free season.

However, if tropical weather threatens, you can be

sure I will be following it and alerting Islanders via my

Turks & Caicos Weather page on Facebook (Turks and

Caicos Islands Weather Info). a

Paul Wilkerson is an American meteorologist and tourist

who frequents the Turks & Caicos Islands. Along with

his wife and two daughters, the Wilkersons stay actively

engaged with Islanders and their families throughout the

year.

16 www.timespub.tc


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Times of the Islands Fall 2018 17


getting to know

Opposite page: People who live close to the sea grow up aware of their fragility compared to the ocean.

Above: North Caican Rocky Higgs is happy to be alive after his ordeal in 1984.

“It makes one to realize how fragile man is,” says Rocky Higgs of his experience of being lost at sea 34

years ago.

Lost at Sea!

Rocky Higgs recalls his ocean ordeal.

By Jody Rathgeb ~ Photos By Tom Rathgeb

Low-lying islands such as the Turks & Caicos have always been fragile places, and the people who live

so close to the sea grow up aware of their smallness compared to the ocean. Sometimes, though, events

bring the message home hard. What happened to Rocky in 1984 was one of those events.

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 19


Rocky Higgs, a North Caicos man, grandson of Paul

Robert Eliston Higgs, was 24 years old the day he left

from Five Cays, Providenciales, with his 16 year-old

brother Nat, to dive for conch. They were headed for

Sand Spit beyond French Cay in a blue 14-foot boat when

their engine blew out. They dropped anchor to deal with

the situation when another problem arose: A storm that

dragged them onto a shoal and cut the anchor line. The

boat was adrift.

“For five days we went with the current,” Rocky

relates. “North, then southwest. We were hoping someone

would come and get us.”

The search for the two Higgs boys began quickly, and

Rocky recalls seeing planes above, recognizing the Coast

Guard and Clifford Gardiner’s Aztec. But the searchers

were unable to spot the drifters. “The boat was blue and

the ocean was blue.” The drifting pair also saw ships

passing by out to sea, but couldn’t get anyone’s attention.

Rocky recognized his responsibility as the elder

brother. “I tried to build up Nat’s hopes, but help never

came. I was frightened. I was always frightened, but I

couldn’t let my younger brother be frightened. I would

think about pea soup and dough, johnnycake . . . all the

good things my mother would make for us. We would cry,

we prayed, we would sing.” Rocky doesn’t quite remember

if they were on the ocean for five, six or seven days,

but he knows he was hungry and thirsty. (He lost 69

pounds from the experience.)

Finally, they drifted near a shore, which Rocky realized

when they saw first a huge rock “like a turtle” and

then plenty of sea grass, which told him land was near.

“My mind was telling me to get on shore,” he says, so they

jumped out of the boat and swam.

They were separated in the water, and Rocky lost his

(now very loose) clothing. He searched for several hours

and finally found his brother, too weak to walk. “I put him

on a piece of plywood and left him to get help.” Rocky

believed he might be on Cuba, but they were actually on

Great Inagua.

Weak and hungry, Rocky lost all orientation. “I walk,

I walk, I walk. I never know where I was going.” One day

he wandered into what looked like a fish camp, where he

found four pounds of sugar, matches and about 10 to 20

pounds of marijuana. “I tried to get high. I made a big fire

and I smoked that weed to comfort myself.” He continued

to wander, looking for both help and for Nat. “I prayed to

die,” he admits.

Rocky Higgs recounts the series of events that caused him and his brother Nat to drift to Inagua.

20 www.timespub.tc


Island Organics_Layout 1 8/26/18 9:52 AM Page 1

About eight days later, he saw a one-engine plane

circling. Addled from all his experiences and unsure of

where he was, he tried to run. But he’d been found by

Joe Smith and Terry Brown of Lighthouse Mission Church.

“They put clothes on me and they prayed, and then they

took me to Matthew Town in Great Inagua. I kept asking

for my brother Nat, saying I couldn’t find him. They tell

me Nat was okay, in the hospital.” He’d been found first.

“Oh, they treat us good there,” Rocky recalls of the

people on Great Inagua. He and Nat were nursed to health

and fed well by the local residents before they were taken

back to North Caicos, where they arrived 14 days after

having left Five Cays.

North Caicos treated the brothers’ return as a cause

for great celebration. The island’s annual Festarama had

been canceled during the search, but now there was

cause for happiness. “People from every walk of life were

in my mother’s yard,” Rocky recalls. “Me and Nat stood

up and my mother threw her arms around me and said

only the Lord would understand how she feel. I love North

Caicos and North Caicos people. They really know how to

share a sorrow. They are a caring, loving people.”

Afterwards, Rocky’s grandfather encouraged him to

go back out on a boat, telling him that if he didn’t, he

would be a coward. Rocky spent many more years getting

conch and lobster, as well as doing some roaming and

other work, including migrant farm work in the United

States. He has 11 children and sees his survival as a part

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Conrad, left above to mind the boat, died of a heart

attack. “I don’t think the sea likes me very much,” he says,

with only a touch of irony. He also acknowledges that the

bargains made with God in hard circumstances dissipate

easily—his at-sea promise to no longer drink went by the

wayside when the thirsty man was given beer.

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Times of the Islands Fall 2018 21


KELLY CURRINGTON


feature

Opposite page: Sea Shepherd’s MV John Paul DeJoria visited the Turks & Caicos Islands in May 2018 as part of Operation Good Pirates.

Above: Each crew member has their own reason as to why they joined Sea Shepherd, but all have a common thread—the desire to be a part

of something much bigger than themselves.

KELLY CURRINGTON

As I stand here in the Turks & Caicos Islands gazing out over the beautiful, pristine turquoise sea, I am

hoping I can preserve this moment in my heart and mind. These memories may be the only place to see

such scenes in the future if the human race does not change its ways.

Most of us are aware that the oceans, and the creatures that live in them, have been under siege for

decades. We, as a species, are very quickly eradicating their health and existence by both legal and illegal

practices.

The Voice of the Voiceless

Sea Shepherd fights to conserve marine wildlife.

By Kelly Currington

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 23


The oceans are crucial for our very existence and

survival—sustaining all life on Earth either directly or indirectly.

Covering almost 75% of our planet, they hold 97%

of its water. Over half of the oxygen in the atmosphere is

produced by the oceans, as well as absorbing the most

carbon dioxide from it.

The delicate ecosystems in our oceans must contain

all their components to function efficiently and effectively.

Every time a piece of the puzzle is removed, the

network breaks down a little, and eventually it will stop

functioning, affecting everything and everyone on Earth.

This is where Sea Shepherd comes in. They are an

organization of mostly volunteers who get the “big picture”

and are on the front lines, fighting to save our

planet.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an

international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation

organization. It was spawned from the Earthforce Environment

Society in Vancouver, Canada, which was created

in 1977 by Paul Watson, a former member of Greenpeace.

All over the world, innocent creatures and natural

resources are being destroyed at the hands of humans.

Captain Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd stepped up to the

challenge of fighting these wrongs and protecting those

who cannot protect themselves. Their fleet of battleships

and crew around the world fight for the innocent victims

of unfounded beliefs and traditions, overfishing by bottom

trawling, long lines and ghost nets, and media-fed

misconceptions.

In addition to frontline fighting of poaching, nets and

illegal practices, Sea Shepherd also goes ashore and does

conservation and educational work with communities to

help promote eco-friendly living and the reduction of single-use

plastic. Whether shore-based or on a vessel at

sea, all of the volunteers play a critical role in the fight.

A project Sea Shepherd started in 2017 is Operation

Good Pirates. In a nutshell, it means having a ship standing

by in the event an island is hit by a hurricane so they

can be deployed and arrive in just a couple of days. They

partner with UNICEF, the Red Cross, other non-government

organizations and UN-based agencies. This is what

brought the Sea Shepherd’s MV John Paul DeJoria (MV

JPD) to the Turks & Caicos Islands in 2018.

The TCI was directly hit by category 5 Hurricane Irma

on September 7, 2017 and two weeks later by category 3

Hurricane Maria. Parts of the country were without power

for nearly two months, and those who have cisterns were

without direct access to potable water for just as long.

Just knowing that there is a readied ship on call if such

a tragedy strikes again offers a sense of security for the

people.

I was thrilled when I found out the Sea Shepherd

group was here and that I could go onboard the MV JPD

and talk to the crew. To stand in their presence and hear

their stories and tales of what they’ve encountered in

their journeys is humbling. Each crew member has their

own reason as to why they joined Sea Shepherd, but all

have a common thread—the desire to be a part of something

much bigger than themselves.

KELLY CURRINGTON

24 www.timespub.tc


Walkin May2017_Layout 1 5/28/17 5:45 PM Page 1

They’ve left their “normal” lives behind and traded

them in for a life of hard work in what is sometimes very

harsh conditions, long hours reaching into the night, isolation

from loved ones and seeing tragedy and heartache

on a daily basis. But that only seems to push them to

keep fighting and protect the voiceless even more.

One young woman touched me the most. She is the

bosun aboard the MV JPD. Rebecca hails from Canada,

is beautiful, confident and knowledgable, but most

importantly, passionate about the oceans and the creatures

who inhabit them. She carries herself with a quiet

strength that is connected to her belief in this ongoing

war.

Listening to Rebecca tell me about the fight to save

endangered animals brought me to tears more than once.

One of the questions I asked her was how she deals with

the heartache of retrieving illegal nets where trapped,

innocent creatures have already lost their struggle for

life. Her response was simple yet powerful, “You cry for

the ones who died, but you have to focus on the ones you

save.”

Rebecca has been in dangerous situations in attempts

to stop illegal fishing and poaching. Her vessel’s been

boarded by armed poachers and her tender has been shot

at, yet this does not detour her will to stay on the forefront

of this fight. She explains that working with the

local police and following the laws helps to ensure that

Sea Shepherd’s work continues without detainment and

provides protection for the crew. I am completely in awe

of her strength, fortitude and advocacy for the continued

fight to protect and save those most in need.

Crew member Samele is totally a pirate—a good

one—both in physical appearance and nature. Originating

from Queensland, Australia, he is scruffy and rough and

lives his beliefs while working onboard the MV JPD and in

his personal life. He is a vegan and advocate for simple,

green living in order to reduce his carbon footprint on

this planet.

Prior to coming onboard the MV JPD, he worked

land-based for Sea Shepherd as their marine debris coordinator

for two years. He started as a deck hand on the

vessel and has earned his way to assistant bosun and

diver. He also helps with vegan meals onboard for the

crew. He is completely immersed in the war on the damage

being done to our planet—both sea and land.

Other crew members told similar stories of how they

came to volunteer for Sea Shepherd. All wanted to make

a difference in this world and in their own lives while they

have the ability to give their time.

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Times of the Islands Fall 2018 25


COURTESY SEA SHEPHERD CONSERVATION SOCIETY

Sea Shepherd’s diligence and persistent presence and pressure, working alongside the Peruvian government, shut down the largest fishing

vessel in the world. The Damanzaihao, a floating fish factory, was capable of killing and processing 547,000 tons of fish each year!

Captain Octavio was kind enough to allow the crew

to give me a tour of the ship. It was instantly apparent

that this is a warship and not designed for comfort or

pleasure, but soley for function and battle. Just standing

on the dock looking at this vessel you can feel the stories

that have permeated its “soul.” The paint job alone

gives poachers warning that it means business and will

not back down—it is an impressive ship!

One of their most recently won battles was in Peru.

Sea Shepherd’s diligence and persistent presence and

pressure, working alongside the Peruvian government,

shut down the largest fishing vessel in the world. The

Damanzaihao, a floating fish factory, was capable of

killing and processing 547,000 TONS of fish each year!

Peru is committed to combatting illegal, unreported

and unregulated fishing (IUU), and if successfully convicted

under the Peruvian Penal Code, the crew of the

Damanzaihao could face three to five years of incarceration

and multi-million dollar fines. Sea Shepherd

continues to supply support to Peru to help them combat

IUU and bring an end to “rampant over-exploitation of the

oceans.”

Poaching has directly impacted the Turks & Caicos

Islands. Our reefs and ecosystems are treasured both

in-country and world-wide. Their health and protection

require a constant effort as poachers come to our pristine

and rich waters to steal.

In 2015, 28 poachers were detained and tried for

removing more than 2,000 pounds of marine products

from TCI waters. In that catch were a sea turtle, 1,462

pounds of lobster (including 69 egg-bearing females),

and 485 pounds of parrotfish, which are illegal to fish

at any time. Fourteen unlicensed vessels were confiscated

during this operation. A total of approximately 200

pounds of poached marine catch along with illegal spear

guns were confiscated in 2016 as well.

But it was on March 16, 2017 that a devastating

blow was delivered to the TCI at the hands of poachers.

The Royal Turks & Caicos Marine Police intercepted the

Captain Blaze, an illegal Dominican fishing vessel that

was completely loaded down with more than 39,000

pounds of poached marine catch, mostly consisting of

fish, but including sharks and other vital creatures.

In October 2017, the Royal Turks & Caicos Marine Police intercepted

the MV Yaniret, the boat and fish on board were seized and the nine

crew detained for fishing illegally within the Fisheries Limits of the

Turks & Caicos Islands.

26 www.timespub.tc


The 80-foot vessel and its crew of 41 Dominican fisherman,

along with a number of smaller boats, were towed

to Caicos Marina and Shipyard. The marine products were

unloaded and reportedly distributed to the people of the

TCI. The Captain Blaze still sits in the marina as a constant

reminder of the war at hand.

In casual conversation with my boyfriend Josh, I asked

him what he thought of the pirate flag that is flown on all

Sea Shepherd vessels. (I wanted an unbiased perspective

on this.) He said, “It reminds me of the pirate tradition,

only reborn for good.” Our oceans are sensitive organs

that require close attention to their damage and we need

to be hyper-responsible for stopping and reversing our

negative footprint.

As scuba divers we are advocates for the sea, and in

that sense it affects us directly. Yet the oceans’ health

and balance also impacts economies all over the world.

Every ocean on this planet needs protection if we are to

survive, and a huge part of that protection starts with

educating people on what is happening and how to help.

There are so many ways to be a part of this movement

to protect the planet and speak for those who

cannot speak. The most obvious is donating money, but

you can do other things like starting educational projects

in your community. Stopping the use of single-use plastic

such as straws and water bottles is something we can all

do. Speak to your local supermarkets about not using

unnecessary packaging like styrofoam, or packaging raw

vegetables (as they naturally have their own container).

Little changes can have a big impact on our planet.

You can start a local Sea Shepherd chapter in your

neighborhood or island where people work together to

learn sustainable fishing practices, respect for the ocean

and earth, and the importance of reassessing old traditions

that serve no purpose other than being a “tradition.”

Participating in peaceful protest against captivity

is another way to help. Sea Shepherd is a powerful, yet

peaceful, organization which only uses force when absolutely

required.

Education is the key to any change. If you would like

to learn more about Sea Shepherd and their ongoing projects

and how you can help, visit www.seashepherd.org.

I only write about topics that I believe in, and I write

from my heart. Sharing this organization’s story is something

I am passionate about. I am honored to have had

the chance. Sea Shepherd is the true voice of the voiceless!

Thank you for all you do. Defend . . . Conserve . . .

Protect! a

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Times of the Islands Fall 2018 27


green pages

newsletter of the department of environment & coastal resources

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

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

• national environmental centre, lower bight road, providenciales

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

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

email environment@gov.tc or dema.tci@gmail.com • web https://www.gov.tc/decr/

DAVID KENNEDY

A black back and primary feathers, white shoulder stripe, chestnut face and wings, and brown-streaked throat along with small size help

identify the Least Bittern, Ixobrychus exilis.

PATTI SALERNO DESLAURIERS

An Unexpected Landing

Least bittern is a new bird record for TCI.

By B Naqqi Manco, DECR Terrestrial Ecologist

Islands are a challenge to reach for many animals, but not for most birds. While we have a known resident

avifauna, we are also visited by both migrants, which visit seasonally, and vagrants, which visit

occasionally.

28 www.timespub.tc


green pages newsletter of the department of environment & coastal resources

Sometimes birds are lost, or blown here by storms,

such as the three groups of scaly-naped pigeons that

showed up after the 2017 hurricanes (and have since,

apparently, returned to their homes on the Greater

Antilles). Other times, they are exploring new ranges

and expanding, such as the increased numbers of purple

gallinules noted over the last decade. Some, especially

the shyest species, probably visit and are never seen by

any human. Recently, one very shy bird showed up on

North Caicos, a navigational mistake on its behalf, having

landed inside a home in Sandy Point.

On August 19, 2018, North Caicos residents David

Kennedy and Patti Salerno DesLauriers encountered what

was first thought to be a green heron caught in a screened

porch. However, after review of photos it was confirmed

to be a least bittern Ixobrychus exilis, a regionally native

but rare bird related to herons. Bitterns are exceptionally

shy and rarely seen in the region.

This is the first-ever confirmed sighting of a least bittern

in TCI. Terrestrial Ecologist B Naqqi Manco registered

the sighting with www.eBird.org and it was confirmed as

a new sighting on that database.

The bird recovered and was released back into its

habitat near the Dick Hill Creek and Bellefield Landing

Pond Nature Reserve, one of our less-known but important

protected areas. The habitat of this protected area is

perfect for least bitterns, with expansive areas of mangrove,

buttonwood swamp and uninterrupted cattail

marshes. This secretive little wading bird will be hard

to see again but devoted birdwatchers may be able to

encounter it around where it was first sighted.

Keep your eyes out for new bird sightings. With

effects of human development expansion and climate

change considered, we will likely be seeing more new

bird arrivals and unusual migration schedules. You can

register all bird sightings on www.ebird.org.

Available as a mobile app, eBird is, according to its

website, “the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen

science project, with more than 100 million bird sightings

contributed each year by eBirders around the world. A

collaborative enterprise with hundreds of partner organi-

From top: The scaly-napped pigeon showed up in TCI after the 2017

hurricanes. This map outlines the Dick Hill Creek and Bellefield

Landing Pond Nature Reserve, one of TCI’s less-known, but important

protected areas.

zations, thousands of regional experts and hundreds of

thousands of users, eBird is managed by the Cornell Lab

of Ornithology.” a

MARIA RIGBY

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 29


green pages newsletter of the department of environment & coastal resources

This is one of the turtles caught, measured and tagged during a recent outing

with SURFside Ocean Academy, who raises funds for the Marine Conservation

Society’s TCI Turtle Project.

Keeping Turtles

Out of Trouble

Local watersports company hosts turtle tagging expeditions.

Copy Courtesy Marine Conservation Society (www.mcsuk.org)

Photos By Marta Morton, Harbour Club Villas

The Turks & Caicos Islands Turtle Project is working for better management of the marine turtle populations

found in the TCI. Through groundbreaking biological and social research, this collaborative project

aims to involve the TCI Government and fishermen in the management and monitoring of the Islands

traditional turtle fishery. The project also uses hi-tech satellite tagging of green and hawksbill turtles to

follow their lives at sea to understand the full range of these highly migratory animals and to find out

how best to protect them.

30 www.timespub.tc


green pages newsletter of the department of environment & coastal resources

Marine turtles have been swimming our oceans for at

least 110 million years, but now man’s activities threaten

turtle populations all over the world.

All species of turtle are susceptible to accidental capture

in fishing gear. Turtles become entangled in gill nets

and fish traps set inshore close to the nesting beaches.

Throughout their range, marine turtles are still hunted for

their eggs, meat and shells. For example, marine turtles

are still legally harvested for their meat in four of the five

UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean, where green

and hawksbill turtles are particularly targeted. It is not

known if these harvests are sustainable, but marine turtle

nesting populations in these territories are critically low.

In the tropics, wherever turtles lay their eggs there is

a demand for them. In several Caribbean countries, raw

turtle eggs are mixed with alcohol and drunk as an aphrodisiac.

In many parts of the world, hawksbill turtles are

targeted for the scales on their shells, which are used to

make tortoiseshell. International trade in wild turtle products

is banned by all the countries that have signed up

to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered

Species (CITES).

Marine turtles depend on a variety of habitats at sea,

as well as the all-important nesting beaches. Sadly, these

same beaches are under pressure from development,

especially from the tourism industry. If beach development

is carried out insensitively it can lead to erosion

of sand from the beach, as well as the disturbance of

nesting female turtles through increased activity and light

pollution. The same light pollution disorientates emerging

hatchlings, making them head inland to artificial light

sources rather than out to sea.

Predicted sea-level rise resulting from climate change

will lead to the inland movement of beaches, a process

known as coastal squeeze. Vital turtle nesting habitat

could be lost if nesting beaches are prevented from

moving inland by any development or beach armouring

behind them.

Marine habitat can also be disturbed or destroyed by

development and other human activities. For example,

sea grass beds and coral reefs are particularly vulnerable

to degradation if exposed to sewage effluent discharged

into the sea, and can also be damaged by heavy boat traffic

and extensive use by bathers, snorkelers and divers.

Turtles can also be killed by entanglement in and

ingestion of marine litter, such as discarded fishing gear,

From top: Oliver Dames gives children the opportunity to interact

with a wild sea turtle.

Turtles are carefully measured and inspected to collect data and

tagged, if necessary.

SURFside Ocean Academy’s Morgan Luker (at left) allows guests to

have a close-up look at a sea turtle before it is released.

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 31


green pages newsletter of the department of environment & coastal resources

plastic bags and balloons. Turtles cannot digest plastic

and if they eat enough to block their digestive tract they

will die from starvation.

Climate change will affect marine turtle populations

in several ways. For example, turtle nesting beaches

could be inundated if they are prevented from moving

inland as a result of sea-level rise; foraging habitat such

as tropical coral reefs and sea grass beds could die off as

a result of sea-level rise, water temperature rise and the

effects of increased storminess and rainfall.

If we don’t act now to change the way we treat marine

turtles and their habitat we may lose some populations

forever.

In Providenciales, SURFside Ocean Academy, led by

Morgan Luker, partners with the DECR and the Marine

Conservation Society (MCSUK) with regular turtle-tagging

expeditions. The academy’s well-trained team of local

guides and turtle specialists capture turtles to collect

data, educate guests on sea turtle conservation and fishing

practices in TCI, and release the turtles back to the

ocean. The hawksbill sea turtle is a critically endangered

species, but is legal to fish in TCI waters.

Since 2009, MCSUK has attached satellite transmitters

to 22 green and hawksbill turtles. Suzie, an adult

green turtle, was the first turtle to be tagged by the project,

and surprised everyone by taking an incredible 6,000

km round trip over nine months before her transmitter

stopped sending data. Since 2011, MCSUK has focused

on tracking sub-adult (“teenage”) green turtles. They have

attached tags to 20 teenage turtles, and are tracking

some of these animals now.

Morgan says, “We are so lucky to be able to work with

these endangered animals on our educational sea turtle

tagging programs. Through our initiatives, we can better

understand the population and trends of resident green

and hawksbill turtles, and see if our current fishing regulations

are sustainable. We have also been able to raise

almost $5,000 towards sea turtle research and education

for MCSUK through our experiences.” a

SURFside Ocean Academy (www.surfsideoceanacademy.com)

is an outdoor adventure company and licensed

school with an emphasis on marine-based activities to

help foster an appreciation for and better understanding

of the environment, people and places of Turks & Caicos

Islands.

32 www.timespub.tc


green pages newsletter of the department of environment & coastal resources

Trash to cash

Following our recent awareness campaign about just

how “Straws Suck!” (Times of the Island Summer 2018),

on a return flight from a Sea Turtle Conservation conference,

DECR team members had a look at the garbage

floating about and felt inspired! The age-old adage,

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” came to

mind and with that, our youth Trash to Cash Workshops

were born!

Although not limited to the Junior Park Warden

Program (sponsored by the Pine Cay Project, and in its

18th year), it proved to be the perfect platform to kick

off our first workshop. After a mindful beach clean-up,

where appropriately recyclable items were of focus,

wardens thoroughly cleaned their “trash” to get rid of

any grit or sticky residue. Training and tips were provided

and tools and the necessary equipment supplied

. . . off they went!

We encouraged participants to focus on making

appropriate, creative and bespoke pieces from discarded

straws, bottle tops, plastic utensils and bits of

washed-up rope. In addition, participants were taught

the necessary skills needed to put together a solid

mini-business plan and how to cost their items.

Today’s youth tend to be on two extreme sides of

the spectrum: Either they are hyper-sensitive to the

plight of our planet or they are anesthetized to the

impacts of cumulative litter strewn in the streets. Trash

to Cash opens up a dialogue about how we can reduce,

re-use and recycle, and imagine creative approaches to

fixing a global problem, while allowing participants to

think laterally about their potential.

The adapted, tailored pieces, hand-made by students,

left us in awe of their creativity. We are excited

for the potential of a project such as this inspiring a

generation who will face many environmental, social

and economic challenges directly associated with

climate change and human impacts to our planet.

The DECR looks forward to hosting more of these

workshops in the future—and keep an eye out for our

talented participants and their recycled products at

your local fish-fry event. a

Story & Photos By Amy Avenant,

DECR Environment Outreach Coordinator

Trash to Cash (from top): Step one, collect “trash” from the beach.

Step two, create and decorate. Step three, display the beautiful

results !

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 33


PHILIP SHEARER


feature

Opposite page: This is a truly magical Big Blue moment, as captured by photographer Philip Shearer.

Above: Javed Shearer enjoys the ocean’s beauty and bounty in a cave on a single breath of air.

PHILIP SHEARER

Diving Free

Confronting history and human limits in the deep.

By Ben Stubenberg

You are alone with yourself.

Even your body slips away so that it feels like

a speck of consciousness that’s floating in the abyss.

—William Truebridge, World Champion Freediver

More than sport, freediving transforms the men and women who surrender themselves to the sea, leaving

behind the realm of humans and entering a world where they cannot breathe. Descending on a single gulp

of air, divers hear only the sound of the beating heart. The light dims. Time stops. For a few minutes, but

what feels like forever, divers glide untethered, vulnerable and free. In a heinous turn of historic irony,

however, the joyful liberation freediving bestows also prompted ruthless subjugation that wiped out one

people and redefined another.

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 35


From time immemorial, human tribes living along

the coast around the world trained to dive deep and stay

under as long as possible in the quest for survival. The

divers took risks and accepted peril to hunt for sustenance

below the surface. Diving’s natural elation led to

an addictive joy, where being in the water became more

natural than being on land and in time, a way of life. The

the best divers of these aquatic communities, the ones

who took the biggest chances and dodged the greatest

dangers, became heroes and even spiritual leaders of the

village, looked up to and revered.

Lucayan freedivers

The spectacularly clear turquoise ocean of the Turks &

Caicos Islands (TCI) has produced its own extraordinary

divers, beginning with the Lucayan Indians. More than

2,000 years ago, their ancestors began a long migration

from the river deltas of South America, island hopping

the 1,000 mile Caribbean archipelago until reaching TCI

and the Bahamas. Before ships arrived from across the

Atlantic, before their world vanished and they ceased to

exist, Lucayans lived in their huts of thatch and woven

reed next to the same beaches where we now sunbathe,

gather for a picnic or watch the sunset. They too glided

gracefully through the translucent sea, diving for dinner

or just for the thrill.

Christopher Columbus, who likely made his first

landfall in Grand Turk in 1492 (See “The First Columbus

Landing,” Times of the Islands Fall 2017) and the early

Spanish colonists that followed, took note of the Native

Indians’ exceptional natural ability to hold their breath for

long periods and dive deep. This observation coincided

with the discovery of vast beds of oysters containing

pearls around the islands of Margarita and Cubagua off

the coast of Venezuela. The poor swimming and diving

abilities of the Europeans at the time, however, precluded

retrieving the pearl oysters except in the shallowest

waters. Driven by the prospect of quick riches from an

abundance of pearls tantalizingly close but beyond reach,

the Spanish in 1500 began to raid TCI and the Bahamas

for natives to enslave and exploit as freedivers.

In just 20 years, according to TCI historian H. E.

Sadler, some 40,000 Indians had been taken captive and,

along with disease and outright slaughter, were completely

depopulated from the Islands. The first European

colonizers rationalized their abduction and enslavement

of the Indians by reasoning that as heathens, not

Christians, they had no souls.

Bartolomé de las Casas, a Spanish priest outraged

at the horrific treatment of the native peoples, recorded

the astounding brutality of the island raids from what

he had learned. “And verily, as a Spaniard told me, their

ships in these regions could voyage without compass or

chart, merely by following from the distance between the

Lucayos Islands (TCI) and Hispaniola, which is sixty or

seventy leagues, the trace of those Indians’ corpses floating

in the sea, corpses that had been cast overboard by

earlier ships.”

Upon arrival in the dry, low-lying islands of Margarita

and Cubagua surrounded by turquoise sea not unlike TCI,

the abductors forced the surviving Indians to dive down

for the pearl oysters for extended periods without rest.

The demands of the work often led to internal hemorrhaging

from ascending too quickly and burst eardrums

causing blood to gush from mouth and nose, as well as

being exposed to shark attacks. On occasion, pirates kidnapped

the Indian divers for use in their own pearl diving

operations.

Las Casas again documented the atrocities committed

against the native pearl divers in searing reports to the

Spanish monarchs, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand.

“The tyranny exercised by the Spaniards against the

Indians in the work of pearl fishing is one of the most

cruel that can be imagined. The pearl fishers dive into the

sea at a depth of five fathoms, and do this from sunrise

to sunset, and remain for many minutes without breathing,

tearing the oysters out of their rocky beds where the

pearls are formed. They come to the surface with a netted

bag of these oysters where a Spanish torturer is waiting

in a canoe or skiff, and if the pearl diver shows signs of

wanting to rest, he is showered with blows.”

In one generation, the Spanish and other Europeans

had sealed the extinction of the Lucayans by working

them to death. The tragic irony of the Lucayan’s demise

near the very waters where their ancestors had begun

their journey north for a better life is not lost. And the

hard shiny spheres that so many Native Indians died for,

the pretty little pearls that decorated the necks and ears

of nobility, were hardly more than the product of scabs

that protect the oyster from tapeworms.

African freedivers

With the Indians gone, the pearl traders looked for

replacements in the budding slave trade in Africa.

European explorers had seen and recorded impressive

feats of swimming and diving among the Africans since

the mid-1400s. As with the Native Indians, the African

divers had spent years adapting their minds and bodies

36 www.timespub.tc


A freediver-in-training visits the collapsed Thunderdome from the French TV game show “Le trésor de Pago Pago” that was filmed at Malcolm’s

Road Beach in Providenciales in the early 1990s.

AGILE LEVIN

to apnea (breath holding), oxygen deprivation and water

pressure at great depths through repeated and prolonged

immersion.

According to Dr. Kevin Dawson, Professor of History

at the University of California, Merced, “Many [African divers]

could dive ninety-plus feet deep. How divers acquired

their abilities is unclear. But the lung capacity and the

composure required to work at such depths suggest that

they had learned to swim at an early age. When diving,

many held rock weights to help them descend quickly

without expending valuable air.” Although slave traders

did not understand the physiological process and

changes, Professor Dawson notes, the traders specifically

targeted ethnic groups of Africans for capture in riverine

areas.

When the African slave divers arrived in the Caribbean,

however, the slave masters could not be quite as brutal

as in the case of the Native Indians. The premium cost for

African slave divers required better management of the

investment, so divers received more rest time and fewer

beatings. The dependency on slave divers fostered a complex

relationship of power and privilege. In one telling

account, slave masters frequently rewarded African slave

divers with a glass of wine and a pipe of tobacco between

dives. Of course, slaveholders conferred favors to extract

more labor, and in turn more wealth from the slave divers.

Historians refer to this as “privileged exploitation”

that gave the African slave divers a measure of influence

over their situation that most other slaves did not have.

In her research of enslaved pearl divers of 16th

century Caribbean, Dr. Molly A. Warsh, Professor at the

University of Pittsburgh, studied their bargaining power.

She writes, “Although pearl divers performed exceedingly

dangerous work and endured difficult living conditions,

evidence suggests that they nonetheless managed to

exert considerable control over their own mobility, as well

as a degree of control over the pearls they were forced

to harvest. The divers frequently kept pearls for themselves,

either hoarding them or trading them for food

and other necessities.” In some cases, slave divers were

able to purchase freedom, leveraging the very expertise

that prompted their enslavement, in yet another irony, to

secure liberation.

During the initial period of colonization in the first half

of the 16th century, Native Indian and African slave divers

generated the greatest wealth in the Americas, Professor

Dawson points out. When the Spanish discovered the

rich silver mines in Bolivia and Mexico in the mid-1500s,

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 37


the economic focus shifted towards the mainland of the

Americas. By then the pearl beds had declined substantially

from over-harvesting, but a new demand for divers

emerged to recover lost cargo from increasing numbers

of shipwrecks on the reefs off Florida, the Bahamas, and

TCI. In particular, the Spanish treasure galleons departing

Havana for Spain laden with gold and silver that wrecked

on the reefs created the best opportunities for wealth for

salvage wreckers. A few Native Indians had already been

forced into salvage diving, but as they were killed off,

slaveholders called for more African slave divers to do

the work. Salvagers would sometimes use diving bells big

enough to fit two men with trapped air to breathe. The

bell, suspended from a cable to the ship, could be lowered

60 feet (19 meters) below the surface. But the bell,

just a few feet in diameter, limited the range of vision, so

salvagers much preferred slave divers who could physically

cover more ocean floor.

When a hurricane sank a Spanish fleet of 28 treasure

ships off the Florida Keys in 1622, the salvage manager

in Cuba brought 20 slave divers to locate the wrecks. At

first, the slave divers recovered only a few bars of silver,

but not the flagship Santa Margarita. Undoubtably worried

that freelance salvagers and pirates closing in would

find the ship first, a Spanish official offered emancipation

to any slave diver who could find the wreck. One of the

slave divers did in fact discover the ship and was freed on

the spot. However, such good fortune rarely befell a slave

diver.

Perhaps the most prominent use of African slave divers

for salvaging was from the 1641 wreck of the Nuestra

Señora de la Pura y Limpia Concepción on the Silver Banks

located between Grand Turk and the Dominican Republic.

(See “Whose Treasure,” Times of the Islands Summer

2018.) William Phips and experienced Bermudian salvagers

organized the treasure hunting expeditions, bringing

60 slave divers from Bermuda, Jamaica, and Barbados to

look for the wreck. In 1687, they found the wreck and

recovered more than 30 tons (15 metric tons) of silver

bars, making vast fortunes for Phips and his investors.

African salvage divers, as with pearl divers, fully

understood the value of such diving abilities and leveraged

them to improve working conditions. The divers

also gained a special status in the slave communities and

a measure of dignity through pride in work not afforded

to field slaves. Though still considered property by slave

owners, the African slave divers were able nonetheless

to accumulate earnings from work that created opportunities

for themselves and their families within the

constraints of bondage.

Salvage diving by slaves, and later freemen after

Great Britain outlawed slavery in 1834, appears to have

continued through the first half of the 19th century in

the Bahamas and probably TCI. Around this time, local

TCI people formed their own salvage enterprises to

watch for ships wrecking on the surrounding reefs and

recover the cargo, possibly using freedivers. Blue Hills on

Providenciales provided a well-known vantage point for

wreckers.

Amazingly, all of the divers performed without goggles

or masks, which had yet to be invented. They did

underwater work using only their naked eyes and may

have developed an ability to “see” underwater. The eye

muscles of divers can adapt by constricting the pupils

that alter the lens shape in turn, thus changing the light

refraction for increased visibility. Unfortunately, excessive

exposure of the eyes underwater can cause long-term

vision damage when out of the water.

Sea nomads and spleens

Putting the face in cool water triggers an automatic

response by the body called the mammalian dive reflex

to lower the heart rate and conserve oxygen. Humans

share this reflex with all mammals. Even newborn babies

instinctively know how to hold their breath when submerged.

During lengthy breath-holding, the veins and

arteries in the extremities contract to divert more red

blood carrying oxygen to the more vital organs—the

heart, lungs, and brain. Typically, the diver feels contractions

in the diaphragm, signaling these changes.

As a diver descends deeper, the lungs compress to

the size of fists, but blood continues to rush in. When the

diver ascends to the surface, the lungs expand again and

need to be filled with oxygen. The brain detects the oxygen

levels dropping and tells the spleen, a spongy organ

that recycles red blood cells, to release fresh oxygenated

blood into the circulatory system. If the oxygen level gets

too low, the brain puts the body in a sleep mode to save

more energy and what oxygen is left. This can cause the

diver to black out, usually in the last 10 meters (33 feet)

of the ascent, and require rescue to bring the diver to

the surface. Acutely aware, divers train to acclimate and

accept the risk as the price for a life-changing experience.

Though virtually all humans are capable of basic

freediving, a tiny minority of humans, it turns out, have

evolved to manage the rigors of breath-holding for long

periods underwater. In particular, genetic researchers

have found major body differences in the Bajau people

38 www.timespub.tc


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Times of the Islands Fall 2018 39


The notable physiological changes among the Bajau,

of course, raises a compelling question: Did Lucayan and

African slave divers also possess this unique genetic trait

given their own long history of freediving in the West

Indies or in Africa? It seems plausible, and some evidence

supports at least body changes in the Lucayans.

Dr. Michael Pateman, current director of the Turks &

Caicos National Museum, examined Lucayan skeletons

recovered on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas and

discovered substantial bone growth on the stapes, the

smallest bones in the body that are attached to the ear

drums. The constant pressure of the water while diving

creates stress on ear drums and the stapes leading to an

increase in bone mass consistent with frequently deep

divers. While some Lucayans manifested permanent physical

modifications, we do not know if it was genetic.

In any case, Lucayans and African slave divers definitively

shaped the early history of the Americas following

the European arrival with demonstrated superhuman

aquatic abilities derived from their native cultures.

FAY NINON–WWW.OCEANICALCHEMY.COM

Freediving is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance in the Turks &

Caicos Islands, as the younger generation discovers skills that helped

their elders earn a living.

living in small coastal villages of Indonesia, southern

Philippines and Malaysia that make them truly natural

divers different from the rest of us. For more than 1,000

years, the Bajau have depended on the sea for their livelihood

and spend most of the workday in and under the

water hunting fish with spear guns. These “Sea Nomads,”

a poor, marginalized ethnic group native to Southeast

Asia, can hold their breath and dive to 100 feet using only

wooden masks with a glass plate and sometimes a plank

of wood as a fin and hold their breath for an astounding

10 minutes.

In 2017, Melissa Llardo from the University of

Copenhagen measured the spleen sizes of Bajau and

nearby populations of non-Bajau people. Using an ultrasound

machine, she found that all 59 Bajau people she

measured had spleens 50% larger than the 43 spleens she

measured of non-Bajau people. The larger spleen served

to store more oxygenated red blood cells in Bajau divers

than average divers. In this way, the spleen becomes a

biological oxygen tank that allows divers to stay underwater

for much longer periods. Even more astonishing, Ms.

Llardo found that divers as well as non-divers among the

Bajau people had the same 50% larger spleen, indicating

a likely genetic mutation just from being related to the

Bajau diving communities.

Freediving’s renaissance in TCI

A few fishermen in TCI and other West Indies islands

retained freediving skills over the generations, but this

was the exception not the norm. The art of freediving,

as well as swimming, eroded considerably in the region

over the past two centuries, even though having survived

in scattered pockets. The reason remains uncertain.

However, the freediving prowess first brought from Africa

five centuries ago saw a revival in the 1950s and 1960s

when confident, enterprising TCI fishermen strapped on

masks and fins and jumped into the water. Until then,

fishermen usually collected sponges using ten foot (three

meter) poles with hooks and glass boxes to see clearly

underwater. When the sponge industry collapsed, the

fishermen applied the pole and hook technique to snaring

conch, but the practice proved too slow. So, many

local fisherman simply taught themselves to freedive to

collect conch more efficiently and learned to spearfish

with their make-shift spearguns.

One of the first to switch from collecting sponges

by poles and hooks to freediving and spear fishing was

Jeffrey Handfield from the Belmont part of Bottle Creek,

North Caicos. Back in the day, the well-known Handfield,

now 87, would take his boat all over TCI to dive deep for

the biggest and best fish. When TCI got its first major

bank, Barclays, in 1981, Handfield and other fishermen

saw no need to open an account. As Handfield explained,

“I only got two banks, Ambergis Cay Bank and French

40 www.timespub.tc


Cay Bank,” thereby summing up the local banks that mattered.

Fisherman William “JR” Delancy, another self-taught

freediver from Grand Turk, learned the skill as a teenager

in the early 1960s. He and his friends would blow

up tire tubes with their mouths and put a net or bag in

the center. They floated them off Front Street to the wall

dropping into the 7,000-foot trench and speargunned for

fish. After meeting and marrying beloved schoolteacher

Henrietta Gardiner in Bottle Creek in 1966, JR decided to

stay in North Caicos and pass on his freediving skills to

other island fisherman.

On one of his early days on the North Caicos barrier

reef, Delancy, along with his friend and fellow

freediver Albert Higgs, dove down deep and speared a

giant Atlantic goliath grouper (also called jewfish). The

goliath grouper, which is known to attack divers as well

as sharks, fought hard and pulled Delancy through the

water while he held his breath in a classic contest of man

against beast. Delancy hung on and refused surrender.

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South Caicos boat captain Timothy Hamilton (far right) enjoys a drink

with famous freediver Jacques Mayol (at left) in the 1970s. Hamilton, a

talented diver, showed Mayol the best places to dive in South Caicos.

After a long struggle, the huge fish finally gave up, but

weighing around 500 pounds, was too big to put in the

boat. So the fishermen had to tow the fish back to Bottle

Creek. (Shades of Moby Dick and The Old Man and the

Sea, but with a happier ending!) Word got out quickly,

and everyone in the settlement, including schoolkids let

out early, showed up at the dock to witness the largest

fish anyone had seen. In the festive atmosphere, Delancy

gladly shared pieces of the huge fish with anyone who

wanted some to take home for dinner.

In the 1970s and 1980s, world class freedivers

Jacques Mayol from France and later Umberto Pelizzari

from Italy made their way to the warm transparent waters

of TCI. Both loved the easygoing ambiance of the Islands,

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Times of the Islands Fall 2018 41


Freediver Samantha Kildegaard, of Free Dive With Me,

practices her graceful craft.

Do you know what you’re supposed to do to meet

a mermaid? You go down to the bottom of the sea,

where the water isn’t even blue anymore, where the

sky is only a memory, and you float there, in the

silence. And you stay there, and you decide that you’ll

die for them. Only then do they start coming out. They

come, and they greet you, and they judge the love you

have for them. If it’s sincere, if it’s pure, they’ll be

with you, and take you away forever.

—Jacques Mayol, World Champion Freediver

AGILE LEVIN

before resorts and paved roads, when everyone knew

everybody and people had time. For a sport where total

calm forms the most critical element, the laid-back vibe

of TCI suited them perfectly.

These larger than life, yet humble men in their prime,

gladly shared their gentle gusto, making many friends.

Pushing themselves to the limits of human endurance,

they daily straddled the divide between life and death.

Confronting the extremes of the deep gave them a sense

of supreme humility. From time to time, Mayol and

Pelizzari hitched rides on scuba boats going out to the

walls. On such occasions, the daring divers would lower

themselves over the side of the boat and surprise the

scuba divers by descending far deeper without a tank.

Undulating through the blue in their long fins alongside

rays and sharks, they departed the world above, and

became creatures of the sea.

Mayol had already been the first human to break 100

meters (330 feet) in 1976 at the age of 49 in the “No

Limits” discipline, as well as other world records. In No

Limits freediving, the diver holds on or attaches to a ballast

weight, known as a sled, connected to a cable. The

diver controls the rate of descent of the weight pulling

him down, but tries to go as fast as he can “clear” the

ears in response to the change in pressure, typically 3–4

meters (10–13 feet) per second. The idea is to go as deep

as possible on a breath of air and then use a balloon

or other inflatable device to return to the surface before

42 www.timespub.tc


unning out of oxygen. Freedivers consider No Limits to

be the most extreme of the eight categories of freediving

and the most dangerous.

Mayol liked TCI so much that he bought a house on

South Caicos in the 1970s and became great friends and

dive buddies with South Caicos mariner and boat captain

Timothy Hamilton. Hamilton, already a self-taught and

quite adept freediver, took Mayol out to Ambergis Cay,

Fish Cay and Long Cay for deep, clearwater challenges,

often encountering dolphins along the way. “Before

descending,” Hamilton related, “Jackie would start meditating,

like he was praying, and be completely at peace.”

Hamilton and his wife Vonn regularly invited Mayol over

for dinner, sometimes with his freediving friends who

came from all over the world to share the diving and tranquility

of the Islands.

Mayol would break another No Limits world record at

age 59 by descending 105 meters (346 feet) and would

go on to co-produce a film on his life, “Le Grand Bleu (The

Big Blue)” in 1988, and write a book, Homo Delphinus:

The Dolphin Within Man, published in 2000.

When Pelizzari arrived in Provo in the 1980s, he

had yet to begin his streak of breaking world records.

He became good friends with Dean Bernal, who offered

to introduce him to Jo Jo, the human-friendly dolphin of

Grace Bay. Both men motored into Grace Bay on Bernal’s

boat, and when they arrived out in the deep, Dean used

a special signal to “call” Jo Jo. At first, the dolphin wasn’t

interested in Pelizzari, but Bernal told him to be patient

and just ignore him while doing his training dives. Soon

enough, Jo Jo warmed up, and the two of them dived

down deep together, becoming fast friends. Jo Jo became

very protective of Pelizzari, frequently shunting away

barracudas, sharks and turtles with his nostrum (nose),

possibly out of jealousy too. Afterwards, Jo Jo would look

at Pelizzari through his mask, smiling with satisfaction

and pride.

Bernal had warned Pelizzari never to feed Jo Jo so the

relationship could remain purely one of friendship. But a

few days before leaving TCI, Pelizzari broke the rule and

cracked open a lobster he had found and gave it to Jo Jo

as thanks for the wonderful experiences. Jo Jo happily ate

the lobster and then nudged Pelizzari to follow him far

down to a cave bristling with lobsters, apparently in hopes

that his human friend could pull out more for him. Jo Jo

sensed Pelizzari’s imminent departure, and on the last

dive, kept pushing Pelizzari away from the boat in hopes

of keeping him there in the sea, an intense affection that

filled the great freediver with “indescribable happiness.”

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Times of the Islands Fall 2018 43


JUSTIN OKOYE–WWW.OCEANICALCHEMY.COM

Freediving is all about exploring the TCI’s magnificent underwater

scenery on a single breath of air, without using scuba tanks.

In 2002, Tanya Streeter from the Cayman Islands

came to Providenciales to attempt a new “No Limits”

world record. (See “Free Falling,” Times of the Islands

Winter 2002/03.) Streeter had already broken nine world

records in different freediving disciplines. Supported by

Big Blue and other safety divers, Streeter brought herself

into a relaxed state of mind and gulped in as much air

as her lungs could hold before letting the sled pull her

into the abyss just beyond the reefs of Grace Bay. As her

heart rate slowed to just 10 beats per minute, she defied

all her male and female rivals and went down to a new

world record of 160 meters (525 feet). [The current No

Limits record is 253.2 meters (830.8 feet) set in 2012 by

Austrian diver Herbert Nitsch.]

Streeter returned to TCI the following year and broke

the world record for men and women in the “Variable

Weight” discipline, diving to 400 feet (122 meters). In this

category, divers descend on a sled, but must return to

the surface under their own power. She also broke the

world record for Constant Weight No Fins, the most difficult

discipline done without aids, only muscle power,

descending to 115 feet (35 meters). Streeter dispels the

death-defying image of freediving saying, “People who

think that freediving is life-threatening misunderstand

the sport. It’s entirely life-affirming.”

Philip Shearer and Mark Parrish, excellent freedivers

in their own right, started Big Blue (named after Mayol’s

movie “The Big Blue”) in 1997 as an eco-friendly watersports

operation that embraced the purity of freediving.

They taught snorkeling guests the basic techniques of

freediving, such as how to relax and descend easily from

the surface, so they could enjoy the reef up close, as well

as those magical encounters with dolphins and whales.

On Big Blue’s staff, Captain Brent Forbes from North

Caicos has become an outstanding freediver as well, and

true heir of TCI’s freediving revival more than a half century

ago.

TCI has its own professional freediver, Samantha

Kildegaard, who is committed to teach as many people

as possible in the TCI community, as well as visitors, the

joy of diving down on a single breath of air. “TCI is easily

one of the top places on the planet for freediving with

exceptional water visibility, depth and marine life,” says

the Argentinian-born Kildegaard, with a passion for protecting

the ocean. “When I am down there, I am at peace.

I am nobody and everybody at the same time, so much so

that I want to stay in the sea forever.” Kildegaard teaches

all levels of freediving and organizes freedive camps to

encounter whales during the season.

Almost anyone at any age can learn to freedive, dispelling

the notion of an extreme, exotic sport meant for

an exceptional few. A diver needs only to mentally prepare,

equalize pressure in the ears and pack air into the

lungs to sever the bonds of our terrestrial home and float

freely through an oceanic cosmos.

The paradox of freedivers once sold into slavery and

exploited for ephemeral riches, however, should give

us pause. They, too, felt the euphoria of relinquishing

earthly shackles for freedom in the sea. For today’s divers

who find serenity below the surface, and for anyone who

cares, the liberty denied to those divers long ago should

serve to remind that tranquility in the deep extends

beyond the self, even through the ages. a

Ben Stubenberg is a contributing writer to Times of the

Islands with a passion for TCI history. An avid ocean man,

he is co-founder of the sports/adventure tour company

Caicu Naniki and the annual “Race for the Conch” Eco-

Seaswim. Ben can be reached at ben@caicunaniki.com.

44 www.timespub.tc


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the sporting life

Fishing has always been a way of life in the Turks & Caicos Islands, especially on the “Big South.” Thanks to an exciting new business venture

there, you can now fish from a specially outfitted kayak.

Gone Fishin’!

This new South Caicos venture combines kayaking and fishing.

The Turks & Caicos Islands are, admittedly, all about the water, and it is often said that you need to be

either “on it, or looking at it” in order to live here year-round.

Traditionally, our amazing ocean has been the mainstay of basic survival for generations of Islanders,

and while some commercial fishing still takes place, the majority is now sport fishing and recreation.

The type of fishing on offer varies, from bottom fishing and bonefishing through to big game fishing.

However, in most cases the use of a boat is paramount and that can add a lot to the cost of an exciting

day out on the water.

Story & Photos By TCI Explorer John Galleymore

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 47


So it was of great interest when I was told about a

new fishing company starting in South Caicos that offers

nearly all types of fishing—not from a boat, but from

individual kayaks. The claim was that it was possible to

bottom-fish over coral heads for snapper or head out to

“The Wall” and fish for mahi mahi and tuna!

This I not only had to see, but experience myself, so

plans were made and flights were booked, and just a few

days later I was en-route to the island of South Caicos.

After a 25-minute flight I touched down on the “Big South”

and was met by Darik Riggs, along with his business partners

Mike and Debbie Edwards. We set off for the East Bay

Resort, which was to be my base for the next few days. I

was eager to hear more about this intriguing venture.

Over a cold beer, I had to ask Darik the obvious question

that had been bugging me since I left Providenciales:

“How in the world do I paddle a kayak and hold a rod and

fish all at the same time?” With a knowing smile, Darik

informs me that there are no paddles! The kayaks use

a new form of technology called the MIRAGE system.

Patented by Hobie and based on the natural wing motions

of a swimming penguin, it is ultra-efficient and with a

few simple leg strokes you can propel through the water

totally hands free.

I’m keen to see more, so we set off into town where

we find a local contractor busy working on what will be

the shop/office of Blue Waters Kayak Fishing. It’s here

that as I chat with Mike and Debbie, I get my first sense

of what this operation is really about—much more than

The MIRAGE Paddle system

features two rubber fins that

are pedaled like a bike, leaving

your hands free to fish.

just catching fish and making money. They have both

visited the TCI numerous times from their home in Cocoa

Beach, Florida and like so many folks before them, fell in

love with the Islands and the people. This was taken to a

new level when they felt they would like to contribute to

the South Caicos community, helping whoever they could

along the way. Fate led them to meet like-minded Darik,

a ten-year TCI resident whose connections to South go

way back. In fact, the old house that’s being converted

into the office belongs to his wife and her family, and it’s

great to see it getting a new lease on life.

Given Darik’s passion for fishing and the Edwards’s

love of South Caicos, a plan was made to form Blue

Waters Kayak Fishing, with the mutual understanding

that it would benefit the community wherever possible.

For instance, rather than source workers from the huge

Sailrock development nearby, for the crew currently working

on the roof Darik chooses to use local guys who are

good with their hands and keen to work hard. He knows

them all, and their families, personally.

The group is getting sorted out to start kayak fishing on the northern

tip of South Caicos.

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

The next morning, we set off for the northern tip

of the island where we find the team has delivered the

kayaks and is awaiting our arrival. I now see the MIRAGE

Paddle system up close—it’s basically two rubber fins

that drop down through a hole in the hull and are pedaled

like a bike. I’m still doubtful it will get me moving.

Our guide Keyton sets us up with bait, fishing rods

and each kayak has a cooler stocked with cold drinks.

Keyton is a charming 28 year-old South Caicos guy, and

once again I see this new company using the community

as its basis for future success. With a simple shove off

the bank and a few pedal strokes I’m effortlessly cruising

along. I’m amazed at the ease and the speed with which

I can travel.

Our group consists of me, Keyton and Mike, each in

individual kayaks, and Darik in a two-person craft that he

is sharing with his eight year-old son Auren, who seems

more intent on fishing than paddling. However, Darik

seems content to do the leg work and I realize this is a

great trip for everyone to enjoy, from professional fishermen

to families.

We head out into the calm waters and Keyton sets our

hooks with bait. We can easily pedal-paddle a good speed

while effortlessly casting and fishing. Darik calls to head

through the channel and into the open ocean. I can see

some swells and surf but am reassured that the craft are

so stable you can stand up and fish from them. This turns

out to be true, as the swell, surf and even wake from a

passing boat have no effect on the kayak’s stability.

I soon hook what I think to be a big grouper, but after

a ten minute fight it breaks free. We continue to get bites

all morning but the actual fish in the boat remain elusive.

We head to a deserted cay, easily reached as the kayaks

love shallow water, and relax on the beach for a while. On

our return, Mike spots a sand bar and decides to fly-fish.

Again, the kayak’s stability makes it easy to get in and

out of, so this is a bonefishing dream.

After lunch back at the resort, we plan our afternoon

excursion. The team has relocated the kayaks to the

marina and we set off for a snorkeling adventure. It’s an

easy paddle out to the reef, just in front of stunning Long

Cay. We tie up to the marker buoy, kit ourselves with

masks and snorkels and in we go.

The reef is in surprisingly good condition, considering

last year’s double hurricanes that came through

South Caicos so catastrophically. In no time at all we are

surrounded by hundreds of reef fish and spot massive

rays resting on the sea floor. We snorkel for a while with

a turtle for company, then easily climb back aboard our

* *

Temporary suspension PROVO NORTH 12.30pm & 1.30pm Sept 1st to Oct 31st

*

Resumes Nov 1st

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 49


Two-person pedal kayaks are ideal for family adventures!

Below right: Is Darik Riggs’s catch bigger than the boat?

kayaks. We head towards an area rich in soft corals and

huge sea fans. I decide to film with my GoPro and ask

Keyton if he can tow me behind his kayak. It’s a great

way to see large areas of the ocean topography, but boats

tend to be too fast and your mask often gets pushed off.

The kayaks are perfect for this—it feels like you’re flying

along above the seabed with no effort at all, and the person

paddling does not feel any extra strain.

We reconvene back at the hotel for drinks and dinner,

and to discuss our day and the future of the business.

Darik tells me of plans for the store in town. Not only will

it be a base for the fishing operation, but eventually he

plans to open a small fish grill restaurant where clients

can taste their catch and local townspeople can meet, eat

and have a cold beer. He’s keen to point out that this eatery

will complement—not compete with—those already

operating. There are also plans to extend the fleet of kayaks

and adorn each with a Bible verse. Darik’s choice?

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask

God, who gives generously to all without finding fault,

and it will be given to you.”

It’s the team’s plan to mentor and train Keyton, as

they see his huge potential to be a great guide and asset

to the business. Once again, I think how easily an experienced

fisherman/guide could have been outsourced, but

this team wants to start at grassroots and grow together,

a refreshing attitude that will surely benefit all involved.

We discuss the fishing currently on offer in

Providenciales, and agree that whether it’s bonefishing,

reef fishing or the hunt for big game, the cost is often

prohibitive. It’s obvious that a small group of guys or

a family with children could fly to South Caicos on the

morning Caicos Express flight, have a great day fishing

and snorkeling, and be back on Provo for sunset drinks

for less than the cost of an average day’s fishing on

Provo! (Factor in a great deal that Darik can get you at

the East Bay Resort and you can enjoy a night on South

Caicos too.)

I reluctantly board my return flight to Providenciales

and wish the team farewell. It’s been a great few days

and I vow to return in the Fall when the operation will be

fully up and running. I not only want to see the team in

action again but I’m excited for the new fishing store in

town. Oh, and I want to reintroduce myself to that elusive

grouper . . . a

For more information or to book a trip, call (649) 232-

7475 or visit bluewaterskayakfishing.com or email

darik@bluewaterskayakfishing.com.

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Into the unknown to save history:

Turks & Caicos Heritage Foundation

Make no mistake, the Turks & Caicos Islands are

booming. There are more development, more homes

and ever-increasing numbers of visitors each year.

This is great news for the economy and the jobs

and prosperity that goes along with it, but there is a

flip-side to all this progression. We stand to lose sites

and artifacts of massive cultural and historical significance.

These sites, of which there are dozens scattered

around the TCI, must be investigated and recorded in

order to preserve the history and, in many cases, the

physical artifacts for future generations.

Three of the TCHF founders (from left Daniel LeVin, John Galleymore

and Jon Ward) set off to East Caicos with local guide Tim Hamilton.

TCHF Founder John Galleymore holds a 1700s bottle found on a

long-abandoned plantation site.

With that in mind, a small group of volunteers

recently launched the Turks & Caicos Heritage

Foundation (TCHF). The idea is to work alongside the

TCI’s National Museum, National Trust, Department of

Environment & Coastal Resources and the like as the

“foot soldiers” who will venture to far-off cays or trek

deep into the bush to seek out, record and report back

about what is still there to be discovered. Then, a decision

can be reached as to how best preserve, record or

recover what has been found.

Often, groups such as the TCI National Museum

and National Trust are working with restricted budgets

and manpower and do not have the resources or the

time to mount expeditions to carry out preliminary

research in the field.

TCHF hopes to fill that gap.

The team consists of long-term residents who have

vast experience with expeditions to some of the most

remote places in the TCI. They all have specialist skills

such as navigation, photography and cave diving, and

all are proficient with outdoor living and survival. They

also have access to a number of historical documents

and maps to seek out long-forgotten places of interest.

The plan is to mount regular expeditions ranging

from a single day to a week, that will cover nearly

every land mass in the TCI, as well as numerous ocean

and water sites (including flooded caves) that have the

potential of historical substance. Stunning ruins, not

seen by many, litter the Islands and must be rediscovered

in order to be preserved.

It’s a positive future ahead for the Turks & Caicos

Islands, but we mustn’t lose sight of the past. a

Stunning ruins, not seen by many, litter the Islands and must be

re-discovered in order to be preserved.

Q & A with TCHF founder John Galleymore

Q: How long have you been interested in seeking out

the past?

A: My first job was developing West Caicos and I

fell in love with Yankee Town. Luckily the contractor

(Projetech) was sympathetic to its survival, which

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 51


shows that progress and the past can go hand-in-hand

if handled correctly.

Q: What’s the most interesting thing you have found

so far?

A: We have found everything from huge ruins on East

Caicos, intact bottles from the 1700s rolling around on

the seabed, to tiny buttons made of porcelain left from

both the Loyalist and Lucayan eras.

Q: What do you do with the items you find?

A: At present we have no authority to remove anything

from any site. With anything of interest found, we photograph

it in-situ, record details and GPS its location.

Only if something was in imminent danger of being

lost forever would we consider moving it.

Q: What areas have you covered so far?

A: We have explored most of the small cays as well as

much of North, Middle and East Caicos. However, there

are still thousands of acres left—much of which has

not been explored for hundreds of years.

Q: What’s been the hardest expedition to date?

A: We had to carry full scuba gear and tanks into the

heart of East Caicos (through some five miles of very

thick bush) in order to explore a huge pond.

Q: How would you like the TCHF to develop?

A: Ideally, we will be able to present our expedition

findings to the TCI Government, the Museum, the

National Trust and similar groups. But most importantly

is to reach out to the schools and the next generation

of Islanders. We hope there are a few would-be explorers

in that generation too! a

The mission of the Turks and Caicos Heritage

Foundation (TCHF) is to actively seek out and rediscover

(by means of land and ocean exploration)

locations and artifacts predominantly linked to the

history of the Islands. In doing so, we seek to preserve

them (either in-situ or on public display) for future

generations. TCHF is a non-profit organization with all

donations going toward funding research expeditions

in the TCI. If you would like to donate, find out more

information or help, please contact John Galleymore

at (649) 232-7083 or email beyondtci@gmail.com or

https://www.facebook.com/tcihistory/inbox/.

This perimeter wall was built during the Loyalist cotton plantation era and is found

across an inland lake near Drum Point, East Caicos.

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astrolabe

newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

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

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

MICHAEL PATEMAN

This recent photo shows the new shutters added to the Donald Keith Science Building as part of the National Museum’s rebuilding efforts

following last year’s destruction by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Starting Over, Again?

By Dr. Michael P. Pateman, Museum Director, Turks & Caicos National Museum Foundation

In the Winter 2017/18 Astrolabe, Dr. Donald Keith used the title “Starting Over” to describe the 2017

hurricane season and the steps the museum was taking to ensure the protection and preservation of

the cultural heritage entrusted to us. In this my first edition as editor of the Astrolabe, I thought it was

a great title that should be repeated.

I want to thank Dr. Keith for his long service as editor of this newsletter and to assure our readers

that I will continue the tradition of providing high quality articles about the Turks & Caicos’ fascinating

historical and cultural past for your enjoyment.

In a sense, the National Museum is starting over again. The museum on Grand Turk is being restored

and rebuilt, stronger than ever. New partnerships are being formed with the Community College, local

businesses and residents. Plans for a new museum and facility in Providenciales will be revealed soon.

Exciting, new heritage-based research projects are being conducted throughout the Islands. You can look

forward to reading more about these programs in future editions of Astrolabe.

In the following pages, “Casualties of War” looks at impacts of the American Revolution on the

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos through the migration of the Loyalists. You will also learn about the efforts

to digitize historic records housed by the Turks & Caicos National Museum and the importance of the

establishment of a National Archives. a

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astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

This monument in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada is dedicated to the United Empire Loyalists. “Neither confiscation of their property, the pitiless

persecution of their kinsmen in revolt, nor the galling chains of imprisonment could break their spirits, or divorce them from a loyalty almost

without parallel.”

Casualties of War

The Loyalists’ impact on the Turks & Caicos Islands.

By Dr. Charlene Kozy

Casualties of war usually are counted as members of the military. In the War for American Independence,

the casualty count included civilians that did not agree with the Revolution.

The Revolution was a minority movement. One-third of the population at the time were neutral, more

than one-third were rebellious and probably fewer than one-third remained loyal to Great Britain, their

Mother Country. These were the Loyalists. Just as refugees today are fleeing protracted wars in the Middle

East and seeking asylum elsewhere, the Loyalist exodus had profound, lasting effects on Canada, the

Bahamas and other islands in the West Indies, including the Turks & Caicos.

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astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Choosing sides

Historians estimate that 80,000 supporters of British rule

were driven out or fled from the Thirteen Colonies during

and after the War of Independence. Many Loyalists were

subjected to brutal and humiliating treatment such as tarring

and feathering and riding astride rails. Others were

imprisoned and some were hanged. Their property was

taken and they were sent into exile. Although the Peace

Treaty of 1783 that ended the war stated that confiscated

Loyalist property was to be restored, it did not happen.

Georgia was the last of the original Thirteen Colonies

to be established. Unlike the northern colonies founded

more than a century earlier, allegiance to Britain was

strong in Georgia where the inhabitants were quite

dependent on the Crown for frontier protection. Many

were relatively new immigrants or first- or second-generation

settlers. Their reluctance to join the Revolution is

understandable, as was the dread of what it might bring.

James Habersham, a prominent Georgian, wrote to a

friend in London in 1775 accurately predicting the state

of affairs yet to come to Georgia. He wrote:

“I would not choose to live here any longer than we

are in a state of proper subordination and under the

protection of Great Britain. However, I do wish that a permanent

line of government was drawn and pursued by

the mother and her children . . . otherwise I cannot think

of the event but with horror and grief.

Father against son, and son against father, and the

nearest relations and friends combating with each other!

I may say the truth, cutting each other’s throats.”

Habersham left Georgia shortly after writing the letter.

His three sons became active in the Revolutionary cause.

It is difficult to determine the number of Loyalist refugees

that left Georgia. At war’s end, American General

Anthony Wayne estimated 6,000 were waiting for transportation

to Canada and other territories promised by the

British. When concern heightened about the large number

of Loyalists moving to Canada it was recommended that

lands in the Bahamas be offered to the Loyalists because

the climate there was more similar to that of the southern

colonies. Lieutenant John Wilson, acting engineer, was

ordered to the Bahamas (including the Caicos Islands)

Among the mistreatment of Loyalists was the indignity of being “run out of town” on a rail.

ALMAY STOCK PHOTO

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 55


astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

to perform a general survey. He verified the availability

of lands and the capability of the soil for extensive

agricultural development. Between 1783 and 1785 the

population was increased in the Islands by 6,000 to 7,000

inhabitants of both races (one-fourth being slaves). Most

came from North and South Carolina and Georgia. A subsequent

royal proclamation stated intentions to purchase

lands in the Bahamas from the proprietors and gave

instruction on how to issue those lands.

Whither goest thou?

A study of the Alexander Wylly family illustrates the tragedies

of war. Alexander, with his brother Richard and

sister Hester, emigrated from Ireland to Georgia in 1750,

only 18 years after it was founded. Alexander, a planter,

served as Speaker of the House for several years. He and

Susanna Crook, his wife, had three children: Alexander

Campbell, William and Susanna. When war broke out

Alexander was a moderate and lost his position as

Speaker. Soon, he took a strong stand for the Crown,

but brother Richard, a lawyer, joined the Patriots. Both of

Alexander’s sons were students at Oxford, England when

the war started. They returned to Georgia to become captains

in Thomas Brown’s King’s Rangers, asserting their

undaunted loyalty to the British. The family, thus divided

by the war, would never reunite. Alexander moved to East

Florida and died soon after.

Alexander’s widow, Susanna Crook Wylly, her daughter

and sons joined the Loyalist exodus from Georgia and

the Carolinas to the Bahamas. This Loyalist ‘invasion” of

the Bahamas inevitably led to political and social clashes

with the long-established “old” British residents there.

Typical of most refugees, they tended to settle in groups

with common economic, family and geographic ties to

their past. A missionary observed that the “Conchs” (the

established inhabitants) were “poor, almost illiterate,

unchurched, and given to drinking and swearing” while

the Loyalists were “the gentry . . . who employ their leisure

hours in reading the works of Mandeville, Gibbon,

Voltaire, Rousseau and Hume,” and were brought up in the

North American school of modern politics. Consequently,

the two different cultures were in conflict.

More intolerance

William Wylly defined the major point of disagreement

between the Loyalists and the government: “It is only

This portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds depicts John Murray, Earl of

Dunmore, Governor of the Bahamas.

reasonable that the Loyalists be admitted to a share in

the Legislature.” The Board of American Loyalists was

organized in July, 1784. Their stated purpose was “to

prepare and maintain the Rights and Liberties for which

they had left their home and possessions . . . ” The British

Bahamians were not yet ready for these “extremists” who

wanted to change centuries of quasi-legal government.

A disputed election in 1784 climaxed the friction. The

Provost Marshall declared six old inhabitants elected,

even though Loyalist candidates had received the majority

of the votes. Following circulation of a paper protesting

the action of the Assembly, the Speaker ordered it

burned publically outside the Courtroom door. In 1787,

John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, the last Royal Governor of

Virginia, was appointed Governor of the Bahamas. The

Loyalists had become the stronger party but Dunmore

WIKIPEDIA

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astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Loyalist ruins still stand at Wade’s Green, North Caicos.

BARRY DRESSEL

followed the policy of his predecessor and would not dissolve

the disputed Assembly and have new elections. The

“Long Parliament” lasted eight more years until the end of

Dunmore’s administration.

Governor Dunmore, an experienced politician, found

a worthy adversary in William Wylly. Twenty-five years

his junior, a lawyer, and captain in the Georgia King’s

Rangers, William established his presence not as a ruffian

soldier, but as a man with positive political ideas and

capable statesmanship. He stated in his book, A Short

Account of the Bahamas, “newcomers [to the Bahamas]

who were accustomed to upright administration of law

were galled by that perversion of public justice.”

Wylly began his running fight against Dunmore, the

Assembly and the courts by describing the Assembly as

“composed of destitute, bankrupt, and habitual drunkards

of lowest description . . . four planters, not a merchant, nor

a lawyer, or any man of respectable property.” His attack

on the governor was equally bold. He called Dunmore

“obstinate and violent by nature . . . with a capacity below

mediocrity, little cultivated by education, ignorant of

the constitution of England . . . the lordly Despot of a

petty Clan . . . and the immorality of his private life less

reprehensible than the defects of his public character.”

Specifically, Wylly accused Dunmore of fathering a child

by a woman married to one of the Searchers of Customs.

Dunmore struck back at Wylly by having him arrested

on a charge of having called the Chief Justice “a damn’d

liar.” Wylly’s version was that the Chief Justice warned

him more than once to support the government more

loyally. The trial was a farce and the case dismissed on

the grounds of conflict of evidence.

Wylly’s finest hour was his anti-slavery stand in 1816.

By then, he was the Attorney General of the Bahamas

challenging the authority of master over slave. The case

involved a Negro woman named Sue. She was brought to

Nassau in 1809 by her master with a male Negro slave

named Sandy and a child that had been born to them in

Georgia. The master attempted to take Sue, Sandy and

the child back to Georgia. Evidently, Sue did not want to

return and Wylly ruled that she could not be taken. He

refused to appear before a Committee of the House to

explain his ruling and was arrested and imprisoned, then

released by order of the Chief Justice.

The Assembly, asserting its claim to superiority over

the Courts, declared the action of the Court unconstitutional.

A public meeting supported the action of the

Assembly. At a later meeting, the vindictive Assembly

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astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

voted not to grant salaries to William Wylly or to the

Justice of the General Court from the beginning of the

dispute or for future services. This case was of such

prominence that it became known as “the Wylly Affair.”

During this period, economic prosperity and expansion

assuaged political friction with the long-staple “sea

island” cotton produced on island plantations becoming

more profitable each year. All three of Alexander and

Susannah Crook Wylly’s children (William, Alexander

Campbell and Susannah) received 200-acre land grants

on North Caicos. There is no irrefutable evidence they

exercised these grants; however, on October 17, 1791,

Alexander Campbell along with John Ferguson, John

Lorimer and John Bell were appointed Justices of the Peace,

the only authority authorized to provide legal services

such as marriages, wills, etc. for the Loyalist residents of

the Caicos Islands. By a lengthy Act in 1799, the Turks

& Caicos Islands were granted seats in the Assembly at

Nassau. These Loyalists were undaunted in their zeal for

right, as they viewed it, and perhaps at another place or

time they might have been counted among the great men

of history.

Postscript

In 1776, after losing his position as Speaker and fearing

being “tarr’d and feathered” due to his loyalty to the

Crown, Alexander fled to East Florida (which was held by

the British but was not a colony). He eventually returned

to Savannah and died there in 1781, his death probably

“hasten’d by the troubles.” His widow lost their land by

confiscation. Records of the sales of confiscated lands

show heavy losses for the Wylly family: A house and lot

in Savannah that belonged to both William and Alexander

Wylly sold to Jacob Reed; a lot in Savannah that belonged

to William Wylly sold to Thomas Washington; 1,000 acres

that belonged to Alexander C. Wylly sold to the son of

James Habersham and another 150 acres of land sold to

Mordecai Sheftall.

Alexander Campbell Wylly and family eventually

returned to Georgia and settled on St. Simon’s Island

where he was buried. Militancy seems to have run in the

family. During the American Civil War, in an ironic twist of

fate, his four grandsons took a rebel stand and fought for

the Confederacy rather than remaing “loyal” to the United

States. Three of them obtained the rank of Captain and all

suffered wounds during the war.

Loyalist Dr. John Lorimer’s tomb is near the settlement by that name

on Middle Caicos.

Susannah Wylly married John Anderson, a Loyalist

from Savannah. They tried to return to the continent

but a chilly reception caused them to go back to New

Providence where their tombstones in the Cemetery at

the old Church of St. Matthew in Nassau tell us John was

buried in 1838 and Susannah in 1845.

William Wylly, the most prominent member of the

family, married twice: Miss Matthews first and Miss Tyson

second. He moved to St. Vincent, probably following his

old friend Thomas Brown, who relocated there from the

Caicos Islands, and in 1822 became the Chief Justice. He

died three years later. a

Sources

Bailey, Thomas A., and David Kennedy, 1983. The

American Pageant—A History of the Republic.

Coakley, Robert W., and Stetson Conn, 1975. The War of

the American Revolution.

Center of Military History. United States Army.

Washington, D.C.

Kozy, Charlene, 1982. “A History of the Georgia Loyalists

and the Plantation Period in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

Dissertation, Middle Tennessee State University.

Peters, Thelma Peterson, 1960. “The American Loyalists

and the Plantation Period in the Bahama Islands.”

Dissertation, University of Florida.

DONALD H. KEITH

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astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

This is an example of a single scanned document in the Museum’s project to digitize the TCI’s archival heritage collections.

MICHAEL P. PATEMAN

One Page at a Time

Digitizing TCI’s archival heritage collections.

By Dr. Kelley Scudder-Temple, Dr. Michael P. Pateman and Vanessa Forbes-Pateman

Although occupied for more than 300 years, the Turks & Caicos Islands have been historically governed

from afar. This absence of direct governance has resulted in limited archival conservation measures, leaving

tens of thousands of rare documents in peril.

While the Turks & Caicos National Museum (TCNM) has made attempts to identify and stabilize these

documents, the absence of funding and conservation consultation resulted in digitization of only one

file—until recently. During the past two years, efforts have been made to digitize the most vulnerable and

essential documents in this collection. The digitization and dissemination of these archives will provide

researchers with new insight into these rare documents.

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astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Background

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Turks & Caicos

Islands were occupied by French, Spanish and English settlers,

with limited permanent settlements and virtually no

direct governance. It wasn’t until the late 18th century

that British Loyalists, with substantial numbers of slaves,

began to arrive and establish settlements throughout the

Islands. Given the country’s isolation and absence of a

centralized government during this time, rapidly deteriorating

archival materials are crucial to our understanding

of this period in the colonial history of the region.

Often referred to as “outlying islands,” archival

material from the TCI is scant, at best. The absence of

a central government repository, natural disasters and

neglect has resulted in the loss of thousands of rare

documents. Many of these documents, such as personal

correspondences, registers of births, baptisms, burials,

land grants, etc., can provide a great deal of insight into

the lives of those who were marginalized and enslaved in

this outpost of the Caribbean. The digitization of these

materials provides academicians, officials and members

of the community with the opportunity to explore the

histories of those who have often been excluded from

mainstream publications.

A 1983 survey of colonial archives inventoried 2,000

titles, representing thousands of records. Shortly thereafter

these records were separated and placed in various

buildings throughout Grand Turk. During this time the

vast majority of those records were damaged beyond

recovery. Through the efforts of the TCNM—the only

institution in the Turks & Caicos Islands with a mandate

to collect and curate historical and cultural records—

nearly 50 linear feet were obtained (more than 50,000

documents). In 2010 an EAP 408–Pilot Project, “From

the brink: Identifying, collecting and digitizing records

of the Turks and Caicos Islands after the destruction of

Hurricane Ike,” surveyed and identified documents in the

TCNM archives, other government offices, churches and

private collections. Additional items were rescued from

a structurally unsound building, treated with UV, vacuumed,

stabilized and catalogued into the Museum. Only

one item was digitized under this pilot project, leaving

the remaining originals vulnerable to loss though natural

disaster or simple ongoing deterioration. Without a digital

record, damage to or destruction of these documents

would represent a major loss of the cultural history of the

Islands.

Dr. Michael Pateman establishes a digitization station in the Museum

Science Building.

British Library

Endangered Archives Programme

In 2016, the Zemi Foundation was awarded a British

Library Endangered Archives Grant to digitize various

documents held by the TCNM. The Endangered Archives

Programme (EAP) was established in 2004 to digitize and

make available to all, archival materials that are endangered,

damaged or at risk of destruction. Since that time,

millions of rare and endangered documents have been

scanned throughout the world and are now available

to all, free and online. This grant provided the National

Museum with a venue to identify and digitize documents

that were in peril.

The aim of the work supported by this grant was

to digitize archival collections held by the TCNM. This

included collections previously identified by EAP 408. An

additional aim was to raise awareness of the importance

of protecting historic documents and convey the significance

of the development of a National Archives in the

Turks & Caicos Islands.

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astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Project results

During the course of 24 months, staff from the Zemi

Foundation and the TCNM, along with university interns

and local volunteers, worked to digitize more than

15,000 documents. Training sessions were held for government

officials, museum staff and various members of

the community. The process of digitization was long and

arduous. Staff and volunteers worked around the clock

to ensure that documents most imperiled were identified

and documented with the utmost of care.

The documents digitized included birth, death and

baptismal records from the Anglican and Methodist

Churches, along with various government correspondences

(detailed below). The digitization of these

documents was crucial as many had disintegrated so

much that they could not be handled.

Government records digitized include correspondences

to and from the Colonial Office in the United

Kingdom and the Governor of Jamaica and minutes from

the Legislative and Executive Councils. These include:

Despatches to the Colonial Secretary (1850–1873)

Records of the Colonial Secretary (1859–1873)

Despatches to the Governor in Chief (1849–1860)

Legislative Council Records (1850–1895, 1926–1950)

Executive Council Records (1850–1873)

Parish Register Records (1822–1934)

Church Records

Prior to the creation of public register of records, the

Turks & Caicos did not require a civil registration of

recording births, deaths or marriages. The church records

are the only records containing this information. Church

records digitized comprise of:

Methodist Church Records (1839–1940)

Anglican Church Records (1799–1922)

Turks & Caicos residents from as far as Providenciales

assisted in the digitization process. Volunteers included

Hon. Josephine Connolly and the recently deceased

Lawrence Ben.

Opposite page from top: Volunteers learn the digitization process.

Reverend Archbold from the Salem Baptist Church and Dr. Kelley

Scudder-Temple examine rare church documents.

Michael Temple, Zemi Technical Director, and Vanessa Forbes-

Pateman, intern from Western Illinois University, painstakingly work

to digitize TCI records.

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 61


astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

PATRICIA SAXTON

This photo of the venerable Victoria Public Library on Grand Turk vividly depicts the dual effects of a major fire and Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Word quickly spread of the digitization project and

various members of the community visited the museum

to assess our efforts. Reverend Archbold from the Salem

Baptist Church on Grand Turk asked the team to conduct

a preliminary assessment of rare and endangered documents

held by the church. Documents were assessed,

digitized and stabilized to provide parishioners with

the opportunity to see, firsthand, how the conservation

process worked. We soon discovered that thousands of

documents are currently housed with various organizations

and individuals throughout the country seeking a

venue to preserve them. Unfortunately, limited funding

did not allow the team to digitize most of these documents.

Therefore, training and community inclusionary

measures played an integral role throughout the digitization

process. Members of staff, board of directors,

local volunteers (including politicians such as the former

Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, the leader of

the Opposition [who later became the Premier] and other

Members of Parliament) participated in digitization activities.

Why digitalize?

No organization is totally immune from disasters, either

by human action or the forces of nature. Disasters like

earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and fires are

world-wide occurrences. Many organizations assume they

will never experience a disaster, so they never develop a

strategy for preventing or responding to one.

A burst pipe, an electrical fire, pest infestation,

mold, improper storage or vandalism can wreak havoc

in archives, damaging or destroying records that are

irreplaceable. As seen recently in the Turks & Caicos,

hurricanes and fires can bring devastation to these rare

and endangered assets. During the course of this project,

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astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

three natural disasters affected the TCI’s historic records.

On March 9, 2017, a fire devastated the historic Victoria

Public Library, destroying all material held there, including

non-digitized historic documents. On September

7 and 14, 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria rampaged

through the Turks & Caicos Islands. While none of the

historic collections at the Museum were lost, they were

impacted as a result of no power at the TCNM Archives

for six weeks.

Most at risk for residents, government, businesses

and for archives are records that document individual

and collective memories, leading to “identity loss.”

Following a hurricane, secondary threats become evident.

Emergency power failures or electrical faults, leaks

or drainage problems or mishandling and human error

can all put these documents at risk. Imperiled records on

the Turks & Caicos Islands such as property deeds, birth

certificates and personal papers, as well as records documenting

rights and entitlements—such as National Health

Insurance and its benefits—are all crucial to individuals

and institutions throughout the county.

While the digitization of 15,000 documents may

seem like a lot, we have only begun to scratch the surface.

Hundreds of thousands of rare and endangered

documents can still be found throughout the country.

The National Museum is undergoing a comprehensive

reorganization under the direction of the new director,

Dr. Michael Pateman. These efforts include an expansion

of the library and the establishment of an on-site volunteer

digitization station.

Given recent events, the importance of the digitization

of rare and endangered documents cannot be

understated. We hope that in the near future, a National

Archives can be established to ensure that these rare and

endangered documents are digitized and preserved for

generations to come.

A National Archives can help connect families by providing

a resource for personal research and family history

discovery. For decades, even centuries, national governments

have gathered data that has substantive value to

researchers trying to improve quality of life. National

archival records have helped researchers and reformers

tackle topics as diverse as welfare, epidemiology, criminal

justice, educational reform, migration and immigration

and environmental affairs, to name just a few.

The school system can use digitized resources from

National Archives collections as educational resources for

their classes. There are limited details about this region

in history books. A National Archives encourages students

to delve into the professional papers of the Islands

political and civic leaders to find details about events or

people. The students who conduct research into the primary

documents of an island’s history begin asking more

questions about both history and current issues. a

We would like to recognize the efforts of the following

individuals and organizations who helped make this

digitization happen: The British Library Endangered

Archives Programme, the staff and volunteers of the Zemi

Foundation, the Turks & Caicos National Museum staff

and volunteers, interns Alex Temple and Vanessa Forbes-

Join the Museum

Become a Member of

the Turks & Caicos

National Museum and

receive a year’s subscription

to Times of the

Islands (which includes

Astrolabe), free admission to the Museum and other

benefits.

Senior (62+) $35

Individual $50

Family/Friend $100

Sponsor $250

Contributor $500

Partner $750

We have several options for joining:

• Visit the Museum at our Providenciales location at

The Village at Grace Bay or our Grand Turk location

in Guinep House on Front Street

• Visit our website at

www.tcmuseum.org/membership-support/.

*For U.S. residents, support of the Museum may be tax-deductible

if you join via Friends of the Turks & Caicos National

Museum, our affiliated institution and registered 501 (c) (3).

See our website for more details:

www.tcmuseum.org.

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 63


astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Museum matters

Emancipation Day

The event, “Honoring the Ancestors: Celebrating the

Spirit and Tenacity of the People of the Turks & Caicos

Islands,” was held at Cheshire Hall Plantation on August

1, 2018 to commemorate Emancipation Day. It was

organized by the TCI National Museum and National

Trust, in collaboration with the Department of Culture,

and coordinated by David Bowen.

Performances highlighted through song, poetry,

music and dance various elements of TCI’s rich cultural

heritage, attributed to an African ancestry. From the

sounds of the drumbeat by the Tuca Drummers to the

ripsaw music of the Sea Breeze Ripsaw Band to the folk

songs and dances done by David Bowen and the Tuca

Dancers, all were in full celebratory mode.

We travelled through time with Beth Atkins as she

read about the life of Mary Prince, a slave who for ten

years toiled in the salt pans in Grand Turk, and with

O’Brien Forbes and Levenia Bishop as they read slave

narratives. We listened to and sang along to Negro spirituals

sung by O’Brien Forbes.

Beth Atkins reads

about the slave, Mary

Prince.

Tuca Dancers perform a traditional dance.

Dominique Rolle, in his spoken word, took us on an

audible tour of Cheshire Hall Plantation to connect

Pateman and Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson.

past to present, being conscious of the historic significance

of the event’s venue. We reflected with “Twis

Flo” as he “preached” his thought-provoking poetry.

Stephen Wilson’s reenactment of the reading of the

Emancipation Act was captivating. In keeping with

the theme, Cora Malcolm eloquently recited Maya

Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise.”

The proceedings concluded after we all made a

reflective walk along the footpath of the historic cotton

plantation up to the ruins of the Great House. There,

Pastor Goldston Williams offered up prayers of thanksgiving

in remembrance of the ancestors and gave the

benediction.

Thank you to our sponsors FortisTCI, St. Monica’s

Anglican Church and Hon. Delroy Williams, along with

the teams of the Turks & Caicos National Museum,

Turks & Caicos National Trust and Department of

Culture and David Bowen. Thanks to the wonderful cast

for sharing their talents so that we could reflect and

celebrate this important event. Special thanks to all of

the attendees who took the time to come out and join

this “Emancipation Celebration.” a

Story & Photos By Candianne Williams

Living History Summer Camp 2018

We have come to the successful conclusion of our

second Museum Living History Summer Camp at our

location in Grace Bay, Providenciales. It was a week of

action-packed fun and learning that, according to the

campers, went by too quickly!

Artist Aysha Stephens

creates an Emancipation

painting.

Campers visited with elders at the Caicos Heritage

House to learn what it was like to grow up in the mid-

1900s in such a dwelling. Daphne Forbes taught the

children how to weave dried palm leaves, while Mary

Williams explained how to make scrap mats. Alishia

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astrolabe newsletter of the Turks & Caicos National Museum

Museum matters

Duncanson and her team from the Department of

Culture demonstrated the traditional art of knitting

fishing nets, a very important part of the maritime heritage

of these Islands.

Mary Williams teaches

campers how to

make scrap mats.

The Iguana mascot met the children at Little Water Cay.

The campers learned how to make fever grass iced

tea as well as the process of making grits. This involves

shelling the corn, grinding it, cleaning it using the fanner

basket and finally cooking it outdoors on a fire

made under three stones.

Farming was very much a part of the traditional TCI

lifestyle. Mario Smith of the Department of Agriculture

took the students to tour farms housing pigs, chickens,

goats and a variety of plants. Each child planted their

own okra plant to take home, and made a scrapbook to

document the plant’s progress.

Campers learned that because of the American

War of Independence, Loyalists settled in the Turks &

Caicos Islands to grow cotton. A tour of Cheshire Hall

Plantation helped put the pieces of history together.

From the Department of Environment & Coastal

Resources, B Naqqi Manco gave an interactive presentation

on the traditional uses of plants apart from

being a source of food. Previous generations had a

great knowledge of the plants and animals found in

the environment that helped them to survive. Amy

Avenant taught about indigenous animals and how to

coexist with them to ensure that they continue to survive.

Campers visited the Iguana Island Nature Reserve

on Little Water Cay to learn about the endangered Rock

Iguanas.

There were no shy campers in David Bowen’s traditional

music and dance session! They had a wonderful

dance party as Mr. Bowen played the drums and harmonica

and showed them the various traditional dance

moves. Cricket with Coach Daryl Pierre Louis was the

highlight of the final afternoon.

Thank you, Turks & Caicos Banking Company and

Donna Seim for being sponsors of the camp. Thanks

also to the Taxi Association, Executive Tours, Caribbean

Cruisin’, the National Trust, the TCI Departments

of Agriculture, Culture, and Environment & Coastal

The Turks & Caicos Taxi Association (at left “Skipper” Stubbs and

at right President Ron Higgs) helped transport campers.

Resources and the Cricket Association for making

this a wonderful experience. Thanks to the TCI Ruby

Association and Our Lady of Divine Providence Church

for assistance with facilities. To our facilitators, camp

coordinators and supervisors we say a special thank

you. And finally, thanks to the parents who entrusted

your children to us. We look forward to their participation

in our upcoming Children’s Club activities. a

Story & Photos By Candianne Williams

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 65


around the islands

Opposite page: Three-month-old Lily and her owner came to April’s

Spay Day, sponsored by the Wilcox Family.

Above: One-year-old Crystal and her owner Marlon took advantage

of SNiP’s services in July, 2018.

Making a Cut

New non-profit organization helps control stray animal population.

By Kathy Borsuk ~ Photos Courtesy SNiP

Even though I don’t own a dog or cat, the name “SNiP” (which stands for Spay Neuter Program Inc.) causes

me to cringe a bit in my inner parts. That’s until I remember how important these simple operations are

towards controlling the animal population in the Turks & Caicos Islands. In its first year alone, SNiP conducted

376 surgeries, preventing the birth of a huge number of unwanted puppies and kittens.

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 67


SNiP is one of those serendipitous gatherings of the

right people in the right time and place to do a world

of good. This independent, not-for-profit organization

was launched in early 2017 by a group of volunteers

from other local animal welfare organizations who were

looking for a better, more effective and humane way of

controlling the TCI’s free-roaming animal population.

In the past, free spay/neuter clinics were typically

conducted yearly, attempting to sterilize as many as

275 animals in a week. SNiP Directors Laurie McCann,

Wendy Ayer and Aimee Deziel were involved in these

efforts and, while effective, realized that they required

massive amounts of organization to secure a location

for the surgeries as well as transportation, lodging, food

and supplies for the volunteer veterinarians who traveled

from abroad.

The SNiP directors and many of their volunteers

have also volunteered at Potcake Place for years, where

unwanted animals are brought to be adopted by residents

and visitors. They felt frustration that it was often the

same owners bringing in puppies and refusing to sterilize

their animals. And although Potcake Place is responsible

for the annual adoption of 400 to 500 puppies, statistics

show that one unspayed female dog can produce 12 to

20 puppies in one year. In six years, her offspring can

produce more than 60,000 dogs! This underscored the

importance of starting at the top and sterilizing that one

female.

The need for an ongoing, year-round spay/neuter

program was clear. In early 2017, a new animal wellness

center—Bark & Bliss—opened in Providenciales, a project

backed by SNiP Director Aimee Deziel. Its full-time

veterinary team is led by Dr. Meghann Kruck, whose

experience includes running a low-income animal clinic

in Minneapolis, Minnesota for five years. In fact, Dr.

Meghann’s introduction to the Turks & Caicos came as a

result of her meeting Susan Blehr and volunteering at the

TCSPCA’s spay/neuter clinics. Aimee and Dr. Meghann

readily agreed to set aside time and space in the clinic

for weekly sterilization operations. Twa Marcelin and Wolf

lawyer Erica Krygsman became the fourth director, who

handles all legal matters for the NPO.

How does SNiP operate? Anyone who wants to spay

or neuter their pet, free-of-charge, no questions asked,

can contact SNiP by phone, on Facebook, or via email. A

volunteer will call them back and walk them through the

procedure. Laurie McCann explains, “The owner will drop

off their pet in the morning. The vet team examines the

animal to make sure they are healthy enough for surgery

Happy that the operation went well are Slax and his owner at January’s

Spay Day, sponsored by Turkberry.

and administers a flea/tick pill and for dogs, a distemper/Parvo

vaccine. Once the animal is anesthetized, the

surgery is completed in 15 minutes or less. They can go

home that evening unless they are an outside animal. In

that case, we hold them overnight, providing food, water

and shelter, so they can enjoy full recovery without being

bothered by the weather or other animals.”

Most owners typically only have to wait one to two

weeks maximum for their pet’s operation and, thanks

to sponsors and donations the entire process, including

drugs administered, is free!

One unspayed female dog can produce

12 - 20 puppies in one year

In 6 years her offspring can produce

more than 60,000 dogs

68 www.timespub.tc


Above: Working April’s Spay Day are the Bark & Bliss team and SNiP

volunteers (from left): Dr. Meghann Kruck, Lauren Hofland, Auriol

Lloyd-Wright, Lisa French, Wendy Ayer, Laurie McCann and Pauline

Eden.

Right: Snow is in recovery with her owners in March, 2018.

With June 21, 2018 marking SNiP’s first anniversary,

the group is proud to say that 376 successful

surgeries were performed (259 dogs and 117 cats). Pet

owners came from around Providenciales, with 65% being

Islanders and nearly 1/4 from Blue Hills.

The SNiP board of directors lauds the group’s sponsors.

Some, such as the Gansevoort Turks + Caicos,

sponsor a monthly spay day, which includes the purchase

of all the medicines and supplies. Others, including Villa

Renaissance, donate old sheets and towels and cash.

Some sponsors are condominium owners who are animal

lovers and want to give back to the community they so

much enjoy.

After Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the TCI in 2017,

14,000 pounds of dog food were donated to feed hungry

animals. As SNiP and other volunteers distributed

the food, they collected 300 names of pet owners who

wanted their animals sterilized. They were pleasantly

surprised, understanding that the Caribbean culture

(especially men) do not always agree with the procedure,

feeling that it undermines an animal’s virility and vitality!

SNiP’s efforts in the settlements also occasionally

cross into animal welfare territory. Laurie recalls going

into Leeward Palms to collect a dog for neutering and

finding another dog with a collar deeply embedded in the

flesh around its throat. Apparently, the owners had put

on the collar when the dog was a puppy but were not able

Please help to provide FREE spay & neuter to the animals of TCI

Free Spay Neuter Program

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 69


to catch it as it grew. Via Facebook, animal lovers pitched

in to help with his medical and ongoing care and his case

kickstarted the formation of SNiP’s Angel Fund, to help

similar pets in need.

Dr. Meghann is a perfect fit for SNiP. Besides being

talented, energetic and bubbling with enthusiasm for animals

and their owners, she has performed nearly 40,000

sterilizations in her career to date. She is excited to be

on-call 24 hours a day and able to provide a continuity

of care to pets in the Bark & Bliss full-service clinic. She

and Veterinary Technician Lauren Hofland have worked

together for many years. Besides their duties on Provo,

they regularly travel to Grand Turk, typically seeing as

many as 25 animals in a six hour day.

Resorts who are SNiP sponsors can take advantage

of a new program for stray cats. It involves setting up an

on-site feeding station, capturing and sterilizing the cats,

then returning them to the resort, where they are likely to

guard their food source and keep other strays away.

Both Laurie and Dr. Meghann are big on client education,

especially to the younger generation. They say, “It’s

important to take care of your pets. Making sure they

have the proper immunizations and treatments early on

will make them happier, healthier and more energetic.

Other pet owners will see the difference. When they are

spayed or neutered, males especially are more even-tempered

and less likely to roam or fight. It’s a win-win

situation.”

Having fewer stray animals improves tourism as well.

Laurie explains, “Many visitors are shocked when they see

free-roaming, skinny, sick, injured or dead animals in the

bush or on the roads. When you sterilize your animal, you

are doing your part to keep TCI ‘Beautiful by Nature.’”

Along with many private donors and a host of

hard-working and much-appreciated volunteers, SNiP corporate

supporters and sponsors to date are: Gansevoort

Turks + Caicos, Turkberry, Grace Bay Resorts, Villa

Renaissance, The Palms, The Sands, The Shore Club,

Tranquility Property Management, Island Bargains and

Save Dog Project. Additional Spay Day sponsorship opportunities

are available, with sponsors recognized through

social media and ongoing radio ads.

For more information, see contact details below. a

June 21, 2018 we celebrated our 1 year anniversary!

During our first year, we provided

376

23%

Blue Hills

69% 31%

FREE Spay & Neuter Surgeries

11%

Grace Bay

9%

Leeward

Leeward Palms

62%

38%

23%

South Dock

Five Cays

Chalk Sound

12%

Long Bay

Thank you to our Donors, Volunteers, Vet Team and pet owners

who participated during our first year.

To donate or learn more visit www.SNIPTCI.com

Free Spay Neuter Program

Spay Day Sponsorship inquiries can be

directed to donate@sniptci.com

70 www.timespub.tc


Speaking of

island pets,

Cake is a new

children’s

book by

Rebecca Crow.

It tells the

story of young

Nikolai, who

travels with

his parents on

a vacation to

the Turks &

Caicos Islands and ends up bringing home a potcake

he finds on the beach by Da Conch Shack. Nikolai and

his parents go to Potcake Place and, as part of their

K9 Rescue program, complete the paperwork and veterinary

examination that allow Cake to travel home

on the plane with Nicolai and his family.

It took a trip to Turks & Caicos in 2009 to inspire

author Rebecca Crow to write her first children’s

book. Cake is based on her family’s actual experience

with a potcake puppy by the same name. Real-life

“Cake” was from a litter of three-week-old puppies

that were left abandoned in a box at the doorstep

of Potcake Place. Through the K9 Rescue program,

Rebecca’s family was able to adopt and bring home

their dream dog.

“Potcakes”—so named because they were traditionally

fed from the remains of rice baked on the

bottom of pots—are considered the Islands’ native

breed. Most have sweet dispositions and loyal hearts,

but often don’t have a place to call home.

The Potcake Place K9 Rescue program was created

to help reduce the number of homeless pets.

They house between 50 and 70 strays and work with

local vets to provide these animals with vaccinations,

deworming and the approval of health tickets

for travel. Arrangements are also made to book an

adopted dog’s plane ride to their new home, to meet

the family at the airport or to arrange a transfer if

the family is not visiting the island. Potcake Place K9

Rescue keeps their doors open only by private donations

and volunteer workers’ generous help.

Rebecca Crow is donating 10% of all proceeds

from the sale of Cake back to Potcake Place K9

Rescue, in thanks for one of the greatest gifts her

family has ever received. a

urgent care • family medicine

URGENT CARE

WALK-IN CLINIC

AND WELLNESS CENTRE

• • •

(649) 941-5252

on site pharmacy

located adjacent graceway gourmet

Focused on the patient

The way medicine should be practiced

Food for Thought is a new charity set up to provide

daily breakfast to government school students –

starting with the primary schools in North Caicos,

Middle Caicos, South Caicos and Salt Cay.

We estimate that just $200 will allow us to provide

breakfast to one child for a whole school year.

If you would like to donate or learn more please

email foodforthoughttci@gmail.com

or visit our website foodforthoughttci.com

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 71


about the Islands

Map provided courtesy Wavey Line Publishing. Their navigation charts and decorative and historic maps of the Turks & Caicos Islands, the

Bahamas, and Hispaniola are available in shops throughout the Islands. Visit www.waveylinepublishing.com.

Where we are

The Turks & Caicos Islands lie some 575 miles southeast

of Miami — approximately 1 1/2 hours flying time — with

the Bahamas about 30 miles to the northwest and the

Dominican Republic some 100 miles to the southeast.

The country consists of two island groups separated

by the 22-mile wide Columbus Passage. To the west are

the Caicos Islands: West Caicos, Providenciales, North

Caicos, Middle Caicos, East Caicos, and South Caicos. To

the east are the Turks Islands: Grand Turk and Salt Cay.

The Turks & Caicos total 166 square miles of land

area on eight islands and 40 small cays. The country’s

population is approximately 40,000.

Getting here

There are international airports on Grand Turk, North

Caicos, Providenciales, and South Caicos, with domestic

airports on all of the islands except East Caicos.

At this time, all of the major international carriers

arrive and depart from Providenciales International

Airport. American Airlines flies from Miami, Charlotte and

New York/JFK. JetBlue Airways offers service from Fort

Lauderdale, Boston and New York/JFK. Southwest Airlines

travels to Fort Lauderdale. Delta Airlines flies from Atlanta

and New York/JFK. WestJet travels from Toronto. Air

Canada offer flights from Toronto. British Airways travels

from London/Gatwick via Antigua.

Bahamasair and InterCaribbean Airways fly to Nassau,

72 www.timespub.tc


Bahamas. Flights to: Antigua; Dominica; Cap Haitien

and Port Au Prince, Haiti; Kingston and Montego Bay,

Jamaica; Miami, Florida; Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo,

Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Lucia; St.

Maarten; Santiago, Cuba; and Tortola are available on

InterCaribbean Airways, while Caicos Express travels to

Cap Haitien daily. (Schedules are current as of September

2018 and subject to change.)

Inter-island service is provided by InterCaribbean

Airways, Caicos Express Airways and Global Airways. Sea

and air freight services operate from Florida.

Language

English.

Time zone

Eastern Standard Time (EST)/Daylight Savings Time

observed.

Currency

The United States dollar. The Treasury also issues a Turks

& Caicos crown and quarter. Travellers cheques in U.S.

dollars are widely accepted and other currency can be

changed at local banks. American Express, VISA, and

MasterCard are welcomed at many locations.

Climate

The average year-round temperature is 83ºF (28ºC). The

hottest months are September and October, when the

temperature can reach 90 to 95ºF (33 to 35ºC). However,

the consistent easterly trade winds temper the heat and

keep life comfortable.

Casual resort and leisure wear is accepted attire for

daytime; light sweaters or jackets may be necessary on

some breezy evenings. It’s wise to wear protective clothing

and a sunhat and use waterproof sunscreen when out

in the tropical sun.

Entry requirements

Passport. A valid onward or return ticket is also required.

Customs formalities

Visitors may bring in duty free for their own use one carton

of cigarettes or cigars, one bottle of liquor or wine,

and some perfume. The importation of all firearms including

those charged with compressed air without prior

approval in writing from the Commissioner of Police is

strictly forbidden. Spear guns, Hawaiian slings, controlled

drugs, and pornography are also illegal.

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 73


Returning residents may bring in $400 worth of

merchandise per person duty free. A duty of 10% to

60% is charged on most imported goods along with a

7% customs processing fee and forms a major source of

government revenue.

Transportation

A valid driver’s license from home is suitable when renting

vehicles. A government tax of 12% is levied on all

rental contracts. (Insurance is extra.) Driving is on the

left-hand side of the road, with traffic flow controlled by

round-abouts at major junctions. Please don’t drink and

drive! Taxis are abundant throughout the Islands and

many resorts offer shuttle service between popular visitor

areas. Scooter, motorcycle, and bicycle rentals are

also available.

Telecommunications

FLOW Ltd. provides land lines and superfast broadband

Internet service. Mobile service is on a LTE 4G network,

including pre and post-paid cellular phones. Most resorts

and some stores and restaurants offer wireless Internet

connection. Digicel operates mobile networks, with

a full suite of LTE 4G service. FLOW is the local carrier

for CDMA roaming on US networks such as Verizon and

Sprint. North American visitors with GSM cellular handsets

and wireless accounts with AT&T or Cingular can

arrange international roaming.

Electricity

120/240 volts, 60 Hz, suitable for all U.S. appliances.

Departure tax

US $20 for all persons two years and older, payable in

cash or traveller’s cheques. It is typically built into the

cost of your ticket.

Courier service

Delivery service is provided by FedEx, with offices on

Providenciales and Grand Turk, and DHL. UPS service is

limited to incoming delivery.

Postal service

The Post Office and Philatelic Bureau in Providenciales is

located downtown in Butterfield Square. In Grand Turk,

the Post Office is on Front Street, with the Philatelic

Bureau on Church Folly. The Islands are known for their

varied and colorful stamp issues.

Media

Multi-channel satellite television is received from the U.S.

and Canada and transmitted via cable or over the air.

Local station WIV-TV broadcasts on Channel 4 and Island

EyeTV on Channel 5. People’s Television offers 75 digitally

transmitted television stations, along with local news

and talk shows on Channel 8. There are also a number of

local radio stations, magazines, and newspapers.

Medical services

There are no endemic tropical diseases in TCI. There are

large, modern hospitals on Grand Turk and Providenciales.

Both hospitals offer a full range of services including:

24/7 emergency room, operating theaters, diagnostic

imaging, maternity suites, dialysis suites, blood bank,

physiotherapy, and dentistry.

In addition, several general practitioners operate in

the country, and there is a recompression chamber, along

with a number of private pharmacies.

Immigration

A resident’s permit is required to live in the Islands. A

work permit and business license are also required to

work and/or establish a business. These are generally

granted to those offering skills, experience, and qualifications

not widely available on the Islands. Priority is given

to enterprises that will provide employment and training

for T&C Islanders.

Government/Legal system

TCI is a British Crown colony. There is a Queen-appointed

Governor, HE Dr. John Freeman. He presides over an executive

council formed by the elected local government.

Lady Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson is the country’s first

woman premier, leading a majority People’s Democratic

Movement (PDM) House of Assembly.

The legal system is based upon English Common

Law and administered by a resident Chief Justice, Chief

Magistrate, and Deputy Magistrates. Judges of the Court

of Appeal visit the Islands twice a year and there is a final

Right of Appeal to Her Majesty’s Privy Council in London.

Taxes

There are currently no direct taxes on either income

or capital for individuals or companies. There are no

exchange controls. Indirect taxation comprises customs

duties and fees, stamp duty, taxes on accommodations,

restaurants, vehicle rentals, other services and gasoline,

as well as business license fees and departure taxes.

74 www.timespub.tc


Brew ad May 2017_Layout 1 5/11/17 10:51 AM Page 1

Economy

Historically, TCI’s economy relied on the export of salt.

Currently, tourism, the offshore finance industry, and

fishing generate the most private sector income. The

Islands’ main exports are lobster and conch, with the

world’s first commercial conch farm once operating on

Providenciales. Practically all consumer goods and foodstuffs

are imported.

The Turks & Caicos Islands are recognised as an

important offshore financial centre, offering services

such as company formation, offshore insurance, banking,

trusts, limited partnerships, and limited life companies.

The Financial Services Commission regulates the industry

and spearheads the development of offshore legislation.

People

Citizens of the Turks & Caicos Islands are termed

“Belongers” and are primarily descendants of African

slaves who were brought to the Islands to work on the

salt ponds and cotton plantations. The country’s large

expatriate population includes Canadians, Americans,

Brits and Europeans, along with Haitians, Jamaicans,

Dominicans, Bahamians, Indians, and Filipinos.

Churches

Churches are the center of community life and there

are many faiths represented in the Islands, including:

Adventist, Anglican, Assembly of God, Baha’i,

Baptist, Catholic, Church of God of Prophecy, Episcopal,

Faith Tabernacle Church of God, Jehovah’s Witnesses,

Methodist and Pentecostal. Visitors are always welcome.

Turk’s Head Brewery

Brewery Tours Monday-Friday

11AM, 1PM, 3PM

$15/pp

Enjoy a complimentary selection of local craft beer

after your tour!

Email tours@turksheadbeer.com

Call 649.941.3637 x 1005 to book

www.turksheadbrewery.tc

52 Universal Dr.

Providenciales, TCI

TOUR TASTE SHOP

All Natural &

Gluten Free

Pets

Incoming pets must have an import permit, veterinary

health certificate, vaccination certificate, and lab test

results to be submitted at the port of entry to obtain

clearance from the TCI Department of Agriculture, Animal

Health Services.

National symbols

The National Bird is the Brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis).

The National Plant is Island heather (Limonium

bahamense) found nowhere else in the world. The

National Tree is the Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea var.

bahamensis). The National Costume consists of white cotton

dresses tied at the waist for women and simple shirts

and loose pants for men, with straw hats. Colors representing

the various islands are displayed on the sleeves

and bases. The National Song is “This Land of Ours,” by

Made with family recipes that date back

centuries, Islander, the original Turks and

Caicos alcoholic ginger beer, is available on

Providenciales at the Graceway Gourmet and

the IGA, as well as local bars and restaurants.

www.islandergingerbeer.com

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 75


the late Rev. E.C. Howell, PhD. Peas and Hominy (Grits)

with Dry Conch is revered as symbolic island fare.

Going green

TCI Waste Disposal Services currently offers recycling services

through weekly collection of recyclable aluminum,

glass, and plastic. The TCI Environmental Club is spearheading

a campaign to eliminate single-use plastic bags.

Do your part by using a cloth bag whenever possible.

Keep TCI “Beautiful by Nature” by not littering!

Island Auto_Layout 1 12/12/17 12:49 PM Page 1

ISLAND AUTO RENTALS

For Quality & Reliable Service

& Competitive Prices

The Cruise Center, Grand Turk

Neville Adams

Tel: (649) 946-2042

Cell: (649) 232-0933 or (649) 231-4214

Email: nevilleadams@hotmail.com

Providenciales

Levoi Marshall

Cell: (649) 441-6737

Email: levoimarshall86@gmail.com

Web: islandautorentalstci.com

Recreation

Sporting activities are centered around the water. Visitors

can choose from deep-sea, reef, or bonefishing, sailing,

glass-bottom boat and semi-sub excursions, windsurfing,

waterskiing, parasailing, sea kayaking, snorkelling, scuba

diving, kiteboarding, stand up paddleboarding, and

beachcombing. Pristine reefs, abundant marine life, and

excellent visibility make TCI a world-class diving destination.

Tennis and golf—there is an 18 hole championship

course on Providenciales—are also popular.

The Islands are an ecotourist’s paradise. Visitors can

enjoy unspoilt wilderness and native flora and fauna in 33

national parks, nature reserves, sanctuaries, and areas of

historical interest. The National Trust provides trail guides

to several hiking trails, as well as guided tours of major

historical sites. There is an excellent national museum on

Grand Turk, with an auxillary branch on Providenciales. A

scheduled ferry and a selection of tour operators make it

easy to take day trips to the outer islands.

Other land-based activities include bicycling, horseback

riding and football (soccer). Personal trainers are

available to motivate you, working out of several fitness

centres. You will also find a variety of spa and body treatment

services.

Nightlife includes local bands playing island music

at bars and restaurants and some nightclubs. There is

a casino on Providenciales, along with many electronic

gaming parlours. Stargazing is extraordinary!

Shoppers will find Caribbean paintings, T-shirts,

sports and beachwear, and locally made handicrafts,

including straw work and conch crafts. Duty free outlets

sell liquor, jewellery, watches, perfume, leather goods,

crystal, china, cameras, electronics, brand-name clothing

and accessories, along with Cuban cigars. a

76 www.timespub.tc


where to stay

Grand Turk

range of daily rates

US$ (subject to change)

number of units

major credit cards

restaurant

bar

air conditioning

phone in unit

television in unit

kitchen in unit

laundry service

pool

on the beach

H

The Arches of Grand Turk – Tel 649 946 2941 190–210 4 • • • • • • •

Bohio Dive Resort – Tel 649 946 2135 • Web www.bohioresort.com 170–230 16 • • • • • • • •

Crabtree Apartments – Tel 978 270 1698 • Web www.GrandTurkVacationRental.com 210–250 3 • • • • • •

Manta House – Tel 649 946 1111 • Web www.grandturk-mantahouse.com 110–130 5 • • • • • • •

Osprey Beach Hotel – Tel 649 946 2666 • Web www.ospreybeachhotel.com 90–225 37 • • • • • • • • • •

Pelican House – Tel 649 246 6797 • Web www.pelicanhousegrandturk.com 110-130 3 • • • • •

Salt Raker Inn – Tel 649 946 2260 • Web www.saltrakerinn.com 55–140 13 • • • • • • •

Solomon Porches Guesthouse – Tel 649 946 2776/241 2937 • Fax 649 946 1984 75–100 3 • •

Middle Caicos

H

Dragon Cay Resort at Mudjin Harbour – Tel 649 344 4997 • Web www.dragoncayresort.com 325 8 • • • • • • • • •

North Caicos

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Bottle Creek Lodge – Tel 649 946 7080 • Web www.bottlecreeklodge.com 155–240 3 • •

Caicos Beach Condominiums – Tel 649 241 4778/786 338 9264 • Web www.caicosbeachcondos.com 159–299 8 • • • • • • • •

Cedar Palms Suites – Tel 649 946 7113/649 244 4186 • Web www.oceanbeach.tc 250–300 3 • • • • • • • • •

Flamingo’s Nest – Tel 649 946 7113/649 244 4186 • Web www.oceanbeach.tc 175–340 2 • • • • • • • •

Hollywood Beach Suites - Tel 800 551 2256/649 231 1020 • Web www.hollywoodbeachsuites.com 200–235 4 • • • • • •

JoAnne’s Bed & Breakfast - Tel 649 946 7301 • Web www.turksandcaicos.tc/joannesbnb 80–120 4 • • • •

Palmetto Villa – Tel 649 946 7113/649 244 4186 • Web www.oceanbeach.tc 225–250 1 • • • • • • • •

Pelican Beach Hotel - Tel 649 946 7112 • Web www.pelicanbeach.tc 125–165 14 • • • • • • • •

Pine Cay

H

The Meridian Club - Tel 649 946 7758/866 286 7993 • Web www.meridianclub.com 800–1300 13 • • • • • • •

Parrot Cay

H

COMO Parrot Cay Resort & Spa - Tel 649 946 7788/855 PARROTCAY • Web www.parrotcay.com 550–2850 65 • • • • • • • • • •

Providenciales

H

H

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Airport Inn – Tel 649 941 3514 • Web www.airportinntci.com. 140 18 • • • • • • •

The Alexandra Resort & Spa – Tel 800 704 9424/649 946 5807 • Web www.alexandraresort.com 280–420 99 • • • • • • • • •

The Atrium Resort – Tel 888 592 7885/649 333 0101 • Web www.theatriumresorttci.com 159–410 30 • • • • • • • •

Amanyara – Tel 866 941 8133/649 941 8133 • Web www.aman.com 1000–2100 73 • • • • • • • •

Aquamarine Beach Houses – Tel 649 231 4535/905 556 0278 • www.aquamarinebeachhouses.com 200–850 24 • • • • • • • •

Beaches Resort Villages & Spa – Tel 888-BEACHES/649 946 8000 • Web www.beaches.com 325–390AI 758 • • • • • • • • •

Beach House Turks & Caicos – Tel 649 946 5800 • Web www.beachchousetci.com 532–638 21 • • • • • • • • • •

BE Beach Enclave – Tel 888 434 3981 • Web www.beachenclave.com see web 24 • • • • • • • •

Blue Haven Resort & Marina – Tel 855 832 7667/649 946 9900 • Web www.bluehaventci.com 250–650 51 • • • • • • • • • •

Caribbean Paradise Inn – Tel 649 946 5020 • Web www.caribbeanparadiseinn.com 162–225 17 • • • • • • • •

Club Med Turkoise – Tel 800 258 2633/649 946 5500 • Web www.clubmed.com 120–225 290 • • • • • • • • •

Coral Gardens on Grace Bay – Tel 649 941 5497/800 787 9115 • Web www.coralgardensongracebay.com 199-449 32 • • • • • • • • • •

Gansevoort Turks + Caicos – Tel 888 844 5986/649 941 7555 • Web www.gansevoorttc.com 315–720 91 • • • • • • • • • •

Grace Bay Club - Tel 800 946 5757/649 946 5050 • Web www.gracebayclub.com 650–1750 75 • • • • • • • • • •

Grace Bay Suites – Tel 649 941 7447 • Web www.GraceBaySuites.com 99–195 24 • • • • • • • •

Harbour Club Villas – Tel 649 941 5748/305 434 8568 • Web www.harbourclubvillas.com 210–240 6 • • • • •

The Inn at Grace Bay – Tel 649 432 8633 • Web www.innatgracebay.com 179–379 48 • • • • • • •

Kokomo Botanical Gardens - Tel 649 941 3121• Web www.aliveandwellresorts.com 169–299 16 • • • • •

Le Vele - Tel 649 941 8800/888 272 4406 • Web www.leveleresort.com 303–630 22 • • • • • • • •

La Vista Azul – Tel 649 946 8522/866 519 9618 • Web www.lvaresort.com 215–375 78 • • • • • • •

The Lodgings – Tel 649 941 8107/242 6722 • Web www.hotelturksandcaicos.com 175–255 15 • • • • • •

Neptune Villas – Tel 649 331 4328 • Web www.neptunevillastci.com 150–400 10 • • • • • • • • •

Northwest Point Resort • Tel 649 941 5133 • Web www.northwestpointresort.com 196–550 49 • • • • • • • • • •

Ocean Club Resorts - Tel 800 457 8787/649 946 5880 • Web www.oceanclubresorts.com 180–690 191 • • • • • • • • • •

The Palms Turks & Caicos – Tel 649 946 8666/866 877 7256 • Web thepalmstc.com 595–1700 72 • • • • • • • • • •

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 77


where to stay

H

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Providenciales (continued)

Pelican Nest Villa – Tel 649 342 5731 • Web www.pelicannest.tc 429–857 2 • • • • • •

Point Grace – Tel 649 946 5096/888 209 5582 • Web www.pointgrace.com 424–1515 27 • • • • • • • • • •

Ports of Call Resort – Tel 888 678 3483/649 946 8888 • Web www.portsofcallresort.com 135–210 99 • • • • • • •

Queen Angel Resort – Tel 649 941 8771 • Web www.queenangelresort.com 150–575 56 • • • • • • • • •

Reef Residences at Grace Bay – Tel 800 532 8536 • Web www.reefresidence.com 275-385 24 • • • • • • •

The Regent Grand – Tel 877 288 3206/649 941 7770 • Web www.theregentgrand.com 495–1100 50 • • • • • • • • •

Royal West Indies Resort – Tel 800 332 4203/649 946 5004 • Web www.royalwestindies.com 180–695 92 • • • • • • • • • •

The Sands at Grace Bay – Tel 877 777 2637/649 946 5199 • Web www.thesandsresort.com 175–675 116 • • • • • • • • • •

Seven Stars Resort & Spa – Tel 866 570 7777/649 333 7777 – Web www.sevenstarsgracebay.com 365–2400 165 • • • • • • • • • •

The Shore Club – Tel 649 339 8000 – Web www.theshoreclubtc.com 465–4650 148 • • • • • • • • • •

Sibonné Beach Hotel – Tel 888 570 2861/649 946 5547 • Web www.sibonne.com 110–375 29 • • • • • • • •

The Somerset on Grace Bay – Tel 649 339 5900/888 386 8770 • Web www.thesomerset.com 350–1300 53 • • • • • • • • • •

The Tuscany – Tel 866 359 6466/649 941 4667 • Web www.thetuscanyresort.com 975–1300 30 • • • • • • • •

The Venetian – Tel 877 277 4793/649 941 3512 • Web www.thevenetiangracebay.com 695–1175 27 • • • • • • • •

Villa del Mar – Tel 877 345 4890/649 941 5160 • Web www.yourvilladelmar.com 190–440 42 • • • • • • •

Villa Mani – Tel 649 431 4444 • Web www.villamanitci.com 6500–9500 8 • • • • • • •

Villa Renaissance - Tel 649 431 8899 • Web www.villarenaissancebeachresort.com 295–650 36 • • • • • • • • •

The Villas at Blue Mountain – Tel 649 941 4255 • Web www.villasatbluemountain.com 1200–2500 3 • • • • • • • •

West Bay Club – Tel 855 749 5750/649 946 8550 • Web www.thewestbayclub.com 235–1163 46 • • • • • • • • • •

Windsong – Tel 649 333 7700/800 WINDSONG • Web www.windsongresort.com 275–925 50 • • • • • • • • •

range of daily rates

US$ (subject to change)

number of units

major credit cards

restaurant

bar

air conditioning

phone in unit

television in unit

kitchen in unit

laundry service

pool

on the beach

Salt Cay

Castaway – Salt Cay – Tel 772 713 9502 • Web www.castawayonsaltcay.com 175–265 4 • • • • •

Genesis Beach House – Tel 561 502 0901 • Web www.Genesisbeachhouse.com 1000–1200W 4 • • • • •

Pirate’s Hideaway B & B – Tel 800 289 5056/649 946 6909 • Web www.saltcay.tc 165–175 4 • • • • • • •

Salt Cay Beach House – Tel 772 713 9502 • Web www.saltcaybeachhouse.blogspot.com 799W 1 • • • • • •

Trade Winds Lodge – Tel 649 232 1009 • Web www.tradewinds.tc 925–1325W 5 • • • • •

Twilight Zone Cottage – Tel 772 713 9502 • Web www.twilightzonecottage.blogspot.com 499W 1 • • • •

The Villas of Salt Cay – Tel 772 713 9502 • Web www.villasofsaltcay.com 150–475 5 • • • • • • • •

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South Caicos

East Bay Resort – Tel 844 260 8328/649 232 6444 • Web eastbayresort.com 198–1775 86 • • • • • • • • • •

Sailrock South Caicos – Tel 800 929 7197 • Web sailrockresortcom 600–800 6 • • • • • • • • •

South Caicos Ocean & Beach Resort – Tel 877 774 5486/649 946 3219

Web southcaicos.oceanandbeachresort.com 120–275 24 • • • • •

Hotel & Tourism Association Member

Green Globe Certified

Rates (listed for doubles) do not include Government Accommodation Tax and Service Charge

classified ads

SCOOTER BOBS_Layout 1 8/8/18 10:57 AM Page GBC2017_Layout 1 2/16/17 9:10 AM Page 1

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78 www.timespub.tc


classified ads

Forbes Classified changes due_Layout 1 8/9/18 Pure 11:51 Bliss_Layout A 1 6/13/18 7:29 AM Page 1

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Times of the Islands Fall 2018 79


dining out – providenciales

Amanyara — Amanyara Resort. Tel: 941-8133. Light gourmet

cuisine with menu changing daily. Open 6 to 10 PM.

Angela’s Top O’ The Cove Deli — Suzie Turn, by NAPA.

Tel: 946-4694. New York-style delicatessen. Eat-in, carry-out,

catering. Open daily 7 AM to 5 PM; Sunday 7 AM to 2 PM.

Asú on the Beach — Alexandra Resort. Tel: 941-8888. Casual

Caribbean and popular international fare. Open daily for 7:30

AM to 10:30 PM. Service indoors, poolside, and at beach.

Baci Ristorante — Harbour Towne, Turtle Cove. Tel: 941-3044.

Waterfront Italian dining. Brick oven pizza. Popular bar. Open

for lunch Monday to Friday 12 to 2 PM and dinner nightly from

6 to 10 PM. Closed Sunday.

Bay Bistro — Sibonné Beach Hotel. Tel: 946-5396. Oceanfront

dining featuring creative international cuisine. Open daily

7 AM to 10 PM. Weekend brunch. Catering and special events.

Beaches Resort & Spa — The Bight. Tel: 946-8000.

All-inclusive resort. A variety of restaurants and bars on premises.

Non-guests can purchase a pass.

Bella Luna Ristorante — Glass House, Grace Bay Road. Tel:

946-5214. Fine Italian dining. Indoor or terrace seating above

tropical garden. Open daily from 5:30 PM. Closed Sunday. Lunch

and pizza in the garden. Private catering available.

Big Al’s Island Grill — Salt Mills Plaza. Tel: 941-3797. Wide

selection of burgers, steaks, salads, and wraps in a diner-like

setting. Open daily from 11 AM to 10 PM.

Bugaloo’s Conch Crawl — Five Cays. Tel: 941-3863. Fresh

local conch and seafood by the beach. Rum, buckets of beer,

live local bands. Open daily from 11 AM to late.

Cabana Beach Bar & Grill — Ocean Club. Tel: 946-5880.

Casual island fare, burgers, salads, snacks. Open daily from

7 AM to 10 PM. Tropical cocktails with a view of the sea.

Caicos Bakery — Caicos Café Plaza. Authentic French boulangerie.

Fresh-baked breads, rolls, croissants, muffins, quiche,

pastries, cakes. Open 7 AM to 4:30 PM daily except Sunday.

Caicos Café — Caicos Café Plaza. Tel: 946-5278.

Mediterranean specialties, grilled local seafood. Fine wines, dining

on the deck. Open 6 PM to 10 PM Monday to Saturday.

The Caravel Restaurant — Grace Bay Court. Tel: 941-5330.

Cozy restaurant offering island food with flair; famous for fish

tacos. Full bar. Open daily 5 to 10 PM, closed Thursday.

Chicken Chicken — Times Square, downtown Provo. Fast food,

fried chicken, native fare.

Chinson’s Grill Shack — Leeward Highway. Tel: 941-3533.

The Islands’ best jerk and barbecue, Jamaican pastries. Open

daily 8 AM to 10 PM; Friday to Midnight.

Club Med — Grace Bay Road. Tel: 946-5500. All-inclusive

resort. Buffet-style dining; live show and disco in the evenings.

Non-guests can purchase a daily pass.

Coco Bistro — Grace Bay Road. Tel: 946-5369. Continental

Caribbean cuisine by Chef Stuart Gray under a canopy of palms.

Serving dinner from 5:30 PM. Closed Monday. Look for the

Cocovan airstream lounge with garden seating or take-away.

Coconut Grove Restaurant & Lounge — Olympic Plaza,

Downtown. Tel: 247-5610. Casual native fare for residents and

tourists. Cracked conch, conch fritters, fried fish. Pool and game

room. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM.

Coyaba Restaurant — Caribbean Paradise Inn. Tel: 946-5186.

Contemporary Caribbean gourmet cuisine in a private tropical

garden setting. Extensive wine list. Dinner nightly from 6 to 10

PM. Closed Tuesday. Reservations recommended.

Crackpot Kitchen — Ports of Call. Tel: 2313336. Experience

the best of authentic Turks & Caicos and Caribbean cuisines

with local celebrity Chef Nik. Open daily 5 to 10 PM except

Thursday; Happy Hour 5 to 7 PM.

Da Conch Shack & RumBar — Blue Hills. Tel: 946-8877.

Island-fresh seafood from the ocean to your plate. Covered

beachfront dining for lunch and dinner daily from 11 AM.

Danny Buoy’s — Grace Bay Road. Tel: 946-5921. Traditional

American pub fare; imported draught beers. Open for lunch and

dinner daily from 11 AM. Happy Hour specials. Large screen TVs

for sporting events. Karaoke.

The Deck — Seven Stars Resort. Tel: 941-7777. All day dining

and cocktails by the water’s edge. Open daily 11 AM to 11 PM.

Live music Friday nights.

Drift — West Bay Club. Tel: 946-8550. Open-air beachfront dining.

Creatively used local ingredients. Full bar. Open daily.

Dune — Windsong Resort. Tel: 333-7700. Private beachfront

dining with limited availability. Fresh fare prepared to perfection.

Open daily.

El Catador Tapas & Bar — Regent Village. Tel: 244-1134.

Authentic Spanish tapas with a wide mix of cold and hot plates

meant for sharing. Fun and lively atmosphere. Open daily from

5 PM.

Element — LeVele Plaza. Tel: 348-6424. Contemporary, creative

cuisine in an elegant setting. Open for dinner Friday to

Wednesday 6:30 to 10:30 PM.

Fairways Bar & Grill — Provo Golf Club. Tel: 946-5833. Dine

overlooking the “greens.” Open for breakfast and lunch from 7

AM to 4 PM daily; Friday, Saturday and Sunday open until 8 PM.

Great Sunday brunch 9 AM to 3 PM.

Fire & Ice — Blue Haven Resort & Marina. Tel: 946-9900.

Drinks at the Ice Bar, dessert by the fire pits. South Americanmeets-Caribbean

flavors and spices. Open daily 5:30 to 9:30

PM. Closed Wednesday.

Fresh Bakery & Bistro — Atrium Resort. Tel: 345-4745.

Healthy European salads, soups, sandwiches, bakery, pies and

cakes. Gelato. Open daily 7 AM to 6 PM, closed Sunday.

Fresh Catch — Salt Mills Plaza. Tel: 243-3167. Authentic native

cuisine, from seafood to souse. All-you-can-eat seafood buffet

on Wednesday. Open daily 8 AM to 10 PM. Closed Sunday.

Carry-out available.

Garam Masala — Regent Village. Tel: 941-3292. Authentic

Indian cuisine, tandoori charcoal-oven specialties. Open daily

11:30 AM to 3 PM, 5:30 to 10 PM. Dine-in, take-out or delivery.

Giggles Ice Cream & Candy Parlour — Ports of Call &

Williams Storage. Tel: 941-7370. Cones, sundaes, shakes,

smoothies, “Gigglers,” ice cream pies and cakes. Pick ‘n’ mix

candies. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM.

Gilley’s Sky Lounge & Bar — At the airport. Tel: 946-4472.

Burgers, sandwiches, local food. Open daily 6 AM to 9 PM.

Grace’s Cottage — Point Grace Resort. Tel: 946-5096.

Elegant, gourmet Caribbean cuisine showcasing regional foods.

Extensive wine list. Gazebo seating under the stars or indoor

dining in a romantic gingerbread cottage. Serving dinner from

6 to 10 PM nightly. Reservations required. Native cuisine night

on Tuesday with live music.

80 www.timespub.tc


Grace Grill — Neptune Plaza. Tel: 332-3663. Simple fare with a

Latin flair. Steaks, burgers, vegetarian. Open daily to 10 PM.

Grill Rouge — Grace Bay Club. Tel: 946-5050. Al fresco bistro.

Diverse menu. Fun cocktails. Open daily for lunch Noon to 3 PM,

dinner to 9 PM.

Hemingways on the Beach — The Sands at Grace Bay. Tel:

941-8408. Casual beachfront bar and restaurant. Fresh fish,

pasta, sandwiches, salads and tropical drinks by the pool.

Oceanfront deck for great sunsets! Open 8 AM to 10 PM daily.

Hole in the Wall Restaurant & Bar — Williams Plaza, Old

Airport Road. Tel: 941-4136. Authentic Jamaican/Island cuisine

where the locals go. Full bar. A/C dining or outdoors on the

deck. Open daily 7 AM to 9 PM. Pick-up/delivery available.

Infiniti Restaurant & Raw Bar — Grace Bay Club. Tel: 946-

5050. Elegant beachfront dining for lunch and dinner. Gourmet

Euro/Caribbean cuisine; fine wines. Full bar and lounge.

Reservations required.

Island Raw — Le Petite Plaza. Tel: 346-5371. Vegan lifestyle

kitchen, offering fresh, organic, raw, vegan, gourmet. Open

Friday, Noon to 2 PM.

Island Conch Bar & Grill — Bight Cultural Market. Tel: 946-

8389. Caribbean and local cuisine. Open daily 11 AM to 9 PM.

Island Scoop — Grace Bay Plaza. Tel: 242-8511/243-5051.

21 flavors of ice cream made locally. Cones, smoothies, blizzards

and shakes. Open daily, 11 AM to 10 PM.

The Java Bar — Graceway Gourmet. Tel: 941-5000. Gourmet

café serving fresh baked desserts, sandwiches and coffee

delights. Open 7 AM to 8 PM daily.

Jack’s Fountain — Across from Casablanca Casino. Tel: 946-

5225. Seafood, steak, unique specialty items in a lively, relaxed

“beach bar” atmosphere. Open 7 AM to 10 PM daily.

Kalooki’s Grace Bay — Le Vele Plaza. Tel: 941-8388. The perfect

mix of sweet and spicy Caribbean flavors. New location in

Grace Bay. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM. Closed Thursday.

Kitchen 218 — Beach House, Lower Bight Road. Tel: 946-5800.

Caribbean cuisine with hints of French and Asian fusion and the

chef’s passion for fresh ingredients. Open 8 AM to 10 PM daily.

The Landing Bar & Kitchen — Grace Bay Road across from

Regent Village. Tel: 341-5856. Unique nautical setting for dinner

under the stars. Cocktails, fire pit. Open daily except Tuesday

5:30 to 10 PM.

Las Brisas — Neptune Villas, Chalk Sound. Tel: 946-5306.

Mediterranean/Caribbean cuisine with tapas, wine and full bar.

Terrace and gazebo dining overlooking Chalk Sound. Open daily

8 AM to 10 PM. Take-out available; private parties.

Le Bouchon du Village — Regent Village. Tel: 946-5234. A

taste of Paris. Sidewalk café with sandwiches, salads, tartines,

tapas, dinner specials, wine, cheese, dessert, coffees. Open

daily 11 AM. Closed Sunday.

Le Comptoir Francais — Regent Village. Tel: 946-5234.

French deli, bakery, wine shop. Open daily.

Lemon 2 Go Coffee — Ventura House. Tel: 941-4069.

Gourmet coffeehouse. Sandwiches, muffins, cookies, croissants,

yogurt, salads. Open Monday to Saturday 7:30 AM to 7 PM,

Sunday 9 AM to 1 PM.

The Lounge — Grace Bay Club. Tel: 946-5050. Decidedly hip

lounge. Caribbean-infused tapas, martinis, tropical cocktails,

world music and the finest sunset location in Providenciales.

Lupo — Regent Village. Tel: 431-5876. Authentic Italian

“comfort food.” Regional wine list. Dine in or take out readymade

gourmet meals. Open daily Noon to 3 PM; 6 to 10 PM.

Magnolia Restaurant & Wine Bar — Miramar Resort. Tel:

941-5108. International cuisine with island flavors, north shore

views. Open for dinner from 6 to 9:30 PM except Monday. Wine

bar opens at 4 PM.

Mango Reef — Turtle Cove. Tel: 946-8200. Fresh local flavors

and seafood, homemade desserts. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM.

Set price dinner on weekdays. Waterside deck, indoor or patio

dining. Tie-up to dock at Turtle Cove Marina.

Market Café — Blue Haven Resort. Tel: 946-9900. Gourmet

coffees, teas, frozen drinks; fresh breads and pastries; grab ‘n’

go salads, sandwiches, smoothies. Open daily 7 AM to 8 PM.

Mis Amigos Cocina Mexicana — Central Square. Tel: 946-

4229. A variety of traditional Mexican fare, including salads and

the best margaritas in town. Open daily.

Mother’s Pizza — Downtown Times Square. Tel: 941-4142.

Best pizza in the Turks & Caicos, available by the slice or the

island’s biggest “large.” Open daily 11 AM to 9 PM; to 10 PM on

Friday and Saturday; Noon to 8 PM on Sunday.

Mr. Groupers — Lower Bight and Sunset Ridge Hotel (near airport).

Tel: 242-6780. Serving fresh local seafood straight from

the sea. Open daily 10 AM to 10:30 PM, Sunday 3 to 11 PM.

Opus Wine • Bar • Grill — Ocean Club Plaza. Tel: 946-5885.

International menu with Caribbean flair. Fresh seafood. Serving

dinner nightly 6 to 10 PM. Indoor/outdoor dining. Conference

facility, events, catering.

Outback Steakhouse TCI — Regent Village. Unbeatable

steak cuts complemented by chicken, ribs, seafood, and pasta.

Generous portions, moderately priced, casual atmosphere. Open

Monday to Thursday 3 to 11 PM; Friday to Midnight; Saturday 1

PM to Midnight; Sunday 1 to 11 PM.

Parallel23 — The Palms Turks & Caicos. Tel: 946-8666. Pantropical

cuisine in a setting of casual elegance. Boutique wine

list. Al fresco or private dining room available. Open daily 6 to

10:30 PM.

The Patty Place — Behind Shining Stars; Le Petit Place, Blue

Hills. Tel: 246-9000. Authentic Jamaican patties and loaves. 18

flavors of Devon House ice cream. Open daily 9:30 AM to 10 PM.

Pavilion — The Somerset. Tel: 339-5900. Chef Brad offers a

global palate, interpreted locally. Seafood raw bar. Open daily

for breakfast, lunch, dinner; Sunday Prime Rib special.

Pelican Bay Restaurant & Bar — Royal West Indies Resort.

Tel: 941-2365/431-9101. Poolside restaurant and bar with

Caribbean, French and Asian fare. Breakfast, lunch, dinner daily

from 7:30 AM to 10 PM. Special events each week.

Pepper Town Café — Digicel Cinema, #4. Tel: 246-9237.

Native and Caribbean Dishes. Open daily except Sunday 11:30

AM to 7 PM. Island breakfast on Saturday at 7 AM.

Pizza Pizza — Grace Bay Plaza/Cinema Plaza. Tel: 941-

8010/941-3577. New York style specialty pizzas. Open daily

11:30 AM to 9:30 PM, weekends until 10 PM. Free delivery.

Provence — Le Vele Plaza. Tel: 946-4124. Traditional French

artisan-style cuisine. Fresh pasta, gelato, cheeses, charcuterie,

pastries, desserts. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Retreat Kitchen Vegetarian Café & Juice Bar — Ports of

Call. Tel: 432-2485. Fresh, organic, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free

fare. Fresh juices, daily lunch specials. Open for lunch

Monday to Saturday, 9 AM to 3 PM. Delivery available.

Rickie’s Flamingo Café — Between Ocean Club and Club Med.

Tel: 244-3231. Local fare and atmosphere right on the beach.

Best grouper sandwich and rum punch! Don’t miss Curry Fridays

and Beach BBQ Saturdays.

Times of the Islands Fall 2018 81


Salt Bar & Grill — Blue Haven Resort & Marina. Tel: 946-9900.

Outdoor seating overlooking the marina. Sandwiches, burgers,

salads, classic bar favorites. Open daily 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM.

Seven — Seven Stars Resort. Tel: 339-7777. Elevated contemporary

cuisine fused with TCI tradition. Open Monday to Saturday,

5:30 to 9:30 PM.

72ºWest — The Palms Turks & Caicos. Tel: 946-8666.

Beachside dining with a family-friendly, Caribbean-inspired

menu. Serving lunch daily; dinner seasonally.

Sharkbite Bar & Grill — Admiral’s Club at Turtle Cove. Tel:

941-5090. Varied menu; casual dining. Sports bar/slots. Open

daily from 11 AM to 2 AM.

Shay Café — Le Vele Plaza. Tel: 331-6349. Offering organic

coffees, teas, sandwiches, salads, soup, pastries, gelato, sorbetto,

smoothies, beer and wine. Open daily 7 AM to 7 PM.

Simone’s Bar & Grill — La Vista Azul. Tel: 331-3031. Serving

fresh seafood and local cuisine. Open daily 11 AM to 11 PM;

weekends 7 AM to 11 PM. Popular bar!

Skull Rock Cantina — Ports of Call. Tel: 941-4173. The place

for Tex-Mex; daily drink specials. Open daily, 8 AM to Midnight.

Solana! Restaurant — Ocean Club West. Tel: 946-5254.

Oceanfront dining from sushi to burgers. Teppanyaki and Sushi

Bar, engage with the chefs. Open daily 7:30 AM to 10 PM.

Somewhere Café & Lounge — Coral Gardens Resort. Tel:

941-8260. Casual dining with Tex-Mex flair right on the beach.

Cocktails, beers, specialty drinks. Open early to late daily.

Stelle — Gansevoort Turks + Caicos. Tel: 232-4444. Modern

Mediterranean cuisine featuring fresh fish and seafood. Open 6

to 10 PM daily, until 2 AM on Friday with DJ.

Sui-Ren — The Shore Club. Tel: 339-8000. Inspired flavors of

Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine with fresh seafood and organic

produce in a unique setting. Open daily.

Thai Orchid — The Regent Village. Tel: 946-4491. Authentic

Thai cuisine; over 60 choices! Dine in or carry out. Open for

lunch and dinner daily.

Three Brothers Restaurant — Town Center Mall, Downtown.

Tel: 232-4736. Seafood and native cuisine. Tuesday night buffet

dinner. Catering services. Open daily, 7 AM to 10 PM.

Tiki Hut Island Eatery — Dockside at Turtle Cove Inn. Tel:

941-5341. Imaginative sandwiches, salads, seafood, Black

Angus beef, pasta, pizzas, fish. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM.

Turkberry Frozen Yogurt — The Saltmills. Tel: 431-2233.

Frozen yogurt in a variety of flavors, with a large selection of

toppings. Custom donut bar. Open 11 AM to 11 PM daily.

Turks Kebab — At Craft Market on Sand Castle Drive. Tel: 431-

9964. Turkish and Mediterranean fare. Salads, falafel, gyros,

kebabs, hummus. Open for lunch and dinner.

Via Veneto — Ports of Call. Tel: 941-2372. Authentic Italian

dining in a stylish indoor/outdoor venue. Open from 5:30 PM to

late. Closed Thursday. Saturday is Pizza Night!

The Vix Bar & Grill — Regent Village. Tel: 941-4144. Highend,

island-inspired world cuisine, fine wines. Open daily for

breakfast, lunch and dinner. Available for meetings.

Yoshi’s Sushi & Grill — The Saltmills. Tel: 941-3374/431-

0012. Sushi bar menu plus Japanese cuisine. Open daily Noon

to 3 PM; 6 to 10 PM. Closed Sunday. Dine indoors or out. Carry

out available.

Zest! — Gansevoort Turks + Caicos. Tel: 232-4444. Lunch and

dinner beachfront. Taste of the Caribbean and Americas. Open

daily Noon to 5 PM; 6 to 9 PM. Fisherman’s night Wednesday. a

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MEET OUR NEWEST INNOVATION

We are driving towards an exciting energy future!

FortisTCI proudly introduces our Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle (EV) and Charging Station. . .a pilot project to

support our environmentally sustainable energy solutions for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

To learn more about this EV pilot project and our renewable energy programs, email us at:

renewableenergy@fortistci.com

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www.fortistci.com | 649-946-4313


LIVE BEACHFRONT

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We all have dreams, and they are as vast and varied as the world is wide. But they all start with

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