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Times of the Islands Fall 2020

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

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

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TIMES<br />

SAMPLING THE SOUL OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS FALL <strong>2020</strong> NO. 132<br />

OPTICS IN THE TROPICS<br />

Sights in <strong>the</strong> Sky<br />

CYCLING PARADISE<br />

New Bike Trail in North & Middle<br />

LUCAYAN LEGACIES<br />

Revisiting <strong>the</strong> Past<br />

OF THE<br />

ISLANDS


For Those Who Seek An<br />

Exceptional Vacation Home & Lifestyle<br />

We Are Available To Help You<br />

Navigate The Real Estate Process<br />

THE FINEST COLLECTION<br />

Condominium | Home & Villa | Land | New Development<br />

649.946.4474 | info@tcso<strong>the</strong>bysrealty.com | turksandcaicosSIR.com<br />

Venture House, Grace Bay | Resort Locations: Grace Bay Club and The Palms<br />

Each franchise is Independently Owned and Operated.


Enjoying A<br />

Family Vacation<br />

is one Thing...<br />

WORRY-FREE<br />

FUN & W<br />

PROTECTING THE HEALTH & SAFETY OF OUR GUESTS IS EVERYTHING.<br />

We know what you are asking yourself, “where is it safe for my family to go for a fun Caribbean vacation?” Well,<br />

you’ll be happy to know that <strong>the</strong> Platinum Protocol <strong>of</strong> Cleanliness has earned Beaches ® a 5-star rating with its<br />

guests. Toge<strong>the</strong>r with <strong>the</strong> extensive research from local health <strong>of</strong>ficials, <strong>the</strong> Center for Disease Control, and <strong>the</strong> World<br />

Health Organization, Beaches has instituted advanced hygiene practices across 18 key touchpoints, including a<br />

Triple-Check System that includes inspecting, cleaning, and sanitizing hard surfaces in common areas every 20<br />

minutes, adding auto-dispensing hand sanitizing stations throughout <strong>the</strong> resort, using hospital-grade disinfectants,<br />

electrostatic sprayers for advanced cleaning, UV-LED lighting equipment to inspect cleanliness, and air duct<br />

sanitization for each room before every guest arrives. Beaches is so committed to providing strict compliance and<br />

implementation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se safety protocols that we have created a dedicated Quality Inspection Team at each resort to<br />

make sure all safety measures are adhered to – so you can enjoy a worry-free family vacation with 100% peace <strong>of</strong> mind.<br />

For more information on our Platinum Protocol <strong>of</strong> Cleanliness, we invite you to visit https://www.beaches.com/cleanliness-protocols.<br />

BEACHES.COM l 1-800-BEACHES l OR CALL YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR<br />

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

@beachesresorts


contents<br />

Departments<br />

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

15 Getting to Know<br />

Benjamin and Dr. Martin Lu<strong>the</strong>r King<br />

By Diane Taylor ~ Artwork By Carol Kubie<br />

20 Eye on <strong>the</strong> Sky<br />

Optics in <strong>the</strong> Tropics<br />

By Paul Wilkerson<br />

22 Talking Taíno<br />

They’re Back!<br />

By Bill Keegan, Betsy Carlson<br />

& Michael Pateman<br />

Images By Theodore Morris<br />

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

85 Subscription Form<br />

86 Where to Stay<br />

88 Dining<br />

90 Classified Ads<br />

Features<br />

48 Welcome Back!<br />

How to Travel Gracefully During a Pandemic<br />

By Jayne Baker<br />

56 Cycling Paradise<br />

Mapping <strong>the</strong> North & Middle Caicos Cycle Trail<br />

By Jody Rathgeb<br />

Green Pages<br />

30 Sustainable Marine Management<br />

By Dr. Julian A. Tyne, Marcin Gorny,<br />

Lormeka Williams, Dr. Eric F. Salamanca,<br />

Luc Clerveaux and Tara Pelembe<br />

35 Flamingo Got Your Tongue?<br />

Story & Photos By Carmen Hoyt<br />

39 Sea Stars or Starfish?<br />

By Melissa Heres ~<br />

Photos By Anna Handte-Reinecker<br />

44 A Tale <strong>of</strong> Two <strong>Islands</strong><br />

By Ben Farmer & Ewa Krzyszczyk, Ph.D.<br />

Astrolabe<br />

64 Lucayan Legacies<br />

By Joanna Ostapkowicz ~<br />

Images By Merald Clark ©<br />

74 A Salty Mystery<br />

By Jeffrey Dodge<br />

4 www.timespub.tc<br />

TIMES<br />

OF THE<br />

SAMPLING THE SOUL OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS FALL 202 NO. 132<br />

ISLANDS<br />

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

Photographer Marta Morton was enjoying ano<strong>the</strong>r spectacular<br />

sunset on top <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ridge at Jim Hill, just by<br />

Harbour Club Villas. She turned around to take a look<br />

down <strong>the</strong> coastline and spotted this lovely scene—a<br />

picture-perfect clump <strong>of</strong> Old Man Cacti and <strong>the</strong> pastel<br />

colours <strong>of</strong> what she later learned were crepuscular rays<br />

(see page 18).<br />

For more <strong>of</strong> Marta’s images, turn <strong>the</strong> pages <strong>of</strong> this issue<br />

and visit www.harbourclubvillas.com.<br />

MARTA MORTON–WWW.HARBOURCLUBVILLAS.COM


TurksAndCaicosProperty.com<br />

Coral Sands - Steps from Grace Bay Beach<br />

Major Price Improvement! Coral Sands was renovated in 2013 and features 2,242 sq. ft <strong>of</strong> interior living<br />

space spread over two levels with three bedrooms, a master en-suite and two additional bathrooms.<br />

The property is ideal for buyers looking for a family home and also developers seeking to build additional<br />

villas on this large .93 <strong>of</strong> an acre prime site to meet <strong>the</strong> growing demand for vacation rental villas.<br />

Milestone - Grace Bay Beachfront<br />

US$1,250,000<br />

New to Market! Villa Milestone is a beautifully appointed Grace Bay beachfront property situated<br />

on a .70 <strong>of</strong> an acre lot located on Tranquility Lane in one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> best and highly sought after areas<br />

<strong>of</strong> Providenciales, Turks and Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. The villa is over 3,000 sq. ft. and currently operated a very<br />

successful 4 bedroom (all with full en suite bathrooms) Turks and Caicos vacation rental property.<br />

US$6,950,000<br />

Bernadette Hunt<br />

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

Bernadette@TurksAndCaicosProperty.com<br />

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

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

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

into a significant tourist destination. Based<br />

on independent figures her gross transaction<br />

numbers are unrivalled. Bernadette<br />

has listings on Providenciales, Pine Cay,<br />

Ambergris Cay, North and Middle Caicos<br />

and is delighted to work with sellers and<br />

buyers <strong>of</strong> homes, condos, commercial real<br />

estate and vacant undeveloped sites.<br />

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

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

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

Club West Resort and Ocean Club West<br />

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

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

earned over time through her dedication,<br />

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

personal experience as having practiced law<br />

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

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

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

her customers and developers on what to<br />

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

process.<br />

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

estate industry and her humor and energy<br />

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

Windsong Penthouse - Grace Bay Beachfront<br />

Major Price Improvement! This captivating Windsong Turks and Caicos penthouse is situated on coveted<br />

Grace Bay Beach on <strong>the</strong> east corner <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> resort. Suite 243 is a 4 bedroom deluxe condominium<br />

totaling 4,826 sq. ft. with stylish interiors as well as being beautifully designed and furnished. The unit<br />

features breathtaking beach and turquoise ocean views and a very spacious private ro<strong>of</strong>top terrance.<br />

Please contact Bernadette if you would like<br />

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

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

US$2,400,000


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

MARTA MORTON–WWW.HARBOURCLUBVILLAS.COM<br />

Our steadfast and talented “amateur” photographer Marta Morton captured <strong>the</strong>se exquisite images <strong>of</strong> a hummingbird on her nest in a cactus.<br />

Marta says that this precisely placed home was shared by two consecutive mo<strong>the</strong>r birds, with <strong>the</strong> new mama moving in and adding to <strong>the</strong> top<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> nest about a week after <strong>the</strong> original family flew <strong>of</strong>f.<br />

6 www.timespub.tc<br />

Life Among Thorns<br />

The saving grace <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> early days <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> COVID-19 pandemic was my naive belief that this would be THE unprecedented,<br />

unimaginable event that would bring people toge<strong>the</strong>r. We watched folks around <strong>the</strong> globe, from Italy to<br />

New York to Turks & Caicos, step up in thanks and gratitude to <strong>the</strong> essential workers who put <strong>the</strong>ir lives on <strong>the</strong> line<br />

every day. We remember <strong>the</strong> advertisements and public service announcements that urged people to stay at home,<br />

and later, to wear masks and social distance—making personal sacrifices for <strong>the</strong> good <strong>of</strong> all. I was quite encouraged<br />

that this catastrophe would erase <strong>the</strong> lines <strong>of</strong> division that seemed to be tatooed onto society. Then came <strong>the</strong> season<br />

<strong>of</strong> protest sparked by George Floyd’s death, and centuries <strong>of</strong> injustice and anger ignited like <strong>the</strong> wildfires burning in<br />

<strong>the</strong> US West.<br />

That event triggered a personal and poignant submission by long-time reader Diane Taylor, who, like me, found<br />

<strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> to be a place where love and acceptance usurped skin color. It also makes especially pertinent<br />

our two articles about <strong>the</strong> Lucayan Indians. As <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>’ first human settlers, <strong>the</strong>y suffered <strong>the</strong> “short stick”<br />

<strong>of</strong> injustice via disease and slavery brought about by <strong>the</strong> European explorers. Then, when history was written, <strong>the</strong><br />

“long stick” <strong>of</strong> misinformation diminished <strong>the</strong>m as a people and society. I’m pleased that our “Talking Taíno” column<br />

is returning, with each submission a step forward in declaring <strong>the</strong> truth about TCI’s first folk.<br />

So, <strong>the</strong> strange and disturbing year <strong>of</strong> <strong>2020</strong> continues . . . as we pray for worldwide healing in mind, body and<br />

soul as <strong>the</strong> wheels <strong>of</strong> change—more like gears with sharp teeth—grind on.<br />

Kathy Borsuk, Editor • timespub@tciway.tc • (649) 431-4788


Introducing <strong>the</strong> Boathouses<br />

The Boathouses at South Bank will be conveniently<br />

located on <strong>the</strong> marina waterfront with elevated<br />

water views, most with a private dock keeping<br />

your boat close at hand for when <strong>the</strong> ocean calls.<br />

Cleverly designed to maximize space and light,<br />

each is imbued with a warm, contemporary<br />

aes<strong>the</strong>tic as a 1, 2 or 3 bedroom layout. Managed<br />

by Grace Bay Resorts, <strong>the</strong> Boathouses will <strong>of</strong>fer<br />

<strong>the</strong> perfect balance <strong>of</strong> community, service, views<br />

and space.<br />

Prices starting from $795,000<br />

Register interest today at livesouthbank.com<br />

Developed by <strong>the</strong><br />

Windward Development Company<br />

www.windward.tc<br />

Brand partners:<br />

Managed by:<br />

For more information contact<br />

Nina Siegenthaler at 649.231.0707<br />

Joe Zahm at 649.231.6188<br />

or email: nina@tcso<strong>the</strong>bysrealty.com


Everything’s included<br />

for everyone!<br />

Now More Than Ever,<br />

Cleanliness & Safety<br />

Are Priority #1<br />

Voted <strong>the</strong> World’s<br />

#1 Family Resorts<br />

At Beaches ®<br />

Resorts in Jamaica,<br />

and Turks and Caicos, everyone<br />

in <strong>the</strong> family can create <strong>the</strong>ir own<br />

perfect day. For some, it’s <strong>the</strong> whitesand<br />

beaches and calm waters<br />

featuring unlimited land and water<br />

sports* including top equipment and<br />

expert instruction. For o<strong>the</strong>rs, it’s <strong>the</strong><br />

awesome waterparks, multiple rounds<br />

<strong>of</strong> golf*, fabulous restaurants and bars,<br />

and non-stop entertainment. It’s endless<br />

fun and memories for Generation Everyone.<br />

LAND AND WATER<br />

SPORTS* INCLUDED<br />

BEACHES<br />

TURKS & CAICOS<br />

SIGNATURE POOLS<br />

TM/© <strong>2020</strong> Sesame Workshop


THE LARGEST<br />

WATERPARKS<br />

IN THE CARIBBEAN<br />

The entire family is in for an adventure<br />

at our Pirates Island Waterparks. Kids <strong>of</strong><br />

all ages will be laughing, splashing, and<br />

having <strong>the</strong> time <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir lives with up to<br />

11 gigantic waterslides, <strong>the</strong> region’s only<br />

SurfStream ® Surf Simulator*, meandering<br />

lazy rivers, and water fun for <strong>the</strong> tiniest<br />

tots. It’s all-inclusive, all <strong>the</strong> time,<br />

anytime, all for Generation Everyone!<br />

LAZY RIVER<br />

WATERSLIDES<br />

SURF SIMULATOR*<br />

UP TO 21<br />

RESTAURANTS<br />

INCLUDED<br />

Since Beaches was created for<br />

everyone, our Master Chefs create<br />

extraordinary cuisine for every taste.<br />

Our culinary concierges can help with<br />

any special requests and please even<br />

<strong>the</strong> most finicky palates. Dine wherever<br />

and whenever with gourmet regional<br />

cuisines from around <strong>the</strong> world. From<br />

casual, to upscale, it’s all gourmet.<br />

MORE QUALITY<br />

INCLUSIONS<br />

THAN ANYONE IN THE WORLD<br />

Water Sports including Scuba Diving* • Caribbean’s<br />

Largest Waterparks with Huge Waterslides,<br />

Surf Simulator* and Lazy River • 5-Star Global<br />

Gourmet dining at up to 21 Restaurants per Resort<br />

• Exclusive Caribbean Adventure with Sesame<br />

Street ® • Xbox Play Lounges • Kids Camp & Teen<br />

Programs • Unlimited Premium Liquors • Free*<br />

Wedding • Family-Size Suites • English-trained<br />

Butlers • Caribbean’s Best Beaches • Tips, Taxes<br />

& Beaches Transfers* Included • Free Resort-<br />

Wide Wi-Fi • All-Inclusive. All <strong>the</strong> Time. Anytime.<br />

UNIQUE SUITES<br />

Jamaica • Turks & Caicos<br />

BEACHES.COM • 1-800-BEACHES<br />

or Call Your Travel Advisor<br />

@beachesresorts<br />

Voted World’s Best 22 Years in a<br />

Row at <strong>the</strong> World Travel Awards<br />

*Visit www.beaches.com/disclaimers/times<strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong>islandsfall<strong>2020</strong><br />

or call 1-800-BEACHES for important terms and conditions. Beaches ®<br />

is a registered trademark. Unique Vacations, Inc. is an affiliate <strong>of</strong><br />

Unique Travel Corp., <strong>the</strong> worldwide representative <strong>of</strong> Beaches Resorts.


YOUR FAMILY<br />

HAS BEEN AND<br />

WILL ALWAYS BE<br />

PRIORITY<br />

#1<br />

®<br />

BEACHES<br />

THE BRAND YOU CAN<br />

TRUST<br />

11<br />

SUITE<br />

CLEANING<br />

TOUCH<br />

POINTS<br />

PHYSICAL<br />

DISTANCING<br />

PRACTICES<br />

1<br />

In-Room Bars &<br />

C<strong>of</strong>fee/Tea Stations<br />

2 All Closet Accessories<br />

3 Air Duct<br />

4 Hard Surfaces<br />

5<br />

Television &<br />

All Electronics<br />

6 UV-Led Light<br />

WE’RE SAFEGUARDING YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME<br />

PRIVATE<br />

AIRPORT<br />

TRANSFERS<br />

NEW<br />

AT-HOME<br />

to<br />

IN-ROOM<br />

CHECK-IN<br />

GUESTS CAN NOW<br />

CHECK-IN ONLINE,<br />

LETTING THEM SKIP<br />

THE FRONT DESK AND<br />

GO DIRECTLY TO<br />

THEIR ROOM.<br />

7 Bed Frame & Furniture<br />

8<br />

BEACHES ONLY USES<br />

PRIVATE TRANSFERS FOR ALL GUESTS.<br />

As part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> FIVE-STAR LUXURY EXPERIENCE,<br />

Beaches guests are never left to fend for<br />

<strong>the</strong>mselves in crowded airports. Every guest is<br />

given access to <strong>the</strong> private lounge reserved for<br />

Beaches and Beaches guests only.<br />

Placement Of<br />

Anti-Bacterial Gels & Soaps<br />

9 Carpeting And Floors<br />

10 S<strong>of</strong>t Furnishings<br />

11 Bedding & Mattresses<br />

BATHROOM CLEANING TOUCH POINTS<br />

9<br />

Hand Sanitizers For All<br />

1<br />

Guests Upon Arrival<br />

Placement Of Anti-Bacterial<br />

2<br />

Gels And Soaps<br />

3 Floors<br />

4 Electrical Aerosol Sprayers<br />

5 Shower<br />

6 UV-LED Light<br />

7<br />

SAFETY<br />

TO EVERY CORNER OF THE RESORT<br />

Tub<br />

8 Air Duct<br />

EXCLUSIVE<br />

A<br />

9 Hard Surfaces<br />

that<br />

I R P O R T<br />

SPANS<br />

PRIVATE<br />

L O U N G E S<br />

TEMPERATURE<br />

CHECK<br />

AT CHECK-IN<br />

TEMPERATURES<br />

EXCEEDING<br />

99.5F/37.5C<br />

WILL BE CONSIDERED<br />

OUT OF RANGE.


LEADING THE INDUSTRY IN HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS.<br />

ALWAYS.<br />

1 Arrival At Our Airport Lounges<br />

2 Guest Transfers To Our Resorts<br />

3 Food And Beverage Outlets<br />

4 Housekeeping & Laundry<br />

OUR<br />

TOUCH POINT PRACTICE<br />

5 Butler Elite Services<br />

6 Maintenance<br />

7 Resort Recreational Activities<br />

8 Guest Rooms<br />

9 Elevators<br />

10 Swimming Pools & Whirlpools<br />

11 Team Members Access Points<br />

12 Fitness Centers<br />

13 Bathrooms<br />

14 Suppliers<br />

15 All Public Resort & Beach Areas<br />

16 Back Of House Areas<br />

17 Red Lane ® Spa<br />

18 HVAC Systems<br />

safe<br />

to slide<br />

3X<br />

TRIPLE<br />

CHECK<br />

SYSTEM<br />

FOR CLEANING<br />

AND<br />

SANITIZATION<br />

Prevention is <strong>the</strong> key to safeguarding <strong>the</strong> health <strong>of</strong> our<br />

employees and guests. We long ago developed a sophisticated<br />

approach to preventing <strong>the</strong> spread <strong>of</strong> illnesses at our resorts<br />

under <strong>the</strong> guidance <strong>of</strong> medical pr<strong>of</strong>essionals, <strong>the</strong> Centers<br />

for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), World<br />

Health Organization (WHO), and <strong>the</strong> local Ministries<br />

<strong>of</strong> Health in each country we call home. We have<br />

dedicated Quality Inspection Teams and environmental<br />

health and safety managers at all <strong>of</strong> our resorts to make<br />

sure every procedure is in place to protect every guest<br />

and team member. That even extends to our supply chain.<br />

Our resorts have always been equipped with full-service<br />

medical stations staffed daily with a registered nurse<br />

and 24/7 on-call medical personnel, but we’ve upgraded<br />

<strong>the</strong>se facilities to include <strong>the</strong> appropriate equipment and<br />

supplies needed to address new protocols. So you can book<br />

your clients’ next stay with us knowing that Beaches has<br />

always been <strong>the</strong> brand you can trust, and always will be.<br />

BEACHES.COM l 1-800-BEACHES<br />

Or Call Your Travel Advisor<br />

@beachesresorts<br />

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


TIMES<br />

MANAGING EDITOR<br />

Kathy Borsuk<br />

ADVERTISING MANAGER<br />

Claire Parrish<br />

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS<br />

Jayne Baker, Kathy Borsuk, Dr. Betsy Carlson,<br />

Luc Clerveaux, Jeffrey Dodge, Ben Farmer, Marcin Gorny,<br />

Melissa Heres, Carmen Hoyt, Dr. Bill Keegan,<br />

Dr. Ewa Krzyszczyk, Dr. Joanna Ostapkowicz, Claire Parrish,<br />

Dr. Michael P. Pateman, Tara Pelembe, Jody Rathgeb,<br />

Marjorie Sadler, Dr. Eric F. Salamanca, Diane Taylor,<br />

Lisa Turnbow-Talbot, Dr. Julian A. Tyne,<br />

Paul Wilkerson, Lormeka Williams.<br />

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS<br />

Doug Camozzi–Caicos Cyclery, Ben Farmer, Kristen Grace,<br />

Anna Handte-Reinecker, Melissa Heres, Carmen Hoyt,<br />

Dr. Ewa Krzyszczyk, Carol Kubie, Melanie Lee-Brown,<br />

Agile LeVin, Marta Morton, Paradise Photography,<br />

Turks & Caicos National Museum,<br />

Lisa Turnbow-Talbot, Dr. Julian A. Tyne, Paul Wilkerson.<br />

CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS<br />

James W. Brown, Merald Clark, Theodore Morris,<br />

Wavey Line Publishing<br />

PRINTING<br />

PF Solutions, Miami, FL<br />

OF THE<br />

ISLANDS<br />

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

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

Copyright © <strong>2020</strong> by <strong>Times</strong> Publications Ltd. All rights reserved<br />

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

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

reproduced without written permission.<br />

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

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Call us today for a renewable energy consultation<br />

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14 www.timespub.tc


getting to know<br />

Carol Kubie painted this watercolor, “Boys on <strong>the</strong> Beach,” in 1997 <strong>of</strong> Neville Missick and Benjamin Taylor. Carol and Diane Taylor worked<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r at <strong>the</strong> Conch Farm in Providenciales and remain friends to this day.<br />

CAROL KUBIE<br />

Benjamin and<br />

Dr. Martin Lu<strong>the</strong>r King<br />

A dream <strong>of</strong> racial reconciliation.<br />

By Diane Taylor<br />

Let me tell you about my son Benjamin and Dr. Martin Lu<strong>the</strong>r King, and how I came to write <strong>the</strong> poem<br />

on <strong>the</strong> next page. And also why I am bringing <strong>the</strong> poem to light after it has been lying dormant with a<br />

collection <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r poems in a bottom drawer for <strong>the</strong> past 37 years, accessible to my eyes only.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 15


Most people come <strong>of</strong> age in <strong>the</strong>ir teens. I came <strong>of</strong> age<br />

during <strong>the</strong> Civil Rights Era <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1960s. I was well aware<br />

<strong>of</strong> Dr. Martin Lu<strong>the</strong>r King’s “I Have a Dream” speech when<br />

in 1964, I grabbed <strong>the</strong> chance to march with many o<strong>the</strong>rs<br />

down Yonge Street in Toronto against segregation<br />

in Selma, Alabama. Busloads <strong>of</strong> Canadians travelled to<br />

Selma to encourage Black voter registration—which had<br />

only recently become legal. It was my first year teaching.<br />

I was 22 years old.<br />

In his speech, Dr. King said he could see, “One day<br />

when little black children would walk hand in hand with<br />

little white children . . . ” He was shot and killed in 1968.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> early 1980s, I had <strong>the</strong> opportunity to live and<br />

work on a conch farm in a primarily Black community on<br />

a small island in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. By <strong>the</strong>n, I was<br />

<strong>the</strong> mo<strong>the</strong>r <strong>of</strong> a one-year-old. It was pure joy for me to see<br />

my little white child playing with little black children, living<br />

out Martin Lu<strong>the</strong>r King’s dream. In <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>, <strong>the</strong>re<br />

was <strong>the</strong> chance to right <strong>the</strong> wrongs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> past, to live<br />

life <strong>the</strong> way it should be lived, free from <strong>the</strong> prejudices<br />

<strong>of</strong> race and colour. It was a chance for our children to<br />

lead us to a brighter future, to rise from history’s pain.<br />

Everyone, black and white, loved Ben and I loved sharing<br />

him.<br />

I have a photo <strong>of</strong> little Ben playing in <strong>the</strong> sand with his<br />

young friend Nevil Missick. They are both 3 1/2 years old.<br />

The placid ocean is just a few feet away. They are both<br />

on <strong>the</strong>ir knees, bodies energetically engaged in a fantastic<br />

creation. Both have <strong>the</strong>ir weight on one arm Harbour while Club:Layout 1 8/17/16 10:16 AM Diane Page 1 Taylor<br />

<strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r arm is madly pulling sand into a castle that<br />

defies architectural logic, but is clearly amazing to <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

And <strong>the</strong>y had to be fast, for <strong>the</strong> sun was almost down<br />

on ano<strong>the</strong>r perfect day and <strong>the</strong>ir mo<strong>the</strong>rs would soon be<br />

taking <strong>the</strong>m home.<br />

Ben died not long after that photo. A Ben-less future<br />

was unimaginable and unacceptable. Poems were a way<br />

<strong>of</strong> connecting with his spirit and keeping him with me. I<br />

shared <strong>the</strong>m with family at <strong>the</strong> time, but not since. They<br />

are too tender a part <strong>of</strong> me to be casually shared.<br />

Then, George Floyd. After so many o<strong>the</strong>rs. That’s<br />

why this is <strong>the</strong> right time and <strong>the</strong> right place for <strong>the</strong> boy<br />

named Benjamin to emerge from <strong>the</strong> bottom drawer into<br />

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

Diane Taylor lived on Pine Cay for three years in <strong>the</strong> early<br />

1980s. She now teaches memoir writing and has published<br />

The Gift <strong>of</strong> Memoir: Show Up, Open Up, Write. She<br />

is part <strong>of</strong> Spirit <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Hills Writers. For more information,<br />

visit https://dianemtaylor.com.<br />

16 www.timespub.tc<br />

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For Martin Lu<strong>the</strong>r King<br />

She had a dream<br />

That one day<br />

Her little blond boy<br />

Would walk hand in hand<br />

With little black children.<br />

The dream came to pass.<br />

They walked hand in hand,<br />

Trekked island paths,<br />

Built castles in <strong>the</strong> sand,<br />

Ran Time into <strong>the</strong> ground.<br />

But, it turns out it’s Time,<br />

Noncommittal and cold,<br />

Does <strong>the</strong> running,<br />

And Time runs out,<br />

Into <strong>the</strong> costly cosmos.<br />

Dr. King? That little blond boy—<br />

Please take his hand in yours.<br />

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MARTA MORTON–WWW.HARBOURCLUBVILLAS.COM


eye on <strong>the</strong> sky<br />

Opposite page: Crepuscular rays can be seen throughout <strong>the</strong> year, late in <strong>the</strong> day towards sunset.<br />

Above: This image <strong>of</strong> a sunbeam was captured by <strong>the</strong> author in front <strong>of</strong> Ocean Club West on Grace Bay, Providenciales.<br />

PAUL WILKERSON<br />

Optics in <strong>the</strong> Tropics<br />

Awe-inspiring sights in <strong>the</strong> sky.<br />

By Paul Wilkerson<br />

Have you ever been outside on a late summer afternoon watching passing storms cruise by, only to see<br />

rays <strong>of</strong> sunshine raining down in mesmerizing streaks <strong>of</strong> light on <strong>the</strong> turquoise water below? How about<br />

staring at a towering cumulus cloud in <strong>the</strong> distance at sunset and being suddenly aware <strong>of</strong> a fan <strong>of</strong> brilliant<br />

rays? Or perhaps you are looking at <strong>the</strong> sun just as it sets and you glimpse some sort <strong>of</strong> green light<br />

in <strong>the</strong> moments just before <strong>the</strong> sun disappears? That all has to do with meteorological optics.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 19


Meteorological optics are patterns in <strong>the</strong> sky that are<br />

observable to <strong>the</strong> naked eye. Specifically, <strong>the</strong> interaction<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> visible light we see with water vapor and o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

particulates in <strong>the</strong> atmosphere. Sun angle has to do with<br />

<strong>the</strong> varying types <strong>of</strong> phenomena that we see in any given<br />

scenario as well.<br />

You will likely find that <strong>the</strong> majority <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se optics<br />

tend to occur when <strong>the</strong> sun is lower in <strong>the</strong> sky during<br />

<strong>the</strong> mid-morning and late afternoon/early evening hours.<br />

Lower sun angles allow for a longer stream <strong>of</strong> light to be<br />

seen by <strong>the</strong> human eye. Think <strong>of</strong> it like a flashlight. When<br />

a flashlight shines at an object that is close and at a 90º<br />

angle to <strong>the</strong> flashlight, <strong>the</strong> light will be focused intensely<br />

on that one spot with a short beam <strong>of</strong> light visible. Move<br />

<strong>the</strong> flashlight double/triple <strong>the</strong> distance away, and turn<br />

<strong>the</strong> object at a 45º angle to <strong>the</strong> flashlight and you will<br />

discover more <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> surface <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> object is illuminated,<br />

but with a s<strong>of</strong>ter focus, and a longer beam length that is<br />

visible to <strong>the</strong> eye. It is in similar setups where we get to<br />

see some <strong>of</strong> our coolest wea<strong>the</strong>r phenomena.<br />

During our time in Oklahoma, we lived in a community<br />

surrounded by winter wheat fields. We also sat in <strong>the</strong><br />

middle <strong>of</strong> “tornado alley,” which meant thunderstorms<br />

were a good bet on many days <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Spring and early<br />

Summer. I remember being outside and watching <strong>the</strong>se<br />

behemoths swallow <strong>the</strong> rolling hills in <strong>the</strong>ir dark, foreboding<br />

embrace. But on occasion, especially late in <strong>the</strong><br />

afternoon, I would be treated to a burst <strong>of</strong> light through<br />

<strong>the</strong> darkness thanks to holes in <strong>the</strong> cloud deck around <strong>the</strong><br />

thunderstorm. These are sunbeams. Thanks to varying<br />

amounts <strong>of</strong> water vapor in <strong>the</strong> atmosphere and <strong>the</strong> angle<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sun and depending on <strong>the</strong> time <strong>of</strong> day, <strong>the</strong>se rays<br />

pour down on <strong>the</strong> landscape below with varying intensity<br />

and beauty. They will appear quite wide at <strong>the</strong> base and<br />

narrow toward <strong>the</strong> source <strong>the</strong>y are focused through in<br />

<strong>the</strong> cloud. When occurring late in <strong>the</strong> afternoon, <strong>the</strong>se<br />

beams fill a much larger area over <strong>the</strong> surface, providing<br />

for a more spectacular effect. Be on <strong>the</strong> lookout for <strong>the</strong>se<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, as we have seen <strong>the</strong>se on<br />

North Caicos during periods <strong>of</strong> thunderstorms.<br />

More common throughout <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> during <strong>the</strong><br />

year are crepuscular rays. The word “crepuscular” comes<br />

from <strong>the</strong> Latin word crepusculum which means twilight.<br />

As <strong>the</strong> Latin meaning implies, <strong>the</strong>se rays tend to occur<br />

late in <strong>the</strong> day before sunset while <strong>the</strong> sun is low on <strong>the</strong><br />

horizon. In order for <strong>the</strong>se rays to be really noticeable,<br />

<strong>the</strong>re needs to be intermittent clouds between <strong>the</strong> viewer<br />

and <strong>the</strong> sun. How dramatic <strong>the</strong> effect is will be based on<br />

how close <strong>the</strong> clouds are to <strong>the</strong> observer. When clouds<br />

are quite close, <strong>the</strong> effect occurs nearly overhead in<br />

many cases and makes it harder to see/view. The best<br />

optics occur when <strong>the</strong> clouds are well out to sea with<br />

<strong>the</strong> sun setting behind <strong>the</strong>m. This is <strong>the</strong> time rays can<br />

be quite spectacular. As <strong>the</strong> sun hits <strong>the</strong>se clouds, shadows<br />

develop in <strong>the</strong> foreground <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> cloud, blocking<br />

out sections <strong>of</strong> light which allows for <strong>the</strong> appearance <strong>of</strong><br />

Spotting <strong>the</strong> elusive Green Flash as <strong>the</strong> sun sets over <strong>the</strong> ocean is a wonderous event.<br />

MARTA MORTON–WWW.HARBOURCLUBVILLAS.COM<br />

20 www.timespub.tc


Walkin May2017_Layout 1 5/28/17 5:45 PM Page 1<br />

streaks, or rays <strong>of</strong> light. If <strong>the</strong> clouds are <strong>of</strong> a smooth<br />

nature (stratus clouds), <strong>the</strong> effect is minimized, while<br />

cumuliform clouds tend to have more peaks and valleys<br />

at <strong>the</strong>ir tops, which maximizes <strong>the</strong> light/shadow contrast.<br />

Fur<strong>the</strong>r adding to this effect is <strong>the</strong> fact that sunlight is<br />

traveling through a much larger section <strong>of</strong> air, where <strong>the</strong><br />

wavelengths <strong>of</strong> light are being scattered more diffusely,<br />

resulting in more yellow and orange tones.<br />

Folks in <strong>the</strong> Caribbean and o<strong>the</strong>r areas with shoreline<br />

could be treated to ano<strong>the</strong>r phenomenon that is quite<br />

rare—<strong>the</strong> Green Flash. This is likely one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> most elusive<br />

<strong>of</strong> all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> optics we see in <strong>the</strong> wea<strong>the</strong>r world. If<br />

you have ever seen one, you are among <strong>the</strong> elite. The<br />

green flash occurs both at sunrise as well as sunset. It<br />

will always occur mere moments before <strong>the</strong> sun emerges<br />

from <strong>the</strong> horizon, or right as <strong>the</strong> top <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sun disappears<br />

beyond <strong>the</strong> horizon. It is important that <strong>the</strong> horizon<br />

be nearly completely flat. That is why people with large<br />

bodies <strong>of</strong> water to view across stand <strong>the</strong> greatest chance<br />

<strong>of</strong> seeing this phenomenon.<br />

This green flash occurs due to <strong>the</strong> refraction <strong>of</strong> sunlight<br />

at sunset where <strong>the</strong> light is passing through a much<br />

larger volume <strong>of</strong> atmosphere. The atmosphere bends <strong>the</strong><br />

sunlight passing through it, breaking it out into its different<br />

colors, much like a prism. The different colors <strong>of</strong><br />

light refract differently based on <strong>the</strong>ir wavelengths. The<br />

darker colors such as blue, green and violet are shorter<br />

wavelengths and refract more strongly than orange, yellow<br />

and red which are longer wavelengths. As blue and<br />

violet light are scattered, <strong>the</strong> red, yellow and orange are<br />

absorbed by <strong>the</strong> atmosphere. This leaves <strong>the</strong> green light<br />

as <strong>the</strong> most visible light for mere seconds as <strong>the</strong> sun<br />

disappears. When <strong>the</strong> sky is clear, <strong>the</strong>re is little haze, and<br />

good visibility, it is possible to see this wondrous event.<br />

Have you experienced any <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se phenomena on<br />

your outings in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>? The next time you are taking<br />

in a sunset on Grace Bay in Providenciales or Whitby<br />

Beach on North Caicos, try to make it a point to watch<br />

for <strong>the</strong> Green Flash or crepuscular rays. Break out your<br />

camera and see if you can capture it. Cloud watching and<br />

optical phenomenon-watching are activities that can be<br />

enjoyed safely all year. Take <strong>the</strong> opportunity to enjoy<br />

everything we have been gifted with in <strong>the</strong> heavens! a<br />

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Paul Wilkerson is an American meteorologist and tourist<br />

who frequents <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. Along with<br />

his wife and two daughters, <strong>the</strong> Wilkersons stay actively<br />

engaged with Islanders throughout <strong>the</strong> year with his<br />

Facebook page Turks and Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> Wea<strong>the</strong>r Info.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 21


ORIGINAL ARTWORK BY THEODORE MORRIS


talking taíno<br />

Opposite page and above: Artist Theodore Morris says, “While I cannot change history and right <strong>the</strong> wrongs that drove <strong>the</strong> Indians into extinction,<br />

through my paintings I honor <strong>the</strong>ir memories and help set <strong>the</strong> record straight.” This painting (original is one piece from left to right),<br />

“The Beginning <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> End,” depicts <strong>the</strong> innocence <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> native peoples <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Caribbean.<br />

ORIGINAL ARTWORK BY THEODORE MORRIS<br />

They’re Back!<br />

“Talking Taíno” authors return with a new take on an old tale.<br />

Hopefully <strong>the</strong> announcement that we’re back won’t cause flashbacks to <strong>the</strong> Steven Spielberg film<br />

“Poltergeist” (Fox/MGM, 1982). We are back, and this time we packed a suitcase. Between 2003 and 2007,<br />

Bill and Betsy wrote 20 essays under <strong>the</strong> banner “Talking Taíno” for <strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>, focusing on <strong>the</strong><br />

indigenous inhabitants <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lucayan islands. The Lucayans were <strong>the</strong> first inhabitants <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bahama<br />

archipelago (living <strong>the</strong>re from 1,400 to 500 years ago). Because <strong>the</strong> archipelago is today comprised <strong>of</strong> two<br />

countries—The Commonwealth <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bahamas and Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>—we follow <strong>the</strong> suggestion <strong>of</strong><br />

Commodore Tellis Be<strong>the</strong>l (Bahamas Defense Force) and refer to <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> with an anglicized version <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>ir Spanish name, “Las Islas de Los Lucayos.”<br />

By Bill Keegan, Betsy Carlson and Michael Pateman<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 23


After conducting archaeological research here for<br />

more than 40 years, we have a lot <strong>of</strong> stories to share.<br />

We wrote <strong>the</strong> first set <strong>of</strong> essays knowing that many <strong>of</strong><br />

you share our passion for <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> and <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>ten-fascinating<br />

stories <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> natural world. Our trope was using<br />

Taíno words recorded by <strong>the</strong> Spanish to view <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>,<br />

and all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir inhabitants, from a historic perspective.<br />

The problem is that surprisingly few Taíno words survive,<br />

and we eventually ran out <strong>of</strong> clever ideas for combining<br />

language and history.<br />

This time we have decided not to limit ourselves to<br />

<strong>the</strong> Taíno lexicon. Sometimes what you don’t say is more<br />

important than what you do say. For centuries, <strong>the</strong> native<br />

Caribbean was viewed only through <strong>the</strong> writings <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Spanish invaders. Yet archaeologists soon realized that<br />

<strong>the</strong> material evidence <strong>of</strong>ten did not match those depictions.<br />

In related studies <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> enslaved Africans who<br />

were brought to <strong>the</strong> Americas, <strong>the</strong> field <strong>of</strong> Historical<br />

Archaeology seeks to give voice to those who left no written<br />

records—those described by historian Michael Craton<br />

as <strong>the</strong> “invisible man.”<br />

Language, biology and comparisons with living peoples<br />

provide important clues. However, it is <strong>the</strong> objects,<br />

features, stains, chemical signatures and <strong>the</strong> ways <strong>the</strong>se<br />

are arranged in time and space that informs our detective<br />

work. These are <strong>the</strong> tools that allow archaeologists to<br />

write <strong>the</strong> past.<br />

We hope to make this an interactive column. We will<br />

not just report on research findings, but ra<strong>the</strong>r encourage<br />

you to become active participants in <strong>the</strong> research<br />

process. We have a number <strong>of</strong> new ideas. We want to<br />

know what you think, so please send us your thoughts by<br />

contacting <strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> at timespub@tciway.tc.<br />

As so <strong>of</strong>ten happens in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>, our latest project<br />

began in <strong>the</strong> aftermath <strong>of</strong> Hurricane Joaquin, a Category<br />

4 storm with sustained winds <strong>of</strong> 150 MPH, which parked<br />

itself over Long Island (central Bahamas) for three days<br />

at <strong>the</strong> beginning <strong>of</strong> October 2015. The results were devastating.<br />

Surveying <strong>the</strong> damage to Lowe’s Beach, local<br />

residents Nick Constantakis with Nick and Anthony<br />

Maillis found two skulls on <strong>the</strong> beach and evidence <strong>of</strong><br />

human bones protruding from <strong>the</strong> dune face. The human<br />

remains were Lucayans, and <strong>the</strong> discovery was reported<br />

to <strong>the</strong> Bahamas National Museum.<br />

A year later Michael and Bill were sent to investigate.<br />

The burial excavation that began in 2016 created its own<br />

whirlwind. The absence <strong>of</strong> artifacts in association with <strong>the</strong><br />

burials led to new surveys, new sites, new excavations<br />

and new questions. Much <strong>of</strong> what we found is unlike any-<br />

Theodore Morris’s painting, “The Fisherman,” shows a tribal member<br />

holding a sheepshead fish that he caught <strong>of</strong>fshore <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Dominican Republic.<br />

thing we expected. We will share <strong>the</strong>se results in future<br />

issues.<br />

The project had unanticipated consequences. Dr.<br />

24 www.timespub.tc


Keith Tinker, <strong>the</strong>n Director <strong>of</strong> The Bahamas Antiquities,<br />

Monuments and Museum Corporation, arranged several<br />

public lectures for us. He involved us in planning “The<br />

Lucayan Experience,” an outdoor exhibit at <strong>the</strong> Clifton<br />

National Heritage Park in Nassau. We also created an<br />

exhibit about <strong>the</strong> burial excavations for <strong>the</strong> Long Island<br />

ORIGINAL ARTWORK BY THEODORE MORRIS<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 25


COURTESY TURKS & CAICOS NATIONAL MUSEUM<br />

Dr. Michael Pateman is explaining <strong>the</strong> objects in <strong>the</strong> Lucayan Discovery Box suitcase with schoolchildren<br />

at <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum’s facility in Providenciales. The “hutia” stuffed animal (in<br />

his hands) is a fan favorite.<br />

Museum. But <strong>the</strong>se were just events. The Bahamas<br />

Ministry <strong>of</strong> Education (and <strong>the</strong> social sciences teachers)<br />

had bigger plans.<br />

Ms. Perelene Baker, Social Sciences Education Officer<br />

for <strong>the</strong> Bahamas Ministry <strong>of</strong> Education (BME) invited us to<br />

teacher workshops and asked us to update <strong>the</strong> curriculum<br />

for <strong>the</strong> Lucayan component <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> history curriculum.<br />

The history component <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bahamas Junior Certificate<br />

Examination (BJCE) lists eight topics concerning “Arawak<br />

Lifestyle” on which students are tested. The exams are<br />

written and graded in England, and have received limited<br />

local input. Thus, <strong>the</strong> long-held belief that <strong>the</strong> indigenous<br />

Lucayans were socially and culturally identical<br />

to <strong>the</strong> “Arawaks” (renamed Taínos in <strong>the</strong> 1980s) in <strong>the</strong><br />

Greater Antilles resulted in a very biased representation.<br />

Early Spanish depictions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> indigenous inhabitants <strong>of</strong><br />

Cuba and Hispaniola (Haiti and <strong>the</strong> Dominican Republic)<br />

came to represent life for <strong>the</strong> Lucayans, even if couched<br />

as a more rural expression. Yet beginning with Shaun<br />

Sullivan’s pioneering archaeological research in <strong>the</strong> TCI<br />

almost 50 years ago, a portrait has emerged <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> distinctive<br />

character <strong>of</strong> Lucayan lifeways. The Lucayans were<br />

unique. Our essays will highlight <strong>the</strong>ir uniqueness. But<br />

first, back to school.<br />

We were shocked by how<br />

outdated and <strong>of</strong>ten inaccurate<br />

<strong>the</strong> educational resources<br />

available to teachers are. For<br />

example, it is well known<br />

that <strong>the</strong> Lucayans flattened<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir foreheads; perhaps to<br />

enhance <strong>the</strong>ir beauty but certainly<br />

as a permanent marker<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir identity. One book<br />

illustrates this as an infant<br />

with <strong>the</strong>ir skull being pressed<br />

flat on a wood fulcrum that<br />

looks like some kind <strong>of</strong> medieval<br />

torture device. Yet, cranial<br />

modification is usually accomplished<br />

by tightly binding an<br />

infant’s head to a flat board<br />

on <strong>the</strong> back <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> skull with<br />

<strong>the</strong> equivalent <strong>of</strong> a bandana.<br />

About six months <strong>of</strong> binding<br />

is sufficient to reshape <strong>the</strong><br />

arrangement <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> six main<br />

cranial bones before <strong>the</strong> skull<br />

bones fuse. And with regard<br />

to “Arawak recreation,” no information, nothing, was discussed<br />

in any <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> classroom materials. (We’ll correct<br />

that in a future essay.)<br />

Michael and Bill prepared a Teacher’s Guide describing<br />

Lucayan lifeways which <strong>the</strong> BME distributed to every<br />

teacher, and which we carried into classrooms. Local<br />

interest and enthusiasm was inspiring. We did classroom<br />

visits and took students on Long Island to an archaeological<br />

dig; four schoolteachers from S. C. Bootle Secondary<br />

School in Coopers Town joined our team during fieldwork<br />

on Abaco and 250 middle and high school students<br />

attended a program on Grand Bahama. Additionally,<br />

PowerPoint was used to assist with <strong>the</strong> redevelopment<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos history curriculum through <strong>the</strong><br />

Department <strong>of</strong> Education and integrated into <strong>the</strong> Turks<br />

& Caicos National Museum’s Heritage Quiz sponsored by<br />

FortisTCI. We do <strong>the</strong>se programs when we can, but <strong>the</strong><br />

goal is to build local capacity and expertise.<br />

The piece de resistance came at <strong>the</strong> request <strong>of</strong> teachers<br />

during a workshop in Nassau. A variety <strong>of</strong> Lucayan<br />

artifacts were brought to <strong>the</strong> workshop to give <strong>the</strong> teachers<br />

a hands-on experience. Not surprisingly, <strong>the</strong> teachers<br />

wanted <strong>the</strong>se for <strong>the</strong>ir classrooms. So, we assembled<br />

a collection <strong>of</strong> about 50 Lucayan artifacts and modern<br />

26 www.timespub.tc


eplicas and packed <strong>the</strong>m in suitcases so <strong>the</strong>y could<br />

be transported safely and easily to schools across <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Islands</strong>. The untimely death <strong>of</strong> James Rowan, an archaeology<br />

enthusiast with a house on Long Island, provided <strong>the</strong><br />

funding. His wife Susan adopted <strong>the</strong> project as her husband’s<br />

memorial fund, with which four “James B. Rowan<br />

Lucayan Discovery Boxes” were produced. Currently,<br />

three are in The Bahamas and one in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos.<br />

More are planned.<br />

Artifacts recovered from archaeological excavations<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Lucayan <strong>Islands</strong> and Greater Antilles were included<br />

because <strong>the</strong>y do more good in <strong>the</strong> schools than <strong>the</strong>y do<br />

in museum drawers. Shell tools, coral tools, stone axes<br />

and clay pots help to illustrate what life was like without<br />

metal tools. Replica cemís (representations <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> spirits,<br />

also spelled zemi) <strong>of</strong>fer <strong>the</strong> starting point for discussing<br />

beliefs in <strong>the</strong> spirit world. A bow drill, which is used<br />

to make fire through friction, represents a “Lucayan fire<br />

box” found in a cave on Crooked Island. (When one enthusiastic<br />

student generated a thick plume <strong>of</strong> smoke at <strong>the</strong><br />

library on Grand Bahama, <strong>the</strong> librarian threatened to kick<br />

us out.) Face paint can be made by grinding red bixa<br />

seeds (a.k.a., annatto) in a wooden mortar.<br />

But perhaps <strong>the</strong> most popular item is a stuffed animal.<br />

Encountering live hutia in <strong>the</strong> wilds <strong>of</strong> Guantanamo<br />

Bay, Cuba made us realize that <strong>the</strong> common description<br />

for <strong>the</strong>se indigenous rats—“cat-size rodent”—did not do<br />

<strong>the</strong>m justice. It turns out <strong>the</strong>y sell a life-size stuffed animal<br />

hutia at Guantanamo because <strong>the</strong>y are so common<br />

on <strong>the</strong> Navy base. Elsewhere in Cuba <strong>the</strong>y are hunted and<br />

eaten. Still, learning that Bahamian hutia (Geocapromys<br />

ingrahami), which are now nearly extinct, were raised to<br />

be eaten is <strong>of</strong>ten a shock. We’ll spend some quality hutia<br />

time in a future essay.<br />

Maize (maíz in Taíno) and manioc (Manihot esculenta)<br />

were staple crops, and <strong>the</strong> tools used to process<br />

<strong>the</strong>m stimulate discussion <strong>of</strong> gardens, recipes and food.<br />

Cassava (casaba in Taíno) is <strong>the</strong> bread baked from manioc<br />

after transforming <strong>the</strong> tubers into flour. Special preparation<br />

techniques are required to make manioc edible—<strong>the</strong><br />

“bitter” tubers contain toxic cyanide. Manioc tubers were<br />

peeled, grated and squeezed to remove <strong>the</strong> cyanide. Our<br />

suitcase contains clamshell scrapers to peel <strong>the</strong> tubers<br />

and a modern cheese grater to create <strong>the</strong> pulp. Each<br />

suitcase also has an au<strong>the</strong>ntic “cassava squeezer” (called<br />

metapi in <strong>the</strong> Guianas), although <strong>the</strong>se were included<br />

more for show than use. The squeezer is a basket tube<br />

that is woven to constrict when pulled from both ends.<br />

The poisonous juices are extracted by squeezing <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 27


COURTESY KRISTEN GRACE, FLORIDA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY<br />

The contents <strong>of</strong> a James B. Rowan Discovery Box includes about 50 different ancient artifacts and modern replicas. See if you can find <strong>the</strong><br />

cassava squeezer, stone axe, clamshell scrapers, coral tools, shell tools, bow drill, griddle, calabash and our beloved “hutia.”<br />

TWATIMES_Layout 1 2/16/17 7:49 AM Page 1<br />

pulp. Au<strong>the</strong>ntic cassava squeezers like <strong>the</strong> ones in <strong>the</strong><br />

suitcases are rare and today are <strong>of</strong>ten made <strong>of</strong> plastic, but<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir use can be demonstrated with children’s “Chinese<br />

finger traps.” The diagonal weave pulls <strong>the</strong> ends closed<br />

such that fingers are stuck until <strong>the</strong> tension is released.<br />

It is far too easy to get squeezed into our own world<br />

and focus only on personal projects. Fortunately, teachers<br />

and students brought us back to reality. A lot has happened<br />

since we last wrote “Talking Taíno.” The time for<br />

a sequel has arrived. In coming issues we’ll explore new<br />

topics and revisit some from <strong>the</strong> past. The Lucayans share<br />

with you <strong>the</strong> same fragile islands. Learning from <strong>the</strong>m is a<br />

path that leads “Back to <strong>the</strong> Future” (Universal, 1985). a<br />

Serving international & domestic clients in real estate, property development,<br />

mortgages, corporate & commercial matters, immigration, & more.<br />

TEL 649.946.4261 TMW@TMWLAW.TC WWW.TWAMARCELINWOLF.COM<br />

Dr. Bill Keegan is Curator <strong>of</strong> Caribbean Archaeology at <strong>the</strong><br />

Florida Museum <strong>of</strong> Natural History (University <strong>of</strong> Florida);<br />

Dr. Betsy Carlson is Senior Archaeologist at Sou<strong>the</strong>astern<br />

Archaeological Research (SEARCH, Inc.) in Jonesville, FL;<br />

and Dr. Michael Pateman is former Director <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks<br />

& Caicos National Museum and currently Curator/Lab<br />

Director <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> AEX Maritime Museum on Grand Bahama.<br />

For more information, visit https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/science/bahamian-discovery-boxes/.<br />

28 www.timespub.tc


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green pages<br />

Newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Department <strong>of</strong> Environment & Coastal Resources<br />

Head <strong>of</strong>fice: Church Folly, Grand Turk, tel 649 946 2801 • fax 649 946 1895<br />

• Astwood Street, South Caicos, tel 649 946 3306 • fax 946 3710<br />

• National Environmental Centre, Lower Bight Road, Providenciales<br />

Parks Division, tel 649 941 5122 • fax 649 946 4793<br />

Fisheries Division, tel 649 946 4017 • fax 649 946 4793<br />

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

AGILE LEVIN<br />

Little Water Cay, a protected area, is home to <strong>the</strong> endemic Turks & Caicos Rock Iguana and beautiful Half Moon Bay.<br />

Sustainable Marine<br />

Management<br />

Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) tools for <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

By Dr. Julian A. Tyne 1,2 , Marcin Gorny 1,2 , Lormeka Williams 2 , Dr. Eric F. Salamanca 2 ,<br />

Luc Clerveaux 2 and Tara Pelembe 1<br />

It is <strong>the</strong> striking sandy white beaches and exquisite turquoise blue water, with its rich marine biodiversity,<br />

that attracts visitors wanting to experience <strong>the</strong> “Beautiful by Nature” Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> (TCI),<br />

and supports a thriving tourism industry. As a small island nation, <strong>the</strong> TCI’s marine environment is much<br />

larger than that <strong>of</strong> its terrestrial, and <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>’ population has formed close links to <strong>the</strong> sea that have<br />

been built up over generations.<br />

1<br />

South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI)<br />

2<br />

Department <strong>of</strong> Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR)<br />

30 www.timespub.tc


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

Habitat protection<br />

Many, if not all, livelihoods in <strong>the</strong> TCI in some way are<br />

highly dependent on <strong>the</strong> rich biodiversity and productivity<br />

that <strong>the</strong> marine environment provides. Habitats such<br />

as mangroves, coral reefs and seagrasses support important<br />

nurseries for marine life, including important fisheries<br />

species such as conch and lobster. These habitats also<br />

provide coastal protection from hurricane-induced storm<br />

surges.<br />

However, human use <strong>of</strong> coastal and marine resources<br />

<strong>of</strong> small island nations, such as <strong>the</strong> TCI, is placing growing—and<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten conflicting—demands on <strong>the</strong> marine<br />

environment. With <strong>the</strong> additional consequences <strong>of</strong> climate<br />

change, <strong>the</strong> marine environment is under increasing<br />

pressure that can threaten its health and <strong>the</strong> livelihoods<br />

<strong>of</strong> those that depend upon it.<br />

The Turks & Caicos Island Government (TCIG) has a<br />

number <strong>of</strong> departments (e.g. DECR, Tourism Department,<br />

Ports Authority, Police, Maritime and Shipping) that work<br />

in <strong>the</strong> marine environment—some <strong>of</strong> whom have management<br />

and/or enforcement functions. In addition,<br />

non-governmental organisations and <strong>the</strong> private sector<br />

also undertake activities in <strong>the</strong> marine space. The<br />

Department <strong>of</strong> Environment & Coastal Resources (DECR)<br />

is mandated to promote protection and sustainable utilization<br />

<strong>of</strong> natural resources throughout <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong>. Along this line, it is imperative to enhance <strong>the</strong><br />

strategic approach to address <strong>the</strong> challenges and issues<br />

to ensure sustainable use <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> marine resources.<br />

Protected areas have been implemented as part <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> TCI strategic plan since <strong>the</strong> 1980s. Marine Protected<br />

Areas (MPAs) were created to provide various levels <strong>of</strong><br />

protection and conservation for <strong>the</strong> natural capital <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

TCI. Specifically, it affords strategies for <strong>the</strong> management<br />

<strong>of</strong> marine resources for <strong>the</strong> benefit <strong>of</strong> tourism, fishing<br />

and boating.<br />

This is <strong>the</strong> Marine Spatial Planning Flowchart for Phase 1 <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> project.<br />

©SOUTH ATLANTIC ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 31


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

This is <strong>the</strong> Marine Spatial Planning WebGIS showing <strong>the</strong> TCI protected areas, depth contours, seagrass distribution and much more. It is available<br />

at https://www.gov.tc/decr/. Select “Programmes and Projects,” “MSP Project,” “Marine Spatial Planning Tool.”<br />

The TCI now has 35 protected areas consisting <strong>of</strong>:<br />

11 National Parks, 11 Nature Reserves, 4 Sanctuaries<br />

and 9 Areas <strong>of</strong> Historical Interest, all declared under<br />

<strong>the</strong> TCI National Parks Ordinance—28 <strong>of</strong> which have a<br />

marine component. With all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> different activities that<br />

are taking place in <strong>the</strong> marine environment, it is now a<br />

requirement to consider <strong>the</strong> marine space from a holistic<br />

perspective.<br />

Marine spatial planning<br />

In order to help sustainably manage <strong>the</strong> TCI’s marine environment<br />

and its uses, a collaborative effort by <strong>the</strong> South<br />

Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI), <strong>the</strong><br />

TCIG Department <strong>of</strong> Environment & Coastal Resources,<br />

<strong>the</strong> UK’s Joint Natural Conservation Committee (JNCC)<br />

and Economics for <strong>the</strong> Environment (eftec) is underway<br />

to develop Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) tools to feed<br />

into long term planning and decision making.<br />

As <strong>the</strong> name implies, MSP is spatial planning for <strong>the</strong><br />

ocean and is defined as “a public process <strong>of</strong> analysing<br />

and allocating <strong>the</strong> spatial and temporal distribution <strong>of</strong><br />

human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological,<br />

economic and social objectives that usually have been<br />

specified through a political process.” MSP is a stakeholder-driven,<br />

science-based process to develop a strategic<br />

plan for managing and protecting <strong>the</strong> marine environment,<br />

addressing multiple and cumulative uses <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sea<br />

and achieving ecological, economic and social objectives.<br />

The spatial component <strong>of</strong> MSP involves <strong>the</strong> collection<br />

and collation <strong>of</strong> multi-disciplinary data, in an accessible<br />

format and at multiple scales, from a number <strong>of</strong> sources.<br />

To house <strong>the</strong>se data, an island-wide information management<br />

system is being developed that will ensure all<br />

data required to effectively manage and monitor <strong>the</strong><br />

TCI’s marine environment is stored and accessible from<br />

a central location. Once identified, data for <strong>the</strong> marine<br />

environment will be collected, collated and loaded into<br />

a central information management system and GIS database.<br />

Using WebGIS, a GIS database interface that works<br />

through a web browser, <strong>the</strong> spatial and temporal information<br />

will be available online to <strong>the</strong> public at no cost. Data<br />

will be overlaid and used to identify overlaps between<br />

<strong>the</strong> marine environment and human uses and gaps in <strong>the</strong><br />

data that need to be filled.<br />

Getting involved<br />

Stakeholder engagement is central to <strong>the</strong> MSP process,<br />

as it serves to improve understanding and involvement in<br />

decision-making and governance which helps in <strong>the</strong> success<br />

<strong>of</strong> MSP projects. Four “Setting <strong>the</strong> Scene” stakeholder<br />

32 www.timespub.tc


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

Seagrass meadows around TCI stabilise <strong>the</strong> s<strong>of</strong>t sediment substrate, provide food and habitat for marine life, maintain water quality, absorb<br />

carbon and support local economies.<br />

workshops, with over 50 participants, were held on South<br />

Caicos, Grand Turk and Providenciales. The aim <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se<br />

workshops was to:<br />

• Inform stakeholders <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> existence <strong>of</strong> project and give<br />

<strong>the</strong>m background on <strong>the</strong> MSP process;<br />

• Share MSP examples from o<strong>the</strong>r overseas territories, to<br />

provide context for MSP in <strong>the</strong> TCI;<br />

• Discuss and identify what <strong>the</strong> stakeholders consider to<br />

be <strong>the</strong> important marine values <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI;<br />

• Allow stakeholders to share <strong>the</strong>ir overview, expertise,<br />

thoughts and vision for <strong>the</strong> MSP process in <strong>the</strong> TCI; and<br />

• Discover what data was currently available for <strong>the</strong><br />

marine environment on TCI.<br />

The workshop reports can be found at: https://www.<br />

gov.tc/decr/projects/msp/reports.<br />

top ten were chosen and fashioned into <strong>the</strong> following<br />

vision statement for <strong>the</strong> MSP TCI project:<br />

“Ensuring <strong>the</strong> marine and coastal environment and<br />

resources are well managed, collaboratively and<br />

equally, for sustainable development, safeguarding <strong>the</strong><br />

cultural heritage and providing education for future<br />

generations while maintaining <strong>the</strong> clean, green and<br />

pristine, beautiful by nature Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.”<br />

The MSP vision statement is in support <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI<br />

Constitution (2011) which states in section 18 that “The<br />

government shall, in all <strong>the</strong>ir decisions, have due regard<br />

to <strong>the</strong> need to foster and protect an environment that is<br />

not harmful to <strong>the</strong> health or well-being <strong>of</strong> present and<br />

future generations, while promoting justifiable economic<br />

and social development.”<br />

JULIAN TYNE<br />

Vision statement<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r output from <strong>the</strong> stakeholder workshops was<br />

a vision statement for <strong>the</strong> MSP TCI project. Of <strong>the</strong> 74<br />

words/phrases suggested by workshop participants, <strong>the</strong><br />

Coastal cultural values<br />

Cultural identity is strongly associated with <strong>the</strong> ways<br />

in which people interact with <strong>the</strong>ir coastal areas. A few<br />

coastal areas may have “universal” or “outstanding”<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 33


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

JULIAN TYNE<br />

Mangroves around TCI provide coastal protection from hurricane storm surge, absorb carbon and serve as valuable nursery habitats for <strong>the</strong><br />

rich biodiversity <strong>of</strong> marine life.<br />

values, but almost all coastal areas will be valued in multiple<br />

ways by those people who are closely associated<br />

with <strong>the</strong>m. Coastal Cultural Values are <strong>the</strong> nonmaterial<br />

benefits people obtain from coastal areas through spiritual<br />

enrichment, reflection, subsistence, recreation, and<br />

aes<strong>the</strong>tic experiences. Most Coastal Cultural Values are<br />

not directly observable in <strong>the</strong> physical landscape and are<br />

consequently poorly integrated with management plans.<br />

As part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> MSP project in TCI we aim to identify <strong>the</strong><br />

distribution <strong>of</strong> Coastal Cultural Values <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI and integrate<br />

<strong>the</strong>m into <strong>the</strong> management tools.<br />

This work will contribute to TCIG commitments that<br />

were established under <strong>the</strong> Environment Charters, TCI<br />

Vision 2040, <strong>the</strong> National Tourism Strategy and Policy,<br />

<strong>the</strong> National Disaster Management Plan and <strong>the</strong> National<br />

Physical Sustainable Development Plan (in preparation).<br />

The MSP project will fit within <strong>the</strong> TCI Environmental<br />

Strategy (in preparation) that is also being coordinated<br />

by <strong>the</strong> DECR with technical support from <strong>the</strong> UK’s JNCC.<br />

Moving forward, <strong>the</strong>re will be continued stakeholder<br />

engagement throughout <strong>the</strong> project for regular updates<br />

on <strong>the</strong> MSP progress and to garner feedback and input<br />

from stakeholders. The aim is that <strong>the</strong> MSP tools will show<br />

<strong>the</strong> spatial distribution <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> multiple and cumulative<br />

uses <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sea, to fur<strong>the</strong>r support <strong>the</strong> ecological, economic<br />

and social objectives <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> “Beautiful by Nature”<br />

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

If you are interested in finding out more about <strong>the</strong> MSP<br />

project in TCI, contact Dr. Julian A. Tyne at jtyne@saeri.<br />

ac.fk or <strong>the</strong> DECR at environment@gov.tc.<br />

This stingray is investigating <strong>the</strong> reef at Coral Gardens in<br />

Providenciales. Coral reefs are some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> most diverse ecosystems<br />

in <strong>the</strong> world, providing habitats for many marine organisms.<br />

JULIAN TYNE<br />

34 www.timespub.tc


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

These inch-long polka-dotted snails are quite common in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Flamingo Got Your Tongue?<br />

Let me tell you, nothing quiets a crowd faster than saying, “I love flamingo tongues!” Such an exclamation<br />

is usually met with some sideways stares and confused looks. Flamingo tongues, in this case, refer not<br />

to <strong>the</strong> lanky pink bird, but to a small marine snail that is <strong>of</strong>ten described as “cute” and “happy.” Don’t<br />

believe me? Take a look for yourself.<br />

The scoop on <strong>the</strong>se small marine snails.<br />

Story & Photos By Carmen Hoyt, Waterfront Assistant<br />

The School for Field Studies Center for Marine Resource Studies, South Caicos<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 35


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

Flamingo tongues (Cyphoma gibbosum) are mollusks,<br />

and <strong>the</strong>y abide by <strong>the</strong> status quo set by phylum<br />

Mollusca. Members <strong>of</strong> this phylum, for <strong>the</strong> most part, are<br />

characterized by s<strong>of</strong>t-bodied organisms protected by a<br />

shell, which is secreted by a membrane-like body part<br />

called <strong>the</strong> mantle. If you have one shell, like a snail, you<br />

are a univalve, and if you have two, like a clam, a bivalve.<br />

A few notable exceptions to this rule, however, are octopuses,<br />

who have entirely lost <strong>the</strong> development <strong>of</strong> a shell<br />

over time. Shell or not, <strong>the</strong>se organisms still have a distinguishable<br />

“head” region and a muscular “foot” <strong>the</strong>y use to<br />

move. Most mollusks, aside from bivalves, have a radula:<br />

a small tooth-like structure that is used to scrape food.<br />

Within <strong>the</strong> phylum Mollusca is <strong>the</strong> class Gastropoda.<br />

Gastropods are univalve mollusks that we recognize as<br />

snails (with a single shell) and slugs (without any shell),<br />

and <strong>the</strong>y represent about 80% <strong>of</strong> all mollusks. There are<br />

more than 62,000 species <strong>of</strong> gastropods, and <strong>the</strong>y have<br />

evolved to fit every ecological corner <strong>of</strong> our planet. From<br />

<strong>the</strong> deepest parts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ocean to <strong>the</strong> tops <strong>of</strong> mountains,<br />

<strong>the</strong>y can be found in virtually any environment and serve<br />

a host <strong>of</strong> purposes. A “Where’s Waldo” <strong>of</strong> sorts, <strong>the</strong> hunt<br />

for flamingo tongues sends you searching for an inchlong,<br />

polka-dotted snail scattered around coral reefs<br />

ra<strong>the</strong>r than for a man in a striped shirt. They are quite<br />

common here in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, and also<br />

occupy a range <strong>of</strong> waters from North Carolina all <strong>the</strong> way<br />

to nor<strong>the</strong>rn Brazil.<br />

The food <strong>of</strong> choice <strong>of</strong> flamingo tongues happens to<br />

be <strong>the</strong> same as <strong>the</strong>ir preferred habitat: s<strong>of</strong>t corals such<br />

as sea fans or sea rods, members <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Plexauridae<br />

family. Sea fans are wide, flexible planes <strong>of</strong> latticework<br />

supported by a trunk <strong>of</strong> sorts that anchors it to <strong>the</strong><br />

ground. They overlap in <strong>the</strong>ir distribution with <strong>the</strong> flamingo<br />

tongue, growing on reefs and rocky shorelines<br />

with heavy wave action. They grow perpendicular to <strong>the</strong><br />

waves to provide <strong>the</strong> least amount <strong>of</strong> resistance and avoid<br />

becoming detached. Purple sea fans (Gorgonia ventalina),<br />

as <strong>the</strong>ir name suggests, are usually an alluring shade <strong>of</strong><br />

purple that gives underwater photographers <strong>the</strong> perfect<br />

backdrop to <strong>the</strong> popular subject <strong>of</strong> choice. Flamingo<br />

tongues decorate sea fans and sea rods like ornaments<br />

on a Christmas tree, delicately hanging in place for all to<br />

adore.<br />

The food <strong>of</strong> choice <strong>of</strong> flamingo tongues happens to be <strong>the</strong> same as <strong>the</strong>ir preferred habitat: s<strong>of</strong>t corals such as sea fans or sea rods.<br />

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

Flamingo tongues use <strong>the</strong>ir tooth-like radula to<br />

scrape <strong>the</strong> top, living layer <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> coral for food, but <strong>the</strong><br />

leftovers don’t go to waste! After mating, female flamingo<br />

tongues will lay several capsules <strong>of</strong> eggs, each with up to<br />

300 embryos, in <strong>the</strong> structure <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> coral host left bare<br />

by grazing. This is likely because this region is free <strong>of</strong><br />

toxins that may o<strong>the</strong>rwise hurt <strong>the</strong> eggs. The eggs hatch<br />

after about 10 days and swim in <strong>the</strong> water column for an<br />

indeterminate amount <strong>of</strong> time before <strong>the</strong>y settle to <strong>the</strong><br />

corals and start <strong>the</strong> process over again, and <strong>the</strong> corals are<br />

able to grow back if not too heavily grazed.<br />

The flamingo tongue is a favorite <strong>of</strong> photographers<br />

and recreational divers alike, but to most shellers <strong>the</strong>y<br />

are deceiving. Those delicate orange spots that line <strong>the</strong><br />

shell are actually part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> snail’s body, <strong>the</strong> mantle,<br />

ra<strong>the</strong>r than <strong>the</strong> shell. This is why finding flamingo tongue<br />

shells can be ra<strong>the</strong>r disappointing, as <strong>the</strong>y are usually<br />

a plain cream or beige color. Their affinity for sea fans<br />

and o<strong>the</strong>r s<strong>of</strong>t corals has worked out to be advantageous:<br />

<strong>the</strong> toxins <strong>the</strong> corals produce for defense are consumed<br />

by <strong>the</strong> flamingo tongue and actually incorporated into<br />

its own defense system. Its flashy patterning is a way <strong>of</strong><br />

warning <strong>of</strong>f predators including hogfish, spiny lobsters<br />

and some pufferfish. Besides just providing a warning<br />

sign, <strong>the</strong> mantle acts as <strong>the</strong> lungs, exchanging carbon<br />

dioxide for oxygen in <strong>the</strong> water.<br />

Polka-dots may not be <strong>the</strong> only pattern you find.<br />

Previously thought to be three different species, <strong>the</strong>re are<br />

a couple <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r interesting but less common variations<br />

<strong>of</strong> flamingo tongues: <strong>the</strong> fingerprint flamingo tongue<br />

(C. signatum) and McGinty’s flamingo tongue (C. mcgintyi).<br />

The fingerprint flamingo tongue models an orange<br />

and black striped pattern while <strong>the</strong> McGinty’s flamingo<br />

tongue has smaller, darker spots that contrast with a<br />

whiter shell. A study conducted by Reijnen and van der<br />

Meij from <strong>the</strong> Naturalis and Oxford University Museum<br />

<strong>of</strong> Natural History in 2017 tested <strong>the</strong> genetics across<br />

all three types and found that <strong>the</strong>y are in fact <strong>the</strong> same<br />

species, despite slim differences in patterning, color and<br />

shape <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir shells.<br />

Everyone who encounters a flamingo tongue wants<br />

to get <strong>the</strong> perfect photo. Luckily, subjects such as <strong>the</strong>se<br />

don’t move much except for <strong>the</strong>ir flexible coral habitats.<br />

See <strong>the</strong> sidebar on <strong>the</strong> next page for tips on shooting<br />

photos underwater. Then, <strong>the</strong> next time you are met with<br />

confused looks when mentioning <strong>the</strong> flamingo tongue,<br />

The fingerprint flamingo tongue models an orange and black striped<br />

pattern.<br />

you can show <strong>of</strong>f a few <strong>of</strong> your new photographs. a<br />

For more information, contact SFS Center Director Heidi<br />

Hertler, PhD at hhertler@fieldstudies.org.<br />

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

Tips for photographing flamingo tongues<br />

Floating in space<br />

First and foremost, it is extremely important to practice<br />

good buoyancy. This means being aware <strong>of</strong> your<br />

position in <strong>the</strong> water column and not being too close<br />

to <strong>the</strong> coral. S<strong>of</strong>t corals like sea fans and sea rods grow<br />

up from reefs, so <strong>the</strong>y are more susceptible to collision<br />

with divers and snorkelers who are not paying attention<br />

to <strong>the</strong> direction <strong>the</strong>y are swimming. Touching <strong>the</strong> reef<br />

is never a good idea for your safety and for <strong>the</strong> safety<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> animals that live <strong>the</strong>re. Keeping careful track <strong>of</strong><br />

your movements and presence in <strong>the</strong> water around <strong>the</strong><br />

reef is <strong>the</strong> best way to prevent any unwanted interactions.<br />

Ready for <strong>the</strong> close-up<br />

Lastly, work <strong>the</strong> angles! Experiment. Try to find ways to<br />

present <strong>the</strong> flamingo tongue as more than just a shell.<br />

Perhaps part <strong>of</strong> its foot is showing, or maybe you are<br />

able to capture it from <strong>the</strong> underside. Macro lenses are<br />

your best bet with <strong>the</strong>ir tiny size, though many camera<br />

settings will allow you to set a macro focus without<br />

having to invest in additional equipment.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> School for Field Studies’ Center for Marine<br />

Resource Studies on South Caicos, students are able to<br />

get in <strong>the</strong>ir own practice behind <strong>the</strong> camera. Students<br />

taking <strong>the</strong> PADI Advanced Open Water SCUBA course<br />

Lights,<br />

camera, action!<br />

Look for flamingo<br />

tongues that are<br />

exposed to nice<br />

lighting. They typically<br />

live in depths<br />

<strong>of</strong> up to 45 feet,<br />

allowing for ample<br />

light especially in<br />

<strong>the</strong><br />

crystal-clear<br />

waters <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks<br />

& Caicos. You will<br />

want to find one<br />

that is not shielded<br />

by corals or o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

obstacles, so that<br />

both <strong>the</strong> light and<br />

your view is uninterrupted.<br />

Proper<br />

lighting is <strong>the</strong> best way to illuminate <strong>the</strong> beautiful patterning<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> flamingo tongue’s mantle. Look for ones<br />

that have settled on nice backgrounds. Bright purple<br />

sea fans are <strong>of</strong>ten a crowd favorite, but s<strong>of</strong>t corals with<br />

interesting structures will also provide for a nice addition.<br />

Beware <strong>of</strong> what is behind <strong>the</strong> corals. Is it reef?<br />

O<strong>the</strong>r divers? You don’t want any distractions. If you<br />

are lucky, you may find more than one specimen or<br />

perhaps more than one type!<br />

This close-up image <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> flamingo tongue has captured part <strong>of</strong> its foot.<br />

participate in five training dives. Two are required: a<br />

deep training dive and a navigation dive. O<strong>the</strong>rwise, divers<br />

are usually allowed to choose <strong>the</strong> remaining three.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> center, we <strong>of</strong>fer Underwater Photography as one<br />

<strong>of</strong> those training dives, where students can experiment<br />

with cameras and put some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se tips to use. a<br />

Carmen Hoyt<br />

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

This brittle star, with its thin arms and distinct central disk, is seen moving across a sandy floor.<br />

Sea Stars or Starfish?<br />

The fascinating world <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> echinoderm.<br />

The name “echinoderm” might not bring much to your mind—perhaps unwelcomed trips to <strong>the</strong> dermatologist<br />

or a whiff <strong>of</strong> echinacea. But by taking <strong>the</strong> word apart we learn that echino- translates to “something<br />

prickly,” while -derm is a Greek root that means “skin.” So, what exactly are <strong>the</strong>se prickly-skinned creatures?<br />

By Melissa Heres, Waterfront Assistant, The School for Field Studies,<br />

Center for Marine Resource Studies ~ Photos By Anna Handte-Reinecker<br />

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

Above: A long-spined sea urchin (Diadema antillarum) is seen hiding in <strong>the</strong> crevices <strong>of</strong> a reef.<br />

Bottom right: A slate pencil urchin (Eucidaris tribuloides) hides in a crevice in <strong>the</strong> reef.<br />

Echinodermata is a phylum or grouping <strong>of</strong> organisms<br />

with similar traits and genes. The traits that an organism<br />

must possess to fall into <strong>the</strong> illustrious category<br />

<strong>of</strong> Echinodermata are as follows: <strong>the</strong>y usually have five<br />

point radial symmetry, tube feet, a calcified skeleton and<br />

a water vascular system, which acts almost as a hydraulic<br />

system to move <strong>the</strong>ir tube feet. Having prickly skin isn’t a<br />

necessity to be considered an echinoderm. Interestingly,<br />

<strong>the</strong>se creatures don’t have eyes or a brain, but <strong>the</strong>y do<br />

have an incredible ability to regenerate—sea stars in particular<br />

are well known for losing an arm and re-growing it<br />

within a year or so.<br />

Echinoderms are divided into five smaller groupings,<br />

called classes. These include Asteroidea (sea stars),<br />

Ophiuroidea (brittle stars), Echinoidea (sea urchins and<br />

sand dollars), Crinoidea (fea<strong>the</strong>r stars) and Holothuroidea<br />

(sea cucumbers). Class by class, we can learn about <strong>the</strong><br />

lives <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se incredible and <strong>of</strong>ten underappreciated<br />

animals that are found right here in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

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

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

Echinoderm biology is truly, spectacularly weird.<br />

Since echinoderms lack a head, <strong>the</strong>y do not necessarily<br />

have a front or back portion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir body. Echinoderms<br />

do, however, have a bottom and top portion, called “oral”<br />

(or mouth bearing) and “aboral” (non-mouth bearing),<br />

respectively. The water vascular system mentioned earlier<br />

consists <strong>of</strong> fluid filled canals that lead to <strong>the</strong> echinoderm’s<br />

tube feet. These work in a sort <strong>of</strong> hydraulic system, where<br />

fluid is pumped into <strong>the</strong> tube foot via a one-way valve.<br />

Echinoderms can possess as many as 2,000 <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se<br />

tube feet, and we know little about how <strong>the</strong> coordination<br />

<strong>of</strong> all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se 2,000 contractions and retractions work in<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir entirety. We do know that echinoderms use a duogland<br />

adhesive system which allows <strong>the</strong>ir tube feet to<br />

stick to <strong>the</strong> surface that <strong>the</strong>y are walking on. The echinoderm’s<br />

tube feet secrete an adhesive to attach <strong>the</strong>mselves<br />

to whatever <strong>the</strong>y’re crawling on, and <strong>the</strong>n secrete ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

chemical that breaks this adhesion to detach <strong>the</strong>ir tube<br />

feet from <strong>the</strong> substrate. Ano<strong>the</strong>r unique characteristic<br />

that echinoderms possess is a mutable connective tissue,<br />

which allows <strong>the</strong>m to alter <strong>the</strong> degree <strong>of</strong> stiffness <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

tissue, reverting from stiff to nearly liquid in a matter <strong>of</strong><br />

seconds.<br />

Perhaps <strong>the</strong> most well known and loved <strong>of</strong> all <strong>the</strong><br />

echinoderms is <strong>the</strong> sea star, in <strong>the</strong> class Stelleroidea<br />

and subclass Asteroidea. Sea stars—<strong>of</strong>ten misleadingly<br />

termed starfish (even though <strong>the</strong>y are invertebrates and<br />

not fish) have a star-shaped body. Sea stars use <strong>the</strong>ir tube<br />

feet, not <strong>the</strong>ir arms, to move around. Their main prey<br />

includes small invertebrates such as sponges, worms,<br />

bivalves or coral polyps, but sometimes <strong>the</strong>se sea stars<br />

prey upon small fish, and even o<strong>the</strong>r echinoderms! When<br />

presented with a ra<strong>the</strong>r large meal, sea stars have an<br />

interesting way <strong>of</strong> feeding: <strong>the</strong>y can invert <strong>the</strong>ir stomach<br />

out through <strong>the</strong>ir mouth and digest <strong>the</strong>ir prey externally!<br />

Closely related to <strong>the</strong> sea stars are <strong>the</strong> brittle<br />

stars, also in <strong>the</strong> class Stelleroidea but in <strong>the</strong> subclass<br />

Ophiuroidea. These creatures are characterized by a<br />

central disk with five slender arms extending outwards.<br />

Some brittle stars are deposit feeders, meaning that <strong>the</strong>y<br />

ingest sand and filter out <strong>the</strong> organic bits to eat. O<strong>the</strong>r<br />

brittle stars are suspension feeders, meaning that <strong>the</strong>y<br />

filter food particles from <strong>the</strong> water. Yet o<strong>the</strong>r brittle stars<br />

are carnivores or scavengers. Brittle stars are usually<br />

found under rocks and crevices during <strong>the</strong> day, coming<br />

out at night to feed.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 41


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

Above: This West Indian sea egg (Tripneustes ventricosus) hides from predators in a patch <strong>of</strong> turtle grass.<br />

Bottom left: A sea cucumber is covered with seagrass and algae, likely for camouflage.<br />

The oldest known echinoderms are in <strong>the</strong> class<br />

Crinoidea, also called crinoids. This class contains sea<br />

lilies and fea<strong>the</strong>r stars, wherein sea lilies are stationary<br />

and fea<strong>the</strong>r stars can move. Fea<strong>the</strong>r stars are able to<br />

swim short distances by moving <strong>the</strong>ir arms, or “fea<strong>the</strong>rs,”<br />

down forcefully in a beautiful display. All crinoids<br />

are suspension feeders and use <strong>the</strong>ir arms and a series<br />

<strong>of</strong> mucus-covered, tubular pinnules to catch <strong>the</strong>ir food.<br />

Sea biscuits, sea urchins, and sand dollars all fall<br />

within <strong>the</strong> class Echinoidea. This group <strong>of</strong> echinoderms<br />

have spines that attach to <strong>the</strong>ir tests (<strong>the</strong>ir version <strong>of</strong><br />

skeletons) via ball and socket joints. Spines <strong>of</strong> echinoids<br />

serve several purposes: usually for defense, ga<strong>the</strong>ring<br />

food or bracing <strong>the</strong>mselves when <strong>the</strong>y get stuck in tight<br />

crevices. Echinoids can be ei<strong>the</strong>r regular, meaning that<br />

<strong>the</strong>y have a perfect, spherical shape, or irregular, meaning<br />

that <strong>the</strong>y have some degree <strong>of</strong> bilateral symmetry.<br />

All sea urchins are regular, while heart urchins or sea<br />

biscuits are irregular, displaying a more elongated body<br />

shape and a distinct front and back part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir body.<br />

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

Last, but certainly not least, are <strong>the</strong> sea cucumbers,<br />

which are in <strong>the</strong> class Holothuroidea. Sea cucumbers can<br />

be thought <strong>of</strong> as elongated sea urchins, minus <strong>the</strong> spines.<br />

Their tentacles, however, are modified tube feet that can<br />

be outstretched from <strong>the</strong>ir mouth to capture food. Most<br />

are suspension feeders that dig through <strong>the</strong> sand to find<br />

bits <strong>of</strong> organic material.<br />

Echinoderms spanning all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> classes have an<br />

incredible ability to regenerate. Sea cucumbers, when<br />

threatened, have <strong>the</strong> ability to expel <strong>the</strong>ir entire digestive<br />

system! In order to do this, <strong>the</strong>y liquify and rupture<br />

<strong>the</strong> connective tissue holding <strong>the</strong>ir digestive system in<br />

place. All <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se body parts are eventually reformed.<br />

Similarly, sea stars can also regenerate body parts. When<br />

disturbed, <strong>the</strong>se creatures can sever <strong>the</strong>ir limbs and eventually<br />

regenerate <strong>the</strong>m over time.<br />

These amazing creatures can be seen all around <strong>the</strong><br />

waters <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI. Golden crinoids can <strong>of</strong>ten be seen hiding<br />

in crevices <strong>of</strong> reefs. The cushion sea star is commonly<br />

found in <strong>the</strong> flats, in shallow, predominantly sandy areas.<br />

Brittle stars <strong>of</strong> all kinds can also be found, usually in <strong>the</strong><br />

crevices <strong>of</strong> corals or sponges. The giant basket star, a<br />

kind <strong>of</strong> brittle star, is inconspicuous during <strong>the</strong> day, but<br />

extends its long, thinly branched arms out at night to<br />

feed. Sea urchins can be found among <strong>the</strong> reef, like <strong>the</strong><br />

long-spined urchin, or in predominantly sandy or mangrove<br />

areas, like <strong>the</strong> West Indian sea egg. Heart urchins,<br />

sand dollars and sea biscuits can all be found in shallow,<br />

sandy areas. Sea cucumbers can be found in shallow<br />

sandy patches or deeper reefs.<br />

Students at <strong>the</strong> SFS Center for Marine Resource<br />

Studies on South Caicos have <strong>the</strong> wonderful opportunity<br />

to witness <strong>the</strong>se amazing creatures in action on a weekly<br />

basis. Sightings <strong>of</strong> such varied echinoderms as tessellated<br />

cushion stars, ruby brittle stars, reef urchins and tiger tail<br />

sea cucumbers are never in short supply. These creatures<br />

have been spotted during recreational snorkels and dives,<br />

field research exercises and extraordinary night dives<br />

near <strong>the</strong> wall that leads down to <strong>the</strong> Columbus Passage<br />

(Turks Head Passage). Taking time to snorkel or dive on<br />

<strong>the</strong> beautiful reefs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> is truly a<br />

magical experience; take some time and explore <strong>the</strong>m for<br />

yourself and see how many echinoderms you can spot! a<br />

For more information, contact SFS Center Director Heidi<br />

Hertler, PhD at hhertler@fieldstudies.org.<br />

A sea urchin test, or skeleton, is washed ashore.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 43


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

EWA KRZYSZCZYK<br />

This ocean surgeonfish, Acanthurus tractus, is infected by Black Spot Syndrome. The spots are collections <strong>of</strong> cysts caused by a tiny parasitic<br />

worm.<br />

A Tale <strong>of</strong> Two <strong>Islands</strong><br />

Black-spot syndrome in Bonaire and TCI.<br />

By Ben Farmer and Ewa Krzyszczyk, Ph.D., The School for Field Studies,<br />

Center for Marine Resource Studies<br />

I first became fascinated by fish disease three years ago, at a research station on <strong>the</strong> small island <strong>of</strong><br />

Bonaire. Bonaire is a Dutch Caribbean island, approximately 58 kilometers north <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Venezuelan coastline,<br />

where I completed a semester <strong>of</strong> education abroad. Completely surrounded by beautiful fringing<br />

coral reefs, Bonaire has long been a destination for ocean-related tourism. In recent decades, Bonaire’s<br />

reefs have also been <strong>the</strong> subject <strong>of</strong> exciting scientific research. One such research project, conducted by<br />

Dr. Franziska Elmer, focused on a specific fish disease, Black Spot Syndrome (BSS).<br />

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

These images show: a) An ocean surgeonfish infected by BSS. b) Cysts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> parasite, Scaphanocephalus expansus, infecting <strong>the</strong> fin rays <strong>of</strong><br />

a fish. c) A cyst taken from a fish. d) A microscope stained slide <strong>of</strong> S. expansus in <strong>the</strong> form it takes when infecting its intermediate host, in<br />

this case <strong>the</strong> ocean surgeonfish. Note <strong>the</strong> wing-like structure. (Kohl et al. <strong>2020</strong>)<br />

IMAGE RETRIEVED FROM KOHL ET AL. 2019<br />

The identity and distribution <strong>of</strong> marine parasitic diseases<br />

have received little attention and yet are known<br />

to have many deleterious consequences, such as affecting<br />

<strong>the</strong> commercial value <strong>of</strong> fisheries and influencing<br />

patterns <strong>of</strong> human health. Black Spot Syndrome (BSS)<br />

has been observed on many reef fish throughout <strong>the</strong><br />

Caribbean, including bar jacks (Caranx ruber), redband<br />

parrotfish (Sparisoma aur<strong>of</strong>renatum) and ocean surgeonfish<br />

(Acanthurus tractus).<br />

BSS is a dermal disease that is characterized by black<br />

blemishes on <strong>the</strong> scales and fin rays <strong>of</strong> a fish, which are<br />

usually associated with <strong>the</strong> encysted stages (metacercariae)<br />

<strong>of</strong> a trematode, or worm-like animal. Field surveys<br />

conducted in Bonaire by Dr. Elmer and her colleagues<br />

(2019) indicated that ocean surgeonfish had <strong>the</strong> highest<br />

prevalence (% <strong>of</strong> individuals affected with BSS) and<br />

severity (more than 11 spots per fish) <strong>of</strong> BSS, occurring<br />

more at shallower depths (2 meters versus 18 meters)<br />

and with a higher frequency throughout <strong>the</strong> years, from<br />

1985 to 2017. Scouring <strong>the</strong> Internet for any images <strong>of</strong><br />

ocean surgeonfish with BSS, Dr. Elmer and her colleagues<br />

(2019) found that BSS is more prevalent in <strong>the</strong> south <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Caribbean (Bonaire and Curacao, 78%) than in <strong>the</strong><br />

north (Belize and Mexico 0–34%), confirming <strong>the</strong> findings<br />

in Bernal et al’s 2016 study.<br />

Excitingly, a colleague <strong>of</strong> Dr. Elmer’s, Zachory Kohl,<br />

recently established that BSS in Bonaire is caused by<br />

Scaphanocephalus expansus, a strange-looking trematode<br />

that has wing-like expansions at its front. The<br />

osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is considered S. expanus’s<br />

definitive host (final host) in many locations around<br />

<strong>the</strong> world—Europe, Egypt, Asia, North America and <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 45


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

BEN FARMER<br />

The Shark Alley site on South Caicos is one <strong>of</strong> several sites surveyed for <strong>the</strong> BSS Directed Research project. An osprey nest is situated on top<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> rock face, in perfect range <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> surgeonfish habitat below.<br />

Canary <strong>Islands</strong>. However, until more is known about <strong>the</strong><br />

life cycle <strong>of</strong> S. expansus, <strong>the</strong> factors determining its distribution<br />

(i.e. <strong>the</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Caribbean has such dramatic<br />

rates <strong>of</strong> infection) are uncertain. Though, it is possible<br />

that <strong>the</strong> landscape <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Dutch Antilles supports a more<br />

stable population <strong>of</strong> osprey, increasing <strong>the</strong> chances <strong>of</strong><br />

parasites taking a stronghold on <strong>the</strong> food web.<br />

Black Spot Syndrome in <strong>the</strong> TCI<br />

Two years after my research in Bonaire, I joined <strong>the</strong><br />

School for Field Studies Center for Marine Resources (SFS<br />

CMRS) on South Caicos as a Waterfront Assistant. To my<br />

excitement Dr. Elmer was also <strong>the</strong>re as a pr<strong>of</strong>essor <strong>of</strong><br />

Marine Ecology and continuing her research on BSS and<br />

how it affects fish behavior. She is collaborating with<br />

Dr. Ewa Krzyszczyk, <strong>the</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>essor <strong>of</strong> Marine Resource<br />

Management at SFS, who has a rich background in marine<br />

mammal behavior and was well-suited to take over <strong>the</strong><br />

project. She says, “To be able to put my 15 years <strong>of</strong><br />

experience in marine mammal behavior and apply <strong>the</strong>se<br />

techniques to study <strong>the</strong> role <strong>of</strong> parasites in <strong>the</strong> evolution<br />

<strong>of</strong> host life-history traits such as parasite-induced<br />

alterations in host behavior and to get to teach under-<br />

graduates students about this, it’s so exciting.”<br />

So, what does behavior have to do with parasites?<br />

Parasite-induced alterations in host behavior increase<br />

<strong>the</strong> chance for parasite survival and transmission or<br />

ensure <strong>the</strong> completion <strong>of</strong> its lifecycle. Some examples <strong>of</strong><br />

behavioral alterations include altered activity, changes<br />

in habitat use, reduced fear response and altered olfactory<br />

preferences. To dig into some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se possibilities,<br />

Dr. Krzyszczyk developed a project where SFS students<br />

documented <strong>the</strong> behavior (foraging, cleaning, traveling,<br />

hiding) <strong>of</strong> ocean surgeonfish with different severity <strong>of</strong><br />

BSS (stage 0: no spots; stage 1: 1–4 spots; stage 2: 5–10<br />

spots and stage 3: >11 spots).<br />

The findings have been more complex than many <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> students suspected going into <strong>the</strong>ir research projects.<br />

Trematode metacercariae tend to encyst on places that<br />

are important for movement and cognition (e.g. fins). It<br />

has been noted, anecdotally, that fish severely infected<br />

by BSS, both in Bonaire and <strong>the</strong> TCI, are sluggish and<br />

seemingly less “focused” on <strong>the</strong> tasks at hand. Given<br />

<strong>the</strong>se observations, students predicted that average<br />

fish behavior states would change as stages <strong>of</strong> infection<br />

progressed, making it more likely for <strong>the</strong> parasite to be<br />

46 www.timespub.tc


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

transferred on to <strong>the</strong> osprey and finish<br />

its life cycle in <strong>the</strong> bird’s stomach. For<br />

instance, a fish that is severely infected<br />

by BSS may spend more <strong>of</strong> its time out<br />

in <strong>the</strong> open on <strong>the</strong> reef, and generally<br />

become easy prey for <strong>the</strong> osprey. So<br />

far, <strong>the</strong> data has not supported <strong>the</strong>se<br />

predictions. However, <strong>the</strong> way that surgeonfish<br />

behaved was affected by BSS<br />

severity—foraging rate, or how many<br />

bites <strong>the</strong> fish made per minute on <strong>the</strong><br />

reef bottom, changed significantly.<br />

Why does <strong>the</strong> foraging rate <strong>of</strong> one<br />

fish species matter? The answer lies in<br />

<strong>the</strong> role <strong>of</strong> ocean surgeonfish, as well<br />

as o<strong>the</strong>r species affected by BSS, in<br />

<strong>the</strong> food chain. Surgeonfish are very<br />

important herbivores, which means<br />

that <strong>the</strong>y play a role in keeping <strong>the</strong> level<br />

<strong>of</strong> algae on coral reefs at safe levels.<br />

If a disease such as BSS is changing<br />

<strong>the</strong> behavior <strong>of</strong> fishes and potentially<br />

reducing <strong>the</strong>ir population sizes, <strong>the</strong>n<br />

algae can begin to take over and cause<br />

a drastic reduction in healthy corals on<br />

<strong>the</strong> reef. Additionally, Dr. Krzyszczyk’s<br />

research found preliminary results suggesting<br />

that surgeonfish infected by<br />

BSS may gravitate toward reefs with<br />

particular levels <strong>of</strong> coral structure. This<br />

could leave reefs that would normally<br />

have an ample supply <strong>of</strong> surgeonfish<br />

without <strong>the</strong> herbivores <strong>the</strong>y need.<br />

Marine diseases (which can be caused by parasites,<br />

viruses, bacteria and more) are important to understand<br />

because <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir potential widespread effect on ecological<br />

communities across <strong>the</strong> world. There have been rising<br />

mortalities due to marine diseases for decades, with disease<br />

reports rising rapidly beginning around <strong>the</strong> 1980s.<br />

Climate change and warming oceans are expected to<br />

make most disease impacts more severe and frequent. In<br />

particular, species that are critical to <strong>the</strong> food web such<br />

as sea stars, sea urchins, corals and marine mammals<br />

are suffering mass die-<strong>of</strong>fs. While BSS does not directly<br />

cause fishes to die <strong>of</strong>f in such an extreme fashion, <strong>the</strong><br />

From top: SFS students perform a focal follow <strong>of</strong> an ocean surgeonfish in order to track its<br />

behavior for 10 minutes. An SFS student lays out a transect to find out <strong>the</strong> level <strong>of</strong> structure<br />

on <strong>the</strong> reef. It is possible that surgeonfish affected by BSS gravitate toward reefs with<br />

particular levels <strong>of</strong> structure.<br />

link between BSS and behavior is fascinating, and studying<br />

that link will provide researchers a better overall<br />

understanding <strong>of</strong> parasite-caused diseases.<br />

I never would have guessed that a project I was<br />

involved in while studying in Bonaire would continue two<br />

years later in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. Research has a<br />

powerful way <strong>of</strong> bringing people toge<strong>the</strong>r from all over<br />

<strong>the</strong> world, and I am proud to have been a part <strong>of</strong> this<br />

wonderful phenomenon while working at <strong>the</strong> School for<br />

Field Studies. a<br />

For more information, contact SFS Center Director Heidi<br />

Hertler, PhD at hhertler@fieldstudies.org.<br />

ANNA HANDTE-REINECKER<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 47


MARTA MORTON–WWW.HARBOURCLUBVILLAS.COM<br />

48 www.timespub.tc


feature<br />

COURTESY PROVIDENCIALES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT<br />

Opposite page: Travelers who have returned to TCI post-COVID are rewarded with near-empty beaches.<br />

Above: The Providenciales International Airport reopened for tourists on July 22, <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Welcome Back!<br />

How to travel gracefully during a pandemic.<br />

By Jayne Baker<br />

As Caribbean nations start to loosen <strong>the</strong>ir border restrictions, <strong>the</strong> allure <strong>of</strong> near empty beaches and low<br />

hotel occupancy is calling to (masked) travelers. For some, it’s a return visit to a beloved home away from<br />

home—perhaps an island destination <strong>the</strong>y have been coming to for years. For o<strong>the</strong>rs, <strong>the</strong>y are happy to<br />

visit new destinations that have been on <strong>the</strong>ir bucket lists.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 49


One magical day not so long ago, our nation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> opened its doors to visitors again.<br />

It felt exciting. We went to <strong>the</strong> airport to watch <strong>the</strong> first<br />

plane welcomed back with water cannon fanfare and were<br />

unexpectedly emotional. After months <strong>of</strong> feeling stagnant<br />

and uncertain, this little bit <strong>of</strong> forward motion felt<br />

healing, like something to celebrate, and we embraced it.<br />

And truth be told, travelers have embraced it also.<br />

Those who have jumped on those early post-closure<br />

flights have been rewarded with near empty beaches,<br />

uncrowded restaurants and plenty <strong>of</strong> last minute tour<br />

availability. There is no better time to experience <strong>the</strong><br />

Caribbean—reminiscent <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> “unspoiled” era <strong>of</strong> times<br />

gone by.<br />

The TCI Government’s decision to close <strong>the</strong> country’s<br />

borders back on March 24, <strong>2020</strong> was made nei<strong>the</strong>r hastily<br />

or easily; nor was <strong>the</strong> decision to open up again, four<br />

months later, on July 22, <strong>2020</strong>. As an island nation that<br />

is dependent on <strong>the</strong> single industry <strong>of</strong> tourism, government<br />

<strong>of</strong>ficials were aware that closing <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> had<br />

serious financial implications for <strong>the</strong> country and its residents.<br />

But, mindful that our hospital capacity is limited<br />

and watching <strong>the</strong> numbers <strong>of</strong> hospitalizations soar in <strong>the</strong><br />

neighboring United States (main source <strong>of</strong> our tourists),<br />

<strong>the</strong> only prudent choice was to close things down before<br />

<strong>the</strong> COVID-19 virus took hold here and threatened to<br />

overwhelm local medical facilities.<br />

The lockdown seemed dystopian at first to a nation<br />

<strong>of</strong> people that take pride in <strong>the</strong> relaxed, easy-going manner<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Caribbean culture. Beaches and marinas were<br />

closed. A 24 hour curfew was imposed but for exercise<br />

periods twice a day. Written exemptions were required<br />

from government to have permission to be on <strong>the</strong> road<br />

during curfew hours. While we had witnessed similar<br />

shutdowns around <strong>the</strong> world, <strong>the</strong>re was a sense <strong>of</strong> disbelief<br />

that this new reality had reached our shores.<br />

Gradually, over <strong>the</strong> four month period, restrictions<br />

eased internally and, slowly but surely, <strong>the</strong> economic<br />

gears <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> started to turn, albeit sluggishly.<br />

The mood amongst island residents was a muddy blend<br />

<strong>of</strong> unease and cautious optimism. If you were fortunate<br />

enough to make a little income, you tried to put it back<br />

into <strong>the</strong> economy by supporting o<strong>the</strong>r small businesses<br />

on island. For instance, if you ran a tour that day, you<br />

could perhaps add a take-out meal to your budget that<br />

week to help support a restaurant. The <strong>Islands</strong> were doing<br />

what <strong>the</strong>y could to reconstruct <strong>the</strong> economy, one boat<br />

trip or restaurant meal at a time. But <strong>the</strong>re was one giant<br />

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(649) 333-3483<br />

dive@flamingodivers.com solsister@flamingodivers.com www.flamingodivers.com<br />

50 www.timespub.tc


uilding block missing—visitors. Without <strong>the</strong>m, <strong>the</strong>re was<br />

little to no demand for taxi fares, hotel workers, restaurant<br />

workers, excursions staff and all affiliated tourism<br />

business employees.<br />

Local businesses stepped up where <strong>the</strong>y were able.<br />

A hotel group donated ventilators. O<strong>the</strong>rs provided a<br />

“staples program” for <strong>the</strong>ir workers, giving <strong>the</strong>m a collection<br />

<strong>of</strong> food and household supplies. Some organized<br />

or worked with existing non-government organizations<br />

to provide food bank services and hot meals to those<br />

most affected. Like any small town, <strong>the</strong> community came<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r where it could to help each o<strong>the</strong>r wea<strong>the</strong>r this<br />

economic hurricane <strong>of</strong> sorts.<br />

But through it all, a big question hung over peoples’<br />

heads. Island residents needed a date—when would <strong>the</strong><br />

country open? When could we again start to count on<br />

visitors to fill our taxis, hotels, restaurants, spas and tour<br />

boats?<br />

The decision to open was no doubt debated at length<br />

in <strong>the</strong> halls <strong>of</strong> government during <strong>the</strong> period <strong>of</strong> closure.<br />

During that time, <strong>of</strong>ficials moved to improve hospital<br />

facilities to ensure extra beds were available and contingency<br />

plans were in place. But, how to balance <strong>the</strong><br />

economic need to open <strong>the</strong> country with <strong>the</strong> best measures<br />

and protocols to mitigate risk, while not making<br />

it so prohibitive that it would discourage <strong>the</strong> return <strong>of</strong><br />

tourists all toge<strong>the</strong>r? These were uncharted waters to navigate<br />

and one can only imagine <strong>the</strong> discourse taking place<br />

behind closed doors. Rumors swirled around <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong><br />

as to what <strong>the</strong> protocols would entail, and when (or if?)<br />

<strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos would actually open. TCI Government<br />

kept <strong>the</strong>ir hand close, while no doubt keeping an eye<br />

on o<strong>the</strong>r Caribbean nations’ projected dates and entry<br />

requirements.<br />

When TCI Premier Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson<br />

announced that <strong>the</strong> country would re-open on July 22,<br />

<strong>the</strong>re was a sense <strong>of</strong> relief and renewed purpose.<br />

Visitors were at first required to upload a COVID-19<br />

negative PCR test within three days <strong>of</strong> arrival (this was<br />

quickly extended to a five-day window), and provide<br />

pro<strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong> medical insurance to <strong>the</strong> TCI Assured Portal at<br />

www.turksandcaicostourism.com to receive approval to<br />

board a plane to TCI. While <strong>the</strong>se requirements posed<br />

challenges to potential visitors, it seemed an appropriate<br />

best effort to try and safeguard <strong>the</strong> health <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> country.<br />

With a firm date on <strong>the</strong> horizon and entry requirements<br />

and procedures in place, island businesses could<br />

now focus on re-opening strategies and protocols to help<br />

protect our visitors, our residents and our economy.<br />

52 www.timespub.tc


But that doesn’t mean anxiety disappeared. For<br />

island business owners, economic concerns are still paramount<br />

despite <strong>the</strong> TCI now being “open,” and <strong>the</strong> way<br />

forward is anything but clear and easy. Small businesses<br />

have accrued debt for close to half <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> year and have<br />

likely used up any contingency funds. New realities like<br />

reduced business, <strong>the</strong> possibility that borders could close<br />

again, and concerns about <strong>the</strong> virus itself—all set against<br />

<strong>the</strong> backdrop <strong>of</strong> a complete cessation <strong>of</strong> income during<br />

some <strong>of</strong> our busiest months—makes <strong>the</strong> path ahead difficult<br />

to navigate.<br />

Needless to say, <strong>the</strong>se “uncertain times” will be with<br />

us for some time to come. The next six to eight months<br />

will see most small businesses trying to “get back to<br />

zero.” A common opinion seems to be that, by March<br />

2021, a full year after <strong>the</strong> shutdown, businesses hope to<br />

be able to see <strong>the</strong> way forward more clearly. Until <strong>the</strong>n<br />

<strong>the</strong> new normal is simply learning how to get by, one day<br />

at a time.<br />

With all <strong>of</strong> that said, <strong>the</strong>re is a spirit <strong>of</strong> optimism<br />

beginning to permeate <strong>the</strong> country. Caribbean residents<br />

are no stranger to wea<strong>the</strong>ring meteorological and economic<br />

storms. There is a resiliency that runs through <strong>the</strong><br />

community here, buoyed up by <strong>the</strong> faith that “this too<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 53


The longest established legal practice<br />

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

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& Business Licensing<br />

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Ph: 649 946 4344 • Fax: 649 946 4564<br />

E-Mail: dempsey@tciway.tc<br />

Cockburn House, P.O. Box 70<br />

Market Street, Grand Turk<br />

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shall pass.” There is a sense that things are beginning to<br />

heal and as income starts to trickle in, it’s a step in <strong>the</strong><br />

right direction.<br />

Early feedback from visitors is that <strong>the</strong> TCI is taking<br />

COVID-19 seriously. As hotels, restaurants and tourism<br />

businesses seek to strike that balance between implementing<br />

new health protocols while still providing <strong>the</strong><br />

first-class, luxury experience that Turks & Caicos is<br />

known for, feedback from early tourists is overwhelmingly<br />

positive. A look at TripAdvisor reviews shows that<br />

so far, TCI businesses seem to be getting it right. Visitors<br />

feel protected without feeling that <strong>the</strong>ir high-end vacation<br />

experience is compromised. The hope is that visitors and<br />

residents alike continue to adhere to protocols to help<br />

protect <strong>the</strong> health <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> country and <strong>the</strong> economy itself.<br />

If you are reading this as a traveler, know this—as<br />

small island nations start to reopen, <strong>the</strong>y will receive visitors<br />

with a grateful heart. Your arrival as a tourist is a<br />

sign that we are beginning to herald in an era that at<br />

least somewhat resembles <strong>the</strong> sense <strong>of</strong> normalcy we had<br />

six months ago. You—<strong>the</strong> visitor—represent hope and a<br />

sense <strong>of</strong> much-needed momentum. With that said, here<br />

are a couple <strong>of</strong> tips on “How to travel gracefully during a<br />

pandemic” and best support your favorite island destination<br />

and <strong>the</strong>ir businesses:<br />

• Please respect protocols at your destination. Recognize<br />

that none <strong>of</strong> us love having to wear masks, not hug our<br />

returning friends, hand-sanitize 76 times a day, and so<br />

on. But remember that you will get on a plane in a week<br />

or so and return to your home and medical facilities. If<br />

COVID-19 hits <strong>the</strong> fan here, most island residents don’t<br />

have that option.<br />

• If you’re able to, consider budgeting some <strong>of</strong> your vacation<br />

dollars to see where you can help. No amount is too<br />

small. Maybe it’s tipping your cab driver/waitstaff/guides<br />

a little extra than you normally would, recognizing that<br />

many are still working reduced hours as well as trying to<br />

catch up on months <strong>of</strong> having no income at all. Or perhaps<br />

it’s finding out how to support local NGOs that are<br />

helping to meet <strong>the</strong> needs <strong>of</strong> those that are food-insecure<br />

during this time.<br />

p.o.box 21, providenciales, turks & caicos is.<br />

tel.: 9464440 cell: 2314569 email: redmond@tciway.tc<br />

• There is no obligation to help out financially as listed<br />

above. Know that island residents are happy to see you<br />

and grateful for <strong>the</strong> fact that you got on a plane and chose<br />

<strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> as your destination. Tourism<br />

dollars being injected again into <strong>the</strong> economy is exactly<br />

54 www.timespub.tc


what is needed. Everyone appreciates your business. Just<br />

please don’t be <strong>the</strong> tourist that looks for “deals and discounts”<br />

from small business owners during <strong>the</strong>se times.<br />

It’s understandable that everyone loves to save money<br />

where <strong>the</strong>y can, but please recognize that most people on<br />

a tourism-driven island have literally had zero income for<br />

close to half <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> year. Asking a small business operator<br />

to discount <strong>the</strong>ir product or service in order for you<br />

to choose <strong>the</strong>m over ano<strong>the</strong>r operator is disheartening.<br />

• This is just a general, non-COVID-related PSA: Please<br />

interact with your island destination with courtesy and<br />

<strong>the</strong> respect that you are a welcomed guest in <strong>the</strong>ir home.<br />

While <strong>the</strong>re is a sense <strong>of</strong> freedom in wearing just a swimsuit,<br />

please notice that you will likely not see an island<br />

resident walking through town or shopping in a bathing<br />

suit. Run around all day long in a swimsuit at <strong>the</strong> beach<br />

or pool, but as a general rule, if you’re putting on a mask,<br />

put on a cover-up/shirt and shoes too.<br />

• Please take <strong>the</strong> same generosity <strong>of</strong> spirit home with you.<br />

Support local, small businesses where you can. Respect<br />

protocols. Help o<strong>the</strong>rs in whichever way you are able to.<br />

You’ll feel better for it and <strong>the</strong> world will hopefully heal<br />

more quickly.<br />

At some point we will all look back on “<strong>the</strong>se uncertain<br />

times” and know that <strong>the</strong>y are a storm we wea<strong>the</strong>red<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r, helping each o<strong>the</strong>r ride it out as best we could.<br />

(Note: Entry requirements to Turks & Caicos are<br />

likely to change and evolve over time. For <strong>the</strong> most<br />

current information, visit <strong>the</strong> TCI Assured Portal at<br />

www.turksandcaicostourism.com. a<br />

Jayne Baker has been a full time Caribbean resident for<br />

23 years, spending <strong>the</strong> last 20 years in Turks & Caicos.<br />

She and her husband Mickey own and operate Flamingo<br />

Divers, a boutique dive operation specializing in small<br />

groups and personalized service. Jayne spends most <strong>of</strong><br />

her days underwater, but when she's on dry land you're<br />

likely to find her engaged in creative writing pursuits or<br />

with her head buried in a book.<br />

Cays Winter <strong>Times</strong> 2018_Layout 1 11/14/18 10:30 AM Page 1<br />

CAYS CONSTRUCTION CO LTD<br />

A COMPLETE SERVICE.<br />

Once you have purchased your land<br />

...we take you all <strong>the</strong> way.<br />

...TO THE KEYS TO YOUR NEW HOME.<br />

We take care <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> design,<br />

<strong>the</strong> building approvals,<br />

<strong>the</strong> construction management,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> construction works.<br />

Allow us to design and build your new home.<br />

caysconstruction.com<br />

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<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 55


COURTESY DOUG CAMOZZI—CAICOS CYCLERY


feature<br />

Opposite page: Pedaling <strong>the</strong> causeway connecting North and Middle Caicos is an integral part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new cycle trail.<br />

Above: A stop at <strong>the</strong> spectacular natural wonder that is Mudjin Harbour in Middle Caicos is a chance to relax and refuel.<br />

COURTESY DOUG CAMOZZI—CAICOS CYCLERY<br />

Cycling Paradise<br />

Mapping <strong>the</strong> North and Middle Caicos Cycle Trail.<br />

By Jody Rathgeb<br />

Everyone views “paradise” through a different lens, and people in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are no<br />

exception. Divers see <strong>the</strong> country as an underwater paradise; watersports enthusiasts see a windsurfing<br />

paradise, a paddleboard paradise, a sailing paradise; and vacationers find paradise in lazy beach days<br />

with a book and a cocktail.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 57


PARADISE PHOTOGRAPHY<br />

Jim Brown, who calls himself a “dedicated, nonracing<br />

cyclist,” has found a cycling paradise, particularly<br />

on North and Middle Caicos. To help o<strong>the</strong>rs enjoy that<br />

paradise, he has put toge<strong>the</strong>r a collaboration between<br />

his own business and Caicos Cyclery on Providenciales<br />

to create a website and map providing information on a<br />

67-mile out-and-back trail on North and Middle Caicos.<br />

Brown, proprietor <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> newly-reopened Bottle<br />

Creek Lodge on North Caicos, originally set out to make<br />

a contribution to ano<strong>the</strong>r website-in-<strong>the</strong>-making, writing<br />

about cycling on <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. But “I wasn’t satisfied with<br />

it,” he says. “What people really need is a map and some<br />

guidance.” He knew that Caicos Cyclery was occasionally<br />

leading bike tours on <strong>the</strong> twin islands, so he reached out<br />

to <strong>the</strong> business and found that “<strong>the</strong>y were enthusiastic<br />

about formalizing it.” He credits <strong>the</strong> business’ Kevin Yates<br />

with good suggestions and assistance.<br />

He set to work, drawing on such resources as Google<br />

Earth maps and his own longtime associations with U.S.<br />

and international cycle associations to design a three-fold<br />

brochure with a map on one side and information on <strong>the</strong><br />

o<strong>the</strong>r, including safety guidelines and a signage explanation.<br />

Yates has taken on <strong>the</strong> job <strong>of</strong> getting <strong>the</strong> map<br />

printed and distributed. Brown has also put toge<strong>the</strong>r a<br />

website, CaicosCycleTrail.info, which gives fuller information,<br />

including what each level <strong>of</strong> cyclist should expect<br />

on <strong>the</strong> ride.<br />

67 miles <strong>of</strong> beautiful<br />

The trail, which runs from Sandy Point Marina on North<br />

Caicos to Lorimers Landing on Middle Caicos, follows<br />

public, paved roads. Turns are clearly marked on <strong>the</strong><br />

map, as well as points <strong>of</strong> interest, places to stop to refill<br />

water bottles, and scenic spots. The full trail, out and<br />

back, is 67 miles, but Brown notes that more casual riders<br />

can use <strong>the</strong> map to create <strong>the</strong>ir own turn-around spots.<br />

Kevin Yates and Doug Camozzi <strong>of</strong> Caicos Cyclery enjoy a day on <strong>the</strong><br />

Caicos Cycle Trail on North and Middle Caicos.<br />

MELANIE LEE-BROWN<br />

Jim Brown, mapper <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> North and Middle Caicos Cycle Trail, is<br />

ready for a ride at his part-time North Carolina home.<br />

“Most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m will take a 45-mile route to Mudjin<br />

Harbour and back,” Brown says, noting that <strong>the</strong> shorter<br />

route is <strong>the</strong> one that Caicos Cyclery has led on its past<br />

tours. There are only a few uphill stretches, <strong>the</strong> longest<br />

on <strong>the</strong> return trip coming <strong>of</strong>f <strong>the</strong> causeway onto North<br />

Caicos.<br />

“North and Middle Caicos are perfect for cycling,” he<br />

says. “I’ve never lived in a more perfect place to go on a<br />

casual cycling trip.” One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> trail’s best features is that<br />

<strong>the</strong> prevailing winds come from <strong>the</strong> east, so “you have <strong>the</strong><br />

wind at your back” on <strong>the</strong> return.<br />

All information on <strong>the</strong> Caicos Cycle Trail is currently<br />

accessible online, with <strong>the</strong> printed map/information coming<br />

soon. Brown also plans to paint Dan Henry arrows on<br />

<strong>the</strong> trail’s roads in December. These arrows (named for<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir creator), a worldwide method to mark cycle tour-<br />

58 www.timespub.tc


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

ing routes that has been standardized by <strong>the</strong> League <strong>of</strong><br />

American Bicyclists, consist <strong>of</strong> a circle with a line pointing<br />

in <strong>the</strong> direction <strong>the</strong> cyclist should take. They are placed at<br />

all turns and intersections.<br />

Because <strong>the</strong>y are painted on <strong>the</strong> roads, Brown says,<br />

“Car drivers never notice <strong>the</strong>m, but cyclists can see <strong>the</strong>m<br />

easily.” He is waiting until he is on North again and<br />

receives permission to get <strong>the</strong> work done.<br />

* *<br />

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

*<br />

Resumes Nov 1st<br />

Collaborators in cycling<br />

Brown’s interest in creating <strong>the</strong> trail comes from a lifetime<br />

immersed in cycling. His fa<strong>the</strong>r was a cyclist and<br />

created <strong>the</strong> Delaware Cycling Club (county name) in <strong>the</strong><br />

state <strong>of</strong> Indiana, where Brown grew up. He <strong>of</strong>ten rode with<br />

<strong>the</strong> club and with his fa<strong>the</strong>r in such events as a Century<br />

(100 miles in one day) and Bike Centennial in 1976, a<br />

2 1/2-month coast-to-coast tour covering 4,250 miles. He<br />

went into racing after that, and worked his way through<br />

college as a mechanic in a bike shop. (“Back when it was<br />

possible to work your way through college,” he says ruefully,<br />

thinking <strong>of</strong> his now-college-age children.) Although<br />

he no longer races, he remains an avid cyclist and follows<br />

international racing closely.<br />

He and his wife, Melanie, bought Bottle Creek Lodge<br />

in 2016 and have spent years renovating <strong>the</strong> compound.<br />

1 (649) 342-3180<br />

North Caicos Island, TCI<br />

BottleCreekLodge.com<br />

BottleCreekLodge@gmail.com<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 59


Trail<br />

Start<br />

Sandy<br />

Point<br />

MILE<br />

5<br />

3<br />

2<br />

4<br />

Whitby<br />

6<br />

5<br />

1<br />

Sandy Point<br />

Marina<br />

Kew<br />

7<br />

8<br />

9<br />

MILE<br />

10<br />

Major<br />

Hill<br />

10<br />

11<br />

12<br />

13<br />

Bottle<br />

Creek<br />

North Caicos<br />

Island<br />

14<br />

MILE<br />

15<br />

15<br />

Bottle Creek<br />

16 Lodge<br />

17<br />

18<br />

20<br />

MILE<br />

20 MILE<br />

19<br />

Conch Bar<br />

25<br />

Attractions<br />

: Sandy Point Marina (Trail start)<br />

5 : Flamingo Pond Overlook<br />

17 : North/Middle Caicos Causeway<br />

18 : Dragon Cay Overlook<br />

19 : Indian Caves (on Airport Road)<br />

: Lorimer's Landing (Trail turn-about)<br />

Groceries (drinks & snacks)<br />

4 : KJ's Grocery<br />

9 : Nique's Grocery<br />

9 : Liqour Plus<br />

10 : Al's Grocery<br />

12 : Tee's Grocery<br />

13 : Dard's Grocery<br />

Restaurants, Bar & Grills<br />

1 : Green Island Grill<br />

2 : Big Josh's Bar & Grill<br />

3 : Barracuda Beach Bar & Grill<br />

6 : Silver Palm Bistro<br />

7 : Miss Bee's Restaurant<br />

8 : Aquatic Restaurant & Bar<br />

9 : My Dee's Restaurant<br />

11 : ParrotIce Ice Cream<br />

14 : Frank's Cafe<br />

15 : Last Chance Bar & Grill<br />

18 : Mudjin Bar & Grill<br />

20 : Seaview Cafe<br />

M<br />

They reopened it as a guest house in February <strong>2020</strong>, just<br />

in time to close in March for <strong>the</strong> COVID-19 lockdown.<br />

He says <strong>the</strong>y will reopen, although actual planning is a<br />

guessing game, as it is for most TCI businesses today.<br />

The Browns divide <strong>the</strong>ir time between North Caicos and<br />

North Carolina, where he runs a small microbiology lab<br />

and is on <strong>the</strong> faculty at North Carolina State University.<br />

Caicos Cyclery, located in Saltmills Plaza on<br />

Providenciales, includes tours <strong>of</strong> North and Middle Caicos<br />

along with its o<strong>the</strong>r bike tours and rentals, all <strong>of</strong> which<br />

include locks, helmets and baskets for all participants.<br />

Owner Doug Camozzi <strong>of</strong>ten accompanies <strong>the</strong> groups<br />

that go to <strong>the</strong> sister islands. Rentals at <strong>the</strong> shop <strong>of</strong>fer<br />

a full line <strong>of</strong> bike types, from road and mountain bikes<br />

60 www.timespub.tc


Caicos<br />

Cycle Trail<br />

Outbound arrows<br />

Sandy point to Lorimers<br />

MILE<br />

30<br />

Bambarra<br />

Lorimers<br />

Landing<br />

MILE<br />

Lorimers<br />

33½<br />

Inbound arrows<br />

Lorimers to Sandy point<br />

Trail turn-about<br />

Caicos Cyclery is Providenciales’ only “certified” bike<br />

shop and dealers for Electra, TREK and SCOTT performance<br />

bicycles. The COVID-19 closure <strong>of</strong> TCI’s<br />

borders for four months led to a major surge in<br />

cycling—in <strong>the</strong> early days <strong>of</strong> lockdown, residents were<br />

to leave home to exercise only in <strong>the</strong> early morning<br />

and evening. Many former “non-cyclists” took to <strong>the</strong><br />

empty streets and enjoyed hours <strong>of</strong> peaceful rides.<br />

Caicos Cyclery was THE place to go for bike repairs<br />

and purchases.<br />

Caicos Cyclery is located in The Saltmills, sharing<br />

space with Big Al’s for “Bike, Burgers and Beef.” At<br />

Caicos Cyclery, you can purchase or rent a new TREK<br />

or SCOTT bike. For more information, call (649) 941<br />

2453. a<br />

iddle Caicos<br />

Island<br />

5 miles<br />

© James W. Brown (<strong>2020</strong>) BottleCreekLodge@Gmail.com<br />

Ortelius Education Edition<br />

and hybrids to children’s bikes and even tandems. On<br />

<strong>the</strong> Caicos Cycle Trail website, those planning self-guided<br />

tours will find lots <strong>of</strong> advance information on renting and<br />

getting bikes to North Caicos, plus step-by-step directions<br />

once <strong>the</strong>y are on island.<br />

Although only two businesses are <strong>the</strong> sponsors <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Caicos Cycle Trail map, island neighbours and businesses<br />

get plenty <strong>of</strong> exposure on it and <strong>the</strong> website. Cyclists are<br />

<strong>of</strong>fered many options for picking up snacks and water at<br />

local groceries, or for stopping at bars and restaurants<br />

for breaks. M&M Taxi is noted as a sag wagon—a support<br />

vehicle for carrying spare parts and responding to minor<br />

emergencies—and a list <strong>of</strong> emergency numbers assures<br />

riders <strong>of</strong> help if <strong>the</strong>y need it. The site also displays a bit<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> personality <strong>of</strong> its developer: Brown couldn’t resist<br />

putting in a few “in” jokes from <strong>the</strong> cycling world, such as<br />

references to “hairy-legged” cyclists and “shaved leggers,”<br />

and an upside-down “Is my bike okay?” that refers to a<br />

dedicated cyclist’s priority in an accident.<br />

Accidents, however, are unlikely with such a thorough<br />

and detailed guide. The Caicos Cycle Trail is less<br />

about what might go wrong than what will go right: a<br />

pleasant two-wheel tour that highlights <strong>the</strong> beauty and<br />

friendliness <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> twin islands. a<br />

For more information, visit: www.CaicosCycleTrail.info;<br />

www.CaicosCyclery.com; www.BottleCreekLodge.com.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 61


Safety Rules <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Road<br />

(The following is taken from <strong>the</strong> Caicos Cycle Trail<br />

site. Information is adapted for <strong>the</strong> TCI and modified<br />

from <strong>the</strong> league <strong>of</strong> American Bicyclists Rules <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Road.)<br />

Take care <strong>of</strong> yourself<br />

Wear a helmet. Carry more water than you think<br />

you’ll need, and something to eat. Wear sunscreen<br />

and have insect repellant with you.<br />

Follow <strong>the</strong> law<br />

Your safety depends on you. You have <strong>the</strong> same<br />

rights and responsibilities as drivers. Obey traffic<br />

signs. Ride with traffic on <strong>the</strong> left no more than two<br />

abreast, as close to <strong>the</strong> left side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> road as is<br />

reasonable.<br />

Don’t be a Yank<br />

If you are an American, remember to ride on <strong>the</strong> left,<br />

and be aware that you will always be looking in <strong>the</strong><br />

wrong direction for danger. Look both ways, and<br />

check twice!<br />

Ride ready<br />

Check that your tires are properly inflated and brakes<br />

are working. Carry a cell phone, tools and supplies to<br />

change a tire (unless you have a sag wagon).<br />

Be predictable<br />

Make your intentions clear to everyone on <strong>the</strong> road.<br />

Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve. Signal turns.<br />

Think ahead<br />

Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians and o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

cyclists will do next. Watch for overtaking and turning<br />

vehicles. Look out for rocks, debris, potholes,<br />

dogs, chickens, land crabs and o<strong>the</strong>r road hazards.<br />

Be conspicuous<br />

Ride where people can see you and wear bright clothing.<br />

Make eye contact with o<strong>the</strong>rs and don’t ride <strong>of</strong>f<br />

<strong>the</strong> side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> road. a<br />

62 www.timespub.tc


astrolabe<br />

newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

Front Street, PO Box 188, Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, BWI TKCA 1ZZ<br />

tel 649 247 2160/US incoming 786 220 1159 • email info@tcmuseum.org • web www.tcmuseum.org<br />

Children learned how laundry used to be done at <strong>the</strong> National Museum’s 2019 “Back in <strong>the</strong> Day” event. This celebration <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI’s cultural<br />

heritage is a prime example <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> importance <strong>of</strong> community partnerships.<br />

TURKS & CAICOS NATIONAL MUSEUM<br />

Partnerships Must Continue<br />

The global COVID-19 pandemic is forcing non-pr<strong>of</strong>it organizations around <strong>the</strong> world to re-evaluate <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

operations. The work <strong>of</strong> museums is paramount in <strong>the</strong> preservation <strong>of</strong> history and culture and this<br />

includes <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum. To keep our mission alive, we must continue to work<br />

with both our local and international partners to expand fundraising and volunteer programs, develop<br />

educational activities and search out additional research opportunities.<br />

This <strong>the</strong>me <strong>of</strong> partnerships is illustrated in this edition <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Astrolabe. The feature article, “Lucayan<br />

Legacies: Images <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Past” showcases how partnerships with organizations and individuals helped to<br />

develop educational packages on <strong>the</strong> Lucayans for classrooms in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos and The Bahamas.<br />

“A Salty Mystery,” by regular Astrolabe contributor Jeffrey Dodge, asks readers for help in deciphering<br />

<strong>the</strong> enigma <strong>of</strong> why a used postcard was copied historically to create a new postcard.<br />

Do you have a historic or cultural research question or article you would like to submit to <strong>the</strong><br />

Astrolabe? Contact us at info@tcmuseum.org. a<br />

Dr. Michael P. Pateman, Ph.D., former Director, Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 63


astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

In this illustration, “Cacique and Emissary,” a Hispaniolan (Taíno) emissary presents a siba (stone celt) to <strong>the</strong> Lucayan cacique, who welcomes<br />

him to his village with an entourage <strong>of</strong> family members ceremonially painted and attired in a rich variety <strong>of</strong> stone and shell ornaments (including<br />

belts, naguas, necklaces and ear flares).<br />

Lucayan Legacies<br />

Images <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> past.<br />

By Joanna Ostapkowicz ~ Images By Merald Clark ©<br />

In 2017 during a visit to <strong>the</strong> National Art Gallery <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bahamas, I came across a temporary exhibit filled<br />

with children’s paintings focusing on island history, both past and present. At <strong>the</strong> very start <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> exhibition<br />

were several paintings showing Columbus laying claim to <strong>the</strong> islands for <strong>the</strong> Spanish crown, with<br />

<strong>the</strong> local “Indians” (<strong>the</strong> Lucayans) looking passively on. There were no images “pre-Columbus,” giving<br />

<strong>the</strong> impression that <strong>the</strong> islands’ history started with that fateful landfall on Guanahani (San Salvador) on<br />

October 12, 1492. But what <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> centuries <strong>of</strong> island life that preceded this event, with indigenous settlement<br />

going back to AD 700?<br />

64 www.timespub.tc


astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

Depictions: past, present, future<br />

The absence <strong>of</strong> this subject matter on <strong>the</strong> walls <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> gallery<br />

told its own story. And while <strong>the</strong> Columbus focus was<br />

only a small part <strong>of</strong> a highly diverse and engaging reflection<br />

on some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> histories as well as <strong>the</strong> issues facing<br />

<strong>the</strong> islands today (tourism, pollution, etc.), it sowed <strong>the</strong><br />

seed <strong>of</strong> a venture that aimed to visually re-engage young<br />

audiences with <strong>the</strong> Lucayans.<br />

As part <strong>of</strong> project SIBA (Stone Interchanges in <strong>the</strong><br />

Bahamian Archipelago), in collaboration with <strong>the</strong> National<br />

Museums <strong>of</strong> both The Bahamas and <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong> and in consultation with <strong>the</strong> Bahamas Ministry <strong>of</strong><br />

Education, a package <strong>of</strong> educational resource materials<br />

has been brought toge<strong>the</strong>r for use in primary and secondary<br />

schools on <strong>the</strong> islands. These include a set <strong>of</strong> 10 large<br />

posters, featuring commissioned illustrations by artist<br />

Merald Clark, alongside teacher’s guides to <strong>the</strong> content.<br />

The information is entirely flexible to <strong>the</strong> directions in<br />

which current and future teaching modules develop.<br />

The aim is to show <strong>the</strong> Lucayans within <strong>the</strong> context<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir own histories—not as backdrops to European history—and<br />

to highlight <strong>the</strong> rich archaeological heritage <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> region. The artworks, which are inspired by <strong>the</strong> many<br />

unique artefacts that have been recovered over <strong>the</strong> last<br />

century, reflect <strong>the</strong> latest understandings <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> archaeology<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> archipelago. They focus on various subjects,<br />

from <strong>the</strong> skills needed to carve a canoe or weave a hammock,<br />

to food production, to <strong>the</strong> social dynamics and<br />

trade networks that linked <strong>the</strong> Lucayans to <strong>the</strong>ir sou<strong>the</strong>rn<br />

neighbours in Cuba and Hispaniola. These images are<br />

intended as windows onto a Lucayan past, to spur imagination<br />

and engagement in classrooms.<br />

The background information to <strong>the</strong> content <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se<br />

illustrations took several years to complete. The journey<br />

through <strong>the</strong> archaeology and history <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> region,<br />

through <strong>the</strong> many museums that held Lucayan collections,<br />

and ultimately to <strong>the</strong> discussions about how to<br />

bring <strong>the</strong>se myriad aspects to “life,” has been enormously<br />

rewarding, and for me <strong>the</strong> highlight <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> SIBA project.<br />

Working with such a gifted artist—an anthropologist,<br />

scientific illustrator and educator rolled into one—has<br />

been both a privilege and pleasure. Over <strong>the</strong> course <strong>of</strong><br />

2019, e-mails would fly back and forth, sometimes a<br />

dozen each day, as we worked out <strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong>mes and content.<br />

I would send Merald photos <strong>of</strong> artefacts, and next<br />

thing I knew <strong>the</strong>y were captured within a remarkably realistic<br />

scene. His depictions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lucayans are meticulous<br />

in detail: critically, <strong>the</strong>y are not depicted as placid, timid<br />

shadows, but people who lived lives, who had <strong>the</strong>ir own<br />

histories. That <strong>the</strong>se illustrations are strikingly different<br />

to what we might expect is because <strong>the</strong>y debunk some<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> stereotypes that still persist about <strong>the</strong> Lucayans,<br />

including <strong>the</strong> long-held assumption that <strong>the</strong>y were a simple<br />

people leading a simple life. Below, <strong>the</strong> illustrations<br />

and some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> concepts behind <strong>the</strong>m are explored in<br />

six selected examples.<br />

Envisioning <strong>the</strong> Lucayans: a reappraisal<br />

Lucayan histories do not start with Columbus, yet it is his<br />

words that have long defined our perceptions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m<br />

as a “gentle, peaceful, and very simple people.” (Colón,<br />

1992) On that fateful date <strong>of</strong> October 12, 1492, after<br />

laying claim to <strong>the</strong> island <strong>of</strong> Guanahani for <strong>the</strong> Spanish<br />

crown with full pomp and ceremony, Columbus describes<br />

his reception by <strong>the</strong> native inhabitants:<br />

“ . . . <strong>the</strong>y came swimming to <strong>the</strong> vessels’ boats . . .<br />

[bringing] parrots, spun cotton in little balls, javelins,<br />

and many o<strong>the</strong>r things; and <strong>the</strong>y traded <strong>the</strong>m to us<br />

for . . . small glass beads and bells. In short, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

took everything and gave <strong>of</strong> what <strong>the</strong>y had willingly;<br />

but it seemed to me that <strong>the</strong>y were a very poor people<br />

in every way. They all go around naked, just as<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir mo<strong>the</strong>rs bore <strong>the</strong>m, <strong>the</strong> women too, although<br />

I saw no more than one very young girl. All those<br />

whom I saw were young men—for I saw no one <strong>of</strong> an<br />

age greater than thirty years—very well made, with<br />

very beautiful bodies and very pleasant features.<br />

They have thick, short hair, almost like <strong>the</strong> hairs <strong>of</strong> a<br />

horse’s tail. They wear <strong>the</strong>ir hair cut above <strong>the</strong>ir eyebrows,<br />

except for a portion in back which <strong>the</strong>y wear<br />

long and never cut. Some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m paint <strong>the</strong>mselves<br />

dark, but <strong>the</strong>y are <strong>the</strong> color <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Canary Islanders,<br />

nei<strong>the</strong>r black nor white. And some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m paint<br />

<strong>the</strong>mselves white, and some red, and some whatever<br />

color <strong>the</strong>y find. Some paint <strong>the</strong>ir faces and some <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

bodies, some only <strong>the</strong>ir eyes or only <strong>the</strong>ir noses . . .<br />

They are general <strong>of</strong> good height and have a fine bearing,<br />

and <strong>the</strong>y are well made.” (Lardicci (ed), 1999)<br />

The stereotype <strong>of</strong> naked, “primitive simplicity” (Colón,<br />

1992) has remained largely unquestioned to this day. Less<br />

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referenced, perhaps because <strong>the</strong>y were less sensationalistic,<br />

are Columbus’ comments on how <strong>the</strong> Lucayans were<br />

“fluent in speech and intelligent” (he enslaved six for use<br />

as translators) (Colón, 1992), and that <strong>the</strong>y did actually<br />

wear body ornaments, including cotton naguas (women’s<br />

skirts) and “capes,” and gold and o<strong>the</strong>r ornaments—in<br />

addition to <strong>the</strong> frequent use <strong>of</strong> body painting.<br />

Indeed, Columbus’ accounts <strong>of</strong> “naked” people continue<br />

to blind perceptions <strong>of</strong> what constituted native dress<br />

in <strong>the</strong> tropics. Seen through <strong>the</strong> prism <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> European<br />

gaze, long accustomed to shielding <strong>the</strong> body along conservative<br />

religious and socially prescribed ways, it is not<br />

hard to understand <strong>the</strong>ir initial shock to this different<br />

aes<strong>the</strong>tic. To <strong>the</strong> Europeans, drenched (quite literally) in<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir heavy, layered clothing, <strong>the</strong> contrast could not have<br />

been starker.<br />

A seismic shift was needed to comprehend that <strong>the</strong><br />

Lucayans followed <strong>the</strong>ir own set <strong>of</strong> socially prescribed<br />

ways <strong>of</strong> dressing, less about modestly covering everything<br />

over in order to shield <strong>the</strong> gaze, more about enhancing<br />

and emphasising certain aspects <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> body—<strong>the</strong> head,<br />

neck, waist, arms and legs—that collectively made up <strong>the</strong><br />

social being once adorned. Here, when occasions warranted<br />

it, cotton ornaments would wrap <strong>the</strong> upper arms<br />

and waist in geometric weaves, multiple strands <strong>of</strong> shell<br />

or stone beads—occasionally adorned with bone and<br />

stone pendants—would interplay against body painting<br />

in red, black or white, <strong>the</strong> ears may have been weighed<br />

down with heavy flares, and <strong>the</strong> hair adorned with fea<strong>the</strong>rs<br />

or cotton cords enhancing <strong>the</strong> high-domed shape<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> head, itself <strong>the</strong> product <strong>of</strong> cultural modification<br />

during infancy.<br />

The amount <strong>of</strong> body ornament used by <strong>the</strong> inhabitants<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lucayan archipelago has long been underestimated<br />

and underappreciated. Adorning <strong>the</strong> body is a universal,<br />

deep time practice—whe<strong>the</strong>r through physical alteration,<br />

paint, beautifully crafted textiles, valuable stones or gold,<br />

people have re-interpreted <strong>the</strong>ir bodies and <strong>the</strong>ir identities;<br />

no less so <strong>the</strong> Lucayans. It is time to stop thinking<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m simply as “naked.”<br />

The illusion <strong>of</strong> a tropical idyll<br />

Like Columbus, many modern visitors perceive life on<br />

<strong>the</strong>se islands as idyllic. But popular perceptions <strong>of</strong> a<br />

tranquil paradise, with turquoise waters and pink sands,<br />

quickly disappear during hurricane season. The wet summer<br />

months bring intolerable levels <strong>of</strong> mosquitos and<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r biting insects, while <strong>the</strong> waters have <strong>the</strong>ir own<br />

share <strong>of</strong> dangers, including sharks and stingrays. Despite<br />

being surrounded by water, many islands completely lack<br />

easy access to drinking water—and life cannot be sustained<br />

without this, particularly in such a hot, sub-tropical<br />

climate.<br />

These limestone islands typically have very shallow,<br />

impoverished soils making agriculture a challenge; <strong>the</strong>y<br />

do not have hard stone such as basalt, flint or jadeite,<br />

materials relied upon in <strong>the</strong> past to create axes and o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

tools in order to cut down trees to make canoes, house<br />

posts and food vessels, among o<strong>the</strong>r essentials. There is<br />

nothing simple about dealing with such conditions.<br />

The illustrations thus underscore <strong>the</strong> ways in which<br />

<strong>the</strong> Lucayans adapted to <strong>the</strong>se challenges, from seafaring<br />

and fishing, to <strong>the</strong> production <strong>of</strong> root crops, to <strong>the</strong> connections<br />

<strong>the</strong>y maintained to <strong>the</strong>ir distant “homelands.”<br />

Realities<br />

“Cassava and Mischief” shows <strong>the</strong> laborious process <strong>of</strong><br />

making <strong>the</strong> Lucayan staple, cassava bread—made from<br />

bitter manioc (Manihot esculenta). In <strong>the</strong> right foreground,<br />

large basketry containers hold manioc tubers,<br />

scraped clean and ready for <strong>the</strong> grater board, which <strong>the</strong><br />

kneeling woman is working with. The resulting pulp is<br />

passed to <strong>the</strong> standing woman, who packs it into a long<br />

woven tube before hanging it from <strong>the</strong> wooden frame<br />

beside her. She will pass <strong>the</strong> Y-shaped pole (currently tied<br />

to <strong>the</strong> framework) through <strong>the</strong> tube’s bottom loop; when<br />

she presses down upon it, <strong>the</strong> tube tightens around <strong>the</strong><br />

manioc pulp, squeezing its poisonous juices out into <strong>the</strong><br />

ceramic bowls at her feet.<br />

What is left is raw flour, which is ground and sifted<br />

before being passed to <strong>the</strong> women cooking in <strong>the</strong> nearby<br />

shelter. The flour is spread thinly over a griddle and<br />

toasted on both sides before being put onto <strong>the</strong> thatched<br />

ro<strong>of</strong>top to cool. A pair <strong>of</strong> parrots (guacamayas) and dogs<br />

(aon) keep <strong>the</strong> women company as <strong>the</strong>y work—both were<br />

kept as pets by <strong>the</strong> Lucayans.<br />

The “mischief” in <strong>the</strong> title refers to <strong>the</strong> two mischievous<br />

boys who pester <strong>the</strong> women at <strong>the</strong>ir work until <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

aunt gently admonishes <strong>the</strong>m to behave. This scene<br />

would have been a regular, potentially daily, occurrence,<br />

from processing <strong>the</strong> manioc roots to making <strong>the</strong> fresh,<br />

toasted bread, to <strong>the</strong> pleasant social interactions and dis-<br />

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“Cassava and Mischief” shows <strong>the</strong> laborious process <strong>of</strong> making <strong>the</strong> Lucayan staple, cassava bread.<br />

tractions that made light <strong>the</strong> work. O<strong>the</strong>r crops would<br />

have also been important—including maize, yams, sweet<br />

potato, chili peppers, beans and gourds. Working <strong>the</strong> gardens,<br />

ga<strong>the</strong>ring plants and hunting would have been daily<br />

activities that absorbed much time.<br />

Food from <strong>the</strong> land was complemented by that from<br />

<strong>the</strong> sea. The Lucayans were skilled swimmers and divers,<br />

and much <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir food came from <strong>the</strong> surrounding<br />

waters. The “Fisherfolk” illustration depicts three divers<br />

in <strong>the</strong> water spearfishing in <strong>the</strong> sun-dappled shallows,<br />

while two wait in <strong>the</strong> canoe at <strong>the</strong> water’s surface for<br />

<strong>the</strong> catch to come in. One diver has speared a parrotfish,<br />

while ano<strong>the</strong>r holds a conch al<strong>of</strong>t as he swims closer to<br />

<strong>the</strong> canoe. The diver on <strong>the</strong> right faces out to <strong>the</strong> viewer,<br />

reaching for <strong>the</strong> conch spotted among <strong>the</strong> turtle grass.<br />

He holds in his hand a fishing harpoon, tipped with a<br />

stingray spine. In <strong>the</strong> distance a curious turtle surveys <strong>the</strong><br />

scene, and a variety <strong>of</strong> fish, including grouper, snapper<br />

and grunts, circle cautiously in <strong>the</strong> periphery.<br />

Remains <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se mammals, fish and shellfish have<br />

been recovered from Lucayan archaeological sites and<br />

were consumed as part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> local diet as grouper,<br />

snapper and conch still are today. The scene, however,<br />

is not as innocent as it first appears. It touches upon two<br />

<strong>the</strong>mes for students to explore fur<strong>the</strong>r—<strong>the</strong> sensitivity <strong>of</strong><br />

natural resources to over-predation, <strong>the</strong>n and now (e.g.,<br />

overharvesting <strong>of</strong> conch is depleting stocks at an alarming<br />

rate), and <strong>the</strong> fate <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lucayans.<br />

The Spanish enslaved <strong>the</strong> Lucayans specifically for<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir diving skills, which were in high demand for <strong>the</strong><br />

pearl fisheries <strong>of</strong>f <strong>the</strong> coast <strong>of</strong> Venezuela during <strong>the</strong> early<br />

colonial period. They were forced to dive for pearls to<br />

unsafe depths, with little rest and under dangerous conditions;<br />

many died as a result. The underwater scene<br />

<strong>the</strong>refore links two threads —showing traditional life and<br />

hunting skills, and touching upon how <strong>the</strong>se skills were<br />

taken advantage <strong>of</strong> by <strong>the</strong> colonisers.<br />

Artistry and craft: ceramics, cotton<br />

When it came time to process <strong>the</strong> food—whe<strong>the</strong>r from<br />

land or sea—containers would have been important for<br />

storage and cooking, including basketry and ceramics.<br />

While baskets do not survive in <strong>the</strong> archaeological record,<br />

ceramic fragments (sherds) are commonly found, and<br />

<strong>the</strong>y provide a unique perspective on people’s adaptation<br />

to <strong>the</strong> Lucayan archipelago.<br />

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“The Fisherfolk” depicts three divers in <strong>the</strong> water spearfishing in <strong>the</strong> sun-dappled shallows,<br />

while two wait in <strong>the</strong> canoe at <strong>the</strong> water’s surface for <strong>the</strong> catch to come in.


astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

“Palmetto Potters” shows some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> steps in making Palmetto Ware, as Lucayan ceramics are known. These ceramics first started appearing<br />

ca. AD 800, and were still in use when Columbus arrived in <strong>the</strong> region.<br />

The early settlers initially brought with <strong>the</strong>m ceramics<br />

from <strong>the</strong>ir homelands, but once permanently settled<br />

on <strong>the</strong> islands <strong>the</strong>y had to create ceramics using <strong>the</strong><br />

resources to hand, as shown in <strong>the</strong> illustration “Palmetto<br />

Potters.” Unlike <strong>the</strong> volcanic islands to <strong>the</strong> south, <strong>the</strong><br />

Lucayan archipelago had relatively poor clay sources:<br />

<strong>the</strong> red local loams or clays found in swales, mangrove<br />

swamps, inland lakes and ponds were used, toge<strong>the</strong>r with<br />

a burnt shell temper for added strength.<br />

Palmetto Ware, as Lucayan ceramics are known,<br />

are one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> key markers <strong>of</strong> native adaptation to <strong>the</strong><br />

islands. These ceramics first started appearing ca. AD<br />

800 and were still in use when Columbus arrived in <strong>the</strong><br />

region. Some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> steps <strong>of</strong> manufacture are set out in<br />

<strong>the</strong> illustration, showing, at left, <strong>the</strong> young girl kneading<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> shell temper and clay, while one woman<br />

smooths a large coiled vessel and <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r decorates<br />

<strong>the</strong> rim <strong>of</strong> a semi-hardened vessel with <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> a reed,<br />

creating what archaeologists call a “punctate” design. In<br />

front <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m is a series <strong>of</strong> characteristic vessel shapes,<br />

including a flat griddle used to toast cassava. They will<br />

all be imprinted on <strong>the</strong>ir bases by <strong>the</strong> woven pattern from<br />

<strong>the</strong> mat <strong>the</strong>y are resting on—ano<strong>the</strong>r common element to<br />

Lucayan pottery. In <strong>the</strong> background is a pile <strong>of</strong> firewood<br />

ready for <strong>the</strong> next stage in <strong>the</strong> manufacturing process:<br />

<strong>the</strong> firing <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ceramics in open, shallow pits requiring<br />

a temperature <strong>of</strong> ca. 900ºC to harden <strong>the</strong> clay and make<br />

<strong>the</strong> vessels useable.<br />

Cotton was a trade commodity among <strong>the</strong> Lucayans<br />

—<strong>the</strong>y readily <strong>of</strong>fered it to Columbus and his crew,<br />

which means <strong>the</strong>y had it in excess and viewed it as a<br />

valuable, with <strong>the</strong> expectation that it was valued by oth-<br />

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ers. This should not be surprising: it was on Long Island,<br />

The Bahamas that <strong>the</strong> Spaniards first saw woven cotton<br />

hammocks and people wearing cotton ornaments;<br />

clearly, cotton was ubiquitous, and in regular use in <strong>the</strong><br />

region.<br />

When Columbus travelled on to Cuba and Hispaniola,<br />

he found hammocks and o<strong>the</strong>r woven goods were brought<br />

out for exchange, and heavily beaded, ornate belts were<br />

given to him as gifts (Ostapkowicz, 2013). It is likely<br />

that cotton had a standard value across <strong>the</strong> region—recognised<br />

by all indigenous groups as something useful<br />

and esteemed. And while <strong>the</strong> Spanish recorded cotton<br />

goods, <strong>the</strong>y unfortunately did not record how <strong>the</strong>y were<br />

made. Given <strong>the</strong> size <strong>of</strong> hammocks, some type <strong>of</strong> loom<br />

was likely used, and as no complete looms survive from<br />

<strong>the</strong> pre-Columbian Caribbean, we must rely on evidence<br />

In “The Weavers,” an elder sits by <strong>the</strong> side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> bohio (house) weaving a hammock in <strong>the</strong> company <strong>of</strong> her granddaughter, who is spinning new<br />

cotton twine. They’ll need much more cotton to complete <strong>the</strong> hammock, particularly if strands get lost to <strong>the</strong> play <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir pet parrot and dog.<br />

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“Beyond <strong>the</strong> Everyday” encourages a consideration <strong>of</strong> aspects <strong>of</strong> Lucayan culture that were an integral part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir lives: <strong>the</strong>ir histories and<br />

beliefs.<br />

from <strong>the</strong> surrounding regions, where looms have been<br />

used for millennia, and continue to be used today.<br />

The loom featured in “The Weavers” illustration is a<br />

back-strap style common among <strong>the</strong> Arawak-speaking<br />

groups <strong>of</strong> South America, and is <strong>of</strong>ten called <strong>the</strong> “Arawak<br />

loom.” Given that <strong>the</strong> Lucayans were Arawak speakers, it<br />

seems appropriate (<strong>the</strong>re is a different type <strong>of</strong> Caribbean<br />

loom more commonly seen among <strong>the</strong> Carib-speakers,<br />

such as <strong>the</strong> Kalinago <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lesser Antilles), but whe<strong>the</strong>r<br />

this was <strong>the</strong> version <strong>the</strong> Lucayans used is, at best, a guess.<br />

The benefit <strong>of</strong> this style <strong>of</strong> loom is that it could be used<br />

for a variety <strong>of</strong> weave sizes—from small cotton naguas<br />

to hammocks—simply by adjusting <strong>the</strong> sizes <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> warp<br />

and wefts and/or <strong>the</strong> wooden framework. In this scene,<br />

an elder sits by <strong>the</strong> side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> bohio (house) weaving a<br />

hammock in <strong>the</strong> company <strong>of</strong> her granddaughter, who is<br />

spinning new cotton twine, while <strong>the</strong> pet pup and parrot<br />

are enjoying a bit <strong>of</strong> play with an unravelling spindle whorl.<br />

Trade<br />

Trade linked <strong>the</strong> many islands in <strong>the</strong> archipelago to each<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r and to communities on Hispaniola and/or Cuba and<br />

beyond. Evidence for <strong>the</strong> circulation <strong>of</strong> goods is recovered<br />

at archaeological sites in <strong>the</strong> region—from imported<br />

ceramics to exotic stone artefacts (celts, pendants and<br />

beads). The Lucayans would trade <strong>the</strong>ir own goods in<br />

return, including cotton and parrots, as mentioned in<br />

Columbus’ accounts, and quite possibly o<strong>the</strong>r perishables,<br />

such as baskets, salt and salted fish or conch.<br />

The small, perfectly made shell beads that are commonly<br />

found at sites were likely made for export. The site<br />

<strong>of</strong> Governor’s Beach (GT-2), Grand Turk, for example, was<br />

a shell bead production site, where thousands <strong>of</strong> beads<br />

and bead-making scrap were recovered (Carlson, 1993).<br />

People would likely barter in small exchanges between<br />

neighbouring communities, but caciques (chiefs) or “big<br />

men” may have controlled longer distance trade for desir-<br />

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able objects such as gold and stone ornaments.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> “Cacique and Emissary” illustration, a<br />

Hispaniolan (Taíno) emissary presents a siba (stone<br />

celt) to <strong>the</strong> Lucayan cacique, who welcomes him to his<br />

village with an entourage <strong>of</strong> family members ceremonially<br />

painted and attired in a rich variety <strong>of</strong> stone and<br />

shell ornaments (including belts, naguas, necklaces and<br />

ear flares). The emissary has come to <strong>of</strong>fer in trade <strong>the</strong><br />

stone artefacts from his village, which are not available<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Lucayan archipelago, for <strong>the</strong> small shell beads so<br />

expertly made in <strong>the</strong> region. The ceremonial nature <strong>of</strong><br />

this exchange underscores that <strong>the</strong>se inter-island connections<br />

were not simply about accessing materials and<br />

artefacts, but about <strong>the</strong> social connections that bound<br />

people toge<strong>the</strong>r in <strong>the</strong>se long-distance networks.<br />

Legends, stories, histories<br />

“Beyond <strong>the</strong> Everyday” is perhaps <strong>the</strong> most immersive and<br />

evocative <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> illustrations, encouraging a consideration<br />

<strong>of</strong> aspects <strong>of</strong> Lucayan culture that were an integral<br />

part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir lives: <strong>the</strong>ir histories and beliefs. In <strong>the</strong> background,<br />

a seated group listens to <strong>the</strong> cacique recount a<br />

myth, while in <strong>the</strong> foreground, two young girls contemplate<br />

<strong>the</strong> night sky. They can hear <strong>the</strong> story even where<br />

<strong>the</strong>y sit, and reflect on its meaning. Through <strong>the</strong> skillful<br />

words <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> orator, <strong>the</strong>ir familiar world—<strong>the</strong> village, gardens,<br />

beach and forest—expands to fill with ancestors,<br />

heroes, spirits and supernatural creatures. Whe<strong>the</strong>r an<br />

origin story, recounting <strong>the</strong> first people’s migration to<br />

<strong>the</strong>se islands, or a myth relating how <strong>the</strong> hawksbill turtle<br />

acquired its beautiful shell patterns, <strong>the</strong> stories are<br />

told and retold, and so remembered by <strong>the</strong> following<br />

generations. There is much wisdom to <strong>the</strong>se tales, useful<br />

in teaching values and morals to each new generation,<br />

while also keeping <strong>the</strong> elders, who heard (and recounted)<br />

versions <strong>of</strong> each story innumerable times, involved and<br />

entertained. Through listening to <strong>the</strong>se stories, <strong>the</strong> girls<br />

grow in awareness <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir place within <strong>the</strong> community,<br />

and in respect for <strong>the</strong> wider world—both physical and<br />

supernatural—around <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

No Lucayan myths or histories were recorded in early<br />

Spanish accounts, or o<strong>the</strong>rwise passed down to us, so<br />

we can never know <strong>the</strong> details <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir stories. But it is<br />

important to engage with <strong>the</strong>se unknowns; it helps to<br />

acknowledge <strong>the</strong> undoubtedly rich tapestry <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir traditions.<br />

They, like us, enjoyed a good story. But stories<br />

and legends were not simply a pleasant distraction. They<br />

reflected social mores and guided on correct conduct.<br />

They built a community’s identity and marked <strong>the</strong>ir place<br />

in <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

Prehistory as history<br />

The unifying <strong>the</strong>me running throughout <strong>the</strong> illustrations<br />

is that prehistory should also be viewed as history. In <strong>the</strong><br />

Lucayan archipelago, history does not start in 1492 with<br />

Columbus simply because this is <strong>the</strong> first time a European<br />

wrote about <strong>the</strong>se islands; histories exist without being<br />

written. Long before <strong>the</strong> arrival <strong>of</strong> Europeans, <strong>the</strong> people<br />

who made <strong>the</strong> islands <strong>the</strong>ir home had <strong>the</strong>ir own sagas<br />

—recounted and inherited by each subsequent generation.<br />

These were not silent communities. Their histories<br />

were <strong>the</strong>ir lived experiences—and those <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ancestors<br />

before <strong>the</strong>m—and <strong>the</strong> sites and artefacts that survive are<br />

testimony to <strong>the</strong>ir skills in adapting to <strong>the</strong> unique environment<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lucayan archipelago. a<br />

For more information about project SIBA, visit https://<br />

siba.web.ox.ac.uk. The project is funded by <strong>the</strong> UK’s Arts<br />

and Humanities Research Council.<br />

Sources<br />

Colón, Fernando 1992. The Life <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Admiral<br />

Christopher Columbus by His Son Ferdinand, Translated<br />

by Benjamin Keen, pp 59–60, 64, Rutgers University<br />

Press, New Brunswick.<br />

Lardicci, Francesca (ed), 1999. Repertorium Columbianum:<br />

Volume VI: A Synoptic Edition <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Log <strong>of</strong> Columbus’s<br />

First Voyage, p 48, Ge<strong>of</strong>frey Symcox, General Editor,<br />

Brepols, Turnhout, Belgium.<br />

Ostapkowicz, J., 2013. “Made….with admirable artistry”:<br />

<strong>the</strong> context, manufacture and history <strong>of</strong> a Taíno belt, The<br />

Antiquairies Journal, 93:287-317.<br />

Carlson, L. A., 1993. Strings <strong>of</strong> command: manufacture<br />

and utilization <strong>of</strong> shell beads among <strong>the</strong> Taíno, MA <strong>the</strong>sis,<br />

University <strong>of</strong> Florida, Gainesville.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 73


astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

This picture from <strong>the</strong> 1906 postcard illustrates how <strong>the</strong> circa 1875 steam-operated salt grinding mill on Grand Turk was structured.<br />

A Salty Mystery<br />

Why would anyone copy this old picture postcard?<br />

By Jeffrey Dodge ~ Images Courtesy Jeffrey Dodge<br />

Why, in <strong>the</strong> early 1920s, would someone on Grand Turk island want to copy a specific 1906 picture postcard<br />

that was out <strong>of</strong> print and no longer obtainable? Was <strong>the</strong> picture on this 1906 postcard <strong>of</strong> special<br />

interest to someone? Most likely. What was this “important” picture? It was a circa 1875 steam-operated<br />

salt grinding plant on Grand Turk.<br />

74 www.timespub.tc


astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

The only explanation that makes sense is that someone,<br />

perhaps a photographer but most likely someone<br />

else, wanted multiple postcards made from a picture <strong>of</strong><br />

this salt grinding facility because he or she was somehow<br />

associated with it.<br />

Ground salt, known as fish salt, was important to <strong>the</strong><br />

salt industries on South Caicos, Grand Turk and Salt Cay<br />

because it commanded a higher price than unprocessed<br />

coarse salt. The reason? The fishermen and fish packers<br />

in New England and Nova Scotia required it to preserve<br />

fish.<br />

in <strong>the</strong> 1906 postcard consisted <strong>of</strong> three parts—a building<br />

to house <strong>the</strong> steam boiler and engine, a wooden hopper<br />

shaped in <strong>the</strong> form <strong>of</strong> a shallow vee and a warehouse<br />

where <strong>the</strong> ground salt was stored. The two buildings in<br />

picture below were connected by <strong>the</strong> hopper.<br />

The grinding process began by unloading coarse<br />

salt from donkey carts onto <strong>the</strong> hopper. Two men on <strong>the</strong><br />

hopper would push and shovel <strong>the</strong> salt down an opening<br />

where a crusher would grind it. The ground salt would fall<br />

onto a conveyor belt that moved it to <strong>the</strong> warehouse for<br />

storage prior to shipping.<br />

Josiah A. Frith and Jeremiah D. Murphy formed <strong>the</strong><br />

firm <strong>of</strong> Frith and Murphy in 1873 and imported <strong>the</strong> first<br />

steam machine for grinding salt to <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong> in 1874—specifically, to South Caicos. Within a<br />

year, two such steam grinding machines were operating<br />

on Grand Turk. A few years later <strong>the</strong>re were three steam<br />

grinding facilities <strong>the</strong>re and two on South Caicos. Steamoperated<br />

salt grinding never reached Salt Cay. Instead,<br />

Salt Cay turned to wind to power <strong>the</strong>ir salt grinding<br />

machinery.<br />

The steam-operated salt grinding installation pictured<br />

This is an example (front and back) <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> original machine-printed<br />

1906 Grinding Salt postcard.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 75


astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

This is an example <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> copy that was produced from <strong>the</strong> original<br />

1906 postcard (front and back). The red arrow shows <strong>the</strong> black box<br />

covering a previously used stamp on <strong>the</strong> original 1906 postcard.<br />

Back to <strong>the</strong> postcard and <strong>the</strong> copies produced some<br />

20 years after <strong>the</strong> original postcard was published.<br />

Apparently, someone wanted postcards made <strong>of</strong> this specific<br />

salt grinding facility. Who owned <strong>the</strong> one pictured in<br />

<strong>the</strong> original postcard is unknown, but it is possible that<br />

it was Harrow Murphy. Harrow Murphy died in 1910 so<br />

perhaps one <strong>of</strong> his sons wanted to have this old postcard<br />

copied. A more likely possibility, however, is that<br />

Frith Bros. & Company, <strong>the</strong> managers <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Murphy salt<br />

business after Harrow Murphy’s death, wanted <strong>the</strong>se<br />

postcards to use for promotional purposes or to sell in<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir store.<br />

What makes this postcard copying process interesting<br />

is that <strong>the</strong> postcard being copied had been used and<br />

stamped, so <strong>the</strong> photographer had to cover <strong>the</strong> stamp<br />

with something, probably black paper, before he photographed<br />

it. You just can see <strong>the</strong> stamp perforations at <strong>the</strong><br />

bottom <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> black box used to hide <strong>the</strong> stamp. After<br />

<strong>the</strong> photographer took <strong>the</strong> photo <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1906 postcard,<br />

he printed multiple copies <strong>of</strong> it onto photographic paper<br />

designed for postcards—<strong>the</strong> same size as a postcard<br />

and with lines for <strong>the</strong> mailing address. Postcards printed<br />

directly from a negative onto photographic paper sized<br />

for use as postcards are known as real photo postcards<br />

(RPPC).<br />

There are three known examples <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se postcard<br />

copies and all were mailed from Grand Turk. One is postmarked<br />

1925 and two were postmarked 1936.<br />

I ask myself, why would anyone want this particular<br />

image and use it to make multiple postcards in <strong>the</strong> 1920s?<br />

Was it intended to promote fish salt to prospective buyers?<br />

What makes this image so special to someone? Can<br />

anyone reading this article help solve this mystery? If so,<br />

contact Jeffrey Dodge at tinqua@aol.com. a<br />

76 www.timespub.tc


astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

Museum Matters<br />

Making <strong>the</strong> best <strong>of</strong> idle time<br />

Although <strong>the</strong>re are not many positives that are a result<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> COVID-19 pandemic, it has given us time to work<br />

on some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> projects that <strong>of</strong>ten get pushed to <strong>the</strong><br />

side for lack <strong>of</strong> time. We are staying busy at <strong>the</strong> Museum<br />

working on some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se tasks.<br />

We use s<strong>of</strong>tware that is specially designed for museums<br />

to track our collections, photographs, documents<br />

and everything else that we store. We have items that<br />

have been added to <strong>the</strong> application but may be missing<br />

information, such as a photograph attached, correct<br />

location or clear description. We also have items that<br />

have been received but never added into our accession<br />

s<strong>of</strong>tware at all. This has been a project that we now<br />

have time to do. This is extremely important for us<br />

to know what we have, where it is and being able to<br />

quickly respond to questions and requests.<br />

great ideas that can be found on-line on sites that are<br />

designed to let kids have fun and learn at <strong>the</strong> same<br />

time.<br />

Of course, <strong>the</strong>re is always organization and clean-up<br />

to be done. Additionally, we have used this time to<br />

continue to work on refreshing some <strong>of</strong> our exhibits<br />

(John Glenn) and fur<strong>the</strong>r develop <strong>the</strong> new “People <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Islands</strong>” exhibit.<br />

We look forward to fully reopening <strong>the</strong> Museum and<br />

seeing our supporters, visitors, schoolchildren and,<br />

hopefully, you, again soon. The health and safety <strong>of</strong><br />

our visitors, staff and volunteers will remain our top<br />

priority. As always, you can check out our newsletter,<br />

website and Facebook page for updates and information.<br />

a<br />

Grand Turk garden clean-up<br />

A small but mighty group <strong>of</strong> volunteers showed up on<br />

August 1, <strong>2020</strong> to help with cleaning up <strong>the</strong> Grand Turk<br />

Botanical Garden. Mo<strong>the</strong>r Nature assisted with Tropical<br />

Storm Isaias—which came through two days earlier— by<br />

removing dead leaves and branches from <strong>the</strong> trees and<br />

bushes.<br />

The Museum uses PastPerfect s<strong>of</strong>tware to keep track <strong>of</strong> its extensive<br />

collection.<br />

The Museum receives emails on a regular basis<br />

asking questions and requesting information. Often<br />

<strong>the</strong>se require research in order to provide <strong>the</strong> correct<br />

response. Our small staff is usually unable to spend<br />

<strong>the</strong> time needed, but <strong>the</strong> lockdown has enabled us to<br />

spend more time on <strong>the</strong>se requests. While we still may<br />

not always be able to find <strong>the</strong> information requested,<br />

we at least have <strong>the</strong> time to research and provide what<br />

we can.<br />

During <strong>the</strong> lockdown we were also able to spend<br />

time researching crafts and activities for our Children’s<br />

Club and week-long summer camp. There are many<br />

An enthusiastic Museum volunteer attacks dead branches and<br />

leaves in <strong>the</strong> Grand Turk Botanical Garden.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 77


astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

Museum Matters<br />

The Grand Turk Botanical Garden was established in<br />

2011 with <strong>the</strong> assistance <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Carnival Corporation.<br />

The garden includes both indigenous and non-indigenous<br />

plants, trees and shrubs.<br />

The volunteers agreed that we should start a Garden<br />

Committee and decided we would meet on a regular<br />

basis to keep <strong>the</strong> garden maintained.<br />

Members <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> newly formed Garden Committee work hard to keep<br />

<strong>the</strong> lovely gardens maintained.<br />

These are a few <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> projects <strong>the</strong> Garden<br />

Committee hopes to accomplish:<br />

• The garden signs that identify each plant need to be<br />

placed back to <strong>the</strong>ir appropriate spots. The signs were<br />

removed after being knocked down during <strong>the</strong> 2017<br />

hurricanes. They provide valuable educational information<br />

for anyone visiting <strong>the</strong> garden.<br />

• Create a community garden that includes growing<br />

herbs and o<strong>the</strong>r plants to share within <strong>the</strong> community.<br />

• Restore <strong>the</strong> old fireplace (that was previously in <strong>the</strong><br />

building) that used to be on <strong>the</strong> location.<br />

Thank you to <strong>the</strong> volunteers for <strong>the</strong>ir hard work. If<br />

you are interested in volunteering or would like more<br />

information about <strong>the</strong> community garden, please contact<br />

us at info@tcmuseum.org. a<br />

Story & Photos By Lisa Turnbow-Talbot<br />

78 www.timespub.tc


Building Your Vision<br />

Creating Reality<br />

Innovation<br />

Design<br />

Performance<br />

Residential<br />

Commercial<br />

Remodeling<br />

Grace Bay Court, Suite101<br />

P.O. Box 762<br />

Grace Bay, Providenciales<br />

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

Tel: + (649) 431 2971<br />

www.ho2group.com<br />

Info@ho2group.com


If you ever hear island folk reference <strong>the</strong> “History Man,” <strong>the</strong>re’s<br />

a good chance <strong>the</strong>y’re talking about Herbert “Bertie” Sadler. He<br />

spent most <strong>of</strong> his life in <strong>the</strong> Turks <strong>Islands</strong>, loved <strong>the</strong> country and<br />

its people, and made recording its history his life’s work.<br />

He first came to Grand Turk in <strong>the</strong> 1950s as a young man from<br />

<strong>the</strong> Jamaican civil service, with <strong>the</strong> title “Assistant Commissioner,<br />

Competent Authority.” During his career, he wore several hats in<br />

service <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI Government including setting up and running<br />

<strong>the</strong> Central Purchasing Unit, tasked with sourcing and developing<br />

bulk food imports and shipping links during a difficult time.<br />

What started as <strong>the</strong> “hobby” <strong>of</strong> researching and writing up<br />

<strong>the</strong> TCI’s history became a life-long passion. He had an aptitude<br />

and enthusiasm for sleuthing down stories and records relevant<br />

to <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> and collected an impressive array <strong>of</strong> material from<br />

multiple sources, including archives and museums he would<br />

visit himself. His work and research is impressive in its accuracy,<br />

depth and far-reaching scope, enhanced by his love <strong>of</strong> narrating<br />

stories. He relished an audience, and people remember him as<br />

a gifted raconteur. This is reflected in <strong>the</strong> style and character <strong>of</strong><br />

his book, which includes collections <strong>of</strong> historical curiosities, <strong>the</strong> unusual and different perspectives <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> old<br />

days, and how things were carried on. My reprint <strong>of</strong> his classic Turks Island Landfall includes graphic and o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

improvements that don’t alter <strong>the</strong> style <strong>of</strong> my fa<strong>the</strong>r’s work.<br />

Marjorie Sadler<br />

80 www.timespub.tc


about <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong><br />

Map provided courtesy Wavey Line Publishing. Their navigation charts and decorative and historic maps <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, The<br />

Bahamas, and Hispaniola are available in shops throughout <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. Visit www.amnautical.com.<br />

Where we are<br />

The Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> lie some 575 miles sou<strong>the</strong>ast<br />

<strong>of</strong> Miami — approximately 1 1/2 hours flying time —<br />

with The Bahamas about 30 miles to <strong>the</strong> northwest and<br />

<strong>the</strong> Dominican Republic some 100 miles to <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>ast.<br />

The country consists <strong>of</strong> two island groups separated<br />

by <strong>the</strong> 22-mile wide Columbus Passage. To <strong>the</strong> west are<br />

<strong>the</strong> Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>: West Caicos, Providenciales, North<br />

Caicos, Middle Caicos, East Caicos, and South Caicos. To<br />

<strong>the</strong> east are <strong>the</strong> Turks <strong>Islands</strong>: Grand Turk and Salt Cay.<br />

The Turks & Caicos total 166 square miles <strong>of</strong> land<br />

area on eight islands and 40 small cays. The country’s<br />

population is approximately 43,000.<br />

Getting here<br />

There are international airports on Grand Turk,<br />

Providenciales, and South Caicos, with domestic airports<br />

on all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> islands except East Caicos.<br />

TCI Assured is a quality assurance pre-travel program<br />

and portal, to assist visitors and returning residents when<br />

<strong>the</strong> country reopened its borders on July 22, <strong>2020</strong>. The<br />

TCI is now requiring a negative COVID-19 PCR test result<br />

from a test taken within five days <strong>of</strong> travel. Children under<br />

<strong>the</strong> age <strong>of</strong> 10 are not required to be tested. Additionally,<br />

travelers must have medical/travel insurance that covers<br />

medevac (insurance companies providing <strong>the</strong> prerequisite<br />

insurance will be available on <strong>the</strong> portal), a completed<br />

health screening questionnaire, and certification that <strong>the</strong>y<br />

have read and agreed to <strong>the</strong> privacy policy document.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 81


These requirements must be completed and uploaded<br />

to <strong>the</strong> TCI Assured portal, which is available on <strong>the</strong> TCI<br />

Tourist Board website (www.turksandcaicostourism.<br />

com), in advance <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir arrival.<br />

Once travelers register on <strong>the</strong> TCI Assured portal and<br />

complete <strong>the</strong> requirements as outlined, a travel authorization<br />

notification will be given. The TCI Assured travel<br />

authorization should be presented at <strong>the</strong> time <strong>of</strong> check-in<br />

to <strong>the</strong> appropriate airline; airlines will not be able to<br />

board passengers without this authorization.<br />

Language<br />

English.<br />

Time zone<br />

Eastern Standard Time (EST)/Daylight Savings Time<br />

observed.<br />

Currency<br />

The United States dollar. The Treasury also issues a Turks<br />

& Caicos crown and quarter. Travellers cheques in U.S.<br />

dollars are widely accepted and o<strong>the</strong>r currency can be<br />

changed at local banks. American Express, VISA, and<br />

MasterCard are welcomed at many locations.<br />

Climate<br />

The average year-round temperature is 83ºF (28ºC). The<br />

hottest months are September and October, when <strong>the</strong><br />

temperature can reach 90 to 95ºF (33 to 35ºC). However,<br />

<strong>the</strong> consistent easterly trade winds temper <strong>the</strong> heat and<br />

keep life comfortable.<br />

Casual resort and leisure wear is accepted attire for<br />

daytime; light sweaters or jackets may be necessary on<br />

some breezy evenings. It’s wise to wear protective clothing<br />

and a sunhat and use waterpro<strong>of</strong> sunscreen when out<br />

in <strong>the</strong> tropical sun.<br />

Entry requirements<br />

Passport. A valid onward or return ticket is also required.<br />

Customs formalities<br />

Visitors may bring in duty free for <strong>the</strong>ir own use one carton<br />

<strong>of</strong> cigarettes or cigars, one bottle <strong>of</strong> liquor or wine,<br />

and some perfume. The importation <strong>of</strong> all firearms including<br />

those charged with compressed air without prior<br />

approval in writing from <strong>the</strong> Commissioner <strong>of</strong> Police is<br />

strictly forbidden. Spear guns, Hawaiian slings, controlled<br />

drugs and pornography are also illegal.<br />

Returning residents may bring in $400 worth <strong>of</strong><br />

merchandise per person duty free. A duty <strong>of</strong> 10% to<br />

60% is charged on most imported goods along with a<br />

7% customs processing fee and forms a major source <strong>of</strong><br />

government revenue.<br />

Transportation<br />

A valid driver’s license from home is suitable when renting<br />

vehicles. A government tax <strong>of</strong> 12% is levied on all<br />

rental contracts. (Insurance is extra.) Driving is on <strong>the</strong><br />

left-hand side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> road, with traffic flow controlled by<br />

round-abouts at major junctions. Please don’t drink and<br />

drive! Taxis and community cabs are abundant throughout<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> and many resorts <strong>of</strong>fer shuttle service<br />

between popular visitor areas. Scooter, motorcycle, and<br />

bicycle rentals are also available.<br />

82 www.timespub.tc


Telecommunications<br />

FLOW Ltd. provides land lines and superfast broadband<br />

Internet service. Mobile service is on a LTE 4G network,<br />

including pre- and post-paid cellular phones. Most resorts<br />

and some stores and restaurants <strong>of</strong>fer wireless Internet<br />

connection. Digicel operates mobile networks, with<br />

a full suite <strong>of</strong> LTE 4G service. FLOW is <strong>the</strong> local carrier<br />

for CDMA roaming on US networks such as Verizon and<br />

Sprint. North American visitors with GSM cellular handsets<br />

and wireless accounts with AT&T or Cingular can<br />

arrange international roaming.<br />

Electricity<br />

FortisTCI supplies electricity at a frequency <strong>of</strong> 60HZ,<br />

and ei<strong>the</strong>r single phase or three phase at one <strong>of</strong> three<br />

standard voltages for residential or commercial service.<br />

FortisTCI continues to invest in a robust and resilient grid<br />

to ensure <strong>the</strong> highest level <strong>of</strong> reliability to customers. The<br />

company is integrating renewable energy into its grid and<br />

provides options for customers to participate in two solar<br />

energy programs.<br />

Departure tax<br />

US $60. It is typically included in your airline ticket cost.<br />

Courier service<br />

Delivery service is provided by FedEx, with <strong>of</strong>fices on<br />

Providenciales and Grand Turk, and DHL. UPS service is<br />

limited to incoming delivery.<br />

Postal service<br />

The Post Office and Philatelic Bureau in Providenciales is<br />

located downtown on Airport Road. In Grand Turk, <strong>the</strong><br />

Post Office and Philatelic Bureau are on Church Folly. The<br />

<strong>Islands</strong> are known for <strong>the</strong>ir varied and colorful stamp<br />

issues.<br />

Media<br />

Multi-channel satellite television is received from <strong>the</strong> U.S.<br />

and Canada and transmitted via cable or over <strong>the</strong> air.<br />

Local station WIV-TV broadcasts on Channel 4 and Island<br />

EyeTV on Channel 5. People’s Television <strong>of</strong>fers 75 digitally<br />

transmitted television stations, along with local news<br />

and talk shows on Channel 8. There are also a number <strong>of</strong><br />

local radio stations, magazines, and newspapers.<br />

Medical services<br />

There are no endemic tropical diseases in TCI. There are<br />

Food for Thought provides free daily<br />

breakfast to government school students.<br />

A donation <strong>of</strong> $300 will provide breakfast<br />

to one child for a whole school year.<br />

To donate or learn more please<br />

email info@foodforthoughttci.com<br />

or visit foodforthoughttci.com<br />

Food for Thought Foundation Inc. (NP #102)<br />

large, modern hospitals on Grand Turk and Providenciales.<br />

Both hospitals <strong>of</strong>fer a full range <strong>of</strong> services including:<br />

24/7 emergency room, operating <strong>the</strong>aters, diagnostic<br />

imaging, maternity suites, dialysis suites, blood bank,<br />

physio<strong>the</strong>rapy, and dentistry.<br />

In addition, several general practitioners operate in<br />

<strong>the</strong> country, and <strong>the</strong>re is a recompression chamber, along<br />

with a number <strong>of</strong> private pharmacies.<br />

Immigration<br />

A resident’s permit is required to live in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. A<br />

work permit and business license are also required to<br />

work and/or establish a business. These are generally<br />

granted to those <strong>of</strong>fering skills, experience, and qualifications<br />

not widely available on <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. Priority is given<br />

to enterprises that will provide employment and training<br />

for T&C Islanders.<br />

Government/Legal system<br />

TCI is a British Crown colony. There is a Queen-appointed<br />

Governor, HE Nigel John Dakin. He presides over an executive<br />

council formed by <strong>the</strong> elected local government.<br />

Lady Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson is <strong>the</strong> country’s first<br />

woman premier, leading a majority People’s Democratic<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 83


Movement (PDM) House <strong>of</strong> Assembly.<br />

The legal system is based upon English Common<br />

Law and administered by a resident Chief Justice, Chief<br />

Magistrate, and Deputy Magistrates. Judges <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Court<br />

<strong>of</strong> Appeal visit <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> twice a year and <strong>the</strong>re is a final<br />

Right <strong>of</strong> Appeal to Her Majesty’s Privy Council in London.<br />

Taxes<br />

There are currently no direct taxes on ei<strong>the</strong>r income<br />

or capital for individuals or companies. There are no<br />

exchange controls. Indirect taxation comprises customs<br />

duties and fees, stamp duty, taxes on accommodations,<br />

restaurants, vehicle rentals, o<strong>the</strong>r services and gasoline,<br />

as well as business license fees and departure taxes.<br />

Economy<br />

Historically, TCI’s economy relied on <strong>the</strong> export <strong>of</strong> salt.<br />

Currently, tourism, <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>fshore finance industry, and<br />

fishing generate <strong>the</strong> most private sector income. The<br />

<strong>Islands</strong>’ main exports are lobster and conch. Practically<br />

all consumer goods and foodstuffs are imported.<br />

The Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are recognised as an<br />

important <strong>of</strong>fshore financial centre, <strong>of</strong>fering services<br />

such as company formation, <strong>of</strong>fshore insurance, banking,<br />

trusts, limited partnerships, and limited life companies.<br />

The Financial Services Commission regulates <strong>the</strong> industry<br />

and spearheads <strong>the</strong> development <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fshore legislation.<br />

People<br />

Citizens <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are termed<br />

“Belongers” and are primarily descendants <strong>of</strong> African<br />

slaves who were brought to <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> to work in <strong>the</strong><br />

salt ponds and cotton plantations. The country’s large<br />

expatriate population includes Canadians, Americans,<br />

Brits and Europeans, along with Haitians, Jamaicans,<br />

Dominicans, Bahamians, Indians, and Filipinos.<br />

Churches<br />

Churches are <strong>the</strong> center <strong>of</strong> community life and <strong>the</strong>re<br />

are many faiths represented in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> including:<br />

Adventist, Anglican, Assembly <strong>of</strong> God, Baha’i, Baptist,<br />

Catholic, Church <strong>of</strong> God, Episcopal, Jehovah’s Witnesses,<br />

Methodist and Pentecostal. Visitors are always welcome.<br />

Pets<br />

Incoming pets must have an import permit, veterinary<br />

health certificate, vaccination certificate, and lab test<br />

results to be submitted at <strong>the</strong> port <strong>of</strong> entry to obtain<br />

clearance from <strong>the</strong> TCI Department <strong>of</strong> Agriculture, Animal<br />

Health Services.<br />

National symbols<br />

The National Bird is <strong>the</strong> Brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis).<br />

The National Plant is Island hea<strong>the</strong>r (Limonium<br />

bahamense) found nowhere else in <strong>the</strong> world. The<br />

National Tree is <strong>the</strong> Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea var.<br />

bahamensis). The National Costume consists <strong>of</strong> white cot-<br />

84 www.timespub.tc


ton dresses tied at <strong>the</strong> waist for women and simple shirts<br />

and loose pants for men, with straw hats. Colors representing<br />

<strong>the</strong> various islands are displayed on <strong>the</strong> sleeves<br />

and bases. The National Song is “This Land <strong>of</strong> Ours” by<br />

<strong>the</strong> late Rev. E.C. Howell, PhD. Peas and Hominy (Grits)<br />

with Dry Conch is revered as symbolic island fare.<br />

Going green<br />

TCI Waste Disposal Services currently <strong>of</strong>fers recycling<br />

services through weekly collection <strong>of</strong> recyclable aluminum,<br />

glass, and plastic. Single-use plastic bags have been<br />

banned country-wide as <strong>of</strong> May 1, 2019.<br />

Recreation<br />

Sporting activities are centered around <strong>the</strong> water. Visitors<br />

can choose from deep-sea, reef, or bonefishing, sailing,<br />

glass-bottom boat and semi-sub excursions, windsurfing,<br />

waterskiing, parasailing, sea kayaking, snorkelling, scuba<br />

diving, kiteboarding, stand up paddleboarding, and<br />

beachcombing. Pristine reefs, abundant marine life, and<br />

excellent visibility make TCI a world-class diving destination.<br />

Tennis and golf—<strong>the</strong>re is an 18 hole championship<br />

course on Providenciales—are also popular.<br />

The <strong>Islands</strong> are an ecotourist’s paradise. Visitors can<br />

enjoy unspoilt wilderness and native flora and fauna in 33<br />

national parks, nature reserves, sanctuaries, and areas <strong>of</strong><br />

historical interest. The National Trust provides trail guides<br />

to several hiking trails, as well as guided tours <strong>of</strong> major<br />

historical sites. There is an excellent national museum on<br />

Grand Turk, with an auxillary branch on Providenciales. A<br />

scheduled ferry and a selection <strong>of</strong> tour operators make it<br />

easy to take day trips to <strong>the</strong> outer islands.<br />

O<strong>the</strong>r land-based activities include bicycling, horseback<br />

riding and football (soccer). Personal trainers are<br />

available to motivate you, working out <strong>of</strong> several fitness<br />

centres. You will also find a variety <strong>of</strong> spa and body treatment<br />

services.<br />

Nightlife includes local bands playing island music<br />

at bars and restaurants and some nightclubs. There is<br />

a casino on Providenciales, along with many electronic<br />

gaming parlours. Stargazing is extraordinary!<br />

Shoppers will find Caribbean paintings, T-shirts,<br />

sports and beachwear, and locally made handicrafts,<br />

including straw work and conch crafts. Duty free outlets<br />

sell liquor, jewellery, watches, perfume, lea<strong>the</strong>r goods,<br />

crystal, china, cameras, electronics, brand-name clothing<br />

and accessories, along with Cuban cigars. a<br />

subscription form<br />

VISIT WWW.TIMESPUB.TC TO VIEW CURRENT ISSUE ON-LINE!<br />

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ISLANDS<br />

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$28 U.S. addresses/$32 non-U.S. addresses<br />

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Please allow 30 to 60 days for delivery <strong>of</strong> first issue.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 85


where to stay<br />

86 www.timespub.tc


where to stay<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 87


dining<br />

88 www.timespub.tc


dining<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2020</strong> 89


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