Times of the Islands Summer 2023

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

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


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TIMES<br />

OF THE<br />




What type <strong>of</strong> diver are you?<br />

SUN, SURF, & SALAD<br />

A vegan visit to TCI<br />


Nivå’s cutting edge design

Comfort Food Just Went A-list.<br />

If your idea <strong>of</strong> comfort feels like<br />

cashmere, you will find its culinary<br />

equivalent at Almond Tree,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Shore Club’s deliciously<br />

decadent new eatery.<br />

Golden, crusty wood-fired pizza.<br />

Savory skillets, bubbling over with flavor<br />

and just oozing with temptation.<br />

Salads and sides that give new meaning<br />

to <strong>the</strong> word “indulgence.”<br />

These days, we’re all hungry<br />

for contentment and satisfaction.<br />

Almond Tree at <strong>the</strong> Shore Club<br />

simply takes it to a whole new level.<br />

Reservations 649 339 8000<br />

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



Dinner 6 –10:30pm<br />

5pm – Midnight

contents<br />

Departments<br />

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

19 The Way It Was<br />

It’s Been 16 Years!<br />

Story & Photos By Davidson Louis<br />

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

Steady As She Goes:<br />

<strong>2023</strong> Hurricane Season<br />

By Paul Wilkerson<br />

26 Creature Feature<br />

Caribbean Spiny Lobster<br />

By Kelly Currington<br />

30 Making a Difference<br />

“Proud <strong>of</strong> My Island”<br />

By Ben Stubenberg<br />

52 New Development<br />

Pushing <strong>the</strong> Boundaries: Nivå Villas<br />

By Kathy Borsuk ~ Photos Courtesy Windward<br />

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

81 Subscription Form<br />

82 Classified Ads<br />

Features<br />

44 Dive Enthusiast or Dive Addict?<br />

By Kelly Currington<br />

58 Sun, Surf, and . . . Salad?<br />

A vegan visit to TCI<br />

By Rachel Craft<br />

Green Pages<br />

33 Delving into <strong>the</strong> Data<br />

By Eve Englefield and Emma Irving<br />

37 Finding A (Nemo)ne<br />

By Charlotte Kratovil-Lavelle and Clara Masseau<br />

41 Earth Day Poetry Contest<br />

Astrolabe<br />

65 “John” <strong>of</strong> All Trades<br />

Story & Historic Images By Jeff Dodge<br />

TIMES<br />

OF THE<br />



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

This moody underwater shot was contributed by Dive<br />

Provo (www.DiveProvo.com), one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI’s oldest<br />

dive operations and a member <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TripAdvisor<br />

Certificate Hall <strong>of</strong> Fame. It was shot by Brilliant Studios<br />

(www.brilliantstudios.com) on a dive site in Grace Bay,<br />

Providenciales. It highlights <strong>the</strong> eye-catching, healthy<br />

corals still to be seen by divers in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong>. It appropriately celebrates National Ocean Month<br />

in June, which highlights <strong>the</strong> world’s marine ecosystems.<br />

70 Remembering When:<br />

The Town Strip in Grand Turk<br />

By Dr. Richard Grainger ~<br />

Images Courtesy Turks & Caicos<br />

National Museum Photo Collection<br />

33<br />


4 www.timespub.tc

Crafted for<br />

<strong>the</strong> fl ow <strong>of</strong> life.<br />

Formed within<br />

<strong>the</strong> fl ow <strong>of</strong> nature.<br />

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<strong>of</strong> Turtle Tail. Focused on <strong>the</strong> horizon and soaring above <strong>the</strong> Caicos Bank, famed Turks<br />

& Caicos ocean views are captured through refi ned architectural framing. Design, drawn<br />

from nature, and crafted with clear intent for its place.<br />

Nivå will be home to only six private estates. Designed by Ström Architects, this private<br />

yet connected community comprises fi ve 4,014 sqft villas, and a singular, larger 6,579<br />

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Register your interest today<br />

at: www.niva6.com<br />

For more information contact<br />

Windward at 649.241.9212<br />

or email: contact@windward.tc<br />

Designed by: Developed by: Real Estate Sales by:

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


This intrepid hummingbird is feeding on <strong>the</strong> yellow flowers <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> coconut palm. Note <strong>the</strong> specks <strong>of</strong> pollen on <strong>the</strong> tip <strong>of</strong> his beak.<br />

One Moment at a Time<br />

As I get older and a bit more worn down with loss and <strong>the</strong> “cares <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world,” I find myself wanting to slow down<br />

and savor each day, each experience, each moment. The years <strong>of</strong> building this career, helping out my family, meeting<br />

deadlines, traveling, and trying to juggle many responsibilities seem to have passed in a fuzzy flash. As we start to<br />

experience <strong>the</strong> effects <strong>of</strong> climate change and unchecked development, I am realizing how important it is to be still<br />

and be present to <strong>the</strong> precious and fragile natural beauty that still surrounds us. Look, listen, smell, taste, touch.<br />

The “Beautiful by Nature” Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are a good place to put this into practice. I am especially grateful<br />

for <strong>the</strong> people who take <strong>the</strong> time to write <strong>the</strong> articles and take <strong>the</strong> photographs that we share in this magazine. They<br />

are introductions to <strong>the</strong> adventures and opportunities that are just waiting to be discovered. Try snorkeling or scuba<br />

diving to witness <strong>the</strong> underwater world <strong>of</strong> wonder; sample vegan cuisine and tread a little lighter on <strong>the</strong> planet; visit<br />

Grand Turk or one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sister <strong>Islands</strong> to step back into an older, slower world. This issue can give you a sample <strong>of</strong><br />

what you will find when you voyage beyond <strong>the</strong> beach.<br />

I love <strong>the</strong> phrase, “Life is about starting over, one breath at a time.” It helps make <strong>the</strong> overwhelming more digestible.<br />

It gives us hope that we can still take action to make a difference in our planet. Reduce, reuse, recycle, revive.<br />

It helps us find peace.<br />

Kathy Borsuk, Editor<br />

timespub@tciway.tc • (649) 431-4788<br />

6 www.timespub.tc

Arc<br />

By Piero Lissoni<br />

Elevated<br />

Beachfront Living<br />

Arc Sky Villas, designed by world-renowned architect Piero Lissoni, <strong>of</strong>fer a new way <strong>of</strong><br />

life at South Bank, a groundbreaking managed residential resort and marina destination.<br />

Inspired by place, indoor and outdoor spaces are seamless with immense Air Gardens<br />

creating an organic, living structure where sky, sea, nature and space are <strong>the</strong>ir signature.<br />

Developed by Windward: www.windward.tc<br />

Managed by:<br />

2-5 bedroom Sky Villas<br />

from $3m<br />

Register your interest today<br />

at: www.livesouthbank.com<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<br />

@livesouthbank<br />

@livesouthbank<br />

The Lissoni® trademark is owned by Piero Lissoni and any<br />

use <strong>of</strong> such mark by South Bank and Arc is under license.

Everything’s Included<br />

For Everyone<br />


Beaches ® Turks & Caicos has held <strong>the</strong> top spot at <strong>the</strong> World Travel Awards for over two decades by<br />

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Or Call Your Travel Advisor<br />

*Visit www.beaches.com/disclaimers/time<strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong>islandfall22 or call 1-800-BEACHES for important terms and conditions.<br />

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

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

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Tel: +649 941 4994<br />

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

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

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to quality shows in <strong>the</strong> hundreds <strong>of</strong> projects we’ve completed in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

since our beginnings in 1996.<br />

ESTABLISHED 1996<br />



T: 649.941.3508 | F: 649.941.5824 | INFO@PROJETECH.TC | WWW.PROJETECH.TC |

The sky is <strong>the</strong> limit.<br />

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TIMES<br />

OF THE<br />



Kathy Borsuk<br />


Claire Parrish<br />


Kathy Borsuk, Rachel Craft, Kelly Currington, Jeff Dodge,<br />

Eve Englefield, Zavien Gardiner, Tyreke Glinton,<br />

Dr. Richard Grainger, Emma Irving, Charlotte Kratovil-<br />

Lavelle, Davidson Louis, Clara Masseau, Pari Ochani,<br />

Ben Stubenberg, Lisa Turnbow-Talbot, Paul Wilkerson.<br />


Aqua TCI, Attimi Photography, Rachel Craft,<br />

Kelly Currington, Dive Provo, Jeff Dodge, Abbie Dosell,<br />

Elemento Photography Turks & Caicos, Eve Englefield,<br />

Flamingo Divers, J. Hawkridge, Gary James—Provo Pictures,<br />

Davidson Louis, Christine Morden and James Roy—Paradise<br />

Photography, Marta Morton, Dr. C.E. O’Brien,<br />

Shay Café Lounge, Shutterstock, Solana Restaurant, J. Tyne,<br />

Turks & Caicos National Museum Collection,<br />

Lisa Turnbow-Talbot, LeMens Welch—<br />

Cayo Hica Media, Windward Development.<br />


NOAA, Wavey Line Publishing.<br />


PF Solutions, Miami, FL<br />

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

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

Copyright © <strong>2023</strong> by <strong>Times</strong> Publications Ltd. All rights reserved<br />

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

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

reproduced without written permission.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business Office<br />

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

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

Tel 649 431 4788<br />

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

Web www.timespub.tc<br />

Advertising tfadvert@tciway.tc<br />

18 www.timespub.tc

<strong>the</strong> way it was<br />

The South Caicos airport greeted Davidson Louis when he arrived for his summer sojourns in <strong>the</strong> early 2000s.<br />

It’s Been 16 Years!<br />

Memories <strong>of</strong> childhood summers in South Caicos.<br />

Story & Photos By Davidson Louis<br />

When you are 12 years old and living on an island, you quickly learn to enjoy <strong>the</strong> little things in life—<strong>the</strong><br />

simplest and most rewarding. Growing up in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> was special. In fact, it was actually<br />

a gift. When summer came, most <strong>of</strong> my peers would brag about <strong>the</strong>ir exotic trips to go see friends and<br />

families in different parts <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world. It was vastly different for me. Instead, I would be excited to go to<br />

South Caicos . . . to do absolutely nothing.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 19

South Caicos, if you haven’t been, isn’t for everyone.<br />

It is so quiet I think calling it a “sleepy town” is probably<br />

an exaggeration. The island has been left in <strong>the</strong> past,<br />

but not totally forgotten. There are narrow streets, sunbleached<br />

wooden homes that seem to be struggling to<br />

remain upright, tiny churches, and small shops with wide<br />

open screened doors. I always love <strong>the</strong> island.<br />

Every summer, I would look forward to leaving<br />

Providenciales and escape my ritualized life for six to<br />

seven weeks. No parents, no problem. My mo<strong>the</strong>r would<br />

drive to what used to be SkyKing’s <strong>of</strong>fice on Old Airport<br />

Road to buy a one-way ticket <strong>the</strong> day before <strong>the</strong> grand<br />

departure. She would hand me <strong>the</strong> pale-blue ticket that<br />

resembled a boarding pass to make it clear that when she<br />

said she had enough <strong>of</strong> me, she actually meant it.<br />

I would barely sleep <strong>the</strong> night before my great domestic<br />

getaway. I would ga<strong>the</strong>r my dearest belongings: my<br />

swimming shorts, flip flops, a few books, and my mom’s<br />

old Canon-XTi to capture everything. I would <strong>the</strong>n count<br />

<strong>the</strong> hours till morning. I was buzzing with excitement.<br />

The trip itself was an adventure. I would clench <strong>the</strong><br />

handles throughout <strong>the</strong> entire ride. The plane, no bigger<br />

than a mini-van, would shake from take-<strong>of</strong>f to landing.<br />

The 8 AM flight would be filled with people carrying all<br />

sorts <strong>of</strong> packages. Mom would always have a friend who<br />

needed an envelope to go over, so I was <strong>the</strong> messenger.<br />

With so many bodies in <strong>the</strong> plane, it would heat up like a<br />

toaster. The loud blowing air coming in from <strong>the</strong> air vents<br />

made no great difference.<br />

We used <strong>the</strong> old safety cards to fan ourselves. Safety<br />

came second, staying cool was <strong>the</strong> priority. The dark blue<br />

lea<strong>the</strong>r seats were overstretched and falling <strong>of</strong>f <strong>the</strong> chair<br />

frames. If <strong>the</strong> chairs could talk, <strong>the</strong>y would tell some<br />

interesting stories. You would feel every wind gust and<br />

every cloud that passed, but in <strong>the</strong> height <strong>of</strong> it all, when<br />

you looked down, <strong>the</strong>re would lie <strong>the</strong> most divine body <strong>of</strong><br />

water.<br />

Like marble, deep greens, hues <strong>of</strong> blues, and clearest<br />

turquoise blended toge<strong>the</strong>r effortlessly. All <strong>of</strong> a sudden,<br />

my attention is shifted. The plane ride was no longer<br />

exciting and <strong>the</strong> water underneath my feet took center<br />

stage. The reef divides <strong>the</strong> blues, creating a long thread<br />

that is stretched as far as <strong>the</strong> eyes can see. Beyond <strong>the</strong><br />

reef, deep blues are ignited under <strong>the</strong> glistening sun.<br />

Sapphire blues are melted into pale aquamarines with<br />

specks <strong>of</strong> white clashing waves, creating <strong>the</strong> most gorgeous<br />

collage I have ever seen. The intricate yet fluid<br />

palette <strong>of</strong> blues made me wonder if this is <strong>the</strong> origin <strong>of</strong><br />

TCI’s “Beautiful by Nature” tagline. I am always in awe.<br />

Davidson Louis enjoyed fishing during his summer “vacations” to<br />

South Caicos when he was a youngster.<br />

A small wooden structure welcomed you to South<br />

Caicos—it was <strong>the</strong> airport. The pond, I remember, would<br />

be covered with bright pink flamingos creating a vibrant<br />

contrast against <strong>the</strong> salina. Dragonflies and butterflies<br />

were in abundance. The guinep trees gave <strong>the</strong> sweetest<br />

fruits during <strong>the</strong>se summer months and you could<br />

ask anyone to climb <strong>the</strong>ir trees if you remember your<br />

manners. The summer spent in South Caicos was utterly<br />

peaceful.<br />

I returned to South Caicos 16 years later, but this time<br />

it was a bit different. I bought my own ticket with a return<br />

date. The journey was similar, but I think I was even more<br />

excited. South Caicos, this time around, felt like a déjà<br />

vu experience. A wave <strong>of</strong> nostalgia brought memories<br />

back as I tried to recall my younger years on <strong>the</strong> island.<br />

Nothing drastic has changed. The flamingoes have not<br />

left <strong>the</strong> pond and Victoria Salina looked <strong>the</strong> same as it<br />

did more than a decade ago. Some streets seemed to be<br />

more active than I remember while o<strong>the</strong>r streets seemed<br />

quieter than ever.<br />

Looking back, I should thank my parents for allowing<br />

me to have <strong>the</strong>se childhood memories. Slowly but<br />

surely, <strong>the</strong> island is changing. South Caicos may never<br />

be <strong>the</strong> same for my children to enjoy <strong>the</strong> way I enjoyed<br />

it. Ambitious developments like East Bay and Sailrock will<br />

change this quiet town forever. Sailrock wants to transform<br />

<strong>the</strong> island into a luxury retreat. This is wonderful,<br />

but I encourage you to take a trip to South Caicos while<br />

<strong>the</strong> island still has its charm. South Caicos’ raw nature is<br />

unparalleled.<br />

Everyone who comes to visit <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

should devote a day or two to South Caicos or one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

o<strong>the</strong>r out islands to enjoy <strong>the</strong> country’s true beauty. Stay<br />

tuned to this column as I do <strong>the</strong> same! a<br />

20 www.timespub.tc

These are some images Davidson Louis captured during his annual<br />

trips to South Caicos. Clockwise from top left: Flying over <strong>the</strong> Caicos<br />

Banks and its many-faceted ocean blues was an enthralling part <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> trip.<br />

The activities and sights <strong>of</strong> this quiet island are suited for people<br />

looking for rugged nature and tranquility.<br />

Small fishing boats bring in fish, conch, and lobster to be processed<br />

for international export.<br />

The pursuit <strong>of</strong> edible snappers, groupers, and jacks has always been<br />

both a necessity and a pastime on South Caicos.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 21


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

Opposite page: Just like <strong>the</strong> contrasts in this photo <strong>of</strong> a quiet shore in TCI, El Niño and La Niña are two opposing climate patterns that break<br />

<strong>the</strong> normal conditions in <strong>the</strong> Pacific Ocean. El Niño and La Niña both have global impacts on wea<strong>the</strong>r, wildfires, ecosystems, and economies.<br />

NOAA<br />

Above: NOAA GOES satellite captures Hurricane Ian as it made landfall on <strong>the</strong> barrier island <strong>of</strong> Cayo Costa in southwest Florida on September<br />

28, 2022.<br />

Steady As She Goes<br />

What does <strong>the</strong> <strong>2023</strong> hurricane season hold?<br />

By Paul Wilkerson<br />

The predictions are in for <strong>the</strong> <strong>2023</strong> hurricane season for <strong>the</strong> Atlantic Basin. According to all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> primary<br />

predictors, including Colorado State University and <strong>the</strong> National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration<br />

(NOAA’s) outlook, <strong>the</strong> <strong>2023</strong> season should be near normal overall. Colorado State gives a nod to a slightly<br />

below normal season, while NOAA believes <strong>the</strong>re are equal chances for an above or below normal season.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 23

Seasonal predictions are influenced by <strong>the</strong> global<br />

effects <strong>of</strong> La Niña and El Niño, which are <strong>the</strong> warm and<br />

cool phases <strong>of</strong> a recurring climate pattern across <strong>the</strong> tropical<br />

Pacific. During La Niña summers/hurricane seasons,<br />

much lighter winds are usually observed in <strong>the</strong> Atlantic<br />

Basin along with abnormally warm waters. These ingredients<br />

coupled toge<strong>the</strong>r lead to higher than normal tropical<br />

activity in many cases. During El Niño years, <strong>the</strong> upper<br />

level wind field is generally stronger across <strong>the</strong> Atlantic<br />

Basin, with opportunities for tropical development more<br />

limited thanks to stronger wind shear and in normal El<br />

Niño seasons, cooler water (relatively speaking). This<br />

generally leads to below average hurricane seasons.<br />

The last three hurricane seasons have featured<br />

La Niña conditions, with 2020 producing record activity<br />

with 30 named storms, 14 hurricanes, and 7 major<br />

hurricanes. 2019 was <strong>the</strong> last El Niño hurricane season<br />

which saw 18 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major<br />

hurricanes. While <strong>the</strong>re have been some marked differences<br />

between <strong>the</strong> seasons consistent with <strong>the</strong> different<br />

El Niño–Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Oscillation patterns, those differences<br />

are being reduced as time continues on. The main culprit?<br />

Global warming.<br />

Recently, <strong>the</strong> World Meteorological Society (WMO)<br />

noted that global temperatures will likely hit record<br />

levels over <strong>the</strong> next five years. This will continue to progress<br />

due to greenhouse gas effects on our atmosphere.<br />

WMO reports that sometime during <strong>the</strong> next five years,<br />

<strong>the</strong> global temperature could spike by more than 1.5ºC<br />

(2.7ºF) during that period. In fact, <strong>the</strong> chance <strong>of</strong> that happening<br />

currently stands at 66%. While it is not likely to<br />

remain at that level continuously, it could hit those levels<br />

more consistently as <strong>the</strong> years pass by, until we get<br />

to a point where that change becomes permanent. An<br />

increase <strong>of</strong> 1.5ºC (2.7ºF) may not seem like a cause for<br />

concern, but it certainly is. The impacts are far reaching.<br />

From a meteorological standpoint, looking at global<br />

warming with regards to hurricane season, one would<br />

expect to see a more consistently active season possible,<br />

along with stronger hurricanes overall. Temperatures in<br />

<strong>the</strong> Atlantic Basin already are running above normal on<br />

a fairly regular basis. Global warming will only continue<br />

to add warmth to oceans. This in turn, over time, could<br />

begin to negate some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> effects that El Niño brings to<br />

<strong>the</strong> table in helping to reduce <strong>the</strong> overall number <strong>of</strong> systems<br />

during a season. With higher water temperatures,<br />

<strong>the</strong> low-level environment could be quite conducive to<br />

tropical systems more frequently during El Niño periods.<br />

In this case, it would likely be easier for upper-level<br />

and low-level features to line up more <strong>of</strong>ten. In a normal<br />

El Niño, it can sometimes be hard to get everything<br />

to line up properly for systems to form. Normally we<br />

have periods where <strong>the</strong>re is little shear al<strong>of</strong>t (conducive<br />

for development), but cooler sea surface temperatures<br />

24 www.timespub.tc

(inhibits development). And sometimes it is <strong>the</strong> reverse.<br />

Warmer waters, but strong shear. In <strong>the</strong>se cases systems<br />

struggle. Once we have one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se ingredients consistently<br />

available all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> time, we will see more systems<br />

develop, and that is likely what we would see with global<br />

warming and impacts on El Niño. It will require many<br />

years <strong>of</strong> studying to determine <strong>the</strong> true impacts <strong>the</strong>se<br />

changes are having on tropical system development and<br />

intensity around <strong>the</strong> globe.<br />

From an ecological standpoint, we have all seen <strong>the</strong><br />

collapse <strong>of</strong> whole coral reef systems across <strong>the</strong> globe<br />

due to much higher sea temperatures. In general, corals<br />

exist in a very small temperature equilibrium. When temperatures<br />

climb above normal levels, coral bleaching can<br />

result, wiping out vast areas <strong>of</strong> coral reef.<br />

Over <strong>the</strong> last 10 years, coral reef bleaching has<br />

become more and more common and has a pr<strong>of</strong>ound<br />

impact on <strong>the</strong> local ecology. Fish and many o<strong>the</strong>r species<br />

dependent on coral reef systems for <strong>the</strong>ir livelihood are<br />

wiped out when <strong>the</strong> coral bleaches and dies. It creates<br />

localized collapse <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> food chain, with ripple effects<br />

across <strong>the</strong> board.<br />

It is important that we recognize how we, as humans,<br />

are impacting our oceans, so that we can become better<br />

educated and better stewards <strong>of</strong> what has been entrusted<br />

to us. By being good caretakers <strong>of</strong> our environment and<br />

working toge<strong>the</strong>r to reduce greenhouse gases and global<br />

temperatures, we can turn this ship around. We can try to<br />

save not only our coral reef systems, but possibly reduce<br />

<strong>the</strong> risk <strong>of</strong> ever-stronger hurricanes, reducing <strong>the</strong> threat<br />

to people everywhere. a<br />

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>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 25


creature feature<br />

Opposite page: Caribbean spiny lobsters have long, horn-like antennae<br />

over <strong>the</strong>ir eyes that <strong>the</strong>y wave to scare <strong>of</strong>f predators, and smaller<br />

antennae-like “antennules” that sense movement and detect chemicals<br />

in <strong>the</strong> water.<br />


Above: Caribbean spiny lobsters get <strong>the</strong>ir name from forward-pointing<br />

spines that cover <strong>the</strong>ir bodies to help protect <strong>the</strong>m from predators.<br />

Right: Each <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> lobster’s two eyes comprise up to 10,000 squareshaped<br />

tubes that are packed toge<strong>the</strong>r. Each tube is lined with a flat,<br />

reflective surface that acts like a mirror to direct incoming light down<br />

to <strong>the</strong> retina. This setup affords lobsters a full 180-degree view, compared<br />

with humans’ 120-degree vision. Though <strong>the</strong>y can’t see images<br />

well, <strong>the</strong>se crustaceans excel in sensing motion.<br />

Caribbean Spiny Lobster<br />

Taking a look at <strong>the</strong> “bugs” <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sea.<br />

By Kelly Currington<br />

When people hear <strong>the</strong> word “lobster” <strong>the</strong>y generally think <strong>of</strong> a tasty entrée on <strong>the</strong>ir dinner plate, most<br />

likely <strong>the</strong> large-clawed Maine version. In <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> and <strong>the</strong> rest <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Caribbean, our<br />

lobsters don’t have any claws and <strong>the</strong>re is much more to <strong>the</strong>se crustaceans than meets <strong>the</strong> eye.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 27


Spiny lobster are nocturnal creatures and walk around at night when <strong>the</strong>y are foraging for <strong>the</strong>ir food.<br />

Caribbean spiny lobsters are quite <strong>the</strong> odd-looking<br />

lobster. They range in colors from purple to red and<br />

orange. Their presence is a sign <strong>of</strong> a healthy and bio-diverse<br />

reef. As with every creature in <strong>the</strong> sea, <strong>the</strong>y are<br />

critical to a balanced ecosystem.<br />

It takes a spiny lobster between two and five years to<br />

reach sexual maturity. They cannot be legally harvested<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Caribbean until <strong>the</strong>ir carapace (hard outer shell)<br />

is 3 1/2 inches. They can spawn up to four times a year<br />

and depending on <strong>the</strong> size <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> female, she will produce<br />

anywhere from 80,000 to 500,000 eggs per cycle. That’s<br />

a lot <strong>of</strong> baby lobsters!<br />

The male deposits sperm packets on <strong>the</strong> underside<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> female, which she <strong>the</strong>n scratches to release <strong>the</strong><br />

sperm simultaneously as she releases her eggs. She carries<br />

<strong>the</strong> fertilized eggs under her tail for nine to twelve<br />

months. Once <strong>the</strong> eggs hatch, <strong>the</strong>y will spend ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

nine to twelve months as planktonic larvae known as<br />

phyllosome until <strong>the</strong>y transform into puerulus, <strong>the</strong> post<br />

larval stage. At this point <strong>the</strong>y are miniature versions <strong>of</strong><br />

mature lobsters—free swimming and becoming benthic<br />

(bottom dwellers). They make <strong>the</strong>ir way to <strong>the</strong> reef and<br />

start <strong>the</strong>ir life as lobsters. During this two-year journey<br />

from fertilization, <strong>the</strong>y feed on plankton and algae.<br />

Once <strong>the</strong>y reach <strong>the</strong> juvenile stage, between two and<br />

three years, <strong>the</strong>y start to feed on snails, crabs, clams,<br />

and o<strong>the</strong>r bottom dwelling organisms. They will eventually<br />

inhabit coral reefs, bays, and estuaries, but during<br />

migration periods can be found in seagrass and s<strong>of</strong>t bottom<br />

areas at depths ranging from <strong>the</strong> shallows to around<br />

90 meters.<br />

Lobsters grow by molting, a process in which <strong>the</strong>y<br />

grow a new exoskeleton under <strong>the</strong>ir existing one and<br />

break free. It takes about a day for <strong>the</strong> new exoskeleton<br />

to harden, a time in which <strong>the</strong>y are extremely vulnerable<br />

to predation. They go through this process up to 25 times<br />

in <strong>the</strong>ir first five to seven years <strong>of</strong> life, and <strong>the</strong>n slow to<br />

only once per year as <strong>the</strong>y age. It is difficult to age <strong>the</strong>se<br />

crustaceans, but <strong>the</strong> estimation is that a ten-pound lobster<br />

could be upwards <strong>of</strong> 50 years old.<br />

Because spiny lobsters are easily susceptible to diseases,<br />

which can be caused by shifts in <strong>the</strong> ecosystem<br />

conditions, <strong>the</strong>ir assemblance in large numbers can be<br />

detrimental to sizable portions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> group. Many predators<br />

feed on juvenile and adult spiny lobsters, including<br />

groupers, snappers, sharks, skates, turtles, and octopus,<br />

but <strong>the</strong>ir biggest threat—as with most species—comes<br />

from humans. According to <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos Reef Fund,<br />

28 www.timespub.tc

over 800,000 pounds <strong>of</strong> lobster are caught annually in<br />

TCI waters, which is very near <strong>the</strong> maximum sustainable<br />

yield. Since records started being kept, <strong>the</strong> average lobster<br />

size has decreased from 3 to 0.7 kilograms.<br />

Spiny lobster are nocturnal, so during <strong>the</strong> day <strong>the</strong>y<br />

stay hidden in <strong>the</strong>ir dens and wait for cover <strong>of</strong> darkness<br />

to forage for food, which starts about two hours after<br />

sunset. Since <strong>the</strong>y do not have actual claws, <strong>the</strong>y rely on<br />

smell and taste, using <strong>the</strong>ir front set <strong>of</strong> walking legs to<br />

pull food towards <strong>the</strong>ir powerful mandibles, proving <strong>the</strong>y<br />

are formidable hunters.<br />

These are interesting lobsters with a multitude <strong>of</strong><br />

color variations, and <strong>the</strong>y have colorful personalities as<br />

well. If you are diving or snorkeling during <strong>the</strong> day and<br />

you see long spiny antennae sticking out from underneath<br />

a coral head, slow down and watch <strong>the</strong> owner <strong>of</strong><br />

those antennae. Lobsters are curious creatures and if<br />

you approach <strong>the</strong>m slowly and at a respectable distance,<br />

you can usually get a good view—and sometimes <strong>the</strong>y<br />

will even come out a little to investigate you. If startled<br />

though, <strong>the</strong>y will retreat backwards quickly.<br />

I have had lobsters come out and feel my entire face<br />

with <strong>the</strong>ir antennae and <strong>the</strong>n duck back into <strong>the</strong>ir dens.<br />

These encounters are special and emotional because you<br />

know that <strong>the</strong>y are communicating with you. You never<br />

touch, it’s always on <strong>the</strong>ir terms, and if <strong>the</strong>y aren’t interested,<br />

you go about your dive and leave <strong>the</strong>m in peace.<br />

If you are night diving, you will most likely see lobsters<br />

out foraging for food or strolling across <strong>the</strong> sand.<br />

Again, if you slow down and watch, you may be lucky<br />

enough to see <strong>the</strong>m snag dinner!<br />

I am very happy that in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>re is a specified “season” for catching lobsters and<br />

minimum size requirement so <strong>the</strong> species can survive.<br />

The exact dates vary, with lobster season typically from<br />

August 1 to March 31. The minimum carapace length is<br />

3 1/4 inches, <strong>the</strong> minimum tail weight is five ounces, and<br />

no egg bearing lobsters or moulting/s<strong>of</strong>t shelled lobsters<br />

can be taken.<br />

My ever-present hope is that if you slow down and<br />

pay close attention to <strong>the</strong> creatures in <strong>the</strong> sea, <strong>the</strong> way<br />

<strong>the</strong>y go about <strong>the</strong>ir lives, <strong>the</strong>ir interactions with o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

creatures (and humans), and notice that <strong>the</strong>y are thinking,<br />

living souls, that maybe you’ll learn to see <strong>the</strong>m as<br />

more than an entrée on your dinner plate. Always respect<br />

<strong>the</strong> creatures who are so important to reef health and<br />

never harass, chase, or touch <strong>the</strong>m. We are visitors in<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir home, and <strong>the</strong>y need our protection. a<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 29

making a difference<br />


“Proud <strong>of</strong> My Island” shopping bags are both functional and feature spectacular pictures <strong>of</strong> TCI wildlife and landmarks that both locals and<br />

visitors can take pride in. Descriptions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> animals and places tell a story and put <strong>the</strong>m in context.<br />

“Proud <strong>of</strong> My Island”<br />

A dream inspires a movement.<br />

By Ben Stubenberg<br />

“Proud <strong>of</strong> My Island” began as a dream in <strong>the</strong> Fall <strong>of</strong> 2021 that inspired Providenciales residents Sammy<br />

Kildegaard and Emiliano Otin to give back to <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos—islands that had given so much for <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

Environmentalists at heart, <strong>the</strong>y envisioned making a product that would sharply reduce <strong>the</strong> use <strong>of</strong> plastic<br />

bags while highlighting and protecting <strong>the</strong> physical and cultural heritage <strong>of</strong> TCI.<br />

30 www.timespub.tc

The bags are also popular with tourists, and serve <strong>the</strong> purpose <strong>of</strong> visually promoting TCI when <strong>the</strong>y are used for shopping in <strong>the</strong> US, Canada,<br />

UK, and elsewhere.<br />

TMW2022.qxp_Layout 1 3/2/22 3:41 PM Page 1<br />

After much brainstorming, <strong>the</strong>y asked <strong>the</strong>mselves,<br />

“Why not produce a functional shopping bag featuring<br />

spectacular pictures <strong>of</strong> TCI wildlife and landmarks that<br />

both locals and visitors could take pride in? And let’s go<br />

a step fur<strong>the</strong>r by selling those bags to raise money to<br />

protect those treasures and keep TCI pristine for future<br />

generations.”<br />

Soon enough, Sammy and Emiliano, also founders<br />

<strong>of</strong> Natural Trade Distribution Ltd., found <strong>the</strong>mselves<br />

immersed in a long-term mission to build an environmental<br />

legacy. First, <strong>the</strong>y sourced <strong>the</strong> right materials for <strong>the</strong><br />

best design and found a reliable manufacturing facility.<br />

Next, <strong>the</strong>y contacted local photographers Ileana Ravasio,<br />

Kim Mortimer, and Agile LeVin, and invited <strong>the</strong>m to submit<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir best shots showcasing brown pelicans, humpback<br />

whales, Pirate’s Cove, and Mudjin Harbour. These images<br />

were <strong>the</strong>n applied to each side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> bags, making <strong>the</strong>m,<br />

in effect, moveable works <strong>of</strong> art that catch <strong>the</strong> eye wherever<br />

carried. The pair added descriptions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> animals<br />

and places to tell a story and put <strong>the</strong>m in context.<br />

Local businesses recognized <strong>the</strong> value and signed up<br />

to be sponsors <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> dream. Before long, Sammy and<br />

Emiliano had transformed a humble shopping bag into a<br />

bold statement about TCI that evolved into a “Proud <strong>of</strong> My<br />

Island” movement.<br />



Serving international & domestic clients<br />

in real estate, property development, mortgages,<br />

corporate matters, commercial matters,<br />

immigration, and more.<br />



TELEPHONE 649.946.4261 | TMW@TMWLAW.TC<br />



<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 31


This pair <strong>of</strong> donkeys are part <strong>of</strong> a third phase <strong>of</strong> bags displaying more breathtaking pictures from Grand Turk and East Caicos, along with<br />

compelling stories highlighting TCI’s alluring grace and beauty.<br />

Over <strong>the</strong> past year, <strong>the</strong> bags have wildly succeeded<br />

with some 15,000 sold through local retail stores. Not<br />

only do <strong>the</strong> stunning bags reinforce local pride in <strong>the</strong><br />

unique and special place we live, but impressed visitors<br />

snap <strong>the</strong>m up to take back home. Thus, <strong>the</strong> bags serve<br />

yet ano<strong>the</strong>r purpose <strong>of</strong> visually promoting TCI when <strong>the</strong>y<br />

are used for shopping in <strong>the</strong> US, Canada, UK, and elsewhere.<br />

Proceeds from <strong>the</strong> bag sales and from sponsor<br />

donations allow “Proud <strong>of</strong> My Island” to donate to local<br />

charities such as <strong>the</strong> TCI Reef Fund and o<strong>the</strong>rs that are<br />

committed to keep <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>’ environment healthy for<br />

years to come.<br />

Sammy and Emiliano are now creating a third phase<br />

<strong>of</strong> bags displaying more breathtaking pictures from<br />

Grand Turk and East Caicos, along with compelling stories<br />

highlighting TCI’s alluring grace and beauty. “We love<br />

<strong>the</strong>se <strong>Islands</strong>,” <strong>the</strong> duo say with heartfelt pride. “And we<br />

want to work with local people to help sustain <strong>the</strong> awe<br />

and reverence we all feel <strong>of</strong> our home. There are so many<br />

to thank for collaborating in this movement with us.” a<br />

Ben Stubenberg, co-founder <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> vacation adventure<br />

company Caicu Naniki, is a regular contributor to <strong>Times</strong><br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

32 www.timespub.tc

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 />

Much <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> rich diversity <strong>of</strong> Turks & Caicos marine life is hidden below <strong>the</strong> surface <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> water.<br />


Delving into <strong>the</strong> Data<br />

Understanding <strong>the</strong> waters <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos for effective management.<br />

By Eve Englefield* and Emma Irving*, with input from Megan Tierney*, Tara Pelembe**,<br />

David Vaughan*, Louise Anderson*, and Laura Pettit*<br />

*Joint Nature Conservation Committee<br />

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

In <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, no one is ever far from <strong>the</strong> marine environment, and for many people,<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir livelihoods depend on it. However, with much <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> rich diversity hidden beneath <strong>the</strong> waves <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

turquoise waters, it’s easy to forget about nature below <strong>the</strong> surface.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 33

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


34 www.timespub.tc

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

Opposite page: Work has been completed to understand <strong>the</strong> current state <strong>of</strong> sand habitats, and to identify which areas may be particularly<br />

vulnerable to increasing pressure from human activities and climate change.<br />

Above: Mangrove forests improve water quality, provide nursery habitat for fish, act as carbon sinks, and protect <strong>the</strong> coastline from erosion.<br />

The coasts and oceans surrounding <strong>the</strong> Turks &<br />

Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> provide many benefits and are crucial to<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>’ economy, livelihoods, and resilience. These<br />

marine environments are <strong>the</strong> focus <strong>of</strong> a multi-partner<br />

project that has developed marine management tools<br />

and training to support decision making to protect <strong>the</strong>se<br />

diverse and valuable environments.<br />

As people, it can be difficult to measure a healthy<br />

lifestyle without understanding what impacts our health,<br />

such as diet, exercise, pre-existing conditions, and pollution.<br />

The same is true for our coasts and oceans. The<br />

waters <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are home to a diverse<br />

range <strong>of</strong> habitats which includes coral reefs, seagrass<br />

beds, sand, and mangroves. These places are important<br />

for animals such as turtles, grouper, and conch.<br />

Toge<strong>the</strong>r, <strong>the</strong>se habitats and species provide important<br />

benefits for humans such as coastal protection, fisheries,<br />

tourism opportunities, and carbon storage. However, if<br />

we don’t understand <strong>the</strong> extent <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se benefits or how<br />

<strong>the</strong>y are impacted by pressures on <strong>the</strong> environment, we<br />

can’t make accurate decisions to ensure <strong>the</strong> “health” <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>se areas for <strong>the</strong> benefit <strong>of</strong> biodiversity, <strong>the</strong> economy,<br />

and for <strong>the</strong> people.<br />

Developing ways to build this understanding has<br />

been <strong>the</strong> focus <strong>of</strong> a three-year long project, funded by<br />

<strong>the</strong> UK Government through Darwin Plus, and led by<br />

<strong>the</strong> Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), <strong>the</strong><br />

Turks & Caicos Government Department <strong>of</strong> Environment<br />

and Coastal Resources (DECR), and <strong>the</strong> South Atlantic<br />

Environmental Research Institute (SAERI). The project has<br />

developed three broad techniques for assessing marine<br />

and coastal environments, all <strong>of</strong> which will help to guide<br />

decisions on what is required to improve <strong>the</strong> health <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>se areas.<br />


<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 35

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

Protecting, Preserving, and<br />

Restoring <strong>the</strong> Coral Reefs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI<br />

Come visit our Coral Growing Facility<br />

and get your TCRF merchandise!<br />

Located at South Bank Marina.<br />

We are open 1-5pm<br />

Monday - Friday<br />

Rashguards, Stickers, BCD tags and more!<br />

All proceeds go to our environmental<br />

projects in TCI.<br />

Firstly, work has been completed to understand <strong>the</strong><br />

current “health” <strong>of</strong> coral reefs, seagrass, and sand habitats,<br />

and to identify which areas may be particularly<br />

vulnerable to increasing pressure from human activities<br />

and climate change. This information is useful now, but<br />

it is equally important to understand how <strong>the</strong> situation<br />

may change as time progresses. Checking and monitoring<br />

every species, area, and habitat across <strong>the</strong> waters<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI is costly and expensive, but researchers can<br />

instead focus on specific elements that act as indicators<br />

to understand changes to <strong>the</strong> health <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> environment.<br />

The second tool being developed are marine indicators<br />

reflecting key aspects <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se environments, such as <strong>the</strong><br />

extent <strong>of</strong> seagrass areas. Incorporating indicators into<br />

environmental management is important for informing<br />

management decisions, evaluating <strong>the</strong> impact <strong>of</strong> decisions,<br />

and tracking progress towards objectives.<br />

The third aspect <strong>of</strong> this project researched and catalogued<br />

information about <strong>the</strong> benefits provided by key<br />

habitats and species, and mapped where <strong>the</strong>se benefits<br />

are likely being delivered. Understanding which places<br />

are most important for different benefits helps TCI make<br />

informed decisions about sustainably managing marine<br />

areas and reduces <strong>the</strong> risk <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se valuable benefits<br />

being overexploited in <strong>the</strong> future. For example, it was<br />

found that <strong>the</strong> seagrass beds are important for <strong>the</strong> storage<br />

<strong>of</strong> carbon, and for protection against erosion and<br />

flooding. They also provide critical habitats for juvenile<br />

grouper fish, supporting populations to <strong>the</strong> benefit <strong>of</strong><br />

divers, fishers, and restaurant patrons into <strong>the</strong> future.<br />

These techniques are only useful if <strong>the</strong>y are used in<br />

<strong>the</strong> long term to monitor <strong>the</strong> coastline and oceans. To<br />

support <strong>the</strong> work that has already been done, a series<br />

<strong>of</strong> events to share knowledge on <strong>the</strong>se tools and techniques<br />

will take place in June, <strong>2023</strong>. The event will<br />

bring toge<strong>the</strong>r marine resource managers and o<strong>the</strong>r key<br />

stakeholders from across TCI to explore how to apply<br />

and expand <strong>the</strong>se techniques to inform management<br />

decisions. However, <strong>the</strong> findings <strong>of</strong> this project remain<br />

relevant to <strong>the</strong> entire community <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

through safeguarding <strong>the</strong> environment that provides livelihoods,<br />

nutrition, and enjoyment to all. a<br />

For more information, please visit <strong>the</strong> project<br />

website: https://jncc.gov.uk/our-work/turks-caicos-islands-marine-coastal-management/.<br />

36 www.timespub.tc

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


A red snapping shrimp (Alpheus armatus) lives inside its corkscrew anemone (Bartholomea annulata) “host.”<br />

Finding A(Nemo)ne:<br />

The fascinating relationship between red snapping shrimp and corkscrew anemones.<br />

By Charlotte Kratovil-Lavelle (Dickinson College) and Clara Masseau (University <strong>of</strong> Colorado) ~<br />

Edited by C.E. O’Brien, Ph.D. (The School for Field Studies, Center for Marine Resource Studies,<br />

South Caicos, Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>)<br />

Courtesy <strong>of</strong> Disney’s Finding Nemo (2003), many <strong>of</strong> us are familiar with <strong>the</strong> way clownfish make <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

homes in sea anemones, having adapted to <strong>the</strong> anemone’s sting. What is relatively less known among<br />

<strong>the</strong> general public is <strong>the</strong> relationship between <strong>the</strong> red snapping shrimp (Alpheus armatus) and <strong>the</strong> corkscrew<br />

anemone (Bartholomea annulata). Native to <strong>the</strong> Western Atlantic, <strong>the</strong>se species have been found<br />

to coexist in a way that benefits both, a relationship known as obligatory mutualism.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 37

This relationship is, <strong>of</strong> course, not a one-way relationship;<br />

<strong>the</strong> shrimp must also take care <strong>of</strong> its home. A 2021<br />

study investigating this symbiosis found that red snapping<br />

shrimp undertook <strong>the</strong> important role <strong>of</strong> removing<br />

sand and sediment from <strong>the</strong> anemone. This cleaning was<br />

shown to aid <strong>the</strong> anemone in more effectively contracting<br />

into its column, <strong>the</strong> body <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> anemone, thus providing<br />

both species with better protection from predators.<br />

In addition to being tidy, red snapping shrimp are a<br />

territorial species that has been known to defend <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

host anemone against predators. A 2014 study found<br />

that corkscrew anemone individuals that hosted red<br />

snapping shrimp were less likely to suffer damage from<br />

<strong>the</strong> bearded fireworm (Hermodice carunculata) when predated<br />

on. The feisty shrimp aided in <strong>the</strong> defense <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

host anemone by rushing <strong>the</strong> fireworm and snapping at<br />

and pinching <strong>the</strong> worm with its chelipeds (its pair <strong>of</strong> legs<br />

with pincers).<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r benefit provided by <strong>the</strong> snapping shrimp is<br />

<strong>the</strong> creation <strong>of</strong> nitrogenous waste, which can act as fertilizer<br />

to <strong>the</strong> single-celled, microscopic algae known as<br />

endosymbiotic zooxan<strong>the</strong>llae. Zooxan<strong>the</strong>llae are single<br />

celled organisms that live in <strong>the</strong> tissues <strong>of</strong> a wide range<br />

<strong>of</strong> marine organisms, including anemones, and operate<br />

in mutualistic relationships. One well-known example <strong>of</strong><br />

this is <strong>the</strong> crucial relationship between zooxan<strong>the</strong>llae and<br />

coral polyps, which provide coral with <strong>the</strong>ir color and a<br />

food source. Similarly to <strong>the</strong>ir relationship with coral, zooxan<strong>the</strong>llae<br />

live amongst corkscrew anemones and provide<br />

photosyn<strong>the</strong>tic benefits in which <strong>the</strong>y produce sugars in<br />

exchange for carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight.<br />

Though <strong>the</strong> relationship between red snapping<br />

shrimp and corkscrew anemone may not be one-way, it<br />

is one-sided in terms <strong>of</strong> dependence. For <strong>the</strong> anemone,<br />

this arrangement is advantageous, but not essential for<br />

its survival, and it would <strong>the</strong>refore be considered facultative.<br />

But for <strong>the</strong> shrimp, <strong>the</strong> use <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> anemone as shelter<br />

is crucial for <strong>the</strong>ir survival. In fact, a red snapping shrimp<br />

will remain with <strong>the</strong> same host anemone for all three to<br />

four years <strong>of</strong> its life (talk about a satisfied homeowner).<br />

For <strong>the</strong> shrimp, <strong>the</strong> relationship is <strong>the</strong>refore known as<br />

obligatory. Even if only one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> species involved in a<br />

mutualistic symbiosis relies on that interaction for <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

survival, we still categorize <strong>the</strong> relationship as obligatory.<br />

The snapping shrimp are not <strong>the</strong> only organisms<br />

that <strong>the</strong> corkscrew anemone hosts. In <strong>the</strong>ir commonalgreen<br />

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

Much like a homeowner, <strong>the</strong> red snapping shrimp<br />

will choose, clean, and protect a corkscrew anemone.<br />

But unlike your traditional brick or wooden home, <strong>the</strong><br />

corkscrew anemone is a living being with an active incentive<br />

to protect and aid its invertebrate inhabitant. This<br />

relationship has piqued <strong>the</strong> interest <strong>of</strong> researchers and<br />

has been <strong>the</strong> subject <strong>of</strong> numerous studies throughout <strong>the</strong><br />

Western Atlantic. What are <strong>the</strong> mechanisms <strong>of</strong> this relationship?<br />

Why do red snapping shrimp show preference<br />

to <strong>the</strong> corkscrew anemone? Are <strong>the</strong>re efforts being made<br />

to observe and protect <strong>the</strong>se symbiotic species? These<br />

are a few <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> questions we will dive into as we investigate<br />

this oceanic perfect pairing.<br />

In any ecosystem, organisms are constantly interacting<br />

with one ano<strong>the</strong>r in a variety <strong>of</strong> ways. Symbiosis<br />

refers to <strong>the</strong> wide array <strong>of</strong> prolonged, close interactions<br />

that occur between individuals from two or more species<br />

within an ecosystem. You can think <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> relationship<br />

between snapping shrimp and corkscrew anemones like<br />

an ecological quid pro quo; a “tit for tat,” in layman’s<br />

terms. In scientific terms, we call this mutualism. Due<br />

to <strong>the</strong> nature <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> interactions between red snapping<br />

shrimp and corkscrew anemone we would refer to it,<br />

more specifically, as obligatory mutualism, but more<br />

on that later.<br />

We begin our discussion <strong>of</strong> this symbiotic mutualism<br />

with <strong>the</strong> corkscrew anemone: <strong>the</strong> host <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

relationship. The anemone’s physical structure serves as<br />

<strong>the</strong> habitat, providing its crustacean companion with a<br />

place to call home. Interestingly, red snapping shrimp<br />

have been shown to prefer spending <strong>the</strong>ir time under <strong>the</strong><br />

anemone, whereas o<strong>the</strong>r symbiotic crustaceans will be on<br />

or near <strong>the</strong>ir anemone.<br />

An anemone’s tentacles are armed with nematocysts,<br />

specialized cells that uncoil like a harpoon to<br />

inject a toxin into its victim. Fortunately for red snapping<br />

shrimp, <strong>the</strong>y have evolved <strong>the</strong> ability to develop immunity<br />

against <strong>the</strong>ir host’s sting through a process known as<br />

acclimation. This makes <strong>the</strong> anemone habitable for red<br />

snapping shrimp while also deterring predators looking<br />

to make a meal out <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> shrimp. Aside from shelter,<br />

<strong>the</strong> shrimp gain a food source by removing mucus, inorganic<br />

debris, and necrotic tissue from <strong>the</strong> anemone. This<br />

tissue, defined as excessive, diseased, or injured, and<br />

non-natural, would harm <strong>the</strong> anemone if not removed by<br />

<strong>the</strong> shrimp.<br />

38 www.timespub.tc

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

A Pederson cleaner shrimp (Ancylomenes pedersoni) at left and a yellowline arrow crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis) at right perch near, but not<br />

under, a corkscrew anemone (Bartholomea annulata).<br />

ity among Caribbean reefs, corkscrew anemones host<br />

several crustaceans from <strong>the</strong> order Decapoda, including<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r shrimp and even crabs. Pederson cleaner shrimp<br />

(Ancylomenes pedersoni) are particularly common tenants.<br />

These little shrimp make <strong>the</strong>ir living by eating<br />

parasites <strong>of</strong>f <strong>of</strong> passing fish, ano<strong>the</strong>r form <strong>of</strong> mutualistic<br />

symbiosis (see “Cleaning Stations: The Greatest<br />

Marine Restaurant and Spa”—<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> Winter<br />

2022/23). Pederson shrimp will position <strong>the</strong>mselves near<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir home anemone and wave <strong>the</strong>ir antennae to advertise<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir services to potential “clients.” O<strong>the</strong>r species include<br />

<strong>the</strong> yellowlined arrow crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis),<br />

and spotted cleaner shrimp (Periclimenes yucatanicus).<br />

Among <strong>the</strong> many symbionts, red snapping shrimp are<br />

<strong>the</strong> most territorial and aggressive, especially when not<br />

mated.<br />

Corkscrew anemones are also not <strong>the</strong> only anemone<br />

that forms partnership with o<strong>the</strong>r organisms in <strong>the</strong> Turks<br />

& Caicos waters. Giant anemones (Condylactis gigantea),<br />

branching anemones (Lebrunia danae), sun anemones<br />

(Stichodactyla helianthus) and knobby anemones<br />

(Ragactis lucida) are all known to host a variety <strong>of</strong> organisms.<br />

One example is pictured here: a banded clinging<br />

crab (Mithraculus cinctimanus), a small crab that can be<br />

associated with anemones, sponges, or coral, hangs on to<br />

<strong>the</strong> tentacles <strong>of</strong> a giant anemone (Condylactis gigantea).<br />

This relationship is considered commensal, ra<strong>the</strong>r than<br />

mutualistic as with snapping shrimp, since <strong>the</strong> crab benefits<br />

from living <strong>the</strong>re but <strong>the</strong> anemone is nei<strong>the</strong>r helped<br />

nor harmed.<br />

Studies have indicated that not all anemones are<br />

created equal in <strong>the</strong> eyes <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir prospective tenants.<br />

A 2012 study conducted in <strong>the</strong> Puerto Morelos coral<br />

reef found that <strong>the</strong> probability <strong>of</strong> a corkscrew anemone<br />

hosting a crustacean such as red snapping shrimp was<br />

influenced by reef zone and season. The likelihood <strong>of</strong> a<br />

corkscrew anemone hosting any crustacean was found to<br />

be significantly lower in <strong>the</strong> reef channels as compared<br />

to <strong>the</strong> back reef or fore reef. One proposed explanation<br />

is that anemones tend to be smaller in <strong>the</strong> reef channels<br />

as compared to <strong>the</strong> fore reef to compensate for <strong>the</strong> channels’<br />

high flow, which can dislodge an anemone. Why<br />

would this matter? Well, it appears that in <strong>the</strong> eyes <strong>of</strong> red<br />

snapping shrimp, bigger is better. For corkscrew anemones,<br />

<strong>the</strong> probability <strong>of</strong> harboring crustaceans increased<br />

significantly with surface area. This has interesting impli-<br />


<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 39

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

C.E. O’BRIEN<br />

A banded clinging crab (Mithraculus cinctimanus) hangs onto <strong>the</strong> tentacles <strong>of</strong> a giant anemone (Condylactis gigantea).<br />

cations on <strong>the</strong> distribution <strong>of</strong> red snapping shrimp and<br />

corkscrew anemone symbiosis throughout <strong>the</strong> Western<br />

Atlantic.<br />

Every species plays a greater role in its ecosystem,<br />

including our perfect pair. Unfortunately, due largely to<br />

human activity, <strong>the</strong> corkscrew anemone is under threat.<br />

Anemone populations have been found to rely on frequent<br />

recruitment, <strong>the</strong> replenishment <strong>of</strong> young anemone<br />

into <strong>the</strong> existing population to promote individual growth<br />

and sustain viable populations. Sea anemones have short<br />

lifespans, and <strong>the</strong>y need to be constantly adding more<br />

individuals to <strong>the</strong>ir population. In Florida, researchers<br />

concluded that survival and recruitment rates <strong>of</strong> corkscrew<br />

anemones were higher among areas less impacted<br />

by humans and with cooler summer water temperatures.<br />

Rising ocean temperatures and human impact, defined as<br />

areas easily accessible to human traffic or visibly polluted<br />

with debris, pose threats to <strong>the</strong> corkscrew anemone populations.<br />

Corkscrew anemones are harvested and sold to<br />

aquariums for decorative purposes, but without fur<strong>the</strong>r<br />

research conservation efforts and management cannot be<br />

supported. Investigating <strong>the</strong> population dynamics <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

anemone is also important to understanding <strong>the</strong> implications<br />

for <strong>the</strong> shrimp symbiont.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> world <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> big blue ocean, it must be nice to<br />

have a place to call home, and a companion that has your<br />

back. The symbiotic relationship between <strong>the</strong> red snapping<br />

shrimp and corkscrew anemone is a great example<br />

<strong>of</strong> obligatory mutualism in <strong>the</strong> Western Atlantic—each<br />

species benefits <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r, making life in <strong>the</strong> ocean a little<br />

easier for both. As we continue to learn about <strong>the</strong>se species,<br />

we can better understand how our human activity<br />

affects <strong>the</strong>m and how we can better protect <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> long run, a healthy ecosystem tends to be better<br />

for everyone involved, especially humans who call <strong>the</strong><br />

Western Atlantic home. Overall, <strong>the</strong> fascinating relationship<br />

between <strong>the</strong> red snapping shrimp and <strong>the</strong> corkscrew<br />

anemone warrants fur<strong>the</strong>r investigation (and perhaps its<br />

own blockbuster animated film). a<br />

For detailed article references or more information<br />

about The School for Field Studies, contact Director Heidi<br />

Hertler on South Caicos at hhertler@fieldstudies.org or<br />

visit www.fieldstudies.org.<br />

40 www.timespub.tc

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

Earth Day Poetry Contest<br />

Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held on April 22,<br />

1970, it now includes a wide range <strong>of</strong> events celebrated by 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. The <strong>of</strong>ficial<br />

<strong>the</strong>me for <strong>2023</strong> was Invest In Our Planet.<br />

To celebrate Earth Day <strong>2023</strong>, <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos Department <strong>of</strong> Environment & Coastal Resources held an Earth<br />

Day Poetry Contest. They received many creative and thoughtful submissions, and selected <strong>the</strong> following entrants as<br />

<strong>the</strong> winners:<br />

Tyreke Glinton, age 17, H.J. Robinson High School<br />

Zavien Gardiner, age 11, Ona Glinton Primary School<br />

Pari Ochani, age 10, Precious Treasures Primary School<br />

Deep Blue Charters (Grand Turk) and SurfSide Ocean Academy (Providenciales) sponsored exciting prizes.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 41

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

42 www.timespub.tc

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

Celebrate, celebrate Earth Day is here,<br />

We live in TCI, God made it Beautiful by Nature,<br />

It may be tiny but it’s clean and clear,<br />

Beauty is one <strong>of</strong> its biggest feature.<br />

It’s time to cherish <strong>the</strong> beauty <strong>of</strong> our land,<br />

40 <strong>Islands</strong>/cays with world’s exceptional beaches,<br />

The crystalline turquoise water and white pearly sand,<br />

To stay calm, humble and kind, it preaches.<br />

People, animals and sea life share <strong>the</strong>se islands,<br />

We have warm ocean and warm wea<strong>the</strong>r both,<br />

All our pristine islands are like wonderful garlands,<br />

Keep it <strong>the</strong> same way, on this Earth Day let’s take an oath.<br />

Help us protect <strong>the</strong> land, coral, sea life and beauty,<br />

Reuse, reduce, and recycle, it’s our duty.<br />

By Pari Ochani<br />


<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 43


feature<br />

Diving in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> is known for dramatic walls, warm, clear water, and healthy and diverse marine life. One <strong>of</strong> a number<br />

<strong>of</strong> excellent dive operators is Flamingo Divers (www.FlamingoDivers.com), who contributed <strong>the</strong> photo above. They specialize in small group<br />

diving and private dive charters.<br />


Dive Enthusiast or Dive Addict?<br />

Land-based or liveaboard diving . . . which is for you?<br />

By Kelly Currington<br />

A chance to dive <strong>the</strong> world-renowned reefs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> is a coveted destination for any<br />

diver. Known for dramatic walls, warm, crystal-clear turquoise water, healthy, diverse marine life, and<br />

little or no current, choosing TCI as your destination is <strong>the</strong> easy decision. Deciding on <strong>the</strong> best option<br />

for your dive vacation in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> can be a little more laborious, depending on many<br />

factors.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 45

Some think <strong>the</strong> perfect dive vacation consists <strong>of</strong><br />

doing a couple <strong>of</strong> dives during <strong>the</strong> day and <strong>the</strong>n enjoying<br />

island-life amenities like eating at oceanside restaurants,<br />

walking on <strong>the</strong> stunning beaches, and strolling through<br />

<strong>the</strong> local shops. O<strong>the</strong>rs view <strong>the</strong> ideal dive vacation as diving<br />

as much as possible (including night dives), sleeping<br />

and eating, and <strong>the</strong>n doing it all over again every day <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>ir vacation.<br />

These differing perspectives require thought in <strong>the</strong><br />

planning process to achieve <strong>the</strong> desired experience for<br />

your perfect dive vacation. There are a few options for<br />

diving our beautiful reefs and walls. You can choose to<br />

mix diving in with o<strong>the</strong>r aspects <strong>of</strong> your vacation by diving<br />

day boats; you can immerse yourself in all <strong>the</strong> diving<br />

possible by choosing a liveaboard; or you can choose a<br />

private charter and create your own schedule.<br />

The Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> boast some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> most<br />

beautiful resorts in <strong>the</strong> region, overlooking pristine white<br />

sand beaches leading into turquoise waters so stunning<br />

<strong>the</strong>y look Photoshopped—but I can assure you <strong>the</strong>y are<br />

absolutely real! When you choose to stay on land and<br />

dive with a day boat operator, you get to enjoy any one<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se beautiful properties while still getting your dive<br />

fix, which for a diver is crucial on all vacations.<br />

Most land-based operators provide two-tank trips, so<br />

you dive one location, have a surface interval with water<br />

and snacks, move to a new location, and <strong>the</strong>n dive <strong>the</strong><br />

second dive. Some <strong>of</strong>fer three-tank specials and private<br />

charters, where <strong>the</strong> schedule is a little more customizable.<br />

Because day boats are much smaller than liveaboard<br />

vessels, <strong>the</strong>y have <strong>the</strong> ability to get to locations that are<br />

inaccessible to liveaboards due to depth or weight restrictions<br />

on <strong>the</strong> mooring balls.<br />

Once your diving thirst has been quenched for <strong>the</strong><br />

day, <strong>the</strong>re are a variety <strong>of</strong> available adventures to be had<br />

above <strong>the</strong> surface. Everything from dining out, shopping,<br />

golf, tennis, casinos, exploring <strong>the</strong> pirate cave at Osprey<br />

Rock, The Hole in Long Bay, or trying ano<strong>the</strong>r sport like<br />

kite surfing, parasailing, kayaking, or paddleboarding <strong>the</strong><br />

mangroves. A must-do for every visitor is <strong>the</strong> Thursday<br />

Night Fish Fry on Providenciales. This is a festive celebration<br />

<strong>of</strong> island culture with music, dancing, and local<br />

vendors. When choosing land-based diving, you will have<br />

plenty <strong>of</strong> time to enjoy o<strong>the</strong>r activities.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r benefit <strong>of</strong> diving land-based is it gives you<br />

<strong>the</strong> opportunity to visit <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r <strong>Islands</strong> and expand<br />

<strong>the</strong> boundaries <strong>of</strong> your holiday. You can choose to dive<br />

at some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r islands as well—each has features<br />

unique to <strong>the</strong> area—and broaden your diving experience<br />

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

A couple <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> all-inclusive properties include diving<br />

with your reservation, which is a big help with <strong>the</strong> budget.<br />

If you are traveling with friends and/or family members<br />

who don’t dive, this option usually works best so you<br />

can dive and still have time to spend with your travel<br />

companions. The all-Inclusive properties usually provide<br />

non-divers with activities to enjoy while you are out playing<br />

underwater. Everyone is happy!<br />


Dive operators have Instructors or Dive Masters in <strong>the</strong> water with you, and <strong>the</strong>y tend to know where you may have a magical encounter. This<br />

pod <strong>of</strong> dolphins was captured by Aqua TCI (www.aquatci.com), who specialize in small group diving, private charters, and private guiding.<br />

46 www.timespub.tc

This exciting dive site is called “Chimney” at North West Point <strong>of</strong>f Providenciales. At a<br />

depth <strong>of</strong> about 80 feet, this Caribbean reef shark is watching an intrepid diver who is<br />

inspecting <strong>the</strong> wall. Dive Provo is one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>’ oldest operations.<br />




Whe<strong>the</strong>r you are staying in a small hotel on Grand Turk or visiting for <strong>the</strong> day via cruise ship, <strong>the</strong> diving and snorkeling are superb. This shot<br />

was taken on Horseshoe Reef <strong>of</strong>f Gibb’s Cay.<br />

Divers with Aqua TCI (www.aquatci.com) are enjoying an encounter<br />

with a Hawksbill sea turtle. Aqua TCI was formed to encompass all<br />

<strong>the</strong> great dive practices that founders Stephanie and Bill Wallwork<br />

have seen and experienced from diving around <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

Now, if you are a dive addict (meaning you must dive<br />

as much as possible every day <strong>of</strong> your vacation, within<br />

<strong>the</strong> safety limits <strong>of</strong> your dive computer), choosing a liveaboard<br />

is <strong>the</strong> best way to feed your habit. Liveaboards are<br />

floating hotels for divers, where you eat, sleep, and dive<br />

without stepping foot on land once <strong>the</strong> vessel leaves <strong>the</strong><br />

marina for <strong>the</strong> week. This is a dive addict’s utopia!<br />

The liveaboards here usually get in four to five dives a<br />

day (including night dives), <strong>the</strong>y have a chef onboard who<br />

provides three meals a day plus snacks between dives.<br />

The cabins have on-suite bathrooms and are comfortable.<br />

The truth is, most people who choose <strong>the</strong> liveaboard<br />

option don’t spend any time in <strong>the</strong>ir rooms except to<br />

sleep. When not underwater, you are usually on <strong>the</strong> sundeck<br />

talking to o<strong>the</strong>r divers about diving, in <strong>the</strong> salon<br />

looking at photos and videos <strong>of</strong> your dives, or having<br />

meals and, yes, you guessed it, talking about diving.<br />

Liveaboard diving provides <strong>the</strong> opportunity to explore<br />

each dive site more thoroughly since you usually do two<br />

dives on each site. Night dives are something that most<br />

land-based operators don’t <strong>of</strong>fer as much due to <strong>the</strong> distance<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> reefs and <strong>the</strong> hazards <strong>of</strong> maneuvering <strong>the</strong><br />

channels in <strong>the</strong> dark, but since liveaboards are already<br />

moored up at one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> prime locations, you can explore<br />

<strong>the</strong> same dive sites at night that you have dived during<br />

48 www.timespub.tc

The turquoise waters surrounding <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are stunningly clear, with little or no current year-round. This image includes<br />

Aqua TCI’s custom Newton 36-foot Dive Special boat, Chuck’s Mate.<br />


<strong>the</strong> day. This opens up a whole new world <strong>of</strong> amazing<br />

creatures as <strong>the</strong> day shift clocks out and <strong>the</strong> night shift<br />

clocks in.<br />

Considering you get accommodations, all meals,<br />

snacks, alcohol, and up to 27 dives in a week, this is a<br />

very cost-effective option for <strong>the</strong> dive addict. And, <strong>the</strong>re is<br />

something very special about waking up and having your<br />

c<strong>of</strong>fee out on <strong>the</strong> ocean as <strong>the</strong> sun rises. Falling asleep<br />

as you are rocked by <strong>the</strong> motion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sea is better than<br />

any sleep aid.<br />

The third, and least cost-effective choice, would be<br />

a private vessel, where you can design your own schedule<br />

for diving based on your needs and goals for your<br />

holiday. You can decide to go out and dive during <strong>the</strong><br />

day, returning to <strong>the</strong> marina in <strong>the</strong> afternoon so you can<br />

have access to all <strong>the</strong> amenities <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> island. Or, you<br />

can choose to stay out for days and transit around from<br />

dive location to dive location, picking and choosing which<br />

sites you dive and how many dives you do (always following<br />

your dive computers NDL limits).<br />

Both land-based and liveaboards <strong>of</strong>fer dive training.<br />

You can choose to become a diver or continue your dive<br />

education, making your holiday both fun and educational.<br />

Most who go on a liveaboard are at minimum Open Water<br />

certified, but <strong>of</strong>ten choose to do <strong>the</strong>ir Nitrox, Advanced,<br />

or Specialty courses throughout <strong>the</strong> week. You are surrounded<br />

by experienced instructors, so what better time<br />

to increase your skill set and knowledge?<br />

Land-based operators <strong>of</strong>fer courses from Discover<br />

Scuba (a try-scuba experience) all <strong>the</strong> way up through<br />

Instructor, so always check ahead <strong>of</strong> time and schedule<br />

training early on to ensure an instructor is available<br />

during your desired dates. Liveaboards are a great place<br />

to continue your dive training and do specialty courses.<br />

All dive operators, whe<strong>the</strong>r land-based or liveaboards,<br />

have certified Instructors or Divemasters in <strong>the</strong> water<br />

with divers, guiding you along <strong>the</strong> reef and showing you<br />

points <strong>of</strong> interests, whe<strong>the</strong>r it be a structure, coral formation,<br />

or marine creature. They tend to know where <strong>the</strong><br />

“good stuff” is!<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 49


Diving along TCI’s healthy coral reefs is a joyful and peaceful experience. That’s why <strong>the</strong> staff at Flamingo Divers (www.FlamingoDivers.com)<br />

have been plying <strong>the</strong> Caribbean waters for <strong>the</strong> better part <strong>of</strong> 30 years and love what <strong>the</strong>y do.

The Turks & Caicos Aggressor II liveaboard yacht awards <strong>the</strong> Iron Diver medal to guests who do all <strong>the</strong> dives <strong>of</strong>fered during <strong>the</strong> week, usually<br />

26 to 27 dives. It is hard-earned and for hard-core divers. The author is third from left. She and <strong>the</strong> two guests on <strong>the</strong> left are <strong>the</strong> only three<br />

who made all <strong>the</strong> dives during a recent trip.<br />


Take <strong>the</strong> opportunity to pick <strong>the</strong>ir brains about local<br />

inhabitants. Ask about marine creatures, coral, local<br />

conservation efforts, etc. One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> great things about<br />

diving with an Instructor or Divemaster is that <strong>the</strong>y are<br />

knowledgeable about <strong>the</strong> waters <strong>the</strong>y dive and enjoy<br />

sharing that knowledge. Instead <strong>of</strong> saying you saw a blue<br />

fish, yellow fish, flat fish, or mohawk fish, <strong>the</strong>y will teach<br />

you <strong>the</strong> proper common names <strong>of</strong> fish, creatures, and<br />

coral as well as telling you interesting details and facts<br />

about <strong>the</strong>m. It’s a fun way to learn.<br />

Regardless <strong>of</strong> preference for your dive holiday, <strong>the</strong><br />

ultimate reward will be dipping below <strong>the</strong> surface and<br />

exploring our beautiful reefs, bustling with marine life,<br />

and dramatic walls that drop <strong>of</strong>f into <strong>the</strong> abyss. The reefs<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos boast a kaleidoscope <strong>of</strong> colors,<br />

a plethora <strong>of</strong> amazing creatures, both large and small,<br />

pelagic and macro, <strong>of</strong>fering once-in-a lifetime encounters.<br />

One common thread in all <strong>the</strong> choices is <strong>the</strong> chance<br />

to mingle with o<strong>the</strong>r divers, where <strong>the</strong>re is an unspoken<br />

bond and shared interest in <strong>the</strong> sea, marine life, and<br />

adventure in general. Many lifelong friendships have been<br />

forged over dinner planning <strong>the</strong> next dive trip.<br />

Come experience <strong>the</strong> magic <strong>of</strong> diving <strong>the</strong> Turks &<br />

Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. If you are underwater and blowing bubbles<br />

it will no doubt be <strong>the</strong> most amazing holiday ever. a<br />

Author Kelly Currington says, “My first dip below <strong>the</strong> service<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sea brought a realm <strong>of</strong> beauty, tranquility, and<br />

peace to my life that I had never known before. It changed<br />

my life in an instant and my soul was completely saturated<br />

with <strong>the</strong> power, vastness, and mysterious riches it<br />

holds. I will spend every minute I can in that underwater<br />

world.”<br />


<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 51

new development<br />

Opposite page: Nivå is Swedish for “level” and each <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> six island retreats are an arrangement <strong>of</strong> stacked living levels enveloped in slender<br />

“sleeves” for protection from <strong>the</strong> sun and breeze.<br />

Above: The Nivå villas seem melded into <strong>the</strong>ir limestone ridge; each has a floating deck in front, providing easy access to <strong>the</strong> turquoise sea<br />

and an ideal spot for dining and drinks.<br />

Pushing <strong>the</strong> Boundaries<br />

Nivå limited villa series makes a bold architectural statement.<br />

By Kathy Borsuk ~ Renderings Courtesy Windward<br />

It’s inspiring to see architecture that reacts to a challenging environment with boldness and creativity.<br />

The south shore <strong>of</strong> Providenciales is lined with craggy limestone ridges, not <strong>the</strong> classic ivory beaches <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> north side. While this allows buildings to have a close relationship with <strong>the</strong> ocean, it does require a<br />

thoughtful approach to design. Nivå, an exclusive collection <strong>of</strong> only six villas on Turtle Tail, pushes <strong>the</strong><br />

boundaries <strong>of</strong> contemporary architecture in stunning fashion.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 53

Nivå’s location at <strong>the</strong> tip <strong>of</strong> Turtle Tail <strong>of</strong>fers views <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ocean and Caicos Bank, as well as <strong>the</strong> natural mangrove wetlands to <strong>the</strong> back.<br />

I recently spoke to Ingo Reckhorn, Director <strong>of</strong><br />

Windward Development, about <strong>the</strong> process that brought<br />

forth Nivå. He was as enthusiastic as I about introducing<br />

<strong>the</strong> limited collection <strong>of</strong> island retreats that seem carved<br />

into <strong>the</strong> ironshore and capture <strong>the</strong> sweeping horizons <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> area. When Windward secured <strong>the</strong> 2.9 acre parcel <strong>of</strong><br />

land at <strong>the</strong> tip <strong>of</strong> Turtle Tail, <strong>the</strong>y knew <strong>the</strong>y had something<br />

special. Here, you could watch <strong>the</strong> sun rise over <strong>the</strong><br />

Caicos Bank and set over Juba Sound. The mangrove wetlands<br />

to <strong>the</strong> north were protected, so views would remain<br />

natural and unimpeded. Access to <strong>the</strong> property was along<br />

a quiet winding road that promised privacy.<br />

The Windward team, led by Ivor Stanbrook, himself an<br />

architect, has always believed in pushing <strong>the</strong> bar <strong>of</strong> what<br />

is possible in architectural design, yet at <strong>the</strong> same time<br />

keeping in unison with <strong>the</strong> environment. After months <strong>of</strong><br />

searching, <strong>the</strong>y discovered award-winning Scandinavian<br />

architect Magnus Ström. His philosophy <strong>of</strong> framing views,<br />

capturing horizons, and celebrating <strong>the</strong> power <strong>of</strong> clean<br />

lines and flowing spaces forged an immediate connection.<br />

After visiting <strong>the</strong> site, Magnus and his associates<br />

were elated at <strong>the</strong> opportunity and Nivå was born.<br />

Nivå is Swedish for “level” and <strong>the</strong> six island retreats<br />

are each an arrangement <strong>of</strong> stacked living levels that<br />

seem melded into <strong>the</strong> layers <strong>of</strong> limestone. What I found<br />

most intriguing were <strong>the</strong> slender timber “sleeves” enveloping<br />

each level. Besides s<strong>of</strong>tening <strong>the</strong> lines <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> homes<br />

and framing <strong>the</strong> natural views, <strong>the</strong>y provide shelter from<br />

<strong>the</strong> sun and brisk ocean breezes, allowing for large, open<br />

outdoor living spaces that can be enjoyed at all times.<br />

Interiors are defined by edge-to-edge glass and views<br />

flow through each level, <strong>of</strong>fering unfettered opportunities<br />

for “<strong>the</strong> flow <strong>of</strong> life framed within <strong>the</strong> flow <strong>of</strong> nature.”<br />

The design considers just how people use <strong>the</strong>ir second<br />

homes <strong>the</strong>se days. Ingo explains, “Owners <strong>of</strong> luxury<br />

properties and those who vacation in <strong>the</strong>m tend to travel<br />

in ‘tribes’ <strong>of</strong> family and friends. Their home is a reprieve<br />

from a stressful world, not a resort environment. Once<br />

<strong>the</strong>y arrive, <strong>the</strong>y don’t want to leave <strong>the</strong> property. They<br />

typically retain a private chef to prepare meals and a<br />

house manager to shop and manage chores. If <strong>the</strong>y want<br />

to dive, fish, or explore <strong>the</strong> area by <strong>the</strong> boat, <strong>the</strong>y will<br />

call on a private charter to pick <strong>the</strong>m up and drop <strong>the</strong>m<br />

<strong>of</strong>f. This makes it especially important that <strong>the</strong> home is<br />

completely comfortable and functional.”<br />

54 www.timespub.tc

Nivå villas 1 through 5 <strong>of</strong>fer over 4,000 square feet<br />

<strong>of</strong> indoor space with 4 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths, and a<br />

total area <strong>of</strong> over 8,200 square feet in covered and uncovered<br />

outdoor space. The living floors are set 20 to 25<br />

feet above sea level. Beginning at <strong>the</strong> podium level, an<br />

infinity pool runs across <strong>the</strong> front <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> villa, with oceanfront<br />

sunken seating areas and a firepit allowing owners<br />

and guests an intimate connection with <strong>the</strong> magnificent<br />

landscape. Stacked atop <strong>the</strong> podium level is <strong>the</strong> main living<br />

space. The design maximizes views and features an<br />

expansive dual-aspect kitchen with access to terraces on<br />

both sides.<br />

The second level, with its contrasting external sleeve,<br />

houses <strong>the</strong> four bedrooms. At <strong>the</strong> pinnacle sits <strong>the</strong> grand<br />

primary level, set back to create a stunning visual statement.<br />

Slender elegant overhangs provide additional<br />

outdoor space for covered terraces and an outdoor bath<br />

and shower. The optional ro<strong>of</strong> terrace features views<br />

across both <strong>the</strong> Caicos Bank and Juba Sound.<br />

Interiors include an <strong>of</strong>fice with Juba Sound water<br />

views, a kitchen island, dedicated powder, pantry, and<br />

laundry rooms on <strong>the</strong> first floor, a large owner’s storage<br />

area on <strong>the</strong> second floor, and one indoor and one<br />

outdoor bathtub. Buyers can personalize <strong>the</strong>ir villa with<br />

a selection <strong>of</strong> ancillary options including <strong>the</strong> third floor<br />

primary bedroom level with owner’s lock-out, balcony,<br />

ro<strong>of</strong> terrace and wet bar; an additional elevator across <strong>the</strong><br />

main floors; a garage, guest house, and gym; a hot tub<br />

and an evening plunge pool.<br />

Exteriors are simple in form, with <strong>the</strong> flow and function<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> house articulated by contrasting masonry,<br />

glass, and timber. Each villa has a slightly different<br />

arrangement along <strong>the</strong> ridgeline, hewn to <strong>the</strong> call <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

land. Their graceful outdoor pools (with optional hot<br />

tub) and fire pits overlook <strong>the</strong> Caicos Bank and patios<br />

are separated with privacy walls and wide garden areas<br />

to retain an enclave in <strong>the</strong> beauty <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> environment.<br />

Owners can choose to add an ocean staircase cut into <strong>the</strong><br />

ironshore, leading to <strong>the</strong> floating decks that front each<br />

villa for direct access to <strong>the</strong> ocean for day trips, kayaking,<br />

watersports, fishing, diving, and exploring <strong>the</strong> area.<br />

Nivå 6 is a singular showpiece at corner <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> community<br />

with over 6,500 square feet <strong>of</strong> indoor space and<br />

over 14,700 square feet <strong>of</strong> total area. Along with unprecedented<br />

villa frontage <strong>of</strong> 167 feet, its sweeping bedroom<br />

level includes 7 ocean-facing bedrooms with breathtaking<br />

views. All <strong>the</strong> optional features <strong>of</strong> Nivå 1 to 5 are<br />

included in this trophy property, along with a vast shaded<br />

terrace with seating areas for dining, an outdoor kitchen,<br />

The longest established legal practice<br />

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

Real Estate Investments<br />

& Property Development<br />

Immigration, Residency<br />

& Business Licensing<br />

Company & Commercial Law<br />

Trusts & Estate Planning<br />

Banking & Insurance<br />

1 Caribbean Place, P.O. Box 97<br />

Leeward Highway, Providenciales<br />

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

Ph: 649 946 4344 • Fax: 649 946 4564<br />

E-Mail: dempsey@tciway.tc<br />

Cockburn House, P.O. Box 70<br />

Market Street, Grand Turk<br />

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

Ph: 649 946 2245 • Fax: 649 946 2758<br />

E-Mail: ffdlawco@tciway.tc<br />

john redmond associates ltd.<br />

architects & designers<br />

construction consultants<br />

project management<br />

p.o.box 21, providenciales, turks & caicos is.<br />

tel.: 9464440 cell: 2314569 email: redmond@tciway.tc<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 55

and a Juba Sound-facing ro<strong>of</strong>top terrace. At <strong>the</strong> highest<br />

level rests <strong>the</strong> grand primary area, where <strong>the</strong> extended<br />

overhang provides for uninterrupted outdoor living from<br />

sunrise to sunset, year-round.<br />

With a unique interpretation <strong>of</strong> Brazilian Modernism<br />

and Scandinavian styles, interiors are designed to be<br />

simple, uncluttered, and in natural tones—an antidote to<br />

modern life. Fresh <strong>of</strong>f <strong>the</strong> success <strong>of</strong> South Bank and Arc,<br />

Windward has developed a worldwide network <strong>of</strong> suppliers<br />

extending to <strong>the</strong> UK, Europe, and now, Scandinavia.<br />

This allows access to distinctive furniture, fittings, and<br />

fabrics not commonly used in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>, but readily<br />

administered with Windward’s years <strong>of</strong> expertise.<br />

Exteriors create a stillness and quietness with <strong>the</strong> use <strong>of</strong><br />

walnut timbers and natural vegetation.<br />

Ström Architects is in unison with Windward to<br />

build integrated sustainability into <strong>the</strong>ir properties.<br />

Construction is carefully planned to decrease demand for<br />

energy and water, with materials used responsibly and<br />

efficiently. Solar packages are available at <strong>the</strong> owners’<br />

option.<br />

Who are <strong>the</strong> likely buyers? Ingo expects <strong>the</strong>y will be<br />

Americans and Canadians who are nature-oriented, crave<br />

privacy, and appreciate purchasing a property with architectural<br />

significance. There will be no structured rental<br />

program or monthly fees, and owners can choose whe<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Above: Interiors are defined by edge-to-edge glass and views flow<br />

through each level.<br />

The dual aspect kitchen has access to terraces on both sides.<br />

56 www.timespub.tc

Above: Outdoor pools and fire pits overlook <strong>the</strong> Caicos Bank, with<br />

patios separated by privacy walls and wide garden areas.<br />

This view <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> back <strong>of</strong> a villa shows how Nivå is integrated into its<br />

environment.<br />

<strong>the</strong>y want to rent <strong>the</strong>ir villas (or <strong>the</strong> optional third floor<br />

bedroom/lockout) and can select <strong>the</strong>ir own management<br />

company. Nivå villas are priced from $5,500,000 to<br />

$9,950,000 and sold through Turks & Caicos So<strong>the</strong>by’s<br />

International Realty. Construction will proceed independently<br />

for each villa as each is sold.<br />

I’ve found that Windward is an uncommon development<br />

group with a unique vision. Ivor Stanbrook says,<br />

“Our only constant is <strong>the</strong> creativity that runs through<br />

everything we do and our ability and determination to<br />

make anything possible. Our agile, bright, and mindful<br />

team inspires those who work with us to find unexpected<br />

answers and create iconic developments.” I’m<br />

always amazed at <strong>the</strong>ir ability to look at a piece <strong>of</strong> vacant<br />

land, see what o<strong>the</strong>rs don’t, and create a masterpiece.<br />

Windward’s o<strong>the</strong>r projects include <strong>the</strong> Providenciales<br />

waterfront residential communities <strong>of</strong> South Bank, Blue<br />

Cay, and <strong>the</strong> Peninsula at Emerald Point. There’s no doubt<br />

that Nivå will be <strong>the</strong>ir next success. a<br />

For more information, visit www.niva6.com.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 57


food for thought<br />

Opposite page: Individuals who follow a vegan diet have opted to remove all animal-based foods. This vegan assortment includes falafel,<br />

edamame beans, carrots, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, avocado, hummus, and sesame seeds.<br />

Above: Fruit is a staple food group for a nutritious vegan diet. This cool dessert includes mango, papaya, passion fruit and kiwi jelly.<br />


Sun, Surf, and . . . Salad?<br />

A vegan visit to TCI.<br />

By Rachel Craft<br />

When I landed in Providenciales for a week-long beach vacation, my suitcase was packed with <strong>the</strong> usual:<br />

swimsuits, snorkel gear, gallons <strong>of</strong> sunscreen—and plenty <strong>of</strong> emergency snacks. No <strong>of</strong>fense, TCI; I do<br />

this everywhere I travel. It’s one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> survival instincts you develop when you go vegan.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 59

A stricter version <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> now-popular “plant-based”<br />

diet, a vegan diet eschews all animal products, including<br />

meat, fish (yep, that includes conch), and dairy. This can<br />

make dining out a challenge, especially while traveling,<br />

as many regional cuisines rely heavily on nonvegan ingredients<br />

like eggs and butter. The word “vegan” is virtually<br />

unheard-<strong>of</strong> in some countries—and most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>rn<br />

United States, which, culinarily speaking, is practically<br />

ano<strong>the</strong>r country. Last time I was in Alabama, I had to<br />

spell <strong>the</strong> word “salad” into a McDonald’s drive-through<br />

window. If you can believe it, <strong>the</strong>y didn’t have any.<br />

After 15 years as a vegan, I’ve learned how to reconcile<br />

my penchant for travel with my caloric needs. I book<br />

hotels with kitchens wherever possible (thank you, Inn<br />

at Grace Bay), and I have no shame packing an entire jar<br />

<strong>of</strong> peanut butter and loaf <strong>of</strong> bread in my checked bag.<br />

However, I was pleasantly surprised by <strong>the</strong> number <strong>of</strong><br />

vegan dining options I discovered on <strong>the</strong> small island <strong>of</strong><br />

Providenciales. Most menus had at least one dish that<br />

was ei<strong>the</strong>r vegan or easily veganized, and all <strong>the</strong> servers<br />

I spoke to were familiar with veganism and happy to help<br />

me tweak my order as needed. Between beach sessions<br />

and snorkel trips, I sampled a variety <strong>of</strong> filling, flavorful<br />

vegan dishes across <strong>the</strong> island.<br />

For breakfast and brunch, I visited Shay Café on Grace<br />

Bay for a hearty slab <strong>of</strong> avocado toast. The Graceway<br />

Gourmet supermarket has a long list <strong>of</strong> vegan smoothies<br />

made with oat milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, and rice<br />

protein; and <strong>the</strong> drink shop Beans & Leaves <strong>of</strong>fers many<br />

flavors <strong>of</strong> nondairy boba tea. Sail Shades, a new restaurant<br />

in Long Bay, is known for its “doubles”—sandwiches<br />

made <strong>of</strong> curried chickpeas nestled between deep-fried<br />

flatbreads. This addictive breakfast dish and hangover<br />

cure originated in Trinidad & Tobago, and has grown into<br />

a popular street food throughout <strong>the</strong> Caribbean. It seems<br />

veganism is on trend in many Caribbean islands, which<br />

is no surprise for places where fruits like coconut are<br />

easy to grow and where <strong>the</strong> local cuisine has been heavily<br />

influenced by Indian, Asian, and African traditions.<br />

At home in <strong>the</strong> US, I’ve learned non-Western restaurants<br />

are some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> most dependable places to find<br />

vegan food—and TCI is no exception. Grace Bay’s Thai<br />

Orchid <strong>of</strong>fers several t<strong>of</strong>u dishes, and <strong>the</strong> Mexican eatery<br />

Skull Rock serves sizzling t<strong>of</strong>u fajitas. Turks Kebab uses<br />

falafel and hummus as protein in <strong>the</strong>ir vegetarian pitas,<br />

which can be veganized by removing <strong>the</strong> feta and tzatziki.<br />

Yoshi’s Sushi has several veg-friendly options, including<br />

<strong>the</strong> ra<strong>the</strong>r vaguely named “spring roll with avocado.” This<br />


The Avocado Toast served at Shay Café Lounge at Le Vele Plaza in Grace Bay was a favorite breakfast or brunch stop for <strong>the</strong> vegan author.<br />

60 www.timespub.tc


Island Raw’s founder Regina Radisic operates a fully vegan café. It specializes in locally crafted kombucha (at left) and cold pressed juice<br />

(at right), along with artisanal chocolate. Her goal is to create “plant-based cuisine committed to helping you elevate your body, beauty, and<br />

well-being.”<br />

title fails to do justice to <strong>the</strong> unique deliciousness <strong>of</strong> this<br />

sushi roll, which has a deep-fried veggie spring roll, still<br />

hot, wrapped up inside.<br />

In TCI, <strong>the</strong> burgeoning vegan scene seems closely tied<br />

to <strong>the</strong> health food movement. Provo’s two fully vegan<br />

cafés, <strong>the</strong> Farmacy and Island Raw, cater to both veg-<br />

ans and health-conscious diners seeking organic eats<br />

free <strong>of</strong> preservatives and o<strong>the</strong>r additives. Island Raw’s<br />

founder, Regina Radisic, says her café is frequented by<br />

Rastafarians, many <strong>of</strong> whom follow a clean, mostly plantbased<br />

“ital” diet as a way to streng<strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong>ir sacred bond<br />

with nature.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 61


Even upscale, gourmet restaurants on Providenciales <strong>of</strong>fer vegan options, as shown here at Grace Bay Club’s Infiniti Restaurant and Raw Bar.<br />

Health is a common reason for people to adopt a<br />

vegan diet, and you don’t have to be a nutritionist to see<br />

why. Less meat and dairy means less fat and cholesterol;<br />

more veggies means more fiber and vitamins. Studies<br />

have shown plant-based eating to lower <strong>the</strong> risk <strong>of</strong> heart<br />

disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and more.<br />

But health is just one facet <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> vibrant world <strong>of</strong><br />

veganism. Some vegans do it for ethical reasons, to<br />

avoid contributing to <strong>the</strong> inhumane practices and animal<br />

suffering that occur on factory farms. Many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se<br />

less health-minded vegans, myself included, don’t mind<br />

eating “slutty” vegan foods like veggie burgers and coconut<br />

milk ice cream. I was pleased to discover that many<br />

restaurants on Provo, including <strong>the</strong> iconic Cocovan, <strong>of</strong>fer<br />

a veggie burger—though Big Al’s Island Grill wins <strong>the</strong><br />

prize with three different types <strong>of</strong> vegan patty. On my<br />

first night on <strong>the</strong> island, I discovered acai sorbet and<br />

nondairy mango s<strong>of</strong>t-serve at <strong>the</strong> candy and ice cream<br />

shop Giggles. (I returned shamelessly every night until<br />

my plane left for <strong>the</strong> US.)<br />

62 www.timespub.tc


Graceway Gourmet <strong>of</strong>fers a long list <strong>of</strong> vegan smoothies to go.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r common reason people adopt a vegan diet is<br />

to shrink <strong>the</strong>ir environmental footprint. According to <strong>the</strong><br />

UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization, <strong>the</strong> meat and dairy<br />

industries alone account for nearly 15% <strong>of</strong> global greenhouse<br />

gas emissions—and that’s not to mention <strong>the</strong> vast<br />

amounts <strong>of</strong> land and water required to raise livestock, or<br />

<strong>the</strong> pollution caused by manure run<strong>of</strong>f. While <strong>the</strong> positive<br />

environmental impact <strong>of</strong> a vegan diet is well established,<br />

it’s a little different on an island, where so many foods<br />

have to be shipped in over long distances. This leads to<br />

more greenhouse gas emissions, and more preservatives<br />

added to food to ensure it survives <strong>the</strong> journey.<br />

As a result, some restaurants in TCI are striving to<br />

incorporate more locally grown ingredients. The Farm,<br />

<strong>the</strong> latest culinary venture by Grace Bay’s Seven Stars<br />

Resort, harvests <strong>the</strong>ir produce from an on-site hydroponic<br />

farm—bringing diners fresh, minimally processed fruit<br />

and vegetables without <strong>the</strong> financial and environmental<br />

costs <strong>of</strong> transportation. This isn’t <strong>the</strong> only vegan-friendly<br />

resort restaurant; many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> swanky beachfront spots<br />

along Grace Bay <strong>of</strong>fer at least one vegan option. Infiniti<br />

has a vegan curry entrée, Solana has a t<strong>of</strong>u stir-fry, and<br />

Vita at Rock House has an entire vegan/vegetarian menu.<br />

As a vegan, I sometimes field questions about my opinion<br />

on vegetarians, Meatless Monday-ers, or o<strong>the</strong>r “less<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 63

Solana! at Ocean Club West <strong>of</strong>fers this colorful, appealing, and tasty<br />

t<strong>of</strong>u stir-fry as a vegan option.<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 />

committed” people in this dietary lifestyle. The answer is:<br />

I love <strong>the</strong>m all. I’m thrilled to see o<strong>the</strong>rs recognizing <strong>the</strong><br />

benefits <strong>of</strong> vegan eating and partaking in whatever way<br />

works for <strong>the</strong>m. I love to support fully vegan restaurants,<br />

but I also think it’s important to recognize omnivorous<br />

eateries that <strong>of</strong>fer a vegan menu or even a single vegan<br />

dish. It’s encouraging to see so many people learning<br />

about <strong>the</strong> vegan lifestyle and joining <strong>the</strong> movement, even<br />

in a small way. And like many people and places across<br />

<strong>the</strong> globe, TCI is moving in <strong>the</strong> right direction.<br />

When I returned home from my blissful beach vacation,<br />

I still had half a jar <strong>of</strong> leftover peanut butter in my<br />

suitcase—and I count that as a win. a<br />

Rachel Craft is a Colorado-based writer and recovered<br />

engineer who loves all things outdoors. When<br />

she’s not busy exploring, she writes fantasy and sci-fi<br />

stories for children. You can learn more about her at<br />

www.racheldelaneycraft.com.<br />

64 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 />

The story <strong>of</strong> John Ney Reynolds includes a mystery. What happened to land on East Caicos for which he had a 99-year lease from <strong>the</strong> government?<br />

Did his children give or sell <strong>the</strong>ir interests in it to his daughter Grace Reynolds? The story remains to be told.<br />


“John” <strong>of</strong> All Trades<br />

The unfinished story <strong>of</strong> John Ney Reynolds, 19th century salt proprietor,<br />

merchant, cattleman, and guano exporter.<br />

Story & Historic Images By Jeff Dodge<br />

John Ney Reynolds and his wife Bridget were an Irish couple who emigrated to <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

around 1865. The story <strong>of</strong> this entrepreneur and his family has been painstakingly re-constructed with<br />

original source material, although <strong>the</strong>re are still some loose ends. What a fascinating life <strong>the</strong>y lived over<br />

a century and a half ago!<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 65

astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

Origin and family<br />

John Ney Reynolds was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1828.<br />

There he married a woman named Bridget (last name<br />

unknown). They had at least one child, Leonore (Norah),<br />

before <strong>the</strong>y moved to <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. Leonore<br />

was born in 1860.<br />

It is not certain when John and Bridget Reynolds<br />

moved to <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, however it was at<br />

least by 1865 because by <strong>the</strong>n Reynolds was in <strong>the</strong> salt<br />

business at East Harbour (now Cockburn Harbour) on<br />

South Caicos Island.<br />

John and Bridget had seven children that survived<br />

childhood and were alive when John Reynolds wrote and<br />

signed an addendum to his Will in February 1890. The<br />

children: Mary, Leonore (Norah), Eleanor, Alice, John N.<br />

Jr., Robert, and Henry were mentioned in this addendum<br />

as was Grace, a daughter by John’s second wife.<br />

John married Elizabeth A. S. Adams <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks &<br />

Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> in 1872, just a year after Bridget’s death.<br />

They had a daughter, Grace or Gracie, as she was called,<br />

in 1880.<br />

Salt proprietor and merchant<br />

By 1865, John Reynolds was in <strong>the</strong> salt business at East<br />

Top: This picture postcard presents a view <strong>of</strong> East Harbour (Cockburn<br />

Harbour) on South Caicos Island circa 1907.<br />

Above: By <strong>the</strong> time Bridget died in 1871, she had at least seven children<br />

who reached adulthood. She was only 33 years old when she<br />

died. If Ca<strong>the</strong>rine Elizabeth Reynolds (listed above Bridget in <strong>the</strong> St.<br />

Thomas Registry <strong>of</strong> Deaths) was her daughter, did both perish from<br />

a disease such as typhoid?<br />

Harbour. His business interests <strong>the</strong>re eventually included<br />

<strong>the</strong> Victoria Salina, which was probably <strong>the</strong> largest salt<br />

pond on <strong>the</strong> island, and a company store that catered to<br />

his salt workers.<br />

Reynolds paid his employees with copper tokens that<br />

could only be exchanged for goods in his store. Although<br />

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astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />


Reynolds was <strong>the</strong> first on<br />

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

to use <strong>the</strong> “truck system,”<br />

he was not <strong>the</strong> last.<br />

Reynolds’ tokens were<br />

issued in three denominations—25<br />

cents, 12 1/2<br />

cents and 6 1/4 cents (U.S.<br />

currency).<br />

Top: The West Caicos Sisal Company continued <strong>the</strong> practice <strong>of</strong> paying<br />

employees with tokens into <strong>the</strong> 1890s, in spite <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> “truck” system<br />

being abolished in 1881 by <strong>the</strong> TCI Legislative Board.<br />

Above: This photo shows salt waiting to be shipped at East Harbour<br />

(Cockburn Harbour) circa 1910.<br />

East Caicos land purchase and <strong>the</strong><br />

Stamers–Reynolds connection<br />

On December 13, 1871, acting as trustee for his children,<br />

John N. Reynolds purchased 1,288 acres <strong>of</strong> land<br />

at Breezy Point on East Caicos—once considered part<br />

<strong>of</strong> Grand Caicos (now Middle Caicos)—from Copeland<br />

Place Stamers, who was acting on his own behalf and as<br />

attorney for his two siblings, Benjamin Henry Stamers<br />

and Susan Deborah Stamers. They were <strong>the</strong> children <strong>of</strong><br />

Hon. Copeland John Stamers who passed away in 1866.<br />

Copeland John Stamers acquired <strong>the</strong> 1,288 acre parcel <strong>of</strong><br />

land at Breezy Point in <strong>the</strong> early 1800s.<br />

Included in this sale to John Reynolds was a<br />

99-year lease for additional property on East Caicos.<br />

Copeland Place Stamers had obtained this lease from <strong>the</strong><br />

Government <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> on March 14,<br />

1871. The size <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> leased property is unknown, but<br />

it likely included most <strong>of</strong> East Caicos not already part <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> 1,288 acre parcel at Breezy Point. The lease stipulated<br />

that <strong>the</strong> lessee pay <strong>the</strong> government £10 a year for five<br />

years and that he maintain at least 25 head <strong>of</strong> horned<br />

cattle on <strong>the</strong> property. The lease specified that <strong>the</strong> government<br />

would retain mineral rights.<br />

John Reynolds paid <strong>the</strong> three children <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Hon.<br />

Copeland John Stamers $1,000 (£200) for <strong>the</strong> 1,288 acre<br />

parcel at Breezy Point and <strong>the</strong> 99-year lease for additional<br />

property on <strong>the</strong> island.<br />

Copeland John Stamers<br />

Copeland John Stamers was born in Bermuda in 1802<br />

and by about 1825 was living on <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong>—at least on a part time basis. Stamers married<br />

Caroline Samuel Smith <strong>of</strong> Bermuda in 1830. They had five<br />

children—three survived early childhood. Those surviving<br />

were: Benjamin Henry, Copeland Place, and Susanna<br />

Deborah. Copeland John Stamers was appointed to <strong>the</strong><br />

Legislative Council <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> circa<br />

Copeland J. Stamers owned over 3,500 acres <strong>of</strong> land at Blue Hills on<br />

<strong>the</strong> island <strong>of</strong> Providence Caicos (Providenciales) as well as salt properties<br />

on Salt Cay. He also owned approximately 1,368 acres on East<br />

Caicos. He raised cattle on Providence Caicos and may have done so<br />

on his East Caicos holdings. To this day, a section <strong>of</strong> Providenciales<br />

is known as Blue Hills & Stamers Run.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 67

astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

1862—hence <strong>the</strong> title “Honorable.” He died in Brooklyn,<br />

NY in 1866.<br />

An inheritance denied?<br />

It has been alleged that Copeland John Stamers did not<br />

actually have legal title to <strong>the</strong> 1,288 acres <strong>of</strong> land at<br />

Breezy Point, East Caicos. In 1807, Bermudians John and<br />

Thomas Ingham were <strong>the</strong> first to acquire <strong>the</strong> Breezy Point<br />

property by way <strong>of</strong> a separate land grant to each bro<strong>the</strong>r<br />

from <strong>the</strong> Governor <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bahamas, Charles Cameron Esq.<br />

According to <strong>the</strong> original documents, <strong>the</strong>ir two land grants<br />

totaled approximately 1,368 acres. A proper survey later<br />

may have changed this figure to 1,288 acres. Thomas and<br />

John’s intention was to raise cattle on East Caicos. (Note:<br />

In 1766, <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> were placed under<br />

<strong>the</strong> jurisdiction <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bahamian Government. In 1799<br />

<strong>the</strong>y were placed under <strong>the</strong> control <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> British Colonial<br />

Administration with <strong>the</strong> Bahamas maintaining control,<br />

but now <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> had an appointed representative in<br />

<strong>the</strong> Assembly. Bahamian control <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> ended in<br />

December 1848.)<br />

John Ingham’s Will has just surfaced from <strong>the</strong><br />

Bahamian Archives in Nassau and it is hoped that it and<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r archived documents will shed light on exactly how<br />

Copeland John Stamers ended up as <strong>the</strong> owner <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Ingham’s land at Breezy Point. It has been alleged that<br />

fraud might have been involved because John Ingham had<br />

two children and at least one, his daughter Rose, survived<br />

him, but this is a subject requiring additional research.<br />

Hiram T. Jones was born on Grand Turk Island in 1834. He moved<br />

to Bangor, Maine about 1875 and by 1882 was in <strong>the</strong> business <strong>of</strong><br />

importing salt from <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. Salt was an important<br />

commodity in <strong>the</strong> New England states, as it was required for <strong>the</strong><br />

preservation <strong>of</strong> fish, mostly cod, which was <strong>the</strong>n sold throughout <strong>the</strong><br />

eastern United States.<br />

because Stubbs remained in <strong>the</strong> salt business at East<br />

Harbour, passing it on to his daughter Emilie Jane Stubbs<br />

following his death in 1913. She improved <strong>the</strong> Victoria<br />

Salina and remained in <strong>the</strong> salt business until she was<br />

forced to sell it to <strong>the</strong> Turks Island Salt Co. circa 1951.<br />

Emilie passed away in 1956. John Reynolds remained in<br />

<strong>the</strong> business <strong>of</strong> exporting salt.<br />

Reynolds sells salt works<br />

By 1882, Reynolds had decided to sell his salt properties<br />

and his “company” store at East Harbour to Alfred<br />

Stubbs (born 1847). Negotiations took more than a year<br />

but it was finally agreed that Reynolds would finance<br />

Stubbs’ purchase <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> properties. The agreement also<br />

stipulated that Reynolds would supply Stubbs’ store with<br />

merchandise and would act as <strong>the</strong> sole export agent for<br />

all <strong>the</strong> salt Stubbs produced less 20,000 bushels a year.<br />

A few years later, Reynolds accused Stubbs <strong>of</strong> selling<br />

salt to Hiram T. Jones and <strong>the</strong>reby not abiding by <strong>the</strong><br />

terms <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir agreement. Reynolds also accused Stubbs<br />

<strong>of</strong> falling behind in his payments.<br />

Stubbs, in turn, argued that Reynolds was manipulating<br />

his accounts and accused him <strong>of</strong> overloading vessels<br />

with his salt. A settlement must have been reached<br />

This promotional postcard is an indication that John N. Reynolds<br />

remained in <strong>the</strong> salt export businesse after selling his saltworks at<br />

East Harbour to Alfred Stubbs. In 1884, Reynolds mailed this postcard<br />

to <strong>the</strong> Commission Merchants, F.W. Nickerson & Co. <strong>of</strong> Boston,<br />

promoting <strong>the</strong> exceptional quality <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> salt ga<strong>the</strong>red at Salt Cay and<br />

East Harbour. Reynolds notes that he just loaded two vessels with<br />

salt from <strong>the</strong>se islands at prices below those <strong>of</strong> a shipment recently<br />

loaded at Grand Turk Island.<br />

East Caicos cattleman and guano exporter<br />

John Reynolds must have started raising cattle at Breezy<br />

Point shortly following his purchase <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1,288 acres<br />

and <strong>the</strong> 99-year lease in 1871 in order to comply with <strong>the</strong><br />


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astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

terms <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> lease. At some point, possibly about 1882,<br />

Reynolds became aware that bat guano from <strong>the</strong> caves<br />

on <strong>the</strong> northwest side <strong>the</strong> island would be a pr<strong>of</strong>itable<br />

export commodity and before long he was exporting it to<br />

Jamaica and o<strong>the</strong>r islands where sugar cane was grown.<br />

The guano operation petered out after a few years,<br />

but <strong>the</strong> cattle operation was successful and eventually<br />

Reynolds had as many as 1,500 head <strong>of</strong> cattle on <strong>the</strong><br />

island. He sold beef to <strong>the</strong> inhabitants <strong>of</strong> Grand Turk<br />

and hides to Haiti. After Reynolds’ death, <strong>the</strong> cattle were<br />

hunted by local Islanders—possibly by Americans as<br />

well—to <strong>the</strong> extent that by 1939 <strong>the</strong>re were no cattle left<br />

on East Caicos.<br />

This was confirmed when a small group <strong>of</strong> Californians<br />

that included John Reynolds’ daughter, Grace Reynolds<br />

Lake, went to East Caicos in 1940 with <strong>the</strong> intent <strong>of</strong> forming<br />

a colony on <strong>the</strong> land Grace had inherited from her<br />

fa<strong>the</strong>r. They had been led to believe that <strong>the</strong>y would be<br />

able to supplement <strong>the</strong>ir diet with beef from wild cattle<br />

roaming <strong>the</strong> island. However, after three days <strong>of</strong> searching<br />

<strong>the</strong> island for cattle <strong>the</strong> “colonists” came up empty<br />

handed—<strong>the</strong>re were no cattle to be found.<br />

Sisal on East Caicos<br />

Following <strong>the</strong> death <strong>of</strong> John N. Reynolds on March 5,<br />

1890, <strong>the</strong> property he held in trust for his children on<br />

East Caicos was leased to a newly formed company that<br />

intended to grow and process sisal <strong>the</strong>re. The East Caicos<br />

Sisal Company was <strong>of</strong>ficially registered in 1891. It was<br />

managed by Frith & Murphy Co. They hired A. Lewis Jones<br />

as <strong>the</strong>ir manager as well as an engineer, several clerks<br />

and 300–400 workers. It’s possible Reynolds explored<br />

whe<strong>the</strong>r sisal would grow successfully on East Caicos<br />

prior to his death, but <strong>the</strong>re is no evidence <strong>of</strong> this.<br />

Buildings where <strong>the</strong> sisal was processed and barracks<br />

for <strong>the</strong> workers were built at Breezy Point and Jacksonville.<br />

In addition, a 14 mile long rail system was constructed so<br />

that donkeys pulling rail cars could move sisal from <strong>the</strong><br />

fields to Jacksonville where it would be processed and<br />

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

The Hon. Thomas Capper A.B., Jamaica’s Inspector <strong>of</strong><br />

Schools, observed during a brief stopover at Jacksonville<br />

in 1885, that <strong>the</strong> truck system was being employed <strong>the</strong>re<br />

and that laborers were being fired unless <strong>the</strong>y spent most<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir wages at <strong>the</strong> company’s store even though <strong>the</strong><br />

truck system was outlawed in 1881. (Note: Tokens bearing<br />

<strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> East Caicos Sisal Co. have never been<br />

found.) By 1919, <strong>the</strong> superior qualities <strong>of</strong> manila hemp<br />

from <strong>the</strong> Philippines caused sisal prices to decline to such<br />

an extent that <strong>the</strong> East Caicos Sisal Co. was forced to<br />

cease operation.<br />

John Ney Reynolds’ death and legacy<br />

John Reynolds wrote and signed his Will on December<br />

28, 1889. In it he states that “being <strong>of</strong> sound mind, but<br />

advanced in years owing to <strong>the</strong> uncertainty <strong>of</strong> life deem<br />

it advisable to make this my last Will and Testament to<br />

whit . . .” In this Will, he leaves <strong>the</strong> 1,288 acres <strong>of</strong> land at<br />

Breezy Point to his wife Elizabeth and daughters Alice and<br />

Grace—each to receive a 1/3rd interest. He nominated his<br />

wife, Elizabeth, to be <strong>the</strong> sole Executor.<br />

On February 4, 1890, John Reynolds wrote an addendum<br />

to his last Will and Testament whereby he left <strong>the</strong><br />

remaining years <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 99-year lease for land on East<br />

Caicos to his eight children. Here he names <strong>the</strong>m: Mary<br />

Reynolds; Norah (Leonore) Baker, (<strong>the</strong> wife <strong>of</strong> Dr. W.W.<br />

Baker); Eleanor Reynolds Frith, <strong>the</strong> wife <strong>of</strong> Daniel T. Frith;<br />

Alice Bridget Reynolds; John Ney Reynolds Jr.; Robert<br />

Reynolds; Henry Reynolds and Gracie Reynolds. In addi-<br />

Left: This image shows a building and sisal plants at <strong>the</strong> East Caicos<br />

Sisal Co., circa 1895.<br />

Above: This rail car was used for hauling sisal from <strong>the</strong> fields to<br />

Jacksonville for processing.<br />


<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 69

astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

tion to <strong>the</strong> leased land on East Caicos, <strong>the</strong> addendum<br />

included <strong>the</strong> buildings and houses erected <strong>the</strong>reon and<br />

cattle and o<strong>the</strong>r animals <strong>the</strong>reupon as well as three boats.<br />

Little is known about Mary or Eleanor Reynolds<br />

though <strong>the</strong>y both probably moved to <strong>the</strong> Boston area in<br />

<strong>the</strong> 1880s. Robert moved to Boston in 1882 and John<br />

N. Jr. in 1884. He was followed by Henry in 1886. John<br />

Jr. and Henry worked for a steamship company. Leonore<br />

moved to <strong>the</strong> US in 1888 and married Dr. W. W.Baker—<br />

<strong>the</strong>y lived in Ohio.<br />

Grace became <strong>the</strong> sole owner <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1,288 acre parcel<br />

at Breezy Point following <strong>the</strong> death <strong>of</strong> her sister Alice in<br />

1909 and her mo<strong>the</strong>r Elizabeth in 1928.<br />

There is much more to <strong>the</strong> story <strong>of</strong> Grace Reynolds and<br />

her East Caicos inheritance. You can read about it online.<br />

See “Modern Crusoes” in <strong>the</strong> Winter 2020/2021 <strong>Times</strong><br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> (https://www.timespub.tc/2021/01/<br />

modern-crusoes-2/). Keep in mind that <strong>the</strong>re are some<br />

inaccuracies in <strong>the</strong> story as John Reynolds’ Will had not<br />

been found at <strong>the</strong> time it was written.<br />

The St. Thomas Registry <strong>of</strong> Deaths notes that John Ney Reynolds died<br />

on March 5, 1890.<br />

Just a few months following <strong>the</strong> death <strong>of</strong> John N.<br />

Reynolds on March 5, 1890, John’s wife Elizabeth and<br />

daughters Gracie and Alice moved to Boston to join and<br />

live with John N. Jr. and Henry.<br />

Afterwards<br />

On April 29, 1890, Elizabeth A. Reynolds, acting on her<br />

own behalf and on <strong>the</strong> behalf <strong>of</strong> her children, agreed to<br />

lease <strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong> land at Breezy Point to Jeremiah Murphy<br />

for a period <strong>of</strong> 20 years toge<strong>the</strong>r with any houses, outhouses,<br />

buildings, etc. as well as <strong>the</strong> sloop O.K.. In <strong>the</strong><br />

terms <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> lease, Murphy was to pay <strong>the</strong> Reynolds family<br />

$2,500 upon execution <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> lease and an annual<br />

rent <strong>of</strong> $1,100/year payable in equal quarterly payments<br />

for <strong>the</strong> duration <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> lease. Murphy <strong>of</strong> Frith & Murphy<br />

established <strong>the</strong> East Caicos Sisal Co. on this land.<br />

In April 1890, Mary Reynolds, Robert Reynolds, and<br />

Henry Reynolds, all <strong>of</strong> Boston, Massachusetts, appointed<br />

John Ney Reynolds Jr., <strong>the</strong> oldest son <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> late John<br />

Ney Reynolds, to be <strong>the</strong>ir attorney to represent <strong>the</strong>m—“to<br />

act, demand, levy, require, recover and receive all <strong>of</strong> and<br />

from all and every person ... <strong>the</strong>ir share <strong>of</strong> money, debts,<br />

goods, wares, merchandise, owing <strong>the</strong>m” as a result <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>ir fa<strong>the</strong>r’s death.<br />

An unfinished story<br />

It is not known what caused John and Bridget to move to<br />

<strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> or what <strong>the</strong>ir life was like in<br />

Ireland. Did <strong>the</strong>y have friends or relatives living <strong>the</strong>re? Did<br />

John arrive on <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> with <strong>the</strong> funds to buy salt properties<br />

or did he have investors, and if so, who were <strong>the</strong>y?<br />

Did John, his second wife Elizabeth, and <strong>the</strong>ir children<br />

live on South Caicos or move to Grand Turk following <strong>the</strong><br />

sale <strong>of</strong> John’s salt interests in 1883?<br />

The addendum to John’s Will gave <strong>the</strong> land leased<br />

from <strong>the</strong> government for 99 years to his eight children.<br />

In April 1890, <strong>the</strong>y leased <strong>the</strong>ir East Caicos holdings to<br />

Jeremiah Murphy (East Caicos Sisal Co.). But what happened<br />

following <strong>the</strong> demise <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sisal company in<br />

1919? Was this leased property sold or given to Grace<br />

who in 1928 was <strong>the</strong> sole owner <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 1,288 acre parcel<br />

at Breezy Point?<br />

Only time will tell. a<br />

The author wishes to thank <strong>the</strong> following for <strong>the</strong>ir invaluable<br />

assistance with this article: John Adams, former<br />

Bermuda Government archivist; Linda Abend and Toni<br />

Butz for <strong>the</strong>ir contribution <strong>of</strong> original source material<br />

from <strong>the</strong> Bermuda National Trust; Christian Buys, author<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> book Historic South Caicos, Turks and Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong>; Dr. Donald Keith <strong>of</strong> Ships <strong>of</strong> Discovery; <strong>the</strong><br />

Sailrock Archival Collection; Margorie Sadler, author <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> revised edition <strong>of</strong> Turks <strong>Islands</strong> Landfall; Nigel Sadler<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sands <strong>of</strong> Time Consultancy; Lisa Talbot, Director<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum; and Deborah<br />

Dodge for her help transcribing original documents and<br />

editing this story.<br />

70 www.timespub.tc

astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

This 1965 slide shows an aerial view <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> old airstrip running near to St Thomas’s Church in Grand Turk. You can see <strong>the</strong> salt ponds in <strong>the</strong><br />

foreground.<br />

Remembering When:<br />

The Town Strip in Grand Turk.<br />

By Dr. Richard Grainger ~ Images Courtesy Turks & Caicos National Museum Photo Collection<br />

Most people will not know that <strong>the</strong>re were once two airstrips on Grand Turk. Many remember <strong>the</strong> American<br />

Air Force base and <strong>of</strong> course <strong>the</strong> present JAGS McCartney International Airport, but will ei<strong>the</strong>r have forgotten<br />

or had never known that <strong>the</strong>re was ano<strong>the</strong>r landing strip, known as Town Strip. Curiously, it did<br />

not seem to feature on contemporary maps <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> island.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 71

astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

There were two airlines serving <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> in <strong>the</strong><br />

early 1970s. They were affectionately named “Air Chaos”<br />

and “Chaos Airways.” Air Caicos were based in Grand<br />

Turk whilst Caicos Airways were based in South Caicos.<br />

The US Air Force base was used by Air Caicos for <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

Convair 444 flights from Nassau via Eleu<strong>the</strong>ra into Grand<br />

Turk. They also had <strong>the</strong>ir Piper Aztec planes based <strong>the</strong>re<br />

which served <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> as far out as “Blue Hills,” as<br />

Providenciales was commonly known <strong>the</strong>n. Air Caicos<br />

were able to use <strong>the</strong> US base as <strong>the</strong>y carried sufficient<br />

insurance whilst planes not carrying enough insurance<br />

had to use <strong>the</strong> airstrip in <strong>the</strong> centre <strong>of</strong> Cockburn Town.<br />

The Town Strip<br />

Town Strip was curious in a number <strong>of</strong> ways. Most runways<br />

have an area at each end to allow for undershooting<br />

or overshooting <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> landing area. Because <strong>of</strong> houses<br />

on <strong>the</strong> seaward end <strong>of</strong> Town Strip <strong>the</strong>re was no undershooting<br />

area. The overshoot was unusual, as <strong>the</strong> runway<br />

ended at <strong>the</strong> cemetery wall and <strong>the</strong> overshoot was at 90º<br />

to <strong>the</strong> runway and passed parallel to <strong>the</strong> wall.<br />

A degree <strong>of</strong> skill was required in order to land at Town<br />

Strip. The land surveyor’s house was directly under <strong>the</strong><br />

flight path, so planes went very close to his ro<strong>of</strong> in order<br />

to get down to <strong>the</strong> start <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> runway. Once <strong>the</strong> land surveyor<br />

was working on his ro<strong>of</strong> when a plane approached<br />

and came in so close he had to lie down flat on <strong>the</strong> ro<strong>of</strong>,<br />

as he felt in danger.<br />

The Town Strip was also unusual in that <strong>the</strong>re were<br />

no facilities apart from <strong>the</strong> runway itself. There was no<br />

air traffic control, so that pilots had to make a visual<br />

approach and take <strong>of</strong>f to ensure that <strong>the</strong> runway was<br />

clear. In addition, <strong>the</strong>re was no facility for refuelling. If an<br />

aircraft needed fuel it had to be brought to <strong>the</strong> airstrip or<br />

alternatively, <strong>the</strong> pilot would need to go with a can to <strong>the</strong><br />

local aviation fuel supplier. At a very simple level that did<br />

not appear to be even a windsock or fire extinguisher on<br />

site and <strong>the</strong>re were no facilities for passengers as <strong>the</strong>re<br />

was no terminal building.<br />

The Town Strip was not fenced so that <strong>the</strong>re was<br />

always a risk <strong>of</strong> feral donkeys walking across <strong>the</strong> runway.<br />

Donkeys were very common (and still are) as <strong>the</strong>y had<br />

been abandoned when <strong>the</strong> salt industry ceased to function<br />

and continued to breed. One instance occurred when<br />

Here is ano<strong>the</strong>r 1965 aerial view <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> old airstrip running near to St Thomas’s Church in Grand Turk. The runway ended at <strong>the</strong> cemetery<br />

wall and <strong>the</strong> overshoot was at 90º to <strong>the</strong> runway and passed parallel to <strong>the</strong> wall.<br />

72 www.timespub.tc

astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

This 1963 slide shows a plane landing on <strong>the</strong> Grand Turk airstrip,<br />

with horses in <strong>the</strong> way!<br />

a plane was beginning to take <strong>of</strong>f as a donkey wandered<br />

onto <strong>the</strong> runway—fortunately <strong>the</strong> pilot had got enough<br />

lift so that he was able to pop over <strong>the</strong> donkey, touch<br />

down on <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r side, and continue his take <strong>of</strong>f run.<br />

Thankfully <strong>the</strong>re was not a lot <strong>of</strong> rain on Grand Turk<br />

as <strong>the</strong> runway had very poor drainage. There was one<br />

instance where a Beechcraft Baron was coming in to land<br />

following a heavy rain shower. As <strong>the</strong> plane was passing<br />

along <strong>the</strong> runway, <strong>the</strong> wheels hit a deep puddle with s<strong>of</strong>t<br />

mud at <strong>the</strong> bottom, which resulted in <strong>the</strong> plane going<br />

base over apex and was severely damaged. For a long<br />

time <strong>the</strong> damaged plane was at <strong>the</strong> side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> runway as<br />

a warning <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> hazards <strong>of</strong> landing at Town Strip.<br />

There were a number <strong>of</strong> aeroplanes landing at Town<br />

Strip. There were DC-3 aircraft landing <strong>the</strong>re on a regular<br />

basis. Strangely, one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m still had <strong>the</strong> label<br />

Alaskan Airlines written on <strong>the</strong> fuselage and <strong>the</strong> wings<br />

still had <strong>the</strong>ir de-icing boots fitted. (These were rubber<br />

attachments to <strong>the</strong> front <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> wings which could be<br />

expanded when in <strong>the</strong> air to prevent ice collecting on<br />

<strong>the</strong> wings!) Most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> planes that came in were Caicos<br />

Airways Beechcraft Barons, although a number <strong>of</strong> private<br />

planes also called. One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> small planes was from <strong>the</strong><br />

Evangelists <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bible Baptist organisation. Their plane<br />

had an accident when <strong>the</strong>y ran out <strong>of</strong> fuel on <strong>the</strong> way<br />

towards Turks & Caicos when coming from <strong>the</strong> Bahamas.<br />

A number <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r small planes were calling mainly as a<br />

stopover from places like <strong>the</strong> Dominican Republic and<br />

This slide is an aerial view <strong>of</strong> Grand Turk in July 1964. It shows <strong>the</strong> salt ponds and South Base, with <strong>the</strong> airfield behind <strong>the</strong> dock and to <strong>the</strong><br />

side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> road.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 73

astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

Colombia. At <strong>the</strong> time, South Caicos was a major hub for<br />

bringing in illegal drugs on <strong>the</strong>ir way to <strong>the</strong> United States.<br />

We may only speculate that some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> traffic actually<br />

went through Grand Turk ra<strong>the</strong>r than South Caicos.<br />

The DC-3 went on visits to <strong>the</strong> Dominican Republic to<br />

bring back vegetables and o<strong>the</strong>r consumables that were<br />

difficult to get in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. There were<br />

occasionally charters for visits to Haiti with calls at <strong>the</strong><br />

Citadelle Laferrière, a large, early 19th-century fortress<br />

situated approximately 17 miles south <strong>of</strong> Cap-Haïtien.<br />

It was commissioned by Emperor Henri Christophe, and<br />

built by tens <strong>of</strong> thousands <strong>of</strong> former slaves.<br />

My son, Andrew, was very young at <strong>the</strong> time but loved<br />

to watch <strong>the</strong> planes landing. I was driving up to <strong>the</strong> hospital<br />

late one afternoon with Andrew when we saw a bright<br />

light out to <strong>the</strong> west. I thought it was <strong>the</strong> light <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

plane coming in to land so parked near <strong>the</strong> government<br />

<strong>of</strong>fices to await <strong>the</strong> plane’s arrival. The light started to<br />

get larger but did not come any closer and after a time,<br />

a perfectly round cloud started to spread out from <strong>the</strong><br />

light. I had not experienced this sort <strong>of</strong> sight before and<br />

found it ra<strong>the</strong>r eerie and almost threatening. After a time<br />

I carried on up to <strong>the</strong> hospital and told <strong>the</strong> nurses what<br />

I had seen. They were quite relaxed and explained that<br />

it was just a second stage rocket from Cape Canaveral,<br />

igniting and heading <strong>of</strong>f into outer space.<br />

brakes were released, and <strong>the</strong> plane, hopefully, ga<strong>the</strong>red<br />

enough speed to take <strong>of</strong>f.<br />

There was a relaxed view to flying in Turks & Caicos.<br />

Once in December, a Christmas tree was brought into <strong>the</strong><br />

cabin and threaded down between a full plane <strong>of</strong> seated<br />

passengers. I experienced an unusual landing at South<br />

Caicos where one plane was landing from one end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

runway whilst ano<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> plane was coming in from <strong>the</strong><br />

o<strong>the</strong>r end. Presumably <strong>the</strong> pilots were communicating to<br />

say which side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> runway <strong>the</strong>y were going to take as<br />

<strong>the</strong>y passed in <strong>the</strong> middle!<br />

There was a rumour that Ultramar, an oil company,<br />

was going to develop an oil refuelling station on <strong>the</strong><br />

nor<strong>the</strong>rn end <strong>of</strong> East Caicos. The pilot who I was discussing<br />

this with said, “Oh let’s go and have a look at <strong>the</strong> site.”<br />

People <strong>of</strong> Town Strip<br />

The pilots who flew into Town Strip were an interesting<br />

group (and all male to my knowledge). Most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

pilots <strong>of</strong> single engine planes just had private pilot’s<br />

licences and navigated from island to island around <strong>the</strong><br />

Caribbean. The pr<strong>of</strong>essional pilots were a very disparate<br />

group. There were pilots flying around <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong> who were on long term contracts. O<strong>the</strong>r pilots<br />

were only <strong>the</strong>re for a very short period <strong>of</strong> time between<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir main jobs, for example, as crop sprayers.<br />

Once a number <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m left <strong>the</strong> island at short notice<br />

to go to West Africa. The Biafran War had just finished but<br />

<strong>the</strong>re was still a need for pilots. One pilot explained one<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> tricks for getting a DC-3 <strong>of</strong>f a short runway. The<br />

plane was manually moved as far back down <strong>the</strong> runway<br />

as possible. Then a number <strong>of</strong> men sat on at <strong>the</strong> tail,<br />

<strong>the</strong> brakes were applied, <strong>the</strong> engines were run up to full<br />

speed, and <strong>the</strong> propeller’s pitch adjusted to give maximum<br />

power. At a signal <strong>the</strong> men leapt <strong>of</strong>f <strong>the</strong> tail, <strong>the</strong><br />

This is a 1979 slide <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Admiral Arm’s Inn, South Caicos, a base and<br />

home for many pilots.<br />

Although <strong>the</strong> flight was to go from Grand Turk straight<br />

to Blue Hills, he diverted to see <strong>the</strong> proposed site for <strong>the</strong><br />

development.<br />

Some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> pilots would have not been out <strong>of</strong><br />

place as characters in an Ernest Hemingway novel. The<br />

Admiral’s Arms hotel in South Caicos was a base and<br />

home for many and <strong>the</strong> idea <strong>of</strong> limited flying hours, rest<br />

periods, and no alcohol around <strong>the</strong> time <strong>of</strong> flying were<br />

alien concepts at <strong>the</strong> time. It was not unusual for pilots<br />

to fly <strong>the</strong>ir hangovers around <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>!<br />

Many histories do not capture <strong>the</strong> culture and atmosphere<br />

<strong>of</strong> a community by ignoring <strong>the</strong> everyday life and<br />

times as <strong>the</strong>y existed. Town Strip and its users do deserve<br />

to be remembered as <strong>the</strong>y were important for <strong>the</strong> wellbeing<br />

<strong>of</strong> Grand Turk and epitomised <strong>the</strong> lifestyle and<br />

traditions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> past. a<br />

74 www.timespub.tc

astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

Museum Matters<br />

Children’s club<br />

The Museum had a second Kid’s Painting event in April.<br />

The kids painted Petey, my potcake. Emerging from <strong>the</strong><br />

event were some budding artists!<br />

Local artist Aysha is hosting a series <strong>of</strong> eight afterschool<br />

art classes at <strong>the</strong> Museum. The children will<br />

learn to draw, paint, and shade. After <strong>the</strong> last class, <strong>the</strong><br />

Museum will be hosting a Beach Fun Day. For more<br />

information, email info@tcmuseum.org. a<br />

Grub, grill, and good times<br />

Mark your calendar for <strong>the</strong> annual Grub, Grill, and<br />

Good <strong>Times</strong> event on Saturday, July 22 at <strong>the</strong> Grand<br />

Turk Museum location. This event highlights local cuisine<br />

and music with local vendors selling your island<br />

favorites and live music with V6 Band and Zeus. A raffle<br />

is also held with prizes from many local restaurants,<br />

watersports operators, cash prizes, and more. a<br />

Grand Turk campus<br />

• The Museum continues to be <strong>the</strong> premiere stop on<br />

land tours <strong>of</strong>fered through <strong>the</strong> cruise ships. Our gift<br />

shop is <strong>of</strong>ten complimented as <strong>the</strong> best on <strong>the</strong> island. If<br />

you are visiting Grand Turk, be sure to stop in and see<br />

our various new products, T-shirts, books, and locally<br />

made handicrafts.<br />

• The on-island guests also continue to visit <strong>the</strong><br />

Museum and gift shop. We appreciate <strong>the</strong> support from<br />

<strong>the</strong> hotels and vacation rentals. a<br />

Current days & hours <strong>of</strong> operation:<br />

Grand Turk (Front Street): Hours vary daily, but in general<br />

open on all cruise ship days 9 AM to 1 PM. When a<br />

ship arrives on or after 11 AM, we will open one hour<br />

after arrival for three hours.<br />

Providenciales (The Village at Grace Bay): Open<br />

Tuesday and Thursday, 10 AM to 2 PM.<br />

Both locations include interesting exhibits and artifacts<br />

related to <strong>the</strong> history and culture <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Visit our gift shops for souvenirs, history books, and<br />

locally made products such as baskets, jewelry, salt<br />

products, and more. Days and times <strong>of</strong> operation are<br />

subject to change so please check our website or email<br />

us for updated information:<br />

www.tcmuseum.org• info@tcmuseum.org<br />

Story & Photos By Museum Manager Lisa Talbot<br />

Providenciales campus<br />

• New plant identification cards are being ordered for<br />

<strong>the</strong> Heritage House Garden.<br />

• We are always looking for more volunteers so we can<br />

expand our opening hours at this location. Please contact<br />

us if you are interested in donating a day or two <strong>of</strong><br />

your time each month.<br />

• Condominiums, hotels, and a shopping area are currently<br />

being planned for <strong>the</strong> Grace Bay Village. As this<br />

area continues to develop, <strong>the</strong> Museum will be in a prime<br />

location to get additional exposure and support. a<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 75

about <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong><br />

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

As <strong>of</strong> April 1, <strong>2023</strong>, all COVID-19 related travel<br />

restrictions have been removed for travel to <strong>the</strong> Turks &<br />

Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. There is no vaccine, testing, or insurance<br />

requirement. On August 12, 2022, <strong>the</strong> last day <strong>of</strong> statistics,<br />

32,338 people were vaccinated in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

against COVID-19 (at least one dose). This was approximately<br />

73% <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> total population. For more information<br />

and details, visit www.visittci.com.<br />

Language<br />

English.<br />

76 www.timespub.tc

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 rental<br />

contracts. (Insurance is extra.) Driving is on <strong>the</strong> left-hand<br />

side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> road, with traffic flow controlled by roundabouts<br />

at major junctions. Taxis and community cabs are<br />

abundant throughout <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> and many resorts <strong>of</strong>fer<br />

shuttle service between popular visitor areas. Scooter,<br />

motorcycle and bicycle rentals are also available.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 77

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 />

connections. 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 are<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 colorful stamp issues.<br />

Media<br />

Multi-channel satellite television is received from <strong>the</strong> U.S.<br />

and Canada and transmitted via cable or over <strong>the</strong> air.<br />

Local station WIV-TV broadcasts on Channel 4 and Island<br />

EyeTV on Channel 5. There are also a number <strong>of</strong> local<br />

radio stations, magazines and newspapers.<br />

Medical services<br />

There are no endemic tropical diseases in TCI. There are<br />

large, modern hospitals on Grand Turk and Providenciales.<br />

Both hospitals <strong>of</strong>fer a full range <strong>of</strong> services including:<br />

24/7 emergency room, operating <strong>the</strong>aters, diagnostic<br />

78 www.timespub.tc

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 Turks & Caicos Islanders.<br />

Government/Legal system<br />

TCI is a British Crown colony. There is a Queen-appointed<br />

Governor. The post is currently held by Acting Governor<br />

HE Anya Williams. She presides over an executive council<br />

formed by <strong>the</strong> elected local government. Hon. Charles<br />

Washington Misick is <strong>the</strong> country’s premier, leading<br />

a majority Progressive National Party (PNP) House <strong>of</strong><br />

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 fishing<br />

generate <strong>the</strong> most private sector income. The <strong>Islands</strong>’<br />

main exports are lobster and conch. Practically all consumer<br />

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 />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 79

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 submitted at port <strong>of</strong> entry to obtain clearance<br />

from <strong>the</strong> TCI Department <strong>of</strong> Agriculture.<br />

National symbols<br />

The National Bird is <strong>the</strong> Brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis).<br />

The National Plant is Island hea<strong>the</strong>r (Limonium<br />

bahamense) found nowhere else in <strong>the</strong> world. The<br />

National Tree is <strong>the</strong> Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea var.<br />

bahamensis). The National Costume consists <strong>of</strong> white cotton<br />

dresses tied at <strong>the</strong> waist for women and simple shirts<br />

and loose pants for men, with straw hats. Colors representing<br />

<strong>the</strong> various islands are displayed on <strong>the</strong> sleeves,<br />

sashes and hat bands. The National Song is “This Land<br />

<strong>of</strong> Ours” by <strong>the</strong> late Rev. E.C. Howell. Peas and Hominy<br />

(Grits) 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. There is also a<br />

ban on importation <strong>of</strong> plastic straws and some polystyrene<br />

products, including cups and plates.<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, snuba, kiteboarding, stand up paddleboarding,<br />

mermaid encounters and beachcombing. Pristine reefs,<br />

abundant marine life and excellent visibility make TCI<br />

a world-class diving destination. Whale and dolphin<br />

encounters are possible, especially during <strong>the</strong> winter/<br />

spring months.<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<br />

33 national parks, nature reserves, sanctuaries and areas<br />

<strong>of</strong> historical interest. The National Trust provides trail<br />

guides to several hiking trails, as well as guided tours <strong>of</strong><br />

major historical sites. Birdwatching is superb, and <strong>the</strong>re<br />

is a guided trail on Grand Turk.<br />

There is an excellent national museum on Grand<br />

Turk, with an auxillary branch on Providenciales that<br />

includes <strong>the</strong> Caicos Heritage House. A scheduled ferry<br />

and a selection <strong>of</strong> tour operators make it easy to take day<br />

trips to <strong>the</strong> outer islands.<br />

80 www.timespub.tc

O<strong>the</strong>r land-based activities include bicycling, horseback<br />

riding and football (soccer). Personal trainers are available<br />

to motivate you, working out <strong>of</strong> several fitness centres.<br />

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 are<br />

two casinos on Providenciales, along with many electronic<br />

gaming parlours. Stargazing is extraordinary!<br />

Shoppers will find paintings, T-shirts, sports and<br />

beachwear and locally made handicrafts, including straw<br />

work, conch crafts and beach jewellery. 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 />

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<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 81

classified ads<br />

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Community Fellowship Centre<br />

A Life-Changing Experience<br />

Sunday Divine Worship 9 AM<br />

Visitors Welcome!<br />

Tel: 649.941.3484 • Web: cfctci.com<br />

D&Bswift_Layout 1 5/8/18 7:24 AM Page 1<br />





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We’re here to<br />

make your holiday<br />

<strong>the</strong> island way...<br />



Provo & North-Middle Caicos<br />

Office: 946-4684<br />

Amos: 441-2667 (after hours)<br />

Yan: 247-6755 (after hours)<br />

Bob: 231-0262 (after hours)<br />

scooterbobs@gmail.com<br />

www.scooterbobstci.com<br />

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Fun Friendly People<br />

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82 www.timespub.tc



Our executive team: (L-R) Vice President <strong>of</strong> Corporate Services and CFO Aisha Laporte; Vice President<br />

<strong>of</strong> Grand Turk and Sister Island Operations Allan Robinson; President and CEO Ruth Forbes; Senior Vice<br />

President <strong>of</strong> Operations Devon Cox; Vice President <strong>of</strong> Engineering and Energy Production and Delivery<br />

Don Forsyth (seated); and Vice President <strong>of</strong> Innovation, Technology and Strategic Planning Rachell Roullet.<br />

In a rapidly evolving electricity sector, energy leaders <strong>of</strong> today are<br />

focused on driving <strong>the</strong> transformation to cleaner, more sustainable<br />

energy sources.<br />

At FortisTCI, our purpose and passion are unwavering – to serve our<br />

customers, community, and <strong>the</strong> Turks and Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> with <strong>the</strong><br />

safe, reliable, and least-cost electricity <strong>the</strong>y need – whenever and<br />

wherever.<br />

Every day, we are working towards an energy future that is cleaner,<br />

more resilient, reliable, and sustainable.<br />

www.fortistci.com | 649-946-4313 |

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Each franchise is Independently Owned and Operated.

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