Monday, March 08, 2010

Grand Turk Island Update - 2010

We work through the Caribbean, but our absolute favorite place to spend weekend is on the tiny Island of Grand Turk.

The Grand Turk scuba diving is among the best in the northern hemisphere with a 7,000 foot wall plunging into the ocean depths.

After Ike hit, some of the Belongers took their insurance money and bought fancy cars instead of fixing their homes! For a tiny island, there are loads of luxury SUV’s everywhere. I saw this fascinating vanity license plate on one of them:

Grand Turk is only three miles wide and six miles long, barely enough room to accommodate the runway:

There are only a few thousand “Belongers” on Grand Turk, and it’s a favorite weekend hub for our Caribbean consulting, so we know lots of people on Grand Turk.

There was a great deal of concern that the Carnival cruise ship port would ruin the complexion of the island, turning Grand Turk into another Nassau, just another tourist trap.

Fortunately, the Belongers have gone to great lengths to keep the island from being commercialized, the same old houses remain intact:

However, there were some major changes to accommodate the hoards of cruisers.

They had the Conch Farm on Provo cloned on Grand Turk, as the Grand Turk Conch World:

Conch World

Dale is doing great, and she now has a thriving second location of Oasis Divers right at the cruise ship port:

The New Oasis Divers

The Salt Raker has been repaired and four rooms are open. The Osprey escaped much of the Ike damage and is fully open.

Nookie Hill is still there, and Mookie Pookie has undergone as major expansion:

Keeping the secrets

The Belongers have gone to great lengths to keep the cruisers away from the local hangouts, and there are many hidden things on Grand Turk that only the local know about, like the Grand Turk Golf Course, Nookie Hill and the Secret Garden.

You can walk within a few feet of the secret garden and not know that it’s there, just the way we like it!

Other Grand Turk News for 2010:

- Erika and Zeus were married near Phoenix last October. Make sure to notice her wedding ring!
- They stopped those offensive “Ike Experience” cruise ship tours.

- The Dominican grocery has been completed

- The Sandbar is still there and one of the girls who runs it has a new baby!

- The mansion has been refurnished and is now a hotel:

Front street has not changed, the walk that we have all taken hundreds of times:

- The Canadians are finishing a massive new hospital, with five beds, so the Belongers no longer need to fly to Miami for hospital care!

- Bohio Resort on Pillory beach is still there:

When it was the Pillory Resort, it sold for only $800,000, we should have bought it:

The classical Bermuda architecture is still there, but it’s tacky to change an 18th century house and kitchen into a gift shop, at the lighthouse:

The tourists tend to be really poor, and they don’t spend much money, they just come and sit on the amazing beaches:

Thank God that the tourists have not ruined the beaches, they are still among the best in the world:

See my full notes on Grand Turk in 2010