Experiential Learning Adventures: Grand Turk
The day was perfect for a day at the beach. It was warm with a gentle breeze. The sun was bright and the sky was brilliantly blue. A few puffy white clouds hung like pillows. The sea was calm and inviting. We arrived in Grand Turk early in the morning aboard the Carnival Pride and had only a few hours to experience this beautiful island. We, my mother and I, were women on a mission. Our mission: buy a diamond, read a book, feel the ocean.
Arriving at Grand Turk
Grand Turk is the capital of the Turks and Caicos. The entire island is only 7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. Fun fact: Although a frequent stop on Carribbean cruises, the Turks and Caicos are actually not in the Caribean. They are in the Atlantic Ocean.
Columbus on Grand Turk
Many people also believe that Columbus first made landfall on Grand Turk or one of its neighboring islands. Columbus’s landfall, I’m sure, looked nothing like ours. The Pride pulled up alongside giant concrete docks and we embarked our a door in its belly. Not long ago we took a field trip to see the recreation nina when they came to St. Mary’s. Those boats were small – I mean seriously small. Check out a picture of the nina and Pinta next to a picture of the Pride. In the top picture the Nina and Pinta were docked in St. Mary’s Georgia for the Tall Ships festival. In the bottom picture the Carnival Pride is docked at the port in Grand Turk. Both ships sailed the ocean waters, but I know which one I’d rather be on. No comparison, really.
Back to Grand Turk
Funny thing about the Grand Turk sign… My original throught was to read my book sitting on the bleachers you see behind me in the picture. However, a guard stood just to the side of the sign to make sure nobody got near went near the bleachers. This seemed strange to me so I inquired as to the thought process behind keeping people off of a structure that was clearly intended to hold people. The guard told me that a few weeks earlier someone had fallen off of those bleachers and was now suing over it. Therefore – the distance I am standing from the bleachers in this picture is as close as people are allowed to get.
A confessed Chocoholic
Our first stop on Grand Turk was Diamonds International. My mother had been on a mission to buy a chocolate diamond for her anniversary. (Actually it should be more appropriately called a brown diamond since the term “Chocolate Diamond” is trademarked by the LeVian company.)
She is thrilled with her purchase. However another two and a half hours passed before the ring was sized and ready to take home. Luckily there was plenty to see and do in Grand Turk to keep us busy.
Grand Turk and John Glen
Columbus wasn’t the only historical explorer to have ties to grand turk. I’m talking about space exploration. On February 20, 1962 the country listened in as John Glen became the first American to orbit the earth. Shortly after the Friendship 7 capsule splashed into the Atlantic just a few miles off the coast of Grand Turk, bringing Glen safely back home. As an avid history buff I couldn’t let a trip to Grand Turk pass by without visiting the John Glen exhibit at the cruise terminal.
Reading books at the Beach
Shortly thereafter I was off to find the perfect spot to read Hello Ocean, the book I had brought with me. This involved searching out all the best places to enjoy the beach and the ocean on Grand Turk. Let me tell you, there are so many wonderful spots to relax, have a drink and listen to the waves on this island.
I loved this hammock. It was free swinging and just outside a bar. I loved it so much, I nearly fell asleep in it.
This was a wonderful spot to soak up some sun. We found this little patch of beach near the Grand Turk sign and a bit off the beaten path. Thus we didn’t have near the crowds as there were on the main beach area.
Should we read IN the ocean? No, but we did have to take some time to play in the ocean.
Ah, the perfect spot. This was in an outdoor bar area. We were just steps from the beach and yet enough back that we didn’t have the noise of the crowd to contend with. See our boat in the background? Check out the resultant post: Hello Ocean and other Great books about the ocean and our senses.
A Storm on the horizon
Finally as the time of departure neared Mother Nature gently informed us that we should return to our ship. If there I anything more beautiful than the sea on a beautiful sunny day, it must be the sea on the edge of a storm. The sky and water poised together with low rumbling thunder and flashes of lightening. I could have stayed and watched it forever.
All in all we loved our day on Grand Turk. We soaked up some sun, soaked up some history, and indulged in a little Bling. But eventually all good things must come to an end, and it was time to return to the Carnival Pride.
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