Not only Dirty Work in Grand Turk

Position N 20° 54,900' W 72° 25,308' 2100 UTC


We did indeed spend a lot of time repairing the toilet and cleaning the boat, but Grand Turk had luckily lot more than shitty/dirty/disgusting/bad smelling work to offer. Grand Turk, one of the many islands the country Turks and Caicos consist of, inhabits around 3500 people with different backgrounds and nationalities. Until the 1960s Grand Turk relied upon salt exportation, salt produced from the island's many salt ponds. Then salt production suffered hard from competition and was eventually not profitable. However, Turks and Caicos were again put in the spotlight when the US military built a military base on Grand Turk. When the military base closed in the 1980s many people left Grand Turk since there weren't any jobs. Not until the cruise ship dock was built a couple of years ago and the opening of a cruise ship center Grand Turk recovered. Now the islands primary income and I wouldn't exaggerate too much if I said it was the only income, can be derived from the in general 5 cruise ships per week that enter Grand Turk. The cruise ship center is built next to the dock and all that the passengers need to do is to wander off the ship and they enter a shopping paradise with tax free products and local made necklaces mixed together. There are restaurants in true American spirit, a beach full of beach chairs, swimming pools, water activities like diving, snorkeling, dinghy driving, and etcetera. Pretty much everything a vacationist could ask for. This is one part of Grand Turk, when the cruise ships leave in the late afternoon the other part of Grand Turk remain, that is the sleepy friendly island with the most stunning sunsets I have seen in a long time. Everybody knows everyone and is acquainted with everything that is happening on the island; consequently it didn't take long until the whole island knew about the three Swedish girls that had sailed there. The fact that we most of the time where the only sail yacht anchored off Grand Turk should maybe be added to the story.


One night we had dinner on the place everybody gathers on Fridays, the Grand Turk Inn. Tasty food (like Grand Turk's local delicacy - conch, a little sea creature that lives in shells) and good live band entertainment which kept us dancing until late. Therefore we where kind of tired when Maria and I went morning diving the next dive. However, there were people who parted harder, the dive master who was suppose to take us out diving had had too many rum shots the other night, and yeah, he was in a very good mood when we left the restaurant, so he had to be replaced. Safety and diving aren't that equal in Carribean, I for instance got a broken depth control and had to glimpse at Maria's from time to time to have any idea of the depth. But apparently that's the way it is around here, we have experienced it on all the dive centers we've been but luckily the dive masters seem to know what they are doing and so far we haven't heard of any accidents. Feels good though being fully insured by, yeah, I think you all know by now, the insurance company Europeiska. We got two good dives among the beautiful corals but we both felt that they could have been even better if we had gone to bed little earlier the night before.


The little town, Cockburn, which also, despite its size, is the capital of Turks and Caicos, got a certain rustic charm; it is beautiful in its own way with a lot of interesting architecture. There's a national museum in town which we visited, we haven't been to museums since Europe so it was exciting!


What struck me the most on Grand Turk, were the happy friendly people. They are genuinely friendly and welcoming and before we left the island I hade made a lot of new friends and begun to understand the life of a small island like Grand Turk.


We left Grand Turk yesterday in the sunset. The full moon later lightened the sky but then something happened that forced me put on my sea clothes which I haven't worn since the Atlantic crossing. When Catrine woke me up at 4 am the rain had started pouring down and refused to stop. As a result I ended up spending 2,5 hours in downpour and 1,5 hours in drizzle with bad visibility. I wont complain though, in Carribean fresh water is often in short supply so it was pretty nice to have a morning fresh water shower, or maybe I should correct myself, it was nice until the sea clothes stopped being waterproof and it was getting cold.


Now it has stopped raining and the sun is trying to come through, we have about 200 Miles left to Cuba, where we are estimating to arrive sometime on Good Friday. Over and Out/ First Mate (a First Mate who can use her computer again thanks to a very nice local named Tim on Grand Turk who helped her fix the broken computer cord. Thanks again Tim!)

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