01.14.2013 - 01.14.2013
We docked at the Grand Turk Cruise Center, sharing the space with the 3,000 passengers on the Carnival Freedom.
There are 30 islands in the 166 square miles of ocean known as the Turks and Caicos. They lie due east from Cuba and just north of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Diving and snorkeling are the draw here since the maze of coral reefs form the third largest barrier reef in the world!
The excitement for us today was going to be a "power snorkel". We headed away from the terminal area onto a local road which would bring us and 20 guests to the snorkel site.
On the drive we saw school girls,
donkeys (which roam freely about the island),
salt ponds (Grand Turk and Salt Cay were the largest salt producers in the Americas in the 18th and 19th centuries),
the first church built on Grand Turk (St. Thomas Anglican, 1823-24, built by Bermudan settlers),
and monuments and reminders of John Glenn's nearby splash down in 1962.
We were on our way back to the ship in this bucolic setting (note the cow), still marveling about our awesome snorkel adventure. We had floated over the edge of "The Wall" where the ocean floor plunges 7,000 feet!
We weren't taking any pictures on this adventure but here is a stock photo of a Seascooter in use. We had spent part of an hour (it seemed like minutes, it was so fun) each holding our individual power units with which we explored the reef and its colorful occupants. It was so cool powering around with my Seascooter that I almost forgot to look at the fish! Was this experience a highlight? You bethchya!