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Life on Middle Caicos


Model Sailboat Fleet
Model Sailboat Fleet
Thu 12:14 PM Dec 26, 2002
 
Sara Kaufman organized the Middle Caicos Coop to produce and sell local crafts. She recently commissioned a fleet of model sailboats as a way of reviving the custom of buildling these miniature copies of the classic Caicos Sloop. They were built by elder men that occasionally build and sail the full size versions. Fortunately, some of the younger men have showed an interest in continuing the custom.


Carlin's Model Sailboat
Carlin's Model Sailboat
Wed 02:56 PM Jan 1, 2003
 
Carlin Forbes is raising the rigging on his model sailboat. He carved the hull from a single piece of wood. The sails are fashioned from bedsheets and the fittings are improvised from whatever is available, usually nails bent to the necessary shape.


Model Under Sail
Video Clip Model Under Sail
Wed 02:54 PM Jan 1, 2003
 
Marcus Forbes built one of the biggest models on the beach. His features a gaff rigged sail. The models are sailed in the shallows so the skippers can run along and adjust the sails or rudder. The models have been known to sail away and disappear forever across the ocean.

The boats are carved from a very lightweight wood that grows on Middle Caicos. When they are sailed, a weatherboard is attached to keep the boats upright.


Building a Caicos Sloop
Building a Caicos Sloop
Thu 05:33 PM May 31, 2001
 
Headley Forbes built this 23 foot Caicos Sloop in the yard of his Bambarra home. The keel was built from hand cut Mahogany and the ribs are Locust limbs selected for their naturally curved shapes. Both Locust and Mahogany grow in abundance on Middle Caicos.

The design for these boats is held only in the minds of the elder men of Middle Caicos. Based solely on the desired length of the boat, they instinctively know all other dimensions. The few remaining young men on the island show little interest in boat building.


Sloops on the Beach
Sloops on the Beach
Fri 04:26 PM Jun 1, 2001

21°49’40”N 71°42’56”W
 
These sailboats are traditional Caicos Sloops. They were once the primary means of going to sea but are now built mostly to compete in annual races. These sloops are hauled up on Bambarra Beach. In the background is Pelican Cay.


Tiki Hut Picnic
Tiki Hut Picnic
Thu 01:19 PM Dec 26, 2002
 
On the beach near Bambarra is a community picnic area. During organized events, vendors set up shop in these tiki huts.


A Game of Dominos
A Game of Dominos
Wed 04:03 PM Jan 1, 2003
 
Dominos is a popular game among the men of Middle Caicos. They play enthusiatically and slam the dominos loudly on the table. This game took place at the picnic grounds on the beach at Bambarra.


Local Made Rugs
Local Made Rugs
Sat 04:34 PM Jun 2, 2001

21°49’40”N 71°44’16”W
 
Alton Higgs collects lost nylon lines from the beach and sorts them by color. He then weaves these colorful rugs. He sells them from his home in Lorimers; they can also be found for sale at the Middle Caicos Coop in Conch Bar.


Alton Higgs Home
Alton Higgs Home
Mon 01:27 PM Jul 17, 2000
 
Alton Higgs home in Lorimers is decorated with items he discovers on the beaches of Middle Caicos. Besides crafting articles from the flotsam, he is also the area's Bush Doctor. His presence at home, and presumably his availability for medical care, are advertised by a large bouy hanging in one of the trees. "He is here" on one side; "He is not here" on the other.


Bryan's Chicken Coop
Bryan's Chicken Coop
Sun 12:10 PM May 27, 2001

21°49’18”N 71°43’37”W
 
Bryan Manco is a young man living out an adventure on Middle Caicos that I envy. He is the Darwin Project Officer for the National Trust's ecotourism developement on the island. He's learning and preserving the island's lore and exploring the vast and diverse terrains. He turned the shipping crate that brought his belongings into a chicken coop.


Mike and Mikki Wit
Mike and Mikki Wit
Sun 06:04 PM Jun 3, 2001
 
Mike and Mikki Witt and their dog, Smiley, are among our best friends on Middle Caicos. Living on the island for ten years, they built Blue Horizon Resort. A driving principle was to preserve the setting around them. Some of our favorite features are the walkways and seating areas that let us explore the shoreline there.


Dinner with Friends
Dinner with Friends
Wed 07:31 PM Jul 19, 2000
 
The villa and property owners that have discovered Middle Caicos are a friendly bunch. When we're lucky, our visits there overlap and we get to share the island together. On one trip, this large group of us met at Seascape Villa for dinner and conversation.

Clockwise from the front are Bryan Naqqi Manco, Mike and Mikki Witt, Martha and George Volz, Peter Milne, Cheryl and Leonard Forbes, Marlene and Mike Milne, Jeffrey Hall and Cathy Ramsey. Jeffrey Hall is Middle Caicos's representative in the Turks & Caicos legislature.


Cardinal Arthur
Cardinal Arthur
Thu 07:46 AM Dec 23, 1999
 
Cardinal Arthur is one of the most knowledgable local guides. He's an expert in local wildlife and loves to fish. His wife, Dottis, is the island's District Commisioner.


Christmas Tree Lighting
Christmas Tree Lighting
Wed 08:19 PM Dec 22, 1999
 
We've spent two Christmas's on Middle Caicos and took the opportunity to experience some of the local celebrations of the season. This was the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Conch Bar. On stage are District Commissioner Dottis Arthur, Julia Robinson, Representative Jeffrey Hall and Vado Arthur.


Island Birthday
Island Birthday
Wed 05:25 PM Aug 18, 1999
 
Chris celebrated his 11th birthday on Middle Caicos and invited the kids of Conch Bar to join him for cake and ice cream. There are only about 59 children aged 12 and under living on the island. Those of elementary school age attend the lone school in Conch Bar. After graduating from the sixth grade, they must go to one of the other islands to continue their education. Many live with relatives during the school year.


Island Construction
Island Construction
Sat 12:07 PM Jun 2, 2001

21°49’37”N 71°43’36”W
 
Bambarra Sands Cottage s one of the few new homes under construction on the beach at Bambarra. Besides making every consideration for hurricane survivability, the owner was careful to minimize the impact on the natural setting.


Pouring the Cistern Floor
Pouring the Cistern Floor
Fri 08:46 AM Jul 21, 2000
 
Almost all of the fresh water supply or the island is rainwater catchment stored in cisterns. This construction will be the cistern for Seawings Villa at Blue Horizon. To preserve the location, the foundation was dug into the limestone by hand. There are no cement trucks on the island; concrete is mixed by the shovelful and moved into place by wheelbarrow.


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No one website can show you everything there is to know about a place like Middle Caicos. So we founded the Middle Caicos WebRing to help you visit other sites dedicated to the island. You'll find many of the vacation villas, local guides and other informational sites on the ring.
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We've had
visitors since April 22,1999.

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1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
Caicos Dream

 


We belong to the Turks and Caicos National Trust. You can join and help preserve treasures like Middle Caicos.
 
  
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