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(September 19-23, 2007)

Dan Taylor

Rhode Island East Coast Trip

Pat Swovelin †

The Sea Provides

Grand Turk Island, Turks & Caicos Islands, BWI

September 23, 2007, 11:54 AM (4:54 PM GMT)

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© 2007 Pat Swovelin, All Rights Reserved.

The sea sustains all life on the planet we call home.

On Grand Turk Island not only does it sustain it but one day, because of global warming, it will inundate the island itself and and destroy a way of life for an entire people that have lived here for several hundred years.

For the moment it provides things like spiny lobster and Queen Conch (pronounced "konk") in abundance (both a staple food source for the islanders) and attracts tourists for world-class SCUBA diving and relaxation.

The waters off of the island are impossibly blue to the point that it looks Photoshopped (even when you're standing right there looking at it). When you're SCUBA diving on a sunny day the visibility is virtually unlimited (it's like thick air) unless you swim over the Grand Turk Wall (one of the top 10 dive sites on the planet) that drops vertically to a depth of 7,000'. Then the water changes from a brilliant blue above you to a darker and darker blue as it passes you and finally it's as black as outer space below you (and you don't want to go down there, because that would be "bad").

You're standing midway up the western coast of the island (it's tiny at only 6.5 x 1.5 miles) and just up the coast by the radio tower behind you is Columbus Landfall National Park where Christopher Columbus 1st set foot on land in the New World (October 12, 1492). 470 years later John Glenn, the 1st American to orbit the Earth, also 1st set foot on land here after his 3-orbit flight in Friendship 7 (February 20, 1962, my 11th birthday). In their cases the sea gave Columbus a way to get here and Glenn a way to get back.

Sustenance, it's what the sea is all about.

More views of the island.
Canon Digital Rebel (300D), Peleng 8mm lens, Nodal Ninja 3 panohead, Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod, ISO 100, f8, 1/400 second exposure, Canon RAW, Photoshop CS, PTGui 7.3, Pano2VR 2.0 beta 1b, NBNC, PDL

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