Blue Hills

April 20th, 2014
bloggirlIMG_5015

On the beach at Blue Hills

Some say that Blue Hills was the former name for our island of Providenciales and named for the blueish tinge of the hills and ridges as sloops neared the island from the sea. Life centered around the sea, sloop building , fishing and conching. Sloops would sail out towards West Caicos and French Cay to collect conch which would be dried and then traded with neighbouring islands for materials and other food products.

bluehills 034

Caicos sloop being built on the beach at Blue Hills quite a few years ago.

Blue Hills is my favorite place to wander and was said to have been built originally by “Wreckers”. Historical records tell of locals waiving lights at passing ships to entice boat captains into thinking these lights were lighthouses. They would sail in closer and crash up onto the reefs off the North West Point. Local fishermen would head out to the wrecked ships to rescue the crew members and salvage whatever they could as a means of survival.

blogfbIMG_5087

Pelicans swooping low over the ocean and diving for fish.

 

bloggirlIMG_5081.JPGa

Chasing the birds on the beach in Blue Hills.

 

blogIMG_5049

Beautiful conch shells are sold down on the beach.

blogmalIMG_5111

Two little girls spot something floating in the water

 

blogIMG_4950

Harbour Club Villa guests and others such as this paddleboarder drop in for a conch lunch at one of the eateries in Blue Hills

 

blogIMG_4923

An oyster catcher enjoys fresh conch tidbits for lunch.

Our guests at Harbour Club Villas and Marina are often seen having lunch or dinner down in Blue Hills as it is a quaint and charming part of Providenciales not to be missed. The road rambles along the shore line and was the first paved road on the island. Work started on Front Road in 1956 at a time when there was no heavy machinery. Much of the work was done by local residents and by hand and took some ten years to complete.

See you soon enjoying the local flavours, sights and sounds of Blue Hills.

Marta

 

www.harbourclubvillas.com

 

 

Southern Shores

March 31st, 2014
southblogIMG_6079

A flat calm day on the south side of Providenciales and the entrance to the Marina at Harbour Club Villas.

Most of our island visitors miss the most beautiful and tranquil side of the island where you will find Harbour Club Villas and Marina. The shoreline is absolutely beautiful with waters that are shallow and numerous beaches where you can walk for a long ways out before it gets deep. This area off shore is called the Caicos Banks, the domain of the bonefish and flats as far as you can see. The ocean doesn’t get deeper than 15 to 20 feet and as you skim over the surface, you’ll see the bottom not too far below. Here are some of my favourite photos of the area known as Turtle Tail just by the villas at Harbour Club.

southblogIMG_9717

Fishing flats down on Turtle Tail about a mile from Harbour Club.

southIMG_1395

Wade the waters of Juba Salina in search of bonefish.

southblogsouthIMG_5934

Views overlooking the turquoise waters of the South side of Provo

southcooperjack69

Tidal beaches on Cooper Jack Bight are within a kayak ride from Harbour Club’s villas.

southblogIMG_0457

Take a kayak out and explore the tidal beaches near the villas and just outside the Marina channel.

southblogIMG_6486

Turquoise blue waters that are crystal clear and shallow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A lone fisherman motors home as the sun sets.

Hope to see you staying with us at Harbour Club Villas and Marina……we’ll show you our beautiful piece of paradise with numerous beaches and all kinds of sights to see. We’ll point you in the right direction.

 

Marta

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

 

Birds at Harbour Club Villas

March 11th, 2014
blogbirdIMG_1745

A beautiful Bahama Woodstar hummingbirds flies to the Dwarf Poinciana flowers for nectar.

Activity around the pool at Harbour Club Villas has been amazing. I sit there often trying to capture all our birds coming in to feed from the variety of flowering plants. Our villa guests too are taking photos of the Hummingbirds and Bananaquits that are always there twittering and flying from perch to perch. Our resident Green Heron often comes for drinks and preens himself by the pool. He’ll squawk at you if he doesn’t like you enjoying “his” private pool!! We have Mourning Doves that peck at the gravel under the neem trees at the top of the driveway. They must be finding food there and also seen this week was the Northern Mockingbird.

birdbananaIMG_9988

Pretty little bananaquit sitting in our Tamarind tree…see the fruit…….found in my favourite Worcestershire Sauce.

 

birdIMG_9664

We see Mourning Doves every day pecking at something underneath the neem trees.

blogbirdIMG_1722

The Northern Mockingbird is locally called “Preacher Bird”

 

blogbirdheronIMG_6715

Our resident Green Heron preening and grooming by what he thinks is his own private swimming pool!

 

blogbirdfbDSC_6792

The Island Honeysuckle attracts many birds to our pool area at Harbour Club Villas.

 

blogcrowIMG_4515

My first sighting of a Cuban Crow in one of our Palm trees……uncommon to see on Provo and has a bizarre gobbling cackle which is how I tracked him down at the villas.

 

blogbirdIMG_5645

A baby Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher just learning to fly……….so cute!

 

bloggraykingbirdbirdIMG_5178.jpga

The Gray Kingbird comes to the Turks and Caicos to breed in the summertime.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The American Kestrel known as Sparrowhawk is commonly seen here year round.

yellowwarblerIMG_0185a

The Yellow Warbler male has reddish brown streaks and lives and breeds in the Turks and Caicos year round.

blogbirdhumIMG_4557

And just because I love them so much, another photo of the Bahama Woodstar hummingbird that guests can watch daily by the pool at Harbour Club Villas.

Birdwatchers have so many birds they can see when on holiday and staying at Harbour Club Villas. The surrounding area has other water birds as well so have those cameras ready!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Cays Bay and Bugaloos

February 6th, 2014
blogIMG_8701

I don’t think the view can get any better than this one

This spectacular view of the bay at Five Cays greets you as you find a seat at Bugaloos Conch Crawl. It truly is a remarkable and unforgettable place as you sit peacefully looking out at the shallow waters of the bay waiting for drinks and mouth watering, tasty conch dishes.

blogIMG_8751

Sitting and soaking in the beauty while sipping on a beer.

blogbugaloosIMG_8757

Trees grow through holes carved in the wooden tables and provide shade from the hot sun.

Come, sit and stay awhile as you gaze out over the ocean. Watch the little waves come rippling in and sand bars forming as the tide goes out. Order conch any which way you want it….conch salad, fritters or cracked, fish and lobster too.

blogIMG_8781

Our lunch arrives and we order another ice cold beer.

blogIMG_8789

Bringing a load of conch from the pens out in the water.

blogIMG_8807

I waded on out to see the conch being “knocked”.

blogIMG_8864

Two beautiful conch shells which will be cleaned and then sold.

blogIMG_8872

Two eyes and a mouth in between and there are males and females, I’m shown and told by a local expert.

 

blogIMG_8868

The operculum or claw of the conch…..this is how they move.

 

blogIMG_8870

The conch pistol is touted to be an aphrodisiac…………try it on your lunch or dinner stop at Bugaloos.

 

blogIMG_8663

This guy would do anything for conch!!

 

blogIMG_8846

Mounds of conch as the conch gets “knocked”.

blogconchIMG_8738

Sweet little miss with a conch shell.

blogIMG_8611

Beautiful pink conch shells ready for purchase.

blogconchIMG_8721a

Visit Bugaloos in Five Cays………….the conch tastes great!

Hope to see you at Bugaloo’s Conch Crawl when you head to Providenciales for your next holiday.

 

 

Marta

 

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

 

 

Pirates Hideaway Salt Cay

January 31st, 2014
blogpirateIMG_7854

Our limousine awaits outside Pirates Hideaway, our island home for a few days.

Our trip to Salt Cay was just simply too short…………I had met with Candy Herwin on Provo and she had given me all the information on this little jewel of an island. I had been there in 2003 and just can’t believe it took me this long to return.  Candy has converted an old salt raker’s house into a charming , four bedroom, two bathroom house called Pirates Hideaway. I loved it and for three days, it was our home. Our limo was a neat little red golf buggy just perfect for beatling around in.

blogpirateIMG_7849

Replica salt wagon stands outside our home for three nights

Salt Wagons like the replica above were used for loading piles of raked salt and drawn by the donkeys.

blogpirateIMG_9213

This fella was adept at opening the gate.

blogpirateevaIMG_9733

Morning coffee, a quick text and away we go to explore the island.

blogpirateIMG_7838

Spacious kitchen and living room at Pirates Hideaway

 

blogpirateIMG_0177

Champagne birthday celebration.

 

blogpirateIMG_0734

Captain’s Quarters master bedroom where I stayed.

 

A lot of love, care and attention has been put into this quaint salt raker’s house which has a warm, inviting feel to it. Add the history and limitless knowledge of Salt Cay that Candy Herwin has and this makes it a unique home away from home for visitors to experience and enjoy. She has so many stories to tell and is always searching out the history of these islands. She has taken upon herself to interview and talk to the islands old timers to record and preserve their reminiscences and stories of when they were young. Photos too……….she has such a collection.

blogpirateIMG_0719

Loved the breezes flowing through and billowing the curtains.

xblogpirateIMG_7843

Love the shark bathroom and the wooden slat windows.

blogpirateIMG_7826

Great pirate murals throughout Pirates Hideaway.

blogIMG_0721

I’m not sure why I love these wooden slats so much……reminds me of a bygone time when things were much simpler.

blogIMG_0751

Love this shot of the old wooden gate and Pirates Hideaway

blogpirateIMG_8591

On one of my walks in the early morning hours

blogpirateIMG_0645

Good to see that these old stone walls are still standing

 

IMG_7773

Saying goodbye to Salt Cay……..so sad to leave.

 

IMG_7774

A beautiful little island surrounded by a turquoise sea.

All good things must come to an end…….that is until next time. Believe me, there will be a next time and very soon.

Marta

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

 

Half Moon Bay

January 27th, 2014
blogturtIMG_7341

This little guy popped his head up in Turtle Cove Marina before we were leaving.

A beautiful trip heading out from Turtle Cove Marina following the shore line towards Little Water Cay and the iguanas and on to Half Moon Bay. It’s a favourite stopping spot with a magnificent stretch of beach and of course that signature turquoise water.

The reef as we head towards Half Moon Bay

The reef as we head towards Half Moon Bay

blogIMG_7422

 

blogIMG_6928

A long stretch of pure white , soft sand and silver palms at either end.

blogIMG_6684

Struggling vegetation due to erosion of the sands.

blogIMG_7534

Picturesque rocks and aqua ocean backdrop.

 

blogIMG_6718

A green iguana comes up to say hello.

 

blogIMG_6948

Conch shell lying at the water’s edge.

blogIMG_6901

A sing ray cruises by in the shallows close to the beach.

 

blogIMG_7448

A stick and a sea fan make for great toys

 

blogIMG_6640

Loads of dragonflies.

 

Hoping you get an opportunity to enjoy this idyllic beach on an afternoon cruise.  Maybe you’ll spot the iguanas as we did.

 

Marta

 

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com

 

Harbour Club Villas and Marina

January 12th, 2014

Our little piece of paradise overlooking Flamingo Lake and our Marina at Cooper Jack.

Harbour Club Villas and Marina……a gem of a place on the South Side of Provo with Flamingo Lake on one side and our Marina leading out to beautiful Cooper Jack Bay on the other.  It’s a new year and past time to tell you a little about our piece of paradise, our location, surrounding area and all the beautiful out of the way spots and things you will find when staying with us.

 

A kite cam view of our six rental villas. Thank you to our neighbors Polly and Byron for this sensational photo.

A kite cam view of our six rental villas. Thank you to our neighbors Polly and Byron for this sensational photo.

Fifteen years ago, we built six , one bedroom villas overlooking the lake on 2.2 acres in an area that is called Turtle Tail. It is a unique place to call home while visiting Providenciales. A place where you can look out sometimes and see bonefish tailing, watch the hummingbirds, doves, bananaquits and a green heron or two that drops by the pool daily for a drink and squawks at you if you intrude on his space. A walk down into the marina and you are greeted by our neighbour’s two potcakes, Effie and Gemma who love coming by for threats from our guests. Can you believe that our guests actually bring treats, and premium cuts of meat with them to feed these two dogs?

A perfectly still, calm day....we call it a French Cay day.

A perfectly still, calm day….we call it a French Cay day.

Take out our complimentary kayaks and spend a few hours paddling close to the shore in a foot or two of water exploring the hidden coves, Delou’s beaches and even some of the small cays to see the iguanas and snorkel.

IMG_7673

A bird’s eye view of the lake, villas, marina and channel out to Cooper Jack Bight

Delou's beaches across the channel and accessible by our complimentary kayaks

Delou’s beaches across the channel and accessible by our complimentary kayaks

 

Many of our guests take out the kayaks and explore the shoreline…..beautiful little coves and tidal beaches, some coral heads to snorkel and some of the little cays have green iguanas. A delightful way to spend an afternoon on a beach just made for two.

Out kayaking making for one of the cays.

Out kayaking making for one of the cays.

Visit one of the little cays with the kayaks and see our local iguanas.

 

One of the tiny tidal coves along the shore line

blogIMG_0457

Kayak on Delou’s beach and Cooper Jack Bight

 

We have scuba dive boats just waiting to take you out to West Caicos or French Cay

Walk down to the Marina in the evenings and here’s where you will find all the dive operators….Flamingo Divers, Ocean Vibes, Caicos Adventures, Provo Turtle Divers and Jodi, the Snuba lady too. Our marina is the shortest distance to the amazing dive sites at West Caicos and French Cay. We’ll help you book some scuba diving, snorkeling or snuba so just let us know what you’d like to see and do.

 

IMG_0393

Here’s Snuba TCI heading off for a wonderful day of snuba and snorkeling.

cooperjack69

I’ve spent many hours on this small beach.

 

mikeDSC_3803

We have gorgeous sunsets which you can enjoy from the Marina

XIMG_1119abc

Flamingo Lake and one of our guests bonefishing

Bonefishermen love staying at our villas. All they have to do is walk out their villa door and be bonefishing in the lake within minutes. Sometimes you can even see the bonefish tailing from the villas. There are several areas where you can wade the flats too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bonefish churning up the lake waters at sunset.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Reflections on Flamingo Lake right by our villas.

 

blogIMG_5729

Sunset and a flamingo on Flamingo Lake with Harbour Club Villas in the background.

blogmornIMG_8772

A beautiful early morning calmness on the lake.

blogherIMG_2463

A Reddish Eagret looking for fish in Flamingo Lake.

Birdwatchers, birders and wild life lovers will enjoy watching the many water birds that fly in to enjoy the lake. As you  walk from Harbour Club Villas along the Lake and Juba Salina, you’ll see all kinds of Herons, ducks and even flamingos.

XIMG_0409

Often we see small groups of Flamingos

IMG_6885

Taking a look at the beautiful fishing flat close to Harbour Club Villas

XIMG_0064

Bonefishing on the flats of the south side of Provo.

IMG_1395

Juba Salina is further down Turtle Tail and often you’ll see flamingos down this way.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Marta’s little beach or Dog beach at sunset….it’s tucked away so you’ll have to ask me where it is!!

blogIMG_5915

This celebrity’s mansion overlooks the waters of the south side just down the road from the villas.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these photos of the south shore line close by Harbour Club Villas. It’s a wondrous area that’s quiet and tranquil, great for fishing, bonefishing, kayaking, walking and bird watching. For those that want to scuba dive, we are available to make the arrangements for you. Come and enjoy our piece of paradise……..the south side of Provo.

 

Marta

 

 

www.harbourclubvillas.com

 

 

 

Pintails on Flamingo Lake

January 3rd, 2014

Sunset over Flamingo Lake and three pintails

The sun was setting as the ducks swam in the lake.
Beautiful White-Cheeked Pintails swimming and feeding on Flamingo Lake

 

A beautiful evening for a cruise on Flamingo Lake by Harbour Club Villas

Evenings at the lake by Harbour Club Villas brings out all kinds of water birds. This evening, three pintails enjoyed their cruise on the lake.

 

 

Marta

 

 

www.harbourclubvillas.com

 

Happy New Year 2014

December 31st, 2013

Happy New Year everyone

Historical Salt Cay and St. John’s Church

November 20th, 2013

 

The beautiful shuttered windows of St. John's

St. John’s is a beautiful old Anglican church also referred to as St. John’s the Divine and was built in the early 1800′s. We wandered through the graveyard which stretches to an old seawall. Mr. Holton Dickenson, the chatechist and our guide, opened up the old doors which allowed for the sea breezes to flow through up to the altar.

Pa Poley or Mr. Holton Dickenson opens the doors to the church

 

The graveyard and church doors taken from the old sea wall.

 

The cemetary and old sea wall

 

Harriot/Dunn grave site.........owners of the White House and salt merchants on Salt Cay

Neil (Daniel Francis Harriot) was the resident Harriot at the White House until his death in 1910. He is buried at St. John’s Church in the plot he set forth in his will. My husband and I were fortunate to meet and talk with Michael Dunn when he visited us at Harbour Club Villas with a friend  years ago. I remember he was looking for a piano that he could play and at that time, I believe there were only two or possibly three on island. A friend of ours had one of them.

 

The church overlooks the salt pans

The bell tower outside of the St. John’s Anglican Church was usually rung to announce to everyone that it was time to come to church. Every Sunday dressed in their Sunday best, the faithful would listen to the bell tolling and head to church in time for Sunday worship. There are three of these bells still left on Salt Cay.

The church interior with two pulpits

 

Mr. Holton Dickenson, the catechist at St. John's

 

Record of Marriages from 1909

Mr. Holton Dickenson showed us some old records that the church still keeps. These old registers need to be photographed page by page or they will eventually deteriorate and be lost for the future generations of Salt Cay residents.

Mr. Dickenson holds the old Register of Services showing numbers of worshippers and amounts collected.

 

Side view of St. John's showing part of the salt Pans

 

Are we too early? Donkeys at the church gate with the church bell tower in the background

St. John’s church is a beautiful start to stepping back and into the history of Salt Cay……… a tranquil and peaceful place that speaks of an era of days gone by. The population is dwindling as the ocean breeze gently brushes the gravestones. Time to reflect on the history of this magical island that is steeped in history. We are the keepers of years past and need to do everything we can to preserve, nourish and protect the history and stories of Salt Cay and our national heritage. Thankfully we have concerned and caring people that are doing their utmost to document and keep Salt Cay’s history alive for future generations. Take a bow….you know who you are!

 

Salt Cay is a jewel in the sun.

 

Marta

 

 

http://www.harbourclubvillas.com