Turks and Caicos: Island Vibes

20151223_092911Our last full day on the island of Turks and Caicos was spent on a boat, a remote island, and under water. We reserved a full-day spot for our family on the Island Vibes Tours and we were ready for snorkeling, a visit to Iguana Island, fun in the sun, and much more!

The family was up and ready for our adventure with Island Vibes. We ate breakfast, lathered up with sunscreen, and made our way to Turtle Cove Marina. We arrived around 8:30 am and had a short wait before boarding the boat. There was another family anxiously waiting as well.

We finally set sail and slowly made our way through the marina, then full speed out in the channel off of Smith’s Reef. The captain explained that we had to pick up a few other people before we got in the water at one of the outer reefs. There were a few other families and couples being picked up from their resort. I thought it was really neat that the boat would go right up onto the beach and one of the captains would help the new passengers on the boat.

DCIM100GOPROWe finally had everyone on board and anchored north of the third largest outer reef in the world. Zander and I got our snorkel gear on and got in the water. Snorkeling on the outer reef is a little different than starting from the shore. We entered in deeper water, 20-25 feet and worked our way to the shallow part of the reef.

Compared to yesterday, the water visibility wasn’t as good. The reef was fascinating! We only got about 45 minutes in the water. The captain said we would come back this afternoon when the tide would be different and hopefully the current wouldn’t be as strong. Our next stop for the day would be Iguana Island.

The boat docked along a white, abandoned beach. We were at Little Water Cay, better known as Iguana Island. The captain instructed us to go up the beach and turn at the fourth tree. Once we got acclimated to our surroundings, we started to see iguanas of all shapes and sizes. Some were still timid of people, and most wanted to be left alone. The group of us from the boat stayed on Iguana Island for about 20 minutes.

20151223_093531Next on the agenda was a quick hop up to Pine Cay for a two-hour excursion on a deserted island. When we exited the boat, the captain told us we had an hour to do whatever we wanted, then we would eat lunch. Merri Beth, Zander, and Coco, and I decided to walk south along the beach to explore the island.

The trade winds were pretty stiff out of the east, but we still enjoyed the bright, warm sun during our walk. About an hour passed and people started gathering near the boat, anxious to start eating lunch. Then, we gathered by the picnic tables in a shaded area near the grill where the captains cooked lunch. And we got our Bar-B-Que on.

20151223_101157Our lunch included BBQ chicken, beef ribs, corn on the cob, baked potato, lobster, and conch salad. I think it’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed the BBQ lunch. It was one of the best meals we had on our vacation. We allowed some time for our food to settle while the captains cleaned things up, then we were back on the boat heading south.

Our day continued as the boat was anchored near a shipwreck and the diving board and slide were open for business. The kids loved it. Coco was napping, though. I swam to shore and walked on the rocks. MB and Zander enjoyed diving, sliding, and jumping off the boat. (See the video below.)

The last part of our Island Vibes boat tour was to go snorkeling on the outer reef again. The captain gave us 30 minutes. And I maximized it. The visibility was much better than this morning. I saw a lot more of the reef. And I even saw two barracuda’s. Another person on the boat saw an 8-foot Eagle Ray. Wow!

Our day ended with the sun escaping to the west. We dropped off the people we picked up back at their resorts, along the beach of course. Our boat trip ended at the marina where it began.

20151223_092940There was on last order of business to attend to before we leave tomorrow…gift shopping! We went to this place called Mama’s Gift Shop near the Salt Mills Plaza on Grace Bay Road. We arrived just before they closed and had a blast talking with the two ladies who own the place.

As our time was winding down, we cleaned out the fridge and cooked in tonight. The kids were exhausted and went to bed early while MB and I started to pack things up. We still had a half day to milk the rest of our vacation. We definitely enjoyed our last full day on the island, the eve of Christmas Eve.

Enjoying the Island Vibes boat ride

Diving, sliding, and snorkeling

 

Island Vibes Pictures

Island Vibes Pics From the GoPro

 

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About Shibby

Jason Hibbets is a senior community evangelist at Red Hat which means he is a mash-up of a community manager and project manager for Opensource.com--a publication and story-telling platform for open source communities. At night, he wears a cape, and is a Code for Raleigh brigade captain as well as a CityCamp NC co-chair. Jason is the author of a book called The foundation for an open source city--a resource for cities and citizens interested in improving their government through civic hacking. While writing the book, he discovered his unknown super power of building communities of passionate people. Jason graduated from North Carolina State University and resides in Raleigh, NC with his wife, two kids, two border collies, nine chickens, lots of tomato plants, and a lazy raccoon somewhere in an oak tree. In his copious spare time, he enjoys surfing, running, gardening, traveling, watching football, sampling craft beer, and participating in local government--not necessarily in that order, but close to it. You can follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets
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