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IslandGirl’s March 2013 Salt Cay Adventures with Pictures

Colorado
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IslandGirl’s March 2013 Salt Cay Adventures with Pictures

This is the third year in a row that we have vacationed for a split week on Salt Cay/Provo in March so I will try to spare you with too many details this year – just highlights and some details to our slow start.

The past 2 years we were lucky enough to get to Salt Cay by taking the red-eye from Denver to Miami, morning flight from Miami to Provo and then the late afternoon flight to Salt Cay without any issues. This year we were not so lucky. Because of mechanical plane issues in Miami (we were stuck in Miami from 5:30am – 4:00pm), we were unable to make the flight to Salt Cay. We contacted Val from Turks and Caicos Reservations on Provo and Haidee with Porter’s Island Thyme on Salt Cay to help us cancel the flight to Salt Cay, cancel the room on Salt Cay, find us a room on Provo for the night, and find us a way to get to Salt Cay the next day. Of course, there were no flights to Salt Cay the next day and the flights were full to get there the day after. While we were on our way to Provo, Val & Haidee were able to get everything for us accomplished :-)! For the second year in a row, Val has been such a great help in finding us a room in high season with just a couple of hours notice. Val was even waiting for us when we finally arrived! Val & Haidee also booked a flight to Grand Turk the next day and set up a boat ride from Grand Turk to Salt Cay with Crystal Seas Adventures.

Val, Haidee, Daniel & Tim – thank you so much for all of your help in getting us to Salt Cay this year! We had another awesome time on Salt Cay and we will see you all again next year!

Crystal Seas Adventures has 2 boats this year – one based in Grand Turk for excursions (Capt Daniel) and one based in Salt Cay for excursions (Capt Tim). Daniel met us at the Grand Turk airport and drove us to the dock to meet up with Tim who took us over to Salt Cay. Tim is also known as the “Whale Whisperer”. We went with him last year on a whale watching excursion so we knew how good he is at finding whales! Living up to his nickname, when we were getting close to Salt Cay, Tim spotted a mother & calf. We took a detour and followed them for awhile before docking at Salt Cay. What a great way to start our adventures on Salt Cay!

We met up with Haidee & Porter at Porter’s Island Thyme who are the most warm, welcoming and generous people. We picked up or golf cart rental, and followed Haidee to our home for the next 2 nights. The first year we stayed at the Tradewinds, last year at the Villas of Salt Cay, and this year we decided on the Beach House South. Next year we hope to stay at Castaways on North Beach. We really enjoyed our stay at the Beach House. The location is great – ocean front views and close enough to town to walk, bike or golf cart. It is 2 levels with the living room, kitchen, bathroom, laundry on the first floor and the bedroom (with 3 beds) and shower on the second floor. There are windows all around so you notice the nice breezes and sounds of the ocean. There is a balcony on the second level that has great views of the ocean, sunsets, whale watching, and stargazing! It had everything we needed.

After dropping off our luggage, we went back to Island Thyme for lunch. Their food/service/atmosphere is great for breakfast, lunch & dinner! We ended up eating all of our lunches and dinners there (had snacks we brought from home in our room for breakfast). After lunch, we spent the rest of the daylight hours exploring part of the Island by golf cart. We first headed to North Beach. It was late in the afternoon so I missed the best time of day to take pictures of the beautiful empty white sand beach and “aqualicious” water there but that didn’t stop the feeling of joy with being on one of the most beautiful beaches! We then did some exploring on the East side before it was time to head back for sunset. We watched sunset from the lighthouse bluff and then enjoyed a great dinner at Island Thyme (it was lobster night which included lobster bisque, lobster salad, and lobster kabobs). We finished it off with a key lime pie and some homemade ginger ice cream.

Colorado
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1. Re: IslandGirl’s March 2013 Salt Cay Adventures with Pictures

Day 2: I woke up at sunrise, looked out the front window and saw a donkey standing by the Salina – I joined him while watching the sunrise. It looked like it was going to be a great day – the sun was out and the seas were calm! We met Tim at the dock around 9:00am for a whale watching excursion. There were 4 of us along with Tim. After just 10 minutes of leaving, we spotted a mother & calf. We followed them for awhile and then moved closer to Great Sand Cay since Tim knew it was a great place to find whales. This is where we saw at least 5 mother & calves (2 of which had male escorts with them). We saw a single male whale trying to show off with his tail. We spent all afternoon with the whales. We were able to get in the water twice and snorkel with a mother & calf. It is one of those moments that you will never forget. I can’t describe the experience with words. They are so big & majestic and you feel so lucky to be in the water with them! Every time I think about it, a big smile comes back and it still feels fresh in my memory. On the second swim with them, the mother and calf were in front of us but then decided to turn around, headed in our direction and swam right past us. The sun’s rays were also shining brightly through the water – I was amazed at how noticeable the rays were and how far down they went. Tim said it was the best day of whale watching of the season so far – the seas were calm so it was easy to spot the whales and they were everywhere. He mentioned the seas were supposed to be calm again the next day so I immediately told him to sign us up for another whale watching adventure! We got back to Salt Cay just before lunch was over. We enjoyed another fabulous meal and then headed out by golf cart down the West side and ended up at the Southern tip. We then went to the Southeast side before heading back. We watched sunset from the balcony of the Beach House. No green flashes this year (saw one last year). We then headed to dinner at Island Thyme. We ate in the bar area where we watched a couple of guys working on becoming zookeepers. It is always so much fun to watch! Porter turns it into an experience for all! We had another great meal (lobster morsels wrapped in bacon appetizer, shrimp kabobs, homemade mango ice cream).

Day 3: This was our last day on Salt Cay . Tim was signed up to do a private whale watching excursion for a group on a yacht so Daniel came over with a group from Grand Turk and picked us up around 10:00am. The word got out about how great it was the day before so we ended up with 11 people on the boat. Still great views from everywhere on the boat but once you got your spot, there was little room to move around. It didn’t matter! Whales were again spotted within 10 minutes of leaving the dock. There were whales everywhere! There were so many that we had to choose which ones to follow next. I lost track of how many whales we saw. We saw heads, tails, breaches, a little of everything. We saw mother & calves, single males and groups of males. We were able to snorkel with a single male – wow, 2 days in a row I was able to swim with whales – it doesn’t get any better than that! We got back just before lunch was ending again and had to eat a quick lunch, packed up our stuff, and headed to the airport for our flight to Provo.

2 ½ days was just not long enough for us to enjoy all of what Salt Cay has to offer! Next year, we are planning on staying longer so we can fit in some scuba diving, snorkeling, take an excursion to Great Sand Cay, enjoy some more whale watching adventures, explore the Island by golf cart, relax and hang out at North Beach, watch the sunrises and sunsets, stuff ourselves with the delicious food and enjoy the company of everyone we have met there the past couple of years!

Contact Information:

Val with Turks and Caicos Reservations http://www.turksandcaicosreservations.tc/

Porter & Haidee at Porter’s Island Thyme http://www.islandthyme.tc/

or email Haidee at Haidee127@gmail.com

Tim/Daniel/Jasmine with Crystal Seas Adventures http://crystalseasadventures.com/

Debbie with Salt Cay Divers http://www.saltcaydivers.tc

Here is a link to some of my pictures:

…shutterfly.com/pictures

Newtown, PA
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2. Re: IslandGirl’s March 2013 Salt Cay Adventures with Pictures

Great report and pics Island Girl. Makes me want to plan a trip to Salt Cay some day.

Washington DC...
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3. Re: IslandGirl’s March 2013 Salt Cay Adventures with Pictures

I really needed that, thanks!

I love Sand Cay! Love Salt Cay! Love all the same people you named.

No cicadas there either

Mullica Hill, New...
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4. Re: IslandGirl’s March 2013 Salt Cay Adventures with Pictures

Beautiful story and pics IslandGirl! Gotta go swim with the whales one year.

JENSEN BEACH
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5. Re: IslandGirl’s March 2013 Salt Cay Adventures with Pictures

Oh my how those pics and your report make me long to return to Salt Cay!! Need to email Haidee and see what she has avail for March! Thanks for the great report.

Detroit, Michigan
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6. Re: IslandGirl’s March 2013 Salt Cay Adventures with Pictures

This really makes me so happy to see your report and photos of SALT CAY. I am taking my 4 girls for a "Daytripper" in August to Salt Cay. Your report and pics helps them to see what they are in for--minus the whales though. Still, should be an experience they will remember. Thank you. DR. JIM

Newport Beach...
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7. Re: IslandGirl’s March 2013 Salt Cay Adventures with Pictures

Great pictures IslandGirl! I especially loved the footprints one, and the sunset pic was awesome! I loved all the Momma's and babies too! So sweet! The whale experience must have been unbelievable....those underwater pics were fantastic!

Thanks for sharing... :-)

Milford...
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8. Re: IslandGirl’s March 2013 Salt Cay Adventures with Pictures

Wow, beautiful pictures and really enjoyed all the details in your report! Thanks!

Milltown, New Jersey
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9. Re: IslandGirl’s March 2013 Salt Cay Adventures with Pictures

IslandGirl, Great trip report and pictures..You sure do have difficult travel situations..You two are quite resilient. I am not so sure that we would remain as calm as you guys do.

Hopefully, you have not changed your mind about your July trip. Hope to see you again next month.

Once again, beautiful pictures.

Canandaigua, New...
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10. Re: IslandGirl’s March 2013 Salt Cay Adventures with Pictures

What a way to start my day with your pictures and trip report.

I had a "whale of a time" looking at the slide show.

Mike

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