Tuesday, March 12, 2013

View from the Caribbean

We are cruising in the Caribbean to escape the harsh San Diego winter.  ;-)

This is a shot of a beautiful beach in Grand Turk.  Grand Turk Island is an island in the Turks and Caicos Islands. It is the largest island in the Turks Islands (the smaller of the two archipelagos that make up the island nation) with 6.9 sq mi. Grand Turk contains the territory's capital, Cockburn Town, is the administrative, historic, cultural and financial center of the territory, and has the second largest population of the islands at approximately 3,720 people.

Grand Turk gained international attention in 1962 when John Glenn's Friendship 7 Mercury spacecraft landed in the vicinity of Grand Turk Island off the southeast shoreline. A replica of the Friendship 7 is on display in Grand Turk at the entrance to the Grand Turk Island airport.

The name comes from a species of cactus on the island, the Turk's Cap Cactus (Melocactus) intortus, which has a distinctive cap, reminiscent of an Ottoman fez.

Grand Turk is possibly the landfall island of Christopher Columbus during his discovery of the New World in 1492. San Salvador Island or Samana Cay in the Bahamas is traditionally considered the site of Columbus' first landfall, but some believe that studies of Columbus' journals show that his descriptions of Guanahani much more closely fit Grand Turk than they do other candidates.

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