Mainly kayaking photographs taken on the Isle of Man and beyond.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Kayaking Isle of Man - Turks and Caicos Islands.

I've been out in the Turks and Caicos Islands for two weeks now. I've been helping out on Provo and Grand Turk teaching hospital staff some critical care medicine. The two hospitals are brand new having only opened 7 months ago. Many of the staff are new to the Islands, and it's not easy setting up a hospital from scratch. I've been amazed by the progress which has been made. The nurses I helped train, who originate from all corners of the planet, are incredibly professional, enthusiastic and willing to learn.
Like the Isle of Man the Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Crown Dependency with a Governor in residence. Overwhelmingly however, one cannot help but notice the Canadian and American influence here. Even the locally used currency is the US Dollar. It was great therefor to climb into a British Valley touring kayak for one of the two paddles I've made since I arrived. Although this plastic gunboat does not compare to the fibreglass Rockpool I normally paddle, it edged, rolled and handled amazingly well. I was also surprised at the relaxed attitude of the kayaking outlet from which I rented it. This solo paddle was undertaken with absolutely no questions asked about my past experience and skill level. Once I'd signed the waiver that was all that was required to permit me to paddle off through the mangroves, passed the conc farm and out into the open sea in a force 5! Contrast that to the trouble I had in Canada in the Summer persuading anyone to let me have a kayak for the day. I'm not sure which attitude is best, but I much prefer the former.

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