Nassau, 27 Nov 2014 – The manager of New Providence’s newest full-service marina said today he is expecting a “solid season” that could see as much at 50% improvement in boat slip rentals and an even greater increase in fuel and other service-related sales.
Demaro Demeritte, dockmaster at Palm Cay Marina, offered the positive projection after the third hurricane-free year.
“In one week, the official hurricane season will close and at this point there is nothing on the horizon that gives us cause to worry,” said Demeritte, who took the helm of the 194-slip marina in 2014, less than two years after it opened and months after it was equipped with full fuel service, sophisticated electrical hook-ups and wi-fi, placing it in a position to compete with marinas that cater to luxury vessels.
“Yachtsmen look at weather even more than the rest of us do, so when you have one season, then two, without a hurricane, it builds confidence. That is part of the reason I think we are already seeing a good jump in reservations of visiting boats.”
But reasons besides being storm-free are also influencing boaters, said Demeritte.
“Two years ago, Palm Cay Marina was just getting started,” he said. “It was new and relatively unknown. But thanks to the original management and to the developers of Palm Cay who really believed in the marina’s potential, it has become one of the boating hot spots for The Bahamas. BASRA (Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association) has named us an outpost – the only one in this area. It’s the closest marina to Exuma so we are seeing both locals and visitors who know they are cutting six to seven miles off a 35-mile trip between mid-Nassau and Highborne Cay, even more if they were at a dock or marina west of town. And Palm Cay Marina is the site of a lot of family boating activity, particularly with local boaters who can zip out to the south side for a day of fishing and return long before dark.”
The multi-million dollar marina is one of the main features drawing buyers to Palm Cay, according to Sales & Marketing Director for the nearly 70-acre community on New Providence’s southeastern shoreline Zack Bonczek.
“We’re a waterfront community with a natural inlet. There had been a boat repair facility here for decades when investors bought the property,” said Bonczek. “At that time, there was talk that the development could have been built around the existing marina, but when they examined it further, they made the decision to remove all the old docks, rebuild the seawall to make sure it would last for years to come and re-do all the docks, put in 3-phase electricity, provide for wi-fi, install a sea gate for security, everything that makes a marina a good, safe, secure and comfortable place to keep your boat. Yes, it cost a lot of money but these people were not building for the short term. They were looking at a community that would be especially appealing to boaters and to those who love the water for generations to come.”
Palm Cay Marina can handle vessels up to 110 feet with a draft of up to eight feet.
According to both Bonczek and Demeritte, the opening of Billfish Grill restaurant and members’ club last year also added to the appeal.
“Where else in Nassau can you dock a boat, use the swimming pool, take a swim in the Atlantic Ocean, go back, shower and enjoy a 4-star meal or a pizza prepared in a brick pizza oven? The options and choices with Palm Cay are amazing,” says Bonczek. “I don’t think there is another place like it anywhere on this island. Palm Cay has it all.”
Whatever that “all” is, the formula appears to be working. Some 80% of the single family lots have been sold, more than 90% of the first two phases of condominium offerings are sold with the third phase announced ahead of schedule because of demand, construction is on target and townhouse rentals and sales are improving. There is a waiting list for two more phases – the next stage of the 5-phase condos called The Anchorage and a section of cottages to be named Mariner’s Cove featuring architecture reminiscent of Hope Town, Abaco or Harbour Island. The development is slated to be completed and turned over to homeowners in 2017.
Agreement Signed! Next Foghorns and Three Times the Arrivals
#TurksandCaicos, October 13, 2021 – When the foghorns blare again at the Grand Turk Cruise Center it will be well into the Christmas season, but the scheduled arrival of the Carnival Freedom on November 28, will end a 20-month pandemic imposed pause on cruising, the economic life-blood, of the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
“We have eleven meetings since May to make this happen. I think it’s a huge, huge improvement on what we’ve had before, speaking to the value of the partnership of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and Carnival and we look to have a long and fruitful relationship,” said Hon Washington Misick, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The Turks and Caicos Islands Government today, finally inked a deal with Carnival Corporation, which appeared hinged on the cruise company being granted the green light for an expansion to berthing at the Port, which opened in 2006 on the island of Grand Turk.
The signing of a new Development Agreement followed an October 7 Cabinet approval of the document; the brief ceremony was carried live on Facebook from the Office of the Premier in Grand Turk.
“Indeed as the Premier has stated, we met 11 times and many times in person, you were in every meeting and sometimes with members of Cabinet, the Attorney General and we worked on something that we will all be proud of for many years to come,” said Giora Israel, Senior Vice President Global Port & Destination Development.
Strongly intimated, by Premier Misick, that this expansion had been stalled. Definitely stated, also by Premier Misick, it is full steam ahead for a resumption of cruising.
“We are confident that cruise ships filled with visitors will be back in time for the high season 21/22. We are not stopping there. Government is investing heavily in the improvement of the Cruise Port and infrastructure in Grand Turk including: Acquisition of a Property to be converted into a Vendors Market. $1.5m dollars has been allocated to refurbish and improve the property. Additional properties will be acquired and developed to accommodate vendors who depend on the cruise industry for their livelihood. 2-million dollars will be spent to construct a floating dock for the Water Sports Operators. We are providing up to $1 million in grants to eligible operators to help them prepare for the reopening of the Cruise Industry,” said the Premier during a National Address on September 23.
Three cruises to Grand Turk are booked for November and December 2021 and if all goes according to schedule – or better – the cruise calls on November 28, December 11, December 12 and December 26 will usher in a happier holiday season for the dozens of companies left in limbo with the crash of cruising in March 2020.
“I really want to thank our employees at the Port. We have had employees who stayed here for the last two years working hard to maintain the port,” said Mr. Israel as he acknowledged the enthusiasm shown by the TCI Government to complete the deal; he added, “But I also want to thank the Community of Grand Turk. We are a part of this community; we have been welcomed as a part of this community. The Community has embraced us and we have embraced the Community, the business community and we need to look at this as a partnership,” expressed Mr. Israel during the live stream.
Outside of cruise tourism, Grand Turk draws dive enthusiasts from around the world and is increasingly experiencing popularity in the luxury villa market. Nonetheless, these other distinctions for the island which is home to the Parliament and the Governor’s Residence, fall a distant second and third place to the thousands of cruise visitors travelling on four, five and six day itineraries; Cruising is what really brings the boom.
“We’ve had a long partnership of 20 years and this partnership is just getting better. New horizon, new opportunities and when I look at this magazine, which is a magazine we issued when the port was opened, we expected that the biggest ship would be 1,800 passengers. Within 90 days of today, we are expecting ships that will be able to carry three times the number of passengers…”
The Development Agreement gives Carnival Corporation the permissions and perimeters to begin a $25 million dock expansion project. The Turks and Caicos Cabinet informed that the signatories represented: the Crown, the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Grand Turk Cruise Terminal Ltd and Carnival Corporation.
Details of the Agreement were not revealed, therefore the scope of the expansion remains unknown. What has been made clear is upon completion of the new dock, the largest ships in Carnival’s fleet will be able to moor in Grand Turk with the high probability that cruise passenger and crew arrivals to the islands of Grand Turk and Salt Cay, will triple.
Carnival elation Dec 11
Carnival Freedom Nov 28, dec 26
Carnival freedom Dec 12
TCI Health Minister pledges Urgency is Serving Mental Health
#TurksandCaicos, October 14, 2021 – Minister of Health and Human Services, Hon. Jamell Robinson says the Government will be making increased investment to tackle the issue of mental health.
In his message for World Mental Health Day, observed under the theme “Mental Health In An Unequal World,” he said it was fitting for the focus to be on the way persons who suffer from the disorder are treated.
While noting that finances are not the only factors affecting persons living with chronic illnesses and mental health disorders, he said mental health is a fundamental element to “overall health and livelihood.
“It must be recognised and treated by all Turks and Caicos residents of the, with the same urgency as physical health. We must continue to ensure that mental health remains an important part of our public health mission-we will make certain that the mental health project that was started, is seen to completion. We will ensure that where necessary, increased funding is made available for outreach and support programmes,” the Minister said
He disclosed that a special needs support group for parents, guardians and caregiver will be implement, adding that mental issue is a “longstanding problem” that has been tackled for decades by various professionals, and it must be part of all citizens to lend support and care, where they can.
The Minister stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic has “triggered us” to ponder more about individual health and wellbeing and brought to the forefront that while some enjoy the beauties of life, others cannot.
“Not all of us have the same experience while accessing necessary services, such as healthcare, and what resonates most is the difference in health outcomes for different people, sometimes,” he outlined.
RBDF Congratulates Retired Commander Defence Force on National Honour Award
During a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street, Commodore Smith was presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith. Also in attendance were his daughter, Mrs. Italia Seymour, and the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King.
Commodore Smith was one of sixteen other deserving individuals recognized on National Heroes Day for the vast contributions they made to the development of the country. The first Bahamian Officer to be appointed as Commander Defence Force, he is the longest-serving Commodore to serve this office from 1983 to 1997.
Throughout his military career, he received numerous awards and accolades, and his career in public life spanned over forty years, and on September 19, 2014, an RBDF Legend Class Vessel bearing his name was commissioned. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is truly grateful for the devoted services of Commodore Smith to the organization and his country.
Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King extends congratulations on his behalf of the members of his Executive Command, Officers, Senior Enlisted, and Junior Enlisted members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, to Commodore Retired Leon Smith, on his great accomplishment.
Header: Commodore Retired Leon Smith being presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.
Insert: Commodore Retired Leon Smith along with recipients of the 2021 National Honours Awards on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.
(RBDF Photos by Able Seaman Paul Rolle II)
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