Seascape Villa

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Seascape Villa, situated on 3 acres of beach front, has many amenities for such a remote island as Middle Caicos. The view of the reef and gardens from the newly screened and tiled verandah is enchanting. A crescent shaped white sand beach, all but deserted, awaits your exploration and enjoyment. There are only six houses scattered along this stretch of five miles protected shoreline and the nearest small town is two miles away. Privacy and tranquility are the norm.

Table of Content

Turks & Caicos

The Arawak Indians (known as Lucayans in this part of the world) were the first people to inhabit the islands, having come by canoes from the Orinocco region of Brazil. Archeologists have found evidence of Lucayan ceremonial and trading centers on Grand Turk and Middle Caicos dating to the years 750-1500 AD.

Some noted historians insist that Christopher Columbus made his first landfall On Grand Turk in 1492 and not San Salvador as is commonly believed. Officially, Ponce de Leon sighted Grand Turk on his journey in 1512 seeking the Fountain of youth. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the islands served as hideouts for pirates including a group of women known as the ‘Bloody Sisters’ with the infamous Mary Reid and Ann Bonny as their leaders who used Parrot Cay as their base.

It is estimated that there are more than 1000 shipwrecks that surround the TCI. In 1980 a treasure hunting group discovered the remains of a 16th century wreck on the molasses Reef. Many artifacts from this earliest known shipwreck in the new world are on display in the TCI National Museum in Grand Turk.

In the 1670’s Bermudan salt rakers arrived to harvest the ‘white gold’ on Salt Cay, Grand Turk and South Caicos. Turks Island Salt, an extremely valuable commodity in its heyday, even supplied the American Revolutionary army and was shipped to Europe and beyond . Ultimately, refrigeration reduced the role of salt in preserving to just seasoning, the salt rakers left and the TCI slipped into years of anonymity.

Land on Provo, North , Middle Caicos & Parrot Cay was granted to British loyalists from Florida and Georgia after the American Revolutionary War and from 1780 through 1820 they attempted to establish cotton and sisal plantations. They brought their slaves to work the land and build houses but hurricanes, drought, heat, soil exhaustion, war, and other concerns drove the owners from the islands. Today’s proud descendants of these former slaves and survivors of shipwrecks such as those of the Gambia which floundered off the coast of Middle Caicos in 1842 are the majority of the native population.

After alternately being governed by Bermuda and the Bahamas, in the middle of the 19th century, Queen Victoria granted a royal charter allowing the TCI to become an independent colony with ties to Jamaica. When Jamaica became independent in 1962, the TCI became a completely separate colony with its own governor appointed by the Queen of England and its own eleven member legislature and ministerial council.

During WWII the U. S. Coast Guard established a submarine tracking base on Grand Turk and in 1950 a U. S. tracking station was established there. After his first space flight in 1962 John Glenn first touched land on Grand Turk. These bases have long since closed.

In 1966 in exchange for 4000 acres on Provo, Provident LTD, an investor’s group which included a Dupont and a Roosevelt, agreed to construct the initial phase of Providenciales infrastructure. Known locally as ‘the Seven Dwarfs’, the company built roads, an airstrip, opened a salina (salt pond) to the sea for boat access and built a small 10 room hotel . They brought the first motorized wheeled vehicle and within the last 30 years Provo has been transformed into an up and coming tourist destination.

With the construction of the 298 room Club Med Turquoise in 1984 and other small hotels and condominiums, the way was opened for two daily American Airline flights to serve the islands.

Middle Caicos is a short fifteen minute plane ride from Provo and a world apart. Peace, beauty and tranquillity are the norm. Friendly island people greet the weary traveler and make everyone welcome.

Ecology

The most outstanding feature of the TCI is the extensive coral reef system that surround the islands with over 200 miles of shoreline. It is the brilliant, stunning combination of clear blue sky, pink/white puffy clouds on the horizon, clear, gemlike turquoise water and soft, white sand that entrance vistors and inhabitants alike. Steep wall drop-offs are patrolled by friendly dolphins, Atlantic Mantas and schools of colorful fish. Inside the reef there is a demiparadise of brain coral and purple Gorgonias, sea anemones and cucumbers, parrot fish and sergeant majors.

The islands’ land surface is actually the top of a limestone platform rising from the sea. There are extensive limestone caves on Middle Caicos that bend and wind for miles and are open for the hardy traveler to explore with a native guide. The windward (east) sides are sculpted with sand dunes and limestone cliffs, while leeward sides have more vegetation and meandering creeks and red mangrove swamps.

A close look at the subtropical vegetation reveals a multitude of well-adapted plant life with over 500 species identified. Whether native to the area or introduced, trees such as Fig, Frangipani, Genip, Acacia, Indian Almond, Lignum Vitae, Mahoe, Norfolk Pine, Poinciana, Tamarind, Yellow Elder, Banana, Pawpaw, Sapodilla, Soursop, Casuarina, myriad variety of Palms, Buttonwood, wild Mahogany and many more.

Flowers on bushes and vines dress the landscape with their blossoms: Aloe, Buttercup, Butterfly Pea, Firebush, Oleander, Bougainvillea, Hibiscus, Passion Flower, Jasmine and more.

Almost 100 species of birds make their home in the islands with another 78 having been observed migrating through the area. Near the water one will regularly see the Brown Pelican, Frigatebird, Mallard, Osprey, Sandpiper, Sea Gull, Sooty Tern, Belted Kingfisher and even the Roseate Flamingo. Turtle Doves, Hummingbirds, Blue Herons of several varieties, Bahama Mockingbird are just a few of the other varieties to be seen.

Over 50 species of butterflies flit about the islands and curly tailed lizards not larger than 3-5 inches are common sights.

Beachcombing and searching for seashells reward adult and child alike with treasures from the sea.

Activities

Fisherman’s Paradise

With the largest uninhabited island in the Caribbean close by (East Caicos) and this forty-eight square mile Middle Caicos island populated by less than 271 People (60 of which are children under the age of 12), fishing here is untapped virgin territory.

Fishing The Reef

Trolling inside and just outside the reef, one is almost assured of catching at least a giant Barracuda up to 35 lbs. or more. A vastly underrated gamefish, they hit hard and fight like crazy, often clearing the water several times during the course of the fight. Along with Barracuda there are 18-25 lb. Horseye Travelle, 18-25 lb Jack Crevalle, 5-10 lb Blue Runner and Grouper up to 40 lbs. Heavy duty spinning gear is recommended when trolling the reef because of the uncertainty of what one may catch. Instructions are to “hang onto your rod tightly” as these fighting fish donÍt come easily to the boat. Bottom fishing the reef and coral heads is another way to enjoy fishing around Middle Caicos. One can catch excellent fish suitable for oneÍ dinner such as Yellow Snapper, Margaret Fish, Blue Runner, Grouper, Dog Snapper, Grey Snapper, Porgies, Spanish Grunt, Red Snapper and many others.

Bonefishing

Some of the best bonefishing found anywhere in the Caribbean is available here in the miles and miles of flats teeming with these fighting fish. Having a guide pole a boat within casting distance of a school of muddling bonefish or wading the flats are the most exciting ways to fish for these silver bullets. One can also cast from shore right in front of the villa and catch bonefish.

Blue Water and Shark Fishing

Summer is the best time for fishing outside the reef for Sailfish and Marlin as they migrate through the area. One must be ready with heavy tackle at any time of the year and one can expect to catch King Mackerel, Dolphin Fish, Yellowfin, Bluefin, Tuna or Wahoo . Anchoring in a likely spot and chumming the water with previously caught fish, one is likely to get some great action with the variety of sharks that are found in these waters.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling Snorkeling on Middle Caicos is superb! Crystal clear water that appears turquoise from a distance affords visibility up 100 feet or more. The reef about _ of a mile in the distance from Bambarra Beach softens the wave action so that the sea is calm and safe for children and adults. Many, many coral heads are accessible from the shore and unlimited sites are available by small boat. McKittrick’s reef is a coral head less than 3/10 of a mile walk down the beach where even a non-swimmer at low tide can poke his/her head in the water and see all manner of coral, sea fans and myriad colorful fish too numerous to list. A short walk in the opposite direction, one can walk out to Pelican Cay at low tide and experience another underwater wonders. The Caribbean Spiny Lobster is prevalent and even just a moderately good snorkeler / diver is readily able to snare his/her crustacean dinner with a lobster hook by swimming from the shore in front of the villa. Better swimmers can spear gourmet fish for sport and to eat.

Shelling

A great variety of shells wash up on the beach, especially after a storm. Best shelling is up at Mudjin Harbor or at Half Creek. Of course, the beautiful and colorful Queen Conch is the source of a daily native staple food, Conch (pronounced “conk”) which the women of the island make into fritters, chowder, cutlets or sliced and eaten raw.

Exploring

There’s so much to see and explore on Middle Caicos. Tour plantations dating back to the Loyalist period. Even older sites date to the times before Columbus. Or go underground to see ancient caves; the largest in the region. Comb miles of beaches and you just might find a message in a bottle!

Just Relax!

Relaxing Why do anything? Enjoy the solitude as you can only find at Seascape Villa on remote Middle Caicos. Wake to the call of birds and the whistling of the wind in the trees. Have your lunch on the screen porch followed by a nap on the hammock or under the picturesque tiki hut. Have a romantic moonlight walk on the beach. Your time is your own here; make the most of it.

Investment Opportunities

There are no restrictions on the ownership or disposition of property by non-residents. To encourage the development of the out-islands such as Middle Caicos, the government has reduced the stamp duty on the sale of property to 2% from the normal 10% applicable to Provo.

All property on the islands is registered with the Land Registry and consequently no title insurance is available nor required. Mortgages are available but expect to pay between 12%-13% in this tax-free environment. Real estate commissions are generally 10% for raw land and between 4 to 6% on developed property. Attorney fees range from 1%-2%.

Building plans, based on an adaptation of the Florida Building Code, must be approved by the Planning Department. It is not required, but experience has shown, it is advisable to use an island architect. Architectural building plan approval usually takes about a month if there are no major problems.

One can expect the minimum building cost to be about $100/square foot. Expect to pay an additional $10 / square foot if one includes ceramic tile floors, a full kitchen, decking and better grade plumbing fixtures. Naturally, luxurious upgrades add to the cost. Because of the difficulty in coordinating supplies, the majority of which must be shipped from the U.S., expect construction to take a minimum of 8-9 months.

Providenciales (Provo)

Amazingly before 1966 the population was less than 250 people, no roads and no vehicles of any kind. There were only foot paths, horses, donkeys and small native boats to travel this 25 mile long (37.5 square mile) island. Now the population is 6,000 and rising rapidly.

Development started in the mid 60’s. In exchange for 4,000 acres of land, a group of U.S. investors, known locally as the “Seven Dwarfs” and including multi-millionaire Dick Du Pont, agreed to build roads, dredge the harbor, and construct an airstrip, 10 room hotel and jetty.

There is a shortage of affordable residential beach front property on this booming island. If an occasional resale water front lot would come on the market, the price would be most likely $225,000 or higher. Hilltop locations start at $75,000 for less than 1/2 acre. Smaller canal lots average $50,000 although there is an occasional cash deal for less.

Estimates are that on Provo appreciation since 1985 has been almost ten-fold. Pricing is very upscale on Provo with Condominiums selling from about $200,000 to $450,000. Very few houses are in the low to middle range with most in this same price category. There are townhouses for about $150,000-$185,000. Several extremely luxurious properties are listed for between $1,000,000 to $2,000,000.

Opportunities on Middle Caicos

Most land on Middle Caicos (and the other out islands) is either government owned or owned by private families. The privately held land is often entangled in legal limbo because it is “generationally held”-that is, many descendants of the same family (some of whom may be scattered around the world) must agree to the sale and provide the capital to have the land surveyed and sub-divided.

There are, however, several one acre beach front lots with 100 foot frontage currently available ranging in price from $72,000 to $100,000 with clear title readily available. Prices of raw land have appreciated 100% since 1989. We have knowledge of the market and have a relationship with an international real estate company in the islands.

We would be happy to provide you with more information if you are interested in purchasing property.

What our Guests Have Said

We enjoyed eleven days of beautiful weather, sun, clouds and always a breeze…thank you for being so organized…you made our trip very easy…we had everything we needed….the house is great…we felt very comfortable…a vacation we’ll treasure… D.T. Maine

Opening your home in paradise to us has been special, memorable and happy. We came tired and longing for peace and quiet. We found the wonderful natives, the sun, the sea, nature above the water and below, true enchantment. We traveled Middle Caicos from one end to the other finding majestic vistas and wonderful, warm people…we truly appreciated the well equipped kitchen…and dinner was enhanced by the availability of a good sound system…of all the places we have visited, the consistent clear, warm days were a marvel…although neither of us needed television, an occasional hour of CNN made us comfortable and we felt connected…pure paradise is what we found…A.M. Tennessee

In the daily drama of the “real world” it’s easy to forget how peaceful life can be…your home provided everything we needed as well as many unexpected luxuries…your investment in Seascape and all of your hard work has brought a lot of joy to so many people…B.B. Illinois

Great adventure! The water was great, Brodie and Rasta are new found friends-very nice people. The caves are a must, especially the water parts. The house and grounds are a perfect setting. Not much to improve upon-this is a great vacation. P.S. New Hampshire

Views, weather, caves and snorkeling were all beautiful. It’s hard to imagine that a sunset could produce so many beautiful colors…S.S. New Hampshire

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