The next, and last, stop of the five days cruise was Grand Turk. I kept scanning the horizon for the first signs of a giant fez, but it turns out Grand Turk is an island, part of the Turk and Caicos islands. So, no fez to be had.
Readers who are interested can see the original post HERE. There are some near-duplicate photos, but these are all from the Nikon. The other post are all phone photos, and small ones, at that.
However, because some of the ones from the phone are interesting and are not in the Nikon set, here’s a quick recap of them in a larger version.
Meh . . . they weren’t that interesting after all. However, if you want to see them slightly larger, as with all the photos on this post, click the photo and a larger view will open in a new window or tab.
The panorama with the railing was shot right after we got there, and there were few people ashore. That would change.
You can also see the full-size photos in the SmugMug Gallery associated with this post HERE.
OK, on with the show . . .
So, this is what a proper photo looks like. As much as I like the Samsung and what it can do, when I look at my ‘normal’ photos, I am reminded a phone is no substitute for a decent camera and lens.
Speaking of which, I resolved early on to only carry a couple of lenses on the excursions off the ship, and even then, the majority of the photos, as I think I previously mentioned, are shot with the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens. A decent lens, but taxed by the D7000. I definitely see the difference from this lens and the 70-200 f/2.8 VR lens. However, for this purpose, this is more than fine.
So, that’s the ship . . . you can read the stats HERE, and please take note of the height, beam, and draft.
While not super annoying, the cruise line does push photos on the passengers. They take your photo when you get on board (no escaping that one), but then there are photos for formal night, there are photos right as you disembark at a port, and then photos as you make your way to the usually private and fenced area with all the shops owned by the cruise lines.
Those later photos are not mandatory, but they really try to get you to pose. The photos, of course, are all available for sale.
For example, as you walk along the pier toward the mini-shopping center, after having already successfully evaded two different photography opportunities, you run the pirate gauntlet. Costumed people working in tandem with photographers from the cruise line (the people in the blue shirts). The costumed people will try to get you to pose with them; each port has different costumed role-players.
One look at my face, and they usually let us pass with minimal hassle. Mind you, I’m smiling, but I’ve been told my smile often looks like that of a shark sizing up its meal.
Wouldn’t you know, once in the shopping compound, the first thing I photograph is . . .
That looks like a Yellow-throated Warbler . . .
Yup! . . . that’s what it is.
We continued walking to the edge of the fenced property . . .
. . . and we could have risked the wet rocks and continued on to the point that is visible on photos later on, but I was not sure of my leg and my balance . . . discretion being the better part of valor, we turned around and walked back toward the center of the compound.
I did see a little critter along the way.
The guy was quick, and I was lucky to get these shots before he disappeared in the vegetation.
Looking around at what we might do (we did not want to shop), we inquired about a wreck I had seen, and were directed to the road and a nearby beach. Let me tell you . . . it was only a mile and a half, but it was hot.
However, the sights along the way made up for the discomfort.
That’s where we turned to get to a beach with the wreck . . .
This photo screamed for some old treatment . . .
There was what looked to be a wreck-in-training just offshore.
My attention, however was on the wreck . . . you could walk right up to it and touch it. Of course, you could also photograph it.
That shot also screams for creative treatment . . .
The only problem with the site was that while I could take an angled shot of the whole boat . . .
There was not enough beach to get a full side view . . . The above is a three shots panorama, and I tried the same from the side of the boat, but being too close, I could not overcome the distortion due to me being so close.
I could, however, take a photo of a piece of coral that looked like a fish with its mouth open.
As was the case with most of the time we ventured ashore, after walking a couple of miles, or standing for a while, my leg began to bother me, so I snapped a few more photos . . .
. . . and then headed back. BUT WAIT! . . . that photo; I had a vision for it even as I snapped it. I envisioned an old Titanic-like version of the photo. This next one comes close (using a couple of the Topaz Suite plugins).
OK, maybe not . . .
I think me showing the wrecked car is probably not very charitable toward the place. We also saw these along the way . . .
And the taxi area was nicely landscaped, as was the shopping area.
It’s always interesting to look up and see the ship in the background. Not something I am used to in Colorado.
On the way back to the boat, I snapped a few photos from the pier of the people enjoying their time ashore.
Also of the ship . . .
. . . and the ship and the people.
Pretty close, isn’t it? That ship drafts only 28 feet. That means 9/10ths of the ship is above water. Scary, when you think about it.
By the way, you can see the wreck in the background.
These next two panoramas were supposed to be all one, but for the first time since I can remember, Lightroom hit a size limit. I know I’ve had wider panoramas than this, but it must be something new. OR . . . the other one was wider but photos were of less resolution (D200) versus these. Regardless, one panoram split into two.
CAUTION: I linked the full size files to those two panoramas . . . one is 15MB, and the other is 17MB . . . big. If you click on either, the full size will open in a new window, and you can click on the picture to zoom in and out of various parts. Don’t do it unless you have a fast internet hook-up, or if you want to get a close look at the people.
Once back on the ship, we showered (sweaty, I was), sat on our balcony for a bit, and then sat on one of the decks (in the shade) looking out at the scene before us.
Now, I have to admit to being tempted to go for a swim . . . and then I thought of all the fish urine, fish poop, and human urine . . . and opted to drink my coffee and eat my doughnuts.
Here’s an overview of the shopping compound . . .
. . . and the point we had hoped to walk to, but opted to avoid the rocks . . .
. . . and of the pool area of the resort/shopping compound.
You can see a fair amount in those photos . . . but now let’s try the 400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens . . .
These are not crops . . . that’s the pictures as taken (plus post processing). You can go to SmugMug for the full size ones. I love that lens.
I continued snapping away from the ship . . .
Yup! . . . horses. A guy was selling rides on the beach. Personally, I don’t like the idea of horses on the beach . . . they tend to crap a lot.
That’s the wreck we had gone to see.
I could not figure out what those things were . . . inflatable climbing walls for the swimmers, and a trampoline. Neat.
This next thing also looked like fun . . .
. . . except to me it looks like it could easily flip.
Here’s shots of the wreck . . . with people on board.
A shot of the airport . . .
In the far background you can see their historical lighthouse (aren’t all of them historical?)
And a few more shots of the beach, including the guy with the horse; first walking, and then riding.
. . . and another thing I would not do . . .
I would do this . . .
A convoy of ATVs out exploring parts of the island.
Soon it was time for the ship to leave . . . right at sunset. I did not do much to these photos; almost as they came from the camera.
The camera meters on the sun, and the surrounding gets darkened . . . much like our own eyes. This is fairly close to what it looked like.
As we began to leave, I snapped a few shots of different angles of the wreck. Understand, it was after sunset, and the 400mm lens is pretty slow. I first shot at ISO 3200, and then ISO 6400.
And that, dear readers, was Grand Turk. We were now heading back to Ft. Lauderdale, all but 80-90 passengers or so would disembark, and then we would head off for the second leg of our cruise.
But first, we would have a full day of sailing, and another amazing sunset. But that’s a tale for another post.
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