Grand Turk: The First Space Flight

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

On February 20, 1962, John Glenn made his historic flight in Friendships 7, being the first American to travel in Space

NASA station on Grand Turk

After three trips around the earth , he landed near Grand Turk, Lookouts on the destroyer USS Noa sighted the main parachute at an altitude of 5,000 ft from a range of 5 nautical miles. The USS Noa had the spacecraft aboard 21 minutes after landing and astronaut John Glenn remained in the spacecraft during pickup. 

Friendship 7 spacecraft

 Glenn was transferred by helicopter from the USS Noa to the USS Randolph, and then flown to Grand Turk for his debriefing and medical as planned. The capsule joined him later when it was delivered to Grand Turk by ship.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

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Grand Turk: The Beautiful Beach

My photography books.

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

Grand Turk is tiny but beautiful.

Sail Boats in the harbor

Boats in the harbor.

The front door to Grand Turk

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

St. Maartin: Philipsburg

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

Philipsburg is the capital of Saint Maarten, the Dutch side of the Caribbean island Saint Martin. Beachfront bars line the boardwalk along Great Bay. Voorstraat, or Front Street, has duty-free shops and casinos. The St. Maarten Zoo is home to parrots, monkeys and a playground. Sint Maarten Museum displays artifacts from the indigenous Arawak people.

Saint Maartin

The island was first sighted by Christopher Columbus on 11 November 1493, but there was already an Arawak settlement there before his discovery.

Philipsburg was founded in 1763 by John Philips, a Scottish captain in the Dutch navy; the settlement soon became a bustling centre of international trade. Two historic forts bear witness to Philipsburg’s strategic importance in St. Maarten’s history: Fort Amsterdam and Fort Willem

Saint Maartin

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Grand Turk: Columbus’s First Landing In the New World

As in many islands in the Caribbean, Grand Turk claims to be the site of Christopher Columbus’s first landing in the new world.  Many make this claim just before they begin to tell you how horrible a man he was.  

What they often forget to tell you is the natives weren’t alter boys themselves, many were cannibalistic, into self sacrifice, murder rape and were in constant wars. 

In those days, everyone was cruel to everyone, regardless of race, creed or national origin. 

One of the many cannons still on the island designed to protect the islanders from attack.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Great Stirrup Caye: Bahamas

 

Great Stirrup Cay is a 268-acre  island that is part of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. Norwegian Cruise Line purchased the island from the Belcher Oil Company in 1977 and developed it into a private island for their cruise ship passengers

Tropical scene

The northern part of the island has a sandy beach surrounded by rocks with snorkeling areas. The southern part features a helicopter airfield (with a sign reading “Great Stirrup Cay International Airport”), a large area without vegetation, and numerous concrete blocks. These are all remnants of a previous U.S. military installation and satellite tracking station.

Tropical Scene

Great Stirrup was a pirate hideout while the British settled in Nassau and the larger islands until 1815. This time marks the first documented settlers of Great Stirrup, and many of the structures from this settlement still stand today.

Tropical Scene

 

“Stirrup’s Cay” remained active during the American Civil War, as the Confederates wished to continue to export cotton to Europe. The island was used as a landfall for provisioning while Federal warships patrolled the area to thwart their efforts. After the abolition of slavery, the British began to slowly withdraw from the out island colonies, and the plantation at Great Stirrup was abandoned. 

Tropical Scene

During World War II the United States, in an effort to protect its eastern shores, came to the Bahamas and Great Stirrup with a wide array of observational and defensive equipment. Among these were submersible cables, which were run along the ocean floor to listen for enemy submarines. Two “cable houses” still stand on the southeastern shore of the island, now overgrown by jungle. The United States Air Force later constructed a LORAC (LOng Range ACcuracy) radio-navigation station for use during the early space shuttle launches. This facility was later leased to Motorola and other private sector companies as contractors to the United States Air Force out of Patrick AFB near Satellite Beach, Florida. New, more accurate GPS technology made the station obsolete, and it was closed in 1991 and the antenna, equipment and radials were removed.

Great Stirrup Caye

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Puerto Rico: El Yunique Rain Forest

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

El Yunque National Forest, formerly known as the Caribbean National Forest, is a forest located in northeastern Puerto Rico. It is the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest System and the United States Forest Service.

This forest is commonly known as El Yunque, which may be attributed to either a Spanish approximation of the aboriginal Taínoword yu-ke which means “white lands”, or the word “anvil,” which is yunque in Spanish. The second-tallest mountain within El Yunque is also named El Yunque.

 

El Yunque National Rainforest is located on the slopes of the Sierra de Luquillo mountains, encompassing 28,000 acres (43.753 mi.  of land, making it the largest block of public land in Puerto Rico.

 

The highest mountain peak in the forest rises 3,494 feet (1,065 m) above sea level. Ample rainfall (over 20 feet a year in some areas) creates a jungle-like setting — lush foliage, crags, waterfalls, and rivers are a prevalent sight. The forest has a number of trails from which the jungle-like territory’s flora and fauna can be appreciated. El Yunque is also renowned for its unique Taínopetroglyphs. Indigenous people believed that El Yunque was the throne of their chief god Yúcahu, so that it is the Caribbean equivalent to Mount Olympus.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

 

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Puerto Rico: Christmas in San Juan

Photography by Gary Wonning

How do you celebrate Christmas in Puerto Rico? The answer is simple. You relax and enjoy the important things in life – food, drink, music, dancing, beauty, and laughter – and, most importantly, you share them with the people you love. If you love Christmas, you will love celebrating it in Puerto Rico.

The celebrations start in early December, or even in late November with Thanksgiving, and they continue through to about mid-January, when the San Sebastian Festival, or SanSe, is held in Old San Juan and brings the festivities to a close.

Christmas in San Juan

Almost every municipality will have a holiday festival where people gather in the plaza to enjoy food, drink, music, dancing, and each other’s good cheer. Occasionally, the municipality will provide a holiday meal, such as a pig roast. People will travel across the island at this time to join in the different festivities. The unofficial closing festival of San Sebastian is an enormous event throughout Old San Juan. This four-day event features food and drink and music, as well as many vendors and artists. When most of these festivals were started, they had a religious orientation, but many have lost that facet while they continue to celebrate the beauty of life.

Christmas tree in Puerto Rico

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.