It’s an event that remains dear to Sara Kaufman, a Middle Caicos resident for almost 20 years, as it keeps alive a unique Turks and Caicos tradition that defined an older generation’s upbringing.
“I see the cultural aspect of it as hugely important. It’s what sets the festival apart and makes it so truly local,” she says. “I take great comfort in the appreciation I get from people every year.”
Meanwhile, Dario Gardiner, 27, is learning the steps of building the small vessels from his father, a fisherman.
Gardiner, who is from North Caicos, stresses the importance of skilled builders and sailors passing on the trade to a generation dominated by electronics and convenience.
“Instead of sitting at home watching TV all day, go down to the beach,” Gardiner said, looking on as children splashed and shrieked in the shallow water. “Get outside, learn something. This is a trade a child will carry with him for the rest of his life.”