Sunday, March 3, 2013

Salt Cay, Turks & Caicos

We left Grand Turk about 9:30 one morning, got to Salt Cay about 11:30, a nice little sail.  We anchored, had lunch, then dinghied to the island.  We stopped at the Brown House (which is NOT brown) and talked to Michelle, who we had known from Marathon. This is a huge house, full of history, and she was trying to refurbish it into a Bed & Breakfast.  Lots of work to be done, but it's a gorgeous setting.

She imported 14 cats from the Marathon fish house when she left.  When she walked around town, they followed her and the locals were in awe of this woman with all these cats. 

We had dinner that night with Michelle and she talked about moving there and how she was adjusting to island life.  She showed us her art work, she had collected plastic fishing floats and painted windmills on them to sell to tourists.  We decided that we should stay there a couple days, it was a very quiet island, the kind of place where you could disappear and never be found.

Town is about a mile long, dirt road, buildings built along the waterfront.  Everyone had a stone fence with conch shells cemented into the tops of the fences.  Old stone or wood houses are falling down right next to newer ones.  It’s all very picturesque.  Less than 100 people live on the island.  Right across from the houses on the beach are the salt pans.  They are still very well marked with stone walls separating them.  Most of the windmills were broken up, but someone was refurbishing them and one looked like it almost might work. 

We walked to the navigation light on top of the hill, an old cannon was found there and had been refurbished.  An old cemetery was on the way, with its own stone fence and iron gate.   Most headstones looked centuries old,  none marked, only a few newer-looking concrete box-type coverings, and only one of those was marked with name and dates. 

Horses and donkeys wander around the entire island, including the town area.
During the evening, we noticed cows appearing on the beach right after sunset.  We noticed a bull (with horns) wandering around the streets in town also.

Along the way, we collected some of the fishing floats that had washed up on the beaches and rocks of the island.  We took them back to Michelle so she could paint more windmills for the tourist trade.  She was so happy, she presented one she had finished the day before.  We were so happy to have a memento of our stay in this unique little island paradise. 

We sailed away the next day, on to more islands and more unique experiences. 

 Betty Karl

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