It has the air of a frozen moment, a place where time stands still. Salt Cay was the center of the Bermudan salt industry, the mainstay of the Turks and Caicos economy from the late 1600’s until the early 1960’s. When the salt industry stopped, the tools fell where they were being used. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Salt cay is a time capsule from the days “when Salt was king.”
She is a community of 200 hundred souls, surviving on an arid islands with one unarmed policeman and a strong sense of family and order. The island is largely divided into squares controlled by windmills that no longer turn and salinas holding slowly evaporating seawater.
Twelve cars wander her roads, soft beaches border much of her shore line, herons feed in the salinas and others in the marsh land to the south. The distinctively Bermudan style homes, all with dusty but neatly swept dirt yards, set a tone, and possess an undeniable style.
The White House, owned by descendants of Bermudan salt rakers, is a landmark and contains the original antique furniture.
Salt Cay also hosts relics of the whaling industry that once existed. The whaling station at Taylor’s Hill has long been lying in ruins, visitors to this land in the winter stare in amazement at the gigantic Humpback Whales.
The residents are very friendly and are always ready with a bit of conversation. This is old Turks and Caicos, a direct line to a simpler and slower time.