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March 2015

Salt Island

Photo: Julian Putley

Salt Island


A Southern Cay in the BVI

By Julian Putley

In days gone by the Southern Cays was the name given to those islands on the south side of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. They comprise Ginger, Cooper, Salt, Peter and Norman Islands. Ginger has never been inhabited but those Virgin Islanders residing on the other four were known as being hardy souls; resilient and self sufficient; relying on fishing and subsistence farming, such as it was.

Salt Island had one advantage over the others. As the name implies there was salt there and in the days of yesteryear salt was a valuable commodity. Salt was not only used for seasoning food but was also a preservative. Before the days of refrigeration it was very much in demand – for salting beef, pork, other meat and fish. In bygone days many boats would arrive off the settlement to reap salt for fishing expeditions. Even today in the BVI saltfish is a favorite food.

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Exploring The Islands

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