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Salt Island Bay

You can take a short hike to the salt pan.

Salt Island palm


It is difficult to overstate the importance of salt to early European settlers and seamen who inhabited and sailed through the Caribbean.


Salt was so prized in ancient times that Romans used it as part of wages given to the legions that controlled the known world. At the time, salt traded ounce-for-ounce with gold. The term in Latin for these salt payments was salarium argentum, or salt-money. This phrase is the basis for the word salary.

There were salt pans in the Caribbean long before Salt Island became productive. The Arawak name for St. Maarten is Sualouiga and means Land of Salt, so called for its many natural salt pans. The end of the 15th Century marked modern Europe’s discovery of the Grand Banks and its teeming cod fishery. Methods of preserving the fish during long voyages back to the continent became a necessity...>>Full Story

Salt Island Bay is an open road and overnight anchorage is not recommended. The obvious dinghy landing is next to the dock, but haul the dinghy well up on to the beach because wave action might pull it into Sir Francis Drake Channel.

Around the southwest corner of Salt Island Bay, in Lee Bay, is the mooring field for the wreck of the RMS RHONE.

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