Great Inagua Island

We decided to venture further south, taking an unconventional route through the island of Grand Inagua, the second-largest island in the Bahamas and home to a significant population of flamingos. The island is renowned for its salt extraction, a process where seawater is pumped into special salt ponds and evaporated by the sun. Salt production has been ongoing since the 16th century, and today it is overseen by Morton Salt, making it the second-largest producer in North America, churning out 1 million tons of salt annually. Witnessing the evaporation and collection of salt was truly fascinating, taking into account my professional interest in measurements of seawater salinity (www.salinometry.com). Although flamingos also inhabit the salt ponds, we were unfortunate not to catch a glimpse of them—our guide informed us that the absence of these majestic birds, symbols of the Bahamas, was unusual, possibly due to strong winds which they typically avoid.

The island’s capital and the sole harbor is Matthew Town, named after George Matthew, a 19th-century Governor of the Bahamas. We docked there to repair our torn jib halyard, damaged during our passage to the island. The harbor was bustling with ships from the Bahamas Navy, along with a state dock offering docking for a steep fee of 16 dollars (!!!) per day. In Matthew Town, we discovered a functioning lighthouse that we could ascend—an unexpected stroke of luck! From the lighthouse lantern’s vantage point, we spotted a flock of White-tailed Tropicbirds and a solitary dolphin gracefully swimming by, creating a mesmerizing sight against the backdrop of turquoise waters!

Although we managed to repair the jib halyard ourselves, it was heartening to receive assistance from our dock neighbors Dave (S/V Shelagh), James (S/V Blue Argos), and the versatile local Jak of all trades, Emmanuel. A heartfelt thanks to everyone for their help!

Leaving Castle Island
After 10 miles of smooth sailing our jib halyard (1/4″ sst wire) get broken
Matthew Town is the only place in Great Inagua Island where we can dock to fix the jib halyard
The main street of Matthew Town with an old salt packhouse
Post office
Three colors of Bahamas – blue, yellow, and black
Blossoming cactuses near the Church
Working lighthouse!!!
We allowed even go up!
Nice view from the top of the lighthouse!
Shadow
Rose Lake
White-tailed Tropicbird
Dolphin
Brine ponds
Sea salt
Harvesting salt
Cactuses only survive in this environment.
Formation of salt deposits
Crystals of salt everywhere
Salty birds
Pink salt water
Morton Bahamas Ltd owns this saltwork
Mountains of salt ready for shipping
Salt is transported to docked ships
Colors of salt

The only flamingos we’ve seen:(
Leaving Matthew Town for the Dominican Republic
The last point of the Bahamas

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