Imagine your the captain of a sailing vessel in the Caribbean in the 1700s. You don’t have electricity on board so no refrigeration and no way to make or store ice. So how are you going to feed that mutinous crew some meat?
Two solutions to that problem. First when we were last in port we brought aboard some live sheep and a cow. But once we slaughter the animals we have to find a way to preserve the meat, and thats where the second solution comes in, we store the meat in salt.
Next problem is where do we find salt in sufficient quantity for our needs? That brings us to The Salt Monuments. These beacons were built in a prominent Oceanfront location to indicate to passing ships that this was the place to get quantities of sea salt.
The salt was obtained by clearing an area of land that was close to the coast, had some surrounding land at a higher elevation and below the high tide line. Then as the tide rose sea water would flood the area, then dam the entryway so the water was trapped. Let nature evaporate the water and you are left with salt beds which would be raked and packaged for sale. The backbreaking job of raking, and the action of the salt on the skin, made this a most unpleasant task, which over time would cause serious sight problems from the glare of the white salt crystals.
And all to avoid a mutiny !
Come to Exuma and see our two monuments still standing after 300 years.
Created by Don