Grand Turk: Cockburn Town Beach

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

Grand Turk Island is the capital island of the Turks and Caicos archipelago, in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s dotted with the remains of salt ponds and windmills from the island’s sea salt industry, prevalent from the 17th to 20th century. The 19th-century Grand Turk Lighthouse is perched on a rocky bluff in the north. Beaches with clear water ring the island, which is home to wild horses and donkeys.

Grand Turk has been put forward as the possible landfall island of Christopher Columbus during his first voyage to the New World in 1492. San Salvador Island or Samana Cay in the Bahamas is traditionally identified with Guanahani, the site of Columbus’ first landfall, but some believe that studies of Columbus’ journals show that his descriptions of Guanahani much more closely fit Grand Turk than they do other candidates. Magnetic variations that caused misreadings in Columbus’ compasses demonstrate that several of the recorded moorings using a rope-secured anchor to a clear sandy bottom would not have been possible had Columbus sailed from the islands of the Bahamas. In addition, the latitudes recorded in Columbus’ diary place the landfall island at 90 nautical miles from Hispaniola, too close for the Bahamas, but almost exactly the distance from Grand Turk.

Grand Turk was first colonized in 1681 by Bermudians, who set up the salt industry in the islands. In 1766 it became the capital of the country. For some time, at least until the early 19th century, Grand Turk was often referred to as Grand Cay, not to be confused with either Grand Cay in the Bahamas or Grand Cayman.

Beautiful beaches are a trademark of Grand Turk

Grand Turk Pier

The beach near the reported landing of Christopher Columbus in 1492.

Many Caribbean islands claim that Columbus landed on their island first. 

Tranquil Beach

If Columbus landed here first, he probably would have stayed.

Grand Turk

The unused pier at Cockburn Town. 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:


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