Grand Turk Island is just 30 miles south of the Bahamas and 70 miles from Providenciales. With 3,700 inhabitants (those born in the islands are known as "belongers), Grand Turk is the financial and governmental centers of the T&C. The tourism boom of Provo has yet to catch up here, though it's on its way.
Cockburn Town, the capital city, for the moment stiil is reminiscent of a 19th century New England fishing village, although tourism is well on the way to becoming the most economic factor.
Harvesting salt from the sea was once an important industry here, and the flat, water-filled pans still occupy much of Grand Turk's interior. The Bermuda-style homes all have a walled courtyard, not to discourage the friendly islanders from visiting one another, but to keep out the donkeys that once wandered freely and delighted in dining on yard foliage.
Before John Glenn, America's first globe-circling astronaut splash-landed off Grand Turk in 1962, probably the most famous explorer to come ashore here was Christopher Columbus. More about both later.