Uninhabited Fort George Cay is a Perfect Day Trip
This cannon inspired fear and respect. At nine feet long it could hurl a cannonball over 3000 metres making it the last word in devastating firepower. Made of solid cast iron, it was built to last.
This cannon, however, and six others like it, serve now as a captivating undersea attraction for avid snorkelers or a hiding place for local fish.
And it just might be the most unique snorkeling exploration you will find in the Turks and Caicos Islands!
Situated between Pine Cay and Dellis Cay in the Turks and Caicos Island is a tiny island called Fort St George’s Cay (also called Fort George Cay). It’s a small land mass and can only be accessed by boat, but it is home to some fascinating historical finds. Fort George Cay was originally the site of a British garrison dating back to the late 1790’s. It was constructed by Loyalists and then taken over by the British crown. Adjacent to fresh water, the site became an ideal trading port which was protected from privateer, pirate or any other invading party by the guns of the nearby fort. Today, due to years of coastline erosion, much of the original fortification has slipped into the sea. Seven mighty cannons originally mounted on the fortress walls are now 150 feet offshore in several feet of water.
Though camouflaged by marine growth, these guns are clearly identifiable as cannons when you look into the water. They form a sort of arc arrangement all pointing out to sea as if still relentlessly on guard despite the passage of time. The sight of these 18th century iron beasts is remarkable as are the pieces of the past which keep turning up on the cay.
Will Allen, a photographer and volunteer on a recent Fort George archaeological expedition commented, “The experiences I had on this trip will stay with me for a lifetime. We have since found a multitude of cannon balls, shot, buttons and many more objects that give us a glimpse into the past of what life may have been like on the island.”1
So how do you get to Fort George Cay? If you’re coming from Providenciales, you can travel by boat with one of the charter businesses such as Eden Yacht Charters, Catch the Wave or Caicos Dream Tours. Another option is the eco-adventure company Big Blue Unlimited.
If you’re interested in the history of the Turks & Caicos Islands, Fort George Cay promises an extraordinary place to explore and examine. If you’re just looking for a beautiful private place to hike, beachcomb or enjoy a leisurely picnic, Fort George is perfect.
Fort George Cay is uninhabited; often you arrive and find yourself completely alone on a spectacular beach. You can laze away on the golden sands or paddle or snorkel in the pristine water. You might even come across a piece of the past like one visitor who discovered a shiny object in the sand which turned out to be an 18th century silver coin.
Tucked away from the world, Fort George Cay offers a view to the past. Its cannons might be silent, its walls and platforms may be submerged, but it continues to offer up artifacts for the lucky passerby and spectacular beauty to embrace any visitor.
Virtual Trip to Fort George Cay
In this video, Catch the Wave Charters takes us on a short trip to Fort George Cay.
Bet you’ll be humming that catchy tune long after you watch this 2-minute video!
To Visit Fort George Cay
If you are interested in visiting For George Cay and snorkeling among the submerged cannons, please speak the Lerone and Kerone Reid, beach service concierge at Villa del Mar. They can help you plan your trip and give you tips to make your day even more enjoyable.