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the Degree Confluence Project
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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

14.9 km (9.3 miles) ENE of Battowia Island, Grenadines, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Approx. altitude: 0 m (0 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 13°S 119°E

Accuracy: 19 m (62 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: WNW view #3: View NW - St. Vincent seen from the Confluence #4: GPS display #5: My 200th visit, taking place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines #6: Approaching the Bequia Channel #7: Kingstown, the capital of St. Vincent and the Grenadines #8: Bequia Island #9: A ferry between Kingstown and the Islands of the Grenadines group, an airplane of the "Caribbean Sun" Airlines, and several yachts are in the area #10: Steaming over the edge of the Grenadines bank

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  13°N 61°W  

#1: SW view

(visited by Captain Peter)

29-Aug-2006 -- It's time to add another visited country to the list, while the list with unvisited ones is getting shorter and shorter.

Coming from the Mona Passage (the channel between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico) and bound for Santos (Brazil), one of the many passes from the Caribbean Sea out into the Atlantic Ocean is the Bequia Channel between the islands of St. Vincent and Bequia. Of course, I have chosen this passage also because there is a Confluence, namely 13N 61W, in its vicinity.

The state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines consists of the island of St. Vincent and a number of island dependencies in the N part of the Grenadines archipelago. St. Vincent was possibly visited by Columbus in 1498 and named so by him. Carib Indians aggressively prevented European settlement on St. Vincent until the 18th century. African slaves (whether shipwrecked or escaped from St. Lucia and Grenada and seeking refuge in St. Vincent) intermarried with the Caribs and became known as "Black Caribs". Beginning in 1719, French settlers cultivated coffee, tobacco, indigo, cotton, and sugar on plantations worked by African slaves.

In 1773 St. Vincent and the Grenadines became a British possession. 1779 the territory was seized by the French, but in 1783 restored to Britain under the Treaty of Versailles. Conflict between the British and the black Caribs continued until 1796, when General Abercrombie crushed a revolt. More than 5,000 black Caribs were eventually deported to Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras. Slavery was abolished in 1834. The resulting labor shortages on the plantations attracted Portuguese immigrants in the 1840s and east Indians in the 1860s. Conditions remained harsh for both former slaves and immigrant agricultural workers, as depressed world sugar prices kept the economy stagnant until the turn of the century.

In 1871 the group became part of the Windward Islands Colony, and in 1956 a member of the Federation of the Windward Islands. In 1958 St. Vincent joined the Federation of the West Indies, and in 1969 it attained full internal self government. Finally in 1979 it became an Independent Souvereign State within the Commonwealth. The population is about 120,000.

St. Vincent is a high mountainous island, 28 km in length and 17 km wide, with an active volcano near its N end. The dependent islands of the Grenadines form a rocky chain stretching some 35 miles SW from St. Vincent.

According to my calculation, we were supposed to arrive at the Confluence at 6 p.m., which was fair enough for sufficient daylight, as sun would set at 6:15 p.m. All begins of course with approaching the Bequia Channel from WNW. Then you pass Kingstown, the capital of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Bequia Island. Kingstown is built along the shore at the head of Kingstown Bay. Behind the town the land rises gradually to the mountains, which form something similar to an amphitheatre.

In the Bequia channel there was quite a lot of traffic. The "Admiral II", one of the ferries between Kingstown and the Grenadines group crossed our course, then came an airplane of the "Caribbean Sun" Airlines fliying from Kingstown airport south towards the Grenadines, and of course several yachts were around, too.

The Grenadines are a chain of about 100 island, islets and rocks and extend like a series of unaligned stepping stones from St. Vincent 110 km south to Grenada. The Bequia Channel is about 300 to 700 metres deep, but when you alter course to about ESE you will go over the NE corner of the bank on which the Grenadines stand. This bank offers depths of between 10 to 50 metres, and has very steep-to edges. Coming from the Bequia Channel, about 3 nautical miles (5.6 km) the depth drops suddenly from about 35 to several hundred metres. This can be best observed on the display of the echosounder.

Once done and seen this, we prepare for the Confluence, from where we first look towards SW, where we see a part of that why the country calls itself "...and the Grenadines" - namely the islands of Bequia, Battowia (Bullet), Baliceaux, Mustique and several other islets and rocks. Towards WNW we are looking back to the Bequia Channel, which we had transited one hour ago. And towards NW finally, there is St. Vincent. If you have a careful look at the right, in the N part of the island, you see La Soufrière smoking. This is an active volcano and 1234 metres high. During its eruption in 1902 it killed 2,000 people. Its last eruption was in 1979. Although no one was killed, thousands had to be evacuated, and there was extensive agricultural damage.

In 1980 and 1987, hurricanes devastated banana and coconut plantations; 1998 and 1999 also saw very active hurricane seasons, with hurricane Lenny in 1999 causing extensive damage to the west coast of the island.

Finally, if I am not mistaken, this was my 200th (successful) confluence visit...


 All pictures
#1: SW view
#2: WNW view
#3: View NW - St. Vincent seen from the Confluence
#4: GPS display
#5: My 200th visit, taking place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
#6: Approaching the Bequia Channel
#7: Kingstown, the capital of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
#8: Bequia Island
#9: A ferry between Kingstown and the Islands of the Grenadines group, an airplane of the "Caribbean Sun" Airlines, and several yachts are in the area
#10: Steaming over the edge of the Grenadines bank
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)
  Notes
In the ocean, but with a view of the surrounding islands and 1234 m Soufrière mountain on Saint Vincent.