Island Time




Our retirement on Island Time as liveaboards.


St. Vincent Inland Tour

While waiting for our guests we arranged a tour inland.  The northern end of the island is sparsely inhabited and is dominated by Soufriere, a 3000 ft volcano.  The volcano last erupted on April 13, 1979 with previous eruptions in 1718, 1812, 1902 and 1971.  The eruption in 1902 sent showers of rock as far south as Kingstown and killed 2,000 people.  Most of the 2000 people that were killed were in the villages and plantations on the north east side of the island.  They were trapped by the Rabacca Dry River which was not dry that day and they were killed by the lava.  This eruption coincided with the eruption of St. Pierre in Martinique which killed 30,000 people.  The mountainous interior of the island is rain forest and receives 150 inches of rainfall a year. 

Our tour was to the Mesopotamia Valley and the Montreal Gardens on the southern end of the island.  Our cab driver Sean was very knowledgeable about the island.  As with every road on the island we immediately went up.

View from the hills of St. Vincent with Bequia in the Distance.

The Mesopotamia valley is the bread basket of the island.  The area is planted with banana trees, breadfruit, sugar cane, nutmeg and a wide variety of fruit native to the islands.  Bananas are the main export; formerly 20% of the European banana market was from St. Vincent.  Currently the banana exports to Europe are only 10% due to a variety of reasons.  One main reason is a banana tree disease.  If a banana field is infected the whole field needs to burned and not planted for three years.  The government pays the farmer 80% of what his crop would have been worth.  The valley has steep slopes and the crops on planted on terraces. 

Mesopotamia Valley, St.Vincent

The Montreal Gardens at the end of the road above the meso valley is owned by Tim Vaughn who purchased the land and established a garden.  The garden is an array of exotic flowers, spices and plants. 

Montreal Gardens, St. Vincent

Montreal Gardens, St. Vincent

Montreal Gardens, St. Vincent

Montreal Gardens, St. Vincent

Montreal Gardens, St. Vincent, Poinsettia Plant

Montreal Gardens, St. Vincent with the mountains in the background

Our tour back to the Blue Lagoon took us by the site of the new international airport.  The government is in the process of purchasing all the homes in the way.  The homeowner is paid the fair market value of his home but then he is allowed to remove anything and everything from the home.  The houses are not only gutted but the roofs and windows are all removed.  Therefore many of the homes in this area are only walls. 

On our tour Sean pointed out a lot of new construction for schools and other public buildings.  St. Vincent receives financial aid from many countries including the People’s Republic of China (mainland China) and Republic of China (Taiwan).  Apparently both of these entities are trying to curry favor with St.Vincent (using money).  Taiwan wants to be admitted to the UN and of course mainland China does not want this to happen.  St. Vincent should try to have the vote postponed as long as possible so it will keep getting money from both countries.

We noted a very large house overlooking the Blue Lagoon.  According to Sean it is owned by a local businessman, Jack, who makes clothing and provides the school uniforms for many of the islands.  According to Sean only a man and his wife and their scrawny kid live in this house (sounds like many places in the US).   It’s the only house on the island with glass domes.

Jack’s House, on the right





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