Our retirement on Island Time as liveaboards.
St. Vincent was first settled by the Ciboneys in 5000 BC and then the Arawaks around
200 BC. Both were from So. America. The island was peaceful until the cannibalistic Caribs arrived and killed the males and enslaved the women. The Caribs called the island Hairoun or Youroumei meaning home of the blessed (the local beer is called Hairoun).
Christopher Columbus discovered the island on January 22, 1498 and named it St. Vincent after the Spanish saint whose feast day it was. The first Europeans to settle were French missionaries in 1653. But they were later killed by the Caribs. This resulted in three ships from Martinique arriving and killing many of the Caribs and burning their crops. The surviving Caribs took refuge in the rugged mountains.
The Carib population was supplemented by Caribs who were driven from the other islands and took refuge in the steep mountains of St. Vincent. Escaped slaves from St. Lucia and Barbados and ship wrecked slaves received refuge on the island and intermarried with the Caribs resulting in the Black Caribs and the Yellow Caribs (pure Carib descent). The Yellow Caribs were on the western side of the island while the Black Caribs were on the eastern side of the island.
Eventually civil war developed between the sides in 1700 and the Yellow Caribs asked help from the French who were then allowed to settle on the island. The British colonized a part of the island in 1722 when King George gave St. Lucia and St. Vincent to the Duke of Montagu and they declared the treaties between the French and the Caribs null and void. Using the tension between the Black and Yellow Caribs the British and French carried on their own battles. As the Black Caribs were the better fighters, the French cultivated a trading relationship with them and consequently the Black Caribs acquired French as their language and some even had taken one French names.
The 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle made St. Vincent a neutral island. The 1762 Treaty of Paris allocated the island to the British. Hostilities resumed in 1779 and the Black Caribs requested assistance from the French on Matinique. A French ship with 500 troops sailed to St. Vincent and took over the island without resistance as the British troops were busy on the north end of the island working on the governor’s plantation and no one could find the key to the battery. The 1783 Treaty of Versailles returned the island to the British. In 1795 with the aid of the French the Black Caribs attacked the British in the Second Carib War. Ultimately after years of fighting the British prevailed and the Black Carib either voluntarily or forcibly were removed from St. Vincent or sent to the islands off of Honduras. The Yellow Caribs who were not involved in the fighting settled in the north end of the island where they can still be found today.
In 1871 St. Vincent became a part of the British Colony of the Windward Islands. In 1969 St. Vincent became a British Associated State and on October 27, 1979 St. Vincent and The Grenadines became an independent state within the British Commonwealth.
History from The Windward Islands by Stephen Pavlidis.
We left Bequia for the Blue Lagoon on the south west end of the island to wait for our April Visitors. The Blue Lagoon is a deep water bay surrounded by land and reef. There are two openings into the Lagoon... The deeper opening is through the reef and is not recommended without a pilot. The second entrance is through a channel in the reef which is very shallow. We arrived at the Lagoon at low tide and had to wait for the tide to come in or pay a $20 US fine (I’m sure he meant fee) to be piloted thru the reef. We waited for the tide, and we were escorted to mooring in the lagoon. The Lagoon is a base for three charter companies and the consequently the lagoon is filled with moorings with no room to anchor in the 40 foot deep water.
An unfinished hotel stands on the land south east of the Blue Lagoon. According the bar tender in the marina the original owner went bankrupt and all the succeeding purchasers of the property died before they could complete the project. So now no one wants to buy the place.