St Vincent Black Magic Article
The dark side of St Vincent, a mesmerising assortment of Caribbean black magic
St Vincent black magic article written by Active Caribbean Editor & Travel Writer Linda Jackson
Mountainous, fertile, unspoilt and uncrowded, St Vincent is a land of pirates where black is beautiful and a sleeping volcano gently snores. Follow in the footsteps of the Pirates of the Caribbean, and discover this diverse island’s explosive history and dark beauty – on land and within its crystalline waters.
On location – pirate films made in the Caribbean
A striking natural stone arch sits at the entrance to Wallilabou Bay, a yacht haven and the location where all the swashbuckling ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ hit movies‘Revenge of the Black Pearl’, ‘Dead Man’s Chest’ and ‘World’s End’ were filmed by Disney, who transformed the scenic bay into ‘Port Royal’ a 17th century town. Wallilabou, with its dramatic hilly backdrop and black sand beach, has now reverted to a cosy port, excellent for snorkelling.
St Vincent black magic – Caribbean volcanic black sand beaches
Because St Vincent is a volcanic island around 95% of the beaches have black sand, used in the construction industry for many years. Use is now restricted to conserve the beautiful black beaches you’ll discover on the Windward (eastern) side of the island, the wild waves making the coast ideal boogie-boarding territory. Popular long black beaches are Argyle and Black Point, but if you’re chasing high waves and seclusion, call into Brighton Beach.
Scuba diving around St Vincent black magic… black coral
An abundance of soft corals adorn the New Guinea Reef, a St Vincent black magic coral paradise in the crystal clear waters near St Vincent where long snout seahorses idly ride the underwater currents. You’ll also find an impressive display of black and small corals in ‘The Garden’, a choice photography location. But for a serious scuba thrill and myriad fish, dive ‘The Wall’; it’s coated with black coral and drops steeply from 20ft to 100ft.
A Caribbean engineering feat – the Black Point Tunnel… St Vincent black magic
When Carib and African slaves dug through solid volcanic rock in 1815 to make the Black Point Tunnel, it was an engineering feat of the times. Ordered to be built by British colonial rulers, the 300ft long tunnel linked Grand Sable with Byrea Bay. This high arch ‘masterpiece’ greatly eased the problems of transporting sugar and other goods across the island, then to be loaded onto Europe-bound ships.
Dramatic architecture in the Caribbean
Architecturally dramatic, built using volcanic black sand bricks, St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral in Kingstown is not to be missed. Originally constructed in 1823 but totally rebuilt by Dom Charles Verveke, a Belgian priest, in the 1930’s, the cathedral is a bizarre mix of Gothic spires, Moorish embellishment and Romanesque columns and arches. While you’re there, pop next door to see the intriguing historical burial ground at St George’s Anglican Cathedral (also black) and its impressive stained glass windows. Magic… St Vincent black magic!
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