|English: Windward Islands
French: Îles du Vent
|Location||Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean|
|Area||2,099 km2 (810 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,467 m (4,813 ft)|
|Highest point||La Grande Soufrière, Guadeloupe|
|Largest settlement||St. George's|
|Pop. density||227 /km2 (588 /sq mi)|
The Windward Islands are the southern, generally larger islands of the Lesser Antilles, within the West Indies. They lie south of the Leeward Islands, approximately between latitudes 12° and 16° N and longitudes 60° and 62° W. As a group they start from Dominica and reach southward to the north of Trinidad & Tobago and west of Barbados.
Name and geography
The Windward Islands are called such because they were more windward to sailing ships arriving to the New World than the Leeward Islands, given that the prevailing trade winds in the West Indies blow east to west. The trans-Atlantic currents and winds that provided the fastest route across the ocean brought these ships to the rough dividing line between the Windward and Leeward islands.
Dominica is the dividing line between the Windward and Leeward islands. [Martinique] and the islands to the south were designated "Windward Islands". [Guadeloupe] and islands to the north became known as the "Leeward Islands".
Vessels in the Atlantic slave trade departing from the British Gold Coast and Gulf of Guinea in Africa would first encounter the southeasternmost "Windward" islands of the Lesser Antilles in their west-northwesterly heading to final destinations in the Caribbean and North and Central America. The chain of Windward Islands forms a part of the easternmost boundary of the Caribbean Sea.
List of the Windward Islands
- Dominica (formerly administered as part of the colonial Leeward Islands)
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- "Windward Islands". Encyclopædia Britannica.
[A] line of West Indian islands constituting the southern arc of the Lesser Antilles, at the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea, between latitudes 12° and 16° N and longitudes 60° and 62° W. They include, from north to south, the English-speaking island of Dominica; the French département of Martinique; the English-speaking islands of Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, and Grenada; and, between Saint Vincent and Grenada, the chain of small islands known as the Grenadines. Though near the general area, Trinidad and Tobago (at the south end of the group) and Barbados (just east) are usually not considered part of the Windward Islands.
- Chapter 4 - The Windward Islands and Barbados - U.S. Library of Congress
- "Windward Islands". Footprint Travel Guides. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
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- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Windward Islands". Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 716.