Windward Islands

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Windward Islands
English: Windward Islands
French: Îles du Vent
Windward Islands.JPG
Political Windward Islands Clockwise: Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica.
Geography
LocationCaribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates14°N 61°W / 14°N 61°W / 14; -61
Total islands90+
Major islandsDominica
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent
Grenada
Area2,099 km2 (810 sq mi)
Highest elevation1,467 m (4,813 ft)
Highest pointLa Grande Soufrière,
 Guadeloupe
Sovereign states
Largest cityRoseau
Largest cityCastries
Largest cityKingstown
Largest citySt. George's
Demographics
Population476,425
Density227 /km2 (588 /sq mi)
 
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Windward Islands
English: Windward Islands
French: Îles du Vent
Windward Islands.JPG
Political Windward Islands Clockwise: Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica.
Geography
LocationCaribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates14°N 61°W / 14°N 61°W / 14; -61
Total islands90+
Major islandsDominica
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent
Grenada
Area2,099 km2 (810 sq mi)
Highest elevation1,467 m (4,813 ft)
Highest pointLa Grande Soufrière,
 Guadeloupe
Sovereign states
Largest cityRoseau
Largest cityCastries
Largest cityKingstown
Largest citySt. George's
Demographics
Population476,425
Density227 /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, between latitudes 12° and 16° N and longitudes 60° and 62° W in one definition.

Name and geography[edit]

The Windward Islands are called such because they were more windward to sailing ships arriving in 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. Vessels in the Atlantic slave trade departing from the African Gold Coast and Gulf of Guinea, would first encounter the southeasternmost islands of the Lesser Antilles in their west-northwesterly heading to final destinations in the Caribbean and North and Central America. The chain of islands form a part of the easternmost boundary of the Caribbean Sea.[1][2]

The Windward Islands are:[1][3]

Terminology[edit]

In languages other than English (i.e., Dutch, French, German and Spanish), and also in the local English of some islands, "windward" and "leeward" refer to different groups of islands. In those lects, the arc from the Virgins to Grenada is designated as 'windward islands', while those off the Venezuelan coast are called 'leeward'. In both cases, the east/southeasternmost group are called windward, while the westernmost are called leeward. The group of islands along the Venezuelan coast is called the Leeward Antilles in English.

LanguageWindward IslandsLeeward Islands
EnglishCaribbean - Windward Islands.PNGCaribbean - Leeward Islands.PNG
OthersCaribbean - Bovenwindse eilanden.PNGCaribbean - Benedenwindse eilanden.PNG

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Windward Islands". Encyclopaedia 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." 
  2. ^ Chapter 4 - The Windward Islands and Barbados - U.S. Library of Congress
  3. ^ "Windward Islands". Footprint Travel Guides. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 

Coordinates: 12°11′10″N 68°59′22″W / 12.18611°N 68.98944°W / 12.18611; -68.98944