Nestled in Acul Bay roughly a mile off the coast of North Haiti lies an uninhabited island – well more of an islet really – discovered and christened by Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus, on his maiden voyage to the New World.
As folklore has it, the little-known tropical paradise surrounded by centuries-old shipwrecks – l’ile La Amiga (Friendly Island) – was appellated thus owing to the explorer having met Native Americans there… presumably they didn’t try to boil him up in a cauldron for supper.
Having sailed by the enclave on route to Hispaniola (what we now know as Haiti), Columbus anchored in Acul Bay and employed the islet as a navigation aid. Assuming his colonial base was also virgin territory, he designated it ‘Cabo de Caribata’ (or Caribbean promontory if you like).
Today it’s accessible via a 20-minute boat trip across the Caribbean Sea from the nearby Cormier Beach Resort located in Labadie. Chris is possibly its most enamoured advocate, claiming “now this surpassed all, and in it all the ships of the world could lie and be secure, with the oldest cable onboard a ship it would be held fast”. Sadly he is currently predisposed so will be unavailable to greet you in person on arrival should you choose to visit.
Keeping in mind that Columbus died in 1506, the earliest maps available to historians marking the whereabouts of the idyllic hideaway surrounded by dazzling white-sand beaches only date back as far as 1764. At that point ‘Amiga Island‘ was known as L’Islet a Rat (or Rat Island), and today the two titles appear to be used interchangeably.
Of course, the elephantine (in the room probably) question is, why didn’t Commodore pounce on this bow-tied gift of a marketing opportunity in order to shift more Amiga computers?