West Indies

The West Indies, photographed by Erik Gauger

West Indies

The West Indies is a long string of islands that arc out from Florida to Venezuala, separating the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea. Often misunderstood, often falsely portrayed, the West Indies is a rich, diverse and huge region. Much of it still remains untamed and wild, and much of the West Indies is under threat from cruise ship and megadevelopment tourism. Follow me as I explore the islands of the West Indies. You can use my West Indies Map as a reference to the region.

  • Bahamas Dry Forest

    Bahamian Dry Forest Journal

    April 8, 2015 West Indies
    Notes, maps and sketches of the Bahamian coppice forests particular to the northern islands.
  • Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas

    Wreckers, Pineapples and Pirates

    Updated April 22, 2011 West Indies
    Notes on the history of the lovely Bahamian island of Green Turtle Cay - pirates included.
  • Sandy Point, Bahamas

    Little Abaco to Sandy Point

    Updated May 7, 2011 West Indies
    Notes from my travels throughout the interior of the Abaco Islands, including the back roads of Great Abaco and Little Abaco.
  • Wings to the Storm

    Wings to the Storm

    July 20, 2010 West Indies
    It’s a small but well-stocked resort grocery which hasn’t changed a lick since I first came here at the age of five. Even the grocery items don’t change much – Ritz Crackers, little cellophane wrapped pork cuts with green jelly mints, Goombay Punch, Conchy Joe’s Hot Sauce, and Bay Rum in plastic bottles.
  • Eyes of the West Indies - Examining Bakers Bay

    Eyes of the West Indies

    Updated May 26, 2008 West Indies
    I am on a boat, tied to a dock in a bay on the tiny island of Great Guana Cay in the Northern Bahamas. Troy Albury is untying lines and points out a Caribbean reef squid taking shelter under the dock...
  • St. Lucia

    St. Lucia and the Botanical History of the Antilles

    Can you tell the history of a place by its plants? St. Lucia's agricultural and natural botanical history helps explain an amazing history of the Caribbean.
  • The Big Red Boat

    Plastic Pirate Ships

    Disney on Great Guana Cay. The dolphins stayed, a man was hired to feed them. Beaten by the sun, bruised, first spit on by small kids with bags of Cheetos that would end up in the sea and float to Cuba.
  • Elbow Cay, Bahamas

    Hopetown and the History of Island Settlement

    The castaway does not intend his fate, I wrote in my journal, and in most cases, his predicament ends in death. For the settler, however, there is a choice, and the choice necessitates a variety of skills and plans set up beforehand to cope with and then prosper in the islands. What skill-set is required to prosper in a place like this, with poor soil and blistering sun?
  • Dominican Republic

    Dominican Republic Sketch Journal

    December West Indies
    But the longer we drive, the quicker my desire to look for a hispaniolan parrot gives way to pure, mad concentration. The Dominicans are driving on their mopeds and tiny little cars as if this is the last day of their lives.
  • Chub Rock Wreck in the Abacos

    Chub Rock Wreck

    I remembered the old days - the eight foot green moray - and the day Eddie and Cathy and I plunged off the Sea Queen near Chub Rock and visited the old sunken steamer to snap some shots for a dive shop promotion.