The Bookfish will be pretty quiet for the next few weeks, as I’m off for vacation to the island of Jost van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. It’s near the upper left of the island chain on this map. Important research on the rum trade plus training for upcoming open water swims may squeeze out blogging — and I’m not really sure how internet-y things will be down there. If I have to walk over the hill to Foxy’s to check email, that might not happen every day.
Jost was visited by Columbus in 1493, and its euro-name comes from Jost (or Joost) van Dyke, a Dutch pirate who had a base in nearby Tortola by 1615, then fled Spanish forces to the island that bears his name in 1625. Working under Peter Stuyvesant, then director of the Dutch West India Company, he privateered a series of Dutch ventures around these islands, including a copper mine on Virgin Gorda. But the islands remained economically marginal, and several were sold off to private investors and integrated into the growing the slave plantation economy before the British took over after 1672.
Should be a nice oceanic vacation!