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Windward Islands: Map


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This article is about the Caribbean island group. For the eastern Society Islandsmarker in French Polynesiamarker, see Windward Islands marker. The southeastern Hawaiian Islands are also occasionally referred to as the Windward Islands.

The Windward Islands are the southern islands of the Lesser Antilles.

Name and geography

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 Guineamarker would first encounter the southeasternmost islands of the Lesser Antilles in their west-northwesterly heading to final destinations in the Caribbeanmarker and North and Central America. The chain of islands form a part of the eastern most boundary of the Caribbean Seamarker.

The Antillean Windward Islands are :


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 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 Antillesmarker in English.
Language Windward Islands Leeward Islands


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