Maurice Island

Maurice Island (originally Moorish Island or Mauritius) was notorious in the 17th and 18th centuries as a base for Moorish and Dynamoan pirates who would launch attacks from southern Dynamo on British, French and Spanish shipping plying to and from the West Indies. The island, with its many hidden coves, plus the long estuary of the River Antinous stretching far into Pugilia leeward of the island, provided excellent cover. This banditry, often based also on capturing high-speed cutters used by the East India Company to deliver tea from China and India to London, eventually came to an end at the time of the Napoleonic Wars as the British Navy asserted its dominance in policing the Atlantic routes between Europe, America and the South Atlantic. The chief of the pirate bands, coincidentally named Maurice, was captured and hung from a gibbet in Quinnport Harbour in 1799. Since then, the Island’s strategic position meant that it became an important naval centre for Dynamo, the home of the island’s fleet, and an important docking and re-fueling station.

An area of outstanding natural beauty, Maurice Island’s tall chalk cliffs are the home of a remarkable varied maritime flora. The Thrift or Sea Pink, that is the island’s symbol, along with the Sea Lavender and Burnet rose that cover the cliff-tops, swathe the island in a scented haze of pink and purple. The Island’s position in the mid Atlantic means that it is the breeding ground of seabirds, with Albatross, Booby, Tropic Birds, Bo’s’un Birds and Tern making a regular appearance as well as the ubiquitous and round-season gulls, gannets, cormorants and dippers. The island forms part of the annual Tour of Dynamo cycling event, the steep coastal gradients making it a particularly spectacular stage in the competition.

To the east of Maurice Island, is the smaller islet of Greer, home to an exclusively female community. Any woman seeking to escape male society is guaranteed a haven there, either permanently or temporarily, depending on individual circumstances. Greer Island has its own school and college and is home to women of all ages. It is not populated exclusively by lesbians but by any women who for whatever reason prefer to live without male society. The community thus constitutes an interesting sociological experiment, not least in its commitment to maximal protection of the environment. Indeed, the women of Greer are the guardians of one of Dynamo’s rarest indigenous plants, stachys muleris, commonly known as Germaine-flower, a beautiful purple-flowered member of the labiatae, particularly valued for of its healing properties in relation to female ailments.


Related Entries

Maurice Island


Province of Maurice Island


Notable Places:
Quinnport Harbour
Islet of Greer