Exactly what makes an idyllic Caribbean island so… idyllic? Imagine for a moment you are on a pristine beach, gazing out to sea.
What sights, sounds and feelings come to mind?
Anything to do with the feel and/or sound of a light breeze?
We’re guessing yes, and you imagined accurately. Many of the most beautiful and idyllic places on the globe have one detail in common tradewinds.
Much of that perfect, balmy, breezy weather we imagine so easily when thinking of an island getaway, comes from trade winds.
To prepare you for your next jaunt to paradise, here’s a bit of trade wind trivia for you to enjoy:
What is a Trade Wind?
Simply put, a tradewind is a wind steadily blowing towards the equator. In the northern hemisphere these winds blow from east to west, and in the southern hemisphere they blow from west to east. The winds are fairly reliable, blowing almost constantly and always in the same direction. The Earth’s rotation is what prevents the air from moving directly north or south.
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Back in the days when sailing was the only way to traverse the seas and reach other continents, trade winds were key. That’s putting it too lightly; trade winds are partially responsible for modern political geography.
How is that? Because sailing with the trade wind meant sailing smoothly and quickly, whereas sailing against it meant the opposite. Specific routes were established over time in conjunction with known trade winds. The European empires sailed, more or less, where the trade winds took them.
Trade winds were instrumental in the settling of the Americas. The lengthy voyage from England to the Americas was cut short by a number of days, even weeks, if the sailors were able to catch the trade winds.
Why The Name “Trade” Winds?
If you haven’t already guessed, the name trade winds is derived from the English word trade, which at the time meant path or track. Over time, as the typical trade wind routes became familiar and better documented, the routes were used as a path for many things, one of which included trade. So the word works two-fold.
Trade Winds Are Responsible For…
As far as vacationer’s go, trade winds provide a light or strong breeze depending on the location. Speaking on more than vacation, the winds are also responsible for transporting African dust across the Atlantic and depositing it into the Caribbean Sea. Cumulus clouds hover above trade wind areas, unless the trade winds are weak; then heavier clouds thick with precipitation can be expected.
On a less happy note, trade wind routes are also used by tropical storms. Don’t fret, tropical storms don’t usually come as a complete surprise, due to modern technology and historical records. In recent history, the storms have happened around the same time frame every year, the end of August through October.
How YOU Can Enjoy the Benefits of Trade Winds
Trade winds aren’t always good or always bad, they just are. Undoubtedly there are regions of the Caribbean where the trade winds are strong and, at times, chilly. On the other hand, there are islands where trade winds are responsible for that blissfully perfect breeze. The island of Anguilla is one such place.
On Anguilla, trade winds are light and balmy nearly year round. Because Anguilla is completely flat and is located within the leeward islands, rather than the windward islands, trade winds merely blow across lightly.
Next time you’re imagining yourself sprawled on a pristine beach, surrounded by the sparkling hues of the blue sea, feeling the light breeze brush against your sun-kissed skin, know that a perfect place does exist. It’s called Anguilla.
On Anguilla, peace and serenity are the orders of the day. The island itself feels like a hidden dream due to it’s small size and inconspicuous location. Now that you know the trade wind facts, it’s time to enjoy them. Book at stay at the iconic Cap Juluca Resort on Anguilla and find out for yourself just how lovely trade winds can be.
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