Gonâve Island

Gonâve Island (Google Maps)
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Gonâve Island (French: Île de la Gonâve) is an island of Haiti located to the west-northwest of Port-au-Prince in the Gulf of Gonâve. It is the largest of the Hispaniolan satellite islands, situated off the mainland. The island is an arrondissement in the Ouest Department and includes the communes of Anse-à-Galets and Pointe-à-Raquette. Made up of mostly limestone, the reef-fringed island of Gonâve is 60 km (37 miles) long and 15 km (9 miles) wide and covers an area of 743 km² (287 sq. miles). The island is mostly barren and hilly with the highest point reaching 778 meters (2,552 ft). The island gets anywhere from 800 mm to 1600 mm of rain a year, higher areas representing the latter figure. Issues of overgrazing and water resource over-exploitation affect the island's approximately 100,000 residents. The island was once used as a base for pirates.

In 1925, U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Faustin E. Wirkus (1897-1948) was proclaimed by the residents of the island as King Faustin II. His reign lasted until 1929, when he returned to the United States.
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