There have been two little-known uninhabited islands just off the coast and belonging to Barbados. Today there remains only one of these small islands– Culpepper Island.
Pelican Island, aptly named after the Brown Pelicans who used this small island as a nesting ground, was once off the west coast of Bridgetown and Fontabelle in St. Michael. It was said that during low tide it was possible to wade over to the island, and in the event of high tide, jetties were taken. A quarantine facility was housed on this island specifically for sick crew and passengers from ships, so as to contain communicable /infectious diseases and prevent them from spreading to the mainland. Between 1956 and 1961, the Caribbean Sea between Pelican Island and Barbados was reclaimed and filled in during the time of the construction of the Barbados Port. Pelican Village, a tourist attraction by the Port featuring unique Barbadian arts and craft, was named as a tribute to this lost island.
The remaining island, Culpepper, is located a little over 250 ft off Barbados on the eastern coastline.
It is in the Atlantic Ocean, and it is possible to wade over to this island in low tide. Swimmers are cautioned to be careful as the current here can be very strong. Named after the Culpepper family who once owned this piece of land in the 18th century, this little island is also very close to another tourist attraction and heritage spot– Ragged Point Lighthouse. There is also a claim by members of the region’s indigenous Lokono-Arawak and Karifuna-Carib tribes in March 2006 stating that Culpepper Island belongs to them. They were descendants of Princess Marian, daughter of the last Hereditary Lokono Arawak Chief AmorotaheHaubariria (Flying Harpy Eagle) of the Eagle Clan, and the Karifuna-Carib ambassadors from the island of Dominica. Culpepper Island is 220 ft x 75 ft and rises approximately 20 ft out of the water.