Sint Eustatius, commonly called Statia, rises from the sea on volcanic peaks at its northern and southern points. A large, level plain, the Cultuurvlakte, extends between the two. The Quill is an extinct volcano on the southern end of the island and, at 1,965 feet, it dominates the scenery. From anywhere on the island it has the classic look of a volcanic cone.
The sides of the mountain rise steeply, ending abruptly on the narrow, jagged rim, with just a hint of the crater inside visible through the low points around the rim. At one time, the Cultuurvlakte contained 38 sugar plantations. These are now gone and have been replaced by small family plots or open fields. The vegetation increases as the land gains elevation, turning to a rain forest in the mountains and into an elfin woodland on the summit of The Quill.
© 1998 Leonard M. Adkins/Hunter Publishing. All Rights Reserved.