This is a small rocky deserted island, little more then a barren dome shaped mount, about a km long, some 30+ miles west south west of Antigua. Someone might have been given the title of Island King years ago by the Bishop of Antigua, and the dynasty of Redonda has kept going ever since, although in a rather haphazard way.
For all practical purposes the islet falls under the official control of the Antigua and Barbuda government, although there are some good humoured claims to the throne from a few would be kings.... The whole thing would provide a good theme for a Disney movie, with moral twist included, as the King is supposed to improve the quality of life of his subjects; there was actually a serie of Redonda stamps issued with Disney themes!!
Some will find, like me, the idea of visiting what could be or might have been the smallest kingdom on earth quite appealing. To get there you have to hire a boat or tender it on a good day – on a good tender, or charter a bareboat. Anchoring is possible in the lee of the island, once again only in good weather.
Redonda is a wildly beautiful place, with high cliffs dropping to the sea, There are only a couple of difficult ways to climb up and reach the flatter grounds at the top. A small mining community once tried to set up here (quite hard to believe that up to 120 people lived on this rock a hundred years ago), but the experience was short lived. Today, there is no other sign of human presence other then a few ruined walls; if you have felt the urge to come here in the first place, you will certainly see the beauty in this grandiose loneliness.
This is one of these whacko, stupid, and totally unforgettable outings life is too short to do without.
Images courtesy of the late King Bob the Bald
For more on Rodonda, try these