Royal Island is a fascinating island in that it has a large natural harbor in the middle and it has some interesting old ruins on it. We’ve been here before but still enjoy tromping around and exploring. I haven’t found the whole history on the island but stories go that the pirate Captain Henry “Long Ben” Avery hid out here and was one of the few pirates that actually escaped capture and death. Obviously, the ruins are not from his time but there are reports of a large house on the island in texts and old charts dating back to the early 1800’s. At one time a sheep farmer owned the island which does explain the stables and the massive and very labor intensive rock walls cutting across the entire island. There are also stories of it being owned by a rich American that used it as a place to get away from his wife and go fishing with his buddies. No doubt the island has also seen its share of “goods” being run, maybe it still does. Its latest history was that it was bought by a couple of pro athletes with intentions of turning the entire island into an ultra exclusive community with a large Marina and golf course in 2006. Then 2008 happened. There are five small villas on the far side of the island, and a care taker comes over each day but other than than that there is no other activity and no signs of development happening. Eventually there will, it is inevitable but for now it is still an empty, overgrown treasure to explore.
The natural harbor also provided great protection as we stayed for a week waiting out a cold front.