Arecales

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8, 9.7930, 178.5471

Arecales
Flag
Flag
Motto:
"TBD"
TBD
Anthem:
TBD
Overseas territory ofFlag of the FSA.svg Federal States
CapitalArecales town
Official languagesnone
DemonymArecalian
GovernmentDevolved parliamentary dependency
 • GovernorStacy Mayport
 • President of the governmentLionel Terrence
LegislatureTerritorial Council
Area
 • Total27164.97 km2
10488.45 sq mi
 • Water (%)97.9
Population
 • Census29614
 • Density69.75/km2
133.88/sq mi
Timezone+11.5

Arecales is an overseas territory of the Federal States, located in north Archanta. Arecales is composed of one main island (Arecales), two smaller volcanic islands and two cays. Arecales is located about 500km northeast of AR336, the nearest territory, about 1600km from the North Archantan mainland and 4940km from the nearest point in the continental Federal States. The archipelago has a surface area of 572.98 km² (221.2 sq. mi.), of which three quarters of it is made up by the big island, and has a population of 29.614 inhabitants, including several thousand military personnel.

Arecales has a distinct culture from the continental Federal States, and owing to both the distance and isolation, have developed a distinct regional cuisine, speak with a unique accent and dialect of Ingerish. Tourism has traditionally been important to the local economy, and the Federal States military presence on the big island contributes a lot to the economy and infrastructure.

Etymology

The name for Arecales comes from "Arecales", the scientific name for flowering palms found on the island. The name came into use during the Franquese colonial period, though the name may have also been inspired by the Bai name Zongdao, applied to islands which likely corresponded to the Arecales archipelago in the 14th century.

History

Tourism poster

Early history

The legendary Bai explorer Kan She, who explored Archanta and journeyed south from the Kue Kingdom, had reportedly encountered the islets whom he called Zongdao, a reference to the many palm trees he saw. The first Bai and Kue settlers came to Arecales around 1403 and established plantations on the island. The brief Bai-Kue settlement on the islets did not last long likely due to a volcanic eruption in 1420.[1]

Colonial period

The Castellanese explorer Guillermo de Berrio sighted Fitchett Island in 1542; he attempted to return in 1545 but was lost and never heard from again. In 1609 the Franquese explorer Henri de la Motte sighted the big island but did not land. He returned in 1610 but due to navigational discrepancies, he ended up at Fitchett Island and could not find the big island. La Motte planned a third expedition, and died before carrying it out, but his deputy, Jean Cagnet, found the big island, making landfall along the leeward side and formally annexing it in 1612.

The Franquese brought in slaves from Tarephia and central Archanta to work as laborers on the sugar cane plantations. Few Franquese actually settled on the island, most being colonial administrators, military personnel and their families. The main settlement was located near modern-day Windbreak Surf.

In 1672 Ingerland took the islands from the Franquese. This invasion was marked by the naval Battle of Arecales in June, fought some seven kilometres from the shore; Ingerland lost the Dauntless, though the invasion fleet sank the Draband and Belle Marie, as well as new ship of the line Guerrier.

The town at Windbreak Surf was destroyed by a hurricane in 1686, and a new settlement in what is not the old town was founded.

Woodcut of Fernando Robinson, 18th c.

Arecales was largely left to its own deviced during Ingerish Civil War. After 1717, resupply ships were reduced in frequency, less and less money from the treasury came and the colonial administrators resorted to issuing letters of marque to privateers on the islands to provide a source of income.

The most famous pirate of the era was Fernando Robinson, who operated out of his namesake village on the top end, and was rumored to have buried treasure near there. James Griffith was also notable in the era, who died attacking the town in 1723.

This first age of piracy was brief, ended with the Castellanese taking advantage of the weakened Ingerland and occupying the islands in 1722.[2] Several ships attacked Arecales, landed marines on shore, and the disorganized pirates proved no match.

Ingerland took back Arecales in 1730 and largely stamped out pirates, though pirates continued to operate out of various islets and cays. The most brazen pirate attack of the later 18th century occurred in 1772, the Ingerish had taken the Castellanese treasure boat Nuestra Señora de los Vientos and was taking her to the harbor at Arecales when both she and her escort ship, Stoney, were attacked by unknown pirates; the larger treasure boat was sunk in the fighting and Stoney ran aground in the reef though crew were able to row out to shore.

Piracy

Pelham's flags

The independence of the Federal States saw diminishing need to maintain Arecales, and more difficult to maintain resupplying it. Pirate attacks became more brazen from 1790, and shipping around the islands was increasingly disrupted, but increasingly little was done about the matter. Notable pirates of the era included:

  • Henry Stead, known for his cunning, as pirate governor of Arecales from 1823.
  • James Everson, likely mastermind of 1819 raid that "nearly took Arecales without firing a shot". Died aboard his ship, the Alice Henry, sunk by Henry Pelham's ship.
  • Henry Pelham, violent pirate. Died in 1829 at Ngu Long Son harbor, he entered the port and took several ships, but an armoured boat fired a cannon shot that rip through Pelham's boat, wounded him before dying of infection.
  • Mary Ann Connell, only known female pirate in Arecales, may have been a prostitute in the town. Was involved with smugglers in Shaachrau and operated on the Kue coast in the mid-1820s. She attacked and destroyed part of Namthinhvuong in 1826.
  • Petty Jack Harrow, born in Delenshire Island around 1780. Died with his ship in 1833 after being hunted and sunk by two FS navy ships. Was able to sink the FSS Caroline before his was crippled.

One of the most famous attacks occurred near the North Cay, when the violent and cruel Henry Pelham attacked the merchant vessel Milisle; as the ship resisted capture, he raised a red flag, and when she was boarded the captain was killed and supposedly lost his jaw before the ship was set on fire.

James Everson and Henry Stead, based out of North Cay, launched a daring attack on Arecales Town in 1819 with about 40 men aboard their boat, the Clara Lemington[3]. The governor of Arecales bargained with the pirates and paid them off and hired them as privateers, but Everson and Stead fought at some point, and Stead joined Henry Pelham to attack and pillage the town in 1823. The Ingerish attempted to retake Arecales in 1824, but their attempts to retake were defeated. The pirates began disrupting Ardentic trade routes, boarding ships, stealing cargo.

Geography

Arecales is located around 10°N and 179°E. It is both the easternmost settled area in the world, and northernmost and only Federal States possession.

Islands

Arecales is made up of three islands and two cays. The largest, known as Arecales or the Big Island, has an area of 424.6km² and contains the entire population of the territory. The two others islands, Fitchett Island and Cagnet Island, are both dominated by volcanoes that see many frequent and small-scale eruptions, with the Fitchett Peak believed to be the most active in the Federal States. Two smaller sandy cays also form part of the archipelago, as well as various minor cays, rocks, and banks.

Big Island

The Big island is normally divided into the windward side (the "western side") and the leeward side ("eastern side"). A ridge of hills raging from 62m to 133m go along the middle of the island, dividing it into the two aforementioned areas. The windward side has very few beaches due to a lack of natural breakwaters and sheltered areas, and is predominately marshy and scrubby coast, with various mangroves along it. The leeward side and top end of the island is sheltered by various coral reefs, banks and shoals, which make them calm waters and have various beaches. Some mangroves are found as well, but not to the extent of the windward side. The hills on the island are forested, though much deforestation has happened over the centuries as the main town expanded in area.

Cagnet Island

Cagnet Island is an active volcanic island. About half the island is covered by scree and rock, primarily in the center. Forested area still survives in many parts of the island, despite the rather large and violent eruptions of the past 50 years. Cagnet was the only other island beside the big one to have been inhabited for any length of time; the fishing village of Cagnet Town was founded in 1806 on the northwest coast and had about 200 inhabitants in 1971. The 18 June eruption of Cagnet Peak in 1971 saw the village destroyed by fast moving lahars, and some 80 of its inhabitants were killed. The lahars and mudflows changed the course of the river flowing through the town. The village ruins remain visible.[4][5]

Fitchett Island

Fitchett Island is an active volcanic island and is considered to be the most active volcano in the Federal States. Much of the island, at parts from sea level to the crater at the top, are dominated by a large swathe of rock and scree due to frequent eruptions. Above an elevation of about 170m, there is almost no vegetation left. The High Mountain Society operates manned research facilities at sea level and on the southeastern end of the crater, to monitor eruptions and volcanic activity.

Flora and fauna

Despite its small size, Arecales is home to a large and diverse variety of flora and fauna, with many fish, crustaceans, birds, insects, reptiles, trees, fruit and plants. Pigs were introduced by the Ingerish and became feral in the 19th century, though a lot are now raised as livestock due to a significant campaign in the 1970s to eliminate wild pigs, which were very harmful to local ecosystems.[6]

Volcanic activity

Two islands in Arecales are volcanic in nature and are the most active volcanoes in the Federal States. Fitchett Peak is considered to be the most active, with eruptions occurring every few months since 1996, most recently erupting in February 2020. Eruptions, while frequent, are not considered very dangerous nor terribly explosive, though have been known to delay air traffic in Arecales. The largest recorded eruption there took place in 1927.

Cagnet Peak is not as active, but has recorded a few larger eruptions, in 1963, 1971 and 2005. The 1963 eruption lasted a few days, with lahars flowing to the southwest and southeast. Both the 1971 and 2005 eruptions saw ash deposited on the military base, and led to the airport and airfield temporarily suspending flights. The 1971 eruption was considered the most explosive, with fast-moving lahars flowing northwest, destroying the fishing village of Cagnet Town and killing 80 people. Volcanic activity in 2005 was studied by a team of volcanologists from the High Mountain Society, but an earlier than anticipated eruption caught them near the summit and saw four scientists killed.

Politics and government

Arecales is an overseas territory of the Federal States. Arecales has a unicameral legislature, the Territorial Council, with 20 elected representatives. Elections are held every four years, most recently in 2018, and the leader of the party with most seats is appointed by the governor as president of the government. Arecales has a governor as the head of state representative, historically appointed by the Federal States president but since 1976 has been elected by Arecalians. The current governor is Stacy Mayport and the president is Lionel Terrence.

Administrative divisions

In the colonial period, Arecales was divided into parishes. Modern-day Arecales is a unitary territory, though towns, villages and other settlements are used for statistics and census-taking. THe military bases on the eastern end of the island are considered a settlement or entity for statistical purposes, and Hideaway Cay is deemed to be a part of Holborn Head.

Settlement Population
(2020 census)
The Town 14,200
Fernando's Hideaway 5075
Holborn Head 2194
Capesterre 1025
Paget 970
Jonas Hill 650
Military bases 5500

Economy

Exports chart

Most of Arecales' economy is centered around the services sector, heavily focusing on tourism and financial services. Seafood, agriculture and food products are also important to the economy, but a smaller sector.

Tourism

Tourism is the traditionally largest economic sector in Arecales. Much of the tourism to Arecales is centered on cruise ships and various resorts on the island.

Financial services

Arecales is a significant offshore jurisdiction, licensing offshore companies and hedge funds. Corporations registered in Arecales are not subject to business taxation, making it a lucrative sector but also leading to claims of tax evasion and money laundering. Most of these are based or registered in buildings on Fleetwood Street, which is often used as a synonym for the offshore sector in Arecales. Many goods, such as alcohol, tobacco, watches, jewelry and other luxury items are exempt from sales taxes (VAT), to attract shoppers and tourists.

Industry and agriculture

Agriculture and industry in Arecales is a very small sector of the economy. Agriculture is centered on sugarcane, with other centered on fruit orchards, primarily grapefruit. Pigs and some poultry are also farmed. The largest industry in Arecales is centered around rum distilling and some sugarcane refining, of which Tower Hill rums is the largest.

Fishing and aquaculture

Scallops and fish are important to the economy. Fish is main caught out in the ocean, though scallops are farmed and are a major industry.

Military

There is a fairly large military presence in Arecales. Naval Station Arecales is the oldest in the island. Arecales Air Force Station hosts the 13th Fighter Squadron, composed of over 20 fighter aircraft. The 111th Bomb Wing operates both subsonic propeller-driven bomber aircraft, and Contair SBS supersonic strategic bombers, as well as transport aircraft. The base is resupplied and can be bolstered with auxiliary aircraft from Citadel AFB in Culpepper (112th Air Transport Wing) and Barclay AFB in Sierra (12 Bomb Wing). A radar station is present on the north end of the island.

Communications

Souvenir postcard

Telephone

There are two mobile phone providers in Arecales, Digicom, which is a regional provider, and StarCellular, a Federal States company.

Radio and television

Arecales has a few radio stations: AR FM, WeRadio, Radio93 and Christic Radio Arecales. Television service is provided by Digicom, and there is an Arecales TV channel. Satellite communications has allowed Arecalians access to Federal States and international television channels.

Postage

Arecales Post is the postage company on the island. It is responsible for receiving and delivering mail in the island, and issues postage stamps for general use and for collectors. Arecales Post is based in the Spencer's Waterfront Mall and is an associated entity of the Federal States Post.

Climate

Arecales has a fairly typical oceanic tropical climate. Arecales tends to have two seasons, a rainy "winter" from October to March, and a comparatively drier "summer" from March to October. Temperature do not vary greatly throughout the year, with only a few degrees of difference between winter/summer highs and lows. Annual temperatures normally range above 20°C to 30°C (70°F/86°F), but humidity is generally high. Tropical cyclones are common in Arecales and bring heavy rain, powerful winds.

Tropical storms

Arecales is in a prime location for tropical storms, and every year is hit with heavy rain through the winter. Tropical storms and hurricanes have been incredibly large in 2007, 2012 and 2013, causing a lot of damage to the island.

Weather chart

Climate data for Arecales Airport (20m elevation, 9.4°N 178.7°E)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 30.5
(87)
30.7
(87)
31.6
(89)
32.2
(90)
32.7
(91)
31.3
(88)
32.4
(90)
30.2
(86)
29.8
(86)
29.8
(86)
29.4
(85)
30.2
(86)
32.7
(91)
Average high °C (°F) 28.1
(83)
28.4
(83)
29.0
(84)
29.3
(85)
29.7
(85)
30.6
(87)
30.1
(86)
29.4
(85)
28.6
(83)
28.3
(83)
27.7
(82)
27.4
(81)
28.9
(84)
Average low °C (°F) 22.0
(72)
22.6
(73)
24.1
(75)
23.9
(75)
23.2
(74)
23.7
(75)
24.3
(76)
23.8
(75)
22.7
(73)
21.7
(71)
21.1
(70)
21.9
(71)
22.9
(73)
Record low °C (°F) 18.6
(65)
19.2
(67)
18.9
(66)
19.1
(66)
19.2
(67)
19.6
(67)
19.3
(67)
19.1
(66)
18.2
(65)
18.6
(65)
17.5
(64)
17.7
(64)
17.5
(64)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 281 276 204 189 164 121 134 151 183 223 211 257 2,394
Average relative humidity (%) 73 74 77 77 76 80 81 74 72 72 73 75 75
Source: Airport Weather Station, 1962-2018

Culture

Cuisine

Petit Pepper

Arecalian cuisine is well known for its seafood. Scallops and fish are popular on the island and are best-known in the local cuisine. Hot peppers are important to the local cuisine, of which the native Petit (or Arecales Petit) Pepper is key to the local flavour.

Due to the introduction of pigs by both the Castellanese and Ingerish in the colonial era, pigs have become plentiful and are used to make roast pig (or lechon), a popular dish served with yellow rice and peas.

Rum is the national beverage in Arecales, produced in large quantities.

Sports

Various sports are played in Arecales. Cricket, introduced in an early variant by the Ingerish, has become large and popular; cricket in the island is organized by the Cricketing Federation of Arecales. Arecales is an associate of OGFIC (the international cricket body), and the Arecales national team often plays against other international sides. An Amateur Cricket League is also played.

Football is also a popular sport, and you can find a variety of football pitches on the island, as well as a stadium. Since 1979 Arecales has a national team, comprised of amateur players. Due to Federal States influence, baseball is also present in Arecales, having picked up a bigger following since the 1970s.

Arecales has sports centres for tennis, and a swimming center with a Geolympiad-sized swimming pool. Dedicated track running facilities exist at Malcom Jennings Stadium.

Music and film

[[|200px|thumb|Film poster]] Arecales is known for various music styles, with a focus on key instruments like acoustic guitars, marimbula, drums, and others. Arecalian music was first recorded in 1916 when the Stead's Band was brought to Stanton to record two sides. Becasse is one of the most popular styles from the 1950s, and the first to be recorded in great numbers. There is one record studio in Arecales, Tropic Studio on Stroll Road.

The upcoming (2021) action film Pirates of the Ardentic was partly filmed in Arecales, loosely based on the 19th century pirate history of the island. It is the first major movie to be filmed in Arecales.

Transport

Air travel

Arecales Airport is the only civilian airport in Arecales. The runway is 2550m long. The only scheduled commercial flights from the FSA are operated by FlySmart out of Andreapolis International Airport in Alormen, a distance of about 5800km. Arecales Air Force Base receives all military travel to Arecales, as well as bringing in a lot of supplies. The longest runway, 3670m long, is designed to accommodate subsonic and supersonic bomber aircraft takeoffs.

Arecales Airport was constructed in 1948 and served both civilian and military flights to the island, until the completion of the military runway in 1965.

Road travel

road sign at the airport
registration plate

Arecales has two major roads in island, The Road, mainly on the windward side, and Big Bay Road on the leeward side. The Road is the longest on the island, about 60km (37mi) from the top end of island to the bottom side on the military base. All of the main roads are paved, with a few more rural roads gravel.

The first automobiles arrived to Arecales in 1920; due to the fact that early motorcars had right-hand steering, traffic in Arecales drove on the left. Arecales thus has the distinction of driving on the left, but allowing both left and right hand drive vehicles to be sold and driven. Arecales has a motor vehicle registration office in Margot Beach, as well as three driving schools. Arecales has various automobile dealerships, many of which are found on Marketing Street. Due to the small population of the island, there is only one authorized dealership, the rest importing and selling a variety of makes and models.

Public transit

There are two bus routes in Arecales, served by minibuses. Mikes Taxis and Island Taxi are the two companies in Arecales, operating throughout the island.

Sea travel

Harbors and ports

Arecales Naval Station has the largest port on the island, having been expanded several times to allow for larger vessels. It can accommodate various vessels, from coast guard patrol boats, cruisers, transport/resupply vessels and aircraft carriers.

The main harbor (Arecales Harbour) is located near the old town in what was a natural sheltered mooring point. The port was begun by the Ingerish in 1702 and expanded through the early 2000s. The Arecales Ferry Port is found here, as is the cargo port. Cool's lagoon is the largest natural harbor, found on the top end of the island.

Marinas

There are many public and private boat marinas on the island, most of them on the leeward side of the island, and along Cool's Lagoon. These include:

Notes and references

{{reflist))
  1. Small tools and artefacts of Kue origin found throughout the island largely attest to farming as the main focus.
  2. This makes Arecales one of the few territories to have gone though the hands of the three major historical empires of the early modern era.
  3. The Clara Lemington was named after a famous prostitute of the period. A modern reconstruction of the ship is on display at Arecales Castle.
  4. The village had been evacuated on 2 June to Arecales Town when eruption seemed imminent, but a lull in volcanic activity saw most of them return on 14 June.
  5. The High Mountain Society warned against returning, but the fishermen could not afford to remain without working and sought to return.
  6. Feral pigs no longer exist in the wild, with the last unconfirmed sightings in 2001.