Before European explorers landed on the Caribbean islands, peaceful tribes of Amerindians called the Arawaks inhabited the entire Caribbean archipelago. Generous and open where these people that they embraced the Spaniards and bestowed every comfort for the Spanish explorers. Ironically since the arrival of the Spanish these people were mistreated and many died from diseases, within a few decades it was belief that there were no Arawaks left.
Columbus, when he sailed through the dragon’s mouth in 1498 in his quest for new lands, named the Chaguaramas off-shore island El Caracol (the snail), El Delfin (the dolphin) and Cabo Boto (blunt cape). These islands are now know as Monos, Huevos and Chacachacare. Three hundred years of Spanish rule followed and in 1797, after being harassed by the British who had effected a virtual blockade of Trinidad, Spanish Rear Admiral Apodaca when out gunned by the Bristish, scuttled his fleet in the Chaguaramas bay.
In response to British raids on Spanish shipping in the West Indies, Spanish Governor Chacon built additional forts on Gaspar Grande on the property of Nicholas de Percin. Governor Chacon however realized that Spanish protection was inadequate even though Rear Admiral Apodaca who arrived in January 1797, his arrival boosted their defence to four (4) ships and (1) one frigate. Chacon’s fears were realized when in February 1797. British Admiral Harvey appeared off Trinidad with seventeen (17) armed ships and forty (40) transports and eight thousand (8,000) men under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby. Admiral Apodaca realizing he was out gunned and outnumbered by the British fleet, destroyed his fleet rather than let them fall into the hands of the British. The British Admiral Harvey engaged the forts on Gaspar Grande, after a brief exchange, the Spanish evacuated the forts after realizing that they were definitely out gunned. The British then easily went on to capture the country in the name of England.