St. Eustatius, commonly called Statia (stay-sha) is today a part of the Netherlands Antilles. Over its long history, it changed hands more than 20 times.
Volcanic in origin, and quite rugged along the coastal areas, it was once one of the busiest and most powerful commercial ports in the Caribbean.As a result of the British blockade during America's Revolutionary War, most goods destined for the new colonies flowed into St. Eustatius. It was not uncommon to see hundreds of supply ships off Oranjestad.
When that war ended and mail and supplies were sent directly to the new United States, the economy of St. Eustatius changed dramatically. Tourism is the major industry today, and the island is a favorite destination for scuba diving aficionados and nature lovers.