Old shipwrecks litter the island’s leeward coast, and while many of them are almost unrecognizable, divers frequently find artifacts, from clay pipes to the occasional cannonball. (To protect artifacts, a guide must accompany all divers.) The one souvenir divers are allowed to keep are the blue glass trading beads carried on slave ships in the 17th century and found on the sandy bottom around the harbor, particularly one spot called Blue Bead Hole.
A relatively new trail (which replaced a long-neglected path) leads to the summit of The Quill in about an hour, but serious hikers can stretch the outing by starting on the Around the Mountain trail at the same trailhead. Heading west, it links with the main Quill Trail at viewpoint overlooking Oranjestad. At the summit, a pair of trails leads around the crater rim. To turn the trek into an all-day affair, take the steep (and rocky) trail down into the crater itself. You can rest in the lush evergreen forest on the crater floor before making the climb back up to the rim – and then back down to Oranjestad.
Statia celebrates Carnival in mid-July with dancing and music, but for a historical ceremony unique to the island, plan a Statia-America Day visit on Nov. 16. On that date in 1776, the garrison at Fort Oranje fired an 11-gun salute to the Andrew Doria, an American brig – the first official foreign recognition of the young nation’s independence. But Statia provided more than moral support during the Revolutionary War: Much of the munitions and food that enabled George Washington to continue fighting made its way to the colonies through Statia’s warehouses.