Located just off the bay front in Roseau, the Commonwealth of Dominica, stands an intriguing outcrop of volcanic rock, known as Table a Diable, or the Devil’s Table. The name of this rocky outcrop is a source of confusion for many, as some locals refer to it as Kaka Diable. However, on old maps, it is undoubtedly labeled as Table a Diable, which translates to the Devil’s Table, in French.
Content contributed by Dr. Lennox Honey Church and image by Paul Frampton
The name itself is reflective of the location’s history, as the Devil’s Table stands in a precarious spot in the Roseau harbor where many sailing ships were wrecked during storms in the past. The outcrop was a destructive danger, and the danger associated with it has earned it the devilish moniker. It is a testament to the power of nature and the danger that early seafarers had to navigate.
Despite the danger it posed, the Devil’s Table was used twice in history as a secure end of a jetty connecting it to the shore.
The first instance was in 1861 when it was called the Prince Alfred’s Jetty, but unfortunately, it was washed away in a storm.
The second instance was in 1904 when it was called the Bell’s Jetty. However, the jetty was also washed away in a hurricane, leaving behind only a set of concrete steps on the side that passengers used to embark on rowing boats.
Today, the Devil’s Table stands as a unique geological formation, a reminder of Dominica’s volcanic past, and a testament to the power of nature. While it may no longer serve as a jetty, it remains a popular tourist attraction in Roseau, and visitors can still see the concrete steps on the side of the outcrop that once served as a point of departure for rowing boats.
The Devil’s Table is an essential part of Dominica’s history, and its presence is a reminder of the importance of understanding the natural forces that shape our world. As visitors explore the island and take in its breathtaking scenery, they should take a moment to appreciate the unique geology that makes the Devil’s Table such a remarkable feature