Île Desroches or Desroches Island is the main island of the Amirante Islands, part of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. It is located 230 km southwest of Mahé, the Seychelles’ main island. It is 6.2 km long and has a land area of 3.24 km². Along its circumference of 15 km is a beach of fine sand.

Desroches was named by Chevalier de Roslan, commander of the ship L’Heure du Berger, after the Chevalier des Roches, the Governor of Mauritius (then Île de France) and Réunion (then Bourbon) from 1767 to 1772. It was explored by the Chevalier de la Billioère in 1771. The British had originally named it Wood Island because of its dense tree vegetation. The island was an important producer of copra.

Desroches has a population of about 50, a settlement in the middle of the northwestern shore (looking to the lagoon), a small luxury hotel with 20 rooms in the south (Desroches Island Resort), built in 1988 and a paved airstrip 1372 m long in the southern part. It is located 36 km east of the Amirantes Bank, and separated from it by water over 1300 meters deep. It lies on the southern edge of a reef of atoll character. At the northern edge of the atoll are the Shark Rocks, with least depths between 3 and 6 meters. There is a lighthouse on the northeast end of the Desroches Island. The island is fringed by a drying reef which extends 1.6 km offshore from the northeastern extremity and 0.8 km from the southwestern extremity. The island is low and is covered with coconut palms and tall hardwood trees. A deep channel, about 1.6 km wide, leads into the lagoon. The least depth in the channel is 18.3 m, and it crosses the atoll in a position about 11 km northwest of Desroches.

Source: Wikipedia (under GNU Free Documentation License)


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