No delta do rio das pérolas existem inúmeras ilhas com nomes tão variados como "Monte de Trigo", "Ilha dos Veados", "Ilha dos Merus", "ilha dos Ladrões", etc... e claro, a Taipa, Coloane, Lapa, Montanha, Montanha, D. João... Quanto a esta última, situada entre a Taipa e a Lapa, é também conhecida por Macarira, Mackkarira, Mackkareera, Toi Ko Ke Tou, D. João de Macarira, St. John
Numa breve pesquisa fico com a ideia que o nome original foi mesmo Macarira (e não D. João). James Horsburgh, hidrógrafo da Companhia das Índia Orientais escreve "Mackkareera" numa obra publicada em 1817 intitulada "India Directory, Or, Directions for Sailing to and from the East Indies, China, New Holland, Cape of Good Hope, Brazil and the interjacent ports".
Aqui fica um excerto:
Macao Harbour formed between the peninsula and the large island Twee lien shan to the westward is narrow at the entrance but has 21 and 20 feet at low water to Fort St Jago which is situated on the East point and from hence along the shore to the town the depths continue nearly the same.
A ship proceeding to the harbour must pass through the Typa there being 13 feet at water in the fair track between the Typa and the entrance of the harbour but only 12 11 feet in the large space betwixt Kai kong and Macao.
The channel lies in a direct from the anchorage in the Typa to the harbour's entrance and to avoid Pedro meo a rock about 4 mile to the eastward of the NE point of Mackkareera the NE point Montanha must be kept open to the eastward of Mackkareera or in passing it keep more than mid channel toward Kai kong.
From hence steer direct for the entrance of harbour there being no other danger except Pan lung shee a rock on the East side of channel from which the outer point of Great Mal low chow bears W 16 S and the of Fort St Jago N 41 W distant about 4 a mile.
Great Mal low chow is the of 2 high islets situated to the SW of the harbour's entrance.
The NE point of on with the East point of Mackkareera leads clear to the westward of Pan lung shee and a ship will not be too near it if she do not get to the eastward of a line drawn from West point of Kai kong to Fort St Jago point.
This point should be rounded pretty close in entering the harbour and the eastern shore kept nearly a board to the anchorage abreast of the town By obtaining permission from the governor a disabled ship may be hove down and repaired in this harbour and in such case a pilot will be granted to bring her from the road or from the Typa to the harbour but any navigator by adhering to the preceding directions or being in possession of Captain P Heywood's excellent plan of this place pub lished by Laurie and Whittle in 1809 may run safely into the Typa without a pilot.
Excerto de um mapa de 1834 com o nome "Mackkarira"
Quanto à origem do nome "Macarira" continuo à procura de uma explicação...