Caribbean Travel Roundup

Newsletter - Paul Graveline, Editor


Caribbean Travel Roundup
Paul Graveline, Editor
Edition 84
April 1, 1998

Last Update 28 30 Mar 98 1900ET

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1/ REGION NEWS

A/ ANGUILLA NEWS FROM BOB GREEN

(Copyright 1998. Bob Green)

March 15, 1998

Katouche Bay 

This  bay  is  noted  for  a number of things. It is the start of the 
Katouche  Valley  rainforest  hike,  it is never crowded, it is a fun 
place  to  explore  or  have a picnic, and it is a good place to look 
for  fossil  sealife.  I  haven't  tried the snorkelling here, but my 
friend  Vince  does  a  regular exercise swim from here to Crocus Bay 
and  back (Katouche is the closest beach to his house in Old Ta and a 
nice  hike). Before Hurricane Luis , a grove of Manchineel trees grew 
along  the  beach. These have poisonous fruit and leaves, but luckily 
Luis  killed them all. Keep a watchful eye out for them growing back. 


For  fossils,  search  the  east  end  of the beach and examine small 
rocks  that have broken off the cliff (they are intermixed with a lot 
of  broken  coral  from  the sea, so you need to be patient), looking 
for  ancient  shell  fish  and other animals that were trapped in the 
soil and fossilized. 

At  the  west  end  of  the  beach you can explore around a couple of 
small  headlands  for  further  small  beaches, a beachfront cave and 
other adventures. 

Directions:  Follow  the same directions for the Katouche Valley hike 
, but stop at the beach. 

News Tidbits from Anguilla 

Islands  Properties Report devoted their entire January 1998 issue to 
Anguilla:  8  pages  about  the  island, buying and building here, or 
starting  a  business. Here is a sample: "If you are self-sufficient, 
enjoy   a   quiet   informal  life-style,  and  can  pursue  personal 
interests,  you will be content on Anguilla. Most expats have visited 
the  island for a number of years before moving and are well prepared 
to  make  the  adjustment.  You  can  subscribe to Islands Properties 
Reports  for  $49  per  year and receive monthly reports on different 
islands  in  the  Caribbean,  and other services. We subscribed to it 
before we moved to Anguilla. Telephone: 941-263-1222. 

A  Norwegian  Journalist  was  here this month to research a story on 
World  Cup  Soccer. He came here from Jamaica and left to continue on 
to Brazil! Boy, Norwegians really take their soccer seriously. 

ALHCS  Boys  Choir  Performs. The newly formed boys choir of the high 
school  gave  its  second  successful performance on March 7, 1998 in 
the  auditorium  of  the  Teacher  Resource  Center  (upstairs in the 
library). 

Cap  Juluca  in  "Lattitudes"  ,  the  in-flight magazine of American 
Eagle.  An  8-  page article offered an up-close and personal look at 
the  resort,  the  staff  and the guests. "Can it possibly live up to 
its lofty reputation? In a word, YES!" 

Soroptomists   Give  A  Great  Show.  A  packed  audience  loved  the 
Soroptomists  Variety  Show  recently,  held to raise funds for their 
day care center. 

Tourism  Continues  to  Rise , with January record the highest figure 
ever  for  the  month:  4,987  tourist arrivals, up 11%. Day visitors 
totalled  8,112, up 10%. But don't worry, Anguilla still feels mostly 
empty of tourists. 

St.  Gerard's Garden Party bigger than ever! This year so many people 
attended  that  they  had  to  have  numerous  identical  food lines. 
Incredibly well run. Perfect weather that night too. 

Anguilla  Beautification Club members visited Cap Juluca recently for 
a  tour  of  the  gardens  and discussions with the staff about their 
unique  landscaping  plan--they  retain as much of the local fauna as 
possible, while still creating a lush tropical locale. 

College  Fair  at the High School was held last week. Representatives 
from  Caribbean and North American colleges and universities gave the 
students  insights  into  opportunities  and  costs for college. News 
Stories from The Light, Anguilla's local weekly newspaper : 

 
- Rotary Presents Gazebo to St. Mary's Anglican Church 


- Ambulance Attendants in Training in Barbados 


- Historial/Contemporary Youth Issues 


- Carimar Honours Guests and Staff 

 Cotton Grows Wild 

Anguilla  was  once  a  cotton  producer,  and there are still cotton 
plants  on the island and a cotton ginnery you can view in Old Cotton 
Gin  Ice  Cream  Parlour  .  There  are  stories that the famous "sea 
island"  cotton was brought to Georgia by a planter who discovered it 
on  Anguilla  after  he purchased a small plantation here. Extensions 
to  the  story  suggest that he subsequently moved to Mississippi and 
founded  a  town  that  he named Anguilla, Mississipi . It is hard to 
know  how much of this is true, but there is such a town and Anguilla 
BWI  did  have  a  visitor  from there recently whose personal family 
history confirmed some of the story. 

Debate Team Prepared for Antigua Contest 

Anguilla's  winning  debate  team  is at it again this year. In 1997, 
the  Leeward  Islands  Debating Competition was held in Anguilla, and 
the  Anguilla  team  came  out  victorious  over  teams from Antigua, 
Monteserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis. 

This year the competition is in Antigua, April 1st through 6th. 

The  1998  team  members include Kishma Bryan (17 years), Marlon Lake 
(17),  Damien Harrigan (16), Tara Carter (17). Substitutes are Vernon 
Lawrence (17) and Lorelle Richardson(16) 

Team  Staff  sponsors  are  Sharon  Richardson and Curtis Richardson. 
Team  advisors  are  Marcel  Fahie,  Don  Mitchell, Dwayne Adams, Bob 
Green, Rita Carty, Lana Horsford and Maris Edwards. 

The Propositions to be debated this year are: 

 
1. The Internet Should be Regulated. 


2.  The  Main  Reason  for the Decline of West Indian Cricket is that 
West  Indians  No  Longer  Understand the Political Importance of the 
Game. 

Last  year's  winning  team  consisted  of  Keesha Webster(graduate), 
Joash   Proctor(graduate),  Chantal  Lewis,  and  Tara  Carter,  with 
substitutes Kishma Bryan and Marlon Lake. 

Guest article by Tara Carter . 

Trattoria Tramonto (Guest Article) 

The  Trattoria  Tramonto  restaurant  on  Shoal  Bay West (not east!) 
opened  in Fall 97 and now seems to be picking up steam, according to 
this review by Anguilla homeowner Steve Donahue: 

"On  5  March, 1998, Suzan and I had the opportunity to enjoy a truly 
unique  dining  experience  at  Trattoria Tramonto , located at Shoal 
Bay  West between Cove Castles and Blue Waters. Owner Alan Piazzi and 
his  wife,  Chantal,  have  totally  remade  the  old  Paradise Cafe, 
imported  an  excellent  Chef  from  Italy, and given Anguilla a real 
taste  of  Northern Italy - complete with Italian opera as background 
music.  Due  to  a recent storm, there is now a beautiful, wide beach 
in  front  of  the restaurant, where Alan also rents beach chairs and 
umbrellas." 

"Suzan  and  I started our meal with several well-made, very generous 
drinks,  along  with  a basket of excellent, fresh made focaccia with 
olive  oil  &  rosemary. We thought the bread basket could be greatly 
enhanced  with  the  addition  of  a  cloth  napkin, as well as a few 
flavored  olive  oils  -  pesto,  garlic, etc. We started with a goat 
cheese  crepe  appetizer  (one of several specials offered) which was 
topped  with  an excellent sauce of besciamella and porcini mushrooms 
and placed under the broiler for a few minutes." 

"As  a  main  course,  we  had  filetto  ai  due pepi , a Black Angus 
tenderloin  with  a peppercorn sauce, and red snapper alla marinara , 
a  red  snapper  with  capers,  tomato, potato, olive oil . Both were 
prepared  to  perfection!  Another  surprise  was  the quality of the 
vegetables  with  the  main course. Each meal was served with squash, 
tomato  topped  with cheese and bread crumbs, potatoes, and carrots - 
all excellent." 

"And  then  the  best  part of the meal - dessert. Alan makes his own 
titamisu  -  a  generous  portion  prepared  with a sponge cake base, 
chocolate  bits  and  a Kahlua with Amaretto biscuit filling - to die 
for!!" 

"One  final  surprise  with  our  visit - the service was some of the 
best  we have seen - including here in the states. We were not rushed 
at  all,  but  our  courses  arrived  perfectly,  with  no long waits 
between  courses.  After  vising  most of the restaurants in Anguilla 
over  the years - some of which are no longer there - we have to rate 
this  one  in  the  top  five for value, service and quality of food. 
Drinks,  dinner and desert came to about US$100 - very reasonable for 
the service and quality." 

"P.S.  While  visiting  Trattoria Tramonto, I noticed a great looking 
model  of  an  Anguillian  sailboat on the bar, painted in red, green 
and  white (Italian flag colors) and named "Trattoria Tramonto". Alan 
informed  me  that  Damien  Carty,  son  of boat builder David Carty, 
makes  and  sells  these  models  of the traditional racing boat . We 
ordered  one  with  both customized colors and name, and will pick it 
up  the  next  trip. I strongly recommend a trip to the restaurant to 
take a look at the model." 

Guest  article  by  Steve  Donahue  .  Read  another  description  of 
Trattoria Tramonto by a neophyte exploring Anguilla's food! 

For  more  information  and  a  complete menu - less specials - visit 
their web page . For reservations, call 264-497-8819, or fax 264-497-
6982 or email 101370.1075@compuserve.com 

Directions:  Drive  west  to  the  end of the main paved island road. 
Turn  left  on  a  gravel  road  for  Shoal  Bay West and CoveCastles 
resort.  Keep  left on a sand road just behind the beach and you will 
run into the restaurant just before Blue Waters Beach Apartments . 

Day Cruise To St. Barths 

The  MV  Deluxe has begun day cruises from Anguilla to St. Barths . I 
just  had to investigate when two people independently mentioned this 
new  service  to  me  in  the  same a week: Damien Harrigan of Island 
Harbour  (while  quizing  me  about the Internet for the debate team) 
and  visitor  Peter  Wehmann who wrote: We took the inaugural once-a-
week  ferry  trip  to  St.  Bart's  on February 17 on the M/V Deluxe, 
leaving  from  Blowing  Point at 9:15, going directly to Gustavia and 
returning at 5:30. Great fun! $65 per person and very enjoyable. 

The  MV  Deluxe  leaves  Blowing Point at 9:15am, arrives in Gustavia 
and  St.  Barths at 10:30. You spend the day there and board for your 
return  trip  at  4pm. The round trip fare is $65, including open bar 
and  snacks  the  trip.  St. Barths is a wonderful place to visit for 
the  day. It is very quaint, very French, very chic. They can arrange 
island tours. 

The  Captain is Joseph Davis. He had the MV Deluxe specially built in 
Lousiana  to US standards. suitable as a party boat, a ferry boat and 
a  cruiser. It is air conditioned, has a bathroom, sundeck, GPS, etc. 
Power is by Dual turbocharged Cummins Diesel 71s. 

There  is a cruise every Tuesday in season. Please call by Monday for 
a  reservation.  Telephone  264-497-8663,  6289  or  4754.  Email  to 
rwebster@anguillanet.com  if  you  have  any  questions.  Bring  your 
swimsuit,  a  towel, your camera and proof of citizenship. You are on 
your  own  for lunch, but St. Barths has great restaurants. The Creme 
Brulee  at  the  Carl Gustaf Hotel is the best I have tasted anywhere 
in the world (if you have $100 for lunch). 

Public Holidays in Anguilla 

The  Anguilla  Public  Holidays  for 1998 are as follows. Please note 
that  the  Queen's  Birthday is Tentative (the real date changed from 
the tentative date last year): 

Good  Friday  Friday,  April 10 Easter Monday Monday, April 13 Labour 
Day  Friday,  May  1  Anguilla Day Friday, May 29 Whit Monday Monday, 
June  1  Celebration of the birthday of Her Majesty The Queen Monday, 
June  15  (tentative)  August Monday Monday, August 3 August Thursday 
Thursday,  August  6 Constitution Day Friday, August 7 Separation Day 
Friday,  December  18  Christmas  Day  Friday, December 25 Boxing Day 
Monday, December 28 

There  are often boat races on public holidays. Check the calendar of 
events 

Updates and Feedback 

Who  Knows  Anguilla's  Track  and  Field Records? Martin Arenlind in 
Sweden  would  like  to  know  the  Anguillan  Track & Field national 
records. Can someone please help him with this? 

Feedback  on  Sally's  Circle  Inn  and  Milly's  Inn.  Donna Lambert 
reports:  My  husband  Bob and I read about Sally's Circle Inn in the 
Anguilla  Local  News before we visited Anguilla two weeks ago and we 
want   to  add  our  compliments  on  the  fine  service,  food,  and 
hospitality  we  received  there. After finding the Inn, we ate there 
several  times  and  were always pleased with the quality, price, and 
especially  the portion-size! My husband has never cared for macaroni 
and  cheese, but he loved Sally's version, and our last day there she 
was  gracious  enough  to  share her recipe with me. Thank you again, 
Sally!!  The  ribs, chicken, potato salad, lasagna, rice and peas, as 
well as the macaroni and cheese were all delicious. 

This  was our first trip to Anguilla and we want to thank everyone we 
contacted  for  their  hospitality and tolerance. We got lost several 
times  and people were always patient and kind in helping us find our 
way  --  especially one young man who spent much time directing us to 
Little  Bay. In any case this young man obviously knew his island and 
loved  it  very  much  --  a joy to see in one so young. We stayed at 
Milly's   Inn   on   Shoal   Bay  and  were  very  pleased  with  our 
accomodations.  The beaches are wonderful, of course, and the weather 
perfect, but the kindness of the people we will remember as well. 

Updates  to  Anguilla  Villa Guide: Sue Taylor of Caribbean Villas on 
the Web sent these three new web pages for villas in Anguilla: 

 
- La Petite Maison D'Amour 


- Treetop Villa 


- Rendezvous Bay Hotel 

Sue  runs  a  web  site  where  you can rent villas directly from the 
owner.  If  you  own  or  represent a property that you would like to 
have  on this site, please contact her by email at info@cvillas.com . 
She  charges US $25 per month (UK sterling 15 pounds) to advertise on 
this  site  provided  you have your own email address. If you wish to 
use  her  email  address, there is an additional charge of US $25 (UK 
Sterling  15  pounds).  There  are  no  additional  charges  made for 
initial set up or changes to the site. 

Villa  Casa  Turquesa in Seafeathers also has a web page at anguilla-
villa.com  . The villa is new, 1800 sq ft, with 3 bedrooms, each with 
an  ensuite  bathroom. And, if you like it, you can buy the villa for 
$345,000. 

Update  on  The Link Ferry, announcing expanded daily airport shuttle 
between  Blowing  Point  Anguilla  and  Princess Juliana Airport, St. 
Maarten.  Depart  Anguilla  at 12:15pm, arrive airport 12:45pm. Leave 
airport   at  2:45pm,  arrive  Anguilla  3:15pm.  US$15  per  person. 
Telephone: 264-497-2231. Web page. 

Budget Anguilla: The Pavillion Hotel 

The  Pavillion  Hotel  is  a  basic  apartment  hotel  near the ferry 
terminal  in  Blowing  Point  . It is 300 yards away from Sandy Point 
beach  ,  a  4  minute  walk  to  the  ferry  and  has  a  total of 8 
apartments.  Each  apartment  has  a living area with kitchen, a bath 
room and a bedroom. 

Recent  guests  included a family with one child who found it perfect 
for  them. The parents used the bedroom and the daughter slept on the 
sofa.  They  found  the  view of St. Martin incredible. In fact, they 
own  a  vacation  villa  with pool in the British Virgin Islands, but 
during  the  high  season  they  rent that out for $300 per night and 
stay at the Pavillion in Anguilla for $60 per night instead! 

Directions:  Driving  toward  the  Ferry  Terminal,  turn  right just 
before  the  terminal.  Pavillion  is  on  the  right after about 200 
yards. 

Reservatons:  Contact  Pavillion  Hotel, Blowing Point, P.O. Box 411, 
Anguilla, B.W.I. Telephone: 264-497-6395, Fax: 264-497-6234. 

Guest article by Danny Laud , age 16 

Visitor Feedback 

Every  day  brings  new email messages about Anguilla. Here are three 
interesting email messages from March, 1998: 

Date:  MARCH 3, 1998 11:27 PM Subject: I HAVE BEEN TO ANGUILLA BEFORE 


DEAR BGREEN, 

I  HAVE  BEEN  TO  ANGUILLA  BEFORE AND I ABSOLUTLY LOVED IT THERE. I 
HAVE  ALWAYS  TOLD  MY  DAD  THAT  WHEN I GROWN UP I WANT TO BE A VET 
THERE.  I  AM  GOING  TO  TRY  TO  STICK  TO THAT DREAM AND I HOPE TO 
ACTUALLY  DO  THAT. I AM NOW 13 AND I HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO... I LOVE 
THE  AMOUNT OF GOATS THAT YOU HAVE THERE. HOPE TO HEAR BACK FROM YOU. 
SINCERELY,  BRITTANY  REECE  (A  PLEASED  PERSON  WITH  THE  WAY THAT 
ANGUILLA IS)! 

Date: Sun, 08 Mar 1998 10:13:34 Subject: Check Baggage Danger 

You  may  want to pass on to your readers that the segment on "20/20" 
about  items  being  stolen from checked baggage by airline personnel 
is  still  true  today  - I am missing a laptop to prove it. I ALWAYS 
carry  my  laptop  with me, but we were taking a side trip to Saba on 
the  way home, and, because my luggage would be with me all the time, 
packed  it  in  my  suitcase.  We missed our Winair connection in St. 
Martin,  so  quickly  changed  our  tickets  for  the  return trip to 
Baltimore  -  without removing my laptop from checked luggage. It was 
packed  in  a  closed,  zippered  freezer bag, which was packed in my 
locked suitcase. 

We  figured  it  happened  in  Miami  before  customs because of a 45 
minute  delay  in  getting  our  bags  - guess they needed time to go 
through  everyone's bags!! Tell me how they managed to break the lock 
on  my  suitcase, open it, open the freezer bag and remove my laptop, 
mouse  and  charger - all like they knew it was there. These guys are 
REAL  professionals.  I'm  making  claims,  but  don't think I'll get 
anything without a real fight. 

Regards, Steve Donahue 

Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 09:17:19 Subject: 4th Visit to La Sirena 

We'll  be  making  our  4th  visit  to  LaSirena  in May. I am always 
impressed  when  I  deal with LaSirena. Their reservations process is 
extremely  efficient.  They  are  delightfully pleasant to deal with. 
They  show a fairness in their dealing with customers that is hard to 
find  anywhere.  The  Swiss  background of the owner comes through in 
everything   they  do  at  LaSirena,  and  it  a  real  treat.  Swiss 
hospitality and Anguilla sun--an unbeatable combination! 

Joan Ashley , Nashua, New Hampshire 

Read more email from visitors . 

Educators Learn to Use the Net 

A  three-person  team  came  to  Anguilla to given an Internet course 
funded by the Canadian government. 

Educators  in  Anguilla  were  given  a  hands-on introduction to the 
Internet.  The  computer  room  of the Remote Learning Center (in the 
library)  was  connected  to  the Internet, allowing them to send and 
receive   email  messages,  "surf"  the  net,  and  find  educational 
resources. 

The  course  lasted two days and each person had their own Pentium PC 
with  Windows  NT  and all the Internet tools. The attendees I talked 
to  were  very  pleased  with the course, excited about email and the 
Net, and wishing that they had it on their desks! 

Web Sites About Anguilla 

Shoal Bay Scuba has a web page at shoalbayscuba.ai 

Virtual  Voyage's Anguilla web page has some useful information and a 
lot of links. 

Danny.ai  is  the new web address for high school student Danny Laud, 
with  updated  information  and  updated pages on the Karate Club and 
the high school . 

Palm  Trees  at  Beachshack.ai: Mary Ann's tropical construction page 
has  more  building news, including the planting of a large container 
of palm trees from Miami. 

Wallblake  House  web site has a new page of professional photographs 
,  taken  by  Anguillian  resident  Sally  Janin. The trust formed to 
restore  the  building  has  raised  about  $50,000  of the estimated 
$200,000 cost and has commenced restoration work. 

FROM EARLY MARCH 1998

Cavanaugh Cave, an Accessible Adventure 

Anguilla  has  many  caves,  but  this  Cavanaugh  Cave (also spelled 
"Kavanaugh"  and  "Cavanah") is the most accessible, most scenic, and 
most safe. 

The  entry  is easy and the cave is well lit by a central hole with a 
tree  growing out of it. The main chamber is large with a flat floor, 
because  this  cave  was mined for phosphates in the 19th century. To 
explore  the  further reaches of the cave you would need a flashlight 
and spelunking equipment. 

Cavanaugh  Cave  is  the  likely  source of the phosphate shipment in 
1868  that  contained  the  fossil bones of a new species, Amblyrhiza 
Inundata  ,  identified by Edward Cape. Subsequent work has confirmed 
that  there  was  a  rodent the size of a bear that lived in Anguilla 
125,000  years  ago.  There  has  even  been a TV show on Paleo World 
filmed in Anguilla's Pitch Apple Hole. 

Directions:  Follow  the  directions  for  the Katouche Valley walk . 
When  you get to the fork in the trail, head up the hill. There are a 
couple  of  steep stretches but they are short and there are trees to 
hold onto. 

On  my last visit in February, a lady visitor did it in sandals. When 
you  reach  a  level  spot, watch for another turn off up the hill to 
the  right  and take it. You should see the cave entrace shown above. 
(If  you had kept going on the level trail you would end up in Old Ta 
near the Governer's House.) 

As  you climb out of the valley floor, the folliage changes to plants 
that  like  a more arid climate. Be careful not to steady yourself by 
grabbing  on  the  tall  cacti  that grow along the path. Some of the 
colonies of cactuc are over 10 feet tall. 

If  you  climb up above the cave and look down into the central hole, 
you  are  near  the  top  of  the  ridge  and not far from North Hill 
village,  but I don't know the directions to get to the cave from the 
village. 

News Tidbits from Anguilla 

American  Airlines  Cutting  Back  in San Juan. Due to reported $1-$2 
million  dollar  losses  on  each  route,  American  is  reducing jet 
flights  from  its  San  Juan  hub  to 38 flights a day, from 50. The 
airline  will  reduce its jet service to one flight a day between San 
Juan  and  Aruba  and  San Juan and St. Maarten, and will discontinue 
jet  operations  between San Juan and Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, St. 
Croix  and  St.  Lucia. However, American Eagle will increase service 
between  San Juan and five of the islands -- Antigua, St.. Croix, St. 
Lucia,  St.  Maarten  and Barbados -- to help offset the reduction in 
capacity.  Anguilla  will  probably  not be effected seriously, as we 
don't have jet service anyway. 

Happy  Hits  in  Islands Mag On page 54 of the February 1998 issue of 
Islands  magazine,  there  is a picture of the Happy Hits string band 
from  which  plays  old-fashioned  Caribbean-style music in Anguilla. 
The  article,  "Music  that  Cooks" by Brian Silverman describes this 
acoustic  art form that is still performed in Anguilla, St. Maarteen, 
BVI and the USVI. 

Smitty  and  Scilly  Cay Featured in Magazine: Reader George Lawrence 
writes  that  "The latest issue of Caribbean Island magazine has just 
hit  the  newstands  in  the  States  and it has a one page report on 
Anguilla,  featuring  a  color  picture  of Smitty holding up a large 
lobster, and a wonderful write-up with pictures on Scilly Cay." 

Quaint Little Church Refurbished 

If  you  have  been  in  Long  Bay  Village in the past, you may have 
wondered  about  the small church building, fallen into disrepair but 
still  showing  signs  of its former charm. Now that church, set back 
in  the  trees  across  from  Mahogany Grove park, is reopened as the 
"Mahogany  Grove  Lutheran Church". This old church was abandoned and 
unused  until  the  Graffs  of  nearby Skiffles Resort , refurbished, 
repainted, and reopened it. It is very charming and welcoming now. 

The  church's  mission  is  to  provide a place of worship for anyone 
wishing  to worship - using the Lutheren Liturgy. This church is what 
is  called  a  "home"  church,  meaning that the Pastors are visiting 
unpaid Pastors. Services are at 9:30 AM, Sundays. 

Feel  free  to stop and take a look and leave a donation. The door is 
not  locked, but is a little tricky to open - push the right side and 
the   left   side   pops   open.   As   funds  are  accumulated  from 
contributions,  they  will  be  deposited into a savings account at a 
local   bank   and  used  for  any  future  disaster  to  help  those 
Anguillians who may be homeless, destitute, or suffering. 

Financial Cryptography 98 - Big Success 

The  Financial  Cryptography  conference  was  held again in Anguilla 
recently.  Delegates  came  from as far as Europe, Australia and Asia 
to  attend  this technical conference. The local organizer of FC98 is 
Vince Cate of Offshore Information Services . 

"Financial  Cryptography"  is  the  application of secret encoding to 
money  and  commerce.  It  covers such topics as buying things on the 
Internet,  Smart Cards that provide a digital purse, and questions of 
privacy:  how  much  will  others  know  about  our  purchases in the 
future. 

Anguilla's  Minister  of  Finance,  Mr.  Victor  Banks  (see  picture 
right),  delivered  the  opening  address to the delegates, which was 
topical  and  lively,  in which he compared the current revolution in 
Internet to Anguilla's bloodless revolution of 30 years ago. 

Invited  speaker  at  this  year's  conference was Dr. David Chaum of 
Digicash  (see picture below), who invented the idea of digital money 
and  holds  many  of  the  key  patents.  His speach and question and 
answer  session  were  high  points. An after-hours crowd pleaser was 
the  demonstration of the Java Ring wearable computer from Sunsoft, a 
complete  $10  computer on a ring that you can plug into any PC using 
a $15 reader. 

The  conference  was held at the Chandeliers Room of the Inter-Island 
Hotel.  Delegates  were  hosted  at  a cocktail party on Shoal Bay at 
Serenity  Restaurant  ,  sponsored by Hansa Bank of Anguilla. Another 
night  they  had a BBQ at Rafe's and on Thursday most of them cruised 
on a large catamarran to see the total solar eclipse. 

Attendances  was up from 70 last year to 115 this year. I went to the 
conference  to  learn  something  new  and  I  can  report  that  the 
delegates  were  not  just  lounging on the beach - they attended all 
the  technical  sessions, even "Secure Group Barter: Multi-Party Fair 
Exchange  with  Semi-Trusted  Neutral  Parties"  and  "A Platform for 
Privately  Defined  Currencies,  Loyalty  Credits,  and  Play Money." 
Attendees  said it was one of the best conferences they had ever been 
to  and  there  was a clear preference to return to Anguilla again as 
the venue for 1999. 

Weather in Anguilla 

Temperature Drops for Eclipse 

The  solar  eclipse  occurred  right on schedule at 2:30PM, Thursday, 
February  26th,  just  as predicated . Using the proper solar viewing 
glasses  and  a video camera/tv setup, we were able to watch the moon 
slowing  cover  the  sun. With the plain eye, however, the effect was 
not  as  obvious. It was amazing how bright it still was with only 4% 
of   the  sun's  light.  The  most  notable  effects  were  that  the 
temperature  dropped  markedly  while  standing  in the open, shadows 
became  very  sharp  and  defined, and any small pinhole or aperature 
would  focus  a  picture  of  eclipse. People wearing straw hats with 
many  small  holes  in  them  had  numerous small images of the solar 
eclipse across their shirts! 

For  3  minutes  of comlete darkness and a view of the stars, you had 
to  travel  to  near  Antigua  or  Montserrat.  The  attendees at the 
Financial  Cryptography  Conference  here  in  Anguilla,  chartered a 
large  cat  and  sailed  to  Montserrat  for a perfect viewing of the 
eclipse,  the  volcano,  and  a  traffic  jam  of cruise ships at the 
epicentre of the eclipse. 

Updates and Feedback 

Feedback  on  Air  Travel to Anguilla: Visitor George Lawrence warns: 
"I  called  American  to  make our Xmas 1998 reservations. There is a 
holiday  surcharge  for  travel from Dec. 19-27 and Jan. 2-10th. Also 
if  you get the cheapest fare for flights during those dates they are 
NON  CHANGEABLE,  meaning  that  if you change your mind about flying 
you  do  not have the option of paying $75 per ticket and flying some 
other  time.  For  Dec. 1998 American Eagle will have flights leaving 
San  Juan  about  2:15,  6:20 and 9:10 p.m. We found that if American 
"breaks  the fare" in San Juan, the tickets were cheaper. Our tickets 
went  down  $140 by doing this, but our childrens' tickets went up by 
$9  so  the  sales  agent  didn't  break  the fare for the childrens' 
tickets." 

Update on Villas.ai Site. 

Kelly's  Villa  in Seafeathers Bay has a web page now. This new villa 
has  two  bedrooms,  2  baths,  large  living/dining  area  and fully 
equipped  kitchen.  Master bedroom has King bed and guest bedroom has 
two  full  size  beds,  with  Cable  TV,  VCR  and telephones in each 
bedroom.  Special introductory rates available. For details, call "At 
Your  Service Travel" at 1-800-854-1843, 340- 776-6232 or email them. 


Villa  Romeo  .  Kenneth  and Rhoda Harrigan of Island Harbour have a 
beautiful  house  on  the  Searocks  called  Villa  Romeo  with  five 
bedrooms  and five bathrooms. It is on a cliff and you can rent the 3 
bd  floor  main  home  or  the self-contained 2bd lower floor, or the 
whole  thing.  Rhoda has described it on the "What we do in Anguilla" 
tourist  guide  and  you  can read about it on this page of their web 
site   if   you  keep  scrolling  down  the  page  (it  is  organized 
alphabetically).  Telephone:  264-497-4433.  Kenneth  Harrigan is the 
elected  representative  for  Island Harbour in the House of Assembly 
and a well-known building contractor. 

Shoal Bay Scuba and Watersports 

Shoal  Bay  Scuba and Watersports is the new guy in Anguillan diving. 
They  opened  their shop on Upper Shoal Bay this season and have been 
scuba diving, snorkeling, and windsurfing ever since. 

Paul  Ward , who has been in Anguilla helping the Computer Club , has 
made  the  dive  shop  his  headquarters  here. He says that the best 
things  about  Shoal  Bay Scuba are Michel, the friendly dive master, 
Bull  the  local boat captain who has been diving all his life and is 
a  genuinely nice guy, and the fact that all their equipment is brand 
new.  Paul  says  they  usually  go out diving about 9am and a single 
tank  dive  takes  about  2  hours, but they are very flexible (night 
dives,  multi-tank dives, etc.). Paul is even creating a web page for 
Shoal Bay Scuba while hanging out with them. 

Directions:  Shoal  Bay  Scuba is located on the grounds of Allamanda 
Beach  Club  . As you come down into Shoal Bay , take a right turn on 
a  gravel  road  with signs to Allamanda, Zara's, Serenity, etc. Turn 
into  Allamanda  and down to the level area, around the restaurant to 
the beach. 

Telephone: 264-497-4371. Fax 5216. Email: sbscuba@anguillanet.com 

New Visitor Training Program 

Here  is  what  you  need  to  know for your first visit to Anguilla: 
Comfort  :  80F day and night. Casual dress. No ties. No swimsuits in 
town.  Airco  not needed. Perils : Use sunscreen at the beach. Do not 
touch  coral.  Guard  against  mosquitos.  Money  : Bring US cash and 
travellers   checks,   plus  your  credit  cards.  No  ATM  machines. 
Phonet/Net:  :  Reliable  but  expensive.  Consider  Internet-by-the-
minute.  Driving  :  Stay  to the left. Don't worry about horn beeps. 
Bring  your license. Manners : Say "good morning" before stating your 
business.  Wave  to strangers. More Tips : Pets. Gratuities. Ferries. 
Marriage. 

Web Sites About Anguilla 

Leduc's Restaurant has a web page at http://www.leducs.ai 

Harbor  Lights  now  has  a  web  page  page on Dick Zebo's Caribbean 
reservations site for Anguilla. 

The  Round House on Cove Bay has moved its web page to a new location 
. 

Skyline  Sports  have  a  web page at net.ai/skyline for their rental 
business  next  to  Uncle  Ernie. They rent everything you need for a 
day  at  Shoal  Bay  (umbrella,  snorkel,  chair, etc.) from booth on 
wheels  or  their  beach  rep. They have been in business since 1987, 
when  all  their was on Shoal Bay was Uncle Ernie's bbq grill and the 
Happy  Jack's Shoal Bay Villas. Their prices today are the same as 11 
years  ago,  except that one item has gone down in price! Their motto 
is "just bring yourself and your suit, we can provide the rest." 

The  Bankie  Banx tribute page by Randy Hannan has moved to a new web 
location . 

The  Anguilla  National Trust Newsletter for January 1998 is on their 
web   site   ,  with  articles  about  the  project  to  rehabilitate 
Anguilla's  sand  dunes,  the  sea turtle recovery project, and other 
news. 

Anguilla's Steel Orchestra (Guest Article) 

The  Steel  Pan  was  invented  in the village of Laventille, Port of 
Spain,  in  Trinidad,  in  the  early  1930's. It is a definite pitch 
instrument  in  the  idiophone class, traditionally made from a steel 
drum  or  steel container. Prior to this discovery, pots, pans, paint 
cans,  buckets  and  dustbin  covers were used to produce a rhythm to 
revelers  after the Government had banned bamboo playing during World 
War  II.  Severe  abuse  with  sticks  and  pieces  of  metal bars or 
whatever  came to hand on the metal containers formed indentations on 
their  surfaces, and by chance notes/musical pitches were created and 
became  the  foundation  for  today's instruments. It is claimed that 
Winston Spree, a Trinidadian, made the first steel pan. 

There are basically three broad groupings in a Steel Orchestra: 


- Front Line - Imelody pans) tenors and double tenors. 


- Harmony Line - (counter melody) double second and guitar. 


- Bass Line (chords) bass pans. 

The  instrument  over  the  years  has  improved  and  now has a full 
chromatic  range  and is capable of playing almost any piece of music 
within its range. 

There are different parts to the Steel Pan: 


- The rim 


- The playing surface-inner, middle and outer notes. 


- The belly/underside. 


- The Skirt/resonator. 

The  Steel  Plan is played by the use of Steel Pan Sticks. The sticks 
vary  in length. The playing end of the stick is wrapped tightly with 
strips  of  rubber  or  covered  with  a rubber ball (bass drum). The 
sticks  are wrapped thickly enough to have the little bounce required 
to play the note, but not too much so as to deaden the sound. 

The Steel Plan in Anguilla 

Steel  Pan  was  introducted  at  the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive 
School  in  1987.  Mr. Michael Martin (pan tutor) had been invited by 
the  deputy  principal,  Anne  Edwards,  to  perform  at  the general 
assemblies  during  the school years 1986 to 1988. These performances 
acted  as  a  catalyst and a motivational factor to many students and 
soon  there  were lots of students waiting for the golden opportunity 
to  learn to play. Mrs. Daphne J. Richardson, the music teacher, then 
requested  the  expertise  of Mr. Martin to join the ALHCS staff as a 
pan  tutor.  Mr.  Martin did most of the teaching and Mrs. Richardson 
took  charge  of  the  transportation  and rewriting of the music for 
Steel  Pan.  Together  with the enthused students the band is what is 
is today! 

The  band  traveled  to Philadelphia in July 1997 for two weeks in an 
excahnge  with  a  performing  arts  center  there.  It  performed at 
several  ceremonies  and at concerts, gave workshops, and even played 
for the mayor. It was a thrilling experience. 

We  hope  to  travel  again  this  year.  However,  we  have  limited 
opportunities  to  earn  required  revenue  from  performances  in  a 
community  as  small  as  Anguilla. We are therefore dependent on the 
generosity   of   those   willing   to   support  constructive  youth 
development  activities  such  as  ours.  In  addition, new equipment 
needs  to  be  purchased. Also funds are necessary towards the making 
of  a  CD  of  our  music. For further information on how you or your 
company  can  help  in our fundraising ventures, call 264-497-2095 or 
email to westr@anguillanet.com 

Guest  article  by  Mirabelle  West, Student [Editor's Note: The high 
school  students  know  their  Pan Tutor as "Mr. Martin", but you may 
have heard him perform at hotels and nightspots as "Dumpa" .

B/ GRENADA NEWSLETTER

Spicy Islander #2 March ‘98 Topics covered in this months issue;
1.Tip of the month 
2.Osprey Express 
3.New Guest house 
4.Low Season 
5.House for Rent 
6.Adventure & Dive Packages 
7.Lance Aux Epines Cottages special 
8.British Airways will change its flights to Grenada. 
9.Fun Tours offers 10% discounts 
10.Tips for when you are in the Isle of Spice.

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New  tip  of  the  Month:  Last month we started a new feature on our 
Website,  “  Tip  of  the  month”  Every month,we will give you a tip 
which  we  think  is worthwhile. We will feature it in the newsletter 
and  on  the  web page. If anyone has any queries, please let us know 
by writing to; ( suggestion@grenadaexplorer.com).

This Month,we feature the Brown Sugar Restaurant.

Brown  Sugar  is  a  typical  local Restaurant located near the Grand 
Anse  which  offers  excellent  Grenadian  dishes. We have only heard 
good  comments  about  it  from visitors. Brown Sugar is in Grenadian 
hands  and  not  only  is the food excellent, but the service is good 
too.  Consequently,it  is a very well regarded place to enjoy a night 
out.  Go  to  the  Page  http://www.grenadaexplorer.com/March.htm and 
have a look at the menu card, it will tantalize your taste buds !

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OSPREY  EXPRESS.  In  our  last issue, we mentioned very shortly, the 
ferry  service  to  our sister island of Carriacou. As so many people 
have  inquired  about  this,  in  this  issue,  we will add some much 
needed  information  about  this  service.  Osprey Express is a power 
catamaran,  and  takes  approximately  90  minutes  for  the  trip to 
Carriacou  and  Petit  Martinique.The  trip  is quite pleasant as you 
travel  along  the west coast of Grenada and pass to the south of all 
the  little  islands  during  the  trip.  The ferry has two decks,the 
lower  one  is  sheltered  by the hull, but the upper deck is open to 
the  sunshine  and  fresh  air. Providing you are not prone to motion 
sickness,we  recommend  the  trip from the top deck. The Osprey ferry 
service  operates Monday to Friday,9:00 AM and 5:30 PM, and berths up 
at  the  Queens Jetty on the carenage. The cost of a return ticket is 
$75   E.C,   per   person.  Of  course,once  you  have  reached  your 
destination,  you  can  either  go on an island tour, or take a small 
boat  ride to Sandy Island, which is a typical small island paradise, 
with palm trees and beautiful white sand beaches. 
If  you  would like to get more information on the Osprey Express,you 
can visit their home page at; (http://www.belgrafix.com/osprey.html 

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New Guest house "Humming Bird"

This  is  a  new  Guest house which opened early this year. With only 
ten  (10)  rooms,  it  offers  typical small bed and breakfast charm. 
Located  in  Grand  Anse, the guest house has some beautiful views of 
Grand  Anse  Beach  and  of  course,everyday  it  features a tropical 
sunset  from  the verandah. All rooms have air-conditioning, ceiling-
fans,  refrigerator,and  double beds. Continental Breakfast available 
upon request. Owner on premises Rates year round ,$55 USD.

For  more  information Tel. 473 444 4216 - Fax 473 444 0905 or email: 
humming@grenadaexplorer.com

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Low Season begins on the April 16th.

Soon  our  Low  Season starts again, and that means better prices for 
you  if  you  book  your vacation then. In the low season, the hotels 
are  not  as  crowded,  and  as the rates are lower.Consequently,your 
money  goes  a lot further. All the amenities are available, with the 
added  benefit  that  everyone is more relaxed and therefore helpful. 
The  Rainy  Season  will  start  at the end of June, so that means we 
still  have  hot  sunshine and blue skies. Even when the rainy season 
starts  however,  it  is quite pleasant here as it only rains now and 
then.  Grenada  is  at its best during the rainy season as everything 
turns  a lush green, with a large number of plants blossoming to take 
advantage  of  the  growing  season.  Occasionally, a rain shower may 
surprise  you,  but  they  typically last for only about an hour. So, 
don’t  let anyone tell you the off-season is not a nice time to visit 
the Isle of Spice!

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Tamarind House for Rent

Tamarind  House  is  approached  by  a white curbed drive, lined with 
palms,   flowering  trees  and  shrubs.It  is  situated  on  a  bluff 
overlooking  the  sea.  *4 bedrooms/3baths *All rooms enjoy panoramic 
ocean  view  and open onto a patio *secluded swimming pool *Maid,cook 
and gardener included

Tamarind  House  is  within walking distance of two major hotels with 
excellent  restaurants  and tennis-courts, two yacht harbors, English 
Pub,  and  Lace Aux Epines Beach.By car you are five minutes from the 
famous  Grand Anse Beach,the island’s largest,and its adjacent resort 
hotels,restaurants, and shopping.

For more information,mail us at; ( Tamarind@grenadaexplorer.com)

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 Adventure & Dive Packages.

Dive  Grenada  is  offering  a complete adventure tour package to the 
island  of  Grenada.  Scuba  dive the pristine waters of an uncrowded 
but  yet exciting island. Hike the beautiful Rain forest and sail the 
coast  with  a  spectacular  view  of steep mountains,rain forest and 
crystal  turquoise  waters.  7  day Package includes: One dive on the 
world  famous  Bianca  C,  a  600  foot cruise ship that went down in 
1961,  a  spectacular dive of a mammoth ship where you will see great 
barracudas,eagle  rays,  large  schools of pelagic fish, turtles, and 
witness  the  history  of  an  old  cruise  liner.  (Note:Must  be  a 
certified diver with advanced diver training.)

Two  tank  dive  on  two  of Grenada’s many reefs, most of which have 
been  preserved  due  to  the  lack of extreme diving pressure, where 
you’ll  see large sponge corals, hard, soft, black , sheet, stag horn 
and  most  all the Caribbean species of coral in pristine conditions, 
and a large variety of tropical fishes.

1  day  trip  to the lle De Rhonde area of the southern Grenadines, a 
fantastic  diving area equal to the Caymans, and the Red Sea, but yet 
mostly  undiscovered  by  the diving world, where 200 foot visibility 
is  common,virtually no diving pressure and surrounded by uninhabited 
islands.  Experience caves, huge swim through and vertical drop offs. 
This  trip  includes  2  dives  and lunch, on a comfortable, spacious 
boat with a maximum of six guests. (Note:Must be a certified diver.)

Full  day  hike  from  the  Grand  Etang Rain forest (volcanic crater 
lake)  to Concord falls,where you can spot the rare Mona Monkeys, and 
see  how  the  Carib  Indians used to live. A spectacular view of the 
island  from  on  top  and  of  the  surrounding mountains. End up in 
beautiful  Concord  falls,  surrounded  by  lush rain forest and cool 
fresh  water  pools  ,  for  a swim or just some rest and relaxation. 
This  is  an  Iron  man  Hike  for  the  seasoned  hiker  and  can be 
substituted  for  an  easier hike or day tour of the island in an air 
conditioned  vehicle.  The 10 day package includes all the above plus 
a  Full  Day Cruise . You will depart the Tropicana jetty, enjoying a 
close  coastal  cruise  with stops at the Grand Anse, Morne Rouge Bay 
and  Rex  Resort. From Point Saline, you’ ll pass Glover Island on an 
upwind  sail  through  prickly  bay  , one of the most scenic bays in 
Grenada.  You’ll  become  part  of the cruising scene for a couple of 
hours   as  you  snorkel  and  lunch  at  Hog  or  Calivigny  Island. 
Returning,  first  enjoy a comfortable downwind sail and then a short 
upwind  leg  to  Grand  Anse  the  perfect  spot to drop back to your 
hotel.  The  10  day package also includes five additional dives. The 
14  day  package  includes the Bianca C, two tank, and Isle De Rhonde 
dives,  plus  the rain forest hike and island tour, the day sail on a 
beautiful  catamaran  and  an  additional  10  dives  to  satisfy the 
appetite  of the diving enthusiast. For the hiking enthusiast, or non 
diver,  the  package  can  be  tailored for hiking the many different 
trails  of  the  rain  forest  and hills of Grenada. Want to learn to 
dive  ?  Try  a discover Scuba Course and learn in two hours. You can 
do as many or as little dives as you like.

For  more  information  write to divepck@grenadaexplorer.com or visit 
http://www.divegrenada.com

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Lance Aux Epines Cottages “Special Offer”.

Stay  7  nights  and pay for only 5 nights (2 nights FREE) during the 
months  of  June, September & October OR Stay 7 nights and pay just 6 
nights  (1  night  FREE)  during  the  months  of May, July, August & 
November.  You  must  book  directly  with our office and mention the 
coupon  at the time of the reservation. Coupon must be presented upon 
check-in.  Cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. Offer 
expires  November  30,  1998 and is subject to change without notice. 
For more information,please contact us at;

Lance       Aux      Epines      Cottages      cottages@caribsurf.com 
http://www.laecottages.com     Tel:(473)444-4565    Fax:(473)444-2802 

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British Airways will change its Flight schedule soon.

From  the  end  of March,British Airways will fly from London Gatwick 
to  Grenada  every  Wednesday  and  Friday.  On  Friday the flight is 
Nonstop to Grenada and Wednesday via Barbados.

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Fun Tours Special Offer :

Fun   Tours   has   a  special  for  all  Spicy  Islander  Newsletter 
Subscribers.  You can check out their home page to find out what they 
have  to  offer.  Choose  the  tour  you  would  like  to do while in 
Grenada.  E-mail them right away and tell them which tour you you are 
interested  in,  and you will get a 10% discount. Check it out. Their 
address             is;(http://www.grenadaexplorer.com/Fun_Tours.htm) 

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Tips for when you are in Grenada !

1.  If  you  need  to  get around,use the local busses, it is fun and 
quite  cheap.  Our  bus  service  is  island  wide. Take a look at :( 
http://www.grenadaexplorer.com/Transportation.htm)

2.  If  you need a Taxi, we highly recommend Peter“Striker “Lewis. He 
is  an  excellent  taxi  driver  and has over 7 years experience as a 
professional  tour  guide.  He  offers  24  hour  service,and  can be 
reached at; 440-7363 or page him at 408-0821.

3.  While  here, you should visit one of our Rumfactorys,the best one 
being  “River  Antoine”,which  is  also  the  oldest  and still has a 
working Water wheel.

4.  Don’t  miss our Market on Saturdays in St.George’s ,where you can 
try out some of our local fruits.

5.  You  can  visit  our highest Waterfall,(Mount Carmel ) and take a 
dip in the cool mountain water.

6.  Take  some special souvenirs home from “Arawak Islands Ltd” .They 
offer  spices,  perfumes  and  much  more.Check  out  their  page at; 
(http://www.grenadaexplorer.com/Arawak1.htm).  7. And of course,don’t 
forget to tell everyone where you got your tips from. :-)

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Tours,car  rentals  and  hotel  reservations  can  be  made  directly 
through us at:(Reservations@grenadaexplorer.com) at no extra charge.

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Thats  all  from  us this month.We hope you have found our Newsletter 
helpful  and  informative,  and we will aim to have another issue out 
at  the  end  of March. Till then,we have lots of important things to 
do,such  as working on our tans,walking on the beach at sunset and of 
course   checking   out   the   food   at   the   restaurants.   Till 
then............ 

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This  Newsletter  is due to the on going efforts of : Monja ( Editor) 
&       Neil       (chief      cook      and      bottle      washer)  
Monja&Neil@grenadaexplorer.com http://www.grenadaexplorer.com 

JOURNEYS FOR APRIL 1998

BARBADOS: ALMOND BEACH RESORT BY JEFF MAJOR

Trip 3/98

We  have  just returned from our vacation at the Almond Beach Village 
in  Barbados.  Here  is a brief summary of our opinions on the resort 
and  the  island.  The  first impression that we got was chaos. There 
never  seemed  to  be anyone around who was willing to help or direct 
you  in  any  way and this started right at the airport upon arrival. 
After  an  hour  and  a half of waiting in line at immigration and at 
the  baggage  claim  (served  by  employees who did not hide the fact 
that  they'd  prefer to be doing anything else except helping you) we 
found  our  Sunquest  Tour  rep.  She  was  of  no  help  as the only 
direction  she  gave  us  was  to go outside and wait at a pillar for 
loading  on  the  buses. The system for getting people and luggage to 
and  from  the resort looked like it was being run by pre-schoolers - 
such  was  the  disorganization.  After  boarding  a bus on the third 
attempt,  we  were  informed by the Sunquest rep that we may not have 
rooms  available  at  the  resort for a couple of hours upon arrival. 
This  put everyone in a good mood. Several people were left behind by 
the buses and had to find their own way there.

Once  at the resort, the chaos mounted. There were no signs or people 
to  tell  you where to go to check in or claim luggage. We followed a 
mass  of people and were one of the lucky few whose rooms were ready. 
Several people had to be moved over to the Club due to over booking.

Our  room  was a major disappointment for the amount of money that we 
paid.  It  was  not consistent with a 4-5 star resort. We asked for a 
couple  of  items  to be fixed such as the shower head and close line 
but they never were.

The  majority  of the resort was very nice, the restaurants, bars and 
kids  club,  etc.  The  biggest  disappointment  was the unacceptable 
level  of service. The employees did not want to talk to you, look at 
you  or  serve  you. We frequently had to ask two and three times for 
things  or  do  it  yourself.  We were traveling with 7 month old and 
often  after asking for a high chair we had to go find one ourselves. 
Every  night  we had to argue with the room service staff just to get 
a jug of boiling water for the baby's bottle.

Overall,  the  resort  is  very  nice looking (some areas are showing 
wear)  but  the  service puts this resort closer to a 2 star property 
than the 4-5 it is advertised at.

CULEBRA BY FRANK NETHERWOOD

My  family  and I just returned from 10 days on the island of Culebra 
off  the eastern coast of Puerto Rico.  As I have read 1 or 2 reviews 
in   this   publication,   I   though  it  only  fair  to  offer  our 
observations.   This  is not a vacation location for  everyone! There 
are  no  "luxury"  accommodations,  1  hotel  (?) and several bed and 
breakfasts  and  rental  apartments.   Try to get some references and 
check   with   people   who   have  actually  stayed  where  you  are 
considering.   There  are many adequate places to stay and one or two 
very  nice  places,  Club  Seaborne  for  one  (only  one unit with a 
microwave  no  grill)   $150/night and the Harborview Villas at about 
the same price.  

The  beaches  on  the  island are excellent wide swaths of white sand 
and  the  thing  of  postcard heaven...getting to most of them is the 
soul  of  adventure.  The "roads" are primarily semi paved dry stream 
beds  leftover  from  the  last  rain  fall  or ice age, I'm not sure 
which.   A  rental  car  is mandatory if you are going to explore the 
7mi  long  by 4mi wide island and don't rent a car, rent a tank.  Try 
to  obtain  a   recent model vehicle with very high ground clearance, 
good  suspension  and  excellent tires ie Jeep.  One gentleman on the 
island  rents  Volkswagen  "Things"...don't   fall  for  this...Willy 
rents  jeeps  and  other sturdy vehicles for around $40.00/day. Right 
near  the  airport.   Restaurants  in general are few and far between 
the  best  being  Mamacitas  on  the  canal  except  for  Mondays and 
Thursdays  when  dinner at the Wash n Wear Cafe is served (only those 
two  nights).   Breakfast  and Lunch are also good and reasonable and 
you  can  do  a  load of wash at the same time!  We avoided the Dingy 
Dock  overpriced  and  under  quality.  Bar is OK, but the drinks are 
light.   As  a sidebar, the people on this island, both native Puerto 
Ricans  and mostly Northeastern US expats where generally (exceptions 
noted)  not  very  friendly, nothing like the people we met last year 
on  Cayman Brac or in years before in the BVI's.  We can't really put 
a  handle  on  why,  but I got the impression everyone was wanted for 
some crime as yet undiscovered!  

The  best snorkeling beach on the island is Carlos Rosario beach with 
the  road(?)  located  just  next  to  the administration building at 
Flamingo  Beach.   The best beach for kids is either there or the far 
east  end  of  Flamingo  called  the "Shark Pen" . Named after an old 
Navy  structure where they used to study sharks.  The turnoff is just 
before  the  salt  pond  on  the  road  to  Flamingo. Scuba diving is 
excellent  depending  on  your level .  I had a bad experience with a 
misunderstanding  a  Reef Divers and part of the problem is that they 
don't  own  their  own boat. If you are an experienced diver, I would 
recommend  Richard  Cantwell  at  Culebra  Dive  Shop  and  his  boat 
"Spanish  Dancer".   He  is  the typical Caribbean Cowboy diver and a 
lot  of fun to dive with..very knowledgeable on local dive sites, but 
a  little  light  on maximum no decompression dive limits and surface 
intervals...use your head.  

A  side  trip to the island of Culebrita is mandatory.  Use Bernie at 
Villa  Aryanar  who  has  a  19'  boat  and  is  a  retired submarine 
commander.  Great  guy,  great with kids and chuck full of facts that 
made for a wonderful day.  

We'll  go  back..won't  stay  where  we stayed...and won't rent a car 
from  where  we  rented  from..but  the island was very enjoyable and 
reminds us of the Caribbean of old.  

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