Caribbean Travel Roundup
Newsletter - Paul Graveline, Editor
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(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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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" .
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. ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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; ( firstname.lastname@example.org). 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 ! ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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! ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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) ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.divegrenada.com ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 email@example.com http://www.laecottages.com Tel:(473)444-4565 Fax:(473)444-2802 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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. ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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) ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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. :-) ------------------------------------------------------------------- Tours,car rentals and hotel reservations can be made directly through us at:(Reservations@grenadaexplorer.com) at no extra charge. ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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............ ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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
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.
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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