Anguilla News: March 1996

News reports from on the island, as they were posted to the Net:

[Beach at Cap Juluca]

Cap Juluca Resort

Cap Juluca Update

I had an email update on the status of Cap Juluca from their controller Ricardo Perez. If you have questions, you can contact him at ricardop@candw.com.ai.
We are hoping that the dredging would be completed by next week, weather permitting. They estimated that we only need 3 more days of dredging. Also, all the beach steps are finished and painted, better than they were before.

Pimms, is being re-painted completely right now, we expect it to be open some time in April.

The villas are all completed and looking better than ever.

Visa Card Mystery Solved

Earlier, I reported that some businesses on the island were converting all VISA charges into EC dollars, supposedly at the insistence of the EC Central Bank. It turned out the Central Bank had not made such a rule and the practice has stopped. Only charges on local VISA cards must be coded in EC dollars (i.e., only those cards issued in the Eastern Carribean). Charges on US VISA cards are once again being coded in US dollars.

Anguilla's Menus: Serenity Restaurant and Bar

Ken Rogers has opened an upscale new restaurant at the quiet upper end of Shoal Bay beach: Serenity. You can sit in their lounge chairs on the sand, enjoy Pina Coladas brought to you by a friendly Anguillian waitress, and soak up the sun and sea. Then rinse off the sand and salt in their outdoor shower and stroll up the stairway to their bar and tables. 264-497-3228.

Continuing my series on The Menus of Anguilla, here is a glimpse of Serenity:

Anguilla on the Net

We went to La Sirena Hotel for lunch recently and picked up their newsletter. The hotel looks to be back in full swing: the bougainvillea climbing their buildings are lush and beautiful. 264-497-6827. The big news is that they are on the Net. You can email them at masshardtr@anguillanet.com. Rolf the manager says they are new to the net, but already some of their customers have started making reservations via email. Other news:
The Mayoumba Folkloric Theater is once again singing every Thurdsay night at La Sirena.

Sandy Island is still a great place for snorkeling. The vegeation has hard competition with the sea and therefore it really can be called only "Sandy Island". However whoever loves an unspoiled island with nearly no tourists should take a chance to go there for some hours. But be careful with your skin, there is still no shade available. It will take nature probably some years to restore the 17 coconut trees we had grown to love so much.

Get Married in Paradise. More and more couples want to make their special day really special. And what would be more exciting than to say "I do" on a catamaran cruise or on a deserted beach on Anguilla. Heres how it works: You can get married in Anguilla under a special license. It can be obtained from the Magistrate's Court in The Valley and takes two days to process. Both parties must present proof of citizenship and if divorced, a decree must be presented. If one or both of the partners has resided in Anguilla for at least 15 days, the cost of a license is US$ 40.00. If your stay is shorter the cost is US$ 284.00. Two witnesses are required for the ceremony. [Note: the hotel can arrange everything, including the minister.]

Steve Donahue has updated his homepage with some recent photos of his house under construction on Anguilla, as well as some "before and after" photos of Luis. Go to http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/STEVE_DONAHUE/. Steve is building a house behind Cap Juluca and recording the entire process on the Web.

Leroy Hill has created a personal home page at http://www.candw.com.ai/~truckingp/. Leroy recently returned to Anguilla from college and is studying the HTML language of Web pages.

The Anguilla Amateur Radio Society has a home page at http://www.candw.com.ai/~stottl/aars.html. These are the fine folks who did so much to help maintain communications with the Caribbean (not just Anguilla) during the recent hurricane season.

For others in Anguilla who might want to put up a page for their organization or themselves, I have written a short document explaining some of the nuts and bolts details of creating and installing your page. Go to http://www.candw.com.ai/~greenr/howto.html

Mariners Hotel has email at sternj@candw.com.ai and accepts reservation inquiries that way! I went by to get a quote for a small annual conference of computer programmers and had a tour of the facilities. They have rebuilt the hurricane damage, repainted everything, reopened the restaurant, and started work on their web page. Looks good. Unfortunately, the programmers voted to go to Lake Tahoe in 97 (can you believe that), but Anguilla came in second. I will just have to do a better job of lobbying for the next year. 264-497-2671.

School in Anguilla

March is Early Childhood Education in Anguilla, activities including open day at school, a concert, a march by the children of the pre-schools and talks for parents. There are also seven primary schools on Anguilla and one high school: the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School (ALHCS).

ALHCS College Fair. On Friday, May 10th from 9 AM to 4 PM will be held the first ALHCS College Fair. The location is the new Public Library Conference Room. Representatives from colleges and universities will be there so that 4th-6th form students can find out about going on to college.

ALHCS Annual Careers Fair. The high school is also holding a careers fair, Friday 17th April, from 9 AM to 3 PM for students in 3rd through 6th form at ALCHS.

For more information on either event, contact the Guidance Counseler, Anita Martin-Ruan, 264-497-2416, 2417, fax 2908.

"Shipwrecks of Anguilla" - Updated Edition

David Berglund's book, Shipwrecks of Anguilla, 1628-1995 has been updated for Hurricane Luis. The earliest known shipwreck was in 1628: one of two Spanish merchantmen returning from Puerto Rico (it has been called a "galleon" in some accounts) wrecked off the north coast of Anguilla. The most recent occurred on September 5th, 1995, involving the freighters M.V. Lady Sea Horse and M.V. Pomead, the fishing boats M.V. Christobel and M.V. Anguillita, the trading sloop Faithful Counseler, the catamarans Princess and Wildcat, and the sailing yacht Flica (recently sailed to Anguilla from Europe by our island dentist Dr. Erlich). You can buy a copy of this fascinating book at The Dive Shop, Sandy Ground. 264-497-2020. Or contact David Berglund directly at Little Harbour House, Box 130, Anguilla.

News from "The Light"

Recently, our local paper The Light interviewed Dr. and Mrs. Simmons who had returned to Anguilla for a short vacation, 27 years after their previous stay here as part of a volunteer mission:
Picture Anguilla with only two guest houses, no tourists, and no electricity. Post Hurricane Luis Anguilla? No, Anguilla as it was 27 years ago...Dr. Simmons and his wife Patsy, remember an Anguilla that had no paved roads, no current, very few cars, and no water system. They saw only small wooden houses, instead of the larger concrete ones common tody. One of the greatest differences they observed was that there were very few able bodied men on Anguilla in 1969 because there was no economy - no tourism, and no commercial fishing or farming. The men were in St. Thomas, St. Kitts, or Santo Domingo working to support their families here.

The only power on the island was that supplied to the British Army by a generator 2 hours every night. The Simmons remember heating buckets and buckets of water to bathe and using mosquito nets so that they could sleep comfortably at night. The roads to the beaches were close to impassible. Their typical Anguillian diet was much as it is today - fresh bread, chicken, cabbage, and rice.

Other news: Unity Reunion 1997 is a reunion on Anguilla of all nationals residing abroad, organized by the newly formed Anguillian Cultural Society of Canada (contact Leah Phillips 416-949-2376 if you are interested in participating).

The Light welcomes overseas subscribers. For 26 issues, including post and handling, send your name and address plus US$ 39 or UK 22.5 to Box 1373, The Valley, Anguilla. 264-497-5641.

News from "The Daily Herald"

The St. Martin newspaper The Daily Herald is published every day except Sunday and does a reasonable job of covering events in Anguilla. For example:

"Frigate to Visit During Weekend" (HMS Brave, the West Indian guardship, with a complement of 278 officers and men, accompanied by the RFA Oakleaf supply ship with 36 men),

"Softball Tournament Off To A Good Start" (The Annual Female Softball tournament started with some exciting matches.. In the second game on Sunday, defending champions Malliouhana Royals played Cable and Wireless and won with an outstanding score of 17-7),

"Old House Saved by Archaeological Society" (On Saturday a unique moving operating took place on Anguilla, when an old house was moved from The Quarter to Sile Bay. The house, which belongs to Danielle Rogers, was damaged during Hurricane Luis and was due to be demolished this week and replaced with a new building, funded by the National Hurricane Relief Committee),

"Questions Aruban PPA On Anguilla Project (The opposition party PPA has asked Minister of Economic Affairs Tico Croes a series of questions on the airport project of Anguilla. The PPA wants to know whether the minister puts exterior projects above the interests of Aruba. They also want Croes to give clarity on the financial arguments to invest 105 million Aruban guilders in Anguilla and Venezuela. The letter to Croes continues to name projects in Aruba which are in need of a financial impulse, such as Queen Beatrix Airport, the roads, education and sports facilities)

"British Frigate Assists Coast Guard in Drug Bust" (HMS Brave, visiting Anguilla this weekend, was involved in a drug bust on Thursday which led to an arrest and the seizure of half a tonne of cocaine...they were altered by the US Coast Guard to a likely drug drop in an area south of the Saba Bank, 120 miles southwest of Anguilla)

To subscribe to The Daily Herald call 25253 or 25597 in St. Maarten and ask for Julie.

New Restaurant: Carib Cafe

There is a new restaurant at Long Bay, next to Malliouhana Hotel: Carib Cafe, featuring Pumpkin Conch Puffs (seasoned pumpkin batter with chunks of conch), Papaya Soup (Papaya softly cooked in vegetable stock and served with julienne of ginger deep fried), Poached Christophene (stuffed with seafood or ground beef and cubes of vegetables topped with cheese), Honey Curried Goat, local fish, lobster and crayfish, West Indian style. Sounds good and prices start at $4 US. 264-497-4079.

Updates: Cap Juluca, Coccoloba, Mariners, Shoal Bay Villas

Ricardo Perez at Cap Juluca writes: Its great to be able to pass on the news that the Beach has been totally completed and that the dredge is finally out of sight. ricardop@candw.com.ai

Rumor has it that Coccoloba Resort on Barnes Bay has found new owners, who plan to finish the refurbishing after Hurricane Luis, expand, and reopen in September as a health spa. 264-497-6771.

The new owners of Mariners on Sandy Ground plan to invest in upgrading and improving the resort, if the deal ever goes through to completion. One planned idea is to enclose the terrace bar and make a conference/dining room for up to 125 people. The existing conference room is adequate, but is strained at 50 people.

We chatted with veteran tourists who were staying at the reopened Shoal Bay Villas. They report that the condo units have been completely refurbished and have new appliances, paint, and furniture inside. The outside is very tastefully repainted, but the restaurant is still under construction. [Ed: reopened Dec96 as LeBeach.] This couple have been staying at the Villas for ten years and found them just as good as before Luis. They first heard about Anguilla and Shoal Bay Villas from a disgruntled friend who was complaining about his vacation: When you step out of the condo you can't avoid the talcum-powder smooth sand that gets into your feet and everything, the management doesn't allow any noise, and the three-mile long beach has nobody on it. Their friend hated it, but they begged him for the name of this "terrible" place. 264-497-2051.

"Paradise Cafe" Open for Seventh Year

I haven't been able to eat at Paradise Cafe on Shoal Bay West since the hurricane (they have always been closed each time I went by -- this should teach me to phone first), but lunch is 12-2 and dinner is 7-9; closed Mondays; Paradise Cafe is run by Pamela and Micheal Marciezy; 264-497-6010. I continue my series on The Menus of Anguilla with these items from Paradise Cafe:

Statia and Saba

Statia is what everyone calls St. Eustatius, the nearby Dutch island. It has about 1800 residents, so is even quieter than Anguilla. Here is an interesting item from their police report:

Goat. Mrs. B.L.M. reported that a goat was stuck and in trouble. The police managed to free the animal. Because of the number of complaints about loose animals, it was decided in consultation with the Lt. Governor to reinstate the stall next to the police station. The animals will be kept there eight days. If their owners do not show up within that time, they will be either slaughtered or sold.

Saba is another neighboring Dutch island, this one even smaller (1100 people) and without a single beach (Saba comes straight up out of the ocean, a dead volcanic cone, a place where they said it would be impossible to build a road or an airport -- they were wrong). Here are a couple of items from the Saba Police report:

Theft. The owner of a liquor store in Windwardside on March 13 asked for police assistance. A man walked out of the store with a bottle of rum, refusing to pay for it. This man, who is well-known to police, was located, reprimanded about his behaviour and returned the bottle to the store. The owner of the store did not wish to file an official complaint.

Goat Nuisance. Police assistance was requested in The Bottom on March 15 because of goat nuisance. Goats a particular owner had damaged plants of a man living in The Bottom. Damage was estimated to be more than NAf. 400. After police mediation the owner of the goats promised to settle damages with the man. He was also informed of complaints police had received from people living in the Range about his goats. He promised to take care of this.

Sombrero Island

While browsing through the archives of the Anguilla National Trust, located in the purple museum building near the corner of Queen Elizabeth Blvd and Coronation Avenue, I came across A Visit to Sombrero by P. Bannis, Government Information Service Bulletin Vol I, No 2, July 1978, which quoted from the writings of Mr. William Hodge in the Sombrero Visitors' Book:

Sombrero Lighthouse, West Indies, lies at 18-35'49" N, 63-25'34" W and keeps its faithful vigil over the eastern edge of the Anegada Passage. Built on solid rock which rises 40' above sea leel, the tower stands 160' above sea level and flashes its beams of guiding light every 5 seconds within a radius of 19 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

As a result of the Spanish wars, the island passed into the hands of the British and in 1811 a British geologist surveyed Sombrero and found that it abounded in phosphate of lime. This was reported to the Government but it was not until 1824 when the Americans claimed the island and quarried 100,000 tons of phosphate to enrich their lowlands that the British intervened and demanded compensation.

Sombrero, lying in the route of shipping from England to South and Central America, was a great hazard and in 1848 the Admiralty was asked to install a light thereon. In 1859 the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company's ship "PARAMATTA" was wrecked with great loss of life which resulted in another request to the Admiralty.

The United States claim to the island was settled in England's favour in 1867 and Sombrero Lighthouse was built and exhibited its light on the evening of 1st January, 1868. In 1890 the phosphate works on the island were abandoned and in 1931 the old light system was changed and improved to 200,000 candle power and the tower received its first major repair as the basement was encased in concrete. On 20th July, 1962 the present lighthouse was put into operating and the old tower demolished on 28th July, 1962.

Sombrero still has lighthouse keepers, but no doubt the future will bring an automated system, as in the rest of world. We have friends who have visited Sombrero on the police launch, but we haven't heard of any scheduled outings open to the public.

Update: Hill Street Restaurant

Hill Street is known for their good, fast, local lunch. But they also serve breakfast. The Special is two eggs any style, bacon or ham with toast, tea or coffee, for $2.99. If you come for dinner, the Rasta Shamash will entertain you. They even offer a Lobster Salad. Hill Street is located next to Fairplay Center, one street north of Queen Elizabeth Avenue about in line with Cable and Wireless. Those are the best directions I can give, since there are no street signs or street numbers in Anguilla. 264-497-2487.

Anguilla Web Resources

Here is an Anguilla web page that reads like a travel book -- it has some good basic info, but is out of date and slightly inaccurate ("seafood is Anguilla's main industry", "the Fountain is a must see" [ed: it is not actually open to public]). http://www.infi.net/~slm/ag.html

For a much more personalized and opinionated view of Anguilla, with many pictures, check this four-page report. http://www.peli.com/Archive/aANGUILLA02.html

Allamanda Beach Club now has a web page for their resort on Shoal Bay. Why not read their page and send them an email message at allamanda@offshore.com.ai? Neil Armstrong of my Canadian office stayed there for two weeks recently while working on my computers here in Anguilla. http://www.offshore.com.ai/allamanda/

Keene Enterprises has a page for their rental villas. Check out their Anguilla Dream House. http://www.offshore.com.ai/keene/

IBM Anguilla has a very brief Web page, pointing to Barbados and St Kitts for customer service. http://www.can.ibm.com/caribbean/anguilla.html

Do you want to move to Anguilla? There is a luxury house for sale in Anguilla at $1,295,000. I recognize it as a large new mordern-looking house located on the North shore about one mile west of Shoal Bay. http://206.24.28.61/offshore/housead.html

Gilbert Fleming at Howard University has a web page for Pineapple Beach Club with lots of pictures and flashing graphics, last updated in November, but no telephone number (it is 264-497-6061). http://www.cldc.howard.edu/~gaf/pbcphoto.html

Gilbert also has a page with Anguilla's flag. http://www.cldc.howard.edu/~gaf/flag.html

. . . continue virtual vacation (preceding month)

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