Anguilla News: December 1996

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

[Uncle

Uncle Ernies, with Shoal Bay Resort in the background. That's Trevor leaning on the rail.

New Web Page Address: WWW.NEWS.AI

Seasons greetings from Anguilla. The Anguilla Local News is startng the new year with a new cleaner look, a new set of index pages to help you find information on Anguilla, and a new URL: http://www.news.ai (AI is the Internet domain for Anguilla). If you have bookmarks to the old address, please update them to new address.

On each page of the Anguilla Local News web site, you will find 3 or 4 of the following icons to help you navigate:

[news] [News] Click here to jump immediately from any page to the latest Anguilla news.

[home] [Home] Click here to link to my personal home page.

[mail] [Mail] Click here to send me an email message.

 [House] Click here to see our house plans.

[index] [Index] Click here to enter the Links/Index pages of the Anguilla Local News, with information on art, beaches, hotels, villas, restaurants, activities, and much more.

The new Index/Links section of this web site is subdivided by topics:

Coccoloba Reopens

Coccoloba Resort on Barnes Bay has reopened with a new name: Coccoloba Meta Resort. The existing structures have been repaired and refurbished and a whole new set of accomodations is due to open in six months at the east end of the property.

This new section will be known as the Meta Resort and will stress preventive medicine and promotes homoeopathic treatment methods. Two physicians will always be on site, with a physicians advisory board of 40 doctors rotating duty visits. The new section will have a new swimming pool, squash court, more tennis courts, fitness center, and therapy center.

News Tidbits

Want to know what the official taxi rates are from the airport or ferry terminal to your hotel. Check out the taxi rate page at Julian Nile's Anguilla Home Page.

Due to increased tourist reservations for this season, American Eagle adds an extra roundtrip between San Juan and Anguilla starting January 31st.

Images opened on George Hill. Donna Banks has opened her dream store, a bazaar of showrooms displaying an assortment of merchandise: mahogony bureaus and shelves hand crafted by Pastor Bernard Joseph, leather goods, makeup bar, a boutique with casual and dresswear, sports center, and a mini-bookstore. Located near the traffic light for Little Harbour.

The Anguilla Tae Kwon Do Club meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6PM at the Methodist Church in The Valley. The instructor is Emmanuel Laud and Assistant Instructor is Edward Webster, recently the first Anguillian ever awarded a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

The Anguilla Drug Store has moved into a new building of its own across from Cable and Wireless. Much larger, brighter premises. And just in time to be filled with a huge new selection of toys for Christmas.

Jerry Brown's Anguilla Garden Centre in Sandy Ground now has a sign and official opening hours: Monday and Thursday 4-6, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9:30-11:30, Saturday 9:30-12:00. Check the selection of terracotta pots, ferns, fertilizers, bark chips, palms, ixoras, pro-mix, mulch, pesticides, and herbicides.

Cap Juluca and Cinammon Reef Have Email

Now you you contact Cap Juluca and Cinammon Reef resorts by electronic mail:

Eclipse Has Opened

Cap Juluca's restaurant has been reborn as Eclipse under the direction of Belgian chef Baudouin Erpicum, serving the California-Provencal "Cuisine of the Sun": fresh seafood roasted in a wood-burning oven. As reported earlier, this restaurant is a sister to the famed celebrity restaurant of the same name in Los Angeles.

Baudouin Erpicum comes to Anguilla after holding executive chef posts at Le Picotin in Brussels, Chez Francoise in Ibizi, and L'Avant Gout in Brussels.

Anguilla As a Place to Do Business

Here is a local web site that covers the formalities of Anguilla "As a Place to Do Business". This includes incorporation, trusts, but also residency/work permits and Labour Laws. (dead links)

Latest "Anguilla Life"

The Winter issue of anguillia life magazine is on the newstands and it is packed with interesting articles. Subscribe for one year (3 issues, December April August) US $20, UK 14, EC 54. Send money order to PO BOX 109, Anguilla BWI.

[old Traditional West Indian house, Crocus Hill

Start of Tourist Season

December 15th is the traditional start of high season in Anguilla and all our hotels and restaurants are ready and waiting. In honour of the occasion, here are some news items for the prospective visitor.

What Should I Wear?

I received this interesting email query last week:
>Finally we'll be visiting Anguilla Jan 4 - 18. Last night
>some friends told us that appropriate clothing for lunch (even
>at beach bars and grills) is slacks for men and skirts or dresses
>for women. is this true? If it is, we'll have to make some big 
>changes in our packing plans quickly.
Not true. Both of you can go to even the fanciest restaurant for dinner in shorts. The only real rule to remember is not to go to The Valley in your bikini - throw on a beachwrap. Some Caribbean islands are more conservative in their dress than Anguilla.

Here is the advice we send our visitors:

Temperature: Winter is 73 to 86 F (23 to 30 C) morning, noon and night. Summer is 78 to 88 F (26 to 32 C).

Clothing: There is no need for a sweater or rain jacket, you will never be cold. Although "Winter" is a little cooler than "Summer" here, you still won’t be cold but you may want a sweater for the plane and that would also work here if we happen to get a cold spell and the temperature plunges to 74.

Casual clothes will suffice for every event. Summer shorts are acceptable attire for men or women. For dinner in a fancy restaurant, dressy casual will suffice, gentlemen will not need a tie or jacket, women can wear anything but will probably feel comfortable with slacks or summer dress. Essential clothing is swim suit or beach wear, beach shoes, beach cover-up, sunglasses, sun-tan lotion and a hat if you want.

If you should be invited to a local party or function, here is how the dress code works. All party invitations indicate the dress expected Formal means men wear a tie. Casual means men don’t have to wear a tie. Black-tie means men wear a jacket—can be tux or suit or blazer—whatever you have. In all cases women wear whatever they want (usually dressy).

What Kind of Money Should I Bring?

Shopping and Currency: Anguilla and St. Martin/Maarten accept US currency. In St. Martin/Maarten you should inquire as to what exchange rate they are offering and you can decide to use you credit card or obtain local currency if you will be making purchases. Often prices are quoted in both US and local currency. In Anguilla the rate is fixed at all business and banks 1 US dollar = 2.68 EC (Eastern Caribbean) dollar.

What Should I Buy? Handcrafted Art Boxes

The Devonish Art Gallery in George Hill had an opening reception on Saturday night (Dec 14th) for Wayne Onkphra Wells. Wayne creates handcrafted, one of kind, wooden collector's boxes and sculptures. He is from Barbados and works mainly in mahogony. Especially fun are the beautiful boxes within boxes. To find the gallery, drive west from The Valley roundabout and look for it on the left at the second traffic light.

Pictured below are gallery owner Courteney Devonish (also a sculptor) and Wayne Onkphra Wells.

[gallery show]

What Should I Do? Snorkelling!

One of the most enjoyable activities in Anguilla is snorkelling:

What If I Stay the Winter?

For those of you who are coming for the entire winter, artist Lynne Bernbaum is starting a new series of watercolour classes. Beginning Adult. $95US. Wednesday 7-9PM, supplies included. January 8-February 26. Live model session. Beginning Children (age 5 and up). $75US. Saturdays 3-5PM, supplies included. January 11-March 1. Call Lynne at 264-497-5211 for registration.

Where Can I Eat?

[Hardbroke Bar &Restaurant]

Anguilla is known for a wide variety of dining opportunities and famous Shoal Bay now has seven restaurants sprinkled from one end to the other. Campbell has opened his new Hardbroke Bar and Restaurant just to the west of Uncle Ernie's to replace the Round Rock that was damaged in Luis. This is right on the sand, with umbrellad tables if you like. Although they specialize in local favorites like chicken and rigs, the first time we tried it we had three enornmous lobsters at $20 each (a bargain on Anguilla). Crayfish is $18 when available. Our plates come with generous Anguillian-sized portions of fries, coleslaw, rice and peas. And they have live music on most Sunday afternoons and evenings, sometimes with quite a crowd dancing. This is a local place worth trying out.

Reefside Re-Opens as "Le Beach". The Reefside Restaurant at Shoal Bay Villas is now rebuilt and reopened as Le Beach. It is right on the beautiful sand, colorful, and the ribs and burger that we had were first rate (courtesy of the chef, Sidney). Plus the beach area just in front of the restaurant is one of the best swimming spots on Shoal Bay. Will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. To get there, take the road the Shoal Bay and turn right just before Uncle Ernies on the road that runs along in front of the wall/fence. Telephone: 264-497-5598.

What Do Visitors Say About in Anguilla?

I found the following Anguilla trip report that was posted to the Anguilla Tete-a-Tete web site by tourist Kate Ellison. She gave gave me permission to reprint an extract:
We visited Anguilla from the UK in November 1996 - and loved it!

Top three friendliest people:
1. Our landlady and landlord at La Palma, Sandy Ground
2. Everyone who waved hello when we drove past
3. Ivor the diver at Road Bay, who sold me one shell then
gave me another

Top three best characters:
1. Jeremiah Gumbs, owner of the Rendezvous Bay Hotel and
one of the rebellion leaders in the '60s
2. Uncle Ernie from the beach bar at Shoal Bay. Sooooo laid back
3. Pressure King, beach services guy at Shoal Bay

... click here to read the rest of her "top three" lists.

I thought you might enjoy reading other people's opinions for a change. If you would like more, visit the Tete-a-Tete on-line forum at the Anguilla Home Page to post your own comments or see what others have to say about Anguilla:

Where Can I Go From Anguilla?

Two enjoyable side trips from Anguilla are St. Barths and Saba. Check out these web sites:

Will There Be Any Birds?

This question arrived via email from a couple planning to return to Anguilla for another visit:
>I have  a question where you may have an answer:
>You talked about 'what happened to the  goats  during Luis?'.  My wife and
>I are a bit worried about the birds, especially hummingbirds, and the
>yellow nectar birds.  Do you know whether they survived the storm?
>Are they back again?

The birds are back, but not in the numbers of before. Hummingbirds are back, as are the little yellow and black bananaquits and there are many Anguillian doves now. There were almost no birds after Luis and it is speculated that the birds have repopulated from other islands, migrating up the island chain from unaffected areas.

What's Happening In Anguilla?

There are many activities during the Christmas break (school is out from Dec 13 to Jan 6). In The Valley there will be choral events, string band concerts, fireworks and much more, leading up to Christmas and continuing afterward. And in January and February there are traditionally many fund raising events (bazaars, dinners, fashion shows, etc.) that can be great fun. The best way I know to find out all about local activities is to listen to Radio Anguilla at 1505 AM.

If you have ever wanted to see a cricket match, the teams from the Leeward Islands are here for a tournament until December 18th. Look for matches at Sandy Ground and Ronald Webster Park.

If you find the road blocked by piles of dirt on the way to Sandy Ground or in The Valley, blame it on Edghill Associates of Barbados. They are here on a contract to improve the road down to Sandy Ground, pave the road between the two banks in The Valley, and build a new pier in Island Harbour.

Are There Any Famous Anguillans?

Anguillian-born Norwell Roberts, the first black policeman in Britain, is retiring after 29 years on the force and has just been awarded the Queen's Police Medal. Here is an extract from a web site honouring him:
The confidential letter Norwell Lionel Roberts (or Nos as he is known) received from the Home Office last December informed him that he had been mentioned in the New Year's Honours list. ''1 thought it was a joke," he says. These suspicions proved unfounded in March this year when he received the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) for distinguished service. The award was presented by His Royal Highness, Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. On that day, London's first black police officer became the only black police officer to have been so recognised. Congratulating him, the Prince remarked that the police needed more people like him.

[Shoal Bay Beach

Shoal Bay Beach, Anguilla (click for larger view)

Anguilla Has the Whitest Beach San

If you have any interest in Caribbean beaches, find a copy of Conde Nast Traveller for November 1996. On page 133 in an article entitled "The Secret in the Sand", Ron Hall describes his search for the most perfect sand in the Caribbean. He reviews some of Anguilla's thirty-plus beaches, including Rendevous Bay, with its "long, curving ribbon of sand held in the protective arms of a two-and-a-half-mile-long bay", then focuses in on one beach:

"The most pristine sand sample, however, is from long, low, dusty Anguilla, the Caribbean island most envied for the number and quality of its beaches... Shoal Bay's sand is truly amazing: Not only is it as white as coral sand can ever be, but mixed into it are tiny fragments of pure while shell. The effect of wind on ths mixture is to bring the shell fragments to the surface, where they catch the sun and add a distinctive sheen to the entire beach."

New Web Site: Romantic Weddings in Anguilla

"Weddings on the Go" can arrange all the details of your romantic, tropical beach wedding in Anguilla. Check out their web page.

Shopping: Buy Doors at Paramount Pharmacy

Between the two roundabouts on the main road, but off on a side road to the North in Water Swamp, across from a concrete plant, follow the sign and you will find the Paramount Pharmacy. This is a good place to shop if you need to get your prescriptions re-filled or to purchase other drug store items. But like many shops in Anguilla, this one holds a surprise. They also sell doors, which they brought in after Hurricane Luis in anticipation of reconstruction needs. 264-497-2366. More shopping.

Caribbean Rhythms to Shoot Here

Dec 12-17 a crew will be on Anguilla from the Caribbean Rhythms TV show (BET Cable) to shoot 3 episodes. This is a one hour show which airs on Saturday at 2PM and 12AM, reaches 50.2 million homes. The show features Caribbean music and is set on various locations shoots: Belize, Jamaica, Trinidad, etc. According to Medhurst and Associates (Anguilla's ad agency in NY), all the Anguillian bands will be invited to participate. Celebrity artists will be Tito Puente JR and Max Elliot (Max Priest).

New Gallery of Contemporary Caribbean Art

Canadian Frank Costin has opened the Savannah Gallery in The Valley. He features water colors, oils and prints of tropical scenese by local artists such as Margorie Morani, Charlie Connor, Jo-Anne Hill Saunders, Tanya Clark, and Rose Sasso (fantastic bags crafted of bamboo, raffia, coconut), plus artists that Frank has discovered in Haiti and Jamaica. Savannah Gallery is in a historical building up Coronation Avenue toward Koal Keel and Crocus Hill. Previously, Clifton James had his computer business in this building (he has moved to above the Cable TV office in Old Ta). Frank has painted and redecorated the 100 year old structure to make it an efficient gallery, while retaining its historic qualities (very low doorways!). 264-497-4566, 2263. Email: savannahga@anguillanet.com

Monteserrat Volcano Warning

Due to a weakening crater wall at the volcano in the Soufriere Hills the danger level in Montserrat has been upgraded from Amber to Orange. Scientists are worried that a collapse could lead to large lava flows into St. Patricks, or even result in an explosive lateral blast. They are watching the situation carefully. You can get daily reports on this Caribbean volcano which is about 150 miles south of Anguilla at this web site.

Movie Shoot in Marigot, St. Martin

The Twentieth-Century Fox film Speed 2 has built a set of fake buildings on part of the Marigot waterfront and is getting ready to shoot scenes for the new movie, including the crash of a ship into this scenic Caribbean village (faked I hope). They have already started shooting crowd scenes and explosion scenes on a supertanker out in Cay Bay - the movie stars are expected soon: Sandra Bullock and Jason Patric are the innocent couple on vacation in the Caribbean and William DaFoe is the charismatic genius who masterminds the crime (naturally he is a computer programmer).

Artist of the Month: Jo-Anne Hill Saunders

[seagrapes and bird] In the USA, Jo-Anne Saunders worked primarily in sculpting. Since moving to to Anguilla, she has been drawn into water colors by the intensity of the colors here and the way the bright light plays with them. She recently started working with a computer pad and fine arts software that gives her even more freedom to create the light effects she see every day. Jo-Anne says she handles the pen just as she would a paint brush--it is actually painting in the same style as always, but the computer is the paper.

Jo-Anne is having a continuing show called "Anguilla Breeze" at the Savannah Gallery. It consists of recent watercolors created after Hurricane Luis. The works are inspired by the strength and beauty of the trees here in Anguilla and how the constant wind shapes their lives.

Get Ready to Eat!

Anguilla's famed gourmet restaurants are back in full operation.

Pimms is open at Cap Juluca, soon to become Eclipse under direction of famed chef Bernard Erpicum. The pastry goat cheese appetizer from the current chef is incredible.

Cyril's Fish House has reopened in Island Harbour with a redocarted and improved bar and dining room, similar menu to last year. The gazspacho soup is very good, if you like it spicy. Chef Dion is back for another season.

Koal Keel is open in The Valley. This is a not-miss restaurant, located in the second oldest building in Anguilla. Great wine celler. Great food. Great pastries. Historic ambience.

Palm Court at Cinammon Reef is open, with one of the best chefs on the island. Enjoy the view over LIttle Harbour to St Martin while you down some gourmet food. Zeph is the chef again this year -- he won the recent culinary competition in Anguilla.

Zara's Restaurant on Shoal Bay is new, but has a tried and true super chef, Shamash, in charge.

Cove Castles has a new gourmet chef imported for their small, intimate restaurant on Shoal Bay West (opposite end of the island from Shoal Bay East).

As reported earlier, Barrel Stay on Sandy Ground, Blanchard's on Meads Bay and Mangos on Barnes Bay are open and thriving. And there are more: Hibernia in Island Harbour, Malliouhana, ... get ready to eat.

Library Computer Club News

The club has been very active. We have some "new" old computers donated by people in Anguilla: Clifton James, Duncan Stott, and Gordon Cillis. Thanks. We continue to meet twice a week, Mondays for adults, Thursdays for children, and have added a new computer lesson every week. Check out our lesson-plan web site: we focus on practical skills like typing, spreadsheets, and DOS/Windows, with lessons designed to be accomplished in 20-30 minutes. We charge $2EC per lesson, $1EC for children (37 US cents) and have collected enough money to buy our own printer. Now we can do more lessons on word processing, databases, desktop publishing, etc. All of this is a challenge with a mix of antique and new computers.

The club is closed during the Christmas school holidays (Dec 13-Jan 6), but is hosting a Visual Basic programming class on Jan 2nd for club volunteers and those pursuing a career in computers. This will be taught by Tad Niwinski, a professional instructor from Vancouver who volunteered to teach while having a holiday in Anguilla.

Next we need to find someone to teach Java here. Any volunteers? We offer free room and board and $5EC per day spending money.

Conferences in Anguilla

Anguilla's new library has an excellent meeting facility upstairs, comfortable for upwards of a hundred people, air conditioned and high ceilinged. This room is attracting a lot of meetings to Anguilla. There were the C&W managers here this fall, now 35 meteorologists from around the Caribbean, the offshore finance officials from the British Dependent Territories, and more to come. To book your own conference, contact Russel Reid at the library (264-497-2441, reid@offshore.com.ai).

Softball Competition in Anguilla

Once again it is time for the Inter-House Softball Competition at our high school (Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School). Each "house" in the school (they are named after colors although the buildings are all off-white) has a girls and a boys team. Orange is leading both leagues, with Yellow second for the girls and Purple for the Boys. And they do play in colored uniforms that match the team names. Stop by after school to watch a game. Remember school is out for 3 weeks for Christmas.

Shopping: Sandals and Such

Look for the cute old West Indian building in South Hill, near the turn off to Blowing Point. They do sell sandals, but they also sell clothes, Caribbean christmas cards, local artwork suitable as souveniers, and they have an art gallery in the back. Proprieter: Jan Tarbert. 264-497-6009. More shopping.

...Continue virtual vacation (Previous Month).

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