Anguilla News: February 1997

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

cruise ship

A Cruise Ship Visits Anguilla

This tourist season Anguilla has been undergoing an interesting experiment. We are having our first large cruise ship visit every other Sunday. The CS Aida carries up to 1200 German tourists, of whom 600 can elect to come ashore in Anguilla on small launches. Once ashore they can play on Sandy Ground or take a taxi to one of three locations: Cove Bay, Junks Hole, or Shoal Bay. The Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association has issued a draft position paper suggesting restrictions on future cruise arrivals. If as a visitor to Anguilla you have an opinion on this matter, or have had a personal experience this season with the cruise ship visitors, you can pass your comments on to Mimi Grafton at the AHTA (telephone: 264-497-2944, fax: 264-497-3091).

Our Home Design Has Been Updated

My wife Mary Ann Green has updated, reorganized and expanded her Beach Shack Tropical Construction web page. There is a new floor plan and many 3D views available to click, plus information on building techniques and references. If you were to drive past the building site, you would see that we now have a construction office and storage shed (made out of a 40' shipping container).

What is Carimar Resort Like?

Carimar Resort is located on Meads Bay, next door to the ultra-posh Malliouhana Hotel, and Carimar now has a web site: http://www.carimar.com

If that interests you, read these unsolicited visitor comments on the Anguilla Tete-A-Tete forum. Telephone: 264-497-6881. Please note, their email address is carimar@anguillanet.com. The email link on their web page is currently forwarded to a non-existent email account.

The Bali Hai Vacation Villa: Rent or Buy?

Just to the east of the Blowing Point ferry terminal there is a point with a number of red-tile roof houses. One of them, Bali Hai, has a pool and air conditioning, and is available for vacation rental, or you can buy it for $1,500,000!

I haven't been in this villa, but you can get more information from these web sites:

More Web Sites

USA Today has a short article on Anguilla on their web site.

Here is an odd web page that lists seven villas for rent on Anguilla, with telephone numbers for each, but no prices: click for the list.

New Policy on Pictures

Since I acquired a scanner and a digital camera, I have been adding many more pictures to the "Anguilla Local News". Perhaps too many. A recent guest Tad Niwinski recommended this page to many of his friends in Poland, but some could not access it because it took too long to retrieve the graphics. As a result of this complaint and remembering when Internet access in Anguilla was new and slow, I am limiting myself to one full-size picture per issue. When I have pictures for other stories, I will use a small "thumbnail" picture. To see the full-size picture, just click on the thumbnail. Try the picture of the Savannah Gallery below to see how it works. This should satisfy those with high bandwidth and those with low bandwidth.

Savannah Gallery

Showing of New Work by Jo-Anne Saunders

Savannah Gallery announces a showing of new art prints by Jo-Anne Hill Saunders. The opening on Tuesday is February 11th, 5-8 PM. Savannah Gallery is located on Crocus Hill, just up from Koal Keel restaurant.

Programme of the Cultural Festival

February is cultural festival month in Anguilla and although you may have missed the Mayoumba Folkloric Theatre concert on February 4th and the Joint Primary Schools' Evening of Drama, Dance, Poetry and Song on February 7th, you still have time to catch most of the activities:

St. Gerard's Garden Party

Wallblake House

Saint Gerard's is once again hosting their famous and fabulous Annual West Indian Garden Party with the best of West Indian dishes. Drinks will be on sale. We went last year and it was great fun.

When: Saturday Night, March 1st, 1997.. Bar Opens: 6:30. Dinner: 7:00 until 9:00

Music: Sprocka. A chance to practice your West Indian dance moves.

Where: Saint Gerard's Roman Catholic Church, Wallblake House. Across the street from the Tourist Board and Ice Cream Parlor in The Valley.

Advance Tickets: $40 EC or $15 US. At the door: $47.50 EC or $17.50 US.

Tickets are available at Vista Food Market, Anguilla Drug Store, Keene Enterprises, Alecia's Place or from any parishioner.

Sonesta Visit Report

Here is a recent email message from a visitor who stayed at the Sonesta Resort on Rendevous Bay:
From: "Gary W. Janson"
To: "Bob Green"
Subject: Recent Visit to Anguilla
Date: Sat, 1 Feb 1997 10:01:26 -0500

My wife and I just returned from Anguilla on a much needed vacation. It was a wonderful trip. The beaches were quiet and peaceful and the people were extremely friendly.

We stayed at the Sonesta and were impressed with the quality of the hotel and the service.

We dined at Koal Keel, Mango's, Blanchards, Cap Jaluca (beach cafe), Dune and the restaurant at Sonesta (Casablanca). The atmosphere at Mango's and Blanchard's was terrific, but the best food was at Casablanca.

Your web page was very helpful in retrieving information on where to go and what to do....Thanks again.

Here are some pictures that Anguilla Local News took last week at Sonesta. They will give you the feel of this three-story, 100-room, professionally managed resort. Telephone: 264-497-6991.

New Area Codes

All the Caribbean islands are getting their own area codes, instead of sharing the 809 area code. Puerto Rico started using 787 a while ago and stopped recognizing 809 on February 1st. Anguilla is supposed to get its own area code this spring, but the old 809 area code will also be recognized for a six-month transition period.

Koal Keel Restaurant

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If you go to The Valley and turn west at the main traffic light on Coronation Avenue, you will drive up to Crocus Hill through an alley of mahogony trees that were planted when George VI was crowned in 1937. On the left you will come to the second oldest building in Anguilla, the warden's house, now the site of Koal Keel Restaurant. Besides its charming stone and wood architecture and its elegant pastry shop, Koal Keel boasts excellent dining. [More on history of building.]

Ambrose the Captain of the waiters takes your order and, since they make all the deserts to order, he will take your dessert orders at the same time. Our table awarded best dessert presentation to the Passion Fruit Mousse, but we didn't leave any of the Vanilla Creme Brulee or Pineapple Pie on the plates. Jerome is the pastry chef, Pascal the bread chef, and Leonard "Smoke" Sharplis is the head chef. Koal Keel has an extensive wine list, housed in a huge wine cellar made from a converted antique cistern. If you have trouble selecting a wine, put yourself in the hands of Carine, the wine steward. Just tell her what type of wine you want and what price range.

Dinner started with a tiny, exotic cocktail compliments of the house and a small appetizer compliments of the chef (ours was pumpkin soup with a piece of lobster). Here is a copy of their current menu. We especially liked the Frito de Langoustine.

[Click to see full size]

Computer Club News

Just a reminder that the Anguilla Library Computer Club welcomes visitors. Recent guests included John Radford who dropped by to see what we were up to and Dick Peltier who brought a 33.6 modem as a gift and helped us get our one Pentium system back in operating order. We are located in the National Trust building (which is between the new Primary Health building and the Library, across from Ronald Webster park). Look for our new blue-on-white "Computer Club" sign. Meetings are Mondays at 4PM for adults (EC$2 if you want a lesson) and Thursdays at 3:30 for children (EC$1). Meetings are informal--drop in for a few minutes or as long as you want. And bring your children on Thursdays.

If you want to bring something to help out, we can always use diskettes and surge suppressors, and we could make computers operational for the children if we had a couple of SVGA monitors or obsolete 386/486 motherboards.

Later this year, we have an opportunity for free shipping from the Toronto area to Anguilla on a Canadian Forces flight. If anyone knows a reliable source of inexpensive 486/P5 PCs in Toronto that would be suitable for building an educational network. please let us know.

Explore the Prehistory of Anguilla

If you or your college-age children are interested in archeology and Anguilla, here is a chance to combine the two. The University of Vermont has announced a Field School in Prehistoric Archeology for June 1997, including a month in Anguilla. The course will explore methods and techniques of archeological investigation in the West Indies. The program is taught by Dr. James Petersen, Director of the Archeology Research Center of the University of Maine at Farmington. The course and field work will cover archeological theory and cultural history of Anguilla and the Caribbean. Enrollment is limited to 15. Tuition is $1380 for Vermont residents, $3150 for non-residents. There is a $450 Program Fee, which covers lodging in Anguilla. Students will be responsible for their own airfare and meals. Reserve your place now by contacting Anne Connaway (email: aconaway@zoo.uvm.edu) at UVM Continuing Education, 322 South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05401. A deposit is due by April 18th. For more information on travel rates and meals call James Petersen at 207-778-7012 or email him at jamesp@maine.maine.edu.

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Smitty's in Island Harbour

Smitty's Bar and Restaurant and its unique proprieter Smitty have been a landmark in Anguilla for years. After Hurricane Luis converted his funky beach bar into actual debris, many visitors worried about Smitty. Have no fear--Smitty is back. He bought the derelict two-story concrete nightclub next door and started over. At first it was a little sterile, but Smitty soon made it more comfortable with pictures on the wall, piles of shells, lattice work and a beach full of casual tables and umbrellas.

We dropped in last week and the fries were crisp, the ribs were fine, and the portions were generous. Smitty says he cooks all the food. Here is his simple, reasonably priced menu (other Anguilla menus):

Main dishes are served with french fries or rice and salad. $2 extra for fries with your burger.

Smitty has live music on Sundays from noon and Thursdays too. For night life, he added a big screen TV, a juke box, a pool table, and a couple of video games. And upstairs he has a big dance hall that he is fixing up for parties. Telephone: 264-497-4300.

More on Koal Keel and Coronation Avenue

Anguillian-born Reggie Lake who lives part of the year here and part in the USA, sent these comments on my recent Koal Keel article.
"From a historical perspective the name Coronation Drive was derived from the coronation of George VI in 1937 (after Edward VIII's abdication) when the Mahogany trees were planted by the Agricultural Officer of the day, none other than the late Edgar Oliver Reginald Lake ( my father) who was from Antigua. He married Sarah Odlum of Sandy Ground that year. She was the Librarian for several years in the infancy of Anguilla's library, and was honored to come from Toronto where she resides to 'cut the ribbon' at the opening of the new Library last year."

"More on the Koal Keel history. My older brother Ed was born in the bedroom upstairs, now used as a coffee room. And would you believe, in a tiny island, with a population of 3000 or so at the time, on the same day, August 11 1938, across the street, Mr. and Mrs. John Gumbs had their first son Hutson. He is now proprietor of Casa Nadine, the guest house that is across from Koal Keel restaurant. And Mr. John Gumbs still resides in his home in back of the guest house."

New Services at Anguilla Local News

The Anguilla Local News now has an email notification service. Just fill out the form and we will notify you by email each time the news is updated (usually once or twice a month). Don't submit a Notify form if you are already a subscriber to the Anguilla Mailing List or you will get two notifications!

We also have a site statistics page that shows how many web surfers are visiting the Anguilla Local News. It is updated each time the news is updated. It is obvious from these statistics that many readers are not aware that all the news reports since September 1995 are archived at the site and indexed as well.

Did You Miss the Arts and Craft Fair?

[Click to see full-size.] [Click to see full-size.]

Saturday, February 22nd. Did you miss the Arts and Craft Fair on the grounds of Government House, the Governer's mansion? Local artists and crafts people sold their work, plus baked goods and sandwiches, to raise money for children's art education in Anguilla. Always a worthwhile and fun event - don't miss it next year.

What Else Is Happening?

Next Saturday morning, March 1st, from 7AM to 10, there is will be a traditional Jollification in The Valley. A Jollification is a community work party followed by feasting and merrymaking. Work activities you can share in include hoeing ground, planting corn, and digging potatoes. Competitions will be held for balancing the hoestick and shelling peas. Staple fare will be johnny cakes and bush tea, stinking weed coffee, and roast potato. The Jollification will be held on Ashley Brooks ground east of Tommy's Place--turn on the dirt road east of the Social Welfare Department and then turn left to reach the site.

Don't missed St. Gerard's Garden Party on Saturday night, March 1st. West Indian dishes, fun people, music, dancing. You can buy tickets at the Anguilla Drug Store in The Valley.

Next Sunday, March 2nd, at 10 AM there is an All-Anguillian Food Fest and Triangular "A" Class Boat Race at Sandy Ground.

Tyden Air's Beachcraft 99 C is out of service for ferrying visitors from St. Martin to Anguilla. On a flight without passengers the landing wheels refused to operate properly and Captain David Lloyd had to bring the dual engine plane in for a emergency landing at Princess Juliana airport. The plane should be back in operation as soon as the propeller is repaired. In the mean time, Tyden has sub-contracted their longer flights and is coping on the commuter runs with their remaining smaller plane. Tyden has been very busy this season--one of our house guests suggested booking them one hour earlier than you need when leaving Anguilla.

The Financial Cryptography Conference is going on this week at the Inter-Island Hotel. This is a gathering of 50+ computer experts who actually understand how to encrypt a message so not even the CIA can read it! They held a public symposium on Saturday on Internet Commerce which was well attended by local lawyers, offshore finance businessman, and Internet users.

The Courteney Devonish Gallery at the traffic light in George Hill opened their fifth annual show of Peg Gregory's Caribbean paintings on Saturday, February 15th.

Local chef Vernon Hughes has taken over at the Palm Court Restaurant of Cinammon Reef resort. Zeph the head chef there for years has regretably left and his Anguillian apprentice Vernon has stepped in. According to the owners, no one has noticed any difference in the food. Congratulations are deserved by Vernon as Zeph would be a hard act to follow!

Johnnos on Sandy Ground has live jazz with Sprocka on Thursday nights at 9:30 PM.

The dispute between Anglec and Government has been settled by judicial arbitration and electricity rates are going up 5% instead of the 12% requested.

I don't know who they are, but Ritz Water Sports offers trips to Scrub Island, Little Bay, Prickly Pear, and Sandy Island. Telephone 264-497-4231, beeper 1332. Their business card states Specializing in Water Skiing, which is interesting because I have never seen anyone water skiing in Anguilla.

Treat yourself to a Shiatsu massage with Francoise. Or try Rebalancing, Polarity, Essalene, or Yoga Classes. Telephone: 264-497-2922.

For more things to do, check out Anguilla News "Activities" page.

Artist of the Month: Michelle Lavelette

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Petite French woman Michelle Lavalette has lived in Anguilla for 12 years and never wants to go through another hurricane! The only good side-effect of Luis is that the big trees that surrounded her quaint old Anguillian home and studio were swept away. So she now has a view of St. Martin and even Sandy Ground and it will be much easier for you to find her remote art studio in North Hill.

Michelle studied at Ecole Nationale des Art Decoratifs de Limoges and started worked as a trademark artist. Her career as freelance photographer was successful with pictures published in Elle, Figaro, Vogue Homme and other magazines. In 1984 she dedicated herself to painting and came to live in Anguilla. She has done well, developing her ability to "capture the many aspects of light as it interacts with nature." She expresses herself in oil when she wants to radiate the bright beauty of flowers, pastels for misty water scenes, and graphic design with stencils. She started designed stamps for the Government of Anguila's Christmas 1991 series and has done many since then (racing boats, Columbus, even a new series of 16 that should be on sale in the post office this spring).

The painting shown here is is available in prints and even post cards. Copyright M. Lavelette. Click on it to see a much larger image.

[Click to see full-size picture]

Michelle display her work and that of sculptor Khachik Bozoghlian at l'Atelier Galley in a distinctive old West Indian building in the village of North Hill. Coming from The Valley, turn right at the road just before the Sandy Ground roundabout, pass the paint store and wander through the North Hill village, trying to keep going straight, until you pass the basketball court. You will see her Art Studio on the right. 264-497-5668.

For more news on art in Anguilla, visit the Anguilla News "Art" page.

The Moon Splash Concert

I stopped Bankie Banx yesterday and asked him when his Moon Splash beach concert is this year. Answer: March 21-23. Place: Rendezvous Bay. Listen to a musical sample.

New Web Information

House Plans. My wife Mary Ann, who edits these news reports for me, has updated her Tropical Building web site with a completely new design for the Software Lab and the Guest Villa that we are building here.

The Auto Doctor. Derek Gumbs of Blowing Point teachs automotive technology at the high school and fixes cars on the side. This is a typical career combination in Anguilla. Derek has been trained in the US and Canada and has the gadgets needed to figure out what is going wrong with today's highly electronic and computerized automobiles. And how he has a web page too: http://web.ai/autodoctor/

Caribbean Travel Roundup's Anguilla Page. CTR is an electronic magazine put together from traveler's reports by editor Paul Graveline. It actually started before the Internet got so big and is still going strong. Now you can read all their past Anguilla reports on the web. For example, there is a January 1997 report of a honeymoon spent on Anguilla at Sonesta.

Anguillian Trusts. Wondering about whether to create your asset protection trust in Anguilla? Here is a Florida law firm's report on Anguilla's trust legislation compared to other jurisdictions.

Anguillian Stamps. Here is a Philately site that could use some updated information on the Stamps of Anguilla.

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