Anguilla Local News

There aren't any signs pointing the way, but between North Hill and the Katouche Valley is a wonderful and historical cave. . . .

Click for wider view of Cavanaugh Cave entrance
 March 1, 1998 - Site Map - Click to enlarge pictures

Cavanaugh Cave, an Adventure

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

[Click to enlarge cavern] [Click to enlarge cave exit]

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.

[Click for larger view of cactus]

In the area of the cave, 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."

Read other news stories in Anguilla's local newspaper, The Light:

Quaint Little Church Refurbished

[Click to enlarge exterior of church] 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.
[Click to enlarge interior of church]

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

[Click for larger view of Victor Banks] 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.
[Click to enlarge David Chaum]

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


A waterspout is a swirling tempest of water sucked up from the warm ocean, similar to a dust devil or tornado. These waterspouts can be dangerous is they run over you. This picture is of a waterspout that formed between St. Martin and Anguilla October 11, 1997. Click the picture for a larger view.

The photo is courtesy of Sally Janin, who lives in the west end and whose husband Claude is the chef at Frangipani Restaurant.

Weather Summary Anguilla
Today: 82F 27C 66% Humidity, Overcast March 1
Low temp since last news report 73F 22C
High temp since last news report 84F 28C
Low humidity since last news report 43%
Tropical storm web site Link
Five-day weather forecast Link
Live station in Anguilla Link

Upcoming Events in Anguilla

The Anguilla Local News has an Calendar for the year showing events, holidays, and activities.

March 4. Wed. Soroptomists Variety Show, 8pm at Ruthwill Auditorium in The Valley (next to CCB Bank). Fund raising for their daycare center and other projects. A lot of fun acts.

March 5. Richie Havens performs at Koal Keel Restaurant. If you don't remember Richie, check this web site.

March 6-8. Moonsplash celebration and 3-day beach/reggae party at Bankie Banx Dune Preserve. Richie Havens will be performing, as well as Bankie and lots of other acts.

March 5-8. Cricket match at the Ronald Webster Park in The Valley, by the temporary, experimental roundabout.

March 13. St. Maarten basketball team comes to Anguilla to play our high school team. At the basketball court next to Ashley's Grocery in The Valley. Will probably be a return match in St. Maarten on March 20.

Temperature Drops for Eclipse

[Partial eclipse as seen in Anguilla] 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 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

[Click to visit Shoal Bay Scuba] 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 has even created 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: [email protected]

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: Power. Pets. Gratuities. Ferries. Marriage. ...

Web Sites About Anguilla

Leduc's Restaurant has a web page at

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 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)

[Click to enlarge Steel Orchestra at Soroptomist Party] 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:

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 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 protected]

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".]

Top stories from the previous issue.
Katouche Rainforest Basketball
Public Internet Booth Cultural Festival
Visitor Feedback Art Awards

Anguilla Local News






mary ann

© 1998