Anguilla Local News

The waters around Anguilla teem with fascinating and colorful tropical fish. . . .

[Click for many more Anguilla fish pictures!]
 October 1, 1997 - Site Map.

Dive Shop's Fantastic Tropical Fish Portfolio

[Click for fish pictures from elsewhere.] Click the dolphin to visit another huge collection of underwater pictures, taken in Asia by an avid diver.
For many years The Dive Shop has been helping divers view that tropical sea life. Now owners Thomas Peabody and Peter Burling have put their collection of diving pictures on the net for all of us to enjoy.

Click the Queen Angel fish above or click this link to visit a portfolio of 28 incredible underwater sealife photos, with thumbnails you can click for full-size photos. Each picture tells exactly where around Anguilla it was taken by a regular customer, Hugh Lynch. The Dive Shop enjoyed a short vacation in September, but has restarted the compressors and are putting their repainted dive boat back in the water this week. 264-497-2020. Email:

Caribbean Travel and Life magazine used Anguilla's Shoal Bay as their lead beach in an August 1997 article "10 Terrific Snorkel Beaches" by Greg Johnston:

The beaches of Anguilla have long been renowned for their idyllic settings. On the island's northeast corner is Shoal Bay East, an incredible expanse of powdery white sand banked by electric-blue water.

The reef is shallow, 10 to 15 feet, with ranks of lacy sea fans, colored sea whips and a variety of hard corals. It parallels the length of the beach, offering snorkelers of all skill levels easy access to rich, unspoiled sea life. The whole cast of Caribbean tropicals is here: schools of bluestriped grunts, goatfish, yellowtail snappers, fairy basslets and rock beauties weave in and out amoung the low-growing reef corals.

And Errol "Junior" James of George Hill, Anguilla, has put together a Tropical Fish Web Page, based on the fish stamps of Anguilla. And it has links to many other tropic fish web sites. My favorite is the Psychology of Tropical Fish!

News Items from Anguilla

Correction:Leduc's Restaurant was unable to reopen Friday, Oct 3rd, due to circumstances beyond their control which kept Chef Maurice off-island. They will now reopen Oct 24th, for dinner, 7PM to 9PM, serving lunch starting November 1st. New additions to the menu this year include rack of lamb, coq au vin, goat cheese terrine and frog legs provencal. Read our news report and see the menu. Couples having dinner Oct 24-28 will be offered a complimentary bottle of wine! 264-497-6393.

Police Choir to Perform Here. The police choir, flush from their visit to BVI, will perform 7:30 PM, Sunday Oct 5, at St. Mary's Anglican church.

Pink-Hibiscus Mealy Bugs have hit Anguilla, despite a quarantine. They can be seen as clusters of small, soft-bodied insects in white, powdery, fluffy or cotton-like masses. Chemicals cannot eradicate the Pink Mealy Bug and are not recommended. Nor is it recommended to cut down and burn the affected plants. The Agriculture Deptartment is striking back with a special lady bug that eats the mealy bug for dinner. Any gardener with concerns, should contact the AHTA (phone 497-2944), which is coordinating the fight with the Agriculure Department.

Youth Groups in Beach Cleanup. Johnno and Leroy Martinez are sponsoring a program whereby youth groups in Anguilla can raise some extra money by cleaning up the beaches. Last Saturday over 35 young people showed up at Shoal Bay and gather 54 bags of garbage.

HMS Liverpool. We are expecting a visit from one of Her Majesty's destroyers on October 3-6, a West Indies guard ships. Captain Nelson will host a cocktail reception on board, the crew will be working with Radio Anguilla on the FM antenna and with the Emergency Preparedness Group. Children will be able to tour the ship while it is here.

Sombrero Island Lighthouse may be automated, as is happening with most manually operated lighthouses in the world.

Is there Beauty in Concrete?

[Click for larger view] "Why are there so many abandoned construction projects on Anguilla? There aren't! Home ownership is widespread in Anguilla, unlike many other Caribbean islands. And people often build their own homes, slowly over time, as they save, with help from their friends and family. Those abandoned projects aren't abandoned, they are works in progress. Think of them as Anguillian bank accounts. North American suburbs also claim wide home ownership, but most of the homes are actually owned by the bank! Mortage-free homes are quite common in Anguilla.
[Click for larger view]

Look at the three building projects pictured here. One hasn't seen any progress in 3 years. One is being built by a man who works on it a little bit after work each day. And one is already occupied. These aren't blights on the landscape, these are tributes to sturdy middle-class values.

"Why are there pipes sticking up from the roof?" A common question. The answer is optimism. Since most people can only afford a one-story home, but plan to have a second floor somday, it only makes sense to leave the rebar and utility conduits sticking out of the roof, ready! And, eventually, it does happen, and the second floor is added to the first.
[Click for larger view]

Bunkers versus Cute bungalows. Next question is invariably, "Why are all new homes made of concrete block and why are there so few cute little wooden houses like they show on the postcards?" According to old-timers, Anguilla used to have lots of cute little wooden homes. Then along came Hurricane Donna in 1960 and knocked most of them down. That traumatic experience convinced an entire generation to try concrete instead of wood. Hurricane Luis proved the wisdom of the Anguillian approach. While other islands were still shell-shocked and homeless, Anguilla had cleaned up and was back in business.

Computer Club News

[Click for larger view of computer class] The Computer Club has been very active in its new location with training classes and installing computers. During the summer we ran a special children's program four mornings a week and a computer orientation class for women only.

At the invitation of the Mr. Elvet Hughes, the Chief Education Officer, we are helping to install PCs in the Primary Schools. They were donated by Mohawk College in Canada and delivered here by Canadian Forces training flight, all coordinated by Mr. Gordon Cillis. The Computer Club located educational software from the Internet that would run on a 360KB diskette, then unpacked, set up, and tested a batch of identical PCs. We wrote a short user manual and now we are delivering the computers to the schools. If anyone is interested in bringing a gift for the primary children, surge suppressors would be appreciated.
Picture of a contented child.
See Vince helping out.
Computer Club Web Site.
Club Lessons and Software.
Primary School Project.

The club now has ten used Compaq 486sx/25 computers, but two of them came without enough memory to run Windows 95. In reply to our plea for help on the Anguilla Mailing List, we received generous donations of 72-pin memory SIMMs from Steve Donahue and from the Objective Observer. Thanks. We now have more computers than chairs. Recently we had over 20 computers running and 40 children sharing them. Of course, many are old PCs. We can't guarantee 20 computers every day. We hit a low in June when only three were working!

We are back to our semi-regular after school hours: Monday's for adults and older teenagers and Thursday's for children. At the Arts and Crafts Center next to the Library.

Weather in Anguilla

[Click for larger view of beached boat] Update on Hurricane Erika. Anguilla was spared a direct passage by Erika and there was little damage. However, there was one boat run ashore at Sandy Ground, just in front of Johnnos. All but three boats had been pulled out of the water prior to the storm, and two boats road it out safely at anchor. The last was not so lucky. As of last week it was still waiting for its foreign owner to come and rescue it.

AHTA reports that Cap Juluca lost a portion of their beach. This was confirmed by a Cap Juluca guest Stephanie at Shoal Bay beach last weekend. Cap Juluca, one of the few resorts that stayed open in Anguilla, received only a handful of guest cancellations as a result of the Hurricane and even welcomed new guests the day after the eye passed by.

Gert van Dijken has a good web site dedicated to Hurricanes in the Caribbean, with reports from people on the islands during the passage of Erika.

Weather Summary Anguilla
Today: 86F 30C 67% Humidity, Sunny September 30th
Low temp in last 30 days 77F 25C
High temp in last 30 days 88F 31C
Low humidity in last 30 days 57%
Tropical storm web site Link
Weatherpost live 5-day forecast Link

Ferry to St Martin, Marigot and Golf

[Click for larger view of a ferry] St. Martin is Anguilla's closest neighbor and knowing the ferry system is key to enjoying its great food, jet airport and chic shopping. The Anguilla ferry terminal is in the village of Blowing Point. You turn south toward St Martin off the main South Hill road at the traffic light by Connors Rental Car. The terminal is at the end of the road--park your car anywhere you can find a place.

Enter the Departure Lounge and pay your $2US departure tax. This is not your fare, just the tax. Sign the manifest clipboard (don't forget to take your passport with you--this is a trip to another country) and wait until the immigration officer picks it up and starts checking people off at the door. If you need help, there are usually baggage porters on both sides -- tip about $1 per bag.

The ferries vary, but are small, none take vehicles, all protect you from the weather. The crossing is about 20 to 30 minutes each way and ferries run every half hour during the daylight. They collect the US$10 fare on board ($12 after 5pm). The ferry deposits you on the waterfront in Marigot, the French side (see picture). You show your passport (usually no forms to complete) and you are in France! To return you pay the French a $2 tax and $10 or $12 for the ferry. There is a landing card to fill out for Anguilla. Don't miss the last ferry at 7PM. [Click for larger view of Marigot dock]

Enjoying Marigot

As you step off the ferry, the tourist office is just to your left, the public market is in front of you. Marigot is one of the best things about St Martin, so you could easily limit your visit to this town. Narrow streets, cute old buildings, restaurant-lined harbour, good shopping, great pastries and wonderful, inexpensive French food. Marigot is like visiting France, but many people speak English. Go early at 8AM or 9AM, shop and walk, have a pastry and coffee at a bakery, browse some more, select a nice place for lunch (many stores close for lunch anyway), and return home to Anguilla after lunch. Remember, St. Martin feels more humid and hot, has more crime, so be careful, and is closed on Sunday and Saturday after lunch.

There is a Marigot street map on the web. On it, you arrive from Anguilla at location C-3. As the map shows, Marigot is only about 4 blocks deep. Starting at Rue de Republique you walk at most 6 blocks to the Port La Royale, the harbour. If you want to catch a mini-bus to Phillipsburg, you walk up Rue de Republique to Rue de Holande and wave down a minibus that says Phillipsburg.

Mullet Bay Golf Course

One of the attractions of St. Martin is the golf course, which is in good condition now, but by March in the dry season it could be parched. It is easy to get on, since the Mullet Bay Resort is still closed. The only busy times are Saturday and Sunday mornings. You don't need to call for a tee time.

If your clubs are heavy, tip the porter to carry them on the ferry and take a taxi on the other side ($10 to $12 to the golf course is the official fare.) Or you can catch a mini-bus to either Phillipsburg or Mullet Bay. On a Phillipsburg minibus, if it is empty, ask the driver if he isn't really going to Mullet Bay. If not, get out at the KFC and the Shell Station (fare is $1 this far) and catch a Mullet Bay mini bus. If he takes you all the way, the fare is $1.50 per person.

Or you could take the Link ferry to the airport and catch a minibus from there, but it costs $5 more on the ferry.

Green fees for visitors are $105 plus 3% turnover tax. There are no special restricted days. If you live here, you can become a member of the St. Maarten Golf Assocition and play at reduced rates. Then you can leave your clubs at the course for $25/month.

Updates and Feedback

Feedback on Mimi Bay. Our article on Mimi Bay brought an immediate email from Sally Janin: "Hi. We went there yesterday morning at about 7:30am. It was just great and we found some interesting seashells." And another comment from Pat Adams "Just opened up the new Anguilla News and your feature story is our favorite Mimi Bay. Our house, when it is built, will look over it (from a short distance). Mimi Bay is a favorite walk in the evening to watch the pelicans feed in the water by the bluffs there. We seldom saw anyone there."

Six Years at Mary's Bakery. Pressure King of Shoal Bay points out that in my story on him I missed the fact that he was a baker at Mary's Bakery in Anguilla after nine years as a baker on Nevis. Mary's is in The Quarter, near the UPS office, and has many devoted followers in Anguilla.

Update on What Is It? Challenge. I have found a scientific report about the ruins pictured on our What Is It? challenge page and added an excerpt to the page., Mary Ann's tropical construction page, was updated on September 25th with more Anguilla Building News, including raising of the walls for a guest villa. Lots of pictures.

Another House for Sale. Here is another house for sale on Anguila to add to my real estate page, with 6 bedrooms, air conditioning, pool. Silver Estate. No price listed, gulp!

Li'l Bit A Guinea Corn Porridge

[Click for larger view of xxxx] Daisy "Wong" Richardson was born on Junks Hole Estate in 1921. She is well known around Anguilla for reciting her poems at public events and gatherings. Now a collection of them has published, with topics ranging from the Anguilla Revolution, to politics, religion, sports, and social life. Here is an excerpt from the title poem, the only one in Anguilla dialect:
Boy get up in di morning early
Trash da li'l bit a guinea corn
You know ti hard times now
So ya got ti get the grinding stone.
A li'l bit a guinea corn porridge
Wid a li'l bit a goat milk
Is the sweetest thing you ever taste
Believe me ya stomach da feel like silk
This poetry collection is published by the Anguilla National Trust with assistance from many quarters, and sells for US$10. If you would like to order a copy sent to you, send email to the National Trust.

Since Daisy "Wong" was active in Anguilla's bloodless revolution, they timed the book launch for the 30th anniversary of that event. Quoting from the introduction by Ijahnya Christian, "She was one of 'two brave Anguillian women' who, in the final throes of the Anguilla Revolution, journeyed secretly to St. Kitts to nominate an Anguillian for the Anguilla seat in the St. Kitts/Nevis/Anguilla state elections. This account is documented in Ronald Webster's Scrapbook of Anguilla's Revolution. The other woman was Mena Bryan, a cousin of Daisy's, to whom she dedicates one of the poems in this collection." Here is an extract from one of her poems on the Revolution:

Britain made a big mistake
So everybody say
To link Anguilla with St. Kitts and Nevis
So many miles away.
Thanks to the hero Ronald Webster
and Atlin Harrigan
Who put their thoughts together
And so the fight began.
And at last after waiting
So many hard long years
Britain granted us secession from St. Kitts and Nevis
And it filed many eyes with tears.

Impressing a Caribbean Expert, Part II

Jim Jordon, who is the system operator of the Carribean Travel Forum on Compuserve, recently posted a glowing report on Anguilla to the Caribbean Travel Roundup. It is a great overview of Anguilla, written by an experienced Caribbean visitor on his first visit. Here is a small excerpt from his report:
In 1969, a force of British paratroopers, marines and London "Bobbies" invaded the tiny, obscure island of Anguilla to "quell" a rebellion -- a rebellion over Anguilla's status as a colony of Great Britain... In 1997, an obscure traveler invaded the tiny island of Anguilla -- still a colony of the British crown -- to see if all he had read and heard of this island was true. And, this traveler can say unequivocally that he found it to be everything -- and much, much more!

The following day, I had an opportunity to actually meet one of the men who was part and parcel of the revolution - one Jeremiah Gumbs. Jerry is the person who built one of the original resorts on the island -- Rendezvous Bay Resort -- and he still lives there and, though he was to celebrate his eighty- fourth birthday on February 18, 1997, just a scant week following our meeting, he still is hale and hearty. He sports a full beard and has been called the "Anguilla Santa Claus". There was a photograph of Jerry on the cover of the current Anguillan Life magazine, showing him tanned and bearded, swimming in the waters of Rendezvous Bay, something he does every day.

Web Sites About Anguilla

Helicopter Ride to Anguilla! From St. Martin to Anguilla, with lobster lunch and tropical snorkelling on Gorgeous Scilly Cay. Sound intersting? Check this web page. is the new web address for Steve Donauhue's villa behind Cap Juluca. He has some new pictures, including annotated satellite view of West End that shows clearly the different restaurants and general layout, relative to his Tainos villa of course!, is the new web address for Lloyds Guest House, the clean, friendly, local place to stay in the center of Anguilla. is the new domain name for Junior's Glassbottom Boat, with new information, links, customer comments, and pictures.

Another Wedding Page. Getting married in Anguilla is popular! Here is another web site that can arrange your wedding here: Weddings in Paradise.

A Visit to Island Harbour. This couple's home page reports on their 2-day side trip to Island Harbour:

Cyril's Fish House: This restaurant is right on the harbor in Island Harbor. As it is a long way out to this end of the island from the ritzier hotels, they say they will send a car for you if you request it while booking your table. The restaurant is pretty enough with a nice view of the harbor and Scilly Cay. The fish is as fresh as can be and prepared well. The wine list fits the menu and is not priced too badly, considering that this is Anguilla. The service was excellent and the staff was friendly in addition to being helpful.

We started with mixed fry of caribbean fish, spicy and tasty. I followed with the grilled whole fish - a triggerfish or old wife. Despite the name, it's quite good and was prepared well. Martha had the garlic crusted snapper and we were quite happy with that. We had a bottle of Sancerre and the total with a tip was $100.

Harbor Lights: This small hotel in Island Harbor is owned and run by the Butterfield family from Maine (previous news article). They came to Anguilla many years ago, fell in love with the place, and found a way to spend a great deal of time there. There are only four reasonably priced rooms (from $70 to $100 per nite), all with some water views, but the two end units look directly over the small beach at the Atlantic and have side views up and down the coast.

Mirrors Night Club

[Click for larger view of Mirrors] Looking for some music, pool, dancing? Try Mirrors Night Club. Here Chris Gumbs has worked hard to create a place for having fun. Mirrors is located above the Vista Food Market, near the Sandy Ground roundabout. They offer cocktail lounge, karaoke bar, recorded music, private dance flor, big screen TV, billiards and darts, and facilities for private parties.

Mirrors is open nightly from 7PM to 4AM, or whenever the last guest leaves. The action at Mirrors is busiest on Friday and Saturday night, and later rather than earlier. As the other places and events close down and as people get off work at restaurants and hotels, that is when late night places start to jump. Try midnight or 1AM if you enjoy company. When our 30-year old nieces were here, they used to switch to Mirrors after visiting the Pumphouse and Johnnos, usually wandering home about 5AM.

Telephone: 264-497-5522.

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Copyright 1997. Bob Green
Anguilla Local News