Anguilla Local News

Shoal Bay beach is one of the premier stretches of sand in the Caribbean. . . .

[Click to enlarge Shoal Bay]
 October 1, 1998 - Site Map - Click to enlarge pictures

A Tour of Shoal Bay Beach

[Click to enlarge children at play] Although Shoal Bay is the most popular beach on Anguilla and the site of occasional model photo shoots, there are many days when it is virtually deserted. Even in February you can find a quiet stretch for yourself.

The main road to Shoal Bay dead ends at Uncle Ernie's BBQ. You can park along the road, 100' to 200' up from the beach.
Shoal Bay (East) Beach For a glowing review of Shoal Bay, 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 Rendezvous 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."

This is the busiest part of the beach, where you can rent shaded lounge chairs from Raymond from Skyline or Pressure King. Of course, many people enjoy the beach without a lounge chair and some restaurants provide free lounge chairs for their customers. You can see the reefs on Junior's or Mike's glass bottom boat, and snorkel parts of it yourself.

Stroll East to Upper Shoal Bay

If you turn right you go east past Shoal Bay Resort, Shoal Bay Villas and Le Beach restaurant. Then you come to a wire fence which is the boundary of Bummy's Beach Bar and the Elodia's apartments. Milly's Inn is on the hill above this spot. About halfway down the fence toward the point is the easiest place to snorkel the reef.

The shore at Shoal Bay is usually gentle and quiet, due to the reef protection. Often there is no surf at all. This is a good place to take young children and grandmothers.
[Click to enlarge Upper Shoal Bay]

At the point you turn right around a point into Upper Shoal Bay (pictured right). Along this stretch you will find Shoal Bay Scuba and Watersports and Allamanda Beach Club. This long portion of Shoal Bay has fewer people and has a quieter feel. At the end of the beach you will find Seabreeze Villa and Serenity Restaurant. You will also pass pallet fences designed to rebuild the sand dunes along the beach.

There is a limestone ridge that runs along just off shore for about 100 yards that is perfect for novice snorkelling. It isn't coral, so you don't have to worry about cutting yourself on it. You can snorkel up the outside of this ridge in water that is shallow enough to stand in easily (2-3'). In the usually clear waters you will see hundreds of small tropical fish. There is also good snorkelling along the rocky shore at the eastern end of beach.
[Click to enlarge Shoal Bay]

The West End of the Beach

Past Uncle Ernie's to the left, or west, is Madeariman Reef restaurant, followed by Hannah's jewelry table and Joan's beach wrap display. The unfinished structure on the beach is the Round Rock Bar, which blew apart in Hurricane Luis.

Hardbroke Bar and Restaurant sometimes features Dumpa and his steel pans on Sunday evenings. Along this part of the beach there are some exposed stretches of rock and reef, so be careful. At the west end of Shoal Bay beach are Fountain Beach Hotel.

That was a long tour. To finish it off, come down to Shoal Bay about 6:30pm, share a Pina Colada at Uncle Ernies, and take a romantic swim while watching the sun set into the water.
[Click to enlarge Shoal Bay]

Directions: This is a long beach and you can actually approach it from three directions. The normal route is by paved road from The Valley. Start in the airport parking lot which has only one exit. Turn left on Airport Road, go straight past Island Car Rentals, Anglec and through the light at Albert Lake's Super Market. Continue for 2 miles through Stoney Ground and Little Dix, and turn left on a paved road toward Shoal Bay (there are restaurant signs here -- if you get to the cement plant you missed the turn).

The road goes over a hill and descends into Shoal Bay. At the bottom of the hill you can go straight to Uncle Ernies. Or turn right on a gravel road that runs to Milly's Inn, Allamanda and Serenity. Or turn left on a gravel road and take the first right turn for Hardbroke or the second right turn for Fountain Beach.

News Tidbits from Anguilla

Hurricane Georges. This storm was relatively gentle to Anguilla, but devastated the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Many people in Anguilla have family and friends in the Dominican Republic and have had great difficulty getting information since the phones are down there. Here are some web sites with news:

Volunteer Hams Deliver the Mail. When a hurricane hits hard, one of the first things to go is the telephone service. Although Anguilla was not struck directly enough by Georges, neighboring islands were. When that happens, the network of amateur radio enthusiasts steps in, with Anguilla's Dorothea Evergates (ARS VP2EE, or if you don't have a ham radio, ) as one of the key connections. With people everywhere worried about St. Kitts, Dorothea connected the St. Kitts/Nevis Prime Minister with their embassy in the USA using 80 meter radio from St. Kitts to Anguilla, then telephone from Anguilla to New York. At the same time a ham in the USA had the St. Kitts embassy personnel listening to the reports from the upper band ham. Then after a short rest, she passed "Health and Welfare" messages among the islands, such as Anguilla and St. Croix. People in Anguilla were desperately worried about the welfare of their families on St. Thomas, so Dorothea passed messages and phone numbers to a ham on St. Croix who passed the messages by phone calls to the families on St. Thomas. Dorothea writes:

I was talking to the Hurricane Watch Net which at one time asked if I would stick my head out the window and tell them what I heard. I did as they asked and reported back, "freight train" at which time they told me those were tornadoes and I should get off the air and go somewhere safe. I don't think the USA hams understand we build bunkers here.

After the storm passed here, I put up an old antenna I had saved inside from the hurricane and then we started passing traffic for the affected Caribbean islands, then the Bahamas, then for the US. If you are too close to one another, you cannot talk to each other on a high band where we were working. So, the Caribbean hams came in useful as "Relay" stations from one USA station to another.

Calling Anguilla. For some reason, many people have been unable to call Anguilla from the United States using AT&T for about the last two weeks. By using Sprint or MCI (10-10-231) they have been able to get through easily.

Resort Donates for Basketball Court. The new Cuisinart Resort is donating $15,000 to build a new basketball court for the community in Blowing Point. Read about playing basketball in Anguilla.

Sonesta recently named Diane Gumbs their "Employee of the Year" and Alan Carty won "Star of the Year".

Changes at the Airport. Wallblake Airport has a new sign at the entrance (you can only see it if you are coming from the west), a new freight warehouse, and a new one-way automatic door out of customs that you step on to open. If you want to visit customs at the airport, you now knock on their window and they will "buzz you in" when they are ready!

Body and Soul

[Click to enlarge] Located next to the dive center in Sandy Ground, the Body and Soul health and fitness center is a welcome addition to Anguilla. Enter the renovated Caribbean house on the ground floor, sea-side and enter the bright and well-ventilated fitness room, with a 1000 sq ft wooden floor with mirrored walls.

Blending their talents together, the directors of the center are Suzane Schroder-Geyser and Michelle Ward. Susi is always in front to show you how, keeping you going through the cardiovascular, strengthening, toning, stretching, ahd whew... finally, cooling-down phases of her classes. Classes offered: Reebok step, Abs, Legs, and Buns (really works), Callisthenics, Back Strenghtening and Yoga. The gym is equipped with ballet bar, benches, steps, hoops, dumbells, mats, weight wraps, elastics and some of the hippest music in Sandy Ground. There is no one too out of shape or uncoordinated for Susi -- with her patience you will never feel out of place.

Kids love the fun and zippy classes set up for them with Michelle. She takes them through a rousing junior rendication of Reebok Step. And they offer Ballet, Jazz dance, and even Acrobatics.

Swimming lessons are offered for adults and children, taught in the sea right in front of the house by a professional Swim Instructor. The calm waters of the bay are better than a chlorine pool... an ideal setting for the beginning swimmer. And you can shower after swimming lessons.

More is in the works: healthy juice bar, massage, ... something for every age and shape. It makes getting healhty fun. Telephone: 1-264-497-8364.

Guest article by Kathy Sotiaux

Weather in Anguilla

Weather Summary Anguilla
Today: 86F 30C 66% Humidity, Sunny October 1
Low temp since last news report 77F 25C
High temp since last news report 88F 31C
Low humidity since last news report 59%
Tropical storm web site Link
Five-day weather forecast Link
Live station in Anguilla Link

Read about Hurricane Georges, September 21st.

Upcoming Events in Anguilla

Anguilla Art Show in Barbados. From November 28th to December 7th, 1998 there will be a showing in Barbados of work by six artists from Anguilla: Cheddie Richardson, Louise Brooks, Courtney Devonish, Melsadis Fleming, Michelle Lavellette, and Lynne Bernbaum.

Summer Shutdowns. Most restaurants in Anguilla shutdown this time of year, but you can still get a good meal at Ripples in Sandy Ground, nice ribs for lunch at Uncle Ernies and Smitty's is still open, and he has started to get fresh crayfish and lobsters again (after the summer interruption of the catch). And soon our restaurants will be opening for the season. Check with Chef Shamash at Zaras after October 15th!

Culinary Competition Cancelled. The annual "Taste of the Caribbean" competition, at which Anguilla did so well in 1997, was scheduled for Oct 3-8 in Puerto Rico. However, it has been cancelled due to disruptions by Hurricane Georges.

Updates and Feedback

Feedback on Beach Conditions. Jibralta's message serves as a reminder that many beaches in Anguilla are wild, untamed, without lifeguards, and often empty. The surf and currents can vary dramatically with the weather and time of year, so it is advisable to be cautious everywhere, especially if you are not a strong swimmer:
At Junk's Hole, I was assuming that there was no current and it was shallow and I went in without my life vest. About 15 feet from the shore, it suddenly went from 2-3 feet deep to 7 feet deep in a matter of few inches. A strong current began pushing me westwards towards the other side of the bay... all I could see was more deep water. No, it wasn't very deep, but over your head is over your head if you can't tread water (I'm handicapped). The current was so strong I couldn't swim against it. I began to panic. Through my snorkel I saw a boulder sized coral and put my feet down and clung to it like a spider clings to a wall. I shouted for my husband Gene as the current was pulling me off the boulder. He had quite a time getting me the 20 feet to shore.

On another topic, Junior is a wonderful guy, who calmed my fears and showed me the wonders of Little Bay (with my vest on) in deep water that I'd never believed anyone would have ever been able to induce me to go into.

Update on Reading Recovery: Ross Cashmore writes

The Reading Recovery project in the primary schools has benefitted from the support of All Island Cable TV Services, The Anguilla Rotary Club, and the Optimists Club of Anguilla. They contributed to a fund to purchase texts and resource materials for the teachers currently training to deliver the programme. Many thanks.

There will be a continuing need for local organisations to to build up our stocks of up-to-date children's readers so that young readers can widen the scope of their reading experience.

Any individuals or organisations wishing to donate books to support Reading Recovery could contact Ms. Monica Harrigan at the Department of Education. 1-264-497-2873.

Authentic Anguilla: Keg Rogers

[Click to enlarge party on Keg's boat] Looking for an authentic boat trip in Anguilla, try Keg Rogers in Island Harbour. This isn't a party boat, it is a commercial fishing boat. Painted blue and white, and custom built for fishing and cruising in Anguilla waters, his boat has a broad beam (i.e., it's wide), handles the waves easily, is stable and doesn't roll in the surf, spreads the sea spray so you don't get drenched. And there is lots of room for you and your "stuff". But Keg is the perfect gentleman captain and host, loading and unloading your coolers and etc.
[Click to enlarge view]

When you board his boat, notice the winches for pulling up lobster pots. And the space at the stern for two trolling rods. If Keg isn't busy, you can charter him to take you out fishing or to explore (a trip to Scrub Island takes 15-20 minutes from Island Harbour, but you can spend all day there).

Here is another view of Keg's boat and his mate, with Island Harbour in the background. For more pictures of a trip to Scrub with Keg, visit this web page.

Telephone: 1-264-497-4487. Since Keg is usually out fishing, the best way to reach him may be to call Smitty's in Island Harbour and Smitty will arrange it.

Web Sites About Anguilla is the web site for the Anguilla Tennis Academy and it's free summer tennis camp. The web site has tripled in size, with more pictures of the children, news of the junior champions, matches in St. Martin, lighted courts, bios and pictures of Mitch, Shawn, and Damien, plus pictures and bios of the visiting coaches from the US. With over 250 children participating and learning tennis, it looks like Anguilla needs two more tennis courts in the Ronald Webster Park. Look at all these kids waiting for their turn to play. is the web site for Tania Maynard's Weddings On the Go business. The site has been completely updated with pictures of new wedding couples, sunset kisses, and special offers.

Patsy's Seaside Villas has a web page now. These locally-owned waterfront apartments are on Sandy Point beach in Blowing Point.

Email addresses:
Jackie and Rollins Ruan, Chocolat Catamarran, and Ripples Restaurant.
Liz Subin, former director of the National Trust, now back in the USA.
Management Resources, a computer dealership located above the Cable TV office and owned by Clifton James.
Carolle Fair Perry, retired director of the Philadelphia Foundation, who is in Anguilla investigating the feasability of setting up an Anguilla Community Foundation.
Financial Services Department, Government of Anguilla.

The Synderman Family Trip to Anguilla in June 1998 is now recorded in pictures and comments on their own web page. They stayed at Bali Hai villa in Blowing Point. The pictures of Shoal Bay and Meads Bay have the labels reversed.

Books for Christmas

[Click to enlarge] Looking for a unique Christmas gift? How about a set of four books about Anguilla's culture, history, and wild life. The Anguilla National Trust has published a number of books about Anguilla that would make great Christmas presents.

The books are all available at the ANT Office in The Valley: Phone: 1-264-497-5297, Fax: 1-264-497-5571, Email: PO Box 1234. Persons overseas wishing to make a purchase should add shipping per book of US $2.00 or EC $5.00 if from Caribbean region, or US $3.00 from outside the region. Sorry, they do not yet accept payment by credit card.

Teacher Patsy's book is also available from her store called "The Fashion Closet" in The Quarter or from P. O. Box 1270, The Valley, Anguilla.

Stories from the previous and earlier issues.
Hurricane Georges Internet Storm Tips
Computer Boot Camp Carnival Parade
The Daily Herald Reading Recovery

Anguilla Local News



Bob Green

Our villa on Shoal Bay: Bellamare.

And ten minutes away, our villa in St Barths.

© 1998