Sunday, May 16, 2021
Precipitation – Not a chance
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Precipitation – Not a chance
Multiple physical altercations broke out among Blacktip Island scuba divers this week after a local scuba equipment manufacturer’s new mood-ring-inspired wetsuits produced disturbing results, local official said.
“We injected the thermochromic liquid crystal into neoprene as a way for divers to gauge each other’s moods,” Bamboo You owner Piers ‘Doc’ Planck said. “It was also a safety measure so dive staff could assess guests’ emotional states and head off any potential emergencies. The goal of Mood-O-Prene was to improve the dive experience.
“But, like anything good, folks found a way to ruin it,” Planck said. “Right off the bat there were fistfights as divers read way too much into the changing colors on other divers’ gear. Mood ring technology’s not an exact science. This is why we can’t have nice dive gear.”
Island dive staff said a positive situation deteriorated quickly.
“At first, it was sweet being able to spot the jittery divers,” Eagle Ray Cove divemaster Marina DeLow said. “We nipped a couple of underwater situations in the bud that morning. But on the boat, between dives, all hell broke loose. Divers who would normally’ve made nice with each other got hacked off when they saw the people they were chatting to didn’t give a damn.
“That escalated to some physical exchanges,” DeLow said. “We had to stick people onto different boats to maintain peace. It’s still touch-and-go. And the resort dining room’s a war zone.”
Diving guests were quick to weigh in.
“The suits seemed like a great idea, but they ruined our vacation Day One,” Lucille Ray said. “My husband kept pointing out stupid parrotfish, like he always does, and I’d smile and give him an ‘OK’ sign, as usual. Only with the suit, he could tell I didn’t give a damn. We surfaced early and’ve been going at it hammer and tongs ever since. There ought to be a warning on this gear.”
Other guests were involved in more serious confrontations.
“Sunday and Monday, this one guy’s suit’d turn bright purple across the crotch every time he talked to my wife,” Bill Fish said. “And he started talking to her a lot. Well, now the jerk’s got a purple eye to match his damn suit.”
Island officials are considering banning the liquid crystal suits.
“I’m all for folks having a good time diving, but I’m down at one dock or the other all day, breaking up fights and cautioning divers,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “I don’t have the time, or jail cells, for this crap. Doc’s suits are a clear public nuisance.”
Planck, meanwhile, defended Mood-O-Prene.
“People know exactly what they’re putting on,” he said. “That’s part of the attraction. Folks just need to learn to control their emotions, is all. A few bad apples have spoiled things for everyone else.”
In a related story, the Eagle Ray Cove resort gift shop has cancelled its order for Bamboo You’s mood-ring clothing line.
Sunday, May 9, 2021
Precipitation – Not happening
A group of Blacktip Island residents claiming native-American descent called this week for an immediate ban on all scuba and snorkeling on a dive site group members say is sacred ground.
“The Loggerhead Hole dive site is the most sacred religious site on the island,” resident Cori Anders said. “Our Taíno ancestors would paddle out once a month to drop zemi sculptures in the water and commune with their forbears. Then the Baptists came and that all went to hell. That reef’s still sacred, though.
“That it’s crawling with oblivious tourists is completely disrespectful,” Anders said. “We want to start up worship again, but can’t with dive boats always there and the constant scuba bubbles. And the divers snatch up any carvings we toss in the water. We’re asking for a 100-yard no-non-native diver zone around that one mooring ball so only we can go there.”
The proposal drew immediate fire from the small Caribbean island’s scuba industry.
“They want to close one of the most popular sites on the island,” Club Scuba Doo owner Ham Pilchard said. “We stop diving Loggerhead Hole, we’ll be bombarded with complaints. All day, every day. Tripadvisor would blow up. We might as well just shut our doors, we’d be out of business that fast.
“Plus, this whole Taíno angle is bollocks,” Pilchard said. “Cori has blond hair and blue eyes. And Jack Wrasse, he was bloody well born and raised in North Wales. These are just busybodies looking for attention. And a private dive site. They can damn well go sing kumbaya somewhere else and let us dive in peace.”
Group members scoffed at that idea.
“The site is where our ancestors live,” Jack Wrasse said. “Worshipping anywhere else, we’d just be talking to the water or the trees, and chucking sculptures into the void. St. Dervil himself blessed the place when he arrived on Blacktip, and performed his first seawater-into-rum miracles there.
“It’s about preserving our heritage, not just religious services,” Wrasse said. “There’s petroglyphs down there from centuries ago. Most are covered in algae, but they’re there. The ones that haven’t been looted by divers and sold on eBay and Craigslist, anyway.”
The Island Council will meet Saturday night / Sunday morning at The Last Ballyhoo bar to discuss the matter and vote on the site’s status.
An unidentified person broke into Blacktip Island’s liquor store Wednesday night and left more than $300 in cash and a note apologizing for past alcohol thefts, island officials said.
“Damnedest thing I ever seen,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “Guess somebody on Blacktip has a conscience. Whoever it was knew what they were doing—there’s no fingerprints, and no forced entry.
“The note was done in letters and words cut out of magazines, but there’s no other clues who’s responsible,” Marquette said. “Frankly, even if I caught the person, I’m not sure what I’d charge them with. Breaking and entering, maybe. But they didn’t take anything or do any damage. I guess it’s up to Peachy whether she wants to pursue things.”
The occurrence stunned the store’s owner.
“White rum’s been disappearing from the shelves for a while, but I wrote that off as the price of doing business,” Peachy Bottoms said. “I’ve never had a reverse-theft before. Or even heard of such a thing. I haven’t run the numbers yet, but it looks like it covers the last two months’ rum shortages.
“Whoever it was cased the place pretty good,” Bottoms said. “They didn’t damage the door, and avoided the security cameras. Hell of a risk breaking in. I get wanting to pay me back, but I’d’ve just left the cash on top of the beer cases during normal business hours.”
The small Caribbean island’s mayor praised the act.
“We get a bad rap for being a backwater island full of scallywags,” Jack Cobia said. “But this proves there’s good people here. Sure, whoever it was stole booze in the first place, but they atoned for that. I’m focusing on the positive.”
Island residents speculated who the culprit might be.
“Judging by the grammar and spelling, it’s someone not well educated,” Chrissy Grayby said. “Of course, that could be a red herring to throw people off the track. They like white rum, too. That doesn’t narrow it down much, but it does say something about the thief. I mean, if you’re gonna steal liquor, why not steal the good stuff?”
Others said they hope the incident boosts community spirit.
“I hope others on the island will follow suit,” Helen Maples said. “More and more items have been going missing lately. Blacktip has never been like that. It’s nice to think we might be reverting to the happier days when one could leave the house unlocked when off island.
“I’ve no clue why whoever’s conscience kicked in, or why, but I’m glad it did,” she said.