Monthly Archives: November 2013

Booby Trot A Rousing Success

Blacktip Island's red-footed boobies were the beneficiaries of Thursday's Booby Trot.

Blacktip Island’s red-footed boobies were the beneficiaries of Thursday’s Booby Trot.

In conjunction with American Thanksgiving, the Blacktip Booby Bird Benevolence League staged Blacktip Island’s 13th annual 5K Booby Trot Thursday, with entry fees going to preservation of red-footed booby habitat on the island.

The foot race followed its usual course from Sandy Bottoms’ Beach Resort to Eagle Ray Cove.

“It’s not quite 5K, but our attorneys advised us not to ask anyone on this island to run five kilometers,” event organizer Sula Beakins said. “Blacktip doesn’t have enough medical staff or infrastructure to handle anything like that. Nowhere in the Caribbean does.

“It’s a delicate business picking a starting time, as well. It has to be late enough for last night’s partiers to participate, but not so late in the morning to interfere with the next day’s parties.”

Running in costume was optional, but strongly encouraged. Only one of the 24 contestants arrived at the starting line dressed as a booby, but was unable to compete due to an unidentified woman dressed as a frigate bird pouncing on him and forcing him to disgorge his breakfast.

As ever, all participants were required to wear red sneakers, boots or flip-flops. Barefoot runners were required to dye their feet red.

The top finishers were:

  • 1st Place            Reg Gurnard
  • 2nd Place            Christina Mojarra
  • 3rd Place            Edwin Chub

Special Mention went to Billy and Lucille Ray, who completed the run in three-legged race fashion – with Mr. Ray’s right leg tied to Mrs. Ray’s left leg – in full scuba gear.

“I’m proud to run for the boobies,” Reg Gurnard said after winning. “This island’s boobies need all the support we can give them.”

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Island Holiday Lights Resurrected

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Blacktip Island’s religious factions have put aside their quarrels in time to resurrect the community’s traditional holiday light display.

“We’ve been working on a compromise for months, but the devil’s been in the details,” said the former-Reverend Jerrod Ephesians, head of the island’s Interfaith Committee.

The display historically has been a source of friction among the Caribbean island’s diverse religious groups. Formerly referred to as Christmas lights, the name was changed in hopes of avoiding a repeat of 2012’s holiday riots, Ephesians said.

“Last year the Raëlians set the tree on fire the second night it was up,” Ephesians said. “When the Catholic Defense League retaliated, things went to hell right quick.

“This year, in the spirit of ecumenical good will, we’ve done away with the physical tree completely. But we all agreed the lights by themselves were quite lovely, so we kept those.”

In the absence of a tree, the light strands have been suspended from a small remote-controlled helicopter, donated by island scuba operators, at Diddley’s Landing public pier.

“We’ll light one strand at a time, an additional strand each night, during Hanukkah, after which people will be free to view them as non-denominational Christmas lights,” Ephesians said.

The display will also serve as site of the Winter Solstice celebration December 21 and Kwanzaa December 26 through January 1.

“Atheists are welcome to view the lights however they see fit, or to ignore them altogether,” Ephesians said.

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Island Players To Stage Hollywood Classic

(Photo by Ebdon)

(Photo by Ebdon)

The Blacktip Island Community Players will perform ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’ December 6 – January 2 in their annual Fall Extravaganza. The production stars Payne Hanover as Adm. William ‘Bull’ Halsey, Clete Horn as Cmdr. Minoru Genada and Miss Marina DeLow as Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto.

“We are blessed by the quality and vibrancy of the amateur acting community on the island,” director Doris Blenny said. “This production truly showcases that talent.

“We are also appreciative of the efforts of island residents in collecting land crabs for use as Japanese attack squadrons. This production wouldn’t be possible without their help.”

As is de rigueur for the BICP, the production promises to be a visual spectacle.

“We’ve been practicing the big torpedo bombing scene for weeks now, and everyone’s pretty banged up,” Hanover said. “It’ll all be worthwhile when that curtain comes up, though, and we see those 15, 20 eager faces in the audience ducking for cover.”

Proceeds from the play will go to Habitat for Humanity of Blacktip Island.

Theatre-goers are reminded alcohol will not be served before the performance or during intermission in light of this summer’s ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ incident. Purses and backpacks will be searched at the door.

In related news, volunteers are needed the next two weekends to help with roofing, drywalling and repainting the playhouse.

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Island Resorts Brace for Busy Winter

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With hurricane season coming to a close, Blacktip Island resorts are ramping up for the coming high season.

New to the island are Eagle Ray Cove’s new managers, Mickey and Kitty Smarr.

“We’re excited to be part of one of the premier Caribbean vacation destinations,” Mickey Smarr said. “The beaches are phenomenal, and the coral reefs make the scuba diving world-class.”

“We’ll be working to ensure the best island vacation experience possible,” Kitty Smarr added. “No matter what it takes, we’ll do it.”

Sandy Bottoms’ Beach Resort has a new look thanks to an off-season refurbishment project.

“We’d had complaints about the aqua paint and reef fish trim in the rooms looking too 1990s,” resort owner Sandy Bottoms said. “So we’ve redone them all in a fresh teal, with coral baseboards and molding to give it a more modern look. We’ve put teal lights in the pool, too, to accentuate the effect.”

Not to be outdone, Blacktip Haven will host a harvest cook-off the last weekend in November.

“To ensure a true harvest theme, we ask all participants to make their dishes from ingredients locally sourced here on Blacktip Island,” resort owner Elena Havens said. “Whether sourced in a garden, beside the road, or even on the road, we want to be certain all entries are organic and gluten-free.”

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Blacktip Times Launches Inaugural Issue

Thanks to generous donations from Skerritt Construction and the Divemaster’s Local #138, The Blacktip Times community news journal has become a reality.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Times editor and publisher Samson Post said. “This island’s needed a voice for years, something to really anchor our community, but the devil’s always been in the financial details.

“It feels good to finally get everything tied off. Blacktip is one of the best tropical islands around, with a lot more going for it than just beaches and margaritas and scuba diving. We aim to let folks know that.”

The Blacktip Times will be published weekly, and will focus on island news, business, entertainment and sports, Post said.

“Our goal is to provide fair and objective coverage of the community, for the community, from the Pinnacle to Mango Sound, from Spider Bight to Eagle Ray Cove,” Post said.

“We won’t play favorites, whether we’re covering our best friend or our biggest financer. If we ruffle some feathers in the process, well, that’s an inescapable part of quality journalism. We’re going to cover this island like a Cat 5 storm surge, leaving no stone unturned.”

Post also stressed the need for Blacktip Island’s 100 or so residents to be involved in the newsgathering process.

“If you see news happening, call or text our news hotline,” Post said. “There’s not many people here, but if we can find enough happening, we’ll make the paper a daily.”

The Times is one of a growing number of Caribbean island community newspapers being published in electronic-only format.

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