Monthly Archives: August 2020

Local Author Releases New Novel’s Cover and First Chapter

SRF cover - high res

Blacktip Island author Tim W. Jackson’s new novel, available for preorder, will be released September 18. The first chapter is available free via the the cover/link to the right. –>

Blacktip Island author Tim W. Jackson today unveiled the cover image of his forthcoming novel, The Secret of Rosalita Flats, in anticipation of the book’s mid-September release.

The book is Jackson’s second Blacktip Island-based humor novel. His first, Blacktip Island, was a Best Book Awards finalist for humor.

The Secret of Rosalita Flats continues the whackadoodle island adventures started in Blacktip Island,” Jackson said. “This cover gives everyone a taste of what the book’s like before it comes out. A literary amuse bouche, if you will.

“No one’s innocent on this little rock, but the names have been changed anyway. Hopefully everyone’ll get a good laugh.”

Early reviews have been positive.

Reader Views says, “From the first few sentences, Jackson’s sense of humor hooks you, and you know it’s going to be a fun ride.” The Manhattan Book Review calls The Secret of Rosalita Flats “a humorous, slow-burn mystery that will consume the reader.”

Local reaction, however, was mixed.

“I’m guess looking forward to reading this one,” Club Scuba Doo dive manager Finn Kiick said. “I don’t really have anything else to do. Worst case, I can use it as a coaster.”

Others were less upbeat.

“Author? That guy’s not an author,” Rosie Bottoms said. “He’s just some half-crazy dive hippy who sits around and makes up lies about us. Can’t believe he’s doing this again, y’know. That last book had the whole island looking for tar and feathers.”

Others concurred.

“I’m still peeved at how he portrayed me in that last book,” Payne Hanover said. “He casts me as some dissolute dilettante again, well, I know where that miscreant lives.”

A few residents dismissed the cover reveal as cheap showmanship.

“Don’t see no book. Just a pretty picture. That somebody else did,” Dermott Bottoms said. “Man wants to impress me, he needs to show the whole damn book he claims he wrote.”

The Secret of Rosalita Flats will be released September 18.

Ebook preorders are available via Amazon ( and other online retailers. Physical preorders are available via Jackson’s website ( ).

The first chapter is available free via The Blacktip Times (click cover/link to the right –>).

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Wednesdays suck. Dolphins make them better!

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August 25, 2020 · 2:12 pm

Blacktip Island Divers Encounter Kraken During Night Dive

A photo of the creature  Blacktip Island night divers claim was a juvenile kraken responsible for attacking them Wednesday night. (photo courtesy of Richard Zerpe)

Scuba divers off Blacktip Island’s Diddley’s Landing public pier Wednesday night claim to have encountered a kraken, a giant, squid-like creature long thought a legend.

“There’s been stories of krakens in the deep water off that coast, but nobody really believed them,” Angela Fisher said. “But that night, during the dive, a couple of us felt something squishy grabbing at our legs. Then, right by the pier, this big squid-thing appeared out of nowhere, all tentacles flailing and beak snapping.

“Joey Pompano pulled out his knife, and me and Alison Diesel purged our alternate airs at it,” Fisher said. “It freaked at the bubbles and inked, and we dragged ourselves up the pier steps quick-like-the-bunny. Scariest thing that ever happened to me on a dive.”

Divers say the creature matched what they know of kraken.

“It was textbook kraken, just smaller and more skittish,” Alison Diesel said. “It must’ve just hatched out. That’s why it was so small. And why no one’s seen it before. And why it spooked so quick. It had to have been behind us during the dive, testing us with its tentacles. Then it went full-Cthulhu when it realized we were getting out.

“I it’ll learn as it grows. That’s the scary part,” Diesel said. “Before long before it won’t b safe to dive on Blacktip. And it’ll go after boats, too. This is way-spooky stuff.”

Some on the island, however, questioned the sighting.

“A kraken? Crack of their butts is more like it,” Tiperon University-Blacktip marine biology professor Ernesto Mojarra said. “If there were a giant squid, and if one were on the reef, there’d be no fish left. And this was a night dive. They probably just saw some reef squid or an octopus.

“And knowing that bunch, they’d been smoking God-knows-what before they jumped in the water,” Mojarra added. “Tentacles brushing their legs? That was probably them kicking the hell out of sea plumes.”

The divers defended their claims.

“I know octopus, and that was no octopus,” Pompano said. “It charged us. Eyes flashing. I could see the beak snapping two, three feet in front of my face. It was like that scene from ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.’

“We reckon it just got here, that’s why no one else’s seen it,” Pomano said. “We got lucky. What if purging a reg doesn’t scare it off next time?”

Several dive resorts plan to capitalize on the sighting once tourists return to the island.

“Sure, there’s no such thing as a kraken and divers are safe on our reefs,” island mayor Jack Cobia said. “But Eagle Ray Cove’s gonna run special Kraken dive charters. For an upcharge, of course. And Finn down at Club Scuba Doo, he sent off a proposal for a Kraken Diver specialty course. He’s just waiting for approval.

“God bless Angela and those knuckleheads,” Cobia said. “When tourists come back, we’re gonna make up for lost time. And income.”

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Blacktip Island Sports Fans Build Human Foosball Court

human foosball

After Blacktip Island’s sole table soccer set was destroyed, game enthusiasts created a life-sized court to accommodate human players strapped to PVC poles. (photo courtesy of Alex Proimos)

A group of Blacktip Island game enthusiasts this week constructed a life-sized foosball court designed to use people as the on-board figures after the island’s sole table-soccer table broke.

“The table football game at Sandy Bottoms Beach Resort finally disintegrated from the salt air, but lots of people still wanted to play,” Payne Hanover said. “Also, a lot of us were looking for a quarantine project, so rebuilding the game in life-sized proportions seemed like the logical way to go.

“Peachy Bottoms at the store donated the plywood for the walls and the poles,” Hanover said. “We set it up by the landing strip—that was the only cleared spot that was big enough.”

Rules are much the same as traditional table football, organizers said.

“We Velcro the on-court players’ arms to the horizontal poles and chuck a soccer ball in with them,” Dusty Blenny said. “They can’t kick the ball unless one of the players outside whacks the pole they’re strapped to.

“We wanted to be able to spin the poles, but we haven’t figured out the mechanics of that yet,” Blenny said. “It’s still on the drawing board, but it involves ropes and pullies and lots of Dramamine.”

Players say the games have gone well so far.

“We use standard pick-up team rules,” Wendy Beaufort said. “Whoever turns up plays, with each ‘player’ taking turns picking team members and assigning them to whichever poles.

“We take regular beer breaks, too, since this is still, at heart, a drinking game.” Beaufort said. “And if more people show up than there are spots on the field, we allow substitutions, too.”

The game is not without its drawbacks, some said.

“Your arms get damned tired strapped to that pole,” Hugh Calloway said. “There’s also nothing you can do to block a ball to the crotch. We keep punking Lee Helm that way, but the dumbass hasn’t figured it out yet and keeps coming back for more.

“With the wall, it’s also tough to light the court to play at night,” Calloway said. “We lined up cars and turned on the headlights, but those 4-foot-high walls block most of it. Payne’s working on scaffolding to hang reflectors to angle the light in.”

Some on the small Caribbean island scoffed at the idea.

“I don’t really see the point, but at least it keeps them off the road. For the most part,” Frank Maples said. “End of the day, I guess it doesn’t make any less sense than anything else does on this crazy island. So long as it doesn’t interfere with airplanes taking off or landing, I suppose it’s harmless.”

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Blacktip Island Kicks Off Inaugural Mosquito Day Festivities

mosquito day

Blacktip Island residents will celebrate the small Caribbean island’s recent surge in mosquito to boost community spirits after months of cursing the insects. (photo courtesy of James Gathany)

Blacktip Island residents, inundated by the rising number of mosquitos on the small Caribbean island, will join together midday Saturday for the inaugural Mosquito Day festival at Diddley’s Landing public pier, festival organizers said.

“With the COVID quarantines in place, the bug spray plane can’t get over here from Tiperon,” chamber of commerce president Led Waite said. “A few months without spray and the island’s just eat-up with skeeters. You got to slather on two layers of repellant just to go outside. It got damned depressing.

“We figured if we can’t beat them, we might as well embrace them,” Waite said. “And there’s usually a nice onshore breeze at Diddley’s Landing, so that’ll keep the worst of them away. Folks’ll be able to relax and enjoy actually being outside without getting bit.”

Organizers say the festival will appeal to all ages.

“We’ll have food and drink stands, of course, and live music. But we’ll have games for the kiddos, too,” Dusty Blenny said. “There’ll be DEET misting stations to make sure everyone’s protected. The little ones just love running through that. And zipping down the bug repellant slip-n-slide and into the sea.

“There’ll also be a ‘pin the proboscis on the belly’ game, where blindfolded kiddos wear a pointy nose and see who can get best poke on a rubber mannequin from the clinic,” Blenny said. “We expect everyone will have a cracking good time.”

In the evening, the festival will shift to more adult-oriented activities.

“We will have tables set up all ‘round, with every sort of liquor available, for a mosquito-themed cocktail-making contest,” Reg Gurnard said. “The drinks may contain anything the contestants want, with the stipulation they must be sipped through a straw. Preference will be given to red cocktails. Extra points will be awarded to any drinks that buzz.

“Mid-afternoon the live music will commence,” Gurnard said. “Local favorites Effing Zeagles and The Social Morays, and Young Jacques and the Double Hose will all perform. There will also be door prizes for attendees with the most mosquito bites, the biggest welt, and the worst allergic reaction.”

Some residents said the festival might be a sign of things to come.

“If this gig picks up peoples’ spirits like I think it will, we could make it a regular thing,” Palometa Fischer said. “The no-see-ums are hell, too—we’ve been spraying our window screens with diesel to keep the little suckers out. We could have a no-see-um festival next month. Or an all-inclusive pain-in-the-butt biting insect fête to cover all the bases.”

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