Monthly Archives: November 2021

Non-Drying Towel Crisis Grips Blacktip Island

towels wont dry

Pool towels rest unused on a table at Blacktip Island’s Sandy Bottoms Beach Resort Thursday. Towels of all descriptions have ceased to absorb water on the small Caribbean island. (photo courtesy of Brandon Wiggins)

Blacktip Island visitors and residents this week were vexed by bath and pool towels suddenly becoming water resistant, community leaders said.

“Damnedest thing I’ve ever seen,” Eagle Ray Cove resort owner Rich Skerritt said. “Started about four days ago, when all our guests started hollering they couldn’t dry off. It’s like somebody sprayed all our towels with Scotch Guard. We thought it was a guest playing a practical joke, but it’s the same story all over the island. It’s like trying to dry yourself with a trash bag.

“There’s not a resort, boat or house on the island with a towel that’ll dry a damn thing,” Skerritt said. “We got people shaking themselves like dogs on the dive boats, and the pool lounge chairs are packed with people drying in the sun after they shower. Guests’re hacked off and threatening to leave.”

Theories explaining the non-drying towels have swept the island.

“It ain’t rained in a while, and I reckon booby pond ‘water’ got in all the cisterns,” Linford Blenny said. “There’s so much goop and bird poop in that pond, anything it gets on can’t help but shed water.”

Others noted the phenomenon was limited to towels.

“Shirts and rags and whatnot dry just fine,” Christina Goby said. “It’s only the terrycloth stuff that won’t dry anything. Folks are using t-shirts to dry off, then hanging them on balconies to dry. It looks like hell, but the dive shops are selling shirts and hoodies like crazy.”

Local scientists are studying the phenomenon.

“At this point we’re looking for common variable,” Tiperon University-Blacktip hydrology professor Catalina Luxfer said. “We know it’s not the various soaps used, or the water from different sources. We’re looking at the possibility of it being caused by humidity or specific gravity of the salt air or barometric pressure inversion. And we have a separate team working on new, non-terrycloth towel technology.”

Old-time residents say the problem can’t be addressed by science.

“It’s the duppies doing it, y’know,” handyman Antonio Fletcher said. “Something, or someone, got ‘em riled up. They’re messing with folks to get even. Happened before, only with all the coconuts falling out the trees instead of towels not drying. It’s the duppies’ way of saying not to bathe so much, ‘cause that washes off your protective coating.”

Business owners have joined forces to investigate the mystery.

“Me and Rich and Sandy Bottoms, we’ve put our best staff on the case,” Blacktip Haven resort owner Elena Havens said. “One way or the other, we’re gonna get to the bottom of this, and if it turns out to be a bizarre prank, some practical joker whose initials are Jerrod Ephesians is gonna eat a can or two of Scotch Guard.”

Ephesians would neither confirm nor deny the allegations.

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The dolphins have friends this week!

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Blacktip Island Weather

sunday nov 21

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Temperature: 81

Humidity 63%

Precipitation – On the way

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Jellyfish Days Celebration Will Kick Off Blacktip Island’s Jellyfish Season

Moon jellyfish [Red Sea, Egypt]

Moon jellies will be one of many jellyfish species celebrated at this weekend’s Jellyfish Days, marking the beginning of Blacktip Island’s winter jellyfish surge. (photo courtesy of Alexander Vasenin)

Blacktip Island tourism leaders hope to put a positive spin on the annual winter jellyfish influx this weekend with the inaugural Jellyfish Days festival at the small Caribbean island’s Heritage House beach.

“We’ve got to attract tourists after the country’s been closed for so long because of COVID,” de facto island mayor Jack Cobia said. “Problem is, tourists’re coming back right when the jellyfish arrive en masse. We figured we’d flip the narrative, so to speak, and celebrate them instead of cussing them. The jellyfish, not the tourists.

“Hopefully guests’ll embrace the stings and spend a week with us,” Cobia said. “It’s a unique opportunity—nobody else in the Caribbean’s doing what we’re doing. Any sissy can dive in the jelly-free summers. This is adventure diving.”

Organizers say the celebration will focus on multiple aspects of the seasonal jellyfish boom.

“We’ll have classes on jellyfish ID, how to avoid them, and first-aid seminars for how to treat the various stings,” Christina Mojarra said. “We’ll also have multiple urinating contests so each person can discover their effective range, should they need to use that particular sting treatment.

“For entertainment, there’ll be dodge-jelly games on the beach, a Portuguese man-o-war eating contest, and a jellyfish costume parade,” Mojarra said. “The store’s already out of shower curtains and plastic drop cloths. We’ll also feature all kinds of locally-produced jellies—sea grape, hibiscus, iguana, you name it, as well as our soon-to-be-famous peanut butter and jellyfish sandwiches.”

Local conservationists are critical of the event.

“Sure, the economy needs a boost, but this isn’t the way to do it,” the former-Reverend Jerrod Ephesians said. “A bunch of drunks flinging cnidarians at each other won’t have the positive effect Jack and Christina think it will. Best case, tourists’ll avoid us. Worst case, word’ll get back to the wild jellies, and it’ll be pure hell trying to dive.”

Government officials say the event, while in questionable taste, is legal.

“Sure, jellies can hurt like hell, but that’s no reason to wantonly kill them for sport,” marine park spokesperson Val Schrader said. “But if they’re not culling them from the marine park, there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Many on the island, though, supported the celebration.

“It’s a welcome a stress relief for a lot of people here,” BC Flote said. “Jelly season’s all about welts and swelling. In a bad way. This shindig’s a not-so-passive-aggressive pressure release that’ll let lots of folks vent frustration. I, for one, am looking forward to slapping that a-hole Lee Helm upside the head with a moon jelly.”

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Happy Odin’s Day from the dolphins

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Blacktip Island Weather

sunday nov 14

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Temperature: 78

Humidity 61%

Precipitation – Not happening

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‘Snakes’ Typo Incites Protests At Blacktip Island’s Music Festival

snacks not snakes

Protests erupted near Blacktip Island’s heritage House this morning after a typo on a music festival flyer indicated snakes, such as this Blacktip Island black racer, would be served at the festival. (photo courtesy of Tmpualani)

Blacktip Island’s annual charity open-mic music festival, scheduled for Friday evening, were disrupted this morning by several groups reacting to a promotional flyer’s typographical error stating ‘snakes’ would be served at the festival, event organizers said.

“Took us a while to figure out the notices we’d put up all over the island said ‘snakes will be served,’ not ‘snacks will be served,’ Blacktip Island Music Club president Jay Valve said. “Out of the blue we had parents calling, yelling they were scared to bring their kids. Next thing we knew there’s protestors outside, hollering about animal cruelty. Then a second group showed up with pillow cases, hoping to get a snake or two. It’s been pandemonium.

“We’re trying to get folks settled down enough to have the festival,” Valve said. “There’s still a bunch of shouting protestors waving signs. And a few sad sacks wandering around looking for snakes. We’re not sure if we’ll be able to stage the festival at all, at this point.”

Residents had multiple interpretations of the typo.

“It’s absolutely reprehensible to think these people would capture live snakes and hand them out willy-nilly, regardless of the money raised being for a good cause,” Blacktip People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals president Harry Pickett said. “Also, snakes play a vital role on the island, keeping the ecosystem in balance. They’re part of the environment. But, frankly, they shouldn’t be brought together in large numbers.”

Others thought the notice indicated snakes would be served as food.

“I thought it was gonna be snakes-as-protein thing, like the rattlesnake stew they make in Texas,” Christina Goby said. “It’s a disappointment, really. There’re so few exotic food options on the island. We were all set for a dining adventure, now poof, nothing.”

Some hoped the event would help with home vermin control.

“I was looking forward to getting a little rock boa or two to have around the house, keep the rats and roaches in check,” Joey Pompano said. “They got my hopes up, then crushed them. As snake enthusiasts, we view this as a bait-and-switch situation. That’s dirty pool.”

Event organizers re-emphasized snakes will play no part in the festival.

“I can assure everyone zero snakes will be served, whether that’s handed out or sold as snacks or given food and beverage,” Valve said. “People need to take a deep breath and relax. No one’s foisting reptiles on them. We just want people to come and listen to some good local musicians.”

Some say the clarification is too little, too late.

“I don’t care what Jay says, this is still a serious situation,” Angela Fisher said. “Folks’re scared. Kids’re scared. Snakes’re scared. And sure, Blacktip snakes aren’t venomous, but they’re still icky.”

Other praised the concept of serving snakes.

“I think it’s a brilliant idea, giving them treats and beer,” Lee Helm said. “On this island, you make friends with the snakes, they like you and life gets easier.”

The Blacktip Times will update this evolving story throughout the day.

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Finally. It’s Dolphin Day!

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Blacktip Island Weather

sunday nov 7

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Temperature: 79

Humidity 63%

Precipitation – Soon come

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Blacktip Island Handyman Launches Cooking Show

cooking show

The back porch of Dermott Bottoms’ shack will be the set of the ‘Cookin’ With Dermott’ cooking show, which aired its first episode this week. (photo courtesy of Rennett Stowe)

Local jack-of-all trades Dermott Bottoms announced Thursday he will host a cooking show, ‘Cookin’ With Dermott,’ aimed at popularizing Blacktip Island cuisine for a wider audience.

“Lots of good food here nobody off island knows about,” Bottoms said. “Tourists’re surprised by all the food we got, ask how to make it. Now, I’m gonna show ‘em, right here on my back porch.

“Took my mama’s recipes and modernized ‘em,” he said. “Also gonna show folks practical stuff like how to slice vegetables with a machete, how to knock out a smoke alarm before they start cookin’ and how to grill roadkill iguana on a car engine—the meat’s already been tenderized.”

The show’s backers say it has unlimited potential.

“Dermott’s going to be the next Julia Child,” local attorney Ferris Skerritt said. “Certainly, he’ll cover beer-can chicken and conch-and-Cheeto pizza, but he’ll also address when it’s better to just open a can of beanie weenies, and which beer pairs best with what dish.

“It’s just on YouTube for now, but we’re working on a deal with the Food Network,” Skerritt said. “This regional-and-unique is the latest rage in food TV. We just need to get more than three followers to get their attention.”

Some on the island questioned the show’s viability.

“The first episode was Dermott showing how to make turtle-egg omelets, including where to find turtle nests and how to dig them up,” Marine Parks spokesperson Val Schrader said. “That may be an old-school local tradition, but it’s massively illegal. His demonstrations of how to open a coconut and skin a turbot were rough, but educational. His killing and eating endangered species is beyond the pale.”

Others voiced broader concerns.

“This is Dermott we’re talking about here,” Rocky Shore said. “On camera, playing with knives and fire. That won’t end well. And as for the dishes, frankly, if Dermott shows how to cook something, I’m gonna do the opposite. The man could burn water.”

Bottoms and Skerritt took the criticism in stride.

“Dermott’s rough delivery is part of the charm,” Skerritt said. “Is he difficult to understand sometimes? Sure. Does he wave that machete around like he has no self-control? Absolutely. That creates the narrative and builds tension—what, exactly, is he cooking, and will he finish the show without injuring himself or destroying the set? We’re pitching it as ‘Sasquatch meets Rachel Ray.’”

Bottoms brushed aside the negative remarks.

“Folks saying I can’t do this, I’ll show ‘em,” he said. “Gonna be famous on more than just one island.”

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