Category Archives: Scuba Diving
Antonio Fletcher’s tuba provides the signature sound for Blacktip Island’s newest band, formed by members of other popular island musical groups. (photo courtesy of Michael Coghlan)
Members of three popular Blacktip Island musical bands this week left their respective groups to form a new supergroup in an effort to grow artistically and create a unique island musical sound.
“We’d been playing the same beach music schtick for years,” The Social Morays’ lead guitarist Gage Hoase said. “We needed to stretch ourselves musically. Tourists loved the stuff, sure, but there’s no tourists now. No one on the island wants to hear faux-Buffett, and me and Marina got tired of playing it.
“We were hanging out offstage at last month’s Battle of the Bands at the Heritage House, shooting the breeze with other bands, and realized Payne and Jessie felt the same way,” Hoase said. “We all wanted to do something totally new and different. We settled on a mix of oompah and ska. We call it ‘oomp-ska.’”
Joining Hoase in the new band are fellow Social Morays drummer Marina DeLow, TURTLE!!! bassist Jessie Catahoula and Young Jacques and the Double Hose spoons-and-beer-bottle virtuoso Payne Hanover.
“We’d all gotten stagnant,” DeLow said. “We gelled pretty fast, though, and played our first gig at last week’s book-launch party. Oomp-ska’s an odd mix, but it works. You just have to give it a few minutes. It grows on you.
“The toughest part was agreeing on a name for the band,” DeLow said. “Then Payne and me realized we’d garbled out the same Frenglish phrase in our respective high school French classes, and both got sent to the principal’s office for it. Gage and Jessie laughed, and now we’re Qu’Est-Ce Que F*ck Que C’est?”
The group also tapped into undeveloped talent on the island.
“We really needed a tuba to get the right amount of ‘oomp’ in our sound,” Hanover said. “That’s where Antonio Fletcher came in. We knew he liked to play his tuba by himself at night, and we knew we had to have him. He gives us that rock-solid foundation to jam from.”
Audience reaction was positive after the band’s debut last Friday.
“I laughed at first, Hugh Calloway said. “But then the rhythm hit and people were dancing like crazy. The sound grabs you. It’s irresistible, really. One minute I was rolling my eyes, the next my feet were moving to the beat, something between a polka and a rumba.”
Music critic Rusty Goby praised the band’s output.
“The individual elements may be derivative, but the final product isn’t,” he said. “This is something totally new and unexpected. It’s Blacktip’s unique musical sound.”
In related news, The Social Morays, TURTLE!!! and Young Jacques and the Double Hose will be auditioning new members this weekend.
Blacktip Island Weather
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Precipitation – – –
Air Quality Excellent
Tim W. Jackson’s latest humor novel, The Secret of Rosalita Flats, was released this morning. (cover art courtesy of Ebook Launch)
Local award-winning author Tim W. Jackson today released his second Blacktip Island novel, The Secret of Rosalita Flats, via all major book distributors, his personal website and Cracked Spines, the small Caribbean island’s independent bookstore.
According to the publisher, ‘The Secret of Roslita Flats follows a man trying to sell a football-shaped house he inherited, while dodging Blacktip Island’s quirky collection of con artists, smugglers and ne’er-do-wells. There’s also the matter of sharks showing up every time he gets in the water. If he can’t figure out what his dad was mixed up in, he may be stuck on the little rock forever.’
“It’s a comic mystery for anyone who’s ever dreamed of chucking it all and running off to the Caribbean,” Jackson said. “If Northern Exposure knocked up Margaritaville, their kid would be The Secret of Roslita Flats.”
Early reviewers praised the novel.
The Manhattan Book Review said, “The Secret of Rosalita Flats is a humorous, slow-burn mystery that will consume the reader. The dialogue is sharp and clever, the action timely.” Reader Views said, “From the first few sentences, Jackson’s sense of humor hooks you, and you know it’s going to be a fun ride.”
Local reaction was less glowing.
“He’s got some nerve, calling us ne’er-do-wells,” divemaster Alison Diesel said. “He’s the quirky one. Because of him, the whole world thinks we’re a bunch bat-shit yahoos. It’s totally bogus, him keeping on writing smack about us.”
Others were more pointed.
“I’m gonna release that book. Right upside his head,” Dermott Bottoms said. “Warned him about writing another one, making me look bad, but he didn’t listen. This time, he’s gonna look bad after I’m finished with him.”
The novel’s first chapter is available as a free download via The Blacktip Times and on Jackson’s website.
The Secret of Rosalita Flats is available for purchase at:
Jackson will host a launch party tonight at Eagle Ray Cove, with free drinks and music by island supergroup Qu’Est-Ce Que F*ck Que C’est, formed this week by former members of Blacktip Island bands The Social Morays, TURTLE!!! And Young Jacques and the Double Hose.
A portion of the proceeds from all Blacktip Island novel and short story sales goes to the Coral Reef Alliance.
And some days the dolphins are a-holes. Happy Wednesday from Blacktip Island!
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Precipitation – – –
Air Quality Excellent
Greetings from Blacktip Island!
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Precipitation – – –
Air Quality Excellent
Wish you were here!
Blacktip Island officials fear an island resident may be lost in the Caribbean island’s rugged interior after fleeing a barroom confrontation Wednesday night. (photo by Wade Soote)
Blacktip Island residents Wednesday launched an island-wide search for a fellow resident who ran into hiding after being accused of being a witch the night before, authorities said.
“Folks were all liquored up down at the Ballyhoo, and Cori Anders started doing slight-of-hand magic tricks,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “A drunk-ass Dermott Bottoms thought the tricks were real, started hollering about Cori being a witch. Then Gage Hoase and Lee Helm pestered her to heal their upcoming hangovers.
“Others joined in, and next thing you know folks were yelling about tying her up or dunking her or burning her or some such,” Marquette said. “Cori laughed it all off until James Conlee tried to grab her. That’s when she bolted out the door, sped off and no one’s seen her since.”
Some residents expressed concern for Anders’ safety.
“No one’s seen her, or her ride, for a day and a half,” Alison Diesel said. “She could be hurt, or worse, somewhere inland where nobody ever goes. I get hauling ass out of there, but to stay hid for so long? She’s not just sleeping one off.”
Community leaders quickly launched a search for Anders.
“We have the island gridded out in squares, and teams of three and four are searching them methodically for any sign of Cori or her car,” Wade Soote said. “If she’s hurt somewhere, time’s of the essence. I know people’re getting punchy with the lockdown and isolation, but this isn’t like Cori.”
Others were focused on the accusations against Anders.
“Still looking to see if she really is a witch,” Dermott Bottoms said. “Always wears that pointy hat, and she’s got a long nose, y’know. She might be the one who brought this virus curse down on us. If she did, then we gotta make sure she pays. Or at least makes it go away.
“Me and James and some others, we’re beating the bush to find her, put her to the test, for the good of the island,” Bottoms said. “Gonna drop her over the side of one of the boats to see if she floats. Or sinks. I can’t remember which one it is witches do.”
Island authorities urged caution in the search efforts.
“Folks stomping off into the interior alone are gonna get hurt or lost,” Marquette said. “If people aren’t careful, we’re gonna have multiple search-and-rescue operations going on. Folks need to let me do the searching instead of running around like a bunch of fools.
“Just this morning I caught Dermott and his bunch heading into the bush with landing nets and lionfish spears,” Marquette said. “Other people were using beaters to try to drive her toward waiting rescuers. If this keeps up, Cori may never come back. And I wouldn’t blame her.”