Blacktip Island Weather

15

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Temperature: 91

Humidity: 79%

Precipitation: Not today

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‘Hurricane Crabs’ Have Blacktip Islanders Fearing Storms

land crab plague

Juvenile land crabs have overrun Blacktip Island this week, raising concerns about a major hurricane hitting the small Caribbean island. (photo courtesy of Sudzie)

Thousands of juvenile land crabs inundated Blacktip Island this week, exasperating residents and raising fears of a major hurricane striking the Caribbean island, locals said.

“Overnight, it seems, they all hatched out and are swarming over everything,” Goldie Goby said. “They’re all over the roads, clogging downspouts, filling cisterns and getting into all our cabinets. You can’t even walk anywhere without them crunching underfoot. It’s like a Biblical plague.

“Bigger worry, though, is old-timers say this always happens right before a big hurricane,” Goby said. “They call them ‘hurricane crabs’ because they mean a big storm’s coming. I’m battening down everything. And going to church twice a week.”

Long-time island residents concurred.

“Baby crabs flooding the island all at once, hurricane’s coming for sure. Everybody knows that,” Antonio Fletcher said. “Happened in ’04, then again in ’08. Blacktip was two islands then, storm surge was that high.

“I got water and food stashed in a cave, ready to weather it out,” Fletcher said. “Doubled the insurance on my house, too. Folks calling me ‘Chicken Little’ are in for a rude wake up. Sky really is falling. Or fixing to.”

Other locals were also busy with hurricane preparations.

“Me, I got my boat filled with supplies, and lashed to my roof,” Dermott Bottoms said. “Hurricane comes through, I just cut the cords and ride out the waves. Simple as that. Thanks to them crabs, I got enough warning to get that all set up.”

Scientists questioned the link between the crabs and storms.

“This mass hatching likely has more to do with rising water tables, or temperature change, than with future weather events,” island meteorologist Rayne Doppler said. “And I’ve found zero correlation between occasional island-wide hatching events like this and hurricanes. The only constant is these crabs hatch en masse every six or seven years. The last time this happened, we had no storms at all.”

Some residents voiced more immediate concerns.

“The roads are red from cars running over them—the stink’ll about knock you out,” Marina DeLow said. And they’ve taken over my underwear drawer. I kind of hope a hurricane does come along and blasts these damn things away.”

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Made it to Wednesday

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Blacktip Island Weather

weather

weather

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Temperature: 88

Humidity: 81%

Precipitation: Incoming

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Blacktip Island Scientists To De-Extinct Caribbean Penguins

caribbean penguins

A sailor’s pen-and-ink sketch from 1853 showing a group of now-extinct Western Caribbean penguins (Megadyptes blacktipius) defending their nest from a ship’s terrier. (image courtesy of the Blacktip Island Heritage House)

Biologists at Tiperon University-Blacktip this week announced their plans to revive the extinct Western Caribbean penguin as a way to augment the small island’s marine ecosystem and to possibly pave the way to save critically-endangered species.

“This is the cutting edge in modern genomics, and these penguins are the perfect subject,” TU-B genetics professor Vera Cuda said. “Everyone’s focused on bringing back wooly mammoths and aurochs and other megafauna. Anything that big’s gonna be tough to pull off. But with us starting small with penguins, we have a real shot at being the first team to successfully de-extinct a species.

“Western Caribbean penguins were native to Blacktip, but were hunted out of existence by hungry sailors back in the late 18th Century,” Cuda said. “We have some preserved skins, though, and more than enough penguin DNA to genome-edit multiple birds. We’re working on sequencing the genome now, and hope to have a functional one by year’s end. That’s way ahead of the teams trying to de-extinct dinosaurs and mammoths and thylacines.”

Community officials were supportive of the plan.

“Since the sailing ships full of sailors are history, the re-extinction threat has been eliminated,” Marine Parks spokesperson Val Schrader said. “We’ll set up a captive breeding program to grow the population, and protect it by creating a penguin sanctuary by the marine park.

“We’ve already identified sites on the north end, near Nobbie’s Inne, with good nesting beaches that will make perfect rookeries,” Schrader said. “The hope is the ecosystem will benefit from them preying on the invasive fish species taking over our reefs.”

Others focused on the financial benefits.

“Blacktip’ll have the only wild penguins in the Northern Hemisphere,” island mayor Jack Cobia said. “We’ll be the premiere eco-tourism destination in the Caribbean. Folks’ll come from all over to see them. And to swim and dive with them.”

Others questioned the project’s wisdom.

“Bring extinct animals back to life?” Chip Pompano said. “Has no one here ever seen ‘Jurassic Park?’ Hello! There’s no guarantee they won’t eat all the fish on the reefs. And what if they turn on humans? With that CRISPR technology, one wrong move and you’ve created Frankenstein’s monster. Assuming it works at all—this could just be another funding grift.”

Island geneticists weren’t worried.

“The technology’s foolproof,” Cuda said. “Our big issue is financing. We’re massaging our budget and relocating resources, but we still don’t have what we need. We’re having a bake sale this weekend, and have set up a Go Fund Me account so people can donate. For the island’s common good.”

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Wednesday! Yay!

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Blacktip Island Weather

xx

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Temperature: 89

Humidity: 78%

Precipitation: Not today

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Fire Destroys Blacktip Island’s First Renaissance Faire

renaissance fire

The main stage at Blacktip Island’s inaugural Renaissance Faire was destroyed Wednesday by arsonists who misread a publicity notice. (photo by Paloma Fairlead/BTT staff)

A misunderstanding regarding notices for Blacktip Island’s inaugural Renaissance Faire Wednesday resulted in four arrests, nine injuries and the venue’s destruction after a series of purposely-set fires, organizers said.

“We had a flyer-writing party to divvy up the workload, and some of them had a minor gaffe in them,” the island’s Society for Creative Anachronism shire grand seneschal Jay Valve said. “Clete Horn left the ‘a’ out of the ones he did, so they read ‘Renaissance Fire. A handful of folks took that literally and torched everything.

“The first sign of trouble was Dermott Bottoms and his buddies showing up wearing Viking helmets made from buckets and carrying tiki torches,” Valve said. “We thought they just wanted to be part of the spectacle. Then they sparked the tents, the food shoppes and the stage. The whole village burned in less than 15 minutes.”

Event participants were stunned.

“We were so excited to have our first Ren Fest on Blacktip,” Angela Fisher said. “The kiddos were enjoying their gruel-on-a-stick when—bam—yahoos started burning everything. We were looking forward to the jousting-on-hobby horses, but they even burned the horses. Then a vat of mead exploded all over us. The little ones are traumatized.

“The tents, and the dunk-a-wench booth took ages to build,” Fisher said. “And there’s hundreds of conch fritters ruined, and kegs of ale destroyed. They even burned some nearby docks. And the library. Thankfully, the librarian saved both books. I don’t know how we talk to the kids about this.”

Authorities arrested four residents.

“Couldn’t get here in time to stop the fires, but I’ve got the perpetrators locked up,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “No surprise it was Dermott Bottoms, James Conlee, and Linford Blenny. The fourth, Catalina Luxfer, is chained to my office desk since we only got one cell and I can’t put her in with those yobbos.

“Nine folks went to the clinic with injuries, mostly smoke inhalation,” Marquette said. “And Lee Helm’s got second-degree burns from running into a food booth to steal corndogs. I’m still tallying what to charge who with.”

The arsonists defended their actions.

“Organizers’ fault, you know, putting them signs up for a Renaissance Fire,” Dermott Bottoms said. “We thought the flyers about a ‘faire’ were mistakes. ‘Fire’ makes more sense. Who the hell spells ‘fair’ with a ‘e’? They didn’t want stuff burned, they should’ve been clear on that.”

“We was just joining in, dressed like Huns since they didn’t have any of those yet,” Bottoms said. “Seemed odd they wanted that stuff burned, but we were happy to do our part. Thought it went off pretty well. It all burned real good. And fast. And that was a lot more fun than folks playing lutes and dressing funny. Can’t wait to do it again next year.”

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Wednesday vibes:

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Blacktip Island Weather

sunrise

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Temperature: 91

Humidity: 77%

Precipitation: Soon come

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