Blacktip Haven resort’s annual anger management retreat has island residents up in arms following repeated run-ins between participants and scuba diving guests from Blacktip Island’s other resorts.
Local business owners have demanded the resort cease the week-long program.
“The Haven’s up on the Bluff, within easy earshot of half the island,” said Rich Skerritt, owner of Eagle Ray Cove resort. “There’s no way to get away from the noise. Sound carries in tropical air.
“The primal screaming at all hours of the night, it keeps guests and staff alike awake. I know these retreats are all the rage, but this one’s killing our business.”
Blacktip Haven owner Elena Havens was quick to defend the program.
“What we do at The Haven’s no one’s business. I’m filling my resort during the slow season, covering my expenses. If Rich’s place’s half-empty, that’s his problem.”
Other locals disagreed.
“All that hollering, we thought the mersquatch was back on the prowl,” resident Molly Miller said. “To find out it’s just tourists, honestly, that pisses me off.”
“We advertise our resort as a peaceful getaway,” Club Scuba Doo manager Polly Parrett said. “When Elena brings these people in, it destroys that. They set the birds off. Get the iguanas stampeding.”
Island police records show an uptick in violence during the weeks Blacktip Haven has conducted the retreats.
“You bring that many angry people together on one small island, it’s a recipe for disaster,” said Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette. “One person’s anger sets off another, and the next thing you know it’s snowballed into a bar fight or road rage.”
Attempts to conduct sessions underwater have resulted in confrontations as well.
“I’m swimming along with a stingray when this jackass starts whacking me with a stick,” said a Sandy Bottoms Beach Resort dive guest who asked to remain anonymous. “Then his buddies joined in. Only thing kept them from killing me was my pulling a knife on them.”
“There was an isolated incident where a diver stumbled into an underwater drum circle,” Elena Havens said. “It was unfortunate, but in no way indicative of these retreats.”
“These workshops do a lot of good,” said the former-Reverend Jerrod Ephesians, the workshop’s facilitator. “I’m a recovering anger-holic myself. It’s easy to think of Blacktip as a tropical paradise, but there’s a lot of pent-up anger here.
“The naysayers need to have some sense beat into them,” Ephesians said. “When you point a finger at someone, you have three more fingers pointing back at yourself.”
A town hall meeting to discuss the fate of future anger retreats was aborted when a fight broke out in Eagle Ray Cove’s conference room. The meeting had not been rescheduled at press time.