Tag Archives: Tim W. Jackson
Raw ginger root is at the heart of the new anti-seasickness treatment developed by a Blacktip Island scuba outfitter. (photo courtesy of Piers ‘Doc’ Plank)
A Blacktip Island business owner this week unveiled what he claims is a new cure for seasickness, dubbed the Barf Stopper, promising nausea relief for the island’s scuba divers and boaters.
“Ginger taken orally’s been known as a motion-sickness cure for years,” Bamboo You scuba outfitter owner Piers ‘Doc’ Plank said. “The Barf Stopper makes raw ginger as effective as possible. The key is fresh ginger root, soaked in a proprietary anti-nausea tonic, and administered as a suppository.
“In our trials, the effects of one bit of ginger lasted all day,” Plank said. “We had three months of rough weather to test it out, too, with a control group getting baby carrots. It’s drastic, but damned effective. And truly a game changer for a lot of boaters out there.”
Volunteer testers backed Plank’s claims.
“I used to get sick as a dog as soon as the boat got through the cut,” Edwin Chub said. “Now, with Doc’s new treatment, I haven’t gotten even the slightest bit queasy in the last two weeks, and we were diving in six-foot waves.
“It stings a bit at first, but it works,” Chub said. “I don’t know if it’s the ginger, or what they soak it in, but either way, it’s a miracle. And it sure doesn’t make me groggy. The only thing that made me wonder was some of the volunteers were a little too eager to try it.”
Some in the diving community questioned the treatment.
“What Doc’s doing isn’t prevention, it’s perversion,” Bill Fish said. “Of course people’re not getting sick—they’re too busy worrying about the root Doc stuffed up their rectums. And some of his test subjects are folks who never get seasick. But there’s ol’ Doc charging top dollar for his snake-oil remedy. There’s plenty of proven, over-the-counter cures out there. Why not just use one of them?”
Other divers agreed.
“I don’t care how effective this new method’s supposed to be, I’m sticking with my Dramamine. Taken orally,” Olive Beaugregory said. “Or just not going out on rough days. I mean, seasickness is bad, but Doc’s cure sounds worse than the ailment.”
Others embraced the new treatment.
“In rough weather on a rocking boat, it’s any port in the storm,” Joey Pompano said. “I’ll take my pills and chew the gum, as usual, but I’ll also put ginger wherever Doc tells me to put it. You can’t be too careful.”
Barf Stoppers are manufactured fresh daily and available exclusively at the Bamboo You boutique and can be staff- or self-administered.
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Precipitation – Not happening
A small, but confrontational, number of Blacktip Island scuba divers are refusing to wear facemasks while diving. (photo courtesy of Christopher Mendoza)
A group of scuba divers visiting Blacktip Island this week sparked controversy by refusing to wear masks while diving, island tourism officials said.
“It started with one person, then exploded,” Chamber of Commerce president Led Waite said. “Right now, a third of the divers on our boats are flat-out refusing to wear masks. They can’t see squat underwater, and the salt has to burn their eyes like crazy, but they’ve dug their heels in.
“They say it’s their personal choice, and asking them to mask up violates that,” Waite said. “Problem is, they keep bashing into coral and the bottoms of the boats. Dive staffs are running out of first aid supplies.”
Divers say the masks stifle their breathing.
“Diving maskless is the natural way to breathe, and no divemaster’s gonna make me wear an underwater choke plate,” Buddy Brunnez said. “Our ancestors swam without masks or goggles for eons. Why should we change something that gave us such healthy lungs? Plus, looking at things through a glass lens just weakens your eyes.”
Others cited religious reasons.
“If God wanted us to dive with masks, we’d have been born with them on our faces,” Suzy Souccup said. “Who am I to question what God wants? I don’t care what the Pope said. They try to make me wear a mask, they’ll get one upside the head. That’s what Jesus’d do.”
The island’s dive staffs continue to encourage mask use.
“We can’t make anyone wear a mask, any more than we can make them wear a wetsuit,” Eagle Ray Cove divemaster Marina DeLow said. “We insist their masks are on when they giant stride in, but they take them off as soon as they’re underwater.
“The issue’s enforcement,” DeLow said. “We can’t spend all our time underwater scolding yahoos. And when we do, they act like they can’t see us. We’ve started taking them to sites with tons of fire coral, and stopped giving them Band-Aids, but that’s cutting into our tips.”
The island’s Marine Parks department is taking more aggressive action.
“We’re fining divers who contact coral,” spokesperson Val Schrader said. “But we can’t be with every group on every site every day. We’re citing people left and right, but they just blow us off. Or scream in our faces.”
“In the meantime, they’re tearing up the reefs,” Schrader said. “We requested more officers from Tiperon, but they’re dealing with the same problem over there and can’t spare anyone.”
Divers say they’re not concerned with the fines.
“We’ll take every one of these citations to court,” Brunnez said. “The Man don’t have the time, or money, to fight every one of us. It’s my nose and face, and I have the right to smash then into the coral if I want.”
Sunday, September 5, 2021
Precipitation – Yesterday’s news
A Caribbean reef squid serves as the golden snitch in ‘squidditch,’ Blacktip Island’s new underwater version of quidditch. (photo courtesy of Joey Pompano)
A group of scuba-diving Harry Potter fans this week introduced squidditch, an underwater version of the quidditch game made popular by the fantasy series, played over sand flats on Blacktip Island’s sheltered west coast, organizers said.
“People’re playing quidditch with brooms and soccer balls, and tennis balls hanging out the back of their shorts, so we figured ‘why not do an underwater version?’ Goldie Goby said. “Instead of brooms, we use boat hooks, and underwater Frisbees instead of balls.
“What makes it uber-cool is we use an actual squid as the snitch,” Goby said. “We dope up a reef squid so it won’t bolt too far, or ink, and the chaser has to catch it with a lionfish net. Also, random squid don’t count. Or octopi. It has to be the specific snitch-squid.”
Players say the game presents different challenges than the terrestrial version.
“It’s’ damned hard to generate any speed, or maneuver, with an aluminum pole wedged between your legs,” Joey Pompano said. “And the squid’s hell to catch, even if it is drugged. The last two games had to be called before the snitch got caught because all the players hit their nitrogen-loading limits.”
Spectators had mixed opinions of early matches.
“It’s a cool concept, and early in the games it’s a blast to watch,” Ernestine Bass said. “But after a few minutes the sand gets all stirred up and you can’t see a thing. The players are supposed to stay up high in the water column, but when competitiveness kicks in, all that goes out the window. It adds to the challenge for them, but it makes for boring viewing.”
Local animal-rights activists were critical of the new sport.
“First they catch a live squid. Then sedate it. Then throw it back in the sea and chase it with nets,” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals president Harry Pickett said. “It’s the definition of animal abuse three, four times over. Even if they don’t catch the snitch-squid, it’s still been traumatized.
“And what happens when the squid’s so groggy it can’t escape predators?” Pickett said. “The first game they played, a barracuda hit the snitch so fast all you saw was a cloud of ink and guts. Alison Diesel nearly lost her hand. We’re filing a lawsuit to stop this horror.”
Players defended the use of a live squid.
“It’s OK to use squid for bait, but not for a snitch? Please,” Reg Gurnard said. “It’s one squid, on a reef loaded with squid. And saving the snitch from ‘barras is added incentive to catch it quickly. That PETA lot need to get those sticks out of their bums and have some fun.”
Island authorities say the games are within legal bounds, if barely.
“It’s played outside the marine park, so we have no say in it,” Marine Parks spokesperson Val Schrader said. “If they cross into the park, though, we’ll be forced to shut it down. But until then, I have $10 on the Eagle Ray Divers team in this afternoon’s match.
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Precipitation – Yesterday’s news