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Naked Dive Club Arrested, Banned From Blacktip Island

naked dive club

An Eagle Ray Cove dive boat sits idle on its mooring Thursday afternoon after all divers on board were either arrested or unable to dive in the aftermath of a mass nude scuba incident. (photo courtesy of Serge Melki)

Twelve members of a scuba diving club dedicated to nude diving, making their second trip to Blacktip Island, were arrested Thursday afternoon after completing the afternoon dive completely unclothed, island authorities said.

“These are repeat offenders, scofflaws who thumbed their noses at the law,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “Warned them last time. Warned them in advance this time. But  they wanted to set the record for number of naked folks on one dive and did it anyway. Now they’re in jail. Fully clothed. And’ll be deported in the morning.

“This island, and the Tiperons, aren’t that kind of place,” Marquette said. “Personally, if I could have ignored the transgressions, I would’ve. But we had multiple complaints, including from the dive operator. That forced my hand.”

The dive operator involved said the club’s actions negatively affected their business.

“Most of these folks, well, let’s just say no one wants to see anything they had to show,” Eagle Ray Divers operations manager Ger Latner said. “We had several guests vomit. And not from the waves. Other guests couldn’t eat lunch, or dinner, afterwards.

“Why is it the people who do this crap are the last ones anybody wants to see naked?” Latner said. “No one asked them to strip down. Frankly, we begged them not to. It permanently scarred some kids.”

Club members say they were unfairly targeted.

“We paid for the charter. We have a right to dive any way we want,” club president Willy Moone said. “People don’t like it, they don’t have to look. The cops’re violating our diving rights. And illegally deporting us. TripAdvisor’s getting some nasty reviews because of this.

“Nude diving’s the most natural thing in the world,” Moone said. “Except for the tank and regulator and computer. You don’t think Jacques Cousteau didn’t strip down for a skinny-dive now and then?”

Other members said nude scuba improves their diving skills.

“We’re better divers because of our nakedness,” Phil McKraken said. “You have to watch out for fire coral and hydroids—diving naked, you by-God learn buoyancy quick. We have special buoyancy and situational awareness classes. But if you pass, you can concentrate on just diving, without the distracting chafe of clothing.

Non-club divers disagreed.

“I really don’t see the attraction,” Wanda Goby said. “There’s groupers and moray eels and barracudas down there, just waiting to bite any dangling bits and bobs. There’s jellyfish, too. It’s just asking for trouble, if you ask me. Rafe did them a favor, arresting them like that.”

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Ah. Wednesday.

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Blacktip Island Requires Post-Pandemic Mask Use For Ugly People

required mask use

Blacktip Island officials have declared mask use obligatory for a small group of COVID-free island residents. “We’re not saying certain folks are ugly. We just don’t want to see their faces,” mayor Jack Cobia said.

Blacktip Island authorities Wednesday announced select residents will be required to continue wearing COVID face masks and to maintain a six-foot distance from other residents, despite there being no active COVID cases on the small Caribbean island.

“It has nothing to do with health risks,” mayor Jack Cobia said. We just got used to some of our . . . less photogenic . . . folks being covered up when they were out and about. We called an Island Council meeting, open for public input, and the sentiment was overwhelmingly in favor. It’s been nice not seeing some people’s faces and we want to continue that.

“We whittled the list down as much as we could, trying to be fair to everybody,” Cobia said. “Council members took public opinion into account in making the list. It won’t make everybody happy, but overall it’ll make life more pleasant on this little rock.”

The move enjoyed broad community support.

“I’m not saying Dermott Bottoms is ill-favored, at least not to his face, but it was nice not seeing his mug for a year and a half,” Ernestine Bass said. “The mask also muffles his voice, so that and the distancing worked wonders for my nerves. They can say this isn’t health related, but it’s doing wonders for lots of people’s mental health.”

Some of those singled out protested the rule.

“Calling me butt-ugly is what they’re doing, you know,” James Conlee said. “Don’t see nobody making M’rina or Alison wear masks. I’m no more hideous than ‘Tonio, and he don’t have to wear one, either. Now I got a complex.

“And how they think they’re gonna enforce this? I know my rights,” Conlee said. “Got feelings, too, you know. Folks don’t want to hear me talk, just ask me to stop. That’ll be that. I’ll stop talking. Won’t say another word. Not-a-one. Not even a peep. I can be quiet like nobody’s business. I’ll bet.”

Island medical officials say the rule will have indirect health benefits.

“There’s therapeutic value to having certain people masked,” Dr. Azul Tang said. “It’ll lower residents’ stress, pulse and blood pressure. And masks plus social distancing will also cut down on bar fights. On Blacktip, that’s always been more of a threat, and an epidemic, than any virus.”

Others vowed to help enforce the rule.

“Having select residents masked and muzzled amounts to a public beautification project,” retired Royal Army Sgt. Maj. Beaugregory Damsil said. “I just wish they’d have approved my proposal for full-face masks and ball gags. And don’t you worry about enforcement—the constable and I will take great pleasure in that.”

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Here’s a Wednesday pick-me-up:

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Blacktip Island Weather

Sunday June 27 copy

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Temperature: 84

Humidity 65%

Precipitation – Rain soon come

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Controversy As Blacktip Island Opens For Vaccinated Remote Workers

COVID work remote

Blacktip Island hopes to boost its flagging economy by luring vaccinated office workers to work remotely on the island during the pandemic. (photo courtesy of Leah Shore)

To boost its economy, Blacktip Island leaders this week announced a plan to allow international office workers who are fully-vaccinated against the COVID virus to work remotely on the small Caribbean island without a work permit.

“We’ve got to jumpstart things, financially, pronto,” mayor Jack Cobia said. “No telling when tourism’s coming back, so with all these folks around the world working from home, why not live in the Caribbean and soak up some sun while they’re at it?

“If they’re vaccinated, and can prove they don’t have The ‘Vid, they’re welcome,” Cobia said. “We’ll waive all visa and permit requirements, just come down, rent an apartment and spend money at the store and bars. And the restaurants. Both of them.”

Island businesses welcomed the plan.

“Blacktip’s COVID-free, and we need to make the most of that before we go bankrupt,” Eagle Ray Divers operations manager Ger Latner said. “We’re all tested and safe. As long as you are, too, ERD’s your huckleberry. Work in the morning, then dive in the afternoons. Hopefully we can fill our boats, or at least cover expenses.”

Many residents, though, questioned the idea for public health reasons.

“Any yahoo can get a fake vax card,” Angela Fisher said. “And just ‘cause you pass a screening doesn’t mean you can’t still carry the stuff. We’re safe now, but these immigrants could bring the plague down on us.”

Others were more concerned about emergency scenarios.

“Thing is, once you’re here, you’re stuck—you can’t just pop back to your country of origin,” Harry Wrasse said. “Sure, you get to work in paradise, but it’s a bit of a Hotel California situation—you can get here anytime, but your home authorities won’t let you leave.

“Also, what happens if you hurt or sick?” Wrasse said. “Marissa at the clinic is great, but she has limited supplies. You need a hospital, you’re screwed.”

Emergency planners criticized the plan’s timing.

“Height of hurricane season, and we’re bringing more people onto a small island?” Molly Miller said. “If a big storm comes, they, none of us, can get away. Never mind these extra folks putting a strain on our limited resources. The store shelves’re already half empty.”

Local merchants were not concerned.

“I can always order more food,” Peachy’s Groceries and Sundries owner Peachy Bottoms said. “Problem is, there’s not enough people on-island to buy what I have. Hell, send down all the people as you can. I’ll feed ‘em. And sell ‘em hurricane supplies, too.”

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Finally! It’s Wednesday!

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Blacktip Island Weather

sunday june 20

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Temperature: 83

Humidity 62%

Precipitation – Not happening

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Altercation Cancels Blacktip Island’s Dump-Find Repurposing Contest

dump repurposing contest

A cluster of condemned scuba cylinders was at the heart of a dump-wide fight Wednesday at Blacktip Island’s annual Dump-Off Repurposing Challenge at the small Caribbean island’s landfill. (photo courtesy of Jay Valve)

A melee among contestants at Blacktip Island’s 17th annual Dump-Off Repurposing Challenge Wednesday sent four people to jail, nine to the medical clinic and caused event organizers to cancel the contest.

“Everything was fine—we let contestants scope out the dump the day before, and off they went when we dropped the flag at dawn,” DORC chairperson Jay Valve said. “Then Linford Blenny and Edwin Chub, of all people, got in a scuffle over some condemned scuba cylinders and things spiraled from there.

“Next thing we knew, all the other contestants had joined in, whacking each other with bike wheels, bits of rotted roof tin, and anything else they could get their hands on,” Valve said. “It took us, and Rafe Marquette, a quarter of an hour to get everybody disarmed and disengaged. Dump-Offers are always keyed up and competitive, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Bystanders were shocked by the unexpected violence.

“We bring the kiddos every year so they can watch the DORCs in action,” Chrissy Graysby said. “It inspires them to be engineers. And garbage collectors. But now, they’re hiding under their beds and won’t stop crying. It’s frightening how a community event like this could erupt into a riot.

“Usually it’s quite Zen-like, with folks working all day to make something new and useful out of stuff someone else threw away,” Graysby said. “Last year, Clete Horne won with his lightsaber. Well sort of a lightsaber. It looked the part, but all it did was glow. And zap mosquitos. The little ones were so impressed. Now this.”

Island authorities arrested the riot’s instigators.

“Linford and Edwin were the first two I handcuffed,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “And Dermott Bottoms and James Conlee weren’t far behind. Other folks were just defending themselves, but those four lit the fuse by initiating multiple assaults.”

Blenny and Chub claimed innocence.

“I seen that scuba tank first and had my hand on it,” Blenny said. “Eyeballed it yesterday, then made a beeline to it when they dropped that flag. Next thing I know, little Edwin Chub’s walloping me with a set of handlebars and yelling I was taking what was his. Well, I walloped back, but good, with a busted rake. He had it coming, cheating like that.”

Chub denied the allegations.

“Linford was clearly in the wrong. I called dibs on the entire stack of cylinders as soon as the flag fell,” he said. “That counts. Yes, I pummeled him with the handlebars. And he’ll get an encore pummeling if he tries claim-jumping again.”

Event organizers are already studying safety measures for next year’s contest.

“Gonna come up with a hard-and-fast list of rules covering dibs, firsties and what have you for claiming items,” Valve said. “We want to get back to the days when folks’d calmly make a nice cooler out of an old fridge, or a fire pit from a washer drum. This is why we can’t repurpose nice stuff in the dump.”

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Blacktip Island Weather

sunday june 13

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Temperature: 82

Humidity 64%

Precipitation – On the way

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