One of the most amazing things about Vieques is the speed at which rumors fly around the island and off the island. It is common practice for me to get an email from someone asking about a particular event that I have not heard of. How is it possible that someone in Boston has this kind of intel? I could blame Facebook, in fact I think we should all blame Facebook for something. But really, it is the connection that this island evokes in people. You come here just once and you are forever bound to it. I don’t know of anyplace else in the world where this happens.
So, back to the rumor thing. This is a classic. There is a bioluminescent bay in Fajardo. It is not anywhere near as brilliant as ours, but a bio bay nonetheless. It went dark. Rampant were speculations that the construction of a sewage treatment plant near the bay was polluting the it and thusly it went dark. Some of our local activists circulated this information without any knowledge of what was actually going on. Well, the real story is that mother nature created large tidal swells and the diflaginats (the little creatures that may the bay glow and whose name I have probably misspelled) were swept out to sea. Ironically, the investigation turned up that the sewer treatment plant is in fact a desperately needed utility to keep pollution out of the bay. Our own Mark Martin from the Trust was instrumental in leading the scientific testing and coming to the true conclusion. What was most funny however, was that somehow the info got twisted and the rumor was that our bio bay went dark. Imagine my surprise when someone came into Trade Winds all upset because they thought their bio bay tour was going to be cancelled because there were “no lights out there”??????
Last post I said I would reveal the location of Coqui Fire’s new digs. Jimmy and Kat are setting up shop in town two streets back from Main Street. Turn left between Blackbeard’s and the jewelry store, go up two blocks. The building is mexican yellow with arched windows and doors. This was the location of Las Palomas (or La Paloma), unsure which, as it was a bit before my time here. Anyway, it was a little restaurant and bar. Then it became a church and has now full circled back into a restaurant. This is one of those buildings that you pass almost everyday and everyday you say, “what a cool building this is”.
Just about every bar and restaurant is open for the season. Mikey, in true Duffy fashion, doubled the size of Tin Box by adding onto the back. The new section looks over the arroyo which he backlights. Way cool. It is also one level down from the main floor, so watch the stairs. I foresee some drunken tumbles. Fortunately, drunken tumbles usually result in hurt pride and not hurt anything else. Noche is open with Carlos at the helm. He was formerly at El Patio. Another Duffy restaurant is Chez Shack. Duffy himself, at 92, has expanded out the side and there is a little bistro type seating area. I have no idea what he is going to do with it, but it looks great.
The December edition of Vieques Events just came out. The lead story is all about Duffy. I would urge you all to go online and read it. Great piece of modern history. Best ad goes to Esperanza Riding Company, with the Caribbean cowgirls. No more info from me on that one, you have to read it for yourself.
The winter winds have arrived. Currently, it is cold here. Cold as in wearing long sleeve shirts, jeans and socks. And that is on the south side. The north side is really howling. The boats in the harbor outside Al’s Mar Azul are bobbing and weaving. Almost get seasick just watching them. Surf’s up over on La Chata and Playa Voltios. This of course, has made the ocean far to cold to get into. Although this year was a little better than most. My last swim was December 1, usually I’m done before Thanksgiving. This also can contribute to a lack of Medalla on the island. When the winds blow just right, the surge in the Fajardo harbor can make docking almost impossible. When the boats can’t dock, the trucks can’t load and then…..a Medalla crisis. When the boats don’t run we don’t get any supplies, but the medalla seems to be the major concern. Who needs gasoline or food?
So, why did I title this post as I did? Change is always occurring here. Businesses come and go, as do people. Even the beaches change their stripes on an almost constant basis. Remember a few years ago when Navio was nothing but a small sand strip? Or more recently when black sand beach disappeared? It reappeared during the next southside side storm. Remember when vegetables came in once a week? Now, we get them most everyday. Remember when getting a telephone took nine months? Now it takes almost that long to get service back when it goes out, but new service happens within a week. Remember when the water would go out for weeks at a time? Now we have so much pressure that everyone’s toilet is an in home geyser. That one is funny as long as it doesn’t happen to you. Remember when the airport sported a rusty trailer as the terminal and the runway was oh sh…. short? Now we can land the space shuttle and Lyman’s wife dishes out authentic Chinese food at the cafe. Remember when there wasn’t a barge rusting in the harbor on the north side? Couple more years and a few swells and there won’t be one again. Remember when the Galleon Dance Hall was in full swing, with salsa on Saturday nights; and parents and their teenagers had date night in the same place? Remember when La Cases del Francaise was still around and Irving served sliced deli turkey breast, potatoes made with flakes and franco-american gravy right from the can on the table for Thanksgiving dinner? So, what’s the newest change? This is my last post. After many years, Jim Starke, owner of the enchanted-isle website has sold it. He now gets to change out of his webmaster clothes and put on some minister clothes. This has been a great ride for me and one that I will miss. But, it is time for change and to move onto other things.
I do have a few last requests. Please stay in touch Vieques in other ways. Google it. Email. Or go the old school way and call, (if you can find a working phone). You all know someone here. Please donate to my favorite charities, the Conservation Trust, the Humane Society, and Juntos. These three make a difference to our children, animals and the environment; a win win trifecta. Lastly, and most importantly, do not ever ever wear a polka dot bikini while snorkeling at Blue Beach.
May you all have the best of holidays!