14 December, 2009


Is Anguilla turning into Cozumel without the water skis?  Besides the old canard of the value of our people, Anguilla’s principal resource is its famed beaches.  We will never be a Singapore or a Switzerland.  Those countries were truly without any resources save for their strategic locations.  They had something else to capitalize on, and to make their people rich and comfortable.  They practised a strict attention not only to laws but to rules and standards.  That is something that our spoiled and semi-literate Anguillian children have not attained in this generation.  So, given the special significance of our beaches in providing employment and attracting investment, we would expect that the authorities would do their utmost to attend to their safeguarding.  Anguilla’s beaches should be sacrosanct, dedicated to the public use, and with all private structures forbidden to be built on them.  This has actually been our government’s claim for decades.  So, it is important to express outrage when the rules are broken by one of us. 

Vehicles are not permitted to be driven on the beach.  If it is not a law, then it is certainly a well-publicised rule.  This rule is being broken more and more, particularly by locals.  Sandy Ground and Rendezvous Beaches are becoming more and more like a racetrack.  Visitors have the rule that it is illegal to drive a vehicle on the beach pummeled into them by all the tourist literature.  Can we locals not follow the same simple rule?

So, you can imagine my disgust and dismay when I saw this fellow streaking by in some sport vehicle, at full speed, and making a racket of noise, on Meads Bay Beach

It seems clear to me that no employee of one of our major new resorts would take it on his own to joy ride on the public beach like this.  One has to assume that he had been sent out by his supervisor to test fly the vehicle.  Maybe they are going to enter it in Le Mans next?

Of course, it may have been part of a conspiracy.  Perhaps he had been instructed to keep the beach clear of tourists between Viceroy Hotel and Frangipani Hotel?  Could it be that he was actually on duty, and not sloping off as I at first suspected?  No, I decided, too far-fetched.

I guess it was just sheer Anguillian slackness, and a few old tourists on the beach did not count.  Besides, it serves them right.  Who told them to come and pollute our beach with their sad presence?

At last, even the best of things must come to an end, and one must return to boring work.

In my humble opinion, this fellow in question should be investigated by the police.  If he has committed an offence, he should be prosecuted.  If not for what he did, at least pour encourager les autres.  He should next be fired from his job.  He should be given a job letter that makes him permanently unemployable in any part of the tourism sector.  Following that, management at Viceroy Hotel should call all construction staff to a meeting, and advise them that anyone joy riding on the beach will be summarily dismissed.  It is not only illegal, it brings the establishment into disrepute.  Then, every resort in Anguilla ought to be requested by the Tourism Department to do the same thing.
Does no one around here have any standards?


  1. As a retired English teacher, I agonize over the illiteracy seemingly rampant in the island today and am mightily encouraged when you raise the alert about it. So ….. could you discreetly hurry back to your last editorial and substitute “principal” for “principle” in the sentence, ”Anguilla’s principle resource is its famed beaches”?

  2. According to my computer's dictionary, Don has it right. Principle cannot be used as an adjective.

    Principal (adjective or noun) conveys the meaning of "primary" or "chief" - like [as adjective] the principal aim of a series of tasks,or [as noun] the principal of a school. It is also used as the chief part of a loan (i.e., not the interest), as in apply the extra $50 in this month's mortgage payment toward the principal.

    Principle (noun [only!]) is a rule, law or general truth. The principles of mathematics

  3. We were at Turtles Nest in November. The ruts in the beach left by that idiot were too deep to navigate. Luckily, Mother Nature took care of them that time. It's outrageous behavior!

  4. I do appreciate the danger involved with vehicles on the beaches, but do "the locals" see it as a major problem? Or, is it to them, only a problem for the tourists? Just curious.

  5. Its a problem for all of us - and the environment

  6. Anonymous at 12:21 - Have you read Papillon? That would be Anguilla without tourists. - Scotty

  7. Absolutely disgusting to see this behaviour.
    What are these joyriders thinking about?
    If the employers have sanctioned this then they should be punished as well.(heavy fine)
    Make an example now to stop this, its the only way to stop it. How Anguilla has changed, years ago no one would be so inconsiderate as to mess up our beaches.

  8. is there really a difference between these ATVs and Jet Skis? I thought Jet Skis were made illegal because of the noise and pollution that they emit. These ATVs are just as loud and dirty as Jet Skis. If they are going to allow one they may as well allow the other.

  9. This vehicle is owned by Sirena Resort and not Viceroy.

  10. Just sayin'... Who is doing it? They aren't the tourists, now are they? There is a mindset amoung some of the local population that all of natural Anguilla is theirs to use (or abuse) as they see fit. Until that attitude changes, you are going to continually see this kind of behaviour. That's why sand is taken from "protected" beaches under cover of darkness. I believe that a real effort is being made now in most of the schools to reach the youngest Anguillians and to teach them to cherish their natural world, but some have not gotten that message.

    I do say SOME. It is not all.

  11. As a tourist it is always a bit difficult to "claim" free access to all beaches, no jet skis, no ATVs anywhere and no cars on the beach. After all, the locals (or some of them) have to restrain themselves for me and the likes of me. On the other hand, an island with an economy that depends on tourism should do the maximum possible to attract well-paying tourists. And it is not as if we are asking for new rules that restrain the locals just for our benefit: the rules already exist.

    So all we need now is some enforcement on all these issues, and a more welcoming attitude at immigration and customs. That will keep us coming back!

  12. The Tourist Board is having seminars for port officials and transport workers about developing a welcoming attitude, but as long as they approach it assuming that people don't smile because of a lack of education, they can't be effective in changing things, because port officials' pay is based on how long they have not been smiling.

    It is insulting to Anguillians to imply that they are too stupid to know how to smile, and must thus be "educated" by agents of the Tsarina. When the Ministers get serious about tourism they will institute merit pay, port officials will be transformed, tourism will increase, and we who live here will wonder if we got off on the wrong island.

  13. Maybe this guy was one of the construction workers building the illegal massage pavilion at Frangipani – on the beach in front of the dune line. What makes these people think they can just go build anything they want on the public beach? Lands & Surveys says a “non-permanent” structure can remain on the beach for no more than 30 days. Let’s see if they enforce it here. With all the 4 X 4’s and plywood, sure looks permanent to me!

  14. "Non permanent structures..more than 30 days.."? Have you checked out Bankie Banks Dunes yet? How come he is allowed to do that?

  15. Why not set up a place that people could ride 4x4s. Also a drag strip. Both are lots of fun and would entertain the youth of the island. This hobby keeps people away from drugs and hanging out out. Turn it into a positive activity. I am a 65+ tourist that would love to see Friday night races, maybe by one of Lakes gravel pits. And the guy that road his bike on the beach didn't rob a bank, or I hope.

  16. I blame it on the "Queen's foreshore". If someone owned it they wouldn't be messing it up. The "tragedy of the commons" is that nobody *owns* the commons. An appalling thought to leftists and collectivists, er, "progressives" and "stakeholders", everywhere, but there it is.

    People take care of their own property, and, worse, they trash that which nobody owns, and by "nobody", I *do* mean the state, who never takes care of property it stole in the first place, much less develops same and makes it useful and more valuable to all of us as a result.

    Sell not just the roads, but the beaches, too, I say.


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