story / editorial
Bringing Back Jolly Roger
Barbados Boat is Rescued Back to Life on Roatan and Prepared for a
Jolly Roger workmen pull up the mast's gaft.
is often a graveyard for sailboats. Some of them rusting
and molding away, are still beautifully wearing shades of
all glory of transatlantic crossings, memories of violent
storms and demanding passages. Brick Bay, Fantasy Island,
Coxen Hole and Oak Ridge are dotted with boats that once
were the pride of their owners and objects of desire for
onlookers. One can see sailboats on side of the road that
haven't seen water in a decade and possibly never will.
such boat was on its way to a slow demise when a taxi full
of slightly tipsy Barbadians drove by. "We couldn't
believe our eyes," says Martin Bynoe, one of the men
in car. "Suddenly we look to our left
that is Jolly Roger!," said Joe Peterkin,
a Barbadian living on Roatan, about a boat that in bad shape
and slowly taking on water.
three energetic Barbadians: Martin Bynoe, Allan Kinch and
Richard Greenwich, came to Roatan after seeing an ad on
the internet advertising Black Pearl, a La Ceiba built wooden
party boat that is now anchored in Las Palmas. It was for
sale for $1.2 million and topped the interest of the Barbadians
looking for a boat that could enter the booze navy serving
the island's tourists. The islanders examined Black Pearl
and decided to pass on the sale. "She was built badly,"
said Bynoe. For the Barbadians it was destiny: the Jolly
Roger line, famous in Barbados, was meant not to be lost.
Roger is a Barbados registered, 114 foot double masted schooner.
The boat was most likely built in 1966 on a beach in Petit
Martinique, an English speaking island belonging to Grenada.
"She was built on a beach and rolled out to sea on
logs," says Kinch, another Barbados man, pointing to
the Los Fuertes strip of land by the Texaco fuel station
where Jolly Roger was being repaired and refurbished before
her journey back home.
141 foot schooner on dry dock in Los Fuertes.
there were five Jolly Rogers, and the Roatan schooner is Jolly
Roger number one. Over the years the other Jolly Rogers sunk:
two off Trinidad, one off Antigua and one off the Grenadian coast.
"They went up and down and in between the islands all the
time," says Chris Worme, a Barbadian who was contracted to
come down and help rebuild the Jolly Roger. There are still a
few boats that perform these duties in Windward Islands, but much
more on a commercial scale.
the 1960s and 1970s the Jolly Rogers hauled cargo, mostly beer
between Saint Vincent, Saint Martens and Grenada. "Grenada
didn't use to have a brewery back then so all the beer had to
be brought in," said Kinch. Kinch, an owner of several Barbados
businesses, has decided to bring the boat back to her original
shape and, in some ways, function. The plan is, by New Years Eve,
for Jolly Roger to become the largest party boat on Barbados,
with hundreds of paying guests enjoying beers on its forty-four-year-old
2004 Jolly Roger was bought by Alvaro Alamina, a Belizean who
brought the schooner to serve as a party boat in Belize. The boat
soon found itself in Panama, then ended virtually abandoned and
tied to a dock on Roatan. All seamed doom-and-gloom for the forty-four-year-old-boat
until four slightly tipsy Barbadians saw her leaning on a dock
in Oak Ridge.
September this beautiful old Jolly Roger is being restored to
its long-lost glory. She has pylons supporting her sides and dozens
of blue tarp draped across her top deck. At the height of the
work 35 people, like ants swarm in and out of her bringing out
old, damaged elements. The workers bring new things: all new electrical
wiring, new pieces of wood to replace rotten ones.
boat's construction crew is full of energy. There is a mixture
of languages and accents. Spanish, Bay Islands English, Barbados
English, American English. There is good energy all around and
everyone has a slightly different reason to be smiling. The Barbadians
feel like they are bringing a piece of their island history back
home, and Roatanians feel pride in helping to bring an elegant
ship back to her glory.
Barbados men were friends nearly all their lives. They grew up
within a couple of miles from one another, right next to the sea.
"It's quite an adventure. For boys from Barbados to take
her [the boat] home is quite something else," said Worme.
"They [the tree owners] called me up one day and asked: 'what
are you doing tomorrow? We have a boat here on Roatan, would you
like to take a look at it?" said Worme. With uncombed, long
grayish hair, the Barbados man has been around the sea all his
life. "This island is just like Barbados. Maybe a little
longer and a little less wide than us
and we cut down all
the trees to built hotels."
heavy rains and storms, the work on Jolly Roger hit a crescendo
in mid November. The Roatan rain delayed the crew by four
weeks and pushed up the schedule. "We have a rain season
in Barbados, but not like this," says Worme.
pieces of metal weighing half a ton is pulled up by ropes
by eight men. This is the top of the 1,000 gallon metal gasoline
tank that will increase the range of the boat. A 525 horsepower
John Deere engine was lowered next to two fuel tanks designed
to contain 1,000 gallons. There are brand new generators and
tanks capable of carrying 1,000 gallons of water.
four millimeter fiberglass shell was placed over the 44-year-old
hull to make the boat stronger and more watertight. Eight
rolls of 50' fiberglass and 16' rolls of 25' fiberglass were
used to waterproof the boats hull and deck. Everything on
the boat is brand new: new generators, new engine and electrics.
Mack Sail custom made the boats red sails.
Lister and Richard Gordon working with Mack Sails out of Florida
laid out 2,000 feet of wire, two large electrical panels and
we are still not done. "We came down to bring the sails
and a bit of electrical, but it turned out to be much more
than a bit," said Lister. The Americans installed the
mast's gaft up and the set up of the sail.
of the equipment needed for the boat came in three metal containers.
"We had no problem with customs. It's been great,"
says Worme. Bucket brigades of people have helped to bring
the necessary parts to make Jolly Roger sail once again.
Kinch prefers not to disclose how much he paid for Jolly Roger,
he admits that the boats three owners will spend around half
a million dollars fixing her. "Around $200,000 of that
was spent on Roatan," says Kinch. "DV Woods [a French
Harbour building supplies store] just loves us."
a boat of Jolly Roger's size and built isn't an exact science.
"They found old metal cogs that crushed the sugar cane
and used it for boats ballast," says Worme. Jolly Roger
contains a treasure chest of East Indies history: below its
deck there are discarded, old huge wheels and cogs taken from
sugarcane plantations. Some of this metal is well over 100
years dating to Barbados' sugarcane history.
re-balancing of the boat with ballast will take some trial
and error. Old, rusted chains should be used to rebalance
the boat. "We are going to have to do a few tests to
make sure she will not flip over in rough seas. She mite lay
down on her side and she might not come back up," says
Worme. "It's not much of a sailing boat to tell you the
truth. We'll be going strait into the wind and that's what
this boat hates. It likes sailing 90 degrees to the wind."
Greenwich is designated to captain her on her return voyage
and the crew plans to take it easy with the sails and do most
of the journey home using its brand new motor. "If anything
happens, we can always make it to Jamaica," says Worme,
who hopes to be in Barbados for Christmas.
Chris Worme supervises work on Joly Roger.
Roger is full of exotic, not common anymore wood. Purpleheart wood,
prized for its strength and beauty, was used in parts of the wood
decking. "To drill through it is like 'forever'," says
Lister. In fact the boat is full of exotic woods. It's like a living
mosaic on South American and Caribbean lumber, with pieces of raw
wood stabilizing the hull. There are sections of the boat made out
of Mahogany, Pine and teak. The two masts are of Wallaba tree. Probably
because "over the years people had to take out different planks
of wood and replace them," explains Worme.
was a lot of discussion and looking around for the right people
and had a relationship to wooden boats," says Worme. The Seth
Arch dry dock crew is much more used to working on metal shrimp
and lobster boats.
Barbados boys found Jolly Roger pretty much by accident. She was
an out-of-context "half sunk" boat leaning against a dock
at Oak Ridge. In a matter of weeks she should regain her place in
Pantheon of rich oceangoing Barbados history. "Everyone in
Barbados is very excited we are bringing her home," says Worme.
can make Haiti from here, it's like 1,400 miles," says Worme
about the planned voyage home. The Jolly Roger crew will have to
travel northeast into the wind, to Haiti then Antigua, "then
down the chain to home."
story / editorial
/ local news
______________back to top
from Honduras By
the last Two Years Honduras has Been the most Dangerous
Place to be a Journalist
Honduras journalists killed in the last few years were all
male, were all shot, and come from print (20%), radio (40%)
and television (60%) organizations. CPJ report breaks down
the "source" for the Honduras journalists' killings
in a fallowing manner: 20% were killed by a criminal group,
20% by government officials, 20% by local residents and
40% by a political group. What is particularly disturbing,
CPJ states that 80% of the murderers have gotten away with
been asking people who is perpetuating this violence against
media representatives and why. "Who knows, there are
lawyers being killed in Honduras all the time too,"
was the response I received from an island lawyer with an
office in Tegucigalpa. "They [Honduran journalists]
blackmail people that they will write a story critical of
them unless they get paid not to, and they get killed,"
said a mainland business owner.
society is reacting to the unethical practices of journalists,
and other liberal professionals in this manner," said
another La Ceiba businessman. He said that doctors, psychologists,
lawyers, fiscales are also targets of violent crime. "Honduras
crime against journalists is abstract, it has no face,"
he said. "People don't believe in the legal system.
The value of life has been reduced," explained still
another La Ceiba businessman.
concept of who is a journalist in Honduras is different
than in the United States or Europe. Many Honduran Journalists
are really "media personalities" with strong opinions,
vocal political stance and obvious economic interests outside
their own profession. Honduran journalists are elected to
public offices and continue to work in journalism without
recognizing any conflict of interest. An added element to
the phenomena is that in Honduras life is cheap and many
business problems are easier solved with a "hit"
than a legal arbitration.
A report of Reporters Without Borders states that this year
Honduras has been classified as the most dangerous country
for members of the media. The report described Mexico as
the most dangerous country of the world, where clashes between
drug cartels and government troops had claimed the lives
of 13 journalists since January. Honduras and Pakistan are
at second place on the list with nine deaths each. "Ahead"
in numbers of war zone countries of Iraq and Afghanistan,
Honduras is by far the smallest country in this group and
leads by far in journalists murdered per capita.
journalist in Pakistan and Iraq are killed for being too
close to the story, in Mexico they are victims of the drug
smuggling gangs that try to intimidate them. Unlike in Mexico
the media in Honduras applies self-censorship and doesn't
do investigative reporting pieces on organized crime. The
self censorship goes from the top down, from the publishers
of newspapers to individual reporters.
have been nine journalists killed in Honduras this year.
The violence hit a peak in March, when three journalists
were killed. Committee to Protect Journalists [CPJ] lists
five Honduran journalists whose motive for killing is confirmed.
The other seven are listed as having unconfirmed motive.
The CPJ list doesn't disclose that three Honduran journalists
left the country in fear of their lives.
originally thought that the Honduran journalists may be
killed for threatening the economic interest of the country's
rich elite. While three journalists were indeed killed in
the months following the 2009 coup, I believe the reasons
for the continued violence are far more complex. While several
of the killed reporters have been involved in politicks
on pro-Zelaya angle, others have taken a strong pro-Micheletti
were several journalists who have been accused of extortion,
using their position to make people pay to keep their name
out of the news. A killing that has particularly resounded
in the North Coast of Honduras took place on March 11, when
David Meza Montesinos,, 51, a renowned la Ceiba street reporter
was killed after a long car chase that ended up at his home's
doorstep. He was shot multiple times by four assailants.
According to the CPJ report some Meza's professional colleges
believed police may have been behind the killing. These
witnessed acknowledge that their late colleague was known
to extort money from sources.
story / george
/ local news
Fever has hit Honduras Hard, Bay Islands Less
of the people who contracted Dengue was Kristofer Goldman,
an American resident in Sandy Bay. "It started with
fevers in the evenings for about seven or eight days, and
because it wasn't that bad I didn't go to the doctor, just
took ibuprofen for the pain," Said Goldman.
few days afterwards he had become dehydrated and felt ill.
Goldman went to the Woods Medical Center in Coxen Hole where
he tested positive for classic Dengue. The centers doctors
sent him home and prescribed acetaminophen.
couple of days later he woke up with a splitting headache.
He called Dr. David Williams for a house call and credits
him with saving his life. Dr. Williams diagnosed Goldman
with 41 C fever which was beginning to give him hallucinations.
Dr. Williams told him to head back to the hospital where
he was diagnosed with malaria in addition to Dengue. "My
wife's fifty-something cousin on the mainland had the same
symptoms and died, so I was lucky," Goldman said. "If
I hadn't gone to the hospital and received the medical attention
I did I think I would have died."
says that he doesn't know where he contracted Dengue and
Malaria, but his work as a music teacher takes him to places
throughout Roatan. According to MHUHR 11, the mosquitoes
carrying the Dengue virus breed in stagnant water containers
and ponds especially plentiful in poor areas of the island.
Houses with no running water use these containers to store
water and offer an increased risk to health of the people
living the area.
of the Municipal Health Unit Health Region Number 11 in Coxen
Hole, from left to right: Adalberto Mejia, Helena Martinez,
Yuddy Feurtado and Mario Pacheco.
With an escalating number of reported cases of Dengue on
the mainland, Roatan Municipal Health Unit Health Region
Number 11[MHUHR 11] is moving towards controlling potential
upsurges on the island by documenting infected patients
and organizing and coordinating awareness campaigns in affected
neighborhoods. The highest number of documented cases on
Roatan in 2010 has been 42 in one July week.
to MHUHR 11 this is not significantly more than previous
years. "There haven't been nearly as many cases on
Roatan as there have been on the mainland," says Hilaria
Martinez, statistic specialist and Head of Epidemiology
at Region #11. The MHUHR 11 governs all the health systems
on the island and oversees matters of disease and epidemic
prevention, regulation and administration.
have been no reported hemorrhagic cases of Dengue on the
island only classic Dengue cases have been diagnosed. Dengue
is a febrile illness affecting infants, young children and
adults with symptoms ranging from a mild fever, to incapacitating
high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes,
muscle and joint pain, and rash. "There has been no
need to transport any sick person to the mainland for treatment,
and no one on the island has died from Dengue," says
Dr. Adalberto Mejia, also with the municipal Health unit.
Dengue has been spread out more-or-less evenly over Roatan,
with a slightly more concentrated number of cases in Coxen
Hole and Sandy Bay.
Islands Ink by
Tattoo Artist Come to Bay Islands
can be good artists, but they use the wrong machines, ink
and needles," Mandy says about the Mara tattoo artists.
Discomfort is just one risk in getting a tattoo. There is
a risk in receiving a tattoo from unsterilized needles contaminated
with Hepatitis, HIV, hemophilia or herpes which can all
be passed from person to person if the needles are not sterilized,
or changed for every client.
had a tattoo parlor for five years in Tegucigalpa, then
in La Ceiba and since 2008 he works in Utila and Roatan,
shuttling between the two islands depending on the demand
for his services. On a good day, Mandy can make two to three
tattoos and that same amount might be performed in what
he refers to a bad week. The cost of the tattoos ranges
from Lps. 250 to Lps. 5,000. It all depends on the time
it would take to create the tattoo, designing it and then
inking it in.
says that Americans like to play with their bodies. Europeans
are more determined and specific about what they want as
a tattoo. For foreigners, the matching of quality and price
makes getting a tattoo on the Bay Islands an attractive
option. In the US a tattoo artist might charge around $50
an hour for their services. In Europe that could be as high
as $250 an hour.
tattoo session can last only four-five hours at a time.
"Some people come for a session but their skin gets
to sensitive to continue," says Mandy. For tattoos
that require more then five hours, multiple sessions are
scheduled two-weeks apart. The biggest tattoo Mandy has
performed on Utila so far is an underwater marine scene
with turtles, manta rays and coral. "It's for an Australian
girl that lives on Utila and came here 12 times over six
months," says Paredes.
black and gray tattoos typically last a lifetime, color
tattoos do fade with time after 15-20 years. "With
a lot of sun the skin grows over the tattoo and covers it
up," explains Mandy, who sometimes works on other artist's
tattoos, reinvigorating their colors that fade with time.
is a legend in Honduran tattooing. He was the first one
that started and does great work," says Scarlet Lopez
known as La Gata, a Coxen Hole tattoo artist who has been
in the business for eight years. Since March, she has been
working on Roatan on a busy street in Coxen Hole. "Sometime
people don't trust me because they think a woman can't make
good tattoos," she says.
Gata expresses that most people want tattoos that are small
and designs that are common. What she likes is doing tattoos
on women, complex art pieces that involve advanced techniques
and mixing of colors.
Gata feels a lot of competition from street tattoo artists
who undercut her prices and don't use proper hygiene or
equipment. Tattooing is a competitive business, her "Cat
Tatoo" [sic!] studio was already robbed and her tattooing
equipment now likely serves someone in a back alley.
tattoo parlor on Utila and the walls filled with photographs
of tattoos he performed
certainly there were tattoos being done on the Bay Islands
when the archipelago was a pirate haven. A few hundred years
later the practice is returning to its Honduran birthplace.
hands down, the best tattoo artist on the islands is Mandy,
or more formally Miguel Armando Paredes. Mandy, 37, first
began tattooing on Utila in 1988 when he was only 14-years-old.
He first made his own tattoo machine and worked out of his
mother's house. A visiting French tattoo artists guided
Mandy in his first steps. His first tattoos were placed
on his own arms. While today they look simple and a bit
faded, they still remind him of his beginnings, there is
the closed fist, a cross, a Hebrew star and a big dipper.
Honduras, having a tattoo can carry a life-long stigma.
Having a visible tattoo makes it more difficult in getting
a job. It is because many people here associate tattoos
with gangs and gang violence. Honduran law associates Gang
Tattoos with "illicit association" and a person
sporting such tattoos risks getting arrested when spotted
by police. To avoid easy detection, there are many gang
members who no longer have tattoos.
to Paredes, girls who want to leave gangs approach him to
have their Mara or gang tattoos covered up. He uses images
that reshape the signature gang tattoos into a more acceptable
art. Using faces, clowns and cars he covers the signature
of the gangs on the ex-gang member skin. If that is too
difficult, he sometimes places a rectangle across their
unwanted ink marks.
Wahoo Fishing Tournament Rewards Skillful Fishermen
boat owners who can't really compete in billfish tournaments
in the Bay Islands had their day. Sherman Arch from French
Cay brought in the biggest fish, a 48.5 pound Wahoo caught
off Cayos Cochinos. The French Cay crew also placed first
in the combined weigh category with three Wahoo amounting
to 94.5 pounds.
6:05pm a car brought in a 30 pound Wahoo. "It's from
a boat that broke down. But they called in to let us know
they were coming," said Doug Hayes, Barefoot Cay tournament
coordinator. At the end of the day 11 fish were caught and
weighed and the biggest one came out to be a 48.5 Wahoo.
All the sign-in money went towards the prizes and was paid
out as a percentage of the purse. The first prize, $350
or 50% of the sign in money went to the winning boat - Miss
of the tournament participants, Douglas Whitney, an American
resident, decided to trot between the North side of Barbareta
to Pigeon Cays. "We hooked three Wahoo and landed one,"
said Whitney, captain of the 19 foot Island Adventures boat
based at Fantasy Island. "We fished with live tuna
and, we think it was a shark we hooked into, and it spooled
our entire rod. We just lost the drag and broke it so we
wouldn't loose the entire line," said Whitney, who
brought in a 31 pound Wahoo, using an islander lure with
a strip of tuna behind it. Whitney first fishes for tuna
to use it as bait for bigger Wahoo.
Crew of the winning boat- Miss French Cay: Gale Arch, Loni
Dangler, Karl Carter, Samuel Arch.
While fishing for billfish is typically an ego stroking
activity, fishing for Wahoo equalizes the captains with
big and small boats alike. It is also a way to catch some
great tasting fish. "We thought it would be a good
idea to organize for small fishermen. We're against billfish
fishing," Said Joseph Jackson, local tournament organizer
boats registered for the Sunday, November 16 tournament,
based at Barefoot Cay. The competition lasted from 6am to
6pm. The pelagic fish tournament gave points for catching
Wahoo, tuna and mahi-mahi, the biggest fish being Wahoo.
The original tournament was scheduled in late October, but
was cancelled due to threats of hurricane weather in the
story / editorial
by Thomas Tomczyk
Ever Awards Recognize Islands leading Businesses
winners of the 2010 First Bay Islands Business Awards 2010:
through Education - ANACARIBE
in Promotion of Entrepreneurial Spirit - Port of Roatan
in Human Resource Development - ANACARIBE
through Social Responsibility & Community Contribution - Bananarama
through Technology - ACME Sanitation
in Tourism - Iguana Farm
Green Award - Keyhole Bay
Promising New Business - San Simon Beach Club
of the Year - Loren Monterroso
of the Year - Serrano Industrial
Achievement Business Award - Meade Hyde
Award - Leonel Vides of Radio Caracol
Monterroso accepts the BIBA award as "Entrepreneur of the Year."
November 15 the Bay Islands Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 10th
anniversary. This year the Chamber held its first Bay Islands Business
Awards at Henry Morgan Resort in West Bay. The November 12 gala
and ceremony brought in around 150 Roatan business leaders. The
event was sponsored by Port of Roatan.
incentive and appreciation must be shown to all business for their
efforts of staying afloat during our country's political problems
and market downturn," said Ana Svoboda, president of the Chamber
of Commerce. Svoboda emphasized the difficulty of doing business
on the Bay Islands in a recovering global economy and aftermath
of 2009 political crisis in Honduras.
prior presidents of the Chamber of Commerce received plaques of
recognition: Rita Thompson de Morris (2000 - 2006), Andrés
Cardona (2006 - 2008) and Salvador Díaz (2008 - 2010). The
gathered business people observed a minute of silence to recognize
the death of Arnold Morris, a Roatan businessman and longtime resident,
who in 2004 was arrested on Roatan, handed over to the FBI and served
a jail sentence for fraud.