Caribbean Connections: Antilles eco-alliance tracks sea turtle trek

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The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, the umbrella organization for the land and marine parks of Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles islands of Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten, has been tracking the adventures of a three-foot long green turtle by satellite since last September.

 

The turtle, christened Miss Shellie by local schoolchildren, had a radio transmitter attached to her shell as she laid her eggs on a beach on St. Eustatius. However, Miss Shellie, whose daily comings and goings could be viewed at www.dcnanature.org, has baffled marine experts.

Most turtles travel hundreds of miles between nesting sites and feeding grounds. But by the time her transmitter failed in November, Miss Shellie had swum 580 miles without straying more than three miles from the spot where she was electronically tagged. 

Her refusal to leave home has sparked speculation about whether all turtles really are the ocean wanderers that scientists have thought them to be.

If we discover that many of our turtles actually do not travel that far from our waters, it means we have a better chance of safeguarding existing populations, said Kalli de Meyer, executive director of the DCNA.

For now, Miss Shellies whereabouts are not known, but sea turtle experts expect to attach more transmitters to more turtles to see if they repeat Miss Shellies patterns.

Phoenix rises in Aruba

Divi Resorts broke ground on a 140-suite expansion at the 101-unit Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort on Palm Beach in Aruba. The project is set for completion in December.

For details, visit www.diviresorts.com.

Bolongo spiffs up

Bolongos Inn Villa Olga on St. Thomas completed a $100,000 renovation project that included new furniture for the 12 guest rooms, digital cable TV and upgrades to the pool area.

Guests staying at Villa Olga may use the facilities at sister property Bolongo Bay Beach Resort. To book, call (800) 524-4746.

Nuptial nuance

SuperClubs launched its Wedding Bliss Collection of four themed weddings at its two Grand Lido resorts and spas in Jamaica, and introduced an updated Web site at www.superclubs.com that features virtual tours, interactive maps and a listing of its Super Agents by location.

Meanwhile, the chains Hedonism II, also on Jamaica, has 12 new suites, new oversize showers and a new gaming room with slot machines.

Sands get spa

The new Spa Tropique has opened at the Sands at Grace Bay on Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. The 116-suite resort on Grace Bay Beach features accommodations that range from studios to three-bedroom units with full kitchens. For rates, visit www.thesandstc.com.

CTO heads to NYC

The Caribbean Tourism Organizations annual Caribbean Week in New York will take place from June 11 to 17.

Events include the inaugural Caribbean Gospelfest, a celebrity cricket match, celebrity chef presentations, town hall meetings, a two-day Caribbean fair, two Caribbean weddings, the Media Marketplace and the 33rd annual Governments of the Caribbean State Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria.

For information, visit www.caribbeanweekny.com or www.onecaribbean.org.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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