Sandy Bay Pirates Beat Gravel Bay’s Kool to Face The Giants

Seven-run ninth inning sends Pirates soaring to victory

BY JEFF STRATTON

A premature celebration

The Kool baseball field in Gravel Bay resembles a grassy knoll, an un-gentle slope, plus one of those cow pastures that’s been over-run by groundhogs. That said, the location — tucked in a gorgeous, palm-lined valley down the Steel Pan Alley road — isn’t without its charm.

But on this field, balls take bounces that aren’t just weird or difficult to field — they seem to defy the laws of physics. Some ground balls just stop, as if caught in a sand trap.

That’s a factor to take into account when playing here, and for Pirates general manager Dave Elmore, it makes it harder for his team, whose home is the less-than-perfect Sandy Bay field. For a master strategist like Elmore, it makes the game much tougher when the fields’s as much a factor as the players or umpires.

But on Sunday afternoon, August 7, it didn’t matter.

Safe!

It was back-and-forth until about the fifth inning, when Kool was up by a couple runs and their boisterous cheering section smelled blood. Every Kool homer was greeted with air-horn blasts, high-fives, blasts from the DJ and screams of delight.

By inning six, Kool took the lead and the Pirates started to unravel. Flustered, they looked ready to fall apart. Then they got their game back, only to promptly lose it again. Their bullpen was silent as another Kool homer gave them a 10-8 lead.

“Yeah,” said one spectator on the scant Pirates-fan side of the field. “Make it interesting.” It was the bottom of the 8th inning, and Kool fans were howling, taunting, heckling, certain of the imminent death of their prey (after all, Kool are the only team all year to beat the Sandy Bay Giants).

Pirates coach and scorekeeper Mark Flanagan said he was feeling “a little tense” about the situation. It was the last inning of the last playoff game between the Pirates and Kool. But Pirates pitcher Cuny Miller, with the bases loaded, struck out the last batter to prevent further carnage.

Then it was the Pirates’ last stand. First a triple from Ross Connor. Then a base hit from Cuny. Game tied. The Pirates let loose and the Kool bench quieted right down. This was the game of the year. This was a contest no one, baseball fan or not, could walk away from.

Then, with only one out separating the Pirates from their last defeat of the year, they rallied for five more runs. “Pile it on!” came shouts from the Pirates’ bench. The entire mood of the afternoon had changed. The Pirates players were like inflated helium balloons, ready to pop or float away. Jittery with nervous energy, one said, “Man, I’m getting drunk tonight!”

“Look at those guys,” said Flanagan, nodding at the Kool outfielders, who were practically crumpled into balls of fear. “They’re dejected. The wind’s out of their sails! They’re gassed out!”

And they were. Cowrie-necklaced Cuny, beyond pumped, shut down Kool quickly. With the bases loaded, no less. With one oddly-hopping bounce into a leather glove, the final anti-climactic out prompted screams and hugs from the Pirates. “Good!” was all Elmore said when asked how he felt.

Jubilant Pirates on the Kool field

The Kool players walked slowly home, alone, beyond defeated. Not used to losing on their own field, and after watching a seven-run ninth-inning rally from the Pirates, their season sadly  finished as the sun set over a ridge on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. The air-horn was silent. The DJ shut down his stuff and packed it up.

The taunting Kool fans didn’t have much to say now.

But the Pirates’ celebration could be short-lived: They now face a best-of-seven matchup with the Giants, the island’s strongest team (I think they’re something like 26-1) and against whom they haven’t had much success.

The Sandy Bay ball field will be the place to be next few weekends, Roatanians.

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Serious Taxi Accident in Sandy Bay

Not sure of the circumstances. On the New Times site (which will be live soon, I swear!) I promised a blog with a photo called “Taxi of the Week” — in fun. This didn’t look like fun at all. In fact, the ambulance with sirens on racing to the scene and the injured people (at least one of whom was treated at Clinica Esperanza) makes this decidedly not a taxi driver doing something nutty worth poking fun at — this was serious.

The accident was across the road from Melvin’s house in Sandy Bay, just after the turn-off to the beach. The taxi was apparently heading east when it left the road and landed against the base of the wooden house near the old Sandy Bay sign.

Here is a better pic, courtesy of Ashley Harrell, a friend and colleague who is on Roatan taking Spanish lessons so she can go work for the Tico Times in Costa Rica. How cool is that?

Welsh Support Team Helps SOL in Sandy Bay

Outlook Expeditions Hooks Up With SOL Foundation for Good Deeds in Sandy Bay

BY JEFF STRATTON

Monday, August 1, a group of Welshmen and Welshwomen got their hands dirty in Sandy Bay.

Volunteers from Outlook Expeditions worked on a gorgeous mural near the AKR road by the beach, transforming a cinderblock wall into a colorful pastiche of images made from thrown-away bottle caps (which our island has no shortage of, btw). Very cool to see discarded trash turned into art.

Outlook Expeditions, which sends students from Wales all over the world to learn from and help others, is in Honduras to work and play.

Today they were working, helping Dave Elmore from SOL create a giant mural that he estimates will take a year to finish. The work is painstaking, and it’s pretty rough there working with cement in the hot sun, but it was great to see a community project take shape.

Outlook takes Welsh students all over the world, teaching them environmental awareness and responsible travel ethics. Not bad things to be down with on Roatan.

Up near the road, by the basketball courts, SOL member Mark Flanagan was working with other (some quite sunburnt) O/E volunteers constructing a recycling bin for plastic bottles and cans.

The bottles are filled with sand and used, essentially, as bricks — making the bottles a building material instead of part of a landfill. When finished, it will function as a collection/sorting point: bottles in good shape will be used to build walls (and maybe, eventually, homes) and cans will be separated and sold.

Pretty cool idea: using trash to build stuff and beautify the community.

Earthquake

DID YOU FEEL IT? WE DID.

 

4.8 Mb – NORTH OF HONDURAS

Preliminary Earthquake Report
Magnitude 4.8 Mb
Date-Time
26 Jul 2011 06:35:45 UTC
26 Jul 2011 00:35:45 near epicenter
26 Jul 2011 00:35:45 standard time in your timezone
Location 17.044N 85.793W
Depth 21 km
Distances
111 km (69 miles) NE (44 degrees) of Roatán, Islas de la Bahía, Honduras
127 km (79 miles) N (8 degrees) of Trujillo, Colón, Honduras
157 km (97 miles) N (8 degrees) of Tocoa, Colón, Honduras
176 km (110 miles) NE (37 degrees) of La Ceiba, Atlántida, Honduras
320 km (199 miles) E (93 degrees) of BELMOPAN, Belize
Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 18.9 km; Vertical 9.7 km
Parameters Nph = 198; Dmin = 532.1 km; Rmss = 0.90 seconds; Gp = 108°
M-type = Mb; Version = 7
Event ID US c00054a7
For updates, maps, and technical information, see:
Event Page
or
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

National Earthquake Information Center
U.S. Geological Survey
http://neic.usgs.gov/
__._,_.___

Beer Lovers: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Spotted at Plaza Mar

Get yours today at Plaza Mar!

California Microbrew on Roatan!

BY JEFF STRATTON

Nestled up against Presidente (Dominican Republic) and Guinness Foreign Export Stout (7.5% alcohol!) I saw a couple cases worth of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale— a really wonderful beer I think Oasis used to carry. Butch and Sherry at the Bulk Gourmet also stock it every once in a while.

I didn’t buy any and the price wasn’t marked, but if you’re tired of beers that are bottled with preservatives so they can sit on docks and in hot shipping containers for weeks (I’m looking at you, Cerveceria Hondurena), try a couple of these. It’s a delicious and hoppy brew, naturally fermented in the bottle (that’s a little layer of yeast down at the bottom), and it’s certainly not spotted often around these parts.

Sierra Nevada, based in Chico, California, makes a bunch of tasty ales but the Pale is the oldest and most popular.

Again, thanks to Sully and Katherine at Plaza Mar for helping us sell so many copies of the magazine!

 

New Sandy Bay Restaurant: TAKO Bistro Lounge and Sushi Bar

Hey, there’s a new Japanese place in the Coral Stone Center. Second floor. Sandy Bay now has sushi!

This Friday, TAKO throws a grand opening celebration with a big cocktail party at 7 p.m. The place soft-launched about a week ago. Owner Josue Bueso describes his fusion menu as “French/Japanese with an island twist.”

Bueso studied at the international French school le Institut Paul Bocuse. He’s open for lunch and dinner and his menu’s got sashimi (salmon, tuna, octopus, shrimp, tilapia, etc); a big selection of rolls including the isleño which includes shrimp and fried plantain and a kokonatsu roll with crab, cream cheese, plantain, and roasted coconut.

Urumaki (inside-out) rolls include a California roll, salmon skin, and spicy tuna.

For more information, contact TAKO at takorestaurant@gmail.com or 3382-2282.

Container Opened — Hospital and Clinic Getting What They Need

Next Step: The License for the Pediatric In-Patient Center

BY JEFF STRATTON

On Tuesday morning, around 10:30 a.m., we spotted Nurse Peggy and mayor Julio Galindo outside the shipping container full of equipment and supplies donated by the Medical Mission of New Orleans for Roatan’s public hospital in Coxen Hole and Clinica Esperanza in Sandy Bay.

An hour or so later we were told the container had been opened and everything inside was being distributed to its intended recipients.

This is fantastic news, makes life easier for anyone on the island who needs medical services, and proves that our local officials are capable of stepping up and solving a crisis.

 

 

Roatan Rapper Hosts Party in Miami; Another Big Bash Here on Saturday Night

Sickboy Sickest, a protege of Jhaytea who lives in Miami, is throwing a big bash this weekend at a Miami nightclub to spotlight Roatan talent.

And the next evening, (originally scheduled at the new Granny’s Kitchen in Flowers Bay but now moved to Las Palmas) on July 23rd, Jhaytea and DJ Sambula are throwing another huge “Roatanean” bash that will no doubt last all night.

As if that’s not enough Roatan music culture gettin’ spread around, Jhaytea also helped shore up a formidable lineup at a Brooklyn high school last weekend:

Also — and this could be big news — I met a concert promoter/local impresario who swears he’s getting George Jones to play a concert here in October. Rick Loomis also told me he’s trying to get reggae vets Third World and Steel Pulse down here as well. Fingers? Crossed.

CORRECTION

Due to misunderstandings, misinformation, and mistakes in translation, I published information that is not entirely correct, HOWEVER, I am in touch with Nurse Peggy and Clinica personnel to try to bring you the most recent info.

Here is what I have:

•The clinic is open tomorrow.

•HOWEVER No promises or timetable has been agreed to by the powers that be. Despite “assurances” (that is the word used) there is NO guarantee that the container will be opened nor a license granted (for the entire clinic, not just upstairs) this week.

In other words, Nurse Peggy has agreed to re-open Clinica Esperanza on Wednesday morning, despite the lack of the two documents she asked for last week.

I could go on, and there is a lot more on the record I cannot/will not publish at this time, but without sources knowing they’re officially on the record, etc, let’s just go with this:

Nothing has changed. The clinic will see patients tomorrow, with no official timetable in place for a license or dispensa for the container. Every attempt has been made on my part to obtain correct information. When information is being fed second or third-hand, mistakes are made. However, NOTHING reported in the previous posts contained anything “untrue.”  Bottom line, Peggy is open, without the the paperwork she needs.

The erroneous info told to me was this:

“•The container will be opened/unloaded tomorrow.

•The license for the upstairs portion of the clinic will come by the week’s end.”

From now on, I will report from strictly from the horse’s mouth, on tape, to obviate this issue. Thanks for understanding, and thanks for supporting Nurse Peggy.