Guest Report

3-bedroom villa at Bloody Bay (listing)
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Dave Park

Guest Report

Post by Dave Park »

Debby and I just enjoyed our best vacation ever. That was in very large part because of Coasting. There are many reasons.

We have stayed at Tobago villas that were more elegant or more secluded, but Coasting, in its entirety, is a very special place. If your vision of a Tobago villa is hanging perched 100 feet or so above a lazy, mostly deserted beach where the mountains and rain forest meet the sea, then Coasting is for you.

The walk down the road to the beach is easy and takes all of about 5 minutes. The west (Coasting) end of the Bloody Bay beach is all sand and gently sloped, plus the surf is fairly mild. At low tide you can still touch the sandy bottom perhaps 60 to 80 feet offshore. The beach is actually used more by the local Bloody Bay fishermen than by bathers, which is strange because it has the most beautiful beach facilities (designed in splendid Caribbean style) I have ever seen. Why they were built on such a remote beach is a mystery. The three buildings are new and not yet open. They are apparently to be a gift shop/restaurant, a bath house and a lifeguard/maintenance building respectfully.

From Coasting there are no other villas visible. In fact the only dwellings visible in any direction from Coasting are Cindy and Fred’s cottage 95 steps below and mostly out of sight, and one run-down, typical unfinished Tobago house off in the distance, partially visible through the trees directly behind and above the beach beside an enormous Mango tree.

Cindy and Fred are simply wonderful people. I lost my glasses is a stupid bit of gleeful body surfing our first day there. They could not have been more helpful. In fact it is a testament to how much we enjoyed Coasting that even though we were highly immobile for our entire first week before my replacement glasses arrived, we could not have had a better time. With binoculars I see perfectly well and I am badly near sighted so luckily I don’t need glasses to read. As a result, with their binoculars, I became a watcher of the spectacular variety of birds - mot mots, corn birds, kingbirds, orange winged parrots, chakalakas, frigate birds, pelicans, and others I could not identify using Cindy and Fred’s reference – as I sat on the porch, the deck or by the pool. Most of them are not great song birds. Their sounds, for the most part, are more raucous than melodic.

Then there are the fishermen on the beach and on the Bay. It is fascinating to watch the fishermen pull seine, which they do several afternoons a week. Usually only 2 or three fishermen in their little open pirogues are able to deploy the incredibly long net. But late in the afternoon, as they pull in more of the two ends of the net, they need more and more manpower. Over several hours, more folks just appear on the beach to help. In the final stages perhaps 10 to 15 folks from Bloody Bay, including some women and children, are all lending a hand to get the seine and the fish to shore. The other fishing method used in the bay is net casting. This is done individually by the fisherman from a standing position in the very bow of his little boat. He holds the folded net in front of him with both hands. Then somehow, without falling overboard, he throws the net in a Frisbee-like motion up and out. As it spins, the net opens and spreads to a diameter of perhaps 10 to 15 feet, before falling onto the waves. Then the rope, which forms the perimeter of the net and is apparently weighted, sinks and the fisherman, if successful, pulls in a net full of fairly small fish, which are apparently used as bait fish for the fisherman who fish outside the Bay in much deeper water.

Even though we did not get to dine out much during our first week, which we both love to do, we found a wonderful way to dine in at the end of the day. We grilled some fresh local fish and veggies and sat and ate on the covered porch, while watching the sun set with a few citronella candles burning. Simply heavenly. And then there is the simple pleasure of taking a dip in the warm pool after sunset, gazing at the stars overhead as you slowly air dry and then slipping into bed to the sound of the surf and the whisper of the ceiling fan.

Cindy is an artist/designer and Fred is a civil engineer and Coasting is the second villa they have designed and built on Tobago. Their talents, skills and experience are evident everywhere at Coasting, from the soothing island color scheme throughout, to the screens on the widows, to the highly effective ultrasonic bat/rodent repellers plugged into the outside outlets, to the clever use of translucent glass blocks and strategic cracks for soft night lighting, to the easy-living layout of kitchen, living/dining area, covered porch and grilling deck upstairs and last, but not least, to the spectacularly indulgent combination of master bedroom, outside shower and lovely plunge pool downstairs. There are an additional 2 bedrooms, a single downstairs and another master bedroom upstairs, which we did not use.

And I can’t forget to mention Cleo and Toby. They are both great dogs, with different personalities. They made us feel safe and very much at home. They love to accompany you on walks to the beach or elsewhere and they come to check on you from time to time in their casual, friendly Tobago way.

In short this is the perfect Caribbean lovers retreat. Fred and Cindy are helpful, friendly, knowledgeable, wonderful people who totally respect your privacy. Despite the remoteness of Coasting, because of their presence, this would be an
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