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Just North of the Norm

Anguilla is 20 mellow miles off the usual Caribbean charter path.

November 23, 2015
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Anguilla is worth the trip the next time you’re in the Caribbean iStockphoto.com: Daniloforcellini

Bankie Banx was late.

The round-faced woman behind the bar, built from old boat parts and various flotsam, didn’t know if he’d show at all. She smiled and poured rum punch from a plastic jug, hoping fans of “the Anguillan Bob Dylan” would wait a bit longer.

He could just be running behind. Maybe he had taken one too many tokes and ended up in handcuffs, enduring a night that might inspire another one of his popular Reggae tunes like “Busted in Barbados.” Here at The Dune Preserve, which Banx owns on Anguilla, the only certainties were that the vibe would remain mellow and the music would live on.

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The place, like the island itself, is far less hectic than what charter guests find on the usual Caribbean circuit. Consider the numbers: Sint Maarten, to the south, welcomes about 467,000 tourists a year to Anguilla’s 100,000 or so. The ­privacy is enticing. Celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt have been known to hide out in Anguilla’s rental homes, where they have a decent chance of avoiding the paparazzi. Charter guests come for the pink-sand beaches and sparkling, less-crowded harbors.

Anyone who takes a tender to The Dune ­Preserve might run into Banx (he plays on Wednesdays and some Fridays) or any number of musicians. The crooner’s Moonsplash festival each March has drawn everyone from John Mayer to the Bacon Brothers, Rita Marley, the Wailers and Alana Davis.

On this day, though, Banx was the celebrity of note, and he made his way inside with a cool stroll that divulged no details about whatever the holdup might have been. The barflies, on their third round now (at least), had already started swaying on their stools. They exchanged knowing glances and then closed their eyes, eager for the notes to wash over them.

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Everybody was relaxed and ready to feel the unique beat of Anguilla.

Rebel The weekly base rate is $190,000 for 10 guests to charter the 157-foot Trinity Rebel, with Hill Robinson. Ready for Fun A triple-outboard Everglades center-console tender is part of the charter package aboard Rebel, which also offers two PWC and a wide swim platform for easy water access with snorkeling fins and float toys. Courtesy Hill Robinson
Okto At a weekly base rate of $500,000, Okto accommodates 11 guests. Bookings are through Y.CO. New and ­Noteworthy A new launch from ISA, Okto is a steel-hull, fully custom design. The pool at her stern is just shy of 20 feet long and can be heated, cooled or used with contraflow swimming jets. Courtesy Y.CO.
Something Southern With Ocean Independence, this 112-foot Westport takes eight guests at a base rate of $49,000. Upgrades Galore Something Southern stands out in her size range with newly installed Apple TV, LED flat screens and VSAT, plus a new 32-foot Everglades center-console ­tender fully rigged for fishing. Courtesy Ocean Independence
Utopia This 235-foot Feadship takes 12 guests at a weekly base rate of about $486,000, with Edmiston. Space to Spare Utopia makes an impression with surprising interior volume. Headroom is more than 7 feet, salon windows are floor-to- ceiling and not one, but two decks offer top-tier sunning. Courtesy Edmiston
L’albatros Fraser Yachts markets this ­143-foot Sterling for 12 guests at a weekly base rate of $115,000. Major Refits L’Albatros launched in 1985 and has been substantially upgraded since 2009, with new interior decor, zero-speed stabilizers, engine refits and other technical work. Courtesy Fraser Yachts
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