The Secret of Rosalita Flats: A Blacktip Island novel

It’s easy to lose your way on the quirky side of paradise.

Most people dream of being stuck on a tropical island, but Cal Batten just wants to sell his dad’s ramshackle, football-shaped house, fly home and pay off his creditors. Problem is, his dad’s will’s gone missing, what passes for an attorney has his own agenda and the whacky locals may tear the house apart to get at the gold and jewels they reckon are hidden inside. There’s also his childhood former-best friend, now a beautiful scuba instructor, who just might drown him out of spite. Cal has to dodge sharks—on land and under water—if he’s to unload the house and escape the crazy little rock.

The Secret of Rosalita Flats is a smart, funny tropical misadventure for anyone who’s ever dreamed of chucking it all and running off to the Caribbean. From the author of Blacktip Island.


Meet Tim W. Jackson

Tim W. Jackson’s first taste of scuba diving came at the age of six when he sneaked breaths off his dad’s double-hose regulator in the deep end of the pool. Later, as an ex-journalist armed with a newly-minted master’s degree in English, he discovered he was qualified to be a bartender, a waiter or a PhD student. Instead he chose Secret Option D: run off to the Cayman Islands to work as a scuba instructor and boat captain by day and write fiction at night. Two decades later, he still wishes that was half as interesting as it sounds. Or even a quarter . . .

Jackson is the award-winning author of the comic Caribbean novels Blacktip Island and The Secret of Rosalita Flats, as well as The Blacktip Times humor blog. His “Tales from Blacktip Island” short stories have been published in literary journals worldwide. He is currently concocting his next Blacktip Island novel and still enjoys scuba diving with his dad’s old double-hose reg.

Back on Bonaire: Rediscovering Diver’s Paradise as a Father

A small Caribbean island. An underwater explorer turned father. Can he rediscover Bonaire through the curious eyes of a child?

Gem-clear water, warm tropical trade breezes, and graceful sea turtles soaring through a brilliant theater of kaleidoscopic coral. It’s the place that avid scuba diver and famed Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton described as “a world of riotous, outrageous color” during his visit here decades earlier. This is Bonaire, and with its protected nearshore reef system and sweeping conservation efforts, the small Caribbean island has earned the title it boasts on its license plates: Diver’s Paradise.

Drawn to Bonaire in his twenties, Andrew Jalbert transformed a passion for travel, scuba diving and the natural world into a career as a writer and underwater photographer. But when he was unexpectedly gifted with fatherhood at age forty-three, he faced the challenge of merging two seemingly incompatible lives. Determined to pass on his appreciation for this tropical paradise, Andrew annually took his son to the place he’d come to love. And over the course of their week-long excursion when the boy was five, the doting dad found the isle’s magic renewed by an insatiably curious child.

Told in lyrical prose, Jalbert recounts both his early days exploring Bonaire’s underwater treasures and the wonders of his kindergartner’s fascination. Along the way, he relates the island’s natural and cultural history, illuminates the critical need for conservation, and realizes life seen through the eyes of the young is among the greatest visions imaginable.

If you like evocative descriptions, exploration, wisdom conveyed with humor, and educational asides, then you’ll adore this expertly woven travel memoir.

Buy Back on Bonaire and discover the book Indie Reader calls a “wise and witty travelogue”.


Meet Andrew Jalbert

Andrew Jalbert is an award-winning photographer, writer, and doting father. Throughout his twenty-five years as an archaeologist, scuba instructor and dive guide he has traveled extensively, publishing work on prehistoric sites, shipwrecks, travel, dive safety, and marine conservation. Jalbert lives in Monona, Wisconsin with his wife Becky and their son Luc.