Retreats are to an extent in the eye of the beholder. Never have I come across such views as those above Camanoe, from the observatory of Whipple House with its rustic charm. Whipple house consists of three master suites being joined together and is being opened up to let the light in on a modest dwelling of stone and timber being built to last more than its young 40 years already.
The name Whipple is that of famous English astronomer Fred Whipple 1906·2004. By day and night the house was chosen for its spectacular view point. One of the first houses on Camano it was built in the 1960s as the family retreat. It is to an extent the Whipple Caribbean observatory. A vantage point overlooking Scrub Island and marina cay sweeps from Eustacia and the dogs through to Beef Island and Tortola. Foliage surrounding you is cacti, orchids, and sage and loblolly trees.
The floors are of Mexican satio tiling with loose large stone granite walls . The ceilings and timber posts are mahogany and cypress tongue and groove replacing any worn wood. To join the master bedroom and living area with the second bedroom a barbeque area has been prepped whilst the third unit remains isolated. Stone paths remain whitst each bedroom has had its original small windows knocked through with replacement stone arches to look onto the new wooden decks overhanging the hillside.
Living is remote and access to the island is by boat. A communal library and mailing post is on the beach front providing a message centre and reading room for residents. It was essential pre-telephone but still serves its purpose today. Cars are on the island as a means of transport but a boat is necessary to cross to beef or other islands. Overlooking the airport as a Caribbean retreat you will be on your hill top retreat within 15 minutes of landing. The purpose of the renovation was to enhance the features of Whipple house and the result is stunning. Large farmhouse doors open up the main suite and in its original design efforts were made to protect the housings from wind.