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Mermaiding in Anguilla

Posted in SPORTS & ACTIVITIES By Maggie O' Sullivan

I’ve been hankering after a mermaid monofin for ages. But it wasn’t until Visit Anguilla told me about the island's mermaid school that I realised mermaiding was actually a thing. It seems that not only are wannabe mermaids – and mermen – flitting about in the world's oceans and swimming pools, but a number of schools have opened to teach both adults and children to do front flips, back flips and tail splashes like the real thing. Estelle Arlaud, Mermaid School InternationalEstelle Arlaud, above, is the underwater model, snorkel guide and scuba diving instructor behind Anguilla's Mermaid School International. Estelle practically grew up in the water, living first in St Tropez then moving to the Caribbean island of St Martin when she was 13. When she’s not in the water, she’s in the kitchen: known as The Mermaid Chef, Estelle cooks for private villas and luxury hotels in St Tropez, Anguilla and The Hamptons.Mermaid School InternationalIf all you want to do is potter about in a monofin for half an hour, perhaps adorned in some of Estelle’s pretty mermaid accessories, fine. But the school also offers a number of more dedicated courses, both private and scheduled, which lead to certification. There are mermaid retreats (see website for details) and you can even qualify as a teacher yourself – now that really would be a fabulous career change.Mermaid School InternationalThough the school is based in Anguilla, it does travel, offering classes in the nearby islands of St Martin and St Barth as well as in the Hamptons in the summer. Equally, if you are in Anguilla, you can arrange for a teacher to come to your yacht or private villa. You might never be The Little Mermaid, but you can certainly give Daryl Hannah a run for her money.

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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