Archive for: ‘March 2014’

Repeat Visit

March 28, 2014 Posted by Deb

Having survived a week on Neytiri in Bocas del Toro, the Anderson family decided to try their luck in Belize. Belize did not disappoint. The weather problems we had earlier, with the December and January guests, were history and Belize was putting on a good show.

The night the Andersons arrived we went to see the brand new National Geographic documentary on the Belizean reef. There were a number of locals included and the each brought a contingent to watch the screening. When their segment came up on the screen, there was a lot of cheering and applause. Our favorite was a sun-bleached rasta guy who grew seaweed. Once planted in a long, thick rope, he just kicked back and let nature do the work … perfect rasta job. We saw him sleeping against a palm tree one restaurant over the next day at around noon …. must have been a good party

Rasta Man / Fisherman Turned Seaweed Farmer

Rasta Man / Fisherman Turned Seaweed Farmer

Day 2 was a kick back/provisioning day and Day 3 was an inland trip. The inland trip was arranged with a tour guide out of Independence Village instead of through the Placencia resorts and travel agents. We put a triple tour of the ruins and water falls into one day for less than half price of just one of the tours. We did the Mayan Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun sites, a great local lunch stop, and the water falls at Rio Banco.

Nim Li Punit

Nim Li Punit

Lubaantun

Lubaantun

Chuck the Cliff Jumper

Chuck the Cliff Jumper

Under the Falls at Rio Blanco

Under the Falls at Rio Blanco

The Andersen Women Attracting Attention at Rio Blanco

The Andersen Women Attracting Attention at Rio Blanco

Deb In The Falls

Deb In The Falls

Departure Day … Monday?

At the last minute, we pulled the plug on our departure Monday morning because a Norther was actually predicted to hit us with strong winds but no rain. As a Plan B, we biked to town and took out the Robert Grove Hobie 14’s. Em and Liv gave the three pools a good workout too.

Hobie Cat Team Serious

Hobie Cat Team Serious

Chuck With Team Bikini

Chuck With Team Bikini

Hatchet Caye

Hatchet has great coral, a pool, internet, and a very good restaurant. Their featured fish is lion fish, an invasive oriental fish that is very damaging. They hope to wipe it out by getting humans to like it. It is an excellent tasting fish. We stayed two nights and, again, the young Anderson women gave the pool a workout. They also ran into a neighbor family from Stillwater, MN, for small world story number 83.

Hatchet Caye Sea Creatures

Hatchet Caye Sea Creatures

Snapper Cleaning Lesson

Snapper Cleaning Lesson

Pelican Cayes and Hideaway Resort

A short sail up the Victoria Channel and a two mile motor put us in the northern anchorage. Three brand-new mooring balls are the latest addition there. We got the water toys out and snorkeled the reef south and east of the Hideway Resort island. MokaCat tacked up the channel and tacked through the Pelican Cayes to party with our group and we closed out the day at the bar. They have a great rum punch drink there and Dustin gave us conk cleaning 101 lessons. We (I) tried to repeat the lesson that night after a few too many rums and I butchered the job, knocked a hole in the gell coat, and eventually dropped the conk off the sugar scoop while hammering.

Water Toys Behind Neytiri

Water Toys Behind Neytiri

South Water Caye

We fit one more island into the trip with a sail to South Water. There were only two boats in the anchorage when we arrived. By nightfall there were 13 and only one was a mono-hull. Our shore party scored a large bag of freshly cleaned conk and some Guatemalans showed them how to pound it to and edible stage. It was good breaded and that is from a conk dissenter.

Kicking Back at South Water Caye

Apres Snorkel 

Flipper Women

Flipper Women

And Back

We had a pleasant sail back to Placencia and up the lagoon to Roberts Grove. We rounded out the evening and the trip at the Quarterdeck Restaurant over at Laru Beya after the Anderson girls gave the pools a good workout. Their trip home was uneventful and the Neytiri has four days to get ready for the next group.

Black Market “Dew”

March 10, 2014 Posted by Deb

Coco Plum Caye

Coco Plum Caye

Our “Get Acquainted” tour of the southern Belize islands netted some great finds and some marginal finds. We already mentioned that we’re giving a thumbs down to Wippari (less than clear water and the owners are a bit burned out) and Ranguana (very costly to set foot on the island). We also think that Glovers is a bit much for a short vacation and would cost us $70 U.S. per day if we take a boat load of guests.  Once there, Glovers is fishing and snorkeling paradise but little else in terms of shore recreation.

DebSailingPosition

SouthernBelizeCaye

We gave a large thumbs up to Hatchet, Queen (middle island only), Pelican, and Coco Plum although Coco Plum is a lunch/drink stop only. Their three course suppers are $40 U.S. per person and the anchorage is settled weather only. If feasible, South Water Caye is on the list as are the Colson Cayes but we doubt we can get to Colson with company.

Lionfish Bar on Hatchet

Lionfish Bar on Hatchet

A funny thing happened as we returned through the barrier reef near South Water Caye on our return from Glovers. We turned to starboard (north) instead of port (back to Placencia). It was a gorgeous sailing day with winds at 22 to 25 kts and we just didn’t stop. We finally ran out of day at Colson, dropping our hook as the sun went down next to a large catamaran that we found out later had a strobe mooring light. Someone has to do something about strobe mooring lights … obnoxious barely begins to describe them.

Dodging Cruise Ships Off Belize City

Dodging Cruise Ships Off Belize City

Our trip north was to find a rod to match a new reel we got from Jeff Borchert, Deb’s cousin up in Iowa. The real reason was that the Mountain Dew shelves were showing signs of getting thin. Mountain Dew is not legal in Belize. Bottled Pepsi and Diet Dew are available (sort of) but not the high test. The Coca Cola folks have a contractual stranglehold on Belize and the little green cans are only available up in San Pedro on the black market. The folks in San Pedro delivered two 36 packs of Dew and a case of Belikin to our dinghy at the ferry dock in San Pedro after relieving us of $130 U.S. We weren’t going to pass after coming all the way north and committing to two more shots at Porto Stuck. It was a gorgeous trip with the exception of a norther hitting us at the Blue Ground Range. We have rarely seen a lightning show like that night and winds hit over 40 knots in Placencia. The next day, we sailed on into Placencia wing on wing, hand steering because the auto helm wasn’t quick enough to keep the main from gybing.

Precious Cargo Delivered to the Dock

Precious Cargo Delivered to the Dock

Cases of Beliken Beer Headed for Porto Stuck

Cases of Belikin Beer Headed for Porto Stuck

The Lost Reefers and Their Tattooed Groupie at Yoli’s in Placencia

The Lost Reefers and Their Tattooed Groupie at Yoli’s in Placencia

Queen Cayes: Their Island a Couple Hundred Yards Away (the building is an outhouse)

Queen Cayes: Their Island a Couple Hundred Yards Away From Ours (the building is an outhouse)

The Light Show Ahead of the Norther

The Light Show Ahead of the Norther

ChuckSugarscoopSnaplper

Fishing Gear – Check
Snapper – Check
Clean Fish – Ch … Oh now I remember

Tucked Back Into Roberts Grove Next To Our Favorite Mexican Restaurant

Tucked Back Into Roberts Grove Next To Our Favorite Mexican Restaurant