If you ever want to take a vacation where there is sun, beach, snorkeling, diving, cystal blue water and beautiful islands (cays) then come to Belize. We have found Belize to be just a wonderful place to be laid back and have fun. After spending 7 months in hot, humid, rainy weather in the Rio Dulce, we are in dry sunny warm weather with a wonderful light breeze. What a difference. Also, they speak English here which we had to get use to. We kept saying Buenos Dias and Gracias all the time. We left the Rio on January 16 saying goodbye to all the good friends we have made and crossed over the sandbar out into the Caribbean Sea once again. It felt so good to be on the “road again”, anchored out and away from the rain and humidity.
|Beautiful scenery of Belize as we entered the country|
After 2 nights of anchoring out in very secluded places, we motor sailed up to Placencia, Belize. Placencia is so much fun. It is a small beachside town with lots and lots of tourists staying in small villas and small hotels. It has very cute store fronts, 5 great small grocery stores, tons of restaurants, all very tropical, a beautiful white beach and an ice cream store that can’t be beat. If Harry didn’t stop me, I would be eating ice cream there every day for lunch. There are a couple of 2-3 persons bands in town that play in different places every night. Belikan beer (locally made) is great but we have found that beer and drinks are slightly more expensive here. If you go to the right places the meals are pretty cheap. They do cater to the Am crowd though and serve almost all Am food. Belize doesn’t seem to have their own dishes like Guatemala and other S. Am countries. . Of course while we were in Placencia we met a whole bunch of cruisers, played Mexican dominos, did a lot of bar hoping and eating out with them. We had a great super bowl party at a place called Paradise. We really didn’t care who won but wow what a game it turned out to be.
|A group of us at the Pickled Parrot for Murdery Mystery night|
|We watched this guy catching an octopus with his hands in very shallow water. It squirted ink and gave the guy a really good fight but he finally won.|
|Shot of the harbor front at Placencia, just a small but very lifely settlementa|
|At Tranquilo Bar after playing a rousing game of Mexican dominos|
|Entrance to one of the very fancy resorts at Placencia. If we were just tourist, this is the one I would book.|
|The super bowl party at Paradise restaurant. They were all Seattle fans so we cheered along, unfortunately not enough|
|Very pretty walk way through Placencia where we took our exercise walk every day.|
When we arrived in Belize, the weather was not favorable for us to start island hoping and snorkeling. Belize is made up of 100’s of small islands called cays and a very long reef (second largest in the world) next to the Great Barrier reef. All the cays are exposed to winds one way or another and also protected from other directions. So it is important we know which way the winds are going to blow when deciding which cays to go to. Anyway, after 2 weeks of being in Placencia we finally left for the cays. We received a ton of advice on which cays to go to for snorkeling and good anchorages. It is pretty scary coming into some of these cays with coral heads all over the place. I took my usual position up at the bow, looking like a hood ornament keeping a sharp eye out for shallow stuff. The water is crystal clear as it gets more shallow with sandy bottoms. That makes it much easier to see when we collide with rocks and coral. Ha Ha. We have snorkeled many times so far on some beautiful coral gardens with a lot of fish. I came face to face with a very large Barracuda. He stayed, I left!!! We bought 3 pounds of grouper fillets off some fishermen at one cay and a pound of red snapper from another guy. That was great eating. We have finally gotten our tans back. We were in the Rio in the rain for so many months without a pool that we lost our tans. Amazing what sunshine does for health and attitude.
|can't see the pelicans too well unless you zoom in but that was a perfect snorkel site. The birds definitely tell us where the fish are.|
|2 dogs on North Long Boat Cay. They greet us so we called them Customs and Immigration.|
|Immigration would not leave Harry. He followed him all over the island just to get his head patted. Harry is a sucker|
|Beautiful picnic grounds, typical of many of the islands|
|Check out the high chair made by his father.|
|A lot of the islands had these palapas at the end where charters we bring tourists|
|Closeup of the palapas. We rested there after a long day of snorkeling and dinghying around the island, ha ha|
|We found the contruction of these roofs very interesting. They never leak|
|Another view of the grounds on these islands|
We ended up staying awhile at Garbutt Cay, very protected while a big blow and bad weather came through. While we were there Celtic Rover came in to see us one more time. We have been buddy boat sailing with them for well over a year and have become really good friends. They had their daughters visiting so we had separated. Anyway, it was our last hurrah with them. They are not going back to the Rio to get a major project done on their boat and we are headed north. So we partyed one night together before having to say farewell. It was sad to see them go.
|Bruce and Jan on Celtic Rover. Our last night together|
After that we stopped at Tobacco Cay (named because for many years they grew tobacco there). It was stunning to see lying against the famous Belize reef.
|If you can zoom in you will see how beautiful this island is where tobacco was once grown.. It sits right on the reef|
Then we sailed about 16 NM to Glover’s Reef. There are 3 atolls here in Belize and Glover’s is the most southern of the atolls. We had no idea what to expect since we had never been on an atoll but it was gorgeous. You can see this blue-green reef all around and 2 beautiful islands at the bottom. They say it looks just like the atolls in the south Pacific. What an amazing place. We spent 3 days there with 5 other boats. We did snorkeling and partying. What fun. 21-25
|The island on Glover's Reef. Looks like a tropical island in the south Pacific|
|Just a shot of a resort on the island. Lots of tourists here|
|Susan and Jerry on Vida Dulce and Sandra and Charlie on Island Sol. We were having lobster dinner at the resort. Had not seen Island Sol for ages. Good fun.|