After a great three days exploring Placencia we thought we were about to embark on another great week of sailing, but soon received news that one of our crew had missed their flight into Belize! We were set to board the sailboat and sail out the following noon, but now we decided to go ahead and board, get our gear stowed and spend the night in the marina as it would be too late to depart once our friend arrived. It gave us a little more time to provision the boat - and ended up giving us more time to drink and use up said provisions... But that is another story.
We picked up our wayward friend and had a fun dinner at a restaurant near the marina, had a chance to catch up and share stories of our explorations and finds in Placencia, and of course, give a hard time to the waylaid member of our party! Identity has been concealed to protect the guilty! ;)
Watching the weather the last week or so had us all aware of the rain that the area has been experiencing - even though this is the "dry" season in Belize. First, we were a little bummed and then as you have to do in travel sometimes, we just got over it and prepared to have some fun! Rain or shine at least the temperatures were in 70's and we were going to have a ball. We had clear weather for our departure from Placencia en route to our first night in Lagoon Caye. We arrived with time to snorkel, swim and kayak and start enjoying our beautiful vessel - Harvest Moon! And I can guarantee you there was "moon" jokes all week long!
Next, we were off to Pelican Caye early so that we could get one of the three mooring balls in this highly desired and protected Caye. We were expecting high winds and rain over the next day or so and wanted to get to a good spot so that we did not have to worry about anchoring and securing the sailboat. We arrived in a timely manner and were one of only three boats in the area, but over the next day that grew to over 10 and we all watched in amusement as they looked for the best spots. They anchored, some re-anchored, but it was fun to watch! On the river, we used to call it "Ramp Action" as we watched everyone fumble around trying to get their boats out of the water and observing all the shenanigans.
We spent two fun nights at Pelican Caye and neighboring Hideaway Caye. Hideaway was owned by a couple from Florida who came to Belize for their honeymoon and ended up buying this spot and building a resort, a bar and a life of their choosing! It is only open when boats are in the area and you have to radio ahead to get the menu, as well as to place your order! Dustin, the owner even kayaked out as we arrived to help us get settled on the mooring ball, and promote the restaurant and Tiki Bar. They have a 5 year old daughter who was right at home on the island, helped out in the restaurant and kept us and the other guest fully entertained.
Next, we were off to Hatchet Caye - one of the private resort islands in the region with moorings that we could rent overnight. Hatchet Caye had been highly recommended to us through various sources and I was excited to see the island Resort! But first, we needed to deal with dwindling supplies! Due to the rain and being on the boat more than last year, we were running dangerously short of beer, rum, tequila, and ice. We decided to pull into Placencia Marina, a new Super Yacht development north of the village of Placencia and an easy motor over from our current spot. We got an early start and was able to restock and have a great lunch at this new resort. We departed around 2:00 PM and the weather was perfect and the winds strong in the right direction! We raised the sails and had an awesome day of sailing to Hatchet Caye - averaging over 7 knots the whole way. Sails up!
Hatchet Caye (Click for website) was UnBelizeable! I will absolutely be coming back here for a stay on the island. It is a small private island at the edge of the reef and the protected Silk Cays. The resort has 15 rooms and bungalows, a dive and snorkel shop, a restaurant/bar called Lionfish Grill and is surrounded by coral and sea life! You can snorkel and swim right at the island or book one of the many tours the island offers. Our group decided to book a snorkel trip to the Silk Cays, and it was incredible! The gang swam with nurse sharks, lionfish, loggerhead turtles and many varieties of sea life - as well as beautiful coral and colorful fish.
This was my second trip to Belize and I found it as incredible as my last visit. Belize is a country with a very small population, only 350,000 people in the whole country, but big on natural beauty and adventure. The reef running along the coast is the second largest Barrier Reef in the world and a true wonder for divers and swimmers. The west side of the country bordering Guatemala is covered in rainforests, jungles, rivers and untamed lands. Visit the Mayan Ruins in the region, including a trip into Guatemala to visit Tikal - one of the most amazing pre-Columbian structure in the Americas. There is so much variety and so much to see and do. If you are interested in visiting Belize or learning more - give us a call at the office and we would be happy to assist!