Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cay Caulker, Belize

Every color of the rainbow adorns the waterfront of Cay Caulker
The channel to Cay Caulker is too shallow for our boat so we took the ferry instead. It's only a 20 minute fast passage and the schedule is very flexible. We loved it right away. Laid back, low rise, sand streets, pastel colored gingerbread wooden architecture - who wouldn't?
It's a small island. We walked all over in about 2 hours. Happily at the end of a charming hot sand street we found a deep channel separating the south end of the cay from the north end. It was the "public beach" with a typical graffiti adorned beach bar/restaurant, the "Lazy Lizard" and lots of happy patrons. We recognized the two couples that came on the ferry with us and introduced ourselves.  After a quick change into suits we were diving right off the bulkhead into clear cool water. Oh my God! Heaven.
There wasn't a lot of shade so we walked a bit down the street and ate at a local "fish fry" place. The fish is marvelous but takes a bit of work dissecting off the flesh. No problem for us as we were taught by the master, my father. It was delicious. As is all the food we've had here in Belize and of course Mexico.  The problem is - everything is too good, for my figure.
Well, back on the ferry later and on our boat. We're off traveling south again. This anchorage isn't safe for stronger winds and they are coming in few days so we need a better anchorage. Early in the morning we headed out the pass on our inward track and down the coast. It was a lovely day and we made good time to the ship channel towards Belize City. It's a deep clear entrance and then we just had to decide on an anchorage for the night. We made our way down to Middle Long Cay and plopped down the anchor just on the west side, south of what was supposed to be the Moonlight Shadows Lodge. Despite circling the island and exploring the mangrove channels we never found the lodge. But it didn't matter as exploring these quiet green alleys was so lovely. The next day we motored only 5 miles south to the Bluefield Range Cays. Unfortunately it was later in the day and we couldn't get our anchor to set right. Scott dove it as usual but the grass was tough and our anchor wouldn't bite in. We should have probably moved but it was fairly calm so we just let out a lot of chain and let it go. Later in the evening it was clear it was dragging so we moved forward again and tried our best to set it. No luck. So we set the alarm and got up every two hours to check it. Annoying, but we didn't move far enough to worry. Nevertheless we decided to seek a better spot for the next few days. How about a marina? The Cucumber Beach Marina is supposed to be nice, near Belize City so we can see that. So we headed that direction. Unfortunately the wind was on shore and built up so by the time we got near it was clear it would be a rocky entrance. And it was a shallow one. The combination was too difficult so we turned around and headed south. A careful look at the quide book showed a very secure anchorage at Blue Ground Range Cay. Perfect. And it was. A tricky entrance but clear light so worked great. And then, another sail boat! More in my next post.
Chinese Food Belize style

Or maybe a fresh fruit smoothie

I LOVE the palm tree shadows - here on the sand "street"

This is the main thorofare here on the island

Weird sign - why not loiter?

Sponge Bob in Paradise

The happy surprise at the end of a long walk

Crystal clear water of many colors

And a friendly bar/restaurant. We could dive right off
the edge of the water on the front.

We met these two couples on the ferry over to Cay Caulker
and enjoyed some time with them here.

Fried fish, rice and beans, and a salad - all for $6

A look at a typical guest house here - choice of a lounge
chair or a hammock

This porker was being prepared for dinner

And movies every night under the stars and in the sand.

The simple cemetery still had a great view

And on the way back on the ferry we had a fun conversation
with two couples from the U.S. 

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