Monday, April 30, 2012

A week on the outer reefs in Belize

You can barely see Scott Free anchored in the far left surrounded by 3 tiny deserted islands in a sea of every shade
of blue possible to imagine.
We left Placencia for a week visiting the small islands on the outer reef of Belize. Our first stop, Ranguana, has a small three cabin resort with a kitchen and a few picnic tables. Desiree and Denby spend four weeks there and then have five days off. It's a drop dead beautiful place and Desiree is a great cook. We shared the moorings with two other big charter catamarins our first night and met some very interesting people over drinks on the beach. The next night we had dinner with our hosts by ourselves and it was marvelous. Breakfast was also good the next morning. Then we were off to a group of tiny deserted islands called the Queen Cays. They are part of the Belize Marine Park system and managed by park rangers that live out on Little Water Cay nearby. We stopped there to visit and I, Heather, got eaten alive by ferocious sand flies. The bites itched madly for days. This was the first time this had happened and hopefully the last. Queen Cays were so lovely and we had them to ourselves for several days. Snorkeling everywhere is amazing with very clear water and a wide variety of fish and coral. Our last night was a contrast for sure - Hatchet Cay. This is a high end all inclusive resort on a small island out on the reef. It was busy with guests so we just walked around the island and had a drink at the bar. As it had been for the whole week, we enjoyed another quiet night. The weather was perfect with light winds and clear skies. But we had to get back to Placencia and get ready to check out this week. Our trip back was interesting threading our way through small islands and isolated reefs. Our guide book has excellent charts but they can't tell you where every reef lies and the charts on our chart plotter were off by at least a quarter of a mile. We have to pay attention and watch the color of the water. Deep blue is the best and you can follow the channels around the reefs easily with good light. On the way back we stopped at Cary Cay for a great snorkel and lunch. Another post on Placencia coming up soon.
Ranguana Cay was blessed with a couple,
Desiree and Denby  who cooked up some
lovely meals for whoever stopped by.
They served us conch fritters, a whole baked
 fish in Creole sauce with
coconut rice and sauteed vegetables - and
then, for dessert, coconut custard pie!
We sat talking to our hosts and watching the beautiful
sunset and then the moon rise.
The kitchen was small but was well equipped.

Sunset every night is an occasion out on the water.
Whether on the land or the boat
This cormorant is drying his wings after a fishing
expedition. That's Scott Free in the background
Rather out of focus but this tiny bird paid us a long visit
perhaps to rest up for another long flight off shore.
Palm trees line the island's beaches
Another perfect tropical island - here in Queen Cays
This group of three islands is part of the many Marine
Parks here in Belize and the islands and the water around
them with all their inhabitants are protected.
Because this a popular destination for Belize citizens and
guests for picnics the park rangers have built a barbeque
and bathrooms. Seemed a bit odd but it keeps the place
Meals on board Scott Free are great too.
Scott made bread and I whipped up a
terrific salad.
Picnic benches are convenient on many of the islands
This pelican picks a good spot to watch
for fish.

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