Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tobacco Cay, Belize

Jim takes photos of our boat as we do the same to Emerald
Seas. We're on our way from Blue Ground Range to Tobacco.

Tobacco Cay
We joined Jim and Renate on Emerald Seas for a week out to the barrier islands of Tobacco and Tobacco Range during a good weather window. Tobacco is a tiny island, only 3 acres, but packed with equally small "resorts" and around 20 residents. Tobacco Cay Lodge is the largest of the 4 places and consists of 4 cottages contained 2 rooms each (see photos below). A wooden relief carving of a fish identifies each room. They have a minuscule "store" and a small bar.
We were greeted by honorary dockmaster George who gave us a tour. One of my favorite areas is shown below with the memorial to Grace Lane. The beautiful "road" through their compound was lined with conch shells and lovingly kept up by her family.
We anchored in sandy patches right off the reef north of the island. Our anchors bit right in, happily as the winds blew hard at night. Even though the waves broke on the reef, it was bumpy enough so we decided to move over to nearby Tobacco Range Cays next. This has a very well protected anchorage tucked in between small mangrove islands. The entrance was difficult and we scraped our bottom across the sand going in, but realized once there that we had gone too far to the left. We had no problem on the way out.
The snorkeling was great everywhere. The coral reefs are lovely and what we normally do, but here we snorkeled the mangrove roots for the first time and saw lots of fish, many juveniles of types we see out on the reefs. We saw manatees also and Jim managed to swim with them!
We were joined by Free Will, a boat that Jim and Renate had cruised with in Cuba. They had us all over for tea one afternoon and we had everyone back to our boat for the next evening. We left them there finally to head back to Placencia, as we had a date with Dan and Barbara, old friends of Russ Wolf. Scott and I are planning to sail overnight to Honduras in a few days. More on that to come.
Scott made bread and I did a big salad with
ham, feta, green beans and lots more.

The picnic tables at the Tobacco Cay Lodge Bar

A memorial to Grace Lane who built the
lovely shell "lane" along the east side of the

What a beautiful street in Paradise.

I think these cottages belong to the Tobacco Cay lodge but
there are 4 or 5 little "resorts" on this tiny island

One of the cottages with 2 rooms

Looking along the south side of the cay

These elevated walkways used to belong
to a now defunct "resort" here. Only one of
them was (barely) usable still.

Another view of the east side of the cay facing the reef.
This abondoned hut now is home to an Osprey family
The Eagle rays were very easy to spot in the shallow water
That's Scott Free in the distance off the shore
"Dockmaster" George welcomes new arrivals and takes
you for a tour around the island.
Local kids dive and swim off the docks.

1 comment:

Christine said...

I want to know how you can stand all that color all winter! Your photos are so beautiful...I want to be there with you!