We meet our companions at Raggamuffin’s pier, introduce ourselves and straightaway the discussion between us two, two Dutch girls, Chiara and Pia from Austria, Monty and Julie from the United States falls in to politics, all starting from the usual question asked in this period by us Europeans: “what do you think about Trump?”. Since he’s in power we’ve met many Americans, yet no one likes him and no one seems to have voted for him and each time we hear some crazy stories about what he’s trying to do or what he says he will do. This time we also hear about other bad politicians from Holland and Austria of which we haven’t heard before, being always on the go we don’t listen much to the news, but we find it more interesting to hear them from people coming from the countries in question. It’s time to leave and we decide to concentrate on the vacation and not on what is bad back home.
For the first few hours there is enough wind to sail, afterwards we mainly travel by engine, however it doesn’t really matter, what’s important right now is to have fun which we definitely do with the wonderful people we have with us, apart from the ones listed before, there is Stephen from England, Lara from Spain that now lives in New Orleans, a couple from the near Ambergris Caye, a family from Wisconsin, two Belizean girls with an American and last but not least the amazing crew: Kevin the captain, Larry the cook, Chris and Bobby. On the way we have a break at Goff’s Caye, see many small and bigger islands, few dolphins swimming by and, when we stop for snorkelling, we spot a manatee, also called sea cow as it is a herbivorous mammal, big and gentle like cows on land. The legend says that the name was given by drunken pirates that when they first saw these animals coming out of the water with seaweed stuck on their head they thought they were mermaids, when they looked closely and they figured they weren’t, their reaction was “Oh man…”, then seeing their T-shaped tail “…a T”, putting the two together it came out as manatee. Wherever the name comes from, I find it to be a very nice animal and I’m glad we managed to see one so close to us. Continuing our way along the world’s second largest reef we arrive to Rendezvous Caye, a piece of sandy land right on top of the reef, we set up our tents and enjoy a beautiful sunset standing in the water with a rum punch in our hands.
After a delicious dinner we spend the evening chatting in good company. Some of us wake up in time to see the sunrise, we wake up just after and once put the tent back together we have a good breakfast and restart our journey on Ragga Empress catamaran, after two stops for some snorkelling we dock at Tobacco Caye. Being this our next destination we go in search of the hotel where we will be staying to have a look at it, here we meet Eric, the dive master who tells us he will try to arrange a pick up from the island where we will be staying tonight, so that we don’t have to go all the way to the main land and back out here. About two hours later we get to Ragga Caye, here we have some nice four bed dorms where to spend the night. Larry makes us a exquisite cevice with the conch that were found today, one of them was picked up by me, of course it was the best one. Whilst for dinner we have a barracuda bought from the fishermen and all the fish that were caught today by us, unfortunately the huge fifteen centimetres long fish caught by Stephen “accidently” fell into the sea. Pia and Chiara explain us a very funny card game called cambio which we play the whole evening getting addicted to it and modifying it to a drinking game. The only reason that makes us stop playing is the fact that us girls have to go to toilet, being far away and having to get soaking wet under the storm, we decide not to go back, but go directly in bed.
After breakfast we hop on the big boat for our last time, we go to a small island to observe frigate birds, next we go in search of manatees. We spot about six, but all we can see is part of them coming out from the water. Near to South Water Caye we snorkel once more learning few interesting things about fish and corals from Chris, then back to Ragga Caye we have lunch and exchange e-mail addresses with everybody, in order to keep in touch and share the pictures of the three incredible days. We watch our companionship taking the speed boat to the main land and wait for Eric to come and pick us up. Half an hour later we find ourselves on the small Tobacco Caye, a fishing island completely surrounded by conch shells with a population of twenty people and the reef just off shore. Already from the pier of Reef’s End Lodge we can scrutinize many giant southern stingrays and white spotted eagle rays, when we put our masks on and the heads under the water we discover a whole area full of them feeding from the grassy bottom. It’s hard to get out but it’s time for a shower and dinner.
In the morning we go scuba diving seeing many corals and two nice nurse sharks, one of them pregnant. The next day we are happy to go out again to see such a rich marine life and after the second dive the very friendly Swedish owner offers us a beer that we enjoy on the way back to the island. Last time we stayed in an all inclusive resort on an island it was in Borneo with very basic room and food, here compare we are treated really good, with very good food, a comfortable room and nice people. We really enjoy this place, swimming, snorkelling, diving, paddling and relaxing, but after four nights we leave hoping to find another wonderful place in beautiful Belize.