Rendezvous Caye – December 10, 2010

Today was to be the first day of my three day sailing trip along the Belize Barrier Reef with Raggamuffin Tours.

I woke up so exited, then showered and finished packing.  I got to Raggamuffin Tour’s office, on Caye Caulker, early and then headed to the bakery to get my breakfast.  I brought my breakfast back and ate it while swinging in a tree swing and watching the people go by.

Around 930am they started ferrying us out to our sailboat, the Ragga Queen.  Before we got on the boat, to take us to the sailboat, they took our shoes.  We wouldn’t see our shoes again for 3-days…it was great!  The Ragga Queen is a 50 foot two mast sailboat.  She was to be our home for 3-days (our nights were to be spent in tents on beaches).  I was told I could leave my bag in the office while I ate breakfast, but I misunderstood that I was suppose to get it before heading to the sailboat.  After a couple of trips between the office and the sailboat I finally got a hold of my bag again.  I’ll have to admit, I was a bit nervous when they couldn’t find it.

Around 10am we left port.  Later we found out that our late departure was because they were trying to find out where the Ragga King was because they had some supplies we needed and they should have been back from their trip already.  Turns out, they had run aground in the middle of the night (do damage or injuries)…someone got sleepy.  We didn’t pass them until around noon, so we never got the items we needed.  We made do.

Right away, myself and Mike from London (Jenny’s husband) started fishing.  I fished quite a bit but never caught anything.  Both Mikes from London caught baracudas for our dinner.

Our first stop was for lunch and snorkeling at Spanish Caye.  Later in the afternoon we stopped at English Caye for swimming.  It was very windy and no one wanted to get in, so the crew pulled anchor.

Finally, we arrived at Rendezvous Caye for the night.  Rendezvous Caye is such a small island (if you can call it that) that isn’t even on any maps of the area.  There was enough room on the island, for a picnic table and our tents.  My guess is that it was smaller than a football field.  The crew gave us a quick briefing that included the following conversation…

‘Is anyone here from Ireland?’  The answer was ‘No’.

‘Is anyone her from Australia?’  Again, the answer was ‘No’.

The crewed said ‘Good…those are the folks we usually have to worry about.  Even though the coconut trees look like they would be fun to climb, we assure you that coming down is very painful so we recommend not climbing them.  Also, remember that you are responsible for your own personal safety.’

They continued by letting us know where we should and should not go in the water, but most of us had enough swimming and snorkeling during the day.  Wading in the water was all any of us were up for.

The first task was to get the tents out and setup.  I had confirmed with the owner, Charlie, that I wouldn’t have to share a tent with anyone, but at first it appeared that we were short one tent.  The crew offered to let me sleep on the boat with them, but there was also a covered dock which would have been kind of fun to sleep on.  Eventually Leon found me a tent and insisted on setting it up for me.  I got a secluded little area (well…as secluded as it could be given the size of the island and lack of plant life other than some coconut trees) which was nice when I had to go potty in the middle of the night.  The only bathroom was on the boat, so I opened the door of my tent that faced the ocean and stuck my bottom out and took care of business (oops…I guess that is too much information).

After tent setup, exploration, and shrimp ceviche we had a later dinner.  One of the supplies the other crew from the Ragga King was supposed to have given us was lighting.  Since they didn’t make it back in time, we hauled the picnic table out on the dock so that lights from the boat could be used to eat by.  Fortunately several of us also had headlamps.  By the time our barracuda (caught by us) and shrimp dinner was served it was a bit too late for some of the folks who had been drinking rum punch all day.  I was sure that Mike from London was going to fall backwards off the picnic table right into the ocean.  He literally was falling sleep as he ate.  His wife Rachel was equally drunk, but she just got quiet and smiled a lot until all of a sudden she disappeared into her tent.  Mike eventually headed to the tent too, with some assistance, but I heard the next morning he got out of bed a bit later and entertained those still awake with his singing and dancing.

Over-all the night on the island was amazing…so quiet.  The two thick sheets they provided for sleeping were more than adequate to keep me warm even though I was a bit concerned at first.  My sleep was so peaceful.

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