Sailboat Water Taxi:
In the 1950’s and 60’s, when Belize was still an undiscovered paradise, it was customary for families to spend the long school holidays at the cayes. This was an adventure because the islands were mainly sparsely populated, and services were basic. This made it an exciting adventure. There were no water taxis or small airlines. So how did we get there? There were many fishing vessels like the ones that can be seen today at the swing bridge. One would simply hire one of these kind fishermen, load up the sailing vessel with provisions, and relax topside. As a child, I remember the excitement of leaving the city in the late afternoon to avoid the heat of the day and enjoy the flapping of sails and the lap-lap of the waves. We’d bring Johnny Cake sandwiches, sing songs and watch the sunset in the evening breeze and watch the moon and stars come out. It is a precious memory.
Today you can have a similar experience, available through the groups that offer sailing tours up and down the Belize coast. Some take off from Caye Caulker in the north or Placencia in the south. Passengers can get away from the crowds in comfort and at a relaxing pace. There is so much to see: as most people are aware, Belize is home to the second-largest Barrier Reef in the world. You will be able to snorkel Hol-Chan (little channel in Maya), an amazing underwater aquarium, bursting with colorful fish, coral, and exotic sea creatures. You can do overnight tours that take you to the pristine atolls that dot our sea. Besides snorkeling and diving, there are plenty of opportunities to fish at your leisure. Equipment is provided such as hand lines, trawling and spin rods. As you island-hop, you will also be provided with mats, sheets, and tents. Passengers can sleep two to a tent or have the option of bringing their own tent.
Although the islands along the way are simple, the showers and bathrooms are more than adequate. The ship comes with marine toilets. On Tobacco Caye, one of the ports of call, there is a dock plus a special campground for sailing enthusiasts.
If you’ve never tasted Belizean fare, you are in for a treat. This is your opportunity to sample the variety of fresh local food that makes Belizean cuisine so exotic. There is a full– time chef aboard who prepares all the fresh seafood available; succulent dishes like you’ve never tasted. There are also options for vegetarians.
Consider the unique topside adventures Belize can offer such as stopping at Maya centers, experiencing the diverse culture, friendly people, great service and incomparable tropical beauty.
Written by Nelita Castillo