Saturday, January 29, 2011


So, our last full day dawned cloudy and windy.  AGAIN!  But it had improved enough to do a snorkel off the shore  on the other side of the island.  I had not been there yet, so I was up for it. I popped a couple of Gravol to combat the inevitable seasickness and we walked to the other side of the island.

Maggie Peggy Karen and Mark heading to the other side of the island.
Getting ready to hit the COLD DEEP WATER!!!

Roger borrowed the infamous "gladiator" wetsuit from Mark, and proceeded to put it on backwards!  He left it that way and much hilarity ensued!

I think it is Neri on the left?  Roger with his backwards wetsuit, and MJ usual!!!

WE walked through the grass, that could contain stinging critters, without any problems, and swam/got sucked through the opening in the reef to deeper waters.  The fact that we got basically got sucked out, should have been a hint that perhaps the swim back in may be a bit strenuous.  But, true to form, it never crossed my mind!  I buddied up with Dr. Cindy and her underwater fish guide, and off we went!

Dr. Cindy and her fish guide.

The trip was fairly uneventful, but I did manage to sight a small nurse shark!  My first shark sighting while snorkeling EVER!  No picture to be had...but  I would soon be snorkeling with them in Shark Ray Alley off Ambergris Caye anyways!

up close and personal with a not so friendly Lion Fish

a school of Blue Tangs.  Much deeper water here.

I believe this is Neri...

SO...after awhile, Victor came in a kayak to check on us, and since a few people were getting cold and tired, he escorted them through the break in the reef.  Because of the current, he set up a rope to help us get back through later.  And after safely making sure his group got to shore, he came and advised us it was set up and we headed back.  I don't tend to get cold snorkeling, and could stay out all day most of the time.  This time, I could FEEL the cold but could have stayed out for much longer.  But, my fingers and toes were turning purple so I guess that was an indication that it was time to go in.
Once we started to hit the strong current, all thoughts of my buddy were gone and off I went.  Neri was leading, and through the break we went.  It was like swimming and getting nowhere. I had to resort to swimming the front crawl, as kicking just was not enough!  I did manage to get through without the help of the rope and off we went for a well deserved Belikin! (Karen:  I am glad that I chose not to go in after hearing about how difficult it was to swim back.  I am not a strong swimmer and I know Stacey would never have been my buddy!  I'd probably still be out there somewhere!!!)

Charlie had  hot water for everyone to take to warm up the shower,  so we could have our first really warm shower of the week.  But as usual, I was too impatient to wait for it, so off I went for the usual cold shower.  I got the last shower stall of four, and could NOT get anybody to sing with me!

Supper was superb as usual, and we followed that with a few contests.  Victor instructed us to go out and catch a hermit crab and find a coconut.  No limitations.  Just to bring one back each.

Usually you spend all your time walking at night, trying to avoid stepping on the hermit crabs.  There are THOUSANDS of them, but due to the bad weather they were a little more elusive.  I did manage to find a mid sized FRISKY hermit crab, that I quickly named Crusty.  Short for Crustacean.  He was a little spitfire, and continually tried to pinch me.  SO..I wrapped him in toilet paper and got him into the racing bucket. (Karen:  All I could lasoo was a tiny little crab, but I had high hopes that he/she would be speedy because of his size.)

Crusty Crustacean
I think Crusty is on the far left...about to climb the wall...he liked doing that!
Crusty was always trying to climb the bucket, so I figured that maybe he had what it took to get the gold!  We took them all outside to the volleyball court where the boys had set up the ropes that normally outlined the volleyball court, and made a huge circle.  Victor took the bucket to the middle and set them all free.  The first 3 to make it over the ropes made it to the final heat.

I lost sight of Crusty, trying to help defend Kellie's crab, because so many people were sabotaging it.  (Karen:  I felt bad for Kellie as everyone kept touching her crab and at one point he was brutally flung aside!  Such crab abuse!)  But in the end.....he made it to the finals!  In the end, he came in 3rd.   But he is training to win next years race!

Crusty about to get his disappointing bronze medal!
ON to the coconuts!  The next contest was to see who could open their coconuts the quickest, using anything in the dining room.  We had to delay this contest as mine had already rotten out and was already open, thus giving me an unfair advantage. (Karen:  I do not recall any specifications as to what kind of coconuts we were supposed to find.  I think we should have been allowed to use the one we found!)  I went out and got a new coconut and was soon a loser!  I think it was Odd or Alf from Sweden that won, basically doing the same as me but with better results.  Taking the wooden stools at the end of the table and bashing them on the coconuts as hard as possible.

Because these two contest were over so quickly.  Victor set up a third one.  Anyone with remaining coconuts could go out on the water sports dock (in front of mine and Karen's huts) and throw them at the currently unoccupied Hut Number 1.  We all stood on the dock and threw the coconuts as hard as we could towards MJ, who was peeking out of the door of Number 1, attempting to not get hit!  After 2 heats, John from San Fran was the undisputed champ!  Almost hitting Victor who had taken over MJ's spot in the cabin.

I believe this is John's winning throw!
After the excitement of the night most people were off to bed, while I, true to form, stayed up to have beverages with my new island drinking buddies, and hang out for our last night on the island!  Sadly, we had to leave the next afternooon! (Karen:  And true to form, I was one of the ones that went to bed.  All this fresh, salty island air just wiped me out.)

The last day dawned a little calmer, unfortunately!  We were hoping for bad weather so we could stay another day!  But alas, it was not to be! Karen and Kellie and I hung out on the beach for awhile, all bundled up for the cold, and then Karen and I did a final walk around the grounds taking last pics of anything we may have not gotten already!

Karen brushing her teeth for the last time

And Stacey doing the same!  In her outfit from most of the last few cold days.

Karen doing a sexy pose! (Karen:  Acutally, I was dreaming that I was chained to the tree and would not be able to leave!)

A view of the kitchen from the back, and volleyball court on the right

Marcie and Laverne's Staff House.

Stacey saying good bye to the island next door.

The shower house.

One of the more secluded Cabins

Funny sign set up on the path from the Dive Shop

View of the women's urinals.

And Lucky the Bunny's grave marker.  Apparently Lucky hated Veggies but would eat anything else.

Karen Saying good bye to our view!  Our cabins were just off to the right.
After our usual delicious lunch, we got our group pic and headed out for our 3 hour boat ride back to Belize City.

Our family for the week!
So...our trip was NOT over yet! WE had another night in the Biltmore in Belize, and we were all going for a Chinese dinner with Victor, Neri and MJ.  WE had a few drinks by the pool with Kellie and John, and we were joined by a few of the others, including Mark (he is the one who has been on the island 4 or 5 times.)  John had shaved his beard off into a Fu Manchu at the insistence of cousin Kellie, so Mark had to come and show us his version of the Fu Manchu!

Johna and Mark and their Fu Manchu's
After our first HOT shower in a week, and a walk to go get souvenirs, we found this beer bong.  Can anyone make me one?  This was far too expensive!!!!
I sooo wanted to buy this.  But controlled myself!

Soon after getting back to the hotel, the boys picked us up in 2 vans, and off we went for our final meal together.

The food was really good, and the company excellent of course!  And Kellie got a bit drunk and fell in love with a really cute pig in the restaurant (no...not a pilot or a cop...a ceramic pig!). After 2 tries they were unable to secure a price on the pig, but upon arriving back to the hotel there was a call from the restaurant with a price.  Kellie hopped in the van with Victor and off they went to pick him up!
 (Karen:  That was a great bottle of wine that Kellie and I shared!)
A short time later Karen, Kellie, John, Victor, myself and the pig met for final drinks in the hotel bar.

Kellie Victor and the Infamous Pig

  Rear shot of the pig!
John double fisting (Karen:  Lighthouse!  Finally, a Belizian beer that I like!)

After a few drinks, and after dealing with an excessively drunk man, to whom we gave fake names...all except Victor, who likely thought that his name sounded fake anyways.  We called it a night and went off to sleep.

The next morning we were able to say good bye to Kellie, John, Victor, Mark and Karen....and we knew that we had made some great friends and would keep in touch!  But it was still bittersweet.  BUT...on to our next leg of the trip!  Ambergris Caye for 3 days followed by 2 in Playa Del Carmen Mexico!  OFF WE GO!

As told by Stacey over a week after arriving back in COLD COLD CANADA! (Karen:  Thank goodness one of us still had a workable camera!)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A relaxed few days due to wrestling injuries, dehydration and bad weather. Hunker down, small craft warning in effect!!!!

Due to the increase in wind, Stacey's injured knee (ask her about wrestling on a wet mat sometime), and feeling slightly dehydrated (not sure why...tee hee) we had a relaxed day.

We started out with breakfast, naturally, then we walked around the entire island.  We visited the northwest end that is no longer inhabited and took pictures of what the staff refers to as the House of Exile.  That was followed by snorkeling to the far shores of the floating island mat...maybe 30 m if we are lucky.  On the mat, we had a revelation and a new greeting was born...FLIPPER FIVE!!!!  Of course, that was not enough.  It morphed into Flipper Ten, Cross Flipper Five and uproarious laughter.  We were laughing so hard (not sure why...again, think it had to do with dehydration) we were crying.  We decided to dive for garbage along the shoreline to help keep OUR island pristine.  Karen actually managed to dive down and retrieve something.  She was so proud as was Stacey.  At this time, Victor showed up with his new friend, Dolly the Dolphin, and  began to frolic with her in the shallows.
I believe this is a yellow stingray

Victor trying to RIDE THE DOLPHIN!


During this excitement, a few boats arrived.  The first was when we were still on the mat.  We didn't really pay much attention to it but it was from a neighbouring island.  We were soon to find out it contained our friend, Grit from Germany.   We had first met her in Tikal and kept running into her. She had realized that she was on the island right next to us and had stopped here to see us and then catch our boat back to Belize City.  We said that we might see her in Caye Caulker.  Unfortunately, we decided to skip Caye Caulker and go straight to San Pedro instead.  Sorry, Grit!

The afternoon was quiet, we started to break in the new arrivals.  We quickly realized that Stacey had likely met one of the couples, Kay and Roger, before as they had owned a lodge in Red Lake ON for a number of years and had flown Bearskin Air multiple times.  Small world!

At the communal shower, we learned from Kellie that "showtime is for bedtime".  We quickly added this new phrase to our repertoire.  We felt clean for seconds.
I believe this is Karen's feet in the shower.

Just before supper, the rain began.  We broke out the lovely "tourist condoms" as you will see in the photo.  The weather actually got kind of yucky with high winds and rain throughout the night.
Stacey in a "tourist condom"

It was Victor's turn to do a talk and so instead we played "penis croquet".  This is a hilarious sport and should soon become part of the Olympics.  Stacey was quite adept at maneuvering her penile appendage whereas Karen felt a little short.  Pics to follow.  Ultimately, it was won by Mark, who is a 5 time returning camper thus had an unfair advantage.
Neri and Victor demonstrating the proper techinque

Freedom and Karen (Marks Karen of course)

Arno and John

Either Alf or Od (identical twins..tought o figure out who) and Kellie

? (the pic is dark...hard to tell) Mj, Martin and Mathew watching the crazy gringos and gringas

Martin and Meg

Kay and Mark in the finals.  An obstacle course was added.

Thursday dawned, barely, with clouds and strong winds.  Victor informed us, via the whiteboard, we had to hunker down and there was not a lot we could do.  We opted to do a low tide walk with Victor, MJ, and Nari.  They handed out a few glass bottom buckets for people to look at things under the surface.  They worked like giant magnifying glasses.  They also instructed us not to touch anything unless they saw it first.  WE obeyed the commands of Victor, but not all did!  You know who you are!!!!  During this time, Kellie discovered her least favourite water inhabitant (see photos later and see if you can guess which one it is), Victor showed us the true island fashion, Jorts, (see photos) and Karen dunked her camera...she needs a new one, Morley...hint, hint.
the weather has changed....and we are limited on what we can do!

the waves breaking on the reef

Karen is hiding!

Karen is hiding again...but using coral to give herself antennae....I think she is getting island fever!

Victor holding a ....uhhh...can't remember the exact name..but it is a starfish

Moi (stacey) holding 2 types of sea urchins

Kellie and Victor fixing his shorts?  Or should I say JORTS???

Victor LOVING his Jorts and holding some kinds of aquatic critters

The waves can be higher than we though.  Heavy skirt turned to a dress!  New look for 2011

Starfish transfer.  Still can not remember what kind!!! OH OH OH..its a Brittle Starfish I think!

Looking pretty on our Low Tide Walk.  MJ about to change that!!!

Karen likely pondering her soaked camera

Kay..and a whelk.  Kinda slimey looking

HMMMMM???????  Not sure I should make a comment or not?  It is a type of Conch though.

Look at our lovely beach...and the crazy clouds!!!

After lunch, we had another lecture.  The coconut talk!  This one involved ladders, pick axes, machetes and rum.  Ask John, what a rotten coconut smells like.  In fact, you can probably still smell it on his hands.  ***NEW NOTE**** we forgot ALLL about the outfits that Mark and John made!  Apparently it was Dr Cindys idea...but Arno would have none of it!  Cindy Karen(not blog Karen) and Mark came up with an idea to dress the boys up in coconut bras, and coconut nuts (see photos) for the coconut demo!  I caught Karen getting MJ to drill holes in some coconuts husks..and she LIED and said it was for the kits contest (that never really took off..thus no pics)  See photos for more explanations.  ALso a note on the coconut demo....fresh coconut water and rum REALLY is quite tasty. is!  Also note...the native Belizean (MJ) getting coconuts the BELIZEAN WAY!  ha ha ha ha ha
Neri holding the ladder, and MJ demonstrating the proper Belizean way of getting coconuts out of trees

John and Mark in full island dress!

John Mark and a visibly uncomfortable Victor!

Mark about to show he is NUTS.

Check out the shriveled up nuts! ha ha a ha

John still has young nuts! NOT so saggy!

Neri standing safely away from knife wielding MJ! Why wouldn't they let Stacey have the knife?

MJ still doing a great job! Note the coconut water (AKA mix for rum) that he is collecting in the juice jug

Cindy, Mark, Arno and Roger intent on watching the demo!  YYYAAAYYY Roger for always joining me in a beer!

Don't need much of anything to hold a coctail party!

The strong wind surfers in the group went out to hit the waves
I am not at all sure who this is!

This is MJ trying to help John windsurf.  John chose the worst conditions to try this for the first time!

I believe this is Meg going for a surf!

Neri holding the kite for Meg to go kite surfing...

Meg trying to get to her board before she gets sucked out!

RESULTS!  Off she goes!

About to catch some air!

and MJ, Nari and us decided to play a game of EXTREME BOCCI!  This entailed making the course as difficult as possible, through the palm trees, over buildings,  down hermit crab holes...and eventually we did our last round through the kites...and arrived back at the kitchen, in time for Stacey to WIN EXTREME BOCCI!!!!!  The crowd ROARED!!!!!!!  Now this might not sound so amusing to the casual observer, but it really was a great way to spend a windy day that could not be spent on the water!
MJ trying to decide who is closest

MJ performing the Half time show!

Action shot of Karen...I think she may have won this round!

Some of the terrain we had to deal with!

That night...after dinner.  BECAME GAME NIGHT!  Stacey, Karen, Anders, John and Kellie had an UNBELIEVABLE game of JENGA!  We think we may HAVE beat the world record for moves on Jenga!  But of course....we did not contact the Guiness Book of World Records!  Kellie did take pics.....but Karen lost her camera to the tides...and Stacey's was charging.  If Jenga wasn't fun enough...we played a cut throat game of TABOOO! Boys against the girls.....but often there were comments and hints from all sides! This is where you learn what types of CLUES not to ask!

Kellie:  this is something I don't have?
Stacey:  BOOOBS!!!!!
John:  a gag reflex
YES....this did result in our team mate questioning our loyalty.  But she soon got over it.
By they way...the answer was CHILDREN!

Kellie:  I have a really STRONG  one of these???
Dr Marks Karen:  SMELL!!!!!!!!
again Kellie hung her head in despair and questioned her teams loyalty!
Now...we believe that the answer to this one was OPIONIONS...but due to alchohol consumption, we do not know for sure!

Somewhere in the evening, Kellie's camera went missing.  After searching the dining area...and retracing her steps, we decided either someone took it in error....or Mark and Karen McLovin, were taking xrated photos back at their cabin, aptly named GROOVIN!  Kellie did go and accuse Victor of taking it.  As pay back for Dolly in his bed.  But he assured her, he did not have anything to do with it.

Meanwhile...back at the kitchen, Karen and Stacey visited with our favorite staff members and had INTERESTING conversations.

We will end this one now...and do the last 2 days together in one entry, later on.

Until next time...Stacey and Karen