Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Yesterday, Ellis and Chilo became heros as they rescued three Mexican tourists, whilst on their way to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
The tourists had set off at sunrise from Caye Caulker in a canoe, determined to have a do-it-yourself snorkeling tour to see the manatees at the North of the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve – far cheaper they thought than one that the tour operators offer and surely the reef was not that far away!!! Instead of heeding the advice of locals and staying close to the land (they had rented the canoe with a different pretex than the one they intended), the three ventured out in to the open seas (none of them with any experience or knowledge of what lay before them).
When they were far from the point of Caye Caulker over an hour into their excursion, the canoe started taking on water in the higher waves expected in this location. One of the tourists referred to their canoe as ‘drowning’ and within minutes the canoe had sunk with all their possessions – leaving them to tread water out on the open sea with no flotation devices – far away from any land.
Four hours later they say, Ragga Prince was passing in the distance – if it was not for Chilo’s keen eye the tourists would have been passed quickly – but instead they headed the sailboat to the swimmers in deep distress. Ellis threw out the life rings to the tourists, the one girl was so tired that she could not even move towards the ring!!
The Mexicans were indeed in deep distressed at their situation. They clung to the Guides as they were truly grateful that they had been picked up. They were hungry and thirsty and therefore Ellis and Chilo gave them their lunch so they had some sustenance.
The crew immediately got on the phone to the office in order to advise the Fisheries to come and pick them up in order that they could be seen by a Doctor and indeed they came within 45 minutes.
The tourists themselves are absolutely safe and sound but, a lesson must be learnt from this kind of incident. Firstly, canoeing or kayaking around Caye Caulker is absolutely safe (in the right conditions and the weather was perfect yesterday). Always listen to the advice of locals with regard to conditions and never stray away from reach of land – if you are not going to listen to someone who knows better – then take a life jacket with you!!!
Anyway, once again Raggamuffin’s crew have been proved to be heros – well in particular Captain Ellis and Chilo – well done boys!!!
Many of you realize that the environment around us is fragile and if we wish to have conserve its strength and beauty for our future generations, then we need to work together – but many do not realize that for our well known and loved marine ecosystem here in Belize, the shark population is key to its longevity.
Rachel Graham, the Shark Expert here in Belize, came to Caye Caulker yesterday to inform us of the work that she is doing with the assistance of Belize Dive Services, on Sharks here in Northern Belize. Rachel’s work prior to this was done with the Whale Sharks down in the South of Belize and now that their populations are not high risk, she has turned her attention to both sharks and their lesser known cousins the rays.
Rachel told us ‘The world is finally learning that many populations of sharks and rays are in global decline as a result of excessive fishing pressure. With tens of millions of sharks and an unknown quantity of rays captured yearly as by catch to the tuna and swordfish fisheries and as targeted catch to supply the voracious demands of the Asian fin soup market and the Lenten season’s requirement for white meat.’
Sharks, in their role as apex predators, play a vital role in healthy and functional marine ecosystems and commercial fish stocks. However the fact that they have few offspring, live long lives and mature often in their teens means that as a species they are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and therefore a great risk of being fished out!!!
With no time like the present, we are answering her call for attention and in our own small way, we intend to assist and back her endeavors in order to protect our reef that we so love!!
Next week I will write about how Rachel and the Belize Shark Project Team hope to prevent the shark population of Belize being diminished but, if you cannot wait until then, please feel free to find further information on www.belizesharkproject.org!
This year’s Easters festivities were far the best that I have ever experienced in all my many years on this beautiful island. It was a combination of factors … both the Split’s entertainment and Easter Temptation were excellent, the energy on Caye Caulker was a positive one and all were here to have fun, not to give trouble. The police presence was a positive and well organized and of course, the those whose responsibility was to keep our island clean worked hard at doing that!!
The Lobsterfest Committee need to be applauded for their Easter Temptation leaving us to only wonder how good this year’s Lobsterfest will be!!! The venue was attractively put together, the line up kept everyone dancing all weekend long and their selection of games innovative and onlookers enjoyed them immensely. Raggamuffin sponsored the cash prize for the greasy pole – Ish did a fantastic job at the ‘bottom man’ but unfortunately his team was not the eventual winners.
The Split were not to be defeated and the new beach had three tents, a second Heinekan bar and even additional toilets for the event. This was definitely the location to be during the day yesterday as Electosounds played for the island – the surrounding water acting as a fantastic way to beat the heat whilst enjoy the party!
Congratulations to all involved in this Easter’s celebrations – roll on Lobsterfest 2012 – it just cannot come quick enough!!
For those of you who are not lucky enough to be with us, we will keep you updated on the excitement on Caye Caulker as much as possible. Although the party has officially not commenced, the stages are set and they far outweigh any that we have seen before here on Caye Caulker!!!
Alongside the excitement for the evening, the Tour Guide Association Sailing Regatta 2012 took place and once again, Raggamuffin’s Crew were Champions taking 1st in the larger sailboat race and 2nd in the Open. Jimmy, Patrick, Jerry and Shane were the team that took honors (on the lovely Ragga Gal) – congratulations guys!
Easter Temptation at the Palapa Gardens looks set to be the place to be as the venue has been decked out with a lounge style furniture plus dancefloor, it looks too good to waste on just one nights events!!! Although nobody has been taking advantage of this area today, tonight will be a different thing as the DJ will make us understand why it has been named ‘temptation’!!
The split is, as you would expect, crowded today with everybody doing their best to beat the heat. The new beach being put to use as the area where the band will be playing!
Easter, in the Belizean calendar, is that where one and all go on vacation – Businesses close in the cities and this leaves four days for everybody to relax and play. So this is our time to be centre of attention, a moment where Caye Caulker’s population will triple in the next few hours and the entertainment has been laid on, Caye Caulker style!!!
Easter Temptation is being billed as the event not to mis (and I am inclined to believe them!!). The Palapa Garden (at the Centre of town, opposite Da Real Macaw) will be the focus of the weekend bringing Belize’s Artist of the Year Nello Player and Federation 501 to entertain the crowds on Saturday night, dancing under the full moon!! On Sunday day there will be the Tour Guide’s Association Sailing Regatta with both small and large boats and even windsurfs I believe. In the afternoon we are all looking forward to the games .. there are promised to be large cash prizes for Raggamuffin’s Greasy Pole competition and many many more … fun for everybody!! And finally on Sunday night, the party will continue to 1am!
And this is not all .. the Split too will be having their own very impressive Easter bash. They have brought the live bands Electosounds (from Orange Walk) and also a band from Mexico – as well as porter toilets for our convenience later in the evening!! Once again, with a back drop of the moon plus the ocean view, revelers will be able to drink and dance until they drop!!!
So hurry, hurry, hurry – if your ticket is not already booked then you may miss out!!
We are proud to announce that Belize and indeed our own very beautiful Hol Chan Marine Reserve is topping the list for best diving and snorkeling locations in the world!
The National Newspaper based in the Unite Arab Emirates voted Belize’s reef as No 2 in the world and, although we will allow them a small discrepancy (Belize should have been No 1) we very much agree that we earn yet another recognition for our beautiful reef!!
In preparation for the upcoming Easter festivities and of course to consistantly upgrade and improve our islands beauty, the Split has gained additional beach.
In previous blogs you have witnessed the construction of this beach but finally it is complete. Tourists today were finding their way back to the west side of the split as the beach is now extended and from what we can see, there is full approval!!
Roll on Easter Temptation …!!
In our strive to always be unique we have chosen Rachel Kinns photo for our new profile picture. The shot is a beautiful photo of our friendly Frigate birds that follow our boats in the hope of the sardines that we carry on our tours.
We just love the gorgeous color that the birds silhouette – it’s a very unusual and creative shot and we just love it!!!
As you can imagine, much of the garbage that is found in Caye Caulker actually comes from the sea. Thankfully in the centre of town there is the Village Council crew that clean up this unsightly plastic from off our beach. However, in the less developed areas this unsightly garbage can build up dramatically and therefore a number of concerned locals have put together a task force to combat this pollutant!!
This motley crew was spearheaded by Sally Ringsred, Luciana Essenziale, Jane Peoples, Dorothy Bevereridge and Ellen Armstrong (and a few more I probably have forgotten and I apologize) – all naturalized Caye Caulker residence. They have grown in local support on the island and also have recruited a number of very helpful tourists who are helping them stem this problem.
88 West, the bar/ restaurant underneath Belize Dive Services lent their assistance by inspiring those who offered their time for the cause a free drink at their bar – a notable method of supporting this effort!
As you can see from the photos, this is indeed a worthy cause for our island and we are therefore very grateful!! The idea of the collection is to become a monthly activity and anybody interested to get themselves involved are very much welcome!
So we at Raggamuffin want to give thanks for those that donate their time and their hard work to making this island the beautiful attraction that it is today!! THANK YOU!!
It is work in progress but we thought you might be interested to see that actual progression of the new beach at the Split before it is finally finished next week.
As you can see from above, the Western side of the split will be increasing the beach size by creating a protective wall and filling it with sand. The wall is built up using pimento (wood) and will eventually look much more natural than many sea walls around the island!
The sand is not obtained by the contentious dredger but brought in by boat loads from various locals dug from the back of the island. It has taken a painstaking week to get this far and therefore I would expect that completion would be next week … we will have photos!!