Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Something you never knew about Ali!

On February 10, 2012 in News, Ragga Crew

Dancing Eagle Rays Carnival Girls

Ali Johnstone our resident environmentalist, marine biologist, blonde rasta and all round personality of the island has a secret talent that many of you may not be aware of.

Ali is a passionate artist and every morning wakes up and, before all of her snorkeling and kayaking, paints for at least 2 hours every morning. It is Ali’s natural rhythm of life and she uses this creative time to balance out her day – her meditation time of sorts!

Circus del Sol da Split Tarpon Jumping

Ali says that if she is not painting on canvas, she is is compelled to paint on a t-shirt or paint signage for local businesses or even gain more experience at her new but very successful tattoo skills (Rastafar Ink). Much of Ali’s work can be seen at Go Slow Art Gallery, located on front street opposite Da Real Macaw, if you are interested but unfortunately, many of the pieces you see here are already sold – but don’t worry she is a prolific painter!!!

Squid Dancing Bara Bones

Introducing Chilo and Dane – Welcome to Raggamuffin

On February 08, 2012 in News, Ragga Crew

Chilo just chilling on our dock! Dane relaxing on Ragga Gal

For sometime now we have been scouting around Belize to find 2 Guides that will fit perfectly into our amazing team. We are really excited about our newest recruits at Raggamuffin and, although some of you may already have met these guys, we want to introduce them to those who have not!

Basilio Lopez or ‘Chilo’ as we call him was born 17th June 1986 and raised in the fishing village of Sarteneja. He was brought up in a traditional fishing family with both Father and Uncle spending their life on the sea. Chilo was gifted with an education but the love for the sea drew him back into the water and therefore Tour Guiding. Chilo is a giant amongst Belizeans, making him a strong sailing Captain on our boats. His ice cool character, immense experience in the water and on the boats and his wonderful charm make him a firm fit in his Raggamuffin shirt!!!

And last, but not least, we have Dane Mark Phillips (just Dane for short!!) born 29th April 1987 and raised in Belize City. Dane is very much a young head on old shoulders as he has actually been a Tour Guide since he was 17 years old and now holds a Senior Tour Guide License. Dane’s hobby from an early age was fishing and his brother-in-law, recognizing his passion guided him to become a Tour Guide – good job Dane’s brother-in-law!! Dane’s is an infectious character, full of energy and information and with his huge amount of experience on boats he is adapting to his new Raggamuffin life with ease. In fact, when asked about how he is enjoying his new job he responded ‘working with Raggamufin is the best thing that ever happened to him!!’ We are loving you right back Dane!!!

January’s Photo of the Month!!

On February 01, 2012 in News, Photo of the Month

Rendezvous Caye at night - photo by Tim Nolan

There is once a while when a truly beautiful photo comes our way … and here it is (double click on the image to get a higher resolution!) Tim Nolan has taken one of the most original and beautiful shots of Rendezvous Caye that I have seen in a long time. We are so used to seeing her fringed with aqua marine ocean and the icy white sand but this camera shot shows quite beautifully the magic of the island at night.

We will, as usual, make this photo our Facebook profile page … it probably will not do the photo justice as you need to really see it larger but it very much is our shot for this month!

Happy New Year and Photo of the Month!

On January 02, 2012 in News, Photo of the Month

Springy feet Shane

As ever, Caye Caulker brought in 2012 with a bang … fireworks at the split along with what seemed to be the whole island was a blast. And when the split closed everybody poured into both the Oceanside and Hypnotic – those who stayed in bed, fearing that it may rain really regretted it yesterday and those who came out nursed their hangover!!

New year and also new month brings along our ‘Photo of the Month’ … our new profile photo will be our own ‘springy feet Shane Anderson’ doing what he does best – back flips!! The photo was taken by Dawnette Overbo and we love it!!

October – Photo of the month!

On November 01, 2011 in News, Photo of the Month

Adela, Edith and Ali

For us at Raggamuffin, October was a month filled with love as we all holidayed an relaxed on our month off work! The icing on our cake this month was Edith (the un-sung hero of Raggamuffin) and Ali’s wedding. And for this we feel that photo of the month goes to our very own Edith for her wonderful collection of photos for her beautiful event!

Thank you Edith and Ali!!

September’s Photo of the month! – Manatees come play with tourists at the split!!

On September 30, 2011 in News, Photo of the Month

The split, just before the manatee appeared! Manatee at the split

There was a buzz at the split this week as a manatee came right up to the split to come ‘hang out’ with tourists.

Brandi Gross (along with her husband Landon) were basking in the midday sun at the split when tourists came rushing out onto the sea wall to watch the manatee slowly swim into the split. Brandi, who was in the water was quite sure she was going to miss out on the fun as she could not see what was happening on the other side of the wall. However, patience is a virtue and Brandi’s patience won over when the manatee came around the wall, right up into the shallow area of the split where she was swimming. Luckily she had her camera in her hand to document the event and therefore we are able to post some pictures as proof of the incident!

Up close and personal - manatee at the split!

For this, to celebrate that manatees do indeed love Caye Caulker, we want to make Brandi’s above picture our Facebook photo of the month – thanks Brandi!!

Nurse Sharks – No Kissing!! – By Allie Johnstone

On September 07, 2011 in Marine Series, News

Our Friendly Nurse Sharks Nurse Sharks Feeding at Hol Chan

The Nurse Sharks of Hol Chan Marine Reserve are one of the attractions for many who sail with us on our full day sailing trip. These sleek light brown sharks are not as monstrous as they first appear. I mean it’s a very practical and natural reaction to freak out when you see these guys close up, but under the care and guidance of our tour guides the Raggamuffin guests are introduced to these “gentle” sharks. These sharks can grow up to 4 meters and weigh in at 300 lbs. They are lucky sharks as they live in the reserve and they hang in the shallows, they can rest upon the bottom in the soft turtle grass and nap all day. They often sleep in sharks piles all on top of each other.

Nurse sharks are nocturnal feeders; they eat fish, squid and octopus but will eat shellfish if it’s around. I watched a nurse shark messing around in a coral head and when I moved him away found that he was trying to get at an octopus, which I then pointed out to my snorkelling guests!

This shark can live for 25 years so most of the sharks at Hol Chan have been swimming with people their entire lives; they know we are “friends not food”.
To indentify a nurse sharks check for super long tail fin and double dorsal fins. They are light brown fish with a small under turned mouth. Layers of small serrated teeth sharp enough to do damage, and they have barbells like a catfish.
My guess is they are called Nurse Sharks because of the suction ability they have for eating. I tell my guests “they can suck yer brains out of your eyeball sockets, so don’t get kissy face with them!”

Exploring Caye Caulker: Eating Like The Locals

On September 02, 2011 in Caye Caulker, Exploring Caye Caulker, News

Mama Rose Tamales

Vacations to Caye Caulker are always going to be amazing and memorable, but beyond the list of “things to do” in lonely planet, what can really make a trip here unforgettable is to immerse yourself in a true local experience…..and one way you can do that is by eating like the locals do.

To begin your day off you can head to Glenda’s Restaurant on Back Street for some freshly baked Creole bread or cinnamons rolls for just US25c. Glenda’s is known for having the best bread on the island so when it opens at 7am the smell of bread cooking in the ovens draws in a crowd of locals, including lots of school kids and quite often everything is sold out by 8am! But never fear, they set some aside especially for the people who wake up a little later and come to dine in for breakfast. You can also pay a couple of dollars more for a side of eggs, beans, cheese or just some butter and jam. I promise you that after you go there for breakfast once you will definitely go back again!

For lunch many of the locals will opt for either tamales (a Mexican dish of seasoned meat or vegetables wrapped in cornmeal dough and steamed in banana leaves) or dukunu (a dish made with sweetened starch, usually cornmeal but can also be sweet corn wrapped and boiled in aluminum foil or a banana leaf), which tastes a lot like creamed corn. Tamales cost roughly US$2.00 each and dukunu costs US50c each. You will know the people selling these tasty lunch meals because they will go back and forth down the streets yelling out their slogans which go something like this….”Hot tamales. Chicken, pork and vegetable tamales” and “ HHHOOttttttt dukunu. HHHOOttttttt dukunu”. You can’t miss them :) . And to wash your meal down we recommend you buy yourself a seaweed drink from the Seaweed Man. Now I know many of screwed up your faces at the sound of that but i promise you it is delicious (and very good for you) and it doesn’t taste like the sea :) . It is like a thick milkshake and comes in a range of flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, rum, brandy, peanut and coconut and costs just US$1.50 for a bottle. The Seaweed Man also has his own slogan simply yelling out “SeaWEED”, but don’t get confused because you may think that he is saying “sweet”.

Glendas Chocolate & Peanut flavored Seaweed drinks

So after a busy day working ( or exploring in your case) everybody needs a nice big dinner to fill them up and all the locals will tell you there is only one person to go and see for a good Belizean meal, and that person is Mama Rose! Mama Rose is renowned for her amazing home cooking including rice and beans with potato salad with either stew chicken, stew beef, stew pork or fried fish. A plate of food only costs US$4.00 and she gives you enough for two meals! Mama Rose takes her big pots of food through the streets on a cart and usually stops outside Oceanside. You will have no problem finding her because she generally has a crowd of locals gathered around her waiting to get served….and if you try her food you will understand why!

So if you are coming to visit Caye Caulker for the first time this year or if you are returning for another holiday make sure you try some of these foods that the locals here love, meals that you may not have known existed here otherwise, and expand you Belizean experience….Because there are lots of little secrets on this island waiting to be discovered by you :) .

August Photo of the Month – Congratulations Mayra Arboleda!

On August 31, 2011 in News, Photo of the Month

A big congratulations to Mayra Arboleda, a Tour Leader from GAP Adventures, who took this photo of 5 manatees whilst she was snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. For at least two weeks over the August period we were regularly snorkeling with 4/ 5 manatees at the Hol Chan and this is the only photo we have as proof!! Ellis once again becomes star for the month of August as it is his legs that we can see in the shot!!!

Manatee and Ellis legs

How To Clean A Fish – Starring Captain Patrick

On August 26, 2011 in Caye Caulker, News, Ragga Crew, Ragga Vids