Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Melissa Katherine – Raggamuffin’s First Photo of the Month Winner

On February 01, 2011 in News

Melissa Katherine's photo of Rendezvous Caye

Congratulations to Melissa Katherine for becoming our first winner in our photo of the month competition, with her amazing shot of Rendezvous Caye that she took while on one of our overnight tours.
Melissa got her entry in just in time by sending it through to us today, and boy are we glad she did! It really shows how beautiful the island is.

Congrats again Melissa! Your photo will be up as our profile picture for the month of February.

Keep the entries coming everyone….The next winner will be annouced at the end of the month.

Thank you to everyone who sent there pictures through, it was wonderful looking through them. Looking forward to see what else you have to show us :)

Birthday Wishes For Reynolds

On January 29, 2011 in News

Ren at work doing what he loved. Ren with his boys.

Today we celebrate the birthday of our dear friend, Reynolds Felix Miranda – a.k.a Ren, Reno, Renaissance, Rasta, Fake Rasta, Biggie or simply “the guy who works at Raggamuffin with the big cheeks and HUGE smile.
He would have been turning 29 years old today, and although we wish that he was here celebrating with us, we will all stick together tonight and try to have a good time in his honor, because that is what he would want.

I’m sure as the years go by this day will become easier for us to deal with, but for now the wound is still very fresh. But we will be strong today and focus on the gift that was his life and celebrate the amazing person that he is and they joy that he brought to each of our lives – because that is what he deserves from us.

We miss you Ren, but you are in our hearts today and everyday. We’ll be playing “It’s a holiday” on the stereo for you and drinking a whole lotta rum and cokes in your name.

So cheers and Happy Birthday to you brother! Hope that they are throwing a big party up there tonight for you, like we will be doing down here.

Peace and blessings! R.I.P

Kristen’s Raggamuffin Xmas

On January 20, 2011 in News

All I want for Christmas is to become a blogging superstar (although at this point it might be more apt to call it a New Year’s Resolution). To help with this mission I (me being Kirsten from Canada travelling with my husband Joe) enlisted the help of sixteen strangers: Sam and Mark from Holland, Dane and Julia honeymooners from New Zealand, Cory and Penny also from New Zealand, Damon and Shana from the United States, Erica from the United Kingdom, George and Polly from the UK as well, Jelly and Andy from Germany, James and Trisha from Canada, and Emile from France, along with the crew of Ragga Queen: Captain Ramsey, Ellis, and Leon.

We got off to a late start on the morning of Christmas Eve, but with a little help from the “iron sail” we were quickly on our way to Rendezvous Caye. Early on Dane caught a barracuda, the first on many we all thought hopefully. We stopped to snorkel and returned for a tasty lunch of fried chicken, rice with beans, and potato salad. The red and green shirts of the crew kept us in the Christmas spirit. We all agreed that that evening around the campfire we would sing Christmas carols. Mark has volunteered (threatened?) to capture this on film for us.

We were a curious combination of international travellers choosing to spend Christmas in the middle of the Caribbean. What can be more festive than sailing through blue-green waters, sipping rum punch, snacking on junk food, and camping on sand so white that it could be snow? To commemorate our journey we collaboratively wrote a rousing carol that was sung with gusto by James and Cory.

“The Raggamuffin Twelve Days of Christmas,”
.
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a three-day sailing trip.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two lines trawling and a three-day sailing trip.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three rum punches, two lines trawling, and a three-day sailing trip.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four tickles on my back, three rum punches, two lines trawling, and a three-day sailing trip.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me five barracuda steaks, four tickles on my back, three rum punches, two line trawling, and a three-day sailing trip.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six sparks a flying, five barracuda steaks, four tickles on my back, three rum punches, two lines trawling, and a three-day sailing trip.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven bathing beauties, six sparks a flying, five barracuda steaks, four tickles on my back, three rum punches, two lines trawling, and a three-day sailing trip.

On the eight day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight bikinis popping, seven bathing beauties, six sparks a flying, five barracuda steaks, four tickles on my back, three rum punches, two lines trawling, and a three-day sailing trip.

On the ninth day of Christmas Queen Elizabeth waved to me, eight bikinis popping, seven bathing beauties, six sparks a flying, five barracuda steaks, four tickles on my back, three rum punches, two lines trawling, and a three-day sailing trip.

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ten strangers pissed, Queen Elizabeth waved to me, eight bikinis popping, seven bathing beauties, six sparks a flying, five barracuda steaks, four tickles on my back, three rum punches, two lines trawling, and a three-day sailing trip.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me eleven tents erected, ten strangers pissed, Queen Elizabeth waved to me, eight bikinis popping, seven bathing beauties, six sparks a flying, five barracuda steaks, four tickles on my back, three rum punches, two lines trawling, and a three-day sailing trip.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me twelve people passed out, eleven tents erected, ten strangers pissed, Queen Elizabeth waved to me, eight bikinis popping, seven bathing beauties, six sparks a flying, five barracuda steaks, four tickles on my back, three rum punches, two lines trawling, and a three-day sailing trip.

We awoke Christmas morning on our island paradise to see Leon sporting a Santa hat and hear Christmas carols blaring from the iPod dock. As we slowly emerged from our tents, emphasis on slowly, everyone wished each other Merry Christmas, with some Happy Christmases thrown in by the Brits. We enjoyed a breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausage before taking down our tents and setting sail. At our first snorkeling stop Cory tried his hand at spear fishing. As we water-soaked Raggamiffins returned to the boat and the crew began to haul anchor we realized Cory was not on board. We looked out and saw him swimming towards the boat and as he got closer we thought we saw something in his hands. It turns out we did – a six foot barracuda that he had speared (or at least that’s the size Cory claimed it was). The fish had swum away with the spear and Cory had needed to chase it until it ran out of steam. We were all appreciative of his effort that night at dinner.

When we arrived at Tobacco Caye local children were on the dock wishing us Merry Christmas. We set up our tents and took turns exchanging Christmas presents, in the form of showers; which at that point, really were presents to the rest of our travelling companions. Our Christmas feast was fabulously yummy: shrimp ceviche, barracuda steaks (well worth the swim), grilled lobster tails, and mashed potatoes. The bar on Tobacco Caye was open for business and to accompany the drinks there was traditional Garifuna drumming. The crew of Ragga Queen apparently don’t limit their talents to sailing alone. It made for a very festive evening.

The next morning the wind was blowing and skies were grey, but this did not slow down the last part of our journey. We set off towards Placencia knowing that our time as Raggamuffins would soon be over.

Video Three Day Sailing Trip!

On January 15, 2011 in News, Ragga Crew, Video

Check out this new video of Raggamuffin’s Famous Three Day Sailing Trip by Underwaterallyproductions.com!

Raggamuffin’s Photo of the Month Competition

On January 06, 2011 in News

Nurse Sharks at Shark and Ray Alley

All of us at Raggamuffin LOVE receiving all of the incredible photos of us that you have been putting up on your Facebook pages, or in your travel blogs, and we definitely want everyone to continue sharing them with us, so……We have decided to start up a fun and exciting new competition for all of you to get involved in!

Starting from today we want you to send in your favourite photos from your adventures with us at Raggamuffin, and at the end of each month we will sort through all of them and decide on what we believe is the “Photo of the Month”!

The winner’s photo will then be posted as our Facebook profile picture for the next month, and also be featured in our website blog, which is viewed by people from all over the globe!

Captain Patrick on Ragga Gal. Ragga Gal docked at Rendezvous Caye.

All you need to do is “friend” us on Facebook (if you haven’t already), tag us in your favourite pictures, and finally label them “Photo of the Month Entry” in the caption area (so we know it is for our competition) and let us know the details of when it was taken and which of Raggamuffin’s tours you were on. Simple as that!…..Then leave the judging up to us.

So with cameras in hand, get those creative juices flowing and let the battle begin for Raggamuffin’s Photo of the Month title……………Ready. Set. Snap.

…And into 2011

On January 05, 2011 in News

The year has started with a bang … the island is busier than I can remember and the weather is absolutely beautiful!

There were very little Raggamuffin’s around for New Years Eve … Jermain, Kevin, Shane, Jerry, Jacob and Chris were all out on overnight trips. The few of us left here were together, as always. The night started at the split and ended at the Oceanside. The island was so packed I almost thought it would sink – never mind that a tourist was arrested for skinny dipping!!

The overnight trips after the New Year were also busy … Ramsay has headed a trip on Queen and Patrick has taken out a group on King. Jessie and Michael – Raggamuffin’s ‘new best friends’ and resident world record holding spear fisherman – are currently on Patrick’s boat … so we will be able to post some really good underwater (and on island) footage to you guys soon!!

And some of our favorite Tour Leaders are here on the island too, Emilio and Damian from Intrepid and Steve, Christian and Krista from GAP. And, just to join the party Chimi has turned up for a short vacation to join in the fun!!

So far 2011 looks good … wishing all of those we love, a happy and prosperous New Year!!

Reflecting on Raggamuffin’s 2010

On December 31, 2010 in News

The Raggamuffin Office during Tropical Storm Matthew.Our dear friend, Reynolds Felix Miranda. We miss you everyday.

This year was both glorious and tragic. The sudden death of our friend and colleague Reynolds Felix Miranda has left us feeling both empty and saddened. We were so grateful for all of your messages of support and input on his remembrance page – without the social networking sites like Facebook we would not be able to see some of the wonderful shots that you have taken of him during your personal adventures in Belize – thank you! Publicly we all have a smile on our face but inside we are all still very much grieving for the loss of our friend!!

On a lighter note, this year Ellis came on to our books full time and now is as much a member of the Ragga Crew as those who have been here for years. Both Kevin and Jacob moved up the ladder, earning their ‘stripes’ and became Captain and Tour Guides – both of these well deserved!!! Kimani decided that a permanent move back to Belize from Austria was necessary so he too is back to the fold!!

This year was indeed a year to remember for storms … two Tropical Storms (Alex and Matthew) and one hurricane (Richard) came down upon Belize. We were lucky to get away with very little damage but in all three storms the team pulled together and packed away our equipment and indeed unpacked equipment as one efficient team in all three cases. It is instances like these that you know how much we rely on each other as a family.

In general the business year has been far slower than that of say 2008 but we buckled down and have fared well. We have ensured that we have nurtured our relationship with our biggest customers like particularly GAP and even Intrepid. Whilst further consolidated our relationships with additional groups like Tucan, Shoestring and Sawadee. We love working with our groups and particularly our Tour Leaders – thank you guys!!!

In reflection, I feel that our team is stronger than it has ever been. We benefit from our size and having the opportunity from constantly learning off each other which allows us to get only better at what we do. Thank you all for your constant support during 2010!!

Xmas and Beyond!

On December 27, 2010 in News

Christmas Day was one like no other – we closed down Raggamuffin to ensure that all of those who remained on the island, could remain together!

Kevin, looking for his lost bike, was the first of the revelers to commence the party at 7.30am!!! The only member of the crew that was up that early was little Malik who insisted that Kevin and him try out all the toys that Father Christmas was generous enough to bring him – of which of course Kevin obliged!!

At the house we prepared a typically British turkey dinner with sausages, brussel sprouts, green beans, carrots and roast potatoes – the crew, used to their rice and beans were slightly confused at the ‘little cabbages’ on their plate, but enjoyed themselves all the same.

Open house extended throughout the day and everybody made an appearance. Patrick and Paige brought along their friends from Australia, Michael and Jessie, who each hold their own world records for spear fishing (they have come to teach the crew a thing or two!!). Jahlee, Jermain, Kimani, Little Shane and Big Shane, Rafael and Fiona, Edith and even Jacob who was nursing a rather nasty infected finger came over for pain killers, instead of whiskey!!

The only personnel that were missing were Jerry, at home back in Cayo with his family and of course those members on the Christmas overnight – Ramsay, Ellis and Leon!

The next morning was business as usual … the day was beautifully sunny but a cool breeze has settled on the island. The island feels absolutely packed .. there are tourists everywhere, back to the heights of 2008, the recession has gone!!

“I’m Dreaming of an Island Christmas”

On December 22, 2010 in News

Christmas Lights at Raggamuffin 2010Merry Christmas from the Ragga Crew 2010

Colorful Christmas lights create a festive glow across the island. Carols sing loudly from the neighbors stereos. And the kids run wild in the streets playing catch, tossing marbles and letting of deafening fire crackers when you least expect it.
The island is officially alive with the Christmas Spirit!

Caye Caulker is definitely a wonderful place to be at this time of year. The weather has cooled off a bit, but the sun is still shining, and there is just a general good vibe about the place. And with Christmas only a week away, preparations for the best day of the year have already begun.

For the Raggamuffin Crew (except for the crew who will be out on the sea working), Christmas Day will be spent together as always at jimmy and Charlie’s’ house for a big cook up. Whether we are eating fish, lobster, shrimp or turkey, one thing is certain, we will be celebrating as always with a rum in one hand, a big ol’ plate of rice & beans in the other, and with soothing reggae sounds playing in the background. Like every time we get together there’s also sure to be a lot of hollering and story telling going on between the bwoys, everyone talking over each other at the one time – Kev, Ellis and Jerry’s BIG laughs drowning out the others – and only falling silent to take a sip of there drink or a mouthful of food.

Kimani, Chris, Ellis and Jermaine 2010Leon, Jerry, Rams, Patrick, Jacob and Lil' Shane.

We will sit and talk until the sun sets, and after everything has cleaned up the real fun will begin.
Barefooted we will walk down Front Street, ears pricked, listen for where the music is coming from – a clear sign of where the party is at. The Split, I&I, Oceanside??? We don’t know where it will all be happening yet. But wherever it is we’ll be there, wining and grinding till the doors are closed behind us.
You ain’t seen nothing, till you seen how the Ragga Crew takes over a party. We know how to have a good time, that’s for sure.

And as the sun rises on the end of another Christmas, we will be thankful for what we have, for our close family and for the beautiful place where we live. Say good night to each other, punch out and head off to bed to get some rest…………after all, it will be New Years the week after, and we will have to do it all over again. Yes i!

Blessings and good wishes from all of the Raggamuffin Crew to all our friends around the world, and at home in Belize. Merry Christmas!

Origins of Raggamuffin

On December 21, 2010 in News

James Michael Jones, or Ras Jimmy as many like to call him, was born and raised here in Caye Caulker back in 1973 – ‘local as the coconut trees’ he likes to say!!. Like his father and the elders around him fishing and sailing were a part of life and he traveled up and down the reef as a boy, learning his daily trade.

As one of the first Tour Guides and the youngest sailors in the country of Belize Jimmy toured the reef, taking passengers to Hol Chan, the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, over to Turneffe, Lighthouse and of course down the reef to Placencia and Punta Gorda..

Jimmy’s dream was to create a team of sailboats and captains that could undertake all ofhis favorite tours under one roof, under one name … Raggamuffin Tours. The name would represent the energy of the company … a tour shop to offer the organized professionalism the tourist industry required but with the simple flavor of the Belizean sailboats that he loved so dearly.

In 2002 he realized his dream when his friend offered him space for his office in hisbuilding … Raggamuffin Tours was born. In 2004 Jimmy Jones married his current wife Charlie who has supported him in all of his endeavors with the business. At the beginning, before Charlie became a mother, she would help sell the tours but now her role is far more as Jimmy’s wife and mother of their two children Malik and Zahara.

Most of the Tour Guides within Raggamuffin have been working for many years at thecompany. Most have learnt their trade by many hours on the sea and are now very experienced Captains and Tour Guides. The staff are the success of Raggamuffin, their honest and reliable natures make them very easy for tourists to feel comfortable with – each and every one of them are proud to be able to showcase the best of Belize – it’s reef!