Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Caye Caulker rated as one of the best Winter island escapes in the World!!

On November 09, 2012 in Caye Caulker, Exploring Caye Caulker, News

The articles lead photo to represent Caye Caulker

We have to agree, and many of you would too … Caye Caulker has been rated amongst one of the 12 best winter island destinations in the world.

Caye Caulker is one of the smallest island getaways the magazine showcases but what we lack in size we make up for in charm!!  The article has the island nicely summed up not only mentioning the snorkeling (of course Raggamuffin is their choice!!) but fishing, mantee watching with Lionel Heredia and not forgetting perfectly delicious Belizean food from the ‘Little Kitchen’ – finishing off at the Lazy Lizard!!

The only disappointment would that the lead photo for the article could have given a little more to our island beauty – just having a look at the Raggamuffin Facebook page could have given a better visual on our little paradise??

For the article in full click here.

Queen returns from her renovations!

On November 07, 2012 in News

Ragga Queen during renovations.Ragga Queen yesterday.

We breath a sigh of relief when our the largest member of our fleet, Ragga Queen, returns after over a month long refurbishment and looks better than ever.  She has been repaired, re-newed and re-painted and she now shines in the sunlight like she was brand new!!

Passengers enjoying the sunset.Queen under sail.

Her renovations are an annual and extremely costly event but due to the enormous amount of work she undertakes up and down the Caye Caulker reef, incredibly necessary!!!  The transformation from her mid- renovations some three weeks ago to her appearance now, almost seems like two different boats!!

Aside from her sister boat Ragga King with her striking gaff rig set up, Ragga Queen is by far the most impressive of the sailboats within this region and perfect for our three day sailing and snorkeling adventure as her size makes those aboard her extremely comfortable!!

 

Caye Caulker at it’s best!

On October 30, 2012 in Caye Caulker, News

Island Link Interent getting its 'lick of paint'!Sobre Las Olas new beachfront yard - pretty!

With the fact that we were blessed with no bad weather, in fact very little weather at all during October – it appears that the last few days of October have inspired practically every business to invest in a coat of paint or even two!!

From hotels like Island Magic and Seaside Cabanas who have had refurbishment work, to restaurants like Don Corleone and Sobre Las Olas who have got a full lick of paint, not to mention the Island Link Internet Cafe – it appears that from boats to docks and buildings have been given their coat of spring, just in time for this years season to begin!!

So Caye Caulker is really looking its best – and that with the fact that it is the more ‘affordable location in Belize’, surely a holiday should be scheduled for the upcoming months??

Caye Caulker’s 1st live breakdance competition!!

On October 27, 2012 in Caye Caulker, Culture, News

The crowd of onlookers.Some breakdance acrobatics

And so it was, on an extremely hot and sunny Saturday afternoon – NYC’s B Boy Ultimatum gave Caye Caulker its first breakdance competition!  And so, from young to old, local to tourist lined the basketball court on Saturday afternoon to thoroughly enjoy this unique spectacle!

More acrobatics.More acrobatics

We were treated to two rounds and then a final to have ‘Short Legs’ be the eventual winner – chosen by unanimous decision by the crowd!  The guys are no doubt talented and fresh out of Belize City they looked just like we see on the television – real professional!!

Blayd Vernon - doing us proud!The eventual winner - Short Legs

What made the crowds day was the half time entertainment of gutsy Blayd Vernon (Wendy Auxillou’s son) getting up and showing how the young of Caye Caulker too have their own talent!!  Us locals cheered him and he did us all proud!!

Thank you B Boy Ultimatum – you are welcome back to Caye Caulker any time!!

 

What to expect from Halloween on Caye Caulker.

On October 25, 2012 in Caye Caulker, Culture, News

Halloween

Caye Caulker with it’s multi cultural population holds this tradition high and for those of us that have been around for years, it is one that we cherish.

This weekend (on Saturday 27th October) the ‘adult’ part of halloween – the costume party, will be held … commencing at 88 West with their Halloween Monster Bash, following on to the Lazy Lizard at the Split and then last but not least the Oceanside till 4am!!  Prizes galore will be given out and much will be had to drink during this process.  And the best thing is that Halloween is traditionally rained out but this year’s forecast is for glorious weather under the prospect of a full moon – too much fun!!

For those of you who do not live in a community like Caye Caulker it would be hard to imagine the enjoyment of this spectacle.  The whole island becomes alive – at least 250 people that we all know and love will make an enormous effort to disguise themselves under their costume.  With their costume persons takes on a new identity or character and this always proves absolutely hilarious!!  Can you imagine your local postman or bank clerk coming at you as Frankenstein or similar????

I can guarantee you that a costume to the party is not a pre-requisite as 50% will not dress up but just come along to enjoy the fun – this is no problem as, in my experience, there is always enough of those who have made the effort to go around.  This night is like no other and with very little tourists on the island, the local contingent is always in full force and ready to enjoy Halloween.

The kids version or the ‘trick or treat’ element of Halloween will always be observed the traditional 31st October – nice and early as it is a school night!!

So if you are on or near Caye Caulker, come join us – you will not be disappointed!!

 

 

Please understand that we are almost at the end of high season, festivities and a reason to celebrate has been low on our agenda but now high season is around the corner.  This twinned with a Belizean’s natural flair for the creative

Big up the Belize Shark Project!

On October 23, 2012 in Belize, Marine Series, News

Shark dorsal fin rototag being applied.BSP Team -

We have to be proud of our environmental pioneers here in Belize as they have every intention of ensuring our reef retains and indeed flourishes under their guidance!  The Belize Shark Project, just one of those groups have spent the last two weeks recording data of the various sharks in the area and tagging them at the same time.

De-hooking a Caribbean Reef Shark.Nurse Shark's data being gathered whilst in toxic immobility.

The purpose of this is to protect the ever decreasing shark population on our reef due to fishing . Sharks are apex predators that sit at or near the top of the food chain. They are vital components of healthy and functional marine ecosystems, playing key roles in structuring fish communities and fostering reef resilience.

The research enables us to understand better the habits and habitats of the sharks up in Northern Belize.  With sharks maturing so slowly it is important that they all reach the age to reproduce and also ensure that their breeding grounds are not disturbed by any fishing whatsoever.  The BSP has been there to educate the general public as to why they should not eat and fish shark and also lobby for additional rules and regulations to safe-guard these amazing fish.

The research areas were the Corazol bay, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and  in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve with our Nurse Sharks.  The key drivers behind this project is the well regarded Rachel Graham – Marine Biologist and active Environmentalist (in fact participating on one of the outings was a gentleman writing and article on Rachel for Mens Journal), much of the Belize Dive Services staff (including Chip Petersen the owner) and Hllmar.

The work is time consuming and expensive but our marine environmental warriors continually strive to protect what arguably is Belize’s jewel in her crown – thank you to all concerned!!

 

The Israelis dominate September and October!

On October 12, 2012 in News

Group of Israeli tourists enjoying sunset with Ragga King in the background.Israel's flag

Back in November 2009 a visa waiver was signed between Israel and Belize and to this day I am sure that nobody expected the positive effect that it would have for us here in Caye Caulker – and most likely the rest of the tourism areas here in Belize.

Since 2009 the numbers of Israeli tourists have increased beyond our wildest dreams.  Israelis are excellent travelers, September is their traditional ‘holiday’ month for Israelis but for us it is particularly those that have finished their required military service that pack their bags and want to explore the world, falling for the charm of Caye Caulker!!!

Belize has long been seen as ‘too expensive and or difficult to get to’ and therefore Mexico, Guatemala etc have been benefiting from their presence.  But, slowly but surely, each year more and more have discovered our island and now their highly efficient communication system that runs through those that travel through Central America, have firmly put Caye Caulker on the map!

Israelis seem exceedingly open to the new cultures that they are exploring whilst still traveling in groups together.  They love the laid back vibe and of course the beauty of our island and they have been very much supportive of us at Raggamuffin so we must also believe that they love quality snorkeling too!!

To be truthful, the Israeli’s have saved the day – without them it must be unanimous in saying that September and indeed October would be a desert with regard to tourists and, on the back of the fact that the Italian traffic this August was sadly much less than expected, we welcome them with open arms!!

And finally we have our well needed rain!

On October 10, 2012 in Caye Caulker, News

Muddy streets.The newly created swimming pool beside the Palapa Garden

For tourists the forecast for the next few days is not ideal, although you can always find something fun to do on the island whatever the weather.  For us this rain is well overdue and the earth and the plants are rejoicing in its arrival, plus we are very much enjoying the slightly cooler temperatures the weather brings!!

We were expecting this – the law of averages would have to dictate that rain was on its way as August and September were so unusually dry.  Not that we were complaining, it is great for business for the island and us locals appreciate good weather too!  But the rainy season is the rainy season and it looks like October will go out as being one of the wettest months of the season – thankfully we are closed at Raggamuffin!!!

The downside of the rain must be the pot holes in the roads and the flooded and very slippery streets.  First and foremost let me say that I would not change a thing – the streets are this way because it is the small price we pay to keep them beautifully sandy, if we pave/ tarmac these streets Caye Caulker would instantly lose its charm – don’t you agree?  I have faith that Tiger and his Village Council crew will be around shortly, after this big rain, to fill and smooth down the roads – it is a never ending job but for the most part of the year the roads have been excellent and for that we are grateful.

So, let us enjoy our rain – time to bring out the rain coats and rubber boots and layer up (although it truthfully is still warm) and perhaps, just perhaps, it is time to enjoy a good glass of red wine??

Caye Caulker leads Belize into the world of Tech Diving!

On October 08, 2012 in News

Chip Peterson, CJ Graham, Hilary Pike and Walter Williams

Chip Petersen, owner of Belize Dive Services here in Caye Caulker, continues pushing diving excellence by offering technical dives for his clientele.  Technical diving specializes in more advanced scuba diving techniques by using rebreathers and the use of breathing gases.  This offers the participants the ability to be able to explore parts of the marine world that would be beyond the possibilities the recreational range like say Cave or particularly deep dives.

Up until Belize Dive Service came along, none of this was possible as no dive shop in Belize had the equipment or the training to offer such dives – very much putting us at a disadvantage to our other competitive diving markets.

Chip is a qualified TDI (Technical Dive International) Instructor and has commenced today his second Technical Dive Course for the those interested in Caye Caulker.  The first course of 4 persons consisted of Pablo Bo and Eugene Bull (two of the very first technically trained Belizean divers, both on the Belize Dive Services staff) – and this course CJ Graham (BDS), Walter Williams (BDS) and Hilary Pike of Frenchies Diving.  All of which will be trained in Advanced Nitrox Diver and Decompression Procedures Diver at the end of their two week training!

Hilary commented that what Chip was doing her in diving terms was to push forward the boundaries of diving here in Belize and challenging those in the diving world here in Belize to go further and explore more of what we have here in this marvelous reef!!

What makes us proud is that it is all being undertaken here on Caye Caulker – proving that this small fishing village continues to set the highest standards for our tourists!!

Abundance of dolphins in front of Caye Caulker!

On October 03, 2012 in Caye Caulker, Marine Series, News

Children were fascinated by all the dolphinsDolphins

Dolphin sightings are fairly common, meaning if you go out on boats regularly you are very likely to see dolphins on a regular but by no means daily basis.  So when between Sunday to Monday an increased number of dolphins were sighted in front and around of Caye Caulker, it has some of us scratching our head to question our good luck!!

As I said, between Sunday to Monday there were at least 8 different sightings of different size pod groups of Bottlenose Dolphins directly in front of Caye Caulker.  On Monday, when the activity seemed to be at its peak, the dolphin activity was very much in front of the two water taxi docks and therefore did not require even a boat to see these beautiful creatures!  Pod groups varied from 15 or so dolphins to as small as family units (mother, father and baby).  We did question as to whether it was all the same pod that had broken itself down into smaller groups – a possibility but not always common as they normally travel together.

Numbers of tour boats, from Ras Creek, to Anwar Tours, E-Z Boy and even the San Pedro boats stopped to allow their passengers to follow these playful creatures – all just in front of us on Caye Caulker.

The reasoning behind the activity and our good fortune is not clear – was it the opening of conch season (a favorite food source of the dolphins) – perhaps the fisherman cleaning some of their conch on the way home to the island left a scent in in the water or some particular spawning going on in front of Caye Caulker.  We are left bewildered but extremely happy at their presence and wish that whatever the reason for their activity, it bring them back again to spend time with us!!