Archive for the ‘News’ Category

G Adventures ‘cleans up’ Caye Caulker as part of their Glympics!!

On July 26, 2012 in Caye Caulker, News

Tour Leader Zema - the eventual winner!Tour Leader Luis - runner up

There have been some strange antics around Raggamuffin these past two days, ending in persons seemingly covered in garbage, all in the name of sportsmanship!!

G Adventures (the largest adventure tour company in Central America to pass through Caye Caulker) is celebrating the Olympics by participating their very own Glympics.  Just like the five rings of the Olympics they have five core values at G – Embrace the Bizarre, Do the Right Thing, We Love Changing Peoples Lives, Lead with Service, Create Happiness and Community).

The whole G Nation, from Africa to Asia and to Central America are posting video or photos on Twitter about what these core values mean to them.  G Adventures basecamp in Toronto will be giving out bronze, silver or gold medals to each photo or video.  We will see which part of the world will win the Glympics.

Here in Caye Caulker, two G Adventures groups participated in an island cleaning competition.  The game:  Pick up as much trash as you can in half an hour and then:  Decorate your CEO (Tour Leader) with that trash.  Both groups competed hard and both CEO’s (Zema and Luis) ended up being covered in trash – but in the end and there does have to be a winner, Zema’s group won for their creativity.

The Village Council truthfully do a fantastic job of keeping the island and particularly the front of Caye Caulker clean, however, the more residential areas are really the responsibility of locals and these are the areas that need the assistance – therefore this was the focus of the clean up!  All in all 10 bags of trash were picked up in just a few hours, so it sends a huge message to their passengers and locals alike that we need to take care of how we dispose our trash!

Caye Caulker is a beautiful place and G Adventures passengers helped keep it that way yesterday – THANK YOU G ADVENTURES!

To follow their CEO’s and staff around the world by following #Glympics on Twitter!

 

Captain Kevin and his snorkelers save turtle in Hol Chan!!

On July 25, 2012 in Caye Caulker, Marine Series, News, Ragga Crew

 

Alexandra (and her extremely good humored friends), flanked by Madai and Adela - with 'save the turtle' KevinThe HCMR crew painstakingly extracting tar from the turtles mouth yesterday!

Yes, can you believe it but yesterday at Hol Chan, Captain Kevin and a group of G Adventure snorkelers found a turtle covered in oil and saved its life!!

The group were out snorkeling in the Channel with Captain Kevin being their guide, when they came upon the motionless turtle.  The turtle initially looked dead and covered in black oil that surrounded it but when they lifted out of the water and away from the oil the turtle looked to try and gasp for air.  Kevin removed the excess oil from its mouth and quickly summoned the attention of the Marine Park Rangers who quickly took the injured turtle back to San Pedro to be treated!!

Green turtle after tar was removed

Initially all concerned, including Rangers felt that the turtle had traveled some miles with the oil as this had been an isolated incident that day and there were no reported oil spills around San Pedro that day.  However, the day was far from over!!

Only minutes after the turtle was saves, continuing with their snorkeling of the Reserve the same group encountered yet another patch of oil and this time snorkeler Alexandra Bagge from the UK managed to tangle herself in the heavily sticky black liquid!!  Enough was enough and the extremely good humored group made their way back home and commenced on the intensive job of trying to get the oil out of Alexandra’s hair (gasoline and huge amount of shampoo) right outside the Raggamuffin office – everybody was involved as Madai and Adela drove poor Alexandra to the clinic to try and save her hair!!

We are happy to say that Alexandra’s hair is looking as good as ever and experience is now quite a story to tell her friends!!

The Hol Chan office reported this morning that the turtle is doing better than yesterday – he is under strict observation and they are hoping that he continues to improve and can be set back into the reserve as soon as possible.  They are very much looking into the cause of the oil as there is no drilling here in Belize and as mentioned, there were no reported oil spills from boats.  What is a small possibility is that there can often be natural oil spills from a location called Rocky Point – all of these are being looked into to avoid this unusual incident from happening again!!

Keep up the good work Hol Chan Marine Reserve staff!!

 

Ragga King returns looking good!

On July 23, 2012 in News, Ragga Crew

Ragga King finished renovationsRagga King - notice the bottom of the boat needed new planks

All boats need an enormous amount of tender loving care but particularly wooden boats.  Our three wooden boats (Ragga King, Ragga Prince and Ragga Gal) get re-painted twice a year – one of those times the paint job requires pulling the entire boat out of the water to dry and renovate old and rotten planks or seating, applying a resin to the boat to make them ‘water tight’ and then  finally the re-painting.

Ragga Prince, after renovations but before her name was painted back on!

This is the time of the year that the boats are one by one are hauled up out of the water and when each one is finished, it is like a beautiful work of art!!  Ragga Prince (our green sailboat) always takes the longest as she is the oldest of our wooden boats and drying her tends to take much longer.  She was pulled up at the end of May and Ragga King commenced her work two weeks ago.

Over the past two weeks King required a number of planks replaced, the seating, the stairs and even the cock-pit have all been renovated.  She has also a 35 gallon gas tank added inside her to increase the amount of space we have during the overnights.

The November overhaul is merely just painting the inside of the boats as within the next few months, the boats will need it!!  And for all those asking – yes of course we have thought that fibre-glassing the boats would minimise the enormous work and costs that the wood boats require – however, these are traditional Belizean built boats and that is the way our passengers like them!!

Caye Caulker’s newest attraction!!

On July 17, 2012 in Caye Caulker, News

Young Ragga Crew - Harry Jr and Malik.Yellow quadricycle circling the island today.

And this bright yellow quadricycle is quite the newest attraction here on Caye Caulker.  Both tourists and particularly young locals have been seen making their way up and down the streets for the past two weeks enjoying the benefits a bicycle gives – breeze and speedily getting from A to B and of course the key benefit for the youth, the fact that they can all do it together on one bike!!

The bike is rented by the half hour $5US per half hour through the Mirimar Hotel and it has been on hot demand since Lobster Fest when it came into its own!

Today our Raggamuffin youth have been enjoying the bike – young Harrison Jr (Harry’s son) and Malik (Jimmy and Charlie’s son)!!    When you come to the island you should rent it too – it is quite the newest fashion!!

Four Seasons Resort given go-ahead for neighboring Caye Chapel.

On July 12, 2012 in Caye Caulker, News

Caye Chapel - neighbor to Caye Caulker

It was announced by Dean Barrow (Belize’s Prime Minister) that go-ahead had been given to the Qatar Sovereign Fund to create a Four Seasons Resort on the tiny island – only half a mile away from Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel.

It all links together the fact that Bill Gates who co-owns the Four Seasons Hotels Inc with Prince Al-Waleed bin Tal of Saudi Arabia, has spent some time here in the last few months – obviously scoping out the project.

Whilst this on initial thought the job creation and probably countless other factors make this project look like it will benefit our small island, many have a huge concern.  In developing this island the potential negative effect on our reef could be enormous … our own Caye Caulker Marine Reserve Shark and Ray Alley could be at a high risk.

In Belize a country where its natural resources undoubtedly make it unique, we are ashamed to say that money rules everything.  We are concerned that the voice of the environmentalist may not be heard until its too late and in a project of such enormity those all important corners that can be cut will definitely have a negative effect on life around it.

We hope that the powers that be in Government do ‘have our back’ so to speak in order that the impact of such a project will only be positive and not negative – fingers crossed.

If you want to read more on this subject, click here.

Big boats and weddings…

On July 10, 2012 in News

The Split yesterdayThe African Queen moored behind Caye Caulker

July has announced itself in style as there was a dramatic increase in tourists in the past week!  However, after Lobster Fest there is still a sleepy feel to the island as those amongst us are still recovering from the excesses of over eating and drinking for a weekend!!

For those who have been watching, out to the back of the island in the Caye Caulker bay is our newest accessory – the African Queen!!  This enormous pleasure boat has been around Belize for the past few weeks but spent this weekend here on Caye Caulker.  We have no information about the owners of this handsome vessel but if they are listening, if they ever anyone to ‘look after it’ in their absence, the Raggamuffin team would be more than happy to accommodate!!!

Caye Caulker is an excellent wedding destination!African Queen

And finally a wedding … highlighting that more and more Caye Caulker is couples chosen destination for their matrimonial getaway!  Whether you are eloping or your entire wedding party is coming here, Caye Caulker has something for everyone.  Congratulations to the happy couple who tied the knot here yesterday – we are sure that your marriage will be blessed due to this tiny island paradise!!

 

Introducing Ragga ‘Max’ – our new guard dog!!!

On July 06, 2012 in News, Ragga Crew

Estice, Max and LisetteMax - year old German Shepard

I have to, with pride, introduce you to the newest member of the Raggamuffin Team – Max!

Max is a 1 year old German Shepard that we are lucky enough to have adopted last week.  Estice and Lisette Schraven have raised Max but unfortunately for him they have been forced to move back to Holland.  They have been looking around for someone suitable and responsible enough to adopt this handsome dog and the family of Raggamuffin are the lucky ones!!

MaxMax and Malik

Max’s role in Raggamuffin will be that of security!  By the nature of his breed this fiercely protective and loyal dog will police the property and the personel of the crew as well as have a lot of fun with us too!!

We want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Lisette and Estice – we promise to look after your boy!!!

June’s Photo of the month

On July 03, 2012 in News, Photo of the Month

June's photo of the month!

Congratulations to Rachael Hogg who took this photo last month!  We have seen very recently that sunsets can create amazing color contrasts in the sky and the sea that almost look un-real – we love this photo and we hope you do too as it will be our new FaceBook profile picture!!

Lobster Fest 2012 – A huge success!!

On July 02, 2012 in Caye Caulker, Culture, Exploring Caye Caulker, Marine Series, News

Lobster Fest 2012 stallsKimani and Jimmy enjoying Sunday afternoon!

It began on Friday with one of the most tightly contested Miss Lobster Fests in history and the rest of the weekend did not disappoint too!!  Congratulations again to Miss Sylvia Joseph – she was definitely Raggamuffin’s favorite choice and I believe the island too.  However, it must be said, in any given other year, any one of the other contestants could have been the winner!!!!

West side of the SplitEast side of the Split

Ish, Ali, Dane and Harry - waiting for the greasy pole to start.Vito and Hon Manuel Heredia (Minister of Tourism) with their wives.

The turnout was enormous .. the streets from Friday onwards were teaming with those wanting fun and of course lobster and we were all rewarded with both!!  After the very successful pageant on Friday night, contestants and the audience dance did not end until 4am.  And again on Saturday, the big bash, the party did not finish until 5am!!!

The Split's greasy poleThe 2 Shanes

The atmosphere was electric for the entire weekend, everybody was out to enjoy the music and the energy that this annual celebration creates.  The Split also (as usual) had their say and provided additional entertainment for the weekend.  Many of the night time revelers nursing their hangover with yet another beer or similar during the day – not forgetting their very memorable greasy pole hanging out on to the water causing much attention!!

Kids enjoying the bouncy castleBelikin beer - the more adult entertainment

This is the one time of the year that the lights are really upon Caye Caulker as San Pedro and Placencia had already had their Lobster Fest last weekend.   We shone, we did ourselves proud in true Caye Caulker style – bashment – for anyone that wanted to celebrate with us!!

Thank you, thank you and thank you again to the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest committee – each year just keeps getting better – our expectations for 2013 are high!!

The SplitBustling streets on Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2012 – to date.

On June 30, 2012 in Caye Caulker, Culture, Exploring Caye Caulker, Marine Series, News

Lobster stallsFisheries Stand

TrampolinesThe Palapa bar

The Police presence!Games for the kids

Bouncy castleMore lobster

The streetMore lobster ...