The view from the window at the place we’re staying in Maya Beach.

Dales view in Maya Beach

Suzanne is taking photos so when we get home, I’ll have some better images, but we saw a crocodile in that water yesterday and a huge iguana in one of the trees. The iguana’s head looked just like a T-Rex, continuing the Jurassic Park theme.

We took a sailboat from Caye Caulker to Placencia, camping two nights along the way, and arriving Sunday night. The sailboat was a “fun, but…” experience for me. Twenty-four people on a small boat is sort of a lot, and sitting on hard fiberglass for hours of sailing got old. It was incredibly windy our first night of camping and I didn’t get a lot of sleep. The second night of camping was on Tobacco Caye, a lovely little island with lots of small, colorful houses clustered together on white sand, with scattered palms and mangroves. Also a bar. Right next to where we were camping. During spring break. The people bellowing out ‘Don’t Stop Believing’   were having a great time, and I did think about going out and joining them — resistance feeling futile — but instead I just sweated in the hot tent and wished for the night to be over.

That said, sailing was beautiful. The snorkeling means lots of opportunities to see amazing creatures — lion fish, moray eel for R, spotted eagle ray for S, conchs and sea urchins, and of course, colorful fish of all shapes and sizes. I love the moments of discovery with snorkeling, when you are simply floating and suddenly you realize that an entire school of fish is busily chewing on the seaweed below you. The boat would stop, sometimes in what seemed like the middle of the ocean and the captain would say, “okay, go ahead” and there would be entire worlds under the blank expanse of blue.

The captain and his crew were incredible, too. I live in a major tourist capital, so I know how good people can be at smiling for the tourists but also how hard that can be for anyone to maintain hour after hour. These guys were still smiling, cheerfully answering questions, jumping to help out, singing and laughing and making jokes three days in. And Captain Ramsey was a fantastic cook. Turns out I do like conch, at least in his conch ceviche and another conch dish he made, and that conch doesn’t actually have to taste like shoe leather. His food was easily as good or better than that at the restaurants we’d eaten at and with more options. He did a coconut curry fish that was delicious, and at the same meal, shrimp sautéed in butter and jerk spices with a little parsley and cilantro and then rum that I am going to try to make at home because it was so very, very tasty.

There is so much more that I want to write about but I am ever so tired of fighting with this Internet connection and iPad keyboard and everyone else is now up. Time to start the day. I think we’re going to start with a hunt for milk for our coffee. The local supermarkets are an adventure in themselves.