Belize – Planning a SKABC Trip South this Winter

  • This topic has 17 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 7 years, 7 months ago by Michelle Vandenbroek.
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  • #11612
    Randy Chatterjee

    It was suggested to me by more than one SKABC member after October’s inspirational presentation that a coordinated group from our ranks might want to plan a trip down to Belize with Island Expeditions this winter.  So, I’d like to begin that discussion.

    Timing?  The season is November to roughly April, with the peak in February and March (both due to the coldest rainy weather here and the driest conditions there).  When might people want, or be able, to go? It seems a “week” (9-10 days) might be the core of a trip with some going earlier or staying longer to do side trips on the mainland.

    Type of trip?  Guided, semi-guided, loose and dispersed or with a commitment by at least some to stay together, more distance or more snorkeling?   All these are details to hash out or become the grist for a hybrid trip with some time together an the advantage of coordinating/sharing some aspects of the logistics.

    One other advantage of getting a group together is cost.  We might be able arrange a group discount, or at least share some common costs, such as water taxis.

    And finally there is the advantage of going with others you already know and might actually want to spend more time with, both down here and back here in BC afterwards.

    Ideas, thoughts, plans?  Just post them here in reply to this.  No commitment is interpreted from a response, and no doubt only a tiny percentage of those interested will be able to make a finally agreed week for a consensus program.  The discussion alone might also inspire individual trips.

    This year SKABC has to organize MORE TRIPS.  Why not Belize?

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  • #11701
    Michelle Vandenbroek

    My friend and I did the self guided trip last winter. We rented their kayaks, stove and water bags.

    We shared a water taxi to and from Tobacco Cay. The kayaks were left there for us. Tobacco Cay had limited camping. Some campers we met had their valuables stolen from their tent there. The snorkeling was great at the outside reef. Tobacco Range had an insane amount of mosquitoes and the old campsite was overgrown. Coco Plum was deserted and had no outhouse, but tons of space to set up a camp. We were windbound for 3 nights here. (No snorkeling). Hangman was the best island for camping. The owner was very hospitable and it was a good location to make day trips from. We stayed the other 3 nights here. (Not much snorkeling). Camping possible at Hawkins, but very busy. Great dinners and cold beer! Great snorkeling at Bread and Butter (no camping) and Water Cay.

    The best part of our trip were our 5 days at Glovers Atoll resort. The diving & snorkeling were amazing. The island was so beautiful, the food so tasty, the beer so cold….. Good fishing too. The cleaning of the fish is a spectacle! It attracks all kinds of fish, rays and nurse sharks! You can rent kayaks at the resort.


    Michelle V.

    Michelle Vandenbroek

    Reed Clarke

    And, yet another update.

    On Saturday, November 12, 10:00 am at the Jericho Sailing Centre, upstairs floor Member Lounge, we’ll be meeting with Leif Sverre, Islands Expeditions Director, to work out details for our upcoming Belize trip in February/March of 2017.

    Anyone with a buckle who would like to swash along on our Pirates of the Caribbean adventure, is welcome to join us at this meeting.

    Cheers, Reed

    Reed Clarke

    An update on our Belize trip.

    We have lost one and gained one, so still sitting at nine paddlers. Well, okay, in a sense we have lost two. Rand isn’t coming. But, he never intended to. He just wanted to get the ball rolling.

    The timing appears to be zoning in on February or March.

    Contact has been established with Island Expeditions Director Leif Sverre.

    We are now working on setting up a meeting with Leif to firm up a time and plan trip details. Based on comments received to date, it looks like most are leaning towards a self-guided trip.

    If, like Nick, you are lurking, undecided, now would be a good time to step forward. That meeting is going to be very important for shaping our Belize adventure. If you are going to join the party, you will want to be at the meeting! Not saying we couldn’t add people later, just that we’ll be doing the heavy lifting on details at our get-together.



    Nick Heath

    If January is out, then I might go separately because we’ll be in Yucatan until early Jan and would be close by, more or less.  I realize I had not expressed interest earlier (lurking) but my Mexico plans were evolving,  so the SKABC plan would be either conveniently sequential or just not feasible.

    Hope the trip happens and is wonderful for all!  29C almost like bath water!

    Reed Clarke

    Welcome aboard George.

    I’m going to arbitrarily drop January. That would give us:

    • Rose – February
    • Gaila – February
    • Herb – February
    • Emily – February/March
    • Reed – February/March
    • Brian – February/March
    • Rob – February/March
    • Randy – February/March
    • Michelle – March
    • George – March/April

    Wow. Ten. I’m impressed.

    Just in case anybody is curious, the water temperature in Belize (likely measured close to shore in bays) is running about 29 degrees today. That would be 29 degrees celsius, not fahrenheit. The air temperature is around 25 degrees.

    According to a show I was watching last night, the average Caribbean water temperature in February is around 20 degrees. Oh ya.



    George Prevost

    Hi, everyone.  I’m interested, too.  I’m flexible as to timing but would prefer March or April when the ski season is winding down.  My preference would be to spend at least ten days, maybe more.

    Reed Clarke

    Welcome to the party Herb.

    So, let’s update the ‘time preferences’ list and change the order to give it some structure:

    • Emily – January/February/March
    • Reed – January/February/March
    • Rose – January/February
    • Gaila – February
    • Herb – February
    • Brian – February/March
    • Rob – February/March
    • Randy – February/March
    • Michelle – March

    It looks to me like we need info from the company on what time periods are still open and we need to discuss among ourselves how flexible we are with the above time preferences.

    One suggestion I have from looking at the list is that January should come off the table.



    Herb Johnston

    Herb Johnston is interested in the Belize trip idea.  I do a lot of skiing and things in snow, so maybe by Feb, some of that will have been done. Flexible on type of trip, but probably self guided, but either might work.  Keep me in the loop, for info – every day should be an adventure so someone said. Thanks for Belize startup idea.  HJ

    Reed Clarke

    Let’s keep this ball rolling!

    What I’m seeing is at least eight people, possibly more with spouses.

    Time preferences look something like this:

    • Gaila – February
    • Brian – February/March
    • Michelle – March
    • Rose – January/February
    • Rob – seems to be angling towards February/March
    • Emily – January/February/March
    • Randy – seems to be angling towards February/March
    • Me – totally flexible (ie. no job, no social life)

    I see a couple of potential time conflicts in there. Do we want to hash out timing sitting at our computers, then get together for a meeting to discuss trip details? Or, should we just go straight to a meeting?

    Do we need information from the tour company before we can establish time options?

    Let’s figure out a plan and start working through it!



    Brian Pegg

    Hi Randy –

    Yes I am also keen to do some warm weather paddling when I get sick of skiing….

    Feb / March would be cool.  I would probably be more attracted to self-guided for cost reasons.

    Snorkeling / fishing can take precedence over making miles


    Gaila Eddie

    Hi Randy,

    Fantastic idea, and I was planning on going as a winter active vacay. It would be great to connect and do some of that with club members. I thought if part of the trip was guided, it would provide a lot of information, about the history, people, culture etc, that a self-guided could not.

    I am thinking February is good.  I am overdue for a vacation and would like to go sooner than later.



    Reed Clarke

    Okay. Just got back from a local walk here in Burnaby. Faced the elements bundled from top to bottom. Was lucky to get out when the rain eased off. It is now torrential. There were strong gusts of wind, bringing down copious volumes of leaves and branches, some quite large. Memo to self; bring helmet next time. My trail was more puddle than path. And, worst of all, I had my manhood crushed by some freakazoid poncing about in shorts and t-shirt.

    Would I really want to leave all this behind? Would I really want to go away somewhere warm and fuzzy, missing out on all kinds of cold, wet, gloomy winter days here in the Lower Mainland?

    Um ya, I probably would, actually.

    Belize sounds nice. Let’s do this!

    Michelle Stefani

    I’m interested in going for one week over spring break.  Dates being the second week, which is from March 19th to March 26th, 2017. More interested in day paddles utilizing their tent site base camps.  Possible water taxi to another area for half of the week. I plan to be in Cancun the week before this March 11th to 19th.

    Rose Sirois

    I was contemplating Belize for my winter get-away trip – I had both diving and kayaking in mind.  So I would pursue diving on my own (unless there are other divers in the group) and would be delighted to join a SKABC adventure.   Jan/Feb would be my preferred months.  – Rose Sirois

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