We sorted our belongings and set up camp. The campground on Thatch Caye was set in a grove of young palm trees at the northern tip of the island with two pretty beaches. The campground is operated by the friendly people of Thatch Caye Resort which occupies the southern end of the island but is far enough removed from the main resort that the majority of the time we had the area completely to our selves. There was three hammocks, a laundry line, beach chairs, a picnic table and outhouse at the campground plus access to the bar, restaurant and showers at the main resort. Camping cost $15 US per night - pretty reasonable for our own private beach!
To test out our new boat, we set out across the channel to Man of War Caye. The Caye is a bird sanctuary for the frigates and boobies. The island was barely 10 m long and 5 m wide but was covered in hundreds of birds. Needless to say the island stank!
Returning to our camp, Dave decided to test out his fishing gear with no success. By time we got organized and made dinner, we were completely exhausted and more or less headed straight to bed.
The next morning we packed up camp and the boat for our first day of paddling. We set out south past the Coco Plum Range and Ragged Caye.
Halfway between Ragged Caye and Hangman Caye, we discovered a reef with a ship wreck on it.
After about 8 nautical miles, we reached Billy Hawk Caye. We were welcomed by the friendly Belizean family that owned the island and were able to sell us cold cokes and beer to go with our lunch.
Dave decided he wanted to continue onward, so after lunch we packed up the boat and headed towards Bread and Butter Caye. However once we arrived we found out that they were currently not allowing camping on the island so we spent an hour snorkeling in the reefs surrounding the island before heading back to Billy Hawk Caye.
Back at Billy Hawk Caye, we set up camp. Once again we were the only people camping. The campground had hammocks, laundry lines, picnic tables, volleyball court, outhouses and a shower, a beach on a beautiful little lagoon and two docks. There was also a covered kitchen and dinning area and some small cabins on the far side of the island. Camping cost $10 BZE ($5 US), beer was $5 BZE ($2.50) and coke was $3 BZE ($1.50 US).
After setting up camp we treated ourselves to showers, nachos and rum and cokes while we enjoyed the sunset. It was much deserved after a long day of paddling! Almost 9.6 nautical miles!
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