Thursday, May 30, 2013

Broken Island Group

We didn't realize it when we booked the trip to Belize so it was almost serendipitous that we chose a kayak trip to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary considering the last kayak trip we had been on was immediately following our wedding in Tofino.

We had been talking about doing a kayak trip with Dave's family for years and since our wedding forced everyone to be on Vancouver Island at the same time, we took full advantage and planned a three day trip into the Broken Island Group off of Ucluelet for the four days after the wedding.

Our friends Lana, Eric and Yuko also decide to join in our adventure, giving us a group of nine.

Yes, we essentially shared our honeymoon with seven other people... but we knew we would never get another good opportunity to do a kayak trip with this group of people.

(Besides, we consider our trip to Japan our official honeymoon.)

Loading the boats

Alot of paddles

Rocking the spray skirt

Ready to hit the water

Seal pup

Yuko and Eric preparing Japanese curry

Banana boats

White sand beaches!

Almost like Fiji ...

"Swiss Family Robinson" Outhouse

Today marks our fifth wedding anniversary. After five years, we still are each others best and closest friend. We are still each others first choice for sharing an adventure. We are still each others soul mate.

I am looking forwarding to sharing the next five years of adventures with Dave.


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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Glover's Atoll, Belize

Glover's Atoll was the ultimate reason we chose to go to Belize.

We are not the type of people who can spend a week sitting in a resort, so when we began to research Belize as an option for using up our Aeroplan points, the first thing I began to look for was something to do in Belize.

Neither of us are divers so that eliminated the main activity in Belize. So when I stumbled upon the Island Expeditions website with its photos of sea kayaks on calm turquoise waters and crisp white safari tents on white sand beaches, I was sold.

Since we are also not big into guided group tours, the Glover's Getaway & Rental Package was an easy choice for us. The package involved two nights at Island Expedition's private base camp on the stunning Glover's Atoll followed by six nights of self-guided kayaking and camping on Belize's barrier reef and cayes.

The first three days of guided kayaking and snorkelling would provide the perfect introduction to tropical sea kayaking before we were set out on our own.

Arriving on Glover's Atoll, we were given a quick tour of the island and then shown to our private tent to unpack and settle in.

Southwater Caye on Glover's Atoll

We could of chosen any of the luxurious five star resorts in Belize, but I was completely giddy at the chance to stay in a white safari tent. Although who wouldn't be excited to stay in a tent with a view like this...

We weren't given much time to relax before they loaded us all into kayaks for a refresher course in kayak safety including practicing wet exits and entries in the lagoon beside the resort. Dave and I were glad to get the chance to practice in a double kayak - plus it was lots of fun to practice in water that was warmer then the pool at UofC were I had done a rescue clinic before we left!

After a lunch of conch soup, fresh bread, salad, cake and fruit, we headed out on the kayaks for an afternoon of snorkelling at a patch reef.

The water was warm, clear and calm. The corals were stunning shades of yellow, red, purple and orange. The fish were bright and plentiful. It was one of the most beautiful reefs I have ever seen.

After some hammock surfing and beers, we were treated to a fantastic dinner of grilled snapper.

Following dinner, we headed to the bar at the dive resort that shared the island. The bar was located on a dock over the water and had a flood light pointed in to the water so you could see the giant tarpon, barracuda and nurse sharks swim by. The resident resort dogs were trained to bark every time a shark swam up. Amazingly they could distinguish between the fish and the sharks.

The next morning the whole camp was up with the sun to do yoga in the sand. After a hearty breakfast, we once again headed out to a patch reef for some snorkelling.

The one couple in our "weekender group" had brought along a spear gun and wanted to try to catch a lion fish. Our guide easily located a large lion fish for him to catch, along with a snapper. Returning to shore, he showed us how to safely filet the highly poisonous lion fish and then served us the lion fish with lunch. From the water to the plate in under an hour - can't get any fresher!

After lunch we paddled a couple miles across the atoll to a reef for more snorkelling. Afterwards we rigged sails on the kayaks and rode the wind back to camp. It almost seemed like cheating to sit there while the kayak gilded quickly across the water. However it provided a great opportunity to view the lagoon below - including a large nurse shark!

Dinner was a massive feast of BBQ pork and chicken, roast jackfish, vegetables, rice, potato salad and cake. Following dinner, we were treated to a bonfire with Garifuna drumming and dancing.

The next morning, once again, we were up early for yoga, this time on the dock. With the sun and sea breeze, it was truly one of the most zen yoga experiences I have ever had.


Following breakfast, we headed out for one last snorkel before we had to pack our bags. They fed us one more amazing lunch, before we had to catch the boat to leave the island.

The Weekender Group

It was a very bitter sweet to leave the island. Glover's tops the list as one of our all time favourite places and we were sad to have to leave... but we were excited to get started on the next leg of our sea kayak adventure.



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