Wow. NOW we’re talking.

Southwater Cay

Emma Jo at Southwater Cay

Glee is now raging in full force.

The 10-mile cruise from Garbutt Cay yesterday took us southeastward toward the barrier reef, from 30-foot depth to something in between 8 and 10 feet, cruising in water so disarmingly clear we could just about count the hermit crabs on the bottom as we motored along. On the way, we passed by Tobacco Cay, which seemed attractive to quite a few cruisers, including the Texans from yesterday.

We anchored within 100 yards of the north end of Southwater Cay, after aiming at a mooring ball closer in and determining there was only about 4.5 feet of water under it. The area has grassy patches, so we found a clear patch of sand to drop the anchor and back down about 50 feet of chain. The water is so clear that we could physically see the anchor dug into the edge of the sand patch.

Immediately, we lowered the dinghy and the spare gas can and fumed our way to the dock at the Blue Marlin Resort on the north end of the island. We were met by a lovely, charming woman who welcomed us with a smile and told us we could tie up the dinghy just about anywhwere on their dock – that she didn’t think they had any gas to spare but a facility toward the center of the island might be able to help. A speedboat arrived just minutes after, and unloaded a family of 4 that were planning to stay in the resort up to the weekend.

With the speedboat came supplies for the lodge, and one of the guys, seeing the gas can in our hands, asked if we needed help. We asked if they had any fuel to spare, and he told us to set down the can, have a walk around, and they would help us as soon as they finished unloading their boats.

So we had a look around. This place is just about the most beautiful little spot we’ve seen since Huahine in Tahiti, 20 years ago. The lodge is a collection of guesthouses, reef-facing cottages, and little concrete domes that can accommodate up to 32 guests on vacation, diving, or swimming packages. It’s so lovely that we feel compelled to offer you their website, where you can take a virtual tour of the place: The owner of the place is Rosella Zabaneh, and you can email her at Here are a few photos we took, trying to capture the magic of the place.

After a look around, we sat in the shade with a couple of beers and the lodge’s boat captain/dive master, a Nicaraguan named Ron, who entertained us with stories of how he ended up in Belize after escaping the Sandanista/Contra unpleasantness during the 80’s. He confirmed what we have been researching on the internet – that Nicaragua is now considered to be one of the safest countries in Central America.

Once our chat with Ron had finished, the guys brought us back our full gas can, pre-mixed for the outboard. The manager, Juliette, came out to us in the garden to settle the bill — $6.00 US per gallon. Eek. But considering the distance of the nearest gas pump (20 miles), the fact that the gas had come in by speedboat, and had been pre-mixed for us with such gracious service, we were happy to pay it.

As we headed back up the dock to fuel the dinghy and go, the Texans motored in.

Once we had the dinghy properly fueled up, we headed the half mile to the south end of the island, where Ron told us we could snorkel right around the edge of the pass. On the way toward the pass, we did find a few jacks, some snapper and damselfish, but when we saw a 3-4-foot nurse shark wrestling with something about 30 feet in front of us in less than 4 feet of water, we opted to make like Lloyd Bridges and back off to the beach.

Back on the boat, it was mojitos on the back deck as the sun went down (thanks again, Lise – we just finished the last can of mixer!)

Since we didn’t stop at Tobacco Cay, we’ve opted to stay here another night and dine in the restaurant at the Blue Marlin. Tomorrow, if the wind stays like it is, we’ll head across 15 miles of ocean to Glover’s Reef, one of the only true atolls in the Northern Hemisphere.

This morning, while enjoying the second cup of coffee on the aft deck, a family of dolphins came cruising by within about 25 feet of us – mom, dad and baby.

Yup. NOW we’re talking.

Speak Your Mind