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Belize Diary- Sabbath
Sabbath morning, amidst some indecision due to a couple downpours, it was decided that we would go ahead and take the 90 minute boatride out to one of the cayes (pronounced 'keys'; a small island) where snorking was known to be good.

Leaving about an hour later than planned, everyone was soon loaded into the four boats, along with sack lunches, sunscreen and insect repellent.

I might add that we have had no problem with insects.  Many of us are wearing insect repellent, but we are not seeing the insects we had anticipated seeing.
One by one, our boats headed out to the Carribean Sea through a river outlet. No, we didn't see any alligators or piranha. It was a nice jungle cruise, that day.

 
Once out in the open sea, the boats opened their throttles, and we all sped toward our destination seven miles away. 
Just a thought. . . if you have trouble loosing your hat or cap when boating, try putting bottle corks on the ends of strings, run through grommets in the brim of your hat. This should ensure that your hat will float until the boat can return to rescue it.

Hey, this really could be a solution to a common problem! Next thing you know, it could become cool!
 Whew! After a long, but pleasant boat ride, we arrived at our destination to discover that the island's accommodations were fully taken. We were going to have to move to a neighboring caye. Before we did. . .
. . .Pastor Garrison and others couldn't resist the crystal clear water. About 3 feet down, a large starfish was spotted. So Garrison picked it up and displayed it briefly for all to see. 
Just how warm was the water?

Kelsey Campbell tested it for our boat, assuring us that it was quite nice.
We motored to the next island and found an area all to ourselves. Boats were unloaded and people moved over to the covered area under which we had decided to serve lunch.
It was once a pretty nice covered area right by the sea. This is a privately owned island with a couple house-type structures. Someone had built it for themselves. A hurricane had done serious damage to it. However, it was left standing.

This island is for sale for $1 million, by the way, but Armondo, our tour guide, says it is only worth about $500,000--just in case you were looking for a unique gift.
It soon became apparent that we had a problem. We were about to get dumped upon by one of those heavy, but short-lived rain storms.

They start with just a few raindrops. Just as soon as you start to ignore them as something that concerns you very little, the skies open up.

Then, you get wet. . .very wet.
Some people seemed quite oblivious to the fact that there was a hard wind blowing and large drops of rain being driven to the ground. After all, it wasn't cold. The warmest place to be was actually in the water.

This palm tree was almost laying on its side, likely uprooted by the hurricane a couple years earlier. It was apparently calling Ivan's name and the storm just added to the intrigue.

As tropical storms do, this one passed in about 15-20 minutes. We moved lunch to a more protected building and used the time to eat our sack lunches. Were they good lunches? Who knows?! We were all standing around enjoying this impressive downpour.
Ripe coconuts were ours for the picking. Several people scaled the fairly short coconut palms and went to work opening them and enjoying these fresh coconuts.

Several coconuts were opened so that everyone who wanted to try the soft meat of the coconut was able.
The stormy conditions and later afternoon hours produced a rough 90 minute ride home in the boats. At first it was just rough, choppy water. As we got about halfway home, white caps were beginning to appear and the waves turned into swells.

Swells are the kind of waves that you climb to the top, then crash down into the trough. In case that thought causes you some concern, a couple boats had engine trouble, besides. We had to do some consolidation of passengers into the better boats, leaving one boat to limp home. The wind was behind us, making this rough ride better than it might have been if we had been heading into the wind.

Before long we motored into the smooth channel from which we had departed. It was a wonderful adventure, enjoyed by all.