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Sailing on the MokaKat – Part 2

Experience life on a sailboat in Belize.

In part 2 of our sailing on the MokaKat series we continue on from Placencia Harbor and set sail to Cary Caye. We’re looking forward for some serious snorkeling and to experience the beautiful reefs of Belize.  Scroll down to see amazing underwater pictures of reef fish and coral. Read about our first night on the sailboat, the layout of the boat and our fishing stories: Sailing on the MokaKat – Part 1

We got up early again and over coffee, Dale, the owner of MokaKat, and Nick started planning the days adventures. The weather had been cooperating beautifully so far and this day promised more of the same. Lots of sunshine and fun sailing!

The captain of the sailboat MokaKat

Silke and our Captain Dale

Having fun on a sailboat in Belize

Augie, Nick and Silke enjoying the sun and open ocean sailing

Fishing and Sailing in Belize

Nick and the catch of the day

A few hours of sailing later and our destination came into view. We hooked up to the mooring ball at Cary Caye and settled in for a couple of days of leisure and exploration.

Arriving at Cary Caye in Belize

Cary Caye (it’s pronounced Cary Key) is one of the many little islands in the Caribbean waters of Belize.

Cary Cay stands on one of the longest reef ridges in the central lagoon: it is 460 m long and has a total area of 4.29 ha. Learn more about the cays of Belize.

The Cary Caye reefs are perfect for snorkeling.

I received an underwater camera as an early birthday present from Nick right before we set out on this trip and I was anxious to use it. First we spent some time exploring the island though. From the side we anchored, we could see lush mangroves, palm trees and a nice little sandy beach.

Cary Caye in Belize

Cary Caye in Belize

Exploring Cary Caye in Belize

Nick and Dale exploring Cary Caye

Beautiful plants are growing in dead coral

Beautiful plants grow in dead coral on Cary Caye

It didn’t look quite so nice on the other side of the island though. A ton of garbage had accumulated on the waterfront, including numerous sandals (never a matching pair), plastic bottles, broken balls and various other discarded items.

Exploring the Cary Caye in Belize

Augie, Silke and Nick getting to the other side of Cary Caye

Trash at Cary Caye

Plastic Trash on the windy side of Cary Caye

If you have ever wondered what happens to the stuff you loose on the beach or falls off your boat, now you know. It washes up on the shore of some little island eventually. This is very sad indeed!

My underwater camera was put to the test.

Check out my underwater Pentax camera review, I used it for all of these underwater camera shots. No editing was done to the pictures.

Nick in the Caribbean

Nick is snorkeling for the first time

Augie and Dale getting ready to snorkel

Augie and Dale getting ready to snorkel

I have to admit, I experienced a minute of panic when I first started out snorkeling. Having my face underwater and breathing through a mouth piece takes a little getting used to. Once I realized what I was looking at below me, beautiful underwater plants and reef fish, breathing through my mouth became more natural and I started to enjoy myself. We had a ton of fun underwater!

Silke Snorkeling in Belize

Silke giving the thumbs up

As you can see, we took awesome pictures of soft and hard coral, like the brainy looking stuff, and I was able to catch a few reef fish pictures as well. My underwater camera was taking great pictures!

Blue Reef Fish

Coral Reef Belize

Purple Reef Belize

Reef Fish Belize

Reef in Belize

Soft Coral in Belize

Starfish in Belize

Underwater Reef in Belize

We ended up snorkeling at two different spots and Dale was trying very hard to find lobster for our dinner. Nick joined in the search after a while, but unfortunately no luck this time.

getting ready to snorkel

Dale and Nick on the dinghy

Dale from MokaKat Sailing

Dale showing me a Sand Dollar

Visit Dale’s blog MokaKat Sailing to see the lobsters he’s caught in the past. Dale also has awesome dolphin pictures, underwater pictures of many different reef fish and of course some very interesting sailing stories. He and his mom Augie have been sailing the Western Caribbean waters for the past 6 months.

We enjoyed another beautiful sunset at sea and ended the evening with a nice grilled chicken dinner and a few fun rounds of Rommé. It was the perfect ending to a fun and exciting day on the sailboat.

Belize Sunset

A beautiful ocean sunset

Our last day on the sailboat

On our last day on the MokaKat we awoke bright and early in anticipation of sailing back to Monkey Caye and the Steppingstone Resort we are house sitting at the moment. Dale had everything ready to go and we were just starting out setting the sails when the wind decided to quit. After countless adjustment to the sails he determined the best course of action would be to run the engines.

The MokaKat Catamaran

The MokaKat on the horizon

We made it back to Steppingstones Resort in record time.  It was sad having to leave Dale, Augie and the MokaKat behind. Thank you so much Dale & Augie for inviting us on your sailboat and sharing fun, new experiences with us. We had a blast and hope to see you again soon!

Read about our first night on the sailboat, the layout of the Catamaran and our open ocean fishing stories:

Sailing on the MokaKat – Part 1

Have you experienced life on a sailboat? Let me know in the comments below.

6 Responses to Sailing on the MokaKat – Part 2

  • That island looks like it could have been Bonaire, where we just came from. Especially the rockiness of the land and garbage on the windward side of the island!

    I’m glad you two get to experience the Caribbean in this way. I know first hand how it’s never as you thought, nothing is. And I’m sure there are a lot of creature comforts that are hard to let go of. I can relate to the no hot water situation, for example. Still, after a bit, you’ll learn what we did, the comforts, although nice, can be a distraction. Some of the challenges we faced changed us for the good. I came home with an awareness about how much we waste and take for granted in our first world countries. I also walked away with a renewed sense of how important being good stewards on this planet is and how it needs to be a daily priority.

    Enjoy the sunsets and each other and ignore the bugs. Put some DEET on and go for a walk I say!

    • Hi Tony, Thanks for visiting and leaving us a comment.

      To tell you the truth, I wish we could for a walk, bugs or no bugs. Unfortunately we are pretty much stuck with a short strip of shoreline and nowhere else to go. It’s even been too windy to take the Kayaks out.

      You are absolutely correct about being much more aware now and trying to be better stewards to the land. Seeing all this garbage along the shore and all over this small country is sickening and makes you want to help in one way or another. Our expenses are astronomical and we’re feeling the financial pinch more than anything.

      On the upside :) We’ve met some really cool people here, gone sailing for four days on a catamaran, went snorkeling, fishing, and really have had some quality time together as a couple.

      • Why are your expenses so high? I thought the dollar traded so well that you’d be living like kings!

        • I wish :) You get 2 Belzian Dollars for 1 US, but most of the prices are doubled as well.

          Gas is $5.50+ US a gallon and all the groceries, except bulk items like rice, flour and sugar, are more expensive than what we’re used to. Our main expense though is having to pay the wages and SS for the hired hand that lives on site.

          Our only upside is that we didn’t sign a contract to stay. We’ve given them our resignation and we’ll be leaving March 21st.

          Is the California cost of living reasonable?

          • Goodness, what a nightmare! Our host in Bonaire tried to pull that on us, even assuming that we’d purchase food for the pets, which consisted of real beef and chicken and very costly. Then she wanted us to pay the utilities and the cleaning woman. We said no. This seems to be the darker side of house sitting, where these owners try to pass their liabilities onto unsuspecting travelers like us. Also, like you’ve experienced, groceries and gas were outrageous.

            California can be expensive but the difference in the U.S. is you have choices, such as discount grocery stores and weekly farmer markets.

            We restrict our dining out and opt for a bottle of wine in a park versus ordering in a restaurant. We cook at home and go for all the free attractions, which there seems to be no shortage. If we do dine out, we stick with the brew pubs and pizza.

            Also, the home owners let us use their cars. I doubt I’d ever sit again without some sort of free transportation.

            Given all that, we’ve found it very affordable and quite lovely. In fact, it’d be the perfect house sit if it wasn’t for this huge dog who requires a few hours of attention each day. She’s adorable but her needs equate to that of a small child. Still, we’d most likely come back if asked.

            We’ve decide to stay on the West Coast as long as we can. We just picked up another gig in Portland starting next weekend and they’ve offered their car for our use.

            Your experience is so similar to ours, I may write an article about why the Caribbean and Central America may be a poor destination for digital nomads and expats.

            Hopefully your next sit goes better. We’re learning as we go too!

  • Oh, we don’t feel so bad now… Didn’t want to come across as big cry babies (or complete idiots), but we were also expected to pay for the dog and chicken feed, gas for the generator and lawn mower, etc, etc.

    We decided that if we continue with house sitting at all after this we would stick to the US and shorter duration. We ended up investing a lot of time, effort and money into this endeavor.

    Of course, it hasn’t been all bad either. If it wasn’t for this gig we would have never met Dale and Augie and some of the other wonderful people that live in and around Monkey River.

    Feel free to include us, our experience and blog in your upcoming article. ;)

    Good luck to you and yours. Maybe someday we’ll all be house sitting in a close proximity and we can all sit down and swap notes about our many different adventures!

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