A Day on Caye Caulker Belize After Hurricane Earl
Today’s guest post comes from Meandering Fool (A funny Belize Blog) aka my friend Kendall. Sadly his business, Ecologic Divers is one that got leveled in the storm. Thankfully he and his amazing crew had the dive gear and boats safely out of harm’s way.
So what do you do when there is no longer a shop to run a dive and sailing business out of, or a dock to park your boats? Not to mention a whole bunch of staff that rely on their daily job to sustain themselves.
You put one foot in front of the other do whatever it takes to keep moving forward.
In this case, diving got temporarily put on hold, home instantly became the primary office and a nearby dock not as badly damaged became a temporary pick up and drop off location to shuttle travelers to the Catamarans docked offshore for their day trips and sunset sails.
In yesterdays case it was a Caye Caulker Day Sail and Kendall was willing to snap a couple of pictures and share his account of the island after the storm.
Meandering To Caye Caulker Belize For The Day by Kendall Beymer
So I hoped or hopped (I’m really bad about knowing the number of consonants in words – so whichever one of those means “I got on buy jumping”…although I didn’t literally jump) on an Ecologic Divers day sail over the Caye Caulker, as I wanted to meander around a bit and get a feel for their “Earl recovery”.
My first impression was that things looked great. The debris had been cleaned up, and while a few buildings were ‘misplaced’ and many docks in extremely rough shape – my feeling was that they had done better than Ambergris Caye. Mainly judging the docks; yes some were gone, many were damaged, but my basic (and very unskilled estimation) was that they had a much higher dock survival rate than AC. Then I got a bit more into things and realized they still have some big issues.
Most noticeably is the sand – the road is a foot or more higher in some places; people still shoveling out, and even some roadside stands that appear to be built for access by people shorter than 5′ only. Another very significant issue is the lack of current (that’s a Belizean term for electricity) to a good portion of the island. Crews were hard at work in several places.
The most obvious damage was at the Split – the whole area was fenced off…though the gate was open so I helped myself to a tour! The game area was washed away, the front sun deck is gone, the shallow water palapa tables are gone, the beachside seating is gone; at least there were lots of people at work to repair it all. Lots of sand and supplies were being brought in.
Not sure if it was the lack of current/electricity or just hurricane hangover – I often felt like I was the only person on Caye Caulker. It was a ghost town! I’d say 9 of 10 places were closed; I walked down the middle of the road with no worries ’cause no one was driving. It felt almost post-apocalyptic in a way – except the people that were there were much more friendly than I imagine a bunch of people would be after an apocalypse…no zombie sightings either.
Keep a Good Thought.
These two shots below of Caye Caulker are courtesy of Astrum Helicopters taken after Hurricane Earl.
To see rooftop and helicopter aerial pics of Ambergris Caye after the storm, click through on I’m On My Way, What Should I Expect?
Note: If you or someone you know on Ambergris Caye needs help after the storm, look for San Pedro Red Cross crew around town in their red vests conducting needs assessments. You can also go directly to the ground floor back of the Town Council building to the conference room and get help with assessment there.
Helping Hurricane Earl Victims
Check donations can be made payable to San Pedro Lions Club Atlantic Bank Account #211 3829 02 (Can be used for wire transfers from abroad) Lions telephone number 011-501-226-2477