It’s a rare occurrence for me, but after a really tough spring, including the loss of my mom, I needed a vacation. Not like my usual, 100mph adventure vacations, but an actual R&R, “butt-on-a-beach” vacation with my wife. And she was happy to oblige! A week later, we were in San Pedro, Belize, the destination of choice for Houstonians and Texans alike.
Upon arriving at Athens Gate, our resort for the week, we indulged in a couple glasses of rum punch, and took a leisurely walk down the beach, able to exhale for the first time in a while. It was good to be there, sand on our toes, calm lapping of the carribean against the shore, and the sound of the palms rustling in the wind.
The next morning i woke up at 5am, walked out to the beach and enjoyed a cup of coffee on the boat dock while the sun rose. Fishermen passed by in their panga’s, some bound for the reef, others for the flats. The day was pretty lazy, lounging in hammocks over the water, the sounds of Jerry Jeff Walker and Jimmy Buffet soft in the back of my mind; coaxed into further relaxation by the perfect Pina Coladas our bartender was serving.
The next morning though, the need to explore was alive. After my cup of joe, I took my snorkeling gear to the end of the dock and hopped in. I was quickly welcomed by a large, smiling barracuda, and thought “it’s too early for this!”
Back at the resort, refreshed by the small adventure and the cool water, i made arrangements to chase some bonefish through Yellow Dog Adventures, and with then with our resort to go snorkel the reef. Until then, more pina coladas!
When Rojo pulled up to the dock the following morning, my wife was glad to see that his panga was suited perfectly for a lounging guest. To the flats! A novice fly fisherman myself, Belize was the perfect place to develop my skills, and Rojo was the perfect captain; patient and quick with a joke. Catching my first bonefish was elating, and my wife, ever the encourager, championed me on between pages of her novel. The weather was perfect, the fish compliant, and boat ride back was iced down. The ideal adventure.
The next day we took a boat out to the reef and did some snorkeling. The reef off San Pedro is amazing, teaming with life. The water is clear, and the depth variable, so pick your comfort level. For me, that was deep, where i could swim through some formations, get on the bottom with rays and sharks, and explore walls. For my wife, the preferred depth was right on top of the reef. Not too deep, not too vast.
On the way home we enjoyed a final couple drinks at Jet’s Bar in the airport, an institution when departing. And we slapped a PAKMULE sticker on the wall before we bid our beach paradise farewell!
If you’re looking to do some international travel, but still apprehensive about your ability to communicate, your safety, or the time it’ll take to get there, head to Belize. Specifically, San Pedro Island.
If you’re newer to fly fishing, and want to chase some bonefish, Belize is the place. The fish are relatively unwary and excited to chew. Get in touch with Yellow Dog Adventures, and Grey York will fix you up. Ask for Rojo if he’s available and tell him i said hello!
Until Next Time!