I feel completely and utterly privileged each time I make a jump here in Belize. The views are breathtaking beyond imagination and description. The blues, turquoises, greens and coral whites of the Belizean ocean (Caribbean Sea) depict an oil painter’s palate that moulds, shifts and changes, fluidity of colours enmeshed together. Photographs can barely do it justice when the vision is unable to encompass the feeling, smell, magnitude, vastness and depth of the Islands from under canopy. My first jump was truly a sensory overload of colour and magnificent splendour.
Today, Richard Grimm organized a jump into Caye Caulker, situated 21 miles northeast of Belize City and 11 miles south of Ambergris Caye. Caye Caulker happens to be the second-most developed and most-populated of Belize’s islands after Ambergris. An excess of adrenaline pumped through my veins as we circled the airport (a small landing area with a very long paved runway, skirted by marsh and coarse grass / shrubbery) with three separate passes, ensuring the perfect spot and tiptop communication. Rich’s commanding quality as a skydiving organizer is his attention to safety, establishing rules, guidelines and boundaries that are admiral and have been repeatedly successful.
slaDE and I jumped last, opening higher than the others, all the while marvelling at the kaleidoscope of beauty below and around us. Just the two of us and a GoPro mounted on slaDE~s helmet, attempting to capture the essence of that moment of pure bliss and joy. A safe landing was had by all on both loads which skydived in to Caye Caulker for the very first time in this airports history. A first for us all indeed (‘case of beer!’ as we would call it).
After packing up our gear on the porch of the Tropic Air building, those who didn’t return to San Pedro for a skydiving work day remained on the Island, exploring the new local scenery, restaurants and bars. The locals describe Caye Caulker as a less touristy, less expensive, more friendly sanctuary, with all the beauty and benefits of San Pedro. The vibes are laid back, easy-going, calm. I’d have to agree. San Pedro is haven tourista. Caye Caulker is the epitome of a laid back lifestyle.
After an informal and lovely roadside lunch with Tim & Pam from the UK, we made our way to join the rest of the skydivers at the popular ‘Lazy Lizard’ bar. How does one describe a sample of paradise? This area of Caye Caulker (not necessarily the bar itself — although the Pina Coladas are divine) is magnificent in its low key, tropical ambiance. An area for lounging in shallow waters surrounding the inlet made for luxurious sunbathing, playing and swimming, drifting with the strong currents leading out in to the channel inlet.
After much drinking of yummy frozen rum drinks and Belikan beer, our hired Catamaran pulled in to the harbour of Caye Caulker to pick up the entire crew of 18 skydivers and spouses. We had small groups of 5 transported out to the Cat via dinghy, with South African Tim and his fiance as our Captain and host for the afternoon. What else does one do in paradise, aboard an anchored boat built for 20, other than go diving and swimming under the Cat when the waters are pristine, clear, blue and warm? From the moment we set sail aboard this luxurious twin hulled ‘yacht’ named Infinity, plenty of drinks, smiles, laughter and community flowed between us, fulfilling a life’s dream of friendship and utter bliss. It was if we were living a dream life, and personally, I felt that I had to continually pinch myself in order to believe that this experience was truly happening. A glorious day that instantly fills me with sunshine, love and the biggest smile ever. With the insane number of photos taken on this trip to Belize, I’ll have plenty to remind me of the epic vacation of a lifetime.