Belize Wedding Day 11: Radical

Oh man, today is our last full day, that’s kinda harshing my high man! We start with an early pickup headed from West Bay allllll the way to the other end of the island on a very windy and hilly road to Oakridge, a bit of an expat  enclave where we will join the Free Radical trimaran for a day on the water cruising down the coast snorkeling and eating food. In my mind it’s like the last day of our cruise in Fethiye. It takes us just over an hour to get out there.

As it turns out the owners of Free Radical are cruisers themselves, and have circumnavigated in a sloop with the same name. Since then they’ve found themselves in the hospitality business and running day cruises on their liveaboard. I spend a lot of time talking with the wife about my experiences as a kid, and theirs. We stopped in a lot of the same places but on a much different timeline. After their circumnavigation, not really ready to get back to “real life” having opened a new chapter and left their previous success behind, they moved to Roatan to run a flyfishing resort for friends not far from oakridge, and ended up staying long term. When I think of flyfishing, I think of fishing on rivers and lakes, but apparently they do it out on the ocean too, near shore.

We spend a lot of the day in the water stopping at various snorkel spots along the way, and we spot another eagle ray, and some squid. This time Jenn is there to see both. Jose though is totally toast and doesn’t want to step off the boat until we’re back. Too much sun he claims.

The snacks and drinks were the highlights, endless mixed drinks, and finger food of various kinds as we relaxed in the shade or for a dip. Things aren’t really nearly so put together as the Fethiye cruise we were on, but that’s a high bar to meet. Lunch was nice, but really signaled the turnaround point.

We talked a lot about life on Roatan, hearing many interesting stories. It’s hard to tell how much of it is just the type of people that are attracted to leaving the states for a place like Roatan, and have the wherewithal to actually follow through, and how much of it is actual Roatan. Honduras sounds really rough, and Roatan almost normal. Though we’re told that all of the ex-pats in the area listen to a specific channel and if someone uses the word “Uncle” it means they need help disposing of a body of someone killed in self defensing for fear of the family finding out what happened and coming for revenge. Our captain has had a gun pulled on him at least once, and has dealt with a lot of issues with theft. He wears it like a badge of honor. One of the other guests on the boat with already had a laptop stolen, and they talk about the ways in which they could try to get it back. The stories though take a bit of luster off of what was a really pleasant relaxing day, and we all start wondering about how safe our stuff is back at the house, we’re really wishing we had a safe to put our passports in while we’re gone.

We had motored out because the wind was on our nose, but now we could put up a foresail and at a relaxing pace sail on back to the harbor. I find us a spot in the shade of the foresail and we have some more drinks and enjoy some of our last bit of vacation.

The car ride back from Oakdale is just as long, but we all somehow fall asleep in the most awkward positions, jostled as the van navigates the windy potholed roads.

We enjoyed Blackey’s cooking so much we’ve arranged to have her back again. She wasn’t too happy with our stove, so this time most everything came already cooked. We didn’t mind, all the quicker to our plates even if it was a little cold.

As seems like tradition, Jenn had a pretty bad sunburn and was lobster red. Her treatment is to cover herself in Noxema which pulls the heat away. It smells very strong, but I help her put it on, layer after layer until we’re all out. We change to aloe from there and run out again. She’s going to have an uncomfortable flight tomorrow, but at least everyone at home will know she’s been to the tropics?

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