Charter Life

The day we arrived back in Belize, after the Caribbean Sea crossing, we got the news that Rufus’ mom was ill. None of us knew at that stage that she had Leukemia but, over the next few days during the prep for our next charter, it escalated from being “tired and needing blood transfusions” to “full blown, advanced AML” and emergency prep for chemo.

There is always a time of stress before a charter begins, the last few hours to get everything perfect before the guests arrive (which isn’t so bad actually, unless you are a perfectionist…) and then there is the wait to meet our new guests and gauge their “vibe” in the first hour or so, which is extremely important as it sets the tone for the rest of the charter.

This specific charter was for a couple, Ken and Elizabeth, on our company’s smallest boat, Sea Dale. She is a 38ft Leopard and we are rather fond of this boat, not just because she is South African designed and built, but because she is a great boat to sail and live on. The other bonus is that we get to host mostly couples on her, because she is smaller, which means the charter is more personal and you almost always end up becoming friends. 

We collected our guests in Belize City, at our base in Cucumber Marina, and sailed 6 nights down south to Placencia. We were obviously more stressed and distracted when this charter started, because of what was happening with Ma back home, but after a few minutes with Ken and Elizabeth, discussing their love of good food, world travel and music we immediately relaxed and we knew this was going to be a great few days ahead.

We had so much fun exploring the southern islands, which Rufus and I hadn’t yet had the chance to visit in such perfect weather, we enjoyed great meals together (I am always more relaxed and creative when our guests love food as much as we do!), snorkelling, exploring mangroves and deserted islands, dinghy rides, swimming, photography, music and great conversation.

During those seven days we made the decision to fly back to South Africa, immediately after the charter was done. We want to thank Ken and Elizabeth for being such a great couple to share that charter with. They didn’t know about Ma until the end of it, but by just being the relaxed, positive, happy, inspiring people that they are they helped us to take our mind off things back home and zero’d our work stress šŸ™‚

Just to show you how perfect the weather and destinations were (and to make you a teensy bit jealous) here are some photos of that route – no editing/filters/photoshopping whatsoever. Enjoy!

this friendly

this friendly “little” guy followed us around the island (Ranguana Caye) and was quite keen on having his photo taken. Did I mention that I haven’t edited these photos at all? – not even cropped them… That is the actual colour of the water. In every photo – no tricks.

Ranguana Caye's beach

Ranguana Caye’s beach

all he needs is his goggles and his GoPro

all he needs is his goggles and his GoPro

Rufus scouting good snorkel spots for Ken & ElizabethĀ 

Rufus scouting good snorkel spots for Ken & ElizabethĀ 

exploring Laughing Bird Caye's snorkeling spots

exploring Laughing Bird Caye’s snorkeling spots

pano of Goff's Caye

pano of Goff’s Caye

Goffs Caye

Goffs Caye

Lapa on Laughing Bird Caye

Lapa on Laughing Bird Caye

the view of Laughing Bird Caye from Sea Dale's helm

the view of Laughing Bird Caye from Sea Dale’s helm

Ken and Elizabeth kayak back home to Sea DaleĀ 

Ken and Elizabeth kayak back home to Sea DaleĀ 

Ruf resting after a long day of sailing, snorkeling and exploring

Ruf resting after a long day of sailing, snorkeling and exploring

Sea Dale anchored off Ranguana Caye

Sea Dale anchored off Ranguana Caye

view of Sea Dale from the restaurant on Ranguana Caye

view of Sea Dale from the restaurant on Ranguana Caye

my second time on a SUP...

my second time on a SUP…

Ruf exploring the beaches of Ranguana Caye

Ruf exploring the beaches of Ranguana Caye

a private shady spot on Ranguana Caye's beach

a private shady spot on Ranguana Caye’s beach

4 Comments

  1. Ke Corathers
    May 7, 2015 / 5:30 pm

    Oh Kate you are far too kind! We had a wonderful time due to the hard work of you and Rufus. We had no idea what you were going through, a tribute to your professionalism. You both worked tirelessly to make us comfortable and happy. We can’t thank you enough!

    It was sad that the circumstances were what they were and we feel terrible about Rufus’ Mom. We hope that we can do it again and its great you are back in Belize!

    Thanks for posting these, you just reminded us how magical it was!

    • kate brand
      July 12, 2015 / 11:05 pm

      You two are the kind of guests/people/friends that make our job such a joy and the best reason to get up for "work" in the mornings! Thank you again! X

  2. Vivian
    May 10, 2015 / 6:06 am

    So lovely!

    • kate brand
      July 12, 2015 / 11:04 pm

      Thanks Viv šŸ˜€

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