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 🙂
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!