When our work in the capital city was completed it was time to relax and have some fun. Island style!!! We woke up around 5 am and packed out bags and headed back towards the coast of Belize City. When we arrived we headed straight towards the ferry station and bought tickets destined for Caye Caulker. Once aboard the ferry it was a 45 minute ride to Caulker. The ride was noisy, and bumpy, but it was great and the anticipation of getting to the island was overwhelming.
Upon arriving on the beach it felt like we just crashed landed on paradise. The island is very small and probably the most authentic place I've ever been. There isn't a single paved road or concrete sidewalk on the entire island, just sand and more sand. Before we all split up as a group we decided to eat a bach side lunch together. I ate the fresh shrimp and conch ceviche, and it was absolutely delicious. We all had ideas in mind of what we wanted to do on the island, some wanted to swim, others wanted to shop, but I just wanted to fish.
I walked around the island for about three hours searching for a place to rent a rod and reel. I went to shop after shop but, much to my disappointment no one would rent me one with agreeing to a charter deal first. Finally at the last shop in Caulker I walked out defeated and I hear a voice from my left that hollered to me, "Hey mon, you cant have dat sad face in dis beautiful place." A little stunned, I looked at him and apologized and told him what I'd been searching for. He looked at me with a lemon pucker face and told me, "You don't need no rod an reel, just some line, a hook, and a bait." Huh!!?? I had never considered just hand lining it before. I went to the local market and purchased a spool of line, a few hooks, and a few weights. I found a cool place to buy fresh sardines for bait and even had the opportunity to swim with some very large tarpons. I found a empty pier and quickly got my new gear all tied up and hooks baited. I let out some free line and hurled my into the ocean. It wasn't but just 10 seconds into waiting I felt a hard pull and I instinctually set the hook. The fight of my first Caribbean fish on a hand line was one of the most adrenaline filled moments of my life. I remember just thinking, please don't spit the hook, as I pulled this mystery monster in. As I finally got him up to the dock I quickly realized that he wasn't a monster but he fought like one and I added another species to my bucket list, a Barracuda.
That was my only Cuda of the day but several small "pretty" fish followed and my island adventure goal was complete. After fishing I went and got cleaned up and met up with the rest of my team for dinner. We continued to bond and discuss the awesome work that we had done during the past week and how amazing God is.
I am so very thankful for Mr. Waller and the CSMA organization for allowing me to come along for this awesome and inspiring week of serving others and enjoying an exotic place. I very much look forward to jumping on the opportunity to come back to Belize.