Can You Get Enough Lobster? Caye Caulker’s AMAZING 2014 Lobsterfest & Bonding with a Manatee

The beginning of the Lobster season is a hard-and-fast date each and every year – June 15th.  And to celebrate, (there’s always a reason for a massive party in these parts) three different beach towns in Belize throw some pretty fabulous festivals.  The problem is…2 of the parties are on the same weekend so I have never been able to attend them all…to eat lobster to my heart’s content.

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This year, with the help of Tropic Air Belize, I made it to all three.  ALL THREE!  There was the night time block party in San Pedro where I got the chance to sample and judge 14 different restaurant plates, Saturday, I attended Placencia’s pretty kick-ass beach party…so well organized with vendors, SO MUCH LOBSTER, entertainment and more…

And then yesterday, the oldest Lobsterfest, much of which takes place in the incredibly strikingly beautiful setting of the Split…

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…view from the second floor of the Lazy Lizard…
IMG_7526and was absolutely fantastic.  What an AMAZING island party.  Here’s what went down yesterday on our little sister island of Caye Caulker.

My friends Carl & Lynn of Imagine Tours picked us all up in their boat and we approached the Caye from the back side and right through the split.

11am and the party was definitely starting…

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My first stop always happens to be hot donuts at Ice n Beans.  Has NOTHING to do with lobster.  But fresh out of the oil and caked with cinnamon sugar?  They are just a necessity on Caye Caulker.

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It was a beautiful day but when we first arrived, much of the population was glued to the TV.  World Cup’s Mexico vs. Netherlands.

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The streets were pretty empty…

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But that changed quickly.  With a Holland win, we headed down the main road to all the stalls and booths to check out the fest…

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I DEFINITELY had my eyes on these solid lobster kabobs.  Yum.

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The classics.  A plate with rice & beans ran about $25-$30bzd.

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Pause.  What a beautiful day!

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Endless lobster!

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There was a booth educating on sharks and their importance to our eco-system.

Hayley and Iliana got tattoos.  I got one too.  Sharks Forever!

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Does it make me look tough?

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They were handing out some very cute swag with a serious message.  DON’T KILL SHARKS.  Hammerheads eat Lion Fish.  Another reason to love Hammy.

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For more information on the group, why we should love sharks and what they are doing in Belize check out their facebook page – Mar Alliance.

Some residents decided to enjoy some shade and watch the crowd go by…

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Most were dressed in their best beach wear.  Love the shell headbands and glasses girls!IMG_7462I circled back for one of the very tasty kebobs.

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With music and dancing and drinks and people, the Split was like a magnetic.  Everyone ended up there…

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Kids were all in the water.  It was a hot one out there.

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The DJ was playing…

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The extra strong lizard juice was flowing…

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A super fun scene.  Dancing, drinking, sunning, hanging out.

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But we had an idea…sneak away and go see the MANATEE that hangs out at the North Cut at Caye Caulker.  Did you hear me?  MAN A TEE!  I’ve been in Belize for 7 years and I’ve seen one in murky water (really just a bowling bowl nose peeping out) and I’ve seen one from the air but I’ve never seen one up close.  I have horrible luck when it comes to these creatures…

We headed out.

IMG_7507About 10 minutes away, there were two boats already out there and we got in the water.  Carl is INSANELY patient.  We snorkeled around the cut for maybe an hour…saw some beautiful big eagle rays but no manatee.  Carl told me to be patient but sure that I am bad manatee juju, I headed back to the boat.  And he called out…SHE’S HERE!

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Holy crap.  She flicked her back tail and floated right underneath us.  Lynn and I hovered and she turned back to take a look at us.  She has whiskers and fine body hair and the cutest snout…this is no boring pea brained fish.  SHE LOOKED AT US!

Swiveling her fin to turn back around, she floated away.  What a gorgeous peaceful gentle creature doing her thing just a few minutes away from the huge Lobsterfest party.  I think we bonded.

Time to get back to a totally different scene…

We pulled back up to the Lazy Lizard.

IMG_7519The crowded was even bigger!

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We hung around for another hour and then it was time to head back home.

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Kind of fun getting a cheer from the crowd…

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Our bartender Bob poured wine into squeeze bottles for the bumpy ride home.

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What an amazing day…an amazing weekend…an amazing LOBSTER WEEK!  I won’t get all corny about how lucky I am to live in such a magical place where I can do this kind of thing but…

you get the picture.

BoatFavorite…Placencia, San Pedro, Caye Caulker…do I have a favorite?  I most certainly do.  But each is very different and I loved them all.

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But can you meet lobster AND a swim with a manatee?  My manatee?  I don’t think so…

MANATEEThanks Imagine Tours for the boat ride to Caye Caulker (it’s THE way to go), the AMAZING snorkeling experience and for owning an underwater camera!

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Bob Hawkins was also in our boat (he’s the classy one pouring wine into a squeeze bottle) and wrote this post about the experience:  take a look.






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  • Looks like you had a great lobster fest this weekend. One of your pics looked like Jerry Garcia and Bruce Willis were there too!

    • sanpedroscoop

      WOWZER! I had no idea. A pic of Jerry in Caye Caulker would be quite a coup…

  • Pingback: A fabulous day at Caye Caulker LobsterFest . . . but what a surprise finish « Bound for Belize()

  • Charlotte

    What a beautiful recap of lobster Fest. It looks like such a great time. Have to make it down one year.

    • Belize Blog

      Very fun time of the year…

  • Nicole

    I LOVE manatees! We were so lucky that we got to see some twice on our recent trip to Caye Caulker at beginning of July. We went out with CAVEMAN and he is the man! I highly recommend him!!! Our first full day we saw none. He said that the boats had chased the manatee out of the reef. Then the next full day we saw TWO! And…the best was our last day. We were in the boat and he saw their spouts. He told us he would stay with the boat and not do in any closer, so they wouldn’t get scared. My husband, 10 year old daughter and I slid into the water and starting kicking like crazy to find them. I looked back at Caveman on the boat and he pointed to their general direction, so that’s the way we swam. Then all of a sudden my daughter said, “Mom, there’s TWO!” We stopped and were staring in amazement. Then my daughter says, “Mom there’s THREE!!!” Sure enough another had joined in. Then a few seconds later, “MOM! There are FOUR!!!!” It was the most amazing sight I have ever seen. They just kind of floated and bobbed around each other. Two sort of looked like they were “kissing”. Then one came sort of close to me and we both gazed into each other’s eyes for what felt like an eternity, but was probably just maybe a minute. Then they swam off into the deep blue. It was a life changing moment for sure! My manatee dreams came true in Belize! Best part is that we DO have more than just our memories for it. My husband had a GoPro and got some great shots of these beautiful creatures!