Weekend Update: A Mega-Yacht, an Awful, Island-Changing Development Approved and More

It’s mid-April and the HEAT IS ON!  Hot and hazy all week with temperatures on the mainland almost hitting 100.

Tomorrow’s forecast indicates a spritz of rain but I doubt it.  It hasn’t rained a DROP in over a month and a half.

Fingers crossed.  Our cisterns could use it.

I’ll start with some photos from around town and move into my “headlines”.

Sign for Wild Mango’s – so so cute.

The view thru Holiday Hotel – the first hotel on the island. The entire island lost power from about 6:30am to 11:30am on Friday.  I was enjoying the generator and air con in Atlantic Bank when it went back on.  And when I realized that it was Friday the 13th.The beautiful beach front porch at Estel’s Dine By The Sea. I had TONS of errands to run on Friday – paying the phone bill, paying hotel taxes, paying Varela’s for some lumber delivered….


A source that would like to remain unnamed sent me some photos.  A HUGE yacht called the Romea anchored off the coast of Belize last week – at exactly the same time that Bill Gates was spotted playing tennis on Ambergris Caye.

Romea Yacht in Belize

The “Romea” is a 268+ foot yacht that costs just over $1,000,000US to charter for a week.  That’s just about $6,000 per hour if they are willing to do short -term charters.

For more information, see the site.

While the Romea has 4 jet skis, a limo tender*, tons of SCUBA gear and LOTS more amenities, she does NOT have a helicopter pad which makes me think this must be another super wealthy visitor to Belize and not Mr. Gates.

Bill Gates Limo Tender

*A limousine tender Limo tenders are designed to deliver guests from ship to shore in style and grace, offering a fast and – most importantly – comfortable and dry ride.  It is generally designed in the same style as the mothership.


The west coast of Ambergris Caye is most famous for Secret Beach, the crystal clear water and the fly fishing flats that support a large industry on our island.

And just off the coast of Secret Beach is a small mangroved island – very popular for flyfishing – called Cayo Rosario.

A few years ago, it ended up in private hands – the transfer questionable at best.  And one year ago, a development was proposed with about 100 over the water structures and a water and waste underwater pipeline to Ambergris Caye.

UNDER Hol Chan Marine Reserve – under these important flats.

I wrote this post about the transfer – the developer – and this CRAZY plan.

This SHOCKING proposal was approved this week.  Over 40 OVER THE WATER STRUCTURES in a marine reserve – over water because this tiny island can’t hold them.

I visited the caye last June on a hot hot day.  Here’s what the area looks like…Cayo Rosario is in the distance.

Just think of the amount of dredging that will be needed to build 40+ cabanas and the infrastructure in this marine reserve.

Just take a look at this original plan.   Why can you build giant structures – larger than the actual area of your island – over a marine park?

It makes you wonder – what EXACTLY is a marine reserve?  With this approval, it seems like it means nothing.

The same politicians that announce the expansion of Hol Chan Marine Reserve with great fanfare and many pats on the back are the ones who sign it away to developers?

I have LOTS more to say on this topic but I’ll leave that until I get the final details.

And I’ll close this “newsletter” with a photo of a giant tarpon.  Huge migrating fish that frequent the flats of Belize.

Luckily, I guess, these larger fish can migrate when the water fills with silt from dredging and sewage pipelines.

The tiny fish that later populate our reef?  They don’t have those same choices.

Simon, our most recent guest at Cayo Frances Farm & Fly, with one of these big fish.  Catch and Release only!

What a beautiful fish.  And the reason SO many people visit Belize.

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