Hey everyone, Jeff here.
So once a year Rebecca (warily) hands over the wheel of her blog to me.
Ok… perhaps not to sit solo in the driver’s seat, but I’m allowed a seat up front to collaborate. That one day, of course, is April 1st. Remember that year you all panicked because you read Caye Chapel was going to be turned into an oil refinery? Ha ha.
And whereas nowadays it’s all too easy to lose track of what date it is, it’s obviously not April 1st.
So… why the guest blog?
Eight months ago things were bustling at the camp with the start of a new season. Cayo Frances Farm and Fly (“the camp”) was booked full… We had friends down from British Columbia, repeat guests from Northern Minnesota, an annual hosted week with guide friends from Kamloops.
My typical day at the camp starts a bit before 5:00 AM. I wake up, cajole sleepy dogs out of bed, wander over to the main lodge building, and start setting up coffee. Marvin (our chef) arrives in the kitchen shortly thereafter and begins preparing breakfast while I retreat to my desk, coffee in hand.
I love this time of the morning. The sun is coming up, our resident Great Horned owls are going to sleep, guests are not yet up and about, and I get to sit (as Marv toils) and watch pushes from fish in the lagoon and birds leaving their roosts. When the guests arrive, I’ll help with breakfast service and chat with the guests, often interspersing fishing strategies for the day with snippets of the morning news.
Well, 8 months ago my snippets were joking quips about a “looming pandemic” as news of a mysterious illness first trickled into the headlines. Little did I suspect that we’d be where we are today. But…here we are.
Individual experiences over the last 8 months have certainly varied, depending on where you live, what your job is, how old you are, and if you’ve been fortunate enough to stay healthy. There have been universal constants though. Our daily routines have been upended. Most of us (including all of us in the tourism industry) have taken a financial hit. The only thing that seems certain is uncertainty. (And dogs.)
Familiar routines gone, Rebecca and I filled the void. We kicked off quarantine by parenting a dozen puppies (whoa.) Mocha (the mother dog) became a permanent addition to our household. Rebecca mastered the art of the bagel. I entertained myself fishing for bonefish and permit with classic steelhead flies (and boring Rebecca to TEARS as I’d regale in the results.) We conserved as much as possible. We have a growing collection of face masks hung by the front door. Somehow…Rebecca has yet to murder me for all the time we’ve spent together. And little by little, all of our new routines became familiar ones.
Which… brings us back to the old ones.
San Pedro and Belize are finally opening back up to tourism. Arrivals are starting to trickle back in. Boats are out on the water. Travel and fishing photos are filling my Instagram feed. And, for reasons far too numerous and nuanced to spell out here, Rebecca and I have decided to continue down the road of our new routines… and whatever new ones might lay ahead of those. This guest blog, you see, is to announce that we are offering the camp property for sale.
The time is right to pass the torch… to someone with enthusiasm and perhaps a kindred vision, who can take what we’ve created and make it their own. The camp is certainly one of the most unique properties on Ambergris Caye. I’ve always said that “it feels like a different island” there. What we’re offering is truly turnkey, property, equipment, furnishings, boats. The camp could easily continue to be run as a remote fishing and paddling destination. It’d be a wonderful private escape. We’ve owned the property for 15 years and only in the last few have begun to scratch the surface of its potential.
To everyone who has come through our doors over the years, know that the single greatest reward has been the relationships we’ve forged.
Anyone interested reach out via email ([email protected]) and we’ll forward you a complete outline of information.
It’s been an amazing experience seeing Cayo Frances Farm & Fly come to fruition. We’re excited to see what’s next.
Beautiful photo at the camp by Ali Wunderman, author of Frommer’s Belize
And back to me – Rebecca aka The Scoop
I have taken countless pictures of the camp…posted way too many photos…and Boteboard did some epic (I don’t use that word lightly) videos. Like this overhead view of the camp’s location. Yes…this is Ambergris Caye! You can even see the reef!
Here are a few photos and links. We love this camp so much…it’s truly a one-of-a-kind special spot on Ambergris Caye.
Both are SO amazing, they make me giddy.
Jesse from Costa Rica and Back Water Flyfishing made an awesome video (AMAZING drone footage) at the camp too
See below for many of the blog posts I wrote about Cayo Frances and the west side of the island.