Mid February 2021

This past weekend we headed over to Hopkins for a little fishing, beach time, and some Valentine’s Day relaxing. The weather could not have been more perfect with the days in the 80’s and the nights in the low 70’s, plus no wind at all.

The beautiful beaches of Hopkins.

This was great, as we had a day planned out on the water to do a little tarpon fishing. We did find the tarpon, we could see them everywhere, but they just wouldn’t bite. After trying unsuccessfully all morning we decided that we had better just go and catch a few small snappers so at least we would have something to eat for lunch.

A small privately-owned island 12 miles offshore.

There is a whole string of small islands 12 miles or so off Hopkins, some are resorts, some are private islands and some are uninhabited. We ended up on Bread & Butter (a small, maybe 1 or 2 acre island) where you can pay a small fee to use their grill and palapa to cook up your fresh catch.

Lunch is ready!

Our captain, while diving for conch and lobster, speared a big hogfish for us. We had caught enough other fish for lunch, so this delicious fish was taken back to the resort and put in their freezer for us to take home. Actually, we’re surprised we got the fish back, as everyone at the resort wanted it. In a couple of weeks, he will get put on our grill whole with a pineapple-habanero salsa and then stuffed into tortillas for some awesome fish tacos. Hogfish are highly sought after by spearfishermen and are highly regarded as a delicacy. They say they are the perfect combination of texture and flavor. Sweeter than grouper, flakier than Mahi, and richer than scallops. Of course, there will be some margaritas flowing with those tacos, now we just have to decide who to invite over for this special treat.

A delicious Hogfish!

Out on the reef, there is a place they call bird island, actually, most of it has washed away and is now just some trees sticking out of the water. Anyway, the trees that are there, are full of frigates and I mean hundreds of them. The male frigates puff up their red throat during the breeding season. A couple of interesting things about frigates is that they have a wingspan up to 7′ 5″ and can actually sleep while flying.

Must be breeding season, the males are all puffed up.

One of the afternoons while we were in Hopkins, we headed over to the river to do a little bait fishing. I backed the truck down to the river’s edge, cast out the lines, plopped ourselves down on the tailgate and we enjoyed a couple cold Belikins. We didn’t catch anything, but right in front of us in the middle of the river, a big manatee came up and flipped his tail. Seeing that, was much better than catching any fish.

It’s been a long time since I sat on a riverbank fishing.

It was a great Valentine’s Day getaway for us. We finished up the weekend with an incredible three-hour, 7-course meal at The Odyssea restaurant in Hopkins. If you are in Hopkins be sure to check them out, great food, cold drinks, and wonderful people.

My Valentine.

Meanwhile back at the old homestead

Bush pineapples.

In the past, we’ve had some animals steal pineapples from us, but at least they’ve been nice enough to replant the tops when they were done with them. We’re doing a little more clearing out behind the house and there in the bush are some pineapple plants growing. Actually, we found five growing so far, we didn’t even know we lost that many. I’ve mentioned before that all you have to do is throw something out there and it will grow, and here’s proof.

This time they all ripened at once.

Of course, we have more bananas. This bunch came from in front of the casita and had 102 of the local bananas on it. We left them hanging outside on the porch to ripen while we were gone for the weekend. Nothing has ever bothered them in the past, but these all ripened at once while we were gone and some critters got into them. After checking the security camera we found it was possums coming up on the porch and helping themselves. So now the bananas are in the house being eaten and processed in different ways.

I still can’t believe we can grow chocolate!

Our cacao are starting to ripen and we should end up with enough to make a good batch of chocolate real soon.

We love pink grapefruit!

We are very excited to eat our first grapefruit. We did not know what type it was until we cut into it. Once we did, it was just what we were hoping for, a nice pink grapefruit. Grapefruit are sometimes hard to find down here, especially the pink ones. So hopefully we will have an abundance of them in the future.

Belize’s official orchid, the beautiful Black Orchid.

There are a lot of different types of orchids that we have around the house that we have relocated from other parts of the property. We have yet to find a Black Orchid (the official orchid of Belize), but our friend just brought over a couple for us from her place. With 300 or so native species of orchids in Belize, we are always on the lookout for more.

This little guy is about six hours old.

One of our neighbor’s sheep gave birth the other day, but the mother’s milk was not flowing. So he came down and got us to give him a hand, and in no time at all everything was good.

That’s about what’s happening around here the past couple of weeks. Hope everyone is doing well.

5 thoughts on “Mid February 2021”

  1. I love reading everything you guys are up to. You have officially created the perfect retirement (this is exactly what Scott and I are planning for our future) I would love to plan a trip there to see you guys with Scott and my dad. Hopefully you guys will be up for it!! Miss you tons!! Love you both

    1. Thanks Krystal, I’m glad you enjoy reading about our little adventures. We would love to have you guys come down, just let us know when. We can’t wait to see you!

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