25 September, 2016

September Stormy Nights Bring Calm, Glorious Days

Averaging more than 20 inches of rainfall, September is consistently one of the wettest months here in southern Belize, and this September is no exception.  Sounds miserable, doesn't it?  But it's not.  In fact it is fabulous - just look at this dramatic dawn sky.
We woke to this after a night of thunderstorms.
The nights are rainy, even stormy, and the days are calm and mostly sunny. The thunderstorms have been very intense and exciting during the night as we lie in bed surrounded by 8 (curtainless) windows and 2 glass doors of our cabana suite.  I am so glad we designed the cabana with 10 foot-deep covered veranda on all sides, or we would never get any sleep!

The view from front balcony is very moody and changes with the weather.  I have another post planned showing colors of the sea and sky.  The image below was taken at noon the same day as the dawn above.
The flat sea calls to me.  I just have to go wade or swim or kayak when it is like this.
The flat sea calls to Barnie, too.  Who is Barnie, you ask?  Barnie is our new dog.  I suggested the name "Bonnie" for her and in local style that has become "Barnie".  Barnie, she is.
Barnie - a rescue dog from the village.  At 9 months, she is still just a puppy!
Barnie expressed an interest in kayaking with me, so we are in the midst of doggie kayak camp.  On day 1, she managed to get on the kayak, with assistance from our neighbor Craig, and stayed on for about 2 minutes before she got spooked and jumped off.

Day 2, she got on by herself, but couldn't stop biting at the paddle.  She lasted about 5 minutes before, in exasperation, I made her get off so I could head out by myself.  She ran out to the end of the dock as I paddled out to the deep and let loose a heartrending howl before she flung herself into the water to swim after me.  I turned around to the shallow so she could get back on and we managed to paddle for another 5 or so minutes before I called it quits in frustration.  Then I got her back on the kayak and walked the kayak through the water while I kept one hand on her to keep her steady.  She liked that.

Day 3, a breakthrough day!  She hopped onto the back of the kayak with no prompting as I was pushing off and settled right down.  We paddled about 1/2 mile, all within 30 feet of shore.  Later that day, I measured her for a CFD (canine flotation device), which I ordered on Amazon.  It will be here in about a month.  Until she is wearing her CFD, we will stay in the shallows near the shore.  I can't pull her up out of deep water back onto the kayak and she is so dense (in a physical sense) that it is hard for her to swim any great distance.

Today was Day 4 and Dennis took some photos of us heading out and coming back.  Barnie is making great progress.
Get in the back, Barnie!
 She hopped up like she knew what she was doing.
Now sit, Barnie.
She did sit, and we were off for a fine 15 minute paddle.  She sat most of the time, but got antsy after about 10 minutes.  I will make some alterations in one of the seat cushions to give her little more stability and comfort in the back.  More comfort for me, too, if it means she will stop breathing her hot doggie breath on my neck!
She is looking down at the submerged breakwater just beneath the kayak.
 Closing with a sunset shot.
A promise for an exciting night, whether we want it or not!


  1. Wilma, I think I am in for a continuing treat as I learn so much more about your life in Belize, so different from my city experience.

    Your description of how nature has been delivering your hefty helpings of rain, along with those amazing photos of sky over water, or sky and water melting into each other, show and tell me what I would not otherwise know.

    And then, there is the arrival of the sweet Barnie who longs for the seafaring life...until aboard a kyack. I predict wonderfully fun future paddling.

    It's interesting that dear old Amazon can provide a helpful item for Barney. (Way, way back, before I even had a laptop I could call my own, Jeff Bezos's brother lived in my building and we used to do our laundry in the basement laundy room at the same time. I really had no idea of the family connection. The brother was a polite and friendly fellow.)

    Best wishes to you and yours.

    1. One of my favorite things about living here is how exposed we are to the natural world; we take much more notice of the subtleties of the weather in particular. Each day is unique.

      We shop for local products as much as possible, but resort more often than we would like to importing things we can't find or that are poorly made. We have a terrific shipping agent in Florida (Easy Shipping to Belize) that we have everything sent too and then they handle the shipping, paperwork for importing, clearing customs, and delivery to us in remote southern Belize. It works out well, although there is the added cost and time we have to factor in. Interesting to have a Bezos as a neighbor! Cheers.

  2. Great news about Barnie, Wilma. What a great companion she will be for you and already the two of you have starting having adventures together, that's so great.
    As for the rain, I doubt that we get that total here in three years but then you need it to re-stock all your tanks, so it's obviously welcome, plus it's warm rain.

    1. She is a pretty good girl, but my hands will be full with getting her trained! She has waaaay too much puppy energy right now.

      We get an average of 125 inches per year of rain, so that is it what the plants and wildlife are adapted to. Most (~60%) of the rain falls in September, October, and November. Not exactly a monsoon season, but close! Before long, we will have 4 and 5 days at a time that are grey and damp. They have their own beauty, but get a bit tiresome if they go on for too long. And yes, the rain is warm. ;-)

  3. Great low light shots Wilma.
    Look forward to hearing of more of Barnie's antics.

    1. Thanks, Roy. Barnie will undoubtedly be a regular feature. You can tell she is a camera hound!

  4. How nice to have a kayaking companion in Barnie.

    1. It is nice. We spent an hour with the kayak this morning. Part of the time was getting the cushion in place for Barnie and adjusting a replacement cushion for me. Barnie was much better at sitting with the cushion to help keep her feet from scrambling on the plastic kayak shell. But we still have A LOT OF WORK ahead of us before she will be ready for a real trip of several hours. And I need to get my inflatable cushion out so I can sit a little higher and get my hips more comfortable for a lengthy paddle. However, progress is being made!

  5. The Sunbeam in the first photo is brilliant.
    Looks like you will soon have a devoted doggy companion for your expeditions.

  6. Thanks, John. You have posted some stunning dawn photos in recent weeks.
    I think my days of solo kayaking are a thing of the past, whether I want to be solo or not!


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