Billy Hawk Caye

After the almost cosmopolitan atmosphere of South Water Caye we crossed to Billy Hawk Caye, for two nights in the Blue Ground Range.  We started by heading across to Twin Caye, firstly to reduce the length of the crossing and secondly in the hope of seeing a manatee.  We succeeded with the first but sadly failed with the second objective, although we did encounter a range of interesting birds.
From the north of Twin Caye we used the north easterly trade winds to assist our journey to the Blue Ground Range. We could see a couple of islands in the distance but knew that there were far more, the coasts merging into what seemed like a single mangrove wall. The narrow creeks between only emerging at the last minute.
All of the islands have some form of development on, some with very expensive properties and what looks like full time staff. Landing places are not easy to find so it is necessary to plan ahead.
We were heading for Billy Hawk Caye, which is owned by the Sabah family and where we knew it is possible to camp. The island is identified by the fact that it has a building with a thatched roof towards its northern end, or you could just put the co-ordinates in your GPS. The best place to land is the sandy beach on the west of the island.
There is plenty of room for tents or if you want to spoil yourself there are other accommodation options, which can be booked online. It is also possible to purchase meals, we chose to cook our own meals but pay for the beer. A cold Belikin is always welcome after a hot day on the water.
It is such a relaxing place to stay we decided to remain a second night, which gave us more time to explore the Blue Ground Range. There are numerous small islands, mostly with buildings on, one small island is currently for sale for about $450,000. Apparently the owner is “motivated to sell” so you might be able to get a lower price.
The eastern side of the island group is the most interesting from a paddling perspective, following numerous narrow inlets and just enjoying the tranquility. We ended up close to the southern end of the small archipelago, at Bread and Butter Caye, what a lovely spot. It is also possible to stay here but for us the real pleasure was tying the kayaks alongside the dock and taking advantage of the small quayside bar. It really was a delightful place to pass an hour or so.
We returned to Billy Hawk Caye for the evening and possibly the best demonstration of bioluminescence I think I have ever seen. The sun rapidly dropped behind the coastal mountains and almost immediately on the east of the island the sea came alive. Streaks of bioluminescence moved towards the island, as I felt driven by the wind, whilst fish darting past, left bright green trails in the water. A real memorable end to our last day on Billy Hawk Caye.
We knew that the following morning we would be heading north to place ourselves in an appropriate position for the crossing back to Dangriga the next day.

Twin Caye
On the way to Billy Hawk we passed through Twin Caye, partly to experience its beauty, but also in the hope of seeing manatees.
Nicky exploring the mangroves and appreciating what a unique environment they are.
Belize kayaking
Crossing between Twin Caye and the Blue Ground Range. We had a gentle breeze on our backs which asssisted with the crossing, which was just short of 3 nautical miles.
Billy Hawk Caye
Looking west towards the mainland of Belize as the sun starts to set behind the mountains of the rain forest.
Billy Hawke Caye
One of the many Brown Pelicans that were fishing just metres away from our tent.
Billy Hawk Caye
Paddling along the eastern shores of the Blue Ground Range. This was one of my favourite areas with narrow creeks between small islands and shallow water with amazing clarity.
Bread and Butter Caye
The small building was the very welcoming bar. The beers disappeared pretty quickly.
Bread and Butter Caye
Nicky enjoying a beer and the facilities at Bread and Butter Caye.
Bread and Butter Caye
Enough said!
Billy Hawk Caye
Nicky leaving Billy Hawk Caye and the friendly Pelicans as we start our journey north to prepare for the crossing back to Dangriga.