Southwest Caye Report:
Thank you to all of you who have contacted us with concern over Belize and our staff. We are happy to report that finally everyone has been accounted for. We were really worried about those who have (or had) homes in the south. However, there have been some people that are more effected than others. For those who reside in the Toledo District, we are sending relief to help the people in the areas that were most effected by the storm.
Alex Usher, who spent three days out on Southwest Cayes at Gloverís Reef to assess the damage and begin the clean-up process, has reported that the damage to Island Expeditions basecamp has been minimal. Although there is definitely clean up to be done on the island, we feel more than fortunate to have escaped major damage. We know that it could have been much worse.
We currently have staff on the island working on the clean up and repairs. The new raised dining hall, and seaside verandah, the flagship building of our basecamp, is virtually undamaged. When we built the structure after hurricane Mitch, with the thought of future hurricanes in mind, the building had been constructed with special bolts and brackets throughout. The shower and bathing facility faired well and the campís new double composting toilet is also intact.
We have learned that our single composting toilet was shifted on the island. We are still drawing straws as to who gets to retrieve it! From the sea surge that washed over the island, our storeroom knocked into the kitchen building, causing some minor damage to the structure. As these seas moved over the island, we did have some movement of sand from the island into the lagoon in front of the dining hall, but nowhere near as severe as with Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Probably the most effected region of the island was the east side. The new dock added last season has washed out with approximately 10 ft of sand from the eastern-most point. Just west of there, the covered palapa is still standing strong. Probably, the biggest disappointment was that we lost the old blue cabin on the Northeast point, used as our staff quarters. This building, originally built by Jamie Usher, has stood on the island for more than 40 years, and has survived many storms at Glovers Reef. It took 4 Hurricanes to finally knock the building down. It even withstood the force of Hurricane Mitch, but is now peacefully resting somewhere on the ocean floor.
Thatís all for now, watch for further updates on Island Expeditions relief efforts in the South Stann Creek and Toledo Districts of Southern Belize. For further information about our basecamp at Southwest Cay on Glovers or our other areas of trip operations please visit our website at http://www.islandexpeditions.com
or call 800 667 1630.
Thanks to all,
Leif Sverre Ė Island Expeditions Co.
Island Expeditions Co.
"Leading the Way in Adventure"