Valid: May 14 – May 21, 2012

Synopsis: Model projections showing a low developing just offshore the coast of Belize by Thursday of this week. This feature will favor showers and thunderstorms increasing especially on Thursday through Monday. The onset of the rainy season could be early for some regions of Belize this year.

A quasi-stationary front over the Louisiana Gulf Coast to the central Gulf of Mexico has an induced surface trough of low pressure over the Yucatan Peninsula. These features together with a divergent SW’ly airstream from the Pacific aloft, have been generating outbreaks of thunderstorms and showers over Campeche, El Peten and western and southern Belize over the past 24-36 hours.

Analysis of the upper level weather charts show that the winter-time westerlies have now become disrupted over the subtropics, which is indicating a return to a summer pattern and the gradual onset of the 2012 rainy season. The GFS model projections of stability indices, surface pressure pattern and low level winds for the next five to seven days points to an increase in moisture and instability in the NW Caribbean and over northern Central America, as a surface low pressure system tries to become organized this week, and evolves into the first weak disturbance for the season just over and offshore Belize. The low will remain stationary just offshore central Belize on Thursday, and will then begin to track NNE into the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the coming weekend. Cloudy and unsettled weather will therefore persist over Belize during most of this week, with showers and thunderstorms becoming more persistent on Thursday through Monday of next week. This could mark the beginning of the rainy season for Belize. However, it is likely that the onset of the rains will be gradual in most places as we move towards June, but yes, the transition to a rainy season airflow pattern is almost completed as we should see more rainy days over the next seven to ten days.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

Capt. Hillyboo's Fishing Report, 5/13/2012
Well this week was a very exciting fishing week. Capt Shark's together with Holiday Hotel hosted the 6th annual Dorado Fishing Tournament and it was a success. A total of 19 boats participated. The boat Cristina took first place landing 2 dorado's, and the Real Deal, captained by yours truly, me ( Hillyboo Lara) came out with the second place landing 2 dorado's as well, but only 1 of them qualified giving me the second place. My girlfriend caught the fish and sadly we lost a second one. It was a big bull. The Aliyah Marley captained by Ricky Marin came out 3rd. The fishing was good but could have been better if the tournament had not been held during a full moon...

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Lydia's Guest House, Placencia, Belize
Affordable and Clean Accomodations for the budget traveler.

VIDEO: Lydia's Cabanas, Placencia Belize
Comfortable 1 and 2 Bedroom,Clean Cabana Accommodations for the Budget Traveler. :Long term rentals available.

JCariddi Photography
JCariddi Photography has published some amazing shots of Gabriella Berrera's Addiction line of clothes. Mr. Cariddi has some great photos, and just created a FB page. Happy Birthday, Mr. Cariddi!

The Circus is in Town
This article isn't really about "the largest circus in Central America(so they claim)" having rolled into town. It's actually about the group that is working with the Cornerstone Foundation on the health accessibility mapping project. And about their day at Cahal Pech. "Yesterday, we had a great meeting with the Cornerstone Foundation about a health accessibility mapping project to benefit the people of San Ignacio. Students listened attentively to the lecture led by the foundation’s director. They then developed a plan to identify different GIS layers needed to suppport the data requests of the Cornerstone Foundation. The students quickly learned that unlike most US GIS projects there is not much readily available data. Thus, they headed into the field in small groups to interview residents, collect GPS points, document attribute data, and create field notes for later inclusion in GIS. By most accounts it was a hot, but interesting day. What’s most exciting is I think the students came up with a creative analysis of the problems identified by the Cornerstone Foundation. The student maps will be directly shared with the community and the Cornerstone Foundation in the next few weeks."

Happy Birthday Dylan!
Dylan’s sea roots are firmly in his family tree with all that he knows being born and raised in Caye Caulker and working the with the sea. His sea experience is therefore without question and that, twinned with his humble and sincere character means that we are working hard together to mould this young man into a Tour Guide and Captain! But before that, today he will celebrate another milestone, his 23rd birthday and for that we want to wish him Happy Birthday!

International Sources

Discover the beauty of Belize
The central American country, once the heartland of Mayan civilisation, boasts rugged mountains, lush lowlands and the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, all of which can be experienced in a single expedition thanks to a tie-up between Francis Ford Coppola Resorts, which bears the name of its famed filmmaker and hotelier, and Alexandra Cousteau. The eight-day discovery experience allows intrepid holidaymakers to trace the footsteps of Cousteau, the granddaughter of environmentalist Jacques Cousteau. She trekked through Belize last year to gather information for a forthcoming documentary that aims to heighten awareness of the country’s water issues. After touching down at Belize International Airport, guests will visit the national zoo en route to Blancaneaux Lodge, home for three nights of the holiday and where they will plant a tree to offset their journey’s carbon footprint.

For the first time, researchers track manta rays with satellites
For the first time, an international team of researchers has used satellites to track the movements of manta rays, providing valuable new information about the massive rays, which are considered "vulnerable" to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The preliminary findings for the Atlantic mantas showed that they traveled as far as 680 miles over a one- to two-month period searching for food, sticking close to the coastline. They also spent considerable time in shipping lanes, which rendered them vulnerable to being hit by freighters. The manta ray, Manta birostris, is the largest of the rays, reaching as big as 25 feet across. Although they are closely related to sharks and are often called "devilfish" because of their frightening appearance, they are actually harmless to humans. The animals are filter feeders, straining large volumes of water through their mouths to extract zooplankton and fish eggs. They are considered vulnerable because fisherman often capture them to use as bait for sharks. Their gill rakers (fingerlike structures that filter out prey) are also used in traditional Chinese medicine. A team headed by Rachel T. Graham of the Wildlife Conservation Society in Punta Gorda, Belize, attached transmitters to six individuals -- four females, one male and one juvenile -- off the coast of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. They reported in the journal PLoS One that they monitored the rays for periods ranging from 27 to 64 days, until the transmitters fell off.


Solar Halo over San Pedro
Yesterday afternoon thanks to following my instinct and deciding to text tacoboy to see if he was having a good day at work, he replied back right away telling me to look at the sun. I went outside on the veranda, looked up and saw something super cool – a big halo around the sun. Of course I grabbed my camera and started snapping away to get a few good shots of this interesting weather phenomenon – not every day you get to see a solar halo. Solar Halos occur with cirrus clouds which have a thin and wispy appearance and are high altitude clouds, usually above 20,000 feet. These high altitude clouds are made of mostly ice crystals in the atmosphere which refract sunlight much like a prism does creating the colors of a rainbow around the sun.

Guanaja: Maybe the Prettiest Place I've Ever Been, Part One
The three Bay Islands sit about 10 miles off the coast of Honduras in the Carribean Sea. All of the islands have a history based in shipping, fishing, pirating and being discovered by Christopher Columbus himself (CC landed on Guanaja in 1502). The islanders speak primarily English as well as Spanish...very good for me. My Spanish, used extensively on the mainland, consists of "hola", "uno mas" and lots of hand gestures. Roatan (see: Roatan & the West End) is the most populated, most visited, has a cruise ship port and an international airport. But there are three islands all together...Roatan, Utila and Guanaja. (Said Gwa-NAH-ha). About 8 miles from Roatan is the least visited island of Guanaja. Wikipedia tells me that there are about 10,000 residents of Guanaja. I find that very hard to believe. But what is definitely true is that the majority don't live on the actual island (which is very hilly and densely wooded), most live on a small cay called just "The Cay" by residents. And there is not one car. Just alleys and sidewalks and houses and boats jammed packed into this tiny space. It's actually been called the Venice of Honduras (a bit of stretch but let's go with it).

Guanaja, Honduras: Maybe the Prettiest Place I've Ever Been, Part Two
The island Guanaja is interesting to me for so many reasons. The residents (citizens of Honduras...though some deny it) speak English and Spanish. The large main island is sparsely populated while everyone huddles on the tiny, tiny cay. The Cay has no roads or cars. The residents have a very close tie with the Cayman Islands (The Cay was founded by people from the Caymans). Almost everyone has family there and people travel back and forth. Jimmy Carter fishes there. There is talk that the US is building a base there. It is amazingly gorgeous and relatively unvisited. What is not interesting? So I described how I got to Guanaja and where I was staying in yesterday's post: Guanaja Part One. We were staying at Bo's Island House on the west side of the island, our host, George, had a cool boat and it was time to explore. Bo's has a great beach but like most of the beaches on the main island, there is hardly anyone else there. We had a few beers, hopped onto the boat and headed through the canal to the east side and the little cay where most of the residents of Guanaja live. The main island is practically untouched.

Edited by Marty (11/17/12 10:08 AM)