All year round we talk about the weather and, when you live on an island that’s lifestyle is so linked to the elements, it becomes the focus of your lives and livelihood!!
Dry season or wet season, lets be real, we can receive rainfall at any point in the year – we live in the tropics and for holiday makers expecting perfect weather it becomes hugely disappointing when the weather is less than perfect – we understand!!
We live our lives glued to various weather sites, trying to accurately predict the weather for the benefit for both our customers on our sailboats and less so for ourselves. The science of meteorology is not an exact science – that which defines the weather is constantly changing and yet we are considered responsible for the weather changing!!! – Go figure.
I can understand it – you save all year for your annual vacation, you strategically plan for your suntan, your idilic photos on the beach and your cocktails at sunset – and when you arrive to when you depart all you see is rain, grey skies and chilly breeze!! It can happen (luckily very rarely), but it can happen!!
As a company, like all others that take their tours out onto our gorgeous reef, we conscientiously assess the weather and based on the forecast the eve of the trip and we cancel and postpone accordingly! Never would any operator want customers to go out on a tour in conditions that are unsafe and also uncomfortable our desire to do business is not that great!!
However time and time again we are faced with tourists disappointment for two scenarios – firstly, when we cancel a trip based on the weather forecast. Most I have to admit fully understand and are indeed grateful for our vigilance but, as one of our latest TripAdvisor reports shows, some think we are downright unprofessional for canceling!! I have heard cries of ‘I am from Canada/England etc and we are used to a little rain!!’ … ‘This is far better than the weather we are receiving at home lately, I want the tour to go ahead’.
The second scenario is by far the one that creates the larger concern. It’s that then the perfect weather forecast changes to down right horrible hours after departing from Caye Caulker. Whether passengers are on an overnight or a day trip to Hol Chan our hearts go with you. This scenario is luckily rare but nevertheless when it does happen, I am proud to say that my crew continuously rise to the occasion! Efforts are made to keep all comfortable, to ensure that snorkeling and fishing are still going ahead and above all, ensure that passengers are still, despite of the grey skies and sometimes rainfall, have the time of their life!
The past week’s bad weather is an example of how inaccurate the weather forecast has been and the pre-longed conditions made it unbearable for locals, never mind the saddened tourists! I am sorry to say that at least 3 trips went out in conditions that, if we had the ability of hindsight, would have been cancelled. This is January – a month when we are blighted with changeable weather – not the whole month but intermittently really until mid Feb/ March when everything becomes more consistent.
And finally (to end) this I think is by way a small apology for any of those persons we have disappointed, not intentionally but unintentionally by not ‘providing’ the weather conditions their dream holiday was based on. In so many ways we completely understand – which is why we do take time and do cancel and postpone trips. However, I do believe that Belize still looks beautiful, even in the rain!!!