We then headed to Half Moon Caye National Park to picnic and have lunch. There is a $10Bz charge to enter the park (including the diving area). The ranger (Euriah) greeted us at the pier and welcomed us to the island. Almost as you alight from the pier, there is a welcome center and a small museum that visitors can tour.
Almost the entire nothern half of the island is cleared, with tall palm trees covering most of the area. At the northernmost tip is a lighthouse. Make that two. The old lighthouse has now become rusted and obsolete and a new one is currently under construction. The southern part of the island is in its pristine state, covered with vegetation of different kinds. The southern part of the island is the home of choice for a large colony of red-footed booby birds. A half a mile walk on the West side of the island will bring you to an observation deck (about two stories high). Once you get to the top, you have a bird's eye view of the tops of the vegetation which is literally covered with birds. They coat the tops of the trees like a rug on a floor. The red-footed booby are thought to be endangered birds, hence the designated protected area.
A walk along the beach on the East side of the island can be somewhat treacherous. The island sits atop the reef system and so the beach is covered with large chunks of coral. However, for the more adventurous, this walk can yield many treasures - my favorite being finding the wilk shells with the snails in them. In my gift shop, I sold jewelery made from the wilk shell, and so my fascination with them. After my first trip to Half Moon Caye, though, I volunteered to ban the sale of wilk shell jewelery. I prefer to have nature natural.
Gertraude, Frenchie's' wife, had prepared some Austrian noodle salad for us. After visiting the boobies, we sat together on one of the picnic tables that have recently been constructed for the use of visitors and shared lunch.
On any given day, there are several boats full of tourists visiting this attraction. My heart was a little sad, however, as I knew that for every five hundred tourists that get to visit this area, only one Belizean will be able to share the same experience. Moored just off the island and waiting to come ashore were the Rembrant Van Rijn, the Belize Agressor, the Bay Islands Agressor, the Hustler boat and the Blue Hole Express. And I languished in the privilege I had.