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Published: January 18th 2016
The week out on the ‘water’ at Glovers was an out-of today’s-world experience. Starting Sunday a week ago, we headed out from Sitee River, a mangrove-lined, crocodile-shy estuary, across the bar into open ‘water’; then for 180 mins through minor inner cays to the outer reaches of the coastal shelf, ultimately to the last 4 cays strung along the Caribbean side of a 6mi wide, 12mi long coral reef. The largest of these cays is Glovers Atoll Resort, a 10 acre coconut shaded island lined by either white sands or coral reef rock.
The place is run by3 generations of Lamonts – a bit of history: Marsha-Jo, the matriarch and her late husband started the original resort on Lamont Cay in the late 60’s; this cay and resort was completely wiped off the map by Hurricane Mitch (only a snorkeling bar and reef remain). Where upon the Lamonts bought some ‘terra-firmer’ in the form of the adjoining North East cay and built today’s resort – 12+ cabanas over the water-covered coral shelf, ½ doz beach cabanas, a dorm and central dining/diving/fishing/kayaking/snorkeling and telecom(emerg.) facilities. Pierre Elliot Trudeau visited in the late 80’s (until 2
years ago, Jack Layton and Olivia Chow were regular visitors to the nearby Off The Wall Resort).
Our arriving group was bizarrely small for this time of the year; just 12 of us from Montreal, Vermont, Denmark, Washington State and California; keen fishermen, expert divers and neophyte snorkelers like me. Rebecca Lamont upgraded me into a private beach cabana – a 2-storey thatched roof, bedroom + hammock-slung patio, downstairs kitchen and dining room (picnic table) – no electric power, just a gas plate and lots of beautiful hermit crabs to keep the white sand floor clean – watch where you walk.
The first night was adventurous; a nor-eastern rain storm blasted in; battened down the cabana hatches in the pitch-black night, but no leaks, and wild sitting out in a hammock on the upstairs patio.
Next morning was blue sky clear and apart from some early rough seas and a couple of partly cloudy days, the weather was pretty well idyllic for the rest of the week.
The snorkeling was amazing, both off shore and via
kayak to patch reefs within the lagoon; there was an awesome variety of fish, every colour shape and form, from 1cm long to lurking 1m barracudas. The divers reported seeing even more and healthier live coral than we did; also moray eels and huge Hawksbill Sea Turtles 18m down.
Fishing was possibly the high mark of the week; for starters 5 of us neophytes went out trawling for 3 hours and caught just a couple of barracuda which we dressed up as a huge dish of crevice, enjoyed by all around a campfire later that night. However the real action was carried out by Warren Lamont, asst. Desmond and Adam, a fishing-fanatic guest. They spent over 20 hours trawling on the water for over 2 days and came back with 20+ Wahoo (one weighing over 42lb), 40+ barracuda, 20+ tuna, snapper, grouper, dorado… These were all cleaned right on the dock with Warren standing barefoot in the water amongst a feeding frenzy of nurse shark, stingrays and dive-bombing frigate birds (in the excitement of trying to shoot a frigate bird I somehow hit the erase button on my camera and lost all my
shots from Sitee river to Wednesday night – honest!!). Anyway the Wahoo steaks were delicious --- Warren caught these fish for high end restaurants on the main land; Adam came off the water like a dried up piece of leather but with a sparkle in his eye every day. Jeff, another fishing aficionado, was in seventh heaven because he caught all 3 big name fish -- a Tarpon, a Permit and a Parrot, all protected release fish --- within 24 hours. For impatient me, I learned why they call this game “fishing” as opposed to “catching”.
The Saturday morning run back to Sitee River was over deadly calm water, past some jumping schools of dolphin and crazy flying fish; they fly for over 500 yards. In total a really neat weeklong experience, a kind, that I suspect is not going to be available future generations. I’d definitely recommend for anyone who’s into “glamping” (glamorous camping) on a real Robinson Crusoe island (bring an under water camera) – and Emilio’s cooking was very Caribbean, not bad. I’d like to come back for 2 weeks.
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