Today is a good day! Our luggage showed up around 3pm! We found out this am that it was due in today so we relaxed and just enjoyed the town. We had a nice breakfast at a local place on the beach, Estelle's and then spent some time shopping and sight seeing around the town. It was a beautiful day here--mid 80's and we both agreed that here, we are in our element.
Today when we went to check out the dive shop at the dock just outside our hotel we noticed a boat that had come ashore and looked as if it came out of a movie set or the show Lost. It was made of weathered wood with a rickety sail and had large black inner tubes tied on the outside of the entire boat. Inside was littered with random articles of clothing and some empty water bottles. We didn't think much of it as the island is a bit un-kept in some places so this looked like it fit in. I joked about "renting" this boat to a few local guys on the dock and they told us that 3 days ago it showed up with 10 people aboard who fled Cuba and spent 16 days floating their way to Belize. We didn't believe them, we thought they were joking. After getting confirmation from the dive master we realized that this story was real. We are still a bit in disbelief---it was a very grounding moment for us. Unbelievable. All passengers lived, although nearly starved and severely dehydrated. The Belize police and some doctors met the boat as it came in and took them to Mexico and then they will head to the US.
On a lighter note, tonight we went to a local bar down the beach to witness and partake in a very famous Belize event: the Chicken Drop. This is how it works:
There is a square pen outside the bar in the sand filled with randomly placed numbered tiles from 1-100. For $1 each (.50 cents US) you blindly choose a tile(s) from a jar. After all tiles are purchased, everyone gathers around the pen and a chicken (or sometimes a rooster) gets shaken and twisted and then dropped into the pen. Whatever tile the chicken "drops" (poops) in is the winner. As soon as the chicken gets into the pen everyone is yelling and screaming to try to get the chicken to move around the tiles. Tonight--we had a lazy chicken. It was "dropped" on one tile, took one step onto OUR tile (#61) and stood there for like 10 seconds then did his business! We won $100 Belize dollars! It was great! After collecting our money Tom was called back to the pen to do his duty as the winning male and had to clean up the "drop" before the 2nd round began. We got some great pics, but will have to load them when we get home so stay tuned.
After the chicken drop we met up with our friends Gretchen and Doug who had just flown in from LA and had a light dinner. We are diving tomorrow at 8 am!