We saw how Raymond makes his coconut oil. He grates the meat of 30 coconuts and pours hot water over it so that the fat floats to the top. When it cools and solidifies, he puts it in a big cooking pot over a wood fire. He cooks it until the oil separates, the water evaporates and the solids toast. The toasted solids are what give the oil its good flavor and the solid called maya is discarded. We believe that maya is Creole for the left over’s or remainders. This takes about 2 hours to cook.
We made perfect dream boats out of coconut husk. Coconut husks are the parts of the coconut that surround the nut. People usually throw this away. But we found a new use for them since they float real well and have the perfect natural shape of a boat. They are very very buoyant and don’t soak up a lot of water which would make them sink. We then put bright red almond tree leaves on them for great wind catching sails. Almond trees grow wild on Black Bird Caye and the nuts inside taste good if you have a machete and the ability to crack them. As for our dream boats, we think they made it all the way to the Virgin Islands.
We found a really cool bug on near the beach. It was big with a wing span of over 3 1/2 inches and it was black with metalize blue color. It has the face and mouth of a wasp. Raymond called it a hunter bee. He said it only comes out certain times of the year and lives in rotten tree stumps. He said it was not dangerous if you don’t bother it. His land had lots of other treasures.
We caught little land crabs to use as fish bait. We turned over logs in the high strand and found a few. They tried to pinch but I knew a trick. My trick is to grab them behind their claws so they can’t pinch. We also saw a pretty blue crab that was too big to catch for bait. When my Dad got way too close, the crab shot like a shooting star back into its burrow. That’s the last we saw of him.
On our way home we saw two tropical or couch’s kingbird catching white butterflies. Kingbirds are a type of flycatcher with a bright yellow chest. I tried fishing with my new crab bait on patch reefs. I didn’t catch any there but I caught lots of grunts off the pier at the marine station. A grunt is a type of fish that can make grunts noises when it’s out of water. We threw most of them back but kept a few for bait.
This is the first entry in my new blog. I hope to write about nature and life of Turneffe Atoll in Belize. We are on a special island called Blackbird Caye. It is only six miles long. It is named after the grackle bird with is a black bird with a very long tail. The grackles get into a lot of trouble by bothering with other birds’ nests. They also can imitate lots of bird calls and also man made noises like electric screwdrivers and squeaky doors. They are like mocking birds.
P.S. If anyone wants a pen pal in Belize, I would be really interested in being your pen pal too. I have an email address at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will gladly write back to you. You can also write on my blog about what is going on in your world.