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We spent last week camped at Odlin Park on Lopez Island in the San Juan archipelago. The weather was mostly lovely with just one windy day and we were able to be on the water a fair amount. Sky got to try dock diving and Luna poked around the wrack line for smelly stuff, occasionally going in the water. We set crab traps, lost two of them on the windy day, and Ken fished (unsuccessfully) for salmon. We shared good food with good friends at our beachfront picnic table. The day we left, wildfire smoke from Oregon and California filled the air and we were ok with the end of the camping trip.

Half Moon Caye covers only forty acres of dry ground. There is no electricity except when the generator runs in the evening. Our tent had a kerosene lamp and we used headlamps to get around after dark. Unlike at home, there is no prolonged period of dusk and dawn – just twelve hours of darkness and twelve hours of daylight.

So how did we pass the time? Days were busy with activities like snorkeling and kayaking and birdwatching. We often had talks on the island’s natural history. One evening our guides entertained us with drumming and dancing and stories of the Garifuna people’s history (it was not a happy story for the most part). We had wonderful meals prepared from fresh ingredients and our cooks always came out to describe the food for us. Most of the other guests were retired Canadians although two couples were from the US (Chicago and Pennsylvania) and one fellow was from the UK. Maybe three people had heard of Winthrop. They were mostly urban folks except for a couple from Nelson, BC.

We learned that coconut palms are not native to the Caribbean. They were originally planted and then drifted from island to island. And they are invasive. So some of the coconut palms were being cut down on the caye in order to preserve the native habitat preferred by the birds.

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