The Bay Islands of Honduras
27.03.2016 - 27.03.2016
We made it through the night without anything with more legs than us getting into the bed and without dying in a pool of our own sweat, so I considered the first night a success.
In the early light of that first morning, it seemed unreal. Surely there was no way we were alone on an island. But the fantasy was a reality. We really were on an island all our own. The sun and the palm trees and the sand and sea were all ours. There was no one to answer to, no one to share it with, no one to worry about, not even that fat pelican who sat guarding the wooden dock beyond the house.
It was Easter morning, so we spent the first hour on the east dock (there were two, one on the east side and one on the west, perfect for sunrise and sunset, we found) having our own sunrise service in the most perfect place I could imagine. I thanked God for giving us this amazing opportunity.
Then it was time for breakfast. I knew before we even arrived on Little Cay that meals would be momentous occasions. When your only form of entertainment is watching the pelicans dive off the dock or racing hermit crabs, food becomes important.
For each meal, I would spend hours conjuring magic from a limited universe of strange ingredients and a conspicuous absence of modern cooking tools or appliances. While the kitchen had a reasonable amount of supplies, most of the items were slightly less than perfect or just not exactly the thing I needed.
On the 9th match, I got the stove lit and cooked up some thick, smoked Honduran bacon (the stuff was amazing) with eggs. To celebrate our first day off the grid, we poured up some mimosas.
Once breakfast was over, I wasn’t sure what to do. Matt and I are people that need to be busy. We need things to do.
I wasn’t sure what we would do with no itinerary, no plans, no list of things to check off and see and do. Could we enjoy doing nothing?
Apparently, we could.
We lazed in the sun, taking frequent swims or soaks in the cool water when we got too hot. We snorkeled for hours in the shallow water surrounding the island. We sipped cold coconut rum under the rustling palm trees and took rum-induced afternoon siestas.
Before the first day was even halfway through, we were happy simply being. We limited our movements to small trips to the refrigerator for drinks, dips in the water, turning a page in a book, or moving from one chair to another that had better shade/sun/view (whatever we were looking for at the time).
I had a staring contest with the fat pelican and he won.
The humidity curled my hair into an impressive mess, my freckles popped out almost immediately, and, to combat sand fleas and mosquitoes, I was constantly coated in a thick sheen of coconut oil and Deet.
It was simply magical.
We had used what little lighter fluid we had found the night before and I didn’t want to try to cook meat on that stove.
“Call Barry on that little phone,” I said. “See if they can bring us some lighter fluid. While they are at it, see if we can get some fresh fish.”
Matt tried dialing the little cell phone and looked puzzled.
“No matter what I do, I just get a weird message in Spanish and then the phone hangs up. You try.”
Like I had some kind of cell phone mojo that he didn’t possess.
“La red móvil que está intentando acceder está abajo . Por favor, intente llamar en otro momento.”
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Our one form of communication didn’t work. Just. Great.
We really were alone.
No matter. This was what we signed up for, wasn’t it?
I took my iPhone out of airplane mode and shot off a quick email to the Jacksons, knowing it was costing me a small fortune in roaming charges, but praying to the cell phone Gods that my message would find its way to them.
I made the message really short:
“Need lighter fluid. And fresh fish. Tomorrow. Thanks!”
Then I used my two burners (and about 12 matches) to whip up some pasta using fresh veges, more of that thick bacon, and a jar of pesto.
We found what was left of a picnic table, and discovered it made a perfect seaside table for two.
We set up dinner on the east side of the island to watch the sunset as we ate our meal.
After dinner, Matt used some dried palm leaves and driftwood to get a nice fire going on the beach where we made s’mores using my distinctly non-graham cracker mystery cookies. I had no idea what they were because the entire package was in Spanish. I am pretty sure they were sugar-free, as I realized later what “sin azúcar” meant. Leave it to me to find the one package of diabetic cookies on the entire island of Utila.
No worries. There was enough sugar in the Hershey bar and giant marshmallows to make our teeth hurt.
We licked the melted chocolate off of our fingers and laughed like children as the fire crackled and the last glow of the sun faded over the horizon.
Did I already say it was magical?
We fell asleep to the sound of gentle waves lapping at the shore from all sides and the sound of the coconut palms rustling in the wind.
Oh, sure. There was also the sound of the occasional hermit crab skittering across the floor.
(I learned quickly to take a flashlight when going to use the bathroom in the dark. One doesn’t make that mistake twice.)