News » Whistler

belize 603

By Amy Fendley What: Belize slide show Where: Pemberton Community Centre When: Jan. 27, 7 p.m. Tides in Belize rarely vary more than 1.5 feet above mean levels. By way of comparison, tides vary by as much as 20 feet in the North Pacific. Currents in Belize waters are more likely to be caused by northerly winds associated with passing cold fronts or by the prevailing north-easterly trade winds which bring fair weather to the Western Caribbean in winter months. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? Island Expeditions Co. is a D’arcy based company that has been guiding sea kayaking and jungle river trips, pitching tents on the beaches of Belize in Central America, for 12 years. Up until 1967 Belize was known as the British Honduras. In 1981 it gained official independence as a country. Today Belize is a predominately English-speaking member of the Commonwealth. Its clear blue waters are sought by paddlers looking for a unique adventure in unspoiled territory. "Our trips in Belize are the culmination of 12 years of research and exploration," said expedition director and founder Bill Sirota, whose 18 years of guiding experience have taken him around the world. "As we search for new paddling routes along the barrier reef and atolls, trek into the headwaters of a remote river, or join an archaeology team mapping recently discovered Mayan ruins, our goals are to constantly improve our existing trips and develop new and inspirational tours." Stretching 165 miles from the Yucatan Peninsula to the Bay of Honduras, the Belize barrier reef is renowned as one of the most pristine in the Western hemisphere. The bird life there is world famous. The rain forests are home to jaguar, mountain crow, tayra, agouti and howler monkey. The country was at one time the heart of the Mayan civilization. Last summer Island Expeditions’ trip directors and guides ventured into the barren lands of the Canadian Arctic. After 24 days exploring three rivers, a new program for summer 1999 was born: Arctic Wildlife Canoe Expeditions in the Thelon River Game Sanctuary. The sanctuary is the largest of its kind in North America. The river routes chosen for the trip will allow tourists to travel within the migratory path of the Beverly Lake Caribou herd, estimated to number more than 400,000 animals. Following the ebb and flow of the herds are the predators and scavengers; wolves, Arctic fox, grizzly and ravens — all dependent on the bounty of the caribou. The Pemberton Public Library is sponsoring a slide show by Island Expeditions to be held at the Pemberton Community Centre at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 27. The slide show will feature information on Belize, its history, ecology and people.