Saturday, May 25, 2024

Caye Caulker residents, Sol Sisters, kayak a length of the reef for charity

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A pair of brave and dedicated athletes named Sol Sisters are heading south, kayaking to the Belizean border of the Mesoamerican Reef.  The duo, Elizabeth Meeker, 53, and Leigh Ann Epperson, 57, started this challenge dubbed ‘Going the Distance 2023,’ from the Blu Zen Resort north of Caye Caulker on Wednesday, June 28th, and plan to reach the reef border at Gladden Caye and return to the island in about six days. They intend to raise awareness about Belize’s marine beauty and raise funds for the Ocean Academy and the Humane Society in Caye Caulker. Donations can be made via these links: https://cayecaulkerhumanesociety.com/help-us/?fbclid=IwAR2wOq5YoF0ZnCG4tZmmD6YZkdJrEy96mVEpuq30z_oLRS9bWpv2vDnMAc4#donate, and https://oceanacademy.education/give/?fbclid=IwAR0YtVTapu9tNzeEGbRRmkx8nXxw5G20LB9uw12IybfahEaidBOnmwAyfeU.
Meeker is the captain and navigator of this trip, while Epperson considers herself the engine. They are two American sports fanatics living on Caye Caulker, who shared with The Sun that they had constantly been training for this journey of a lifetime. Meeker said that over a year ago, she was looking for a training partner for distance kayaking. She met Epperson, a swimmer, and shared her idea about competing in kayaking. Epperson said she accepted the challenge and has since been training with Meeker. They look forward to competing in a distance kayak race like the Belize Sea Challenge, which sees competitors kayaking the entire length of the country’s Caribbean coast from south to north.
However, once they can get that opportunity, Meeker and Epperson have decided to go ahead and test themselves to a grueling 230 miles to the end of the barrier reef and back to Caye Caulker. Accompanied by a support crew, they covered 48.6 miles at 4.6 knots or 5.2 miles per hour on their first day. Epperson stated that this is one of the many ways to admire the beauty of this country. “This is a good opportunity to showcase the beauty of Belize, particularly the reef, and raise some money for two charities here on this island,” said Epperson. Meeker said they plan to cover as much distance as possible in the first days and complete the journey within the stipulated time, but it will all depend on the weather conditions. “On day three, we hope to hit the reef border at Gladden Caye about halfway through the day and then turn around and head back north,” said Meeker. Some of the places they are looking forward to passing by on their route include St. George’s Caye, Drowned Cayes, Spanish Lookout Caye, Water Caye, Goff’s Caye, English Caye, Middle Long Caye, Columbus Caye, Twin Cayes, and Gladden Caye.

The Sol Sisters said this is ongoing as they plan to take sports challenges. They encourage people to always keep age from getting between their goals. They say it is never too late to start accomplishing your life goals. Meeker and Epperson say water sports like kayaking are an excellent way to experience Belize and stay physically active. They thanked everyone for supporting them, particularly the Blu Zen Resort, for their unwavering support in this challenge for a good cause.
The find out more about the Sol Sisters follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SolSistersBelize.

The Mesoamerican Reef region lies within the Caribbean Sea and touches the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. It contains the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, stretching nearly 700 miles from the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula down through the Honduran Bay Islands.

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