The autumn has been kind so far this year in the northlands — sunny afternoons, mild evenings, and just a little bit of rain. But we all know it — winter is coming, and as it approaches, many of us start dreaming of a winter getaway. We dream of a tropical paradise where the sun shines all day, gentle breezes blow in off the ocean, and when evening comes, the sunset lights up the sky in intense, pastel colours.
The reality doesn’t always match the dream, but among the places where it comes closest is Caye Caulker, one of a chain of islands off the coast of Belize. The caye is a little world to itself, mostly just a small beach town with streets made of sand and not a car to be seen anywhere — the chief mode of transport is the golf cart. There are bars and snack shacks and dive shops, and here and there, places where people gather just to have a beer or two in the fresh air.
That’s where I came upon this scene, a little dock where the regulars show up every night for a drink and a show — in this case, sunset over the blue Caribbean Sea. It’s usually worth the wait, and now and then it can be memorable, like this beautiful sunburst, with a smouldering sun sending shafts of orange light across the sky like an ornamental fan. I’ve photographed a lot of sunsets, but I rarely manage to capture one of these sunbursts. It’s a special moment when I do — but then, as a tropical paradise, Caye Caulker is a pretty special place.