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Our request for feedback last month on non-fishing spouse programs at lodges around the world has generated its first feedback. Its from Victoria Brown, who says her husband is a longtime subscriber and avid saltwater fly fisherman, and she tags along on many of his trips because she enjoys snorkeling. She writes:
I thought I would add my two cents worth to the ongoing discussion about non-fishing spouse programs. On a trip a few years ago to Turneffe Flats in Belize, I was the sole eco-tour person there for most of the week. I had the great good fortune of snorkeling all over the place with Abel as my private guide! He was wonderful beyond words highly knowledgeable, informative, fun, polite, and very helpful. I cannot imagine ever having a better snorkeling trip. Certainly, Turneffe Flats can write the book on how to entertain a non-fisherman!
I had a much less pleasing experience at Small Hope Bay Lodge on North Andros Island, where the promised daily snorkel boat trips happened exactly once during our six-night stay. Their explanation was they didnt take the boat out without a minimum number of snorkelers and the number on hand that week didnt meet that minimum.
These two experiences illustrate the extremes I have experienced over the last 10-plus years. In general, I have learned that a non-fishing spouse who goes on trips needs to be pretty self-sufficient, happy with his or her own company, and willing to explore on his or her own. I guess I should add that my husband and I never stay in large hotels, but only in small and off-the-beaten-path lodgings. Hope this feedback is of help to some fellow non-fishing spouses.
Postscript: In a follow-up note Ms. Brown asked us to mention that Stella Maris Lodge on Long Island is very good at offering (and delivering) a variety of non-fishing spouse activities.