First it was by sailing boat in the 1960’s, then it was by the cargo boat which was motorized in the 1970’s. After the Elsa P cargo boat threw away its sails and installed an inboard engine, passengers found it much more comfortable to travel to Belize City for their shopping or medical needs. It was in no way close to a water taxi as the passengers still had to wake up at 3a.m. to catch the ride. They would still have to sit on coke crates or empty gasoline drums for their four-hour ride, but now the Elsa P was equipped with a toilet facility at the stern and a shade for the passengers. The captain was no longer at the stern handling the rudder but in a nice cabin with a steering wheel. And of course the passenger fee climbed from 50 cents to three dollars to help cover the gasoline expense. However, the voyage was not at the mercy of the wind and sea because, with an engine, the duration of the tip was more predictable. Passengers not travelling by airplane could now enjoy a luxury trip when compared to one by fishing boat. This flashback is in honor of Felipe Paz the pioneer in cargo boat transportation and by extension passenger transport as well.
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