With a sense of humor, and in his own effort to publicize the Blue Hole as a destination for tourists in the 70’s, he and a group returning on a long sail back to the Caye from a dive trip, humorously concocted a story for the media about encountering a “Blue Hole Monster” complete with signed affidavits from the tourists. Ray imagined he could gain worldwide media attention for Belize, the former British Honduras, and tourists would flock to the Blue Hole and surrounding islands with similar effect as “Nessie” did for Lockness and Scotland. British Honduras back then was quoted as being “in the middle of nowhere and on the way to nowhere”. The story was carried in the National Papers and perhaps beyond. Older folks who remember, still joked about the clever hoax with him to the end.
He obtained his Merchant Marine Captain’s License and sailed the Caribbean Seas with cargo aboard the “Winnie Estelle”; a Marine Diesel Mechanic by force to service his small fleet of sailboats, piloted small aircrafts, Paraglided off the French Alps in his 60's and broke a leg upon landing, it didn't phaze him. He spent a few years in Miami building himself a Pitenpol airplane in the back yard which no one exactly volunteered to join him in a maiden voyage, and it never got off the ground. He taught himself several musical instruments and in my childhood, entertainment meant everyone sitting on a pier with some type of instrument playing music.
Ray found a passion for writing and over the years chronicled some of his adventures and self-published about a dozen novels or handbooks all set in British Honduras or Belize. He enjoyed all the above as an amateur.
The hotel burned at the end of 1979, about the same time his wife got fed up that he was more often away sailing than at home, they divorced. Ray left Belize for half a decade or so, took off on an extended voyage to discover other islands, living on a beach in Dominica long enough until he built himself a boat to sail and discover the nearby islands, which he did for a few years.
Around the mid 1980’s, he settled in Miami. Fresh from sailing the Caribbean and back in a big city life after so many years, Ray couldn’t bear to live in a house and persuaded a friend of his to live on his yacht in a harbor at Coconut Grove a few years before he bought his own sailboat. He often made trips to the Bahamas Captaining this boat with his friend, . During this time, he had a relationship with a Canadian and she bore him his last child, a son Ryan Andrew MacKenzie.