August 18, 2008

I’m Back From Belize


Tobacco Caye, Belize

Belize was great!  We spent about 10 days on Tobacco Caye.  We dived at least 2 dives each day and just enjoyed the small, quiet island the rest of the time: snorkeling, fishing, reading, eating, lounging, hammocking??, beaching??.  ( I know these are not real words but you understand exactly what I mean, right?)   We stayed at Reef’s End Lodge which is run by the Jackson family.  It seems that we run into Jacksons all over the caribbean.  Mrs. Darla Jackson was a great cook. 

The diving was excellent.   The fishlife was not quite as abundant as some of the other places I have dived and with the exception of some lobster and a certain nurse shark, what we did see seemed smaller than usual.   The reefs were in wonderful condition, however.  I don’t think I have seen so much healthy coral anywhere else.  

We did a night dive which was cool.  There is a great dive site which can be dived right from the shore.  We waded out from the pier then snorkeled until we got to a good depth to dive.  The deepest part of the dive was only 40 feet but much of the dive was even more shallow.  We saw several octopus, a larger squid than usual, lobsters, crabs, starfish, a spotted moray eel, and something that is called “The Thing”.  It looked like a mini-version of a creature from a horror film.  (I am thinking of the movie “Tremors”).  It was a long worm-like creature that was semi-transparent with brown spots or stripes.  It was kind of segmented and one end had at least 3 tentacles.  I was glad it was only about 18 inches long because it would have given me the creeps if it were 6 feet long or something. 

We strayed from Tobbaco Caye two days for diving and went to Glover’s Atoll one day and South Water Caye another.  At Glover’s, we did Long Caye Wall.  A dive that Jacques Cousteau claimed as one of his top three dives of all time.  It was pretty amazing but one of my top three dives so far will have to be Carrie Bow Wall at South Water Caye .   This wall started out the usual awesome wall dive, as most are, but eventually it somehow turned into a Two Wall dive??  I can only describe it as breathtaking when we reached the top of the wall we had been diving and we were floating along a narrow ridge, looking down into the abyss on both sides.  I will never forget that one.

One day, we were coming back in from a dive when the captain spotted a Manatee. We all frantically threw on our snorkels and jumped in. It was amazing. It looked like a huge white walrus with a paddle tail. It hung out, eating grass about 15 feet right below me then slowly worked his way out of sight. He did not seem to be upset about us at all. It may have been a once in a lifetime experience. As if that was not luck enough, later that same day, we were coming back in from our second dive. This time the captain spotted two dolphins. They are more wary of people so we quietly slipped into the water and I was able to catch a quick glimpse of them about 20 feet away. That was a good day!

Again, if you are considering buying a home in an exotic, tropical location, give me a call.  I love to talk about the places I have been and when I travel, I keep my eyes open for just such reports. 


Reef’s End Lodge and Dive Shack


Pristine Coral Garden and Lobster


More Coral

Moray eels


The most exciting safety stop. A Remora decided to taste us!


Squid


Octopus and turtle


A larger octopus


“The Thing”



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