Lighthouse Reef - Long Cay, Belize
25 April 2009 | The Weather Turned Bad
Finally, on Saturday after we felt comfortable that the alternator was working and charging the batteries we left Belize City for the second famous Atoll in Belize- Lighthouse reef. There are three atolls in the Western Hemisphere - one in Mexico (Banco Chinchorro) that we sailed passed and the other two in Belize that we visited - Glovers and Lighthouse reefs.
Our hope was to be able to go to the Blue Hole, an over 450 feet deep hole surrounded by a nearly perfect coral reef ring, and broken by 2 passages, each about 9 feet deep. From the air, blue hole is a fantastic sight. The indigo water of the Blue Hole forms a perfectly round ring, rimmed by living coral. Jaques Cousteau and his boat, The Calypso, explored this strange geological phenomena in 1972. His divers descended to 125 feet where they discovered a forest of underwater stalactites, implying that the blue hole was once a cavern above the water's surface.
There was a cold front that had been covering the region for at least two days and it was still creating very unstable and stormy weather. Because we did not have way points to enter the reef to Half Moon Bay, the island closest to the Blue Hole, we decided to anchor off a nearby by Cay, Long Cay. Thankfully this was a good decision because by late afternoon when we arrived the light was not as good to navigate safely through reefs. We spent 2 days in Long Cay waiting for the weather to turn. We tried to snorkel and swim but the visibility was poor due to the high winds.