|Vessel Name:||Zephyr, Zoia,|
This morning we motored the 10 short miles to Cayo Ambergris, another beautiful island 🌴 belonging to Belize, we were helped by (as Judy calls him) Captain Pugwash, a nice Belizean, who advised us to follow him along the inside of the reef, because it is so very shallow, about half way along he [...]
I enrolled on a PADI open water diving course, it has been something I have wanted to do for many years. They gave me two books to study, which I had 2 days to wade my way through 260 pages, along with lots of self marked quizzes. I was told to turn up at 09:00 🕘 on Tuesday, I arrived at my time then [...]
The day started off with a rather large rain storm ⛈, I was a little worried 😦 that it was going to make the visibility in the water not so good. Judy and myself were booked on to a snorkelling trip for the morning, the little boat speed 🚤 came out to us on Scorch to pick us up, we were joined by 4 others. We had a brief on how the trip was hopefully going to pan out, what we should do and what we should hopefully see. Our first stop was only 10 minutes away, here we were hoping to see the elusive manatee, it is a mammal and a protected species, the law says it is illegal to swim with them in their breeding grounds, but occasionally they swim over to the reefs for food 🥘 (sea grass), we were lucky enough to be the first boat 🚤 on site. We saw two manatees coming up to breath at the surface, we quickly got kitted up and climbed in as gently as we could so we didn't scare them off, I managed to get within 2 metres of both mother and calf because they swam to me. They are also known as sea cows and are about the same size only without the legs, we stayed with them for around 15 minutes then left them in peace. Our next stop was for a shallow reef dive here we saw a beautiful lion 🦁 fish, which is invading the Caribbean and is classed as a pest, it has poison in its spines and is very dangerous to other fish and humans, but very nice to eat, the corals here were the best I have seen, from the brain corals to the huge elk horn corals, there were other fish around, there were many nurse sharks, sting rays, rainbow 🌈 parrot fish, yellow fin tuna (in their 100s) barracuda and a few lobsters. My next decent down into the big blue, was in the channel that is about 20 metres across and about the same deep, it is a gap in the reef, on the outside the fish were larger but slightly more difficult to see and get close to, Next we went to a drop off wall, it had corals and anemones all the way down, along with some large Scholes of fish, which I managed to swim down too and through them getting within inches of them. The next stop was to an area where the fishermen clean their catch of conch shells 🐚, the whole sea bed was just like it was carpeted with them, as far as I could see, with hundreds of thousands of these shells 🐚 ( I'm not sure how deep they went ) from many years of catching them. As they remove the mollusc from the shell 🐚 the fish 🐠 feed on the scraps, there was also a massive loggerhead turtle 🐢 it was almost 2 metre long, it's head was as large as a rugby ball 🏈 this one actually bumped into my camera as it came to investigate, we stayed here for about 15 minutes just watching this huge majestic creature swimming around, it didn't seem to mind us being in the water. Our guide asked if we had any questions. Judy asked if we could go back to the manatees again. So 15 minutes later we were back in the water, but this time there was only one of them, after a few minutes we headed back to the island 🌴. In the evening we went out for dinner, I had 4 bottles of the local beer and a 16 inch, ham, pineapple and bacon pizza 🍕. We met up with a few Americans who we have made friends with over the past few days, we had live music sung by one of them called Mike with his guitar 🎸. Today was a great day, temperatures in the low 30s degrees c.
We stopped off at turneffe cay reef for a spot of snorkelling, we spent around an hour in the water. It was a bit of a mistake because it then took us the rest of the day to navigate through the hundreds of small cays and reefs to get to Belize City 🇧🇿 in order to check in, unfortunately we were [...]
As we approached the island we contacted the harbour master on Ch16 using the VHF radio, they then gave us some rather dodgy instructions, we had eye contact also, I saw this chap stood on one pontoon pointing and waving at us but as we got close to him he just turned away from us and started walking [...]
Up at early o'clock again, in order to get round to the refuelling dock for 07:30, I was very disappointed with the whole area, because it is swimming with fuel ⛽️ that has been spilled and nothing is being done to clean it up, it is smelly with a few wrecks scattered along the banks on the approach. [...]