It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Belize, Day 1

Belize does not observe daylight savings, so it gets light (and dark) early. I woke up around 7 and piddled around until I couldn’t stand not to wake Rob up. Then we walked up to the super market (about 5 minutes from the hotel) to get some breakfast provisions. I got some frozen bagels and cream cheese, and we bought a gallon of bottled water, and headed back to our room. We met the dive boat at the dock (they sent a boat to pick us up) and headed over to their office, to do paperwork and stuff. Then we headed out to dive, along with a couple from New Jersey, Michael and Teresa, who has been to Belize several times before.

Dive 1: Taffy (not sure how it gets the name)

The site starts in about 40 feet, and then slopes down to over 100 feet. There are reef fingers, separated by sand channels. The soft and hard corals on the reef were fairly standard Caribbean stuff, but the fish life was pretty underwhelming. We saw a few lobsters, and then near the end of the dive, a nurse shark and some big groupers.

We headed back to the dock for the surface interval, and ate some pineapple. In the water right off of the beach there, we saw a stingray cruising around in the sea grass. Apparently the fishing boats pull right up to the beach there and clean the fish, which attracts the rays. For the second dive, we went to

Dive 2 : Tacklebox

It had a similar structure to the first site, plus some cool swimthroughs in the reef fingers. One of the swimthroughs was more like a sequence of swimthroughs (they really weren’t “swimthroughs” in the true overhead sense – they were more like narrow channels between walls of the reef), and between two of them, the divemaster signalled “shark” to me. I couldn’t find one, but then a moment later, when Rob (who was behind me) passed that spot, he signalled me to say he saw the shark. But it was off again before I could backtrack and look. We saw a big green moray eel (in the standard eel-hanging-its-head-out-of-a-nook pose), and a couple nurse sharks. I also saw a queen triggerfish, which is one of my favorite fish! They are so pretty. As we were ascending, we saw two spotted eagle rays swimming side by side. One was pretty small, maybe a baby?

After we were finished diving, the boat dropped us back at our hotel.

We headed downtown for lunch, and after wandering around for far too long (I was really hungry), and finally settled on Caliente, which is right by the dock that Protech is on. We ran into Michael, Teresa, and Peter there. Anyhoo, I had chicken tacos and a margarita, and Rob had beef tostadas. My tacos were fine, and Rob really liked the tostadas. We headed back to the hotel, and stopped at the market on the way back. Just as we got there, it started raining a little. By the time we were finished, it was completely pouring. We figured we’d just suck it up and walk in the rain (which was actually pretty refreshing), when Michael and Teresa drove by in their golf cart, and gave us a lift. Very convenient :) For the rest of the afternoon, Rob played with his pictures, and I didn’t do much of anything. For dinner, we walked down to Banana Beach to go to El Divino’s. I really liked it -- I had some very tasty grouper. I don’t remember what Rob had. I also had a fantastic pina colada. I thought the ambience was nice too, even though the place was basically empty. This was pretty standard though, since it was the low season.

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