While having dinner at a café/bar called ‘Enjoy’ which has cool swings at the bar, we had a chat with a local captain called Steve about a possible snorkelling trip. Deciding we were all keen, the 7 of us booked on for the following day.

At 9.30 we were down at Scoober Steve’s ‘Blackhawks’ office, decking ourselves out in our snorkelling gear. We had seen a really fancy boat moored up at the split the previous day and I think we all (well, definitely me and Kim) had dreams that she would be our vessel for the day. Dreams which came crashing down pretty quickly when we spied our more rustic, but sea worthy stead. We were joined by 1st mate Vic, and a few other tourists before we set sail for our first stop. During July, Manatees (sea cows) can be spotted daily along the Caye Caulker coast. Sometimes in the months surrounding you are lucky enough to see one. We weren’t. But the rest of the day more than made up for it.

Our first stop was at Shark and Ray Alley. Hundreds of Nurse Sharks and sting rays live in the area and despite our initial nervousness about getting in the water with them, they are pretty docile and we were able to get really close to them and touch them. After about 40 minutes in the water, we were back on the boat enjoying delicious bananas and pineapple to boost our energy levels. 
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Blackhawks trusty boat
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Captain Steve
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Nurse Sharks
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Me and a Sting Ray
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Manta Rays and Turtles!
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Turtle!!
The next shop was called ‘The Swash’, although the more tourist friendly name is apparently ‘ Coral Reef’. This stop absolutely blew my mind! For the last few decades the local fisherman have gone out to this area to clean out their conch shells at the end of the day, before throwing the shells overboard. As the shells accumulated, they began to form a coral reef in the area. The fisherman lobbied the government and the area is now a protected marine reserve and the fisherman look out for the animals who live within it. Because the fishermen have always thrown their seafood scraps into the water here, it has attracted an abundance of wildlife, and we got extremely up close and personal with turtles, sting rays, manta rays, as well as various other colourful fish. It was amazing! Everything swims within inches of you, and it is often hard to get out of their way in time. Ty managed to grab a bit of fish thrown overboard and hand fed one of the turtles. So, so, so fricking cool!

After such an epic experience I was a bit disappointed with our last stop, the centre of Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Had it been the first stop on our day it would have been really cool, as we snorkelled around the reef, seeing colourful fish, barracudas, other big ones which I have no idea what they are called, and Ty even spied a moray eel. But because of the very strong tides that day we were unable to go into the split in the reef so we didn’t see as much as anticipated. I am glad that our captain told us though, as we spotted a group of stranded tourists on our way out. 

Vic replenished us on our way back to land with freshly made ceviche, and some delicious, but super strong rum punch.
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Ty and his turtle buddy
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Ty and a Manta Ray

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Tired but so happy!
 


Tami Mason
05/07/2013 10:15pm

You are experiencing life in a big way - a time you and Ty will never forget!!! Enjoy Love ya!

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Chrissie & Ty
05/10/2013 8:10pm

Hey Tami, thanks :) yep we are having an absolutely amazing time. Central America is fascinating! Maybe you should add it to your travel list too! ;)

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Debbie Lee
05/08/2013 1:51am

What a amazing experience guys, wish i could see all the photos, maybe one day eh

Reply
Chrissie & Ty
05/10/2013 8:12pm

Haha, for sure! you know you are more than welcome to come visit! In the meantime though just check out Tys facebook page :)

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