Monday, Dec. 27th

Published: December 27th 2011
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This guys was setting onthe front steps of a very expensive condo complex. We weren't sure at first if it was real.
Yesterday we decided to get some "real" exercise so we took off in the morning and headed for the north shore of the Caye. It was a warm sunny day and the iguana's were sunning themselves everywhere we went. Our walk was about 4 miles roundtrip and we finished it up out on the Paradise Villa Dock, where we met a nice guy from Canada who just got his dive certification. We sat and talked with him for about 45 minutes and then just relaxed by the pool. The end of the story is that we both got more sun than we needed, but not to the point we uncomfortable. This morning when we got up, the seas had finally laid down and we were able to dive. So we headed off for Hol Chan Marine Preserve with 4 divers and about 10 snorkelers. There's no way you would have got me out at that snorkel site, there had to be 250 people in a very condensed area all trying to see marine life in 4-8 feet of water. We dropped th 10 snorkelers off in our boat and 4 of us divers headed to Pillar Coral. As soon as you
Tiger GrouperTiger GrouperTiger Grouper

Very friendly followed us the entire dive.
got in the water and went to depth you were surrounded by some of the biggest Grouper we have ever seen. They followed us the entire dive, and at times were mere inches from your facemask. You could reach out and touch them at any given time. After the dive we went back to pick up the snorkelers and head to another snorkel sight called Shark Ray Alley in the marine perserve. We were the second boat there, everyone got in the water and within 5 minutes there were 10 boats and another 200 snorkelers. This is neither my or Jim's idea of a good time. Essentially the boat captains chums the water, and immediately the waters are filled with Atlantic Sting Rays, Carribean Nurse Sharks and Horse Eye Jacks. However, to me it's like being at the zoo, but when you have that many people in the water sometimes it's hard to tell who the animals are. Watching and photographing marine life in an ocean environment is beautiful and as the spectator you learn to respect their environment. Anytime you get 250 people in an area about the size of a basketball court, with 10 boats and 1,000 hungry
Gray Angel FishGray Angel FishGray Angel Fish

These are not as common as the French Angel or the Queen Angel Fish
fish it is going to be chaotic. Jim and I lasted about 10 minutes and then we got back in the boat. Our second dive was at a site called Cypress Gardens where 3 of us were Lionfish hunting. Unfortunately we didn't find any Lionfish, but we did see a nice Moray eel, and a beautiful Hawkbill turtle. The dive was 52 mintues, so we were all tired and cold when we got back in the boat. All in all is was a great diving day, met some really nice people and did nothing the rest of the afternoon but rest. Only 12 days left in Paradise..............

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Drum FishDrum Fish
Drum Fish

This is the first Drum we have seen in Belize. They are very elusive.
Snorklers at Hol ChanSnorklers at Hol Chan
Snorklers at Hol Chan

This is a small portion of the snorklers in the water when we came back to pick up the 10 that were with us.
Black DurgeonBlack Durgeon
Black Durgeon

This fish will usually hide from a camera, but this durgeon was perfectly happy having his picture taken.
Horse Eye JacksHorse Eye Jacks
Horse Eye Jacks

A glimpse of the fish waiting for their handout coming over the side of the boat.
Shark Ray AlleyShark Ray Alley
Shark Ray Alley

Carribean Nurse Shark
Shark ray AlleyShark ray Alley
Shark ray Alley

Atlantic Sting Ray at Shark Ray Alley
Trigger FishTrigger Fish
Trigger Fish

Very large Trigger Fish, again this guy was perfectly content having his picture taken.

Interesting fact we learned from the divers here. Red Lobster buys as much of the lobster the fisherman can catch from Belieze waters.
Green Moray EelGreen Moray Eel
Green Moray Eel

About 6 foot long, tucked back under a coral overhang.
Hawkbill TurtleHawkbill Turtle
Hawkbill Turtle

He was very friendly, didn't hurry to get away, and kind of swam along with us for awhile.

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