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Published: December 31st 2011
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Reef Adventures Dive ShopReef Adventures Dive ShopReef Adventures Dive Shop

The site that greeted us when we got to the dive shop this morning. 18 divers, 2 boats, 4 divemasters.
We experienced something this week, that has never happened to us before in all of our travels. The loss of a loved one is hard enough when you are in the U.S., but is the most helpless feeling there is when you 1,000's of miles from home. Wednesday, December 28th my nephew's wife died suddenly after a short illness. She was a lovely young woman with so much life ahead of her, and leaves behind a husband, a 5 year old son and a 17 year old daughter. Barb you are loved and will be missed by many. With the sad news from home, our hearts were not into beachcombing or diving for a few days.

Today we awoke to a beautiful day and learned Reef Adventures was going to go "north" to dive which is something we have been waiting for since we arrived. We were told by other divers the colors were more vivid, the plant life larger and the dives more challenging. Our first dive was Mexico Rocks, about 4 nautical miles from San Pedro Town. Of course as luck would have it, the wind switched over night from the north to the east, which means it
Hawksbill TurtleHawksbill TurtleHawksbill Turtle

This is a senior citizen turtle, colors were faded and was not concerned with our presence in the least. In fact he made two passes by us.
went from flat calm seas to choppier, wavier water. But we were going north so didn't want to miss the experience. Jim and I have walked the north beach, but we were amazed at the development that continues up the north shore of this Caye. Huge homes, hotels and resorts dot the sandy beaches as far as the eye can see. You may not think this is all that amazing, but trust me if you traveled the road that goes north even once, you would understand why we were amazed at this northerly development. The road lends a whole new defination to the words "potholes and ruts". We arrived at the dive site at approximately 9:20 and got in the water right away to avoid getting sea sick. Visibility was about 70' and the corals and plant life were bigger than some of the more dived areas on the south shore. We saw a spotted moray eel, a large lobster, lionfish, and a lot of smaller marine life. The dive was about 45 minutes and after everyone was safely aboard we headed back to Reef Adventures Dive Shop to re-tank and gass off. We were sitting on the boat as
SeahorseSeahorseSeahorse

He had his tail wrapped around the mooring line of the boat while we were docked to re-tank and gass off.
it was moored to the dock talking with the other divers, when Jim noticed a seahorse with it's tail wrapped around the mooring rope just below the surface of the water. He carefully lowered himself into the water with his camera and took several shots by just pointing and shooting, he never went under the water. Seeing a seahorse on a dive is a rare experience as they blend into their environment so well they are almost impossible to see. Also, they are very small but this one was approximately 6" tall which is considered large in seahorse size. They have very small, translucent fins on their back that they use to propel themselves through the water. I can say with all honestly that in 150 dives I have never seen a seahorse swimming through the water. So to see this guy on the mooring line was a rare treat, and to get the picture Jim got was a stroke of luck. Our second dive was to a site called Boco del Rio, which was only two nautical miles northeast of the dive shop. We mistakenly thought this was where the statue of Christ is under the water, so I
Queen Angel FishQueen Angel FishQueen Angel Fish

You don't see many of these here, like you in the waters around Bonaire.
was excited to go to this spot as I've seen pictures of the statue in books. It was a 50 minute dive and no statue? No way to ask under water, so we just enjoyed the things we did see, a huge turtle who was recognizeably older by his faded coloring, a large southern sting ray, a beautiful queen angel fish (my favorite) gray angels, and several large sea fans and beautiful soft corals. When we surfaced the first thing I asked our Divemaster Michael was what happened to the statue of Christ? He said, "Everyone confuses this site as being the site with the statue, but it's not at this site. It's about a mile south of this site, but all the dive books have it wrong." So needless to say, I may never see the statue of Christ under the water. Some of the divers on the boat have been to the site and say the best thing about the site is the statue and they think that is why they put it where they did, because there is nothing else to see!

All in all it was a good day of diving, and we capped it
Jim - The PhotographerJim - The PhotographerJim - The Photographer

And my husband. He has amazing patience to take the required to get these really good shots
off with a delicious lunch at Elvie's on the beach. $10 U.S. got you a 1/4 of a chicken (b-b-q), rice and beans and coleslaw. Since we had basically skipped dinner the night before and ate only a 1/2 of bagel for breakfast, we were really hungry and this delicious Belizian cuisine really hit the spot.

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and our understanding this is a big deal here in Belize. I guess they start the party in the afternoon, and keep it going through New Years Day night. Lots of music, lots of dancing and lots of fireworks. We plan to be curious spectators and spend some time in the town square to see how our Belizian friends ring in the New Year. With that being said, we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Family and Friends a happy, healthy New Year!


Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


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LionfishLionfish
Lionfish

Scurge of the Sea.... this one didn't get speared because I didn't have one, and the other diver that did was about 80' deeper, spearing another one.
Lizard FishLizard Fish
Lizard Fish

Blends in very nicely with his environment. They have the ability to change colors to blend in with their environment.
Michael -DivemasterMichael -Divemaster
Michael -Divemaster

Michael was trying to "herd" this guy so he would stay long enough to get a good picture.
Queen AngelQueen Angel
Queen Angel

This is a rare picture, since they are always swimming with only their sides to the camera


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