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Published: February 5th 2015
It's been a busy couple of days! Tuesday we went on a dive trip (two tank) with Splash Dive Shop, and I cannot say enough good things about the dive operation. The boat was a 52' cabin cruiser set up for divers, with several crew members. We had about a 2:1 dive master to diver ratio which is unheard of! They did everything for us including setting up our BC's on our tanks, to helping put our fins on (nice but not necessary), assisted us in and out of the water, and took our fins off before we climbed back in the boat. We went to South Silk Caye which looked similar to something you would see on a postcard that says "Wish You Were Here". The entire island was maybe an acre with a few palm trees and white sand beaches sitting in the middle of aqua marine water. We dropped off 6 snorkelers that were on the boat and headed for the Barrier Reef. First dive was almost 50 minutes and we saw everything from Green Moray Eels to Caribbean Nurse Sharks. Unfortunately we also saw several Lion Fish, very, very big Lion Fish and we weren't carrying spears.
After the dive we went back to the island where the crew that had gotten off the boat with the snorkelers had prepared lunch. I don't know if the food was extra good or if we were just really hungry, but lunch was delicious. Scalloped potatoes (which I watched them prepare from scratch on the boat ride out), grilled bbq chicken, baked beans and cold slaw, with fresh watermelon for desert. Delicious! After lunch and a little rest period the divers headed back out for the second dive and the snorkelers stayed on the island. We had another great dive, saw a huge loggerhead turtle, more sharks, angel fish and of course more Lion Fish. That sealed it, we are diving again on Sunday and 3 of us are going to go spearing lion fish. As we started to head in, the boat took us to a shallow area where the fishing boats stop to clean their catches each day. We threw our snorkels and fins on and got in the water, and what a sight! About 15' feet down were schools of Nurse Sharks, Sting Rays, Spotted Eagle Rays and Loggerhead Turtles all waiting for their seat at the
best seafood bar in the ocean. All they need to hear is a boat pulling up and they are there waiting for the chum to hit the water.
Yesterday we booked a tour with a local guide named Alfred, with snorkeling and fishing on the agenda. We loaded into Alfred's 20' boat and headed out about 8:30 yesterday morning. Guess where we went? Back out to Silk Caye only this time we went to Middle Silk Caye, which is even smaller than South Silk Caye where we had been the previous day. Understand this is an hour and ten minute boat ride to get out to these Caye's. I was somewhat disappointed to learn we were going back to where we went the day before, but that changed the second when we arrived at the island. It was even smaller than South Silk Caye, in fact so small we beached on one side and Alfred dropped his anchor on the other side of the island. Their was no one on the island but the 5 of us, to enjoy the white sand beaches, and the beautiful corals that surround the island. We swam out to the edge of the
coral reef and snorkeled all the way around the island. I saw a Spotted Eagle Ray, and Jim swam into a huge school of sardines. There were thousands of them of swimming the same way, and then they would all change directions. Jim got my attention and I was able to swim back and share the experience. They were bright silver and I was captivated by the synchronization of their patterns, and how they stayed together. There were barracuda, mackerel, and jacks swimming in and out of this huge school of fish looking for an easy lunch. It was amazing how long they stayed in the area even after we invaded their space, swam through the middle of them and filmed them with the GoPro.
From there we headed toward Hatchet Caye for lunch at Hatchet Key Resort, fishing as we went. I caught a mackerel, Donna caught a yellow tail jack, Jim caught a yellow tail jack and Dave caught a mackerel. That was just on our way to the lunch at Hatchet Caye! Alfred was the perfect host and after a lunch of Lion Fish, (so good) we headed back out to do a little more fishing.
Jim caught another mackerel and Dave caught a big barracuda! Our host had also managed to snag us 5 big Caribbean lobsters. Dinner last night was fabulous! There are 110 islands off the Placencia Peninsula and we have been to three of them, only 107 more on our bucket list.
So today is a day of rest from all the sun and swimming of the last two days. Tonight we will be heading out to Sweet Mama's up at Roberts Grove Resort for a traditional Belizean feast with native drummers performing. God it's great to be a tourist!!!
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