After resisting getting up at 6 am and treating myself to a sleep in until 8 am, I’ll take the advice of some of the Koko King happy hour companions and sign up for a full day snorkel trip with Raggamuffin tours.
Weather has been touch and go so far, and this morning was no different. Before then it was time for the cheapest and best food on the island so far. There’s a little trailer just before you get to Bellas Backpackers that sells burritos and the like for $5 BZD and less. You’ll find also that there will be a line up, but for that price and quality, it’s worth the wait. After relieving myself of $65 USD for my day trip, the first stop of the tour was feeding the local Tarpons at the end of the dock. These guys were HUGE. And excellent catches. As our boy Shaq threw the pilchards into the distance, there was a flash of silver and white, and the bait never touched the water. Like I said, they were a good catch. Our ride to Hol Chan Marine Reserve was aboard the Ragga Queen.
Our first stop was a gathering point for nurse sharks and some extremely curious rays. A sensible rule of no touching was in force, with a local ray attempting to coerce me into breaking it lest it run into my face. The sharks were enormous and only interested in the bait being thrown out to attract them. It was great to see the just as enormous smiles of all the snorkellers in our group.
This was unfortunately the last time my underwater camera was able to take photos, as I blatantly dove down well past the 3 m recommended depth for keeping the camera in good working order. The next stop had us diving through caves and being talked through the variety of marine life by Captain Rob, who led the our group in the water. Our third stop and final spot was the coral gardens. This was a nice way to finish our time in the water, gliding gently over massive arrays of corals with the odd turtle and shark making an appearance. Once all back aboard the Ragga Queen, our deck hands Shaq and Javier hoisted the sail for our slow meander back to Caye Caulker. The sun was out, along with generous servings of rum punch and cerviche. Captain Rob set us down at Koko King for happy hour and a rare sunset, as far as this trip was concerned. Later in the evening I ran into a couple of groups of people I’d met the previous evenings for some star gazing on the dock, accompanied by a very relaxed beach dog while I tried to convince within ear shot that I could see the Southern Cross. Google soon put me in my place and we all went to bed knowing where the Orion constellation is.
Well, what a day. Belize isn’t cheap, but sometimes it pays to splash out every now and then to have an amazing time. Let’s what’s on the menu tomorrow.