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Under the Sea!

July 29, 2013

After a restful night listening to the sound of the palms gently swaying and water brushing against the shore, we watched an early morning sunrise. The group headed off to a morning tour of the island led by Nathan. We learned about pumice, mangroves, and coconuts. Fresh green coconuts have a different taste from the hard brown ones. A delicious breakfast was eaten on an open-air deck. After eating, we were treated to an hour of free time spent kayaking, walking, or hanging in the hammocks.

Then we set off for the pier to board the boat to take us snorkeling at Whale Shoal. After a quick boat ride we plopped into the water, fish and coral cards in hand in hopes of finding as many different species as possible.  Alton, a guide with Pelican Beach Resort, was key in helping some of us that were just getting started with snorkeling.  We saw a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes among the corals and fish — it was all so very new to most of us!  We need to give kudos to Jason, our co-leader, for locating and retrieving a lost camera from the ocean floor.  We worked up an appetite while out, and enjoyed a lunch of Island Paradise Pizza on the outdoor deck surrounded by palm trees and the sounds of the ocean.

Given some down time, many of us took advantage of relaxing in the hammocks and the warm ocean breeze.

Sergeant Major. Photo: Carlos Henrique

Sergeant Major. Photo: Carlos Henrique

After our break, we headed back to the dock, boarded the boat, and traveled to the Twin Caye Mangroves for more snorkeling.  In murky water, we uncovered cushion sea stars, baby barracudas, Sergeant Majors, sea fans, and Arrow Crabs.  One group saw a seahorse!

After a quick trip back, many folks took a break to catch up on their journal writing, go kayaking, drawing, and/or simply visiting with new found friends.

Another lovely dinner was had in this beautiful paradise.  Curried shrimp was enjoyed by all.

We headed back to the water for a night-time snorkeling adventure.  With flashlights in hand and wearing fluorescent bracelets, we explored ocean life after dark.

We saw squid, sea cucumbers, conchs walking across the ocean floor, and one group even saw, yes, a Nurse Shark!!!

The day concluded with a team wrap-up on the deck surrounded by the ocean breeze.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Ryan Snell permalink
    July 30, 2013 4:34 pm

    That’s cool that you guys got to drink out of fresh green coconut’s. Green coconuts are known for their natural energy, due to the high potassium and mineral content. That’s awesome that you guys got to see an Arrow Crab. The Arrow Crab is also known as the spider crab, due to the extremely long legs. Arrow crabs feed off of crustaceans and slow fish. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip Ms. W.

    • Kate Wernersbach permalink
      August 5, 2013 2:16 pm

      Great research Ryan! The fresh coconut was delicious! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  2. jenniel fullerton permalink
    July 30, 2013 6:47 pm

    The arrow crab is otherwise known as the spider crab. It gets its name from the shape of its head and body. Arrow crabs has long legs .Its scientific name is Stenorhynchus seticornis and it is a marine crab. Why is the fish called Sergeant Major?

  3. Meghan Baker permalink
    August 6, 2013 10:23 am

    Sergeant Major fish have five broad black stripes on their body, reminiscent of the insignia associated with military rank, thus giving them one of their common names. Other common names include: damselfish, five finger, and pilotfish. They have a reputation for being territorial and aggressive to other reef fish. Interestingly, they have two color phases: a light and a dark. In the dark color phase the entire body darkens, and the broad stripes blend into the rest of the body coloring.

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