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Adventures in Snorkeling

July 28, 2015
Sunrise at Southwater Caye

Sunrise at Southwater Caye

This morning began with a 6:00 tour of Southwater Caye. We met Nelson, who met Educators of Excellence as the first mate on one of the snorkeling boats. The island is 15 acres and is at the edge of the coral reef.

After a great Belizean breakfast, there was strong wind, so we opted to snorkel at the reef off the island rather that take a boat out to another area. The change of plans was not disappointing because we saw many interesting things including: Sting Rays, Parrotfish, Trumpetfish, Pufferfish, Porcupinefish, Sea Fans, Sponges and even a Nurse Shark.

Just before lunch we spent some time studying conchs, coconuts, and various groups of fish. After an amazing lunch including darasa, a dish made from green bananas, we prepared to head out on the boat for snorkeling. A storm was threatening, which caused us to change plans again and we headed to the mangroves to snorkel, instead of the reef. The mangroves were deep, still, and full of mysterious life. We snorkeled along the roots of the mangrove trees, which create a nursery for much marine life. As we peered through the fine silt in light rain, life began to appear —  Arrow Crabs, Feather Dusters Worms, oysters, Barracudas, Cushion Sea Star and many types of fish. Above the water line were Hermit Crabs and Mangrove Crabs.

A Lionfish seen under the dock

A Lionfish seen under the dock

An Arrow Crab from the mangroves

An Arrow Crab from the mangroves

In a few moments we will meet up with our group to prepare for our night snorkel this evening. Those waterproof flashlights Liz gave us back up at the airport are about to come in handy!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jan permalink
    July 28, 2015 7:52 am

    Any pumice on the beach? or signs of sea turtles?

    • lizbaird permalink
      July 29, 2015 6:40 am

      Yes to the pumice! What a beautiful volcanic rock!
      There are nests marked on the island, and some folks saw a Hawksbill turtle during yesterday’s snorkel.

  2. Susy permalink
    July 28, 2015 2:23 pm

    Did you see any large schools of fish or any batfish?

    • lizbaird permalink
      July 28, 2015 5:20 pm

      Hi Susy – We saw a Batfish in the mangroves yesterday. It was really well camouflaged and seemed to “disappear” into the sediment. We saw several large schools of fish today. Annabelle and Diane followed a large group of blue tang (about 70) around the reef today!

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