I had a chance to get out to Belize for some diving the other day. I don't often make it out country and I expected this to be an excellent trip. The plan was to go to the main diving resort area, near the city of San Pedro on Ambergris Cay. I scheduled for some local diving and a 3 day liveaboard trip.
Basically, I will refer to 3 dive areas: The Ho Chan Channel fish preserve, the coastal barrier reef and the 3 offshore islands.
The Ho Chan Channel fish preserve is just offshore about 1/4 mile from San Pedro. It is very heavily dove, but the fish there are incredible. In the upper sand areas, on the inside, are all these groupers in the 50 pound range. Lower down in the sand are numerous large rays. in the channel itself, the coral is full of all kinds of big fish.
The nearshore barrier reefs are fantastic diving and really, a very short trip. Often, if you schedule for a 2 tank dive trip, they will go back to the dock between dives to get tanks. The diving is so close that this is a practical way to enforce a surface interval. At the outer edge of the reef, the reef falls off into these sorta deep narrow canyons, perhaps 40 feet deep and only a foot or so wide at the bottom.
The three offshore islands are actually coral atolls. The diving there is excellent and does not really show the touch of divers. Here too is the Blue Hole made famous by J. Cousteau. Really, while a bit interesting, this collapsed limestone cavern is nothing all that special.. though not only did I dive in it, but also, while waiting for another boat, I did shave in it.
I found out that the diving in Belize is excellent. The dive operations were very good. The people were nice and the government trys to promote ecotourism both for the divers and those chosing to explore the primieval forests of the mainland.
I took some pictures there. A few actually came out decent... Well, I think so anyway. Be gentle all you serious photo types. Remember, I'm just a barbarian hunter, not a photodog.
Here are 6 pics for today. Following days, I'll let you off with just 5.
One of the common Carribean species that a diver will notice are the colorful yellow sponges. This one was on the nearshore barrier reef. Peaking out of it, is a buddy of mine.
This shark was sitting on the shallow sand near the entrance to the Ho Chan Channel.
This Midnight Parrot fish was munching away on the coastal barrier reef.
This Lavender Sponge is another of the common Carribean species that a diver will frequently see. This one was on the nearshore barrier reef as well.
Mandatory turtle picture taken on the barrier reef.
This ray was in the sand actually in the entrance to the Ho Chan Channel.
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