San Pedro, Belize
Today I was supposed to be going diving in the blue hole.
However, as it’s apparently ‘quiet’ and they have no bookings, the dive shop (belize diving services) cancelled on me yesterday. Rather annoying as that is kind of the reason I came here.
On the island there are only 2 PADI dive shops. I.e. Only 2 dive shops I would consider diving with. There are several other shops offering diving, but I just wouldn’t! I ended up going diving with a different shop, called Frenchies, and to the nearby Ambergris Caye.
It had been very windy all night. When I woke up and it was still very windy I had a look outside to check on the waves. Rather wavy.
I was unsure whether the boats would actually go out diving – but we did. It took half an hour to reach the Ambergris Caye, driving along very pretty pale blue water. Until we reached the outside of the reef.
And we were in 2/3m high waves.
Not fun at all.
And we were going out in this. I do not like waves. I find them rather scary. Especially when your boat is almost completely rocking side to side.
I made it in. We dropped down to 12m and instantly were being circled by about 5 nurse sharks. Some were fairly large! Cute!!
The reef was leading out in finger shaped rows, with gullies inbetween. I can’t say it was that exciting.
Yes there were lots of nurse sharks. One green turtle. And a drum fish that the guide got rather excited about. But really that was it.
Nothing living in the ‘corals’.
All soft corals – no hard corals, and not a huge amount of it. Towards the end, all the sharks again. Perhaps around 10 of them.
Getting on to the boat was interesting. / rather dangerous.
The boat was obviously being shaken around a lot by the waves. We were attempting to climb a small ladder while being smashed around. Thank goodness there were several boat men who basically grabbed hold of you and dragged you up.
We had a surface interval back on land – at the town of San Pedro.
Very touristy, full of cafés, small shops, dive shops and golf carts. It felt very American.
It was a larger, busier version of caye caulker!
And back on the boat. Again dreading the waves.
We saw a dolphin jump out of the water. A temporary distraction from all the horrible waves surrounding us.
This dive was much like the first, more sharks as we jumped in – one of them was absolutely massive. A small school of jack fish, one yellow box fish, a barracuda. And nothing else really.
By 2pm I was gladly back on solid land. Wasn’t hugely impressed with the diving here. Not somewhere I would rush to return to.
I later realised why the sharks were hanging around us / were always under the boat. Snorkel trips run up near here and they feed the sharks to get them near. So the sharks must hear the boat noise and associate that with food. No wonder they followed us around and kept rubbing up against us. Nor did they care if they got kicked by a fin. I don’t believe in feeding the sharks.
I spent the afternoon sitting around – moving from balcony to jetty and back, watching the pelicans diving into the water and plucking out small fish. And saw a small stingray!