We woke up before our alarm today. As in Flores, the sun came up really early, making it hard to sleep in. We immediately drank a lot of water, as we didn't want any cramps when diving today. We put on some reef-safe suntan lotion and ordered breakfast. At Chabil Mar, there's not a restaurant - they bring food to wherever you want them to bring the food. We asked it to be brought to our room, and they told us it would be awhile, since several other people had also ordered. We weren't sure it would make it in time before we had to cross the street to the dive shop, but it did. Crystal even had time to braid her hair, to save it from whatever the water and wind might do. At 8:30, we walked across the street to the dive shop. They thankfully remembered us, and got us fitted for our gear. We waited as others came in, including from our hotel. One was a family with a cute kid with the world's longest eyelashes. Since he looked to be about 4, we assume these weren't extensions.

To get out to Silk Caye, we were on a giant boat, and we sat upstairs near the captain (who, as an aside, looked just like Dell Curry). With us was that family of 3, and a mother/daughter group that had driven down from a nearby town. We left the dive shop and went around the peninsula, then stopped at the pier/dock at Placencia. We waited there for about five minutes, then picked up four more people. The captain didn't seem happy; we think it was because we were near/at capacity already. It was an easy ride out to the barrier reef. We passed by many inhabited islands, with very nice accomodations. We figure they must all be using solar, or perhaps generators. After about an hour, we finally stopped at a tiny island. There was mass confusion there, as food was leaving our boat for island, a ranger coming onto our boat to give an overview of the area and instructions on what was and wasn't allowed, snorkelers going one way, us going another (since we were taking a refresher course in the morning), the other divers going another, and a different diving group altogether going separately. It was really disorganized, but eventually it all worked.

We went to the island to put on our gear and walk out into the water. There were a ton of people on this tiny speck of an island, and it was hard for us to get ready in a cramped area. We walked right into the ocean wearing our gear; it was shallow at first but then it dropped off precipitously. We went through the refresher course in fairly shallow water. Hopefully we'd never have to try most of this in the open ocean. We did fine, thankfully, and then we went on a short dive around the area. We saw a crazy crab that looked like a giant spider and a tiger tail sea cucumber. It seemed like it hadn't really been that long since we dived, but it had been about 18 months. Lunch was on the beach and was pretty good, BBQ chicken with scalloped potatoes. We spoke with one of the divers from our boat, and he told us that on their dive they had a nurse shark following them for most of their dive. Lunch was 45 minutes or so, and then we made our way back to the boat. We were on the afternoon dive with the rest of the divers, minus the group that we had picked up at the pier that had headed back to their cruise ship separately.

Our dive was out in the middle of the ocean. We descended to a sandy bottom, then headed off near the bottom of the ocean. We were all together, but stayed closer to the person we had taken our refresher course with, Eric. Shortly after we started swimming around we saw one nurse shark, then another. Both of them proceeded to follow us pretty much the rest of the time on the dive. They got as close as one to two feet. At certain times they were going right under us, which was a bit disconcerting at first, but then just became normal after the tenth time. Sure enough, Justin didn't have his camera, but Crystal got video. Aside from the sharks, we saw a giant lobster and a spotted sea snake. We also saw a remora at our safety stop. We had never seen one before, but it was very distinctive. Specifically, the dorsal fins were curved in an oval shape, so they looked a little ray-like, and it looked like they were kind of flat on top. Apparently those dorsal fins have a sucker-like organ with slat-like structures that open and close to create suction and take a firm hold against the skin of larger marine animals (or divers).

After the dive the boat went for about five minutes to another location, where we hopped back in the water for a quick snorkel. It was much harder to see, as the visibility was poor. Justin couldn't see squat, and didn't stay out long, seeing "just" one more shark. Crystal saw a spotted eagle ray and a shark. The ride back had rougher seas than the morning, with less people on the boat. We were upstairs with the captain and one other employee. A couple of times water came in, including right after Justin laid down for some rest. At a couple points it looked like it might rain, but it never did. We got back to the dive shop around 5pm, and signed up for the next day. Because our stuff was already there, we just left our dive bag with the shop overnight.

Back at the hotel we grabbed a quick drink at the bar with Darren, who told us that it was drum night tonight at one of the local restaurants, Tipsy Tuna. So we got cleaned up (which took awhile because of de-tangling Crystal's hair) and then walked down the highway to Tipsy Tuna, which was very close to Barefoot Bar. We got there just before 7pm, placed an order for mango daquiris, and then the drums started almost immediately thereafter. There was a group of maybe 20 people of varying ages, but mostly school-aged children, with a couple of drummers and most people dancing to the beat. It was pretty easy to get lulled into the beat, watching and listening the show. After a bit we ordered 15 wings and some more drinks. We were tired around 8pm, when the group took a short break. We wanted to head out, but it took forever to get the bill back. Justin was about to fall asleep in the restaurant. The walk back was thankfully much emptier on the highway, and the temperature was very comfortable. We headed up to the room and were asleep around 9pm.

Previous Index Next