64 Photos

South Water Cayes for Diving
Belize and Tikal-Guatemala

Pyramid-Cahal PechPyramid-Cahal Pech (Julie Bleau)
This morning, we had time to relax and enjoy breakfast because our departure time was at 8:00 a.m. I was a little nervous because it's been nearly a year last time I went diving in the Caribbean. The water in Belize is so warm (around 84 degrees) that I didn't need any wet suit. I was diving with Terrel who had a plan of hunting all the lion fish that he could find. Lion fish are a nuisance to the waters of Belize because this is not their natural environment. There are two theories on how the lion fish came to Belize waters. The first one is after a major hurricane and the second one is about a man who got tired of ''fish-sitting'' the lion fish after someone went on vacation and never claim the fish back. That man is said to have drop the aquarium content of lion fishes into the ocean of Belize coast. It is from that time that lion fish has been living in Belize Reefs, damaging the food chain as well as the corrals. It is why the lion fish is wanted and everybody has the right to fish them and hunt them down. So Terrel had a chance to go after lion fish that morning. He caught 7 of them at the first site named ''The Abyss'' where, besides lion fish, we saw a myriad of healthy corals, large parrot fish and queen angel fish, and several hawksbill sea turtles ! After diving the Abyss, we stopped at a small island to get some fruits and refreshment. Terrel cut the poisonous spikes of all the lion fish he caught, so they were all ready to be cooked or BBQ'ed for dinner. The second dive was amazing and I felt more relaxed. We saw a green sea turtle, many corrals, lion fishes again (5 were caught), spotted eagle rays, black grouper, and a reef shark passed by all the divers without caring about them. After that last experience, I know that I prefer snorkeling over diving. It is the same with cheese cake: it is my favorite, but if you give me a piece of chocolate cake I might try it anyway. Hamanasi Resort stands right in front of the South side of the barrier reef so, after a short and smooth ride as we were protected by the rich reef from the big waves, we were back from our diving trip by 1:30 p.m., had a small bite for lunch and relaxed around the pool for the rest of the afternoon. At dinner time, we had a surprise: grilled lion fish was passed around the group of divers to try. We just got a bite, but it was a delicious smooth fish and very good too. (It is not recommended to eat too much because it is not known how poisonous the lion fish meat is.)

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