We spent days searching for this permit! Well worth the wait! (Julia Kocubinski)
We headed out early again this morning, and headed southeast in the atoll. We came across this rather large lodge that is being built. Apparently it has been in the works for years, and is relatively, pretty massive. It is sad to see such a large hotel being built in such a beautiful, pristine place. Dion showed us where they had drudged the sand, and more or less took out a huge chunk of the reef in front of the lodge. He said the fishing used to be great right in that area, the flats were a perfect place to find bone fish and permit, among a wealth of other wildlife. Now, there is a pristine white beach and a deep, blue hole where they had dug it all out. Sad to see this happening, and really made me appreciate the relatively little impact Turneffe Flats has on the ecosystem. We searched for hours for a permit, chasing the occasional glimpse of one or two, until I finally fell asleep on the boat. We then got out and wandered along the flats. Evan and Dion fishing, me just wandering, exploring and looking at the cool ecosystem beneath my feet. After a couple dips in the water and few nice bonefish for Evan, we headed back into the lagoon. On our way, Dion spotted a huge manatee below us, in the deep blue water. We watched it swim around below us before heading back into the lagoon. We came across a couple schools of permit, and spend a few hours chasing them, trying to get in front. It was incredibly still, no wind, and hot. The chase was pretty exciting and Evan had a lot of great shots on the fish. I was getting pretty good at spotting the nervous water, indicating fish swimming just below the surface. Then in an an instant, Evan had a fish on! It swam hundreds of feet away from us, then back, then away, then back, and after twenty minutes or so, the fish tired out and Evan won the battle. We had come a long way for this moment, and I was happy to be there to witness it! Evan could not have been happier! To top off the day, on our way back to the lodge, we spotted a family, including a baby, of dolphins! Evan and I hopped in the kayaks and spent the last few moments of sunlight kayaking with the dolphins. What an amazing day! Could not have been better.
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