. So as we hung out in Caye Caulker, Belize, eating stewed chicken with rice and beans for every meal (pretty much the cheapest eats on the island if you're looking for a full meal, and luckily for us, it just happened to be super delicious) we debated long and hard if we should spend the money on a snorkelling excursion.
Hanging out at "The Split" in Caye Caulker
A half-day snorkelling trip from Caye Caulker cost $50 BZ (about $25 CAD) per person. So we weren't really talking about breaking the bank. Our plan, however, was to head to Utila, Honduras to try our hand at scuba diving after our short stint in Belize. So we thought... why spend money on snorkelling now when we're about to spend a lot of money to do a lot of diving (and probably snorkelling) in Honduras?
Ultimately, though, we silenced our inner cheapskates and decided to snorkel. Am I ever happy that we did!
The trip involved a five minute boat ride out to the reef, with three snorkelling excursions in three different locations.
Boat ride to the reef
The guide led us in the first trip out, and we saw some really cool stuff. He coaxed some eels
to swim up out of the reef, and we saw some barracudas
and a manatee
. At least Mike saw the manatee. Unfortunately, my mask had a major leaking issue and I missed out on the manatee while I was clearing the water out of it. Oh well... hopefully I'll see one later.
Next up was Shark and Ray Alley. Which is exactly what it sounds like. Our guide tossed some chum in the water and instantly we were surrounded by nurse sharks
The sharks we swam with
Several Southern stingrays joined in the party
too. I was a little nervous
jumping into the water ("Make sure you don't land on top of a stingray - they don't like that much"), but my anxiety was quickly replaced with excitement and astonishment as the creatures swam around us. We were told not to touch the sharks, but the rays were fair game. In fact, the rays actually seek out human interaction. They rubbed up against our legs
just like our cat used to when she wanted attention. We could "pet" them too... as Mike says, they kind of feel like the white part of those gummy frog candies (you know, the green and white ones) - soft, slippery, and smooth.
At the third stop, we did some independent snorkelling along the reef, seeing tons of colourful fish.
Definitely a great trip and an unforgettable experience
The truth is, somewhere along our travels, we've become