Day 8 – Three dive sites
I ditched the snorkel, mask and fins today and just swam with goggles. It was the first time I was really able to enjoy the water without being stressed. We went to the mangroves, a sink hole, and Tobacco Caye. I saw two barracuda, a lot of damsel fish and a spotlight parrotfish. When I got back into the boat I ate a slice of raw conch. I think they have a similar texture to young gooey coconut.
This evening I went out on the boat when Richard and Alban were fishing. It was beautiful night. Today was great. I am watching the trip wind down and I realize how incredible it is to be out here. I still have trouble wrapping my mind around it. I never imagined I would be studying biology, let alone studying on a great barrier reef.
Even though I get credit for this class, it’s not work. From lecture to writing a lab report, this is what I love. I really enjoy what I am learning. It is crazy where you end up.
Day 9 – Fishing
It’s 4:46 am and I wake up realizing my alarm is going off. I get ready as quietly as possible and head to the dock. Just gorgeous! The moon is bright and the stars are still out.
I went fishing this morning with Richard, Alban, Tim, Eric and Andrew. The sun was coming up and the water was clean and turquoise. Andrew caught a barracuda. It will probably be 6 ft long by the time we get home.
Today was beautiful! Jubilee and I swam off the end of the dock, fed conch to the octopus under the dock, and then swam again after the snorkel.
Today’s snorkel (goggle) was so much fun. I buddied up with Dr. Nelson. I saw a queen triggerfish for the first time, they are my new favorite! Jubilee, Dr. Nelson, and I were the last ones in the water. I was very impressed with myself because I lasted the whole time without fins and a snorkel. When I dove down deep the water was warm. It felt so nice to just have fun swimming in the water.
Tonight was the final. It feels great to be done. This class went by so fast, it is bittersweet to be leaving South Water Caye in the morning. Time to pack and play some more!
Day 10 – Goodbye island
I had to watch the island disappear into the distance this morning. It was sad to say goodby to the island, but like my mom always says, “Leave while you are still having sun!” It makes you keep the memory good. This morning I woke up early and watched the sun rise over the water from the south end of the island. There were a few spotted eagle rays swimming near the shore.
After leaving, we came to Jaguar Creek. We dropped off our stuff and then went swimming in the blue hole, a fresh water one. It was so refreshing to swim in the fresh water, and float in the current down to look at the cave.
Day 11 – Heading home
Today was our last day in Belize. We went to the Mayan ruins. I met a man that was a descendent of the Maya. Instead of exploring the ruins I sat down next to him while he told me about his Mayan roots. He spoke from his heart, sharing his faith and culture with me, a complete stranger. He was there to feel the energy of the ruins and tell their story to two little boys he was taking on a tour. I learned so much from listening to him. This was probably one of the best unexpected days of my trip.