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Saturday, March 7, 2020

Snorkeling Belize's Barrier Reef - Photos and Videos

Here are a few photos from our visit to Belize.  We based our snorkeling trips off of Ambergris Caye. which is one of the more populated and developed islands of Belize.  We both agreed five days was too much time there, but we got to see some pretty cool stuff on the days we could arrange snorkeling trips.

We did three snorkeling trips and got to see a dolphin and a manatee while still in the boat also.  The snorkeling trips were to marine preserve areas within an hour's boat ride from San Pedro, which is the main town on Ambergris Caye (pronounced "key").

It sounds dramatic to say we went swimming with sharks, but these nurse sharks are bottom feeders who like to suck up bits of food from the bottom.  There were lots of fleshy pale white tourists in the water, but they never took a bite. The guides like to call out "OK shark bait, who's ready to get in the water."  Or, "These sharks are especially attracted to pink and blue toenails!"

The sharks are attracted to the boats by food they put in, but I never saw the food.  I don't think it was bloody meat chum like you'd expect when fishing.  I kind of chased a couple of them to get closer.  But, the closest I got was by accident when one cruised right behind me, so I didn't even notice it until its tail almost hit me in the face.  Looks like this one is trying to decide if I'd taste good.

Here are a few types of coral and some nice fish.

We were really lucky the water was so clear.  When the wind is strong, as it was the next day, the wave action stirs the sand up into the water and it gets cloudy.  I loved these blue-trimmed ones.  Need to remember the names of these fish!  Some diver friends of mine surely know.

These fish sort of surrounded this big rock on the bottom.  I guess trying to blend in.

Here's an Eagle Ray - one of a few that we saw on the trip.  A bit more rare than the Stingrays.

You probably won't be able to see a thing in this photo if you're looking on your phone.  Shakes fist at people looking at my super-detailed photos on a tiny screen!   But there's a camouflaged sting ray right in front of your face there.  Actually, he's not even all that well hidden.

Only saw a few of this type. Love their pale blue color.

The view when the sharks, rays, and fish gathered around the boat.

I was really impressed with how large sting rays are!  These things are 3-4 feet wide.  It was a little scary.  Didn't want to step on one by accident and get stung!

Here are a few videos, 25-seconds or less each.

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