Last spring Rebecca and I got our Scuba Open Water certifications because we wanted to dive in Belize. Today is that day!
Now, we had been warned in Mexico that Belize dive shops were notorious for lax rules, broken equipment, and horrible guides. We head over to Splash dive shop, which has the best rating on TripAdvisor. They have a dive going out in an hour that we can get with. They shop is top notch. All new equipment, helpful staff that size us up properly, and they even inspect our PADI cards and ask about prior experience.
An hour later we’re heading out of the lagoon into the open ocean. Rebecca doesn’t do well with boat rides or small planes, and gets a bit motion sick, so she takes some Gravol in advance, and sits at the back of the boat where there is less motion. The first stop is almost 1.5 hours out, and Rebecca is needing to get off the boat and into the water.
Gear on, buddy checks done, and we’re in the ocean. My ears struggle (as usual) with the descent, but before long we’re at 60’ and cruising along a coral covered ocean wall that drops off another 150’ below us. We see tons of fish, some lobster, a few invasive lionfish, and even a barracuda. The visibility is amazing, but before long we’re out of air and head to the surface.
We stop at a small island for lunch, but Rebecca is starting to get a bit more seasick. Hopefully the island stop will settle her stomach.
Then it’s off to the next dive stop. We get Rebecca in the water first, and then start our dive. I keep checking on her, but 15 minutes into the dive she motions that her stomach is getting worse. There are only 3 of us diving, plus our dive master. He indicates that he will continue with the other diver, and that we should surface together. We’re at 50’ so we need to do a 3 minute safety stop. I’m hoping Rebecca can handle it (we are later told that you can, in fact, puke with your regulator in your mouth, and you’ll be just fine).
Once on the surface the dive boat is right there for us, and we get Rebecca on board, with more Gravol.
Our final stop is for some snorkeling in some shallows. Rebecca isn’t up for it, so I go in with some other snorkelers from a sister boat. This is the most amazing part of the day for me. I’m swimming with nurse sharks, sea turtles, and a collection of rays, all within arm’s reach, for almost 30 minutes. I can now cross swimming with sharks off my NOW list!
Back on solid ground Rebecca starts to feel better with a rest back at the hotel. I know she’s feeling better because after a light dinner we’re back again at Tutti Frutti’s for more ice cream!