We grab a nice breakfast at our Seaside Cabanas hotel, and then get picked up for our day of snorkelling. We’re a little worried about Rebecca’s stomach as it’s another really small boat, and she takes some Gravol, so fingers crossed she’ll be okay.
We arrive at the first swim site, and there are tons of other boats there, and swimmers. This is not like any of the other much quieter dive sites we’ve been to in Belize. Once in the water it becomes even more crowded… looking down through your mask you realize that there are also scuba diving groups swimming underneath you.
We do manage to see a few turtles, some barracuda, lots of very pretty fish, and even a ray that swims through. However, it’s a bit frustrating as the American family that’s on our dive boat keeps swimming (pushing) in front of us every time there is something cool to see, and also seem to want to free dive down to whatever we’re looking at to pose for pictures. They even go so far as to touch coral and turtles, which we’ve been instructed not to do. At one point I surface and tell Rebecca that if the guy pushes past me one more time, or kicks me with his fins again, I’m going to drag him under and start throwing elbows.
Our next stop is the infamous Shark Ray Alley. As we pull up we’re surrounded by very large Nurse Sharks, and the boat captain starts throwing pieces of fish in the water to attract more. We’re allowed to ‘pet’ the sharks while they’re feeding. This doesn’t sound like a good idea to me, and regardless, we can’t get near them as the American family have almost capsized the boat by all rushing to that side to ‘play’ with the sharks.
We gear up and get in the water. By now only a few sharks remain. They’ve been trained like dogs to seek out new boats until the fish buffet runs out, then head to the next boat. I’m a bit disappointed, and almost disgusted by the ‘intervention’ of us humans in the shark’s lives and habitat.
The next 30 minutes is spent playing with rays, which allow us to touch them. Our guide keeps grabbing them and holding them in place so everyone can touch them. This is also a bit off putting, but the rays do seem to hang out in the area, so they must not mind it too much.
Our third, and last swim site, is the Coral Gardens. Here we take off on our own, away from the others, to explore this large reef area. It’s beautiful, but there are also a lot of area of dead coral which I can only presume are due to so many people touching them. Ignoring the overcrowding, and rude Americans, it is a nice day of snorkeling to finish off Belize.
Back on land we grab a quick bite to eat before our water taxi back to the mainland.
We check into Villa Boscardi with Francoise, and my first priority is wifi and to see what’s up with my parts. To my amazement, her wifi isn’t working, and she doesn’t seem too concerned. She does, however, offer to take us over to a restaurant that she is heading to for a party and dinner… and they may have internet.
Laptop in hand, we have another great seafood dinner, and I find out that there is no new news about parts from Guatemala. Tomorrow I’ll be at the airport with Rebecca, and can drop into Fedex to see if they have anything. If they don’t, I’m not sure what I’ll do. Stay in Belize? Head to Guatemala to get the parts in person? Can the bike make it that far (over 1000 km), in a Spanish speaking country I’m not familiar with, that has a bad reputation for violence? I’m starting to get worried.