Sunday, May 13, 2012

Don't feed the fishes!

But if you do... the way the guys who run the snorkeling trips here in Caye Caulker, Belize do it is definitely the way to go. Whatever is is that they put in the water seems to attract just about everything that these waters have to offer - from sharks, to sting rays, to other fish swarming the place. They say the sharks can't actually see the food being thrown in, they mostly just follow the commotion. Anyway, feeding the fish is bad - it screws up the natural habitat and feeding cycle, and all that. But holy crap, this is why they do it anyway:

Lots of fish come - note the long reddish-brown shape of a shark in the middle of them all

Nurse sharks and sting rays follow in

We were literally swimming in the same spot with some 20-30 sting rays of varying sizes, and about as many Nurse Sharks. And other assorted fishes...

Just for good measure, there was even a turtle not too far off

How did all this come about? Well, after a week down on the beach in Placencia, I finally made my way up to Caye Caulker in the North of Belize. Caye Caulker is Belize's backpacker island - meaning you spend your busy, busy days lounging in the hammocks at the water front, reading a book, watching the sunsets, and drinking various rum concoctions (including one named the 'Panty Ripper...'). Life in paradise really is quite hard - I debated quite a bit whether or not the whale sharks had actually been worth it, or if I would've been better off coming up here for a week as I had originally planned... Deep philosophical questions such as that one are not easily resolved in a hammock however, so instead I went for a snorkeling trip at the nearby coral reefs, where we saw all the stuff above. And the feeding questions aside, that had to have been more spectacular of a collection of marine life than anything I'd even ever seen scuba diving.

As for the rest of time in Caye Caulker? (sadly it was only two and a half days anyway):

Water front hammocks to lounge and read a book in

The daily sunset viewing from 'The Split' - Belize Trvia: The Split is where a hurricane had split this little island in two some forty years ago

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