Sunday, June 22, 2008

More Belize!

We just received a CD in the mail with a bunch of pictures from the underwater camera that our friends friends Jenn and Rich brought along on our recent Belize adventure.
This is an older picture of all of us from our Cozumel trip a few years ago. (From left to right - Rich, Jenn, Kate, and Jan)

Diving in Belize is pretty incredible, there is just so much sea life and so much of the sea life is BIG! Here were were able to spend some quality bottom time with Eagle Rays (One of our favorites! - the most we have ever seen in one place), Sting Rays, Morey Eels, Nurse Sharks, Reef harks, Loggerhead turtles, giant Parrot fish, Lobsters, and friendly Groupers. You truly feel like you are visiting another world and are usually amazed at how quick an hour will go by in this enchanted place.

On our second dive in Belize we dropped down to about 40' and kneeled on a sandy area between a couple of coral formations. The dive master brought down a PVC tube with a bunch of holes in it and a bunch of fish guts inside to chum in some of the locals. It didn't take long and we were quickly surrounded by 20-30 4'-7' Nurse sharks (non man-eating), several very large groupers, and a couple of rather shy moray eels. You can see in the video that the sharks were actually quite friendly!

No this shark is not dead or sleeping, but very much alive! It turns out that if you are able to grab a hold of a nurse shark and flip it over, it puts them in a sort of temporary trance or paralysis such that one can handle them quite easily. Here the dive master hands one of these nurse sharks to me (Jan-the one in the short sleeves) and you can also see Kate come over to pet him (or her) while I'm holding it. Then the camera pans around to the left to show all of the sharks that came over for a free lunch.

I'm not so sure how I feel about the whole feeding of the wildlife thing... but I will say that it sure made for some very memorable diving.

The Groupers here were more like cats than fish, this was the first time that we had ever been diving with 40+ lb fish that would actually let you pet them - but never for very long.

One of the highlights of our diving in Belize was a dive in the Eagle Ray Canyons in the marine preserve off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye. Eagle Rays are quite different from Sting Rays, Eagle Rays are much more majestic and can be seen 'flying' or 'soaring' through the water by flapping their large wings. Just for perspective - the wing-span of this one was probably around 5' - 7'.

Great job on the photos and movies from our trip Jenn and Rick and thanks for letting us share them! We can wait for our next adventure with you two!

Here is Kate (on the right) and I hanging out with some of our new friends that we made on our safety stop. See you next time!

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