During a recent trip to Ambergris Caye, Belize, an island off of mainland Belize, we went on a snorkeling/ fishing trip for a day with our guide Oliver, his assistant, Alex, and two other couples from Texas. As I shared in “A Day on the Sea. Part I: The Food,” the food was fresh and unforgettable. The rest of that day was just as memorable.
Packed with sun tan lotion and snorkel gear, we started early morning and headed to one of Oliver’s special places on the reef. By the way, the reef off shore in Ambergris Caye is part of a barrier reef that runs from the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, through Belizean waters, ending in Honduras. This 560 mile long reef, called the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, is the second largest barrier reef in the world, behind The Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Cool huh?
Anyway, Oliver grew up in Belize and knows the Belizean section of the reef like the back of his hand. Many guides don’t even know of his special places or may not be willing to take you there. Soon after heading out is when we ran into the men spear fishing for lobster that I wrote about in “A Day on the Sea. Part I: The Food.”
After purchasing the lobster, we quickly headed for an area that Oliver knows manatee to frequent. Right after anchoring, he spotted a manatee. By the time we quickly grabbed our snorkel gear and hopped in, the manatee was already gone. The manatee soon came back, and we had the chance to swim alongside him for a few minutes.
Sorry for the lack of underwater pictures. Wish I had an underwater camera to capture what we saw. In addition to the manatee, there were many tropical fish, including a nurse shark or two. The coral formations were amazing as well. This reef is definitely one of the places to go if you’re into diving or snorkeling.
After snorkeling and fishing at a few different spots, we headed to a small, almost deserted island for lunch. It’s called Shallow Island, or something like that, and is close to Caye Caulker, another small Caye off the coast of Belize. I don’t think any of us were expecting what came next. We all thought we’d go to a part of Caye Caulker and picnic on a beach somewhere but instead were surprised with a Gilligan’s Island sort of place.
We were greeted by Kilo (hmmm…wonder where he got his name?) one of the resident dogs that lives part time of the island.
Here’s a view of one end of the island. The owner of the island has it set up for fly fisherman. There’s a tiny cabin for the fishermen.
And here’s the view looking toward the other end of the island.
A humble kitchen area…
Some hammocks. Shhh…it’s sleeping beauty.
Playing opossum. Sneaky sneak.
A potty in paradise.
What a view for a potty, huh?
Our son, Henry (but you can call him Hank) tried to fish, but thanks to Kilo he didn’t have much luck. Every time a big fish came around, Kilo would jump in after it.
I know, Hank. You just wanted to fish. But Kilo can’t help it.
He’s a fisherdog, baby. That’s what he does. It’s instinctual.
As frustrated as Hank was, Kilo was one cool dog.
You’re one cool dog, Kilo.
But wait! Look!
And there goes Kilo!
Don’t worry, it’s only a nurse shark – think large catfish kinda mouth. They’re pretty harmless, although you wouldn’t want to get your hand stuck in one of their mouths.
But still, that’s one huge fish, dawg.
We certainly enjoyed relaxing and exploring the island.
The sun was beginning to drop, so we packed up, made a quick stop by Caye Caulker for some ice cream, then back out on the water for one more quick dip to snorkel before heading back to our resort, Pelican Reef Villas. What a day!
On our return flight a few days later, we just happened to fly right over the teeny island.
I can’t believe I actually was able to capture it from the sky.
And I know Kilo is down there somewhere, probably jumping a barracuda.
Greg, from Pelican Reef Villas, where we stayed, recommended the day trip with Oliver. I’m so glad he did. It was well worth every penny.
Do you have any fun summer outings to share? Do tell.