It’s been a while SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO busy 🙂 . Recently my mate came over from the UK , which was his first visit. His wife hatched a plan for some peace and quiet looking after the kids and the the great escape was conceived .
The main focus was to dive The Blue Hole. I’d actually saved it for when he visited to make it special, 7 years in the waiting and finally it was going to happen. I hadn’t dived in years so decided to take a refresher course with the dive school we were using to do the blue hole. To cut a long story short we surfaced on the outside of the reef with an onshore wind and the boat was gone. We swam for an hour and only just survived being shredded by the reef, a memorable experience for all the wrong reasons. Now I was ready for the dive 🙂 .
H, Phil and I made our way over to Caye Caulker and readied ourselves for the dive, eating and drinking like it was going out of fashion. Phil even managed to do the fire ball shot at the sports bar which was something to behold. We did a night dive to prep for the blue hole and then 6am the next day we were off, speeding across the ocean to Lighthouse Reef 2 hours away by boat. The ride was smooth mostly inside the reef, but I did neck a few Dramamine tablets to stop my inevitable sea sickness. They worked a treat. The day consisted of a 3 tank dive, we did the blue hole first as it was the deepest dive. I was the only open water diver so got my own dive master and the rest of the group went with two other dive masters and went a little deeper.
We were the first divers into the water so there was no sediment and me and my dive master dropped straight over and descended into the inky blackness.
As we sank quickly two large reef sharks came to check us out, keeping their distance, letting us know who was in charge.
The main attraction of the blue hole is the stalactite formations at 35m and 42m. I saw the upper, Phil saw the lower, I could practically touch him.
Before we did the dive, there were a lot of reviews saying it wasn’t that great. Alternatively I thought it was fantastic, not diving for so long and having saved it. We were lucky as it was Labour Day, one of the busiest days of the year for diving the blue hole but got there early and everything went to plan.
The next dive was lighthouse reef were we saw an abundance of marine life most notably a huge loggerhead turtle and one of the largest crabs you could ever wish to see.
We finished off the last dive after eating lunch on lighthouse reef and going to long caye which has the dive known as the aquarium, the fish population is huge. All the sites we visited had great visibility and the reefs were in good shape. I didn’t see evidence of any coral bleaching, but they say it’s only a matter of time due to ocean temperatures rising.
The photo’s were taken on my lumix tz10 which I bought a marine case for to bring to Belize 7 years ago. It was it’s first real test at depth as it’s rated to 40 metres, so had my fingers crossed the whole time diving hoping it would stand up to the pressure and it did.
We spent a couple more days relaxing on caye caulker and went to the new beach resort on the north side of the split and had a really good time. The lazy lizard had been revamped and even though the owner is an ass*ole it is much improved . Just for a laugh I got the local police to handcuff Phil as I told the officer I could open those cuffs effortlessly without a key. He let us pose for the photo then said ok lets you open the cuffs ..I replied never seen this guy before in my life and walked off , to the roaring laugh of the policeman, who really was great fun.
Our time was done on caye caulker and we headed back to Corozal , we sailed and kayaked the bay, weather was just perfect, and then headed off up to Playa del Carmen for a spot of sight seeing, drinking ,dancing ,eating ,drinking and drinking…..We found this restaurant in a hue cave which was very swish it’s called ALUX and is just out of town a 5 min taxi ride well worth it. We had rented a penthouse apartment with private pool at the end of 5th avenue which served us well , although the next door neighbour kept trying to tempt Phil in for a glass of wine ( of course he just happened to be male 😉 ). We also visited a cenote ( cave swimming hole) where bats and birds swooped from the ceiling. Our local stop was patio 8 a gin bar where we ended up most nights. H says gin should always be enjoyed in the company of a good looking man, but unfortunately, we would just have to do on this occasion! 🙂
So I’ll be blogging more frequently as we have some exciting times coming up ….. Next one is Maya Breeze …the new house is finished 🙂