Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Seeing is "Belize-ing"....

Up, Up and Away.....
For Valentines Day, I went parasailing with my good friend, Sara. Roger and Bob rode along in the boat and Roger took pictures from there, while I got some great shots from 300 ft in the air! It was a fantastic ride and we were even able to see 3 stingrays in the water while getting a bird's eye view of the island and reef.

There was a lot more rain in January and early February than usual, but it made for dramatic skies (below left). It's been neat seeing some beautiful yachts come and anchor near us (below right).

A new BBQ restaurant, the Lazy Croc, opened this year on the north side of the island; the crocodiles that live in the adjacent lagoon like to sunbathe nearby - but the sign is a reminder that some things are better viewed from far away!

Our dear friend, Frank, who works at the Corona del Mar loves to play horseshoes at Crazy Canucks on Sundays. Roger enjoys "pitching" in and playing as well.

We meet special people wherever we go, and our stay in Belize has been no exception. New friends, Renita and Cindy (below left picture) run a neat inn called Changes in Latitude www.ambergriscaye.com/latitudes , as well as manage several of the privately owned condos at the Belize Yacht Club. They did what many have dreamed of --- ditch corporate jobs and buy a B&B on a Caribbean island....
Norm from Indiana (below left) was an inspiration to us all. He's been coming to the island for over 20 years but is now legally blind from macular degeneration. Despite his sight challenges, he walked everywhere on his own, went parasailing, and even asked his cardiologist if he could go skydiving!
Above right: A group from the Belize Yacht Club came to Crazy Canucks to cheer Roger (back row far left) and Ryan (front row far right) during one of the horseshoe tournaments.

The best place to get a hair cut is on a balcony overlooking the ocean....
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (well, maybe not that much....)
A group from our condo (left to right: Ann from Alabama, Roger and me, Jenny & Burrell from DeWinton, Alberta) decided to try night snorkeling.

None of us had done it, but we went with a guide, Alphonse Graniel, (below left) http://ambergriscaye.com/alfonso/index.html who is known for his enthusiasm and knowledge. He lived up to his reputation and gave us a night we'll never forget. This guy LOVES his job.

The sunset was one of the most spectacular ones we've seen since leaving Africa with the sun a huge fireball. An eagle ray swam by the boat while we were getting our gear on which set the stage for more sea life we would soon discover.

Armed with flashlights attached to our wrists, the 7 snorkelers and 2 guides set off in the darkness. It was like exploring a dark cave and it was neat seeing each other's flashlights dart about. Alphonse would flicker his flashlight and point out the various sea life he would expertly spot, and then described the various characteristics to us.

Some of the creatures under the sea that we saw were: stingrays, huge moray eels, barracudas, trunk fish, parrot fish, blue tang, gigantic lobsters and crabs, groupers (about 20 lbs), dog snapper (also weighed about 20 lbs), angel fish, and sea cucumbers to name just a few. Our favorite sighting was watching an octopus emerge from some coral, spread itself out and change colors before our eyes. Fortunately my excited screams were muffled through my mask and snorkel....

At one point Alphonse had us turn off our flashlights, so we could see the phosphorescence and it was incredible to see tiny flickers of light in the pitch darkness of the ocean. But what was almost as magical as seeing what was under the sea, was to look up at the sky and see the brilliant stars in the night sky with the lights of Ambergris Caye in the distance.

So....more one of a kind experiences have been experienced. From soaring 300 ft up in the air over the reef, to exploring the sea at night.

And all I can think is just how lucky I am.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like every day is perfect. Don is already working in Calgary, and I think we will be packing for home in April. The retirement papers have not been signed yet, but at least we will have one less house to be responsible for. The parents are really glad to hear we are coming back. 'Where in the world' is Roger working now? I think if Don actually retires we will have to spend some time in Belize too. Later, love H.