by David Chanter
Hola amigos. Life at Bacalar Chico Base Camp is unreal. The best way I can think to describe it is to imagine the film ‘The Beach’ but less developed. It is a pretty busy schedule of diving and eating. I get up at 0515 every day before sunrise and on the boat to the first dive site. The diving here is like nothing I have ever seen before. To give an example of a typical day, we actually didn’t do any SCUBA but just snorkeled, we saw green moray, numerous barracuda, hawksbill turtle, ocean trigger fish, flamingo tongues, spotted eagle ray (~1.5m wingspan), Californian stingray (again ~1.5m wingspan), and numerous reef fishes. We then moved to the mangroves to Seven Holes, very creepy sink holes that we free dived, got down to 10m (still not the bottom) then something swam passed me and I rocketed to the surface.
On the return journey we saw three manatees (~800kg each), absolutely breathtaking. In the afternoon we travelled to rocky point where the barrier reef meets the land (the only point in the whole of Belize). Spotted potential left hand break but is breaking onto bare coral so wee bit gnarly. We got in for a snorkel there, amongst numerous fish and corals we saw a 2m nurse shark within about 1.5m (harmless). The best thing is that all of this is on our doorstep.
As you can tell I love every minute of this and most days are like the one described. I can’t wait to get into some deeper water in the outer reef and possibly see some bigger fish i.e. sharks (tiger or bull would be nice, whale would be mind blowing).
The wildlife here is out of this world both in the water and on land. We have a family of 3 raccoons that visit us at night, and a multitude of pelicans, cormorants, hawks, and vultures.
I am so glad that I am on the first expedition as it has been an absolute adventure from day one. Every day we are exploring new locations and finding new sites to dive and research.