by Ana Maria, Blue Ventures volunteer, Belize
We were not able to dive on Saturday (26th Nov) due to high waves and a strong current, so we went for a walk along the beach north to Rocky Point where the reef touches the shore.
Mangroves, bushland, seagrass beds and palm trees grow along the route. Our capitano Samos, who was also our guide, told us that before 1955 coconut plantations everywhere on the way to Rocky Point; workers picked the coconuts, dried them and the oil was exported. In 1955 hurricane ‘Janet’ destroyed the whole area and people migrated, today the area is abandoned and a habitat for many animals.
We saw different species of birds such as the Great Egret, Red Ibis, Blue Heron and Sandpiper. In the seagrass we spotted crabs, juvenile fish and even a Southern Stingray that swam near us.
The way to Rocky Point is not only a paradise for beachwalkers but also for those of us who like to collect things – the treasure hunters in our group, due to the garbage from all over the world that washes up on the beach. In the following pictures you can see a small collection of the “treasures” we found.
When we arrived a Rocky Point we enjoyed a fantastic view despite the afternoon breeze.
From our view point on the log we saw a reef shark hunting in the waves. We studied the skeletons of corals – the perfect exercise for our benthic tests ;-), and looked for shells (Lyndsey found some brittle stars in the tide pools).
Finally Samos did us all a big favour by picking us up by boat however, the water in the bay is very shallow so he could not land at the beach. Therefore our second capitano Galileo tried to reach the boat with dry feet on the raft that he had found on our walk to Rocky Point, whereas the rest of us walked to the boat.
Unfortunately my time with Blue Ventures in Belize is over after 8 awesome weeks! I finished my stay in BCDC with my 100th dive. Thanks to Sam, Jen and Sarah for giving me an insight to the beautiful underwater world of the Belizian Caribbean, for interesting point outs and research training, the good mood in hectic times and a very well organised dive camp. Sam, the alcove and the new racks look great and make kitting up so much easier. Thanks “el Cocinero” Desi “ for your comida muy rica. Your tortillas are the best! Thanks Galileo for your safe boat rides on Rusty. Muchissimas gracias “el Capitano” Samos for your roller-coaster rides on Azul through the cuts, the early morning wakeup calls, you and your family’s hospitality in Sarteneja, the entertainment and tour guiding. Thanks to all my buddy volunteers – especially room-mate Lyndsey, Els and Marcel – for funny and unforgettable times over and under water. I’ll miss you.