Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blue hole and Lighthouse Atoll

5:30am!!! The boat picked us up to go out to Blue Hole. We had half a papaya each for breakfast, so we had to get up at 4:30am. We went out with Aqua Diver instead of our regular Ecologic Diver. We were told that they have 17 last night. But by the time our boat picked up all the guest in Caye Caulker, we had 30 on board. As soon as we got outside the barrier reef, we entered the open ocean, and thing became rough very quickly. Some swells were probably 6-8ft. The boat rocks left and right and we had to climb the waves one at a time for 2.5 hours. It was treacherous! We came prepared with seasickness pills. Peisun took 1 before we got onto the boat. But it already expired in 2006. Turned out the papaya that we took didn't help. Peisun had to puke during the journey. And I did not do that much better. It felt like the papaya was almost coming out a few times. We drove passed Turneffe Reef on our way there, that offered us some shelter for 30min before rough sea was upon us again.

The first dive wass the Blue Hole. It's 130ft deep. We decided to skip this dive as we are beginner. Instead we just did some snorkeling around around here; nothing really to brag about here. Heard from some divers that the blue hole dive was very cool, people enjoyed it.

The next stop was Half Moon Wall. This is a dive which starts at 40ft on a sandy patch. While we swim outward through some coral canyon, we came across this steep wall that plunges into the ocean floor beyond the visibility allows us to see. There are huge sponges here, and many other type of corals. We could dive down as far as one can see, but we stayed at most at 60ft. It definitely beats the diving of Ambergris Caye.

Then we stopped at Half Moon Caye for lunch. Lovely little island, there is some bird sanctuary that we got too lazy to walk. After lunch we dove in a place near Half Moon Caye called Eagle Ray Wall. Somebody saw 2 eagle rays, we didn't. It was a fun dive too but visibility wasn't as good as the earlier dive. Probably 60ft. This was the last dive for the day. Long day, we came back around 6:30pm. Took a shower, went for dinner , and wrote this post.

A few thoughts, I think this journey was long, diving was great. Is it worth it, I think that depends on how hardcore you are. For snorkeling, definitely not worth it, some places are just too deep. Another dive shop called Amigos Del Mar, has a bigger faster boat which might be more comfortable, we never tried them so don't know.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Best meal so far

Lobster kebab and lobster with coconut cream! Usd16 each!


Yipee, we passed our scuba lesson. On our 3rd and 4 dive, we went outside of the reef where it is deeper... We start at around 50ft and gradually swim deeper. It was pretty scary at the beginning as the ocean floor seemed so far away, but gradually we made it down to the bottom. the formation is pretty cool, it is made out of canyon that formed by rock and Corals, between the canyon are sandy area. That's where we do our skill tests. At the beginning it is harder to concentrate on the surrounding, instead just focus on scuba diving and where the divemaster and buddy is... On the subsequent dive, we got better at the bouyancy and more comfortable.

After that we signed up for our 1st dive after we pass the class. Because of the peak season, many dives are booked so we sign up for a night dive. I think it's the octupius that sold us.

Since it's a night dive, we got some time to checkout the island, we rented a golf cart to drive up and down ambergris caye. Drove south to checkout a bunch of resorts there. Our favorite is called Victoria house. It's the nicest down south of san Pedro. Then we venture north cross a bridge. The road became much worse with deep puddles. And the golf cart don't have the beat suspension. To put it lightly it is a bumpy ride. It's more like pei sun cursing at my driving the whole way up. We wanted to checkout a resort recommended by lonely planet called Capricorn. But we didn't make it! Our cart couldn't start after I stopped to check out an iguana by the road. Eventually it started after I use the choke. Scared by the pptential of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere and puddles are turning onto pool, we abandoned the mission and returned to San Pedro. Bought ourselves some fruits and then return to the motel for a bit of rest before the night dive....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

When Madonna sang about San Pedro in the 80's, we could see why she calls it la Isla Bonita. Although there is plenty of facility these days, the coral reef is still in decent shape... Better than Pulau Payar! The people over here very Eco conscious.

In general Belize is still a pretty poor country. The so call highway is just a regular 2-lane road. Another surprising thing is the Chinese writing on shop fronts... Not sure if it is because of Taiwanese influence or what?

Then there is the food... I think the classic dish is rice and bean with chicken or fish. It actually tastes pretty yummy. The rice is cooked with some bean and coconut milk. Stewed chicken tastes a bit like curry, fish is red snapper, yummy!! We also had other seafood here like shrimp, lobster, and conch fritters. All are very well prepared, either the Jamaican jerk style or some local Belizian style. The only gripe is we have to pay American prices... :(

Speaking of American, we are probably the majority here. And within that 70% that we met are from sf!

Well, time to go scuba, gotto go!


It has been raining like cats and dogs since the night, so it became a
lazy day and enjoy some pineapple

Going for our scuba diving class in the afternoon... After that we
graduate, yeah!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Xmas from la isla Bonita

Merry Xmas to all! Took our first scuba class, was great! Saw 2
stingrays and some fan corals