Feb 16, 2018 - National Geographic Quest
Hello from South Water Caye, Belize! We woke up to calm seas and a day full of promise. Our base was at the southern end, under the shade of coconut palms and buttonwood trees. As the divers headed out, the snorkelers were already being matched up with the Splash snorkel guides and today’s adventure was underway. Kayaks and stand up paddleboards, quickly set out to explore the crystal-clear waters surrounding this island paradise. Spotted eagle rays gracefully glided through as the snorkelers made their way across the sandy bay to the turtle grass meadows and the coral reefs beyond. From the pelican’s pouch dock, we could see an osprey nest with two chicks and one of the parents, secured to the top of the thatched roof of a seaside palapa. As we watched, the other parent arrived with breakfast gripped tightly in its talons – a queen parrotfish! As the day wore on, sightings of loggerhead turtles, barracuda, Caribbean spiny lobster, numerous colorful reef fish and beautiful hard and soft corals were reported by returning snorkelers and divers. On land, palm warblers, yellow throated warblers, yellow-crowned night heron, green heron and belted kingfisher were seen by some and a school of over 200 bonefish swirled and entertained in the shallow calm seas alongside the dock. South Water Caye sits smack atop the Belize Barrier Reef and is in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, part of the Belize Barrier Reef System World Heritage Site. After a sudden and short shower, guests enjoyed some beers and punch as the awaited the sunset. It did not disappoint and settled into the distant mountains in a blaze of orange, purple and various shades of pink, surrounded by scalloped white wispy clouds.
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