South Water Caye

Mar 03, 2018 - National Geographic Quest

Over the night, we travelled north from Guatemala and awoke in the Belizean South Water Cays Marine Reserve. Our intrepid snorkeling guides met us ashore for beachside adventures as well as took some swimmers out to the deeper water reefs by boat. Near the shore and in the deep, the reefs did not disappoint! Snorkelers saw nurse sharks, moray eels, Southern stingrays, and the plethora of colorful fishes, corals, and sponges. Meanwhile, several of the lucky certified scuba divers got in a little deeper in the water nearby.

Salty and tanned by the sun, we headed back to the ship to refuel with lunch and a buffet of desserts. But after lunch was the real treat – the Garifuna Collective joined us onboard for a lively Caribbean musical session. This internationally famous, nine-member band plays many kinds of drums, maracas, guitar, and bass along with singing the traditional songs of the Garifuna people – the most authentic Caribbean music one can find.

Back ashore at South Water Caye, the kayaks and paddle boards waited. Rejoined by our Splash snorkel guides, we headed back to float the reefs in any way we chose. Some even enjoyed the reef from a hammock or chair on the white sand beach.

Finally, a delicious dinner closed out another perfect day on Belize’s barrier reef. After the decision of pork tenderloin, grilled local fish, and vegetarian curry for dinner the rest of the evening falls into place. All the rest happens in perfect succession:  the brilliant sunset, the chocolate decadence cake, and stories of the Mayas from National Geographic Expert, Richard Hansen.

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About the Author

Ashley Knight

Undersea Specialist

Ashley was raised in the high desert of Sedona, Arizona and escaped to the sea as soon as she was old enough. She developed a love for the oceans when she began scuba diving as a teenager and this has led to a career intertwined with the sea. Her simultaneous career as marine scientist and undersea specialist have given her opportunities to explore the kelp forests of California's Channel Islands, the coral reefs of the Florida Keys, and the rocky reefs of the west coast spanning from Monterey Bay to the Oregon Coast to British Columbia, the fjords of southeast Alaska, and the ultimate cold water of Antarctica.

About the Videographer

Ross Weinberg

Video Chronicler

Born in Hollywood with a camera in his hand, Ross is a documentary filmmaker and photographer who is inspired by a good-organic-wholesome-LA-vegan cause and strives to raise awareness wherever he can through his pictures and films. While majoring in Film and Economics at the Boston University College of Communication, he learned the art of documentary filmmaking as an editor and cameraman for the Harvard-Smithsonian Science Media Group. 

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