Saturday April 5th
Dona was trying to reach Aprill all morning to find out about our fishing
and snorkeling trip. We finally went to town with Gale to figure it out.
Roberto was waiting for us since 8am. It was 9:30. Communications were
very sporadic in Belize and a Type A person requiring precise timing and
detailed plans would not survive long. Dona later mentioned what must
be a truth about many developing countries, “If you come to Belize
without patience, you will learn it. If you come with patience, you will
lose it.” We made a quick stop at the market to get some oranges,
sweet plantains, and tamales wrapped in large leaves to eat. We went to
the boat and met George.
George is a very nice guy and the president of the tour guide association
for that region. He is a troll and fly-fishing guide, takes people out
snorkeling, and makes furniture. Everyone that does the guiding also has
another job. He took us to the Snake Cayes to snorkel, about an hour boat
ride from the coast. The Snake Cayes were four small islands in the middle
of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve.
We slathered on the SPF30, which wasn’t enough, and jumped in the
water (Do they make SPF450?) We snorkeled around West Snake Caye, which
has a pure white sand beach. We saw a few barracuda, a few large starfish,
a lot of clown fish, angelfish, and one large fish that I think was a
type of grouper. If our underwater cameras had been better, you’d
be able to see all of these. Needless to say, the pictures don’t
do this area justice and once again we found ourselves in a place free
of any indication of human presence. It was pretty wavy for snorkeling
over corral, about 1 foot swells, and so we wrapped up the snorkeling
and started fishing. George was trying hard to get the barracuda that
we had seen to bite, but it was too early in the afternoon and the tides
were too high. I did get something on my line right after George handed
me the pole, but it wasn’t large and it got away. All told fishing
was not the most successful part of our trip. The only thing I caught
was a 12 inch suncuda which was not big enough to keep. Z didn’t
catch anything except a lure that was torn to shreds by the one barracuda
that bit that day.
We stopped at the ranger station on Abalone Caye. This is where they monitor
the marine reserve. They have a little nature trail setup on the mangrove
island with different trees and plants marked and wildlife described.
The trail is lined with conch shells. We got to climb the tower, which
overlooks the ocean. I got my best photograph of the water from here.
There is an island not far away that is completely protected. No boats
can go near it and no one is allowed on it.
We left as soon as the tide started to go out. The theory being that the
fish would bite more. They didn’t. We fished all the way back toward
PG. Nothing. We did however have dolphins playing around our boat. Three
of them started swimming along side. George slowed down and they started
cutting right in front of the boat. Two of them were swimming synchronized
and another was just playing around. They stayed with us for about 10
minutes. Again, if there were any Kodak people reading this, your new
design of the underwater disposables sucks. Not one good picture out of
two cameras. Another event of note-- We were trolling the mangroves when
a small 5-inch high translucent blob flew out of the ocean. It flew about
10 feet and splut! Back under the waves. George claims it was a squid.
It was spinning as it flew and it had tentacles flying out. It looked
more like an octopus to me. Anyway, I asked him if they did that often,
and he said no.
We ate with Dona and Gale that night. Packed up and got ready to go. (sniff.)
Snorkeling and Fishing