Monday, June 29, 2015

It's Un-Belizeable!

This morning started nice and early. I attempted to catch the sunrise but it was cloudy to the east. On the other hand, I did get to see a lot of the fishing boats leave the island to head out. That was pretty neat. Most of them were small boats that only had two or three people in it.

Since the sunrise was a no-go, I went back to bed and attempted to catch another hour of two of sleep. But! the water was too beautiful and the birds were too busy chirping, so I went for an early morning swim off of our pier. It was amazing to feel like the only person awake and floating in the sea. After a little bit of that, I got out and dried off. I packed my dive bag and headed to the dive shop to start my first day of open water diving (I have to do two days to complete my scuba certification). On the way, I stopped at a little coffee stand where I bought some fresh Belizian Coffee and some mini-donuts (Which taste nothing like donuts and are home made at every coffee stand here).
© Christopher Moeller
Scenery on the walk into town...
I got to the dive shop I choose to finish my certification and checked in with the guy working there. I met my instructor and he told me that he had one other student he wanted to finish a few skills with before he took us both out for our open water dives. He told me to come back at noon and we would spend the afternoon underwater.
Frenchie's Dive Shop, Caye Caulker, Belize
On the way back to my room, I stopped for some more coffee and a little bit more to eat. I found a great little shop that gave me an excellent cup of coffee and a really well-priced breakfast compiled of some fresh fruit.
© Christopher Moeller
Amor y Cafe. Caye Caulker, Belize
© Christopher Moeller
Fresh fruit to start the day
I spent the morning back in the hammock, reading. Not a bad way to start my day. I left around 11 and headed back to Frenchie's with the plan of stopping through the last day of Lobster Fest to pick up some lunch before diving. I was lucky enough to get another Lobster Kebab. It was just as good as it was yesterday. I went and checked in again at Frenchie's and jumped on the boat with my dive master/instructor Mario.
© Christopher Moeller
My dive boat in port
We headed out and did two dives. The first was about an hour long and snaked through the barrier reef. It was amazing and an entirely different experience from anything I have ever done. I have done some snorkeling, but this was so much different. I was able to be 30' below the surface and had the freedom to look inside the nooks and crannies of the reef. Not just observe from above. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos since I was underwater all afternoon. I hope to do some underwater photos later this week once I have finished my certification.

We spent all afternoon in the water doing two dives. The first was just to get underwater and explore. On the second dive, we did a few skill test to practice some scenarios that might arise sometime during our dive career. Both dives were absolutely stunning and hooked me into the sport. I am really looking forward to heading back tomorrow to finish my cert.

On the way home from the dive shop, I stopped at one of the local bars and had some Rum punch and dinner (you are right, more lobster). I made friends with the owner and we chatted a little bit. He gave me a few pointers for some spots around the island I should visit during my stay.

My evening ended up being very unique. After taking a quick nap, I decided to go out and see what kind of nightlife there was. I ended up getting home way later than I intended because I stopped at one of the small bars along the beach with the intention of having a drink or two and moving on. I ended up having a great conversation with the bartender which he then introduced me to the owner. The owner, Godfrey, and his son, Tucker, run the restaurant. Godfrey also owns the hotel across the beach. Godfrey invited me to stay for a little bit after they closed up shop and we became fast friends. He introduced me to the entire family and told me to make sure I come back to his restaurant. They are closed the next days. When I told him I was leaving Wednesday morning, he told me that I better stop and have breakfast with him on my way off the island. I will be doing that for sure.

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