Saturday, February 5, 2011

Belize, Part 6 {Snorkeling!}

Ok, so anyone who knows me well knows that I'm more than a little scared of swimming in the ocean. I can usually do it for a little bit, and then I get freaked out by the thought of fish and {gulp} sharks swimming in the water with me where I can't see them. So, it was with much trepidation that I told Matt I would go snorkeling with him when we went to Belize. It was stormy our first 5 days there, so I had plenty of time to get used to the idea. By the time Sunday came, the water was so calm, and I was a little excited to go. I mean, what the heck! When was I going to get a chance to go snorkeling off the world's second largest barrier reef (second only to the Great Barrier Reef off Australia's coast)? This was a time for me to do things I never thought I could/would do in my life. So...I gave it a shot. We decided that even though the water was around 86 degrees, it would be a good idea to wear wetsuits. So, we got fitted the afternoon before, and the morning of the swim was beautiful! I can't even describe in words what it was like. I mean, it was like looking on another world. Like we were at an aquarium looking down at all the fish. I don't was incredible. The water was so clear! And there were so many different types of fish! We went to two different sites; the first was on the bay side of the reef, the second on the ocean side. They were both awesome, but I have to admit that once I got the courage up to get into the water again that second time, it almost took my breath away. We really put the underwater camera to good use, and here's a sampling of our pictures:

Waiting on the dock for the boat. Isn't the water so calm? It was so clear, and we could see all the fish that hung out near the pier. :) Look at me, so responsible. Wearing a hat to shade my head!
 Oh, yeah, I forgot about the dolphins that swam right up to the boat on the way to our first site. I've never been so close to dolphins, before!

That was the end of our first "dive". Then we headed out to the ocean side for a second swim. 

 :) Matt and I finally got a decent picture of us snorkeling together. It is much more difficult than you would imagine. This is the best we could do! :)

Ok, look closely, and you'll see the nurse shark down there....yeah, I went snorkeling, and saw a shark. I'm glad it wasn't swimming around...not sure what I would have done...

 There were so many fish, they were everywhere we looked!
 And, also, more kinds of coral than I could ever identify.
 There were schools of really huge fish that we were swimming with, as well!

 This was an awesome Eagle Ray that we saw. We swam with it for quite a while.
 There's me, climbing into the boat. Whew! What an experience!
After that trip, we were so exhausted. We got back, ate lunch, relaxed all afternoon, ate dinner, and went straight to sleep. We even took the whole next day off, relaxing in the sun and the room all day. It was nice to have that option, kind of to totally unwind after so much activity the days before.

Well, who would have thought it. Pam went snorkeling. And liked it!