Johan and I have decided to go diving today so after breakfast we go to the dive shop and try out equipment. Everything is close here in Caye Caulker so there’s just a 200 m walk to the dive boat. We’re going to be diving with two Americans and a Canadian but they’re not very talkative. Going out to the reef takes only about 15 minutes but as we come near to the dive site the waves are pretty high and it’s kind of rough going jumping in. I get in okay but Johan who hasn’t dived in a while hasn’t got the right amount of weights and is struggling. All that fiddling with high waves and all has gotten him seasick as well, so he decides to abort the dive. Good call!
Down at the bottom it’s calm though and we make our way through reef canyons while seeing lots of lobsters (the kind without claws that looks like a sissy). They’re bunched up in little caves along the reef wall but you can spot them rather easily since the antennae stick out rather prominently. There are also a lot of large lion fishes and our dive master uses a spear gun to pick them off as we go. The reason for this isn’t that he’s a sadist, rather that lion fishes aren’t native to the Caribbean but rather the product of an accident during hurricane Andrew when an aquarium in Florida was damaged and a bunch of them was released into the sea. Ever since then they’ve been living the high life since they don’t have any natural predators in this area. So a lot of the divers around here are doing what they can to keep the numbers down by spearing and feeding them to moray eels.
During the dive he spears probably six or seven of them but sadly there aren’t any morays around so he just lets them drop to the bottom. We see more barracuda and interesting corals, but no turtles or rays this time. Between dives we go to shallow and calmer water so we can snorkel for a bit and eat some fruit. This is when I discover that I’ve been doing the entire dive while still wearing my money belt, ooops… Fortunately money is designed to be able to handle stuff like that so they’ll probably be okay.
The second dive is more or less like the first but slightly shallower, which I don’t mind since the first one was really good. The coral landscape is awesome with large coral hills interrupted by sand filled canyons that allows for small caverns on the walls where interesting things hide out. There’s lots of Lion fish this time as well and our dive master even brings a really large one up into the boat to have for dinner later. Johan’s sea sickness hasn’t gone away so he has been lying down on the floor of the boat the entire time, unaware of that his legs has been sticking out into the blazing sun and now the result is showing. He’s looking more or less like a cooked lobster and is starting to feel the pain.
Back at the hotel I happen across J1 and J2 who are really excited after today’s snorkling trip where they got to manhandle both sharks and stingrays! Having rested a bit (and hung my money to dry) I hook up with Daniel and Åsa and we start exploring the Caye Caulker by wandering aimlessly. We come across a guy me and Johan spotted this morning sporting a hat he has made out of two palm leaves. I buy one of them and start getting a lot of attention from people wanting pictures or just looking at it, well spent 10 blz. Stopping at the Lazy Lizard for a Baileys Colada we sit down to watch the ocean and dip our feet, discussing the fact that we’re probably the three nerdiest people on this trip.
We do some more exploring and manage to capture a beautiful sunset before hooking up with some of the others back at Lazy Lizard where we’re spend some time watching a bunch of douchebags balancing their way across some poles standing in the water. It ends predictably with one of them almost impaling himself on one of the poles. All of them eventually fall off, all of them but one, the guy who started it all, a generously bearded hippie who has been slowly and methodically making his way towards the end and actually makes it just before it gets really dark.
We end up going for dinner at Bamboo, a great place down at the beach featuring chicken bingo (where you bet money on a number and the winner is the one who has the number where the chicken takes its first dump). You sit at giant swings at the tables and the place is packed. When we eventually get the food we understand why though, it’s absolutely fabulous!
Diving: 80 blz
Hat: 10 blz
Baileys Colada: 10 blz
Food: 70 blz