Sunday, October 4, 2009

Swimming with the sharks!

It has been years since we’ve snorkeled. Well, really snorkeled anyway. From the beginning of my research on Belize, the fact that the second largest barrier reef is right off the coast has grabbed my attention! I was so looking forward to snorkeling there! One site that also kept popping up in my research was Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley. To snorkel where there were sharks and sting rays! This vacation was becoming quite the adventure!

Portofino uses Ecologic Divers and they were a wonderful dive outfit. They seemed to be highly conscious of the environment and they absolutely were not ones who chased after the rays to pick them up and pet them for that “picture moment”. Our guide was very respectful that we were in the marine world sharing it with them and not the other way around.

Our first stop on our first snorkel trip was at Hol Chan, and our guide was Charlie. Little did we know how well we’d get to know him during the next few days! It was just my husband and I on this trip, so it was wonderful. A private snorkel tour. Charlie took pictures with his camera and I had my underwater camera. He stopped to point out everything for us. The reef was nice, but not as colorful as I’m sure it was in past years. The color has faded, as he told us is the effects mainly of global warming. But the fish we saw!

To name a few…baracudda, morey eel, huge groupers, stingray, a spotted eagle ray, green sea turtles and a few nurse sharks! Not to mention all of the beautiful colorful reef fish. We snorkeled around for about an hour and then got back on the boat and headed to our next destination.

Shark Ray Alley….here we’d get right into the water with the nurse sharks swarming! First Charlie put out some chum. Right like in the National Geographic specials!! Actually, mostly small fish came to eat the chum, they attacked it! But you could see some sharks around the bottom swimming around. And several sting rays. We were told they nurse sharks are safe to swim with. Ok – in we went! We swam around, the sharks hung around the boat for the most part. I got some pictures. It was all so peaceful and so beautiful!

We were out for about thirty minutes or so. After having not been snorkeling in a few years, I was re-hooked. I could do this all day! We got back to the dive shop and met up with a group from our hotel. They just finished up what is called DSD – “Discover Scuba Diving”. It’s an intro course that doesn’t certify you, but you get to go on a dive. Now I was thinking…..hmmm…..just maybe!!!


  1. I went snorkeling when I was in the Phillipines a couple times. Maybe you want to consider going there sometime? The island, the ocean, and especially the coral were absolutely stunningly beautiful!


    P.S. Great post!

  2. Marty,

    Thanks! Maybe someday I'll get to the Phillipines...sounds beautiful. There are so many places to travel to. So many things to see!

  3. Thank you for the invite to view your blog (from the forum question, 'Why should I read your blog?').

    We've always wanted to go to Portofino. On a overcast day in the UK it looks better than ever! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Doug,

    I don't think you'd be disappointed if you can make it to Portofino in Belize. We enjoyed it there so much! It was one of the most relaxing vacations we've ever had. And yet at the same time we got to do so many wonderful things - like the snorkeling!

    I hope you enjoy the blog and follow along!


  5. Love your photo's and passion about your travel and fun.
    Looking forward to following you.
    I enjoyed viewing your blog! Keep up the good work.

  6. Thank you for you compliments Diane! I hope you continue to enjoy future posts as much as I enjoy sharing my adventures!


  7. What good writing! I live in Florida, so any vacation I get, I leave the tropics, and head for places like the British Isles. Still, your text and pictures are lovely! Keep it up!

  8. Thanks Maggie! I'm glad you're enjoying the blog and pictures! I haven't been to the British Isles, maybe someday! Any chance we get, we seem to be drawn to the warmth of the caribbean so right now!