We start on a clear day, end in a driving rain, complete a two hour guided tour of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve,
The fish are many, the coral reef is intact, and there have to be more snorkelers in this reserve than fish. I start my snorkel with ten fingers and still have them when I climb the ladder back into the boat after I’m done for the afternoon.
Underwater, a manta ray glided past me, like an alien space ship with a long tail, passing me like I was a slow farm machine in the right hand lane on a busy highway.
Hol Chan is the most frequented reef locale on Ambergris Caye and it saves lives that tourists meet nature in this safe place with guides. On the other side of the reef, sea currents can sweep you out and turn you into shark bait. This trip, including park fee and a guide who swims you through the reef ecosystem, is fifty dollars U.S. a person.
Ambergris Caye would be nothing but a bald head on the ocean without this reef. A visit to Belize without getting wet is a sacrilege and coming here is almost a rite of passage.
I didn’t see sharks down there but know they are close and pray, for those still in the water, that the predators haven’t been drinking.
I don’t want anyone to be their bar snack.