Do not adjust your set. The ridiculously fluorescent blue water you see in these pictures is correct. The water on the reef just off Ambergris Caye is that blue below the surface.
Up above is a different story. There, as you look out from shore to reef, the color can change numerous times, shimmering between emerald and azure.
The other day I joined friends for a trip around the island, with a little snorkeling at Mexico Rocks thrown in at the end.
It was my first time cruising Ambergris Caye north in a clockwise direction, starting and ending at Coco Beach Resort. Aw, it is a beautiful trip in either direction so I won’t try and split hairs over which way the ride is best.
No matter which way you go, your boat must leave the safe harbor of the reef and for 20 hair-raising minutes or so, you must cut the seam between rolling waves; angle up and over with an electric glide sort of step; and, occasionally, go all muscle on the waves — gun the engine launch up and over, into the air and down with a teeth-jarring a body-slam.
Talk about fun.
With the right driver, I could do that all day.
And with Erick and Candyman from Tuff E Nuff, we had the goods.
This was a little different sort of trip. We stopped, for example, at a resort under construction right on the edge of the Bacalar Chico Reserve. It is a rustic — though hardly primitive — spot called North Coconut Beach. The resort features small wood cabanas on stilts and a centerpiece bar and restaurant called the Una Mas Cantina. Several cabanas have been built with more on the way. The owners have 10 acres sea-to-lagoon to play with.
All is self-contained — solar power (and soon a couple of wind generators) tightly managed by a sophisticated computer system. Like I said it is still very much under construction but when it is done, this looks like it will be an ideal getaway place for people who want that desert island experience. You know, the one you see on all the tourism brochures.
Like I said, this is a work in progress. It’s website is even more “in progress.” Part of it refers to this location and part addresses some island off Dangriga. And none of the pictures are from this location. So I’m not even going to drop a link in here.
After a very nice and reasonably priced lunch at Tranquility Bay Resort (fish and chips for $18 BZD) we made a line for Mexico Rocks.
This was my first time back since the popular snorkeling site became part of the marine reserve. And it seems to have changed up a bit. For one, the feel was more like Shark Ray Alley than Hol Chan Marine Reserve — the islands two most-popular and over-exploited snorkel and dive spots.
For one, the boat next to us dropped some lobster carcasses into the water, drawing a swarm of nurse sharks, rays, turtles, myriad fish and an eight foot moray eel that it felt like it was following me around. Not complaining! It was quite a spectacle and made for some fun photos. There weren’t many coral outcroppings in the area where we tied up. It may be that the rangers are guiding the action away from some parts of Mexico Rocks, which is in need of rest and rehabilitation.
Here are some more shots from the rocks:
TURTLES AT MEXICO ROCKS
SHARKS AND RAYS AND FISH
THEN THERE WAS THIS GUY