Friday, March 9, 2012

Dive Belize

(Ok, this is where all of the stories come in to play...sorry for the billion page post)

While we were in Belize, we went on 5 different dives.
The first two were right outside our hotel and really beautiful!
I know I mentioned this in the last post, but I forgot one huuuge story that I always want to remember! ;)
The fist dive was flawless, everything went great, we saw beautiful fish and coral and then after our 40 minute dive, we went back to the dock (4 min boat ride) for an hour (to let your body readjust after diving) and then took the crazy rollercoaster boat ride back out to a different spot on the reef. It was only half a mile from the shore to the reef, but because of the 6-10 foot swells...not exaggerating at all, it was took forever to get out there.

So we get in the water and the dive is going great. If you remember, it was just the four of us and the divemaster in the water. We saw a few baracuda, tons of fish, a turtule, a few lion fish and a few other things. Well, about 20 mins into the dive, Steph grabs and shakes my arm as forcefully as you can underwater. It startled me a little....until I saw this thing swimming straight for us!

I immediately thought we were at the beginning of a shark attack and we were all done for. I freaked out and swam straight for the dive master, all the while doing flips and wiggles and side rolls trying to get away from this shark that is swimming right between all of us and circling back and forth.

Our dive master, stretches out and gives Michael his spear and grabs Steph and I close into him. I couldn't understand for the life of me WHY he was going to make Michael try to spear the shark when he had no idea what to do. But, it turns out he  had no concerns for the "pesky fish" and just needed a free hand to write on his underwater pad to tell us that it is just a Remora fish and won't do a thing to you. He just likes to "find friends" and then stick with them. HA! A fish!? geez louise! I thought we were about to lose limbs and it turns out it was just a sucker fish. It was the biggest Remora he had ever seen (3ish feet long) and couldn't even imagine the size of the shark it had been attached to! Yikes.

We went back to the resort, reminised about the dive and then had a nice dinner. The next day was a very relaxing day at the beach kayaking, reading, drinking fruity drinks, eating amazing food, ect. Towards the end of the night I really started getting nervous about our "big" dive. I have heard amazing stories about The Blue Hole, but I had also heard horror stories. About how most of the people getting sick on the 2.5 hr ride out to the dive, about random shark attacks, about nitrox poisoning (when you go too deep, the nitrogen in the air gets absorbed too quickly and basically makes you "drunk" underwater and some people are so disoriented that they swim even deeper -bad!- or do something else dangerous underwater.) and other things that sound crazy to nondivers. Well, I was so nervous that I woke up at 3:00 AM the morning that we were supposed to go diving and couldn't go back to sleep! I spent lots of time in prayer for safety for the remainder of the time I laid in bed.

We all finally got up, gathered our gear together and met out boat taxi on the dock at 5:30 AM. We loaded "the biggest boat of the island", which still wasn't very big, and then headed out for our 2.5 hour trip to the blue hole. It was a 3-tank dive, so we went to 3 different locations in the same day.

The water was outrageous. The swells were huge...I'm talkin 10-12 ft high. That might not seem very big big, but Lord have mercy. Our "bigest boat on the island" was not very big at all because the enterance into the blue hole is very  narrow and shallow. I concentrated with all my might to not let myself get sick, which worked, thankfully. Hubby didn't have quite the luck :/

Anyway, we finally got to the Blue Hole--- AMAZING!!! Before the Ice Age, it was all above water. The stalactites and stalagmites were larger than life. I expected them to be pretty big, but they were 40-60 feet long. It was "a once in a lifetime" dive, for sure. I met a lady on our dive that had a professional underwater camera that gave us a few once in a life time pictures from our dives. It so fun to have pictures of things that you actually saw underwater!

(an aeriel view of the surface of the the Blue Hole)

The Blue hole was a really short dive since we went down so deep. We only stayed down on the bottom for about 10 minutes. The decent down was outrageous! If was a straight free fall for 130 feet. I know that sounds crazy because you're underwater and you can't "free fall", but oh, you really can!

There aren't many fish or any other sea life in the Blue Hole except for sharks and turtles and a few little fish. It's not a "pretty" dive, but it is amazing. We did see a couple turtles and the outline of a shark, which was pretty eerie.

We surfaced, and then had to wait about an hour up on the boat before the next dive (to get all of the nitrogen out of your body). We ate SO much fruit. Then to our next dive!

We went to Half Moon Caye Reef a few miles away. The dive was incedible- the best dive I've ever had!!! We saw everything that you could possibly see underwater: fish, coral, turtles, jellyfish, eels, baracuda, giant grouper, turtles, and around 7 or 8 sharks. I'm not gunna lie. The sharks were really cool at first...but then as soon as I couldn't see them anymore, I freaked out. I hated not knowing where they were and if they were going to sneak attack and swallow me whole. I stressed about it the whole dive, but still, it was incredible!!
Me and Hubs

We docked at Half Moon Caye Island, which was straight out of a movie. The most amazing, beautiful place I've ever seen.

The only man-made things on the entire (itty bitty) island were the docks for the boats, picnic benches for lunch and the observation deck to see the red footed boobie birds.

 We had a little island cooked lunch of chicken, rice and beans and then had about half an hour to walk around and explore this incredible piece of God's beautiful world.

After lunch, we went to "The Aquarium" for our 3rd and final dive. It was another fun filled dive! Our dive master filled a water bottle with leftover rice and beans for luch and released it under the water and the silver "Nemo" fish SWARMED us. It was craaaazy. We also saw several lobster, shrimp, fish, baracuda, eel, turtles, and beautiful coral.
Steph and I

We got back in the boat around 4 and then headed back to the resort. The ride back into the island wasn't nearly as bad since we were going wish the waves.
We got home around 6:30 and thankfully my mom suggested ordering room service for dinner. I know it probably doesn't seem like it, but diving is down right exhausting. My sister and I dozed off at least 15 times before room service even got to the room. I ate my dinner and then was completely passed out in my bed by 8:30 that night! It was crazy!

We really missed Jen and Brandon, but I love that our family has this fun adventure at share. I love that Michael has an adventurous spirit and loves to dive and we can't wait to plan our next trip. :)

I really really wanted to get this shirt for Bryson, but the biggest size any of the shops had was 18 months. I really cant' wait untl Bryson is old enough so we can all go on these underwater adventures together!!

I am so thankful for a family that loves to play, loves to travel, loves adventure and loves to spend time together. I love my memories that I will cherish forever from this amazing trip!!


  1. Wow!! What an amazing trip. I don't think I would be brave enough to dive. That's so fun that your family love to do those things with ya'll!!

  2. What an incredible experience! You are so brave! I'm more of a lay out on the beach kind of girl because I'm so terrified of getting attacked by a shark. I can't believe you were swimming with them. Maybe one day I will let go of fear and do more than snorkel, lol!

  3. AMAZING! I'd love to dive sometime even though the shark thing would totally freak me out too.

  4. What an amazing trip! Makes me want to dive! your pictures are beautiful!