BelizeCentral AmericaScuba

3/7/10 – Ambergris Caye

It’s a Dive Day! Those are the best kinds of days. We had an early breakfast at the restaurant at 7:30 and then walked down to the dive center to get our gear and setup for the dive.

Dive #1: D&B’s
This was Mike’s first Open Water Dive. He’d done all the classroom work and the pool work, and was now ready to embark on his first dives. The surface was especially choppy, and Mike was over-weighted which made buoyancy difficult, but it was great to dive in warm water again. (My last dive was in a dry suit in Alaska’s 50 degree water). We shared our little boat with a man named Bob from Colorado, our divemaster Alex, and our captain Lewis. And here’s a funny fact for Mike’s first dive: as we descended, just below him on the reef were three reef shark. It took me years to get to see sharks, and he got them on his very first certification dive.

Diver Mike

After our dive we sat on the beach for a bit until it was time to for our next dive.

Dive #2:
For Mike’s second OW Dive the surface still choppy but the dive was beautiful. Mike did his skills and – because we took off 2 pounds and he was more evenly weighted – proceeded to cruise through the dive like a seasoned diver. We swam through some coral and fish and saw a lovely turtle swimming in the water.

No pics of this dive, since I opted to dive without the camera. But it was a beautiful dive.

Because we were so drained by the diving, we decided to stay and have lunch at Ramon’s, followed by napping on lounge chairs by the pool. We wanted to lay out on the beach but the wind was uncomfortably strong. By the pool was peaceful and quiet, except for the occasional bird chirping and Tony, the bar waiter, who occasionally stopped by to refill our drinks, “Hello lovebirds! You need more to drink yet?”

Sleepy Mike

Mike, lounging in the distance

Pina Colada Goodness

We spent hours on our lounge chairs until the sun had set and we started to think about dinner.

Ambergris isn’t terribly large, so there aren’t an awful lot of fabulous dining options. The restaurants are all decent, but we since we only had three nights we wanted to make our dinners worthwhile. There was a place called Caramba a few windy turns away, but we completely overshot our initial street and wandered for 2 additional blocks in San Pedro. It’s a great way to see any town – to get lost – though not necessarily in the dark of night. But Caramba was worth it – best pina coladas I’ve had in years. Mike got the snow crab and king crab special, I had the shrimp fajitas. We splurged on a “dessert” of a “Dirty Banana” cocktail that we thought would be creamy and fruity but really didn’t taste too great.

Fountain and Window at Caramba

Posing for a scary Facebook photo: Mike and umbrella drinks

Mmmmmmm…. crabs.

Pina Colada Happy

Drinks at Fido’s
We wandered into a beach-side bar called Fido’s (pronounced Fee-doze) where two singers from Dallas, TX played singalong tunes – one of which was a fabulous version of Gin & Juice. We sat at bar and laughed at a group of drunken 20-year-old spring breakers who almost got in a fight with the bartender and were summarily ejected. (incidentally, we ran across the same boys outside the Tackle Box later down the beach) Ambergris isn’t a great place for spring breakers – it’s not much of a party town, full of an older crowd and couples or families. So I’d imagine this crowd of young frat boys are less than happy with the girl scene. After they left the scene was a little less entertaining, Well, except for two cats toying with a cockroach on the floorboards. You know when the most interesting thing to watch are two cats and a cockroach, it’s time to call it a night.

We had a lovely, quiet moonlit walk on the beach back to Ramon’s.

Bird on the water
Side note: Off’s “Deep Woods” bug spray with Deet may not be a match for the Belizean mosquitoes, but it’s definitely corrosive; as evidenced by my rapidly disintigrating toenail polish.