Caye Caulker: Snorkelling with Nurse Sharks.

Travelogue Belize 2002
Caye Caulker

Leaving the cave I did not return to San Ignacio and entered the bus to Belize City . Our Guide had warned me, that the city had become very violent during the last years and so I decided not to stay there and not to visit the zoo which is said to be one of the most beautiful zoos in the world. Leaving the bus, entering a taxi (do not walk in this city), to the water taxi terminal, into the boat and within seconds on my way to Caye Caulker. This holiday is my direct connection holiday, I never had to wait anywhere.

Belize: Sunset on Caye Caulker
Sunset on Caye Caulker

On Caye Calker there is not much to do but there are many tours to book. Once again: Belize is not a place to save money. After my first night in a nice new hotel I was once again extremely lucky. I was looking for a tour to Hol Chan Aquamarine Park (This is a part of the riff as every other part, but you got to pay to snorkel there) and the one I decided for did not go. So I looked around and finally entered a place I had passed several times before. The name of this guy is Juni and he owns a (self-made?) sailing boat, the Trinity. Since countless years he is taking everyday seven tourists to the park, as many as the trinity can carry. I could join because a girl decided to go one day later.

Belize, Caye Caulker: Juli, the Trinity and Gringos
Juli, the Trinity and a group of Gringos. They are laughing that friendly because in this very second I was hit by a wave.

Now there are many people taking tourists to the park, but Juni has a little secret. Some ten years ago he found a wounded nurse shark, hit by a fisherman and lying on the ground dying. He felt sorry for her, swam with her and carried her (8 ft long) to a save place in the riff. There he visited her for one month, feeding her until she finally got well again. Shortly after he saw her giving birth and today the grandchildren are six feet long. As soon as the Trinity comes to the riff, it is surrounded by sharks. When Juni enters the water, there are always two or more of them swimming next to him, letting him embrace them, cuddle them … and we were swimming with him, gently holding and touching these nice, huge and harmless fish. We also saw a big turtle, the biggest lobster I have ever seen and lots of fish.

Belize, Caye Caulker: A nurse shark
The second the anchor touches the ground they are there …
Belize, Caye Caulker: A nurse shark
Do I really want to enter the water?

Belize, Caye Caulker: Fisherman feeding the birds
Fisherman feeding the birds

Today I had a lazy day, re-reading the PADI Dive Book, putting on the scuba-equipment for the first time after a long time and testing how it feels to breathe under water. The rest of the day I spent in restaurants, my hotel and my hammock. Tomorrow I will do my first easy dives and the day after tomorrow I go to the famous Blue Hole where vertical walls drop down thousands of feet.

And now I go to get another excellent dinner.

All the best and love to you.

Greetings from Caye Caulker, Belize


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© Volker Umpfenbach

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