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Scuba diving was outstanding near Half Moon Caye, Belize

Up to 10 ft long, the Caribbean reef shark is one of the largest apex predators in the reef ecosystem, feeding on a variety of fishes and cephalopods; they were plentiful around Half Moon Caye although we may have seen the same ones over and over again

Up to 10 ft long, the Caribbean reef shark is one of the largest apex predators in the reef ecosystem, feeding on a variety of fishes and cephalopods; they were plentiful around Half Moon Caye although we may have seen the same ones over and over again

Half Moon Caye is Belize's oldest site of wildlife protection since it was first designated as a bird sanctuary in 1924 to protect the habitat of the red-footed booby birds; the orange-flowered siricote trees are preferred nesting sites

Half Moon Caye is Belize's oldest site of wildlife protection since it was first designated as a bird sanctuary in 1924 to protect the habitat of the red-footed booby birds; the orange-flowered siricote trees are preferred nesting sites

Juvenile nurse sharks were easily seen just walking along the shore of Half Moon Caye; this threatened species stays in shallow waters to avoid predators and is an important species for shark research as they are more amenable to handling and capture

Juvenile nurse sharks were easily seen just walking along the shore of Half Moon Caye; this threatened species stays in shallow waters to avoid predators and is an important species for shark research as they are more amenable to handling and capture

This Caribbean reef shark in front of Nicole gives an idea of their size; this was the first trip I remember where I had no issues scuba diving and felt in control all the time (our guide asked why I hadn't become a divemaster which tells me I must be getting better)

This Caribbean reef shark in front of Nicole gives an idea of their size; this was the first trip I remember where I had no issues scuba diving and felt in control all the time (our guide asked why I hadn't become a divemaster which tells me I must be getting better)

Magnificent frigatebirds, with a wingspan of 8 ft, nest alongside the red-footed boobies; males are all-black with a scarlet throat pouch that is inflated like a balloon in the breeding season; they can spend days in flight without touching land or sea

Magnificent frigatebirds, with a wingspan of 8 ft, nest alongside the red-footed boobies; males are all-black with a scarlet throat pouch that is inflated like a balloon in the breeding season; they can spend days in flight without touching land or sea

Half Moon Caye was Belize's first national reserve, created in 1982 to protect the endangered red-footed booby; the small island had the best diving of the trip as well as awesome wildlife and great panoramas

Half Moon Caye was Belize's first national reserve, created in 1982 to protect the endangered red-footed booby; the small island had the best diving of the trip as well as awesome wildlife and great panoramas

The endangered spotted eagle ray is always a thrill to see; they are caught for food and medicine in SE Asia and Africa and preyed on by several shark species which has caused their population to plummet

The endangered spotted eagle ray is always a thrill to see; they are caught for food and medicine in SE Asia and Africa and preyed on by several shark species which has caused their population to plummet

Queen triggerfish; Belize has the only Jaguar reserve in the world which is known as Cockscomb Basin Wildlife sanctuary; the country also has the lowest population density in Central America with just 35 people per square mile

Queen triggerfish; Belize has the only Jaguar reserve in the world which is known as Cockscomb Basin Wildlife sanctuary; the country also has the lowest population density in Central America with just 35 people per square mile

The next day we dove the famous Blue Hole, one of the world's most famous dive sites and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, first popularized by Jacques Cousteau in 1972; the 400 ft deep sinkhole was created by the collapse of an underwater cavern 12,000 yrs ago

The next day we dove the famous Blue Hole, one of the world's most famous dive sites and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, first popularized by Jacques Cousteau in 1972; the 400 ft deep sinkhole was created by the collapse of an underwater cavern 12,000 yrs ago

The SE part of the island serves annually as a sea turtle nesting ground from May to November for the loggerhead, hawksbill, and green turtles, all endangered species; we saw a few turtles each day but they weren't abundant

The SE part of the island serves annually as a sea turtle nesting ground from May to November for the loggerhead, hawksbill, and green turtles, all endangered species; we saw a few turtles each day but they weren't abundant

I often found the Caribbean reef sharks headed straight for me and we would lock eyes with the shark swimming around me at what seemed like the last moment; these sharks are twice the size of black-tip and white-tip reef sharks

I often found the Caribbean reef sharks headed straight for me and we would lock eyes with the shark swimming around me at what seemed like the last moment; these sharks are twice the size of black-tip and white-tip reef sharks

After 3 days of diving, I spent the last 4 days on Ambergris Caye reading and relaxing; San Pedro is quite crowded and chaotic with lots of scooters, golf carts and cars sharing the narrow streets; I prefer its neighbor Caye Caulker

After 3 days of diving, I spent the last 4 days on Ambergris Caye reading and relaxing; San Pedro is quite crowded and chaotic with lots of scooters, golf carts and cars sharing the narrow streets; I prefer its neighbor Caye Caulker

Great barracuda; Belize, like the Mexican Caribbean coast, is overwhelmed at times by Sargussum, a type of brown seaweed; the shores throughout Belize were covered with it when I visited with tons removed from the shore every day but it keeps coming

Great barracuda; Belize, like the Mexican Caribbean coast, is overwhelmed at times by Sargussum, a type of brown seaweed; the shores throughout Belize were covered with it when I visited with tons removed from the shore every day but it keeps coming

Half Moon Caye is the easternmost landmass of Belize and, with the Blue Hole, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Half Moon Caye Wall, also known as the '6,000 foot vertical abyss,' is one of Belize’s most popular dive sites

Half Moon Caye is the easternmost landmass of Belize and, with the Blue Hole, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Half Moon Caye Wall, also known as the '6,000 foot vertical abyss,' is one of Belize’s most popular dive sites

The seas were amazing colors throughout Belize; diving the walls offered the best experience while snorkeling was very limited since close to shore most underwater terrain was just sea grass

The seas were amazing colors throughout Belize; diving the walls offered the best experience while snorkeling was very limited since close to shore most underwater terrain was just sea grass

Blue parrotfish; Belize is in the Central Standard Time zone and does not observe daylight saving time; Ambergris Caye (pronounced key), which is 25 miles long, is Belize’s largest and most developed island

Blue parrotfish; Belize is in the Central Standard Time zone and does not observe daylight saving time; Ambergris Caye (pronounced key), which is 25 miles long, is Belize’s largest and most developed island

Colorful indigo hamlets are prized in the aquarium trade; members of this species are synchronous hermaphrodites and they have the ability to move between male and female roles when spawning

Colorful indigo hamlets are prized in the aquarium trade; members of this species are synchronous hermaphrodites and they have the ability to move between male and female roles when spawning

This black-spotted porcupinefish was one of the few we saw; Belize City is by far the largest city in the country but after Hurricane Hattie largely destroyed the city in 1961, the nation's capital was moved inland to Balmopan

This black-spotted porcupinefish was one of the few we saw; Belize City is by far the largest city in the country but after Hurricane Hattie largely destroyed the city in 1961, the nation's capital was moved inland to Balmopan

Posted by VagabondCowboy 04:41

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Great photos. I suspect if I saw a 10’ shark for the first time I might freak out.

by mball58

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