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#59758 - 12/05/02 07:48 PM If Only I were a Stingray (Day three)
Ms. Coconuts Offline
The Wreck 1 hour 1 minute, 75 feet
"Donít forget to blink. Donít forget to blink." Many interesting thoughts flow through my mind as I float among the coral reefs, but "donít forget to blink" occurs on every dive. Thereís so much to see that I stare with wide and unblinking eyes at the corals, sponges, fish and even at the sky above.
We were diving between coral canyons when I saw in the distance the fuzzy outlines of a drowned ship. The desolate ship rested on the sandy bottom between the walls of the coral canyon. As we descended toward it, the ship became more distinct. There were two large nurse sharks guarding their home with typical shark ferocity. But no worries. As usual, Eddie and the sharks were good friends. I had a wonderful time hovering above the ship, watching the sharks, enormous groupers and the ubiquitous yellow tail snapper go about their lives on the wreck.
There was a large hole on the deck so I sank onto the sandy bottom beneath the ship. Out of the darkness raced a beautiful orange polka dotted maroon fish. He was very mad that I had so rudely invaded his home and asked if I would please leave.
I was utterly excited about my first wreck experience, but we soon began to ascend up and over the coral canyons. I looked back one last time at the silent ship. The two sharks had calmed down and rested peacefully on the shipís corroded surface. The yellow tail snappers still swam about, but the groupers had wondered off.
To end the dive, Eddie pointed out an adult spotted drum. Her long tail waved about her as she swam back and forth, guarding her special part of the reef.

Surface Interval
This was one of the best surface intervals ever. No, no wait. This was one of the best experiences of my life. After our wreck dive, Captain Chocolate drove us to Shark Ray Alley for a bit of snorkeling.
As soon as I entered the water, I was surrounded by incredible large stingrays and several nurse sharks. Everyone was very friendly. I even petted the bumpy wings of a stingray.
There was a small patch reef where Eddie was able to coax out a gigantic green moray. This guy had to be twenty feet long. (And that is no fish story.)
I think Joe, Tom and Mike had too much partying last night because they returned to the boat. But Eddie and I swam around a little longer and found a flounder! I tried to skin dive down to him, but this was very hard to do in a full 3mm wetsuit!
Now, here comes the best part. Are you sitting down? The stingrays wondered back over to us and I hugged one of them!!! Thatís right. I wrapped my arms around the stingrayís squishy white underbelly and gave him a big fat hug. The underside feels different from his topside. The underside is smooth and feels something like silly putty only a tad firmer.
So I had my arms around the stingrayís wings and we were floating belly to belly. Apparently the stingray looked like he was enjoying it as much as I was and the guys on the boat were laughing and said I had found me a boyfriend. Too bad Iím not a stingray.

Pillar Canyons(?) 1 hour 8 minutes, 70 feet

As soon as I descended, a large speckled grouper decided to become my best friend. He followed me all along the reef. Exquisite yellow tail damselfish danced among their coral gardens. With a vibrant yellow tail and dark body with bright neon blue spots, this is just one on the hundreds of beautiful fish on the reef.
Next, Eddie found a green sea turtle. I had seen Hawksbills before, but never one of the highly endangered green turtles. I could not stop myself from reaching out and touching his slimy orange shell. Giving new meaning to the word graceful, the green turtle glided over the reef. I followed close behind and my good friend the speckled grouper followed behind me. All we needed was a marching band.
This was my last day to dive with Bottom Time. Hoping to go with a smaller group to the great Blue Hole, I had bought a package with Ambergris Divers. But, Bottom Time is a great dive shop. Like their name implies, they are all about bottom time. For example, one of the guys was using up his air faster than the rest of us, so Eddie brought him a larger tank. This wasnít so weíd have regular bottom times, but rather unusually long bottom times. Each of the last three dives was an hour long! I was really impressed by that. Today will always stand out as one of my best days of diving/snorkeling. Thanks Eddie and Chocolate!

Punta Dancing

The Punta Boys were playing at Fidoís tonight. Their music is great. I really enjoyed dancing to their lively tunes and also drinking and also dice playing. Yep, I could get used to this.

#59759 - 12/05/02 07:58 PM Re: If Only I were a Stingray (Day three)
Marty Online   happy
Yeah, i get real used to it too....
love those punta tunes.

ain't that underwater world incredible... blows me away every time...

you got music in your words, keep rockin....

#59760 - 12/05/02 08:06 PM Re: If Only I were a Stingray (Day three)
Ms. Coconuts Offline
"Music in my words"
That's the best thing anyone has ever said about my writing!
Thank you, Marty.

Belize was a very inspiring place for me.

#59761 - 12/06/02 12:03 AM Re: If Only I were a Stingray (Day three)
skullyboy Offline
Ms. Coconuts, Well done I know we all anxiously await your next chapter.

#59762 - 12/06/02 09:25 AM Re: If Only I were a Stingray (Day three)
Bobber Offline
Wreck? What kind, where?
Sea turtles, no matter what kind, are awesome to observe when you are diving.
Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt

#59763 - 12/06/02 12:02 PM Re: If Only I were a Stingray (Day three)
jkdiver Offline
Thank-you again for sharing. You brought tears to my eyes with your stingray hug. As Marty said, you really do have music to your words!!

#59764 - 12/06/02 12:38 PM Re: If Only I were a Stingray (Day three)
Ms. Coconuts Offline
Bobber- I'm not sure I can answer your question. Everyone just called it "THE wreck". I imagine if you asked your Dive Master, he'll know what you mean. We didn't have a long trip from it to Shark Ray Alley... As to what kind? Geez, I didn't even know there were different kinds. It looked like it had been intentionally placed there because it was sitting upright perfectly between two coral walls. And the holes in the deck were perfect rectangles so i'm sure they were pre-cut. Maybe someone else can help us out here?

Thanks JoAnn and Skullyboy!

#59765 - 12/06/02 12:47 PM Re: If Only I were a Stingray (Day three)
Ah, That would be the "Amigos Wreck", and yes, it was placed there. It's more like a mid-sized sunken barge.

#59766 - 12/06/02 01:21 PM Re: If Only I were a Stingray (Day three)
seashell Offline
Actually, my understanding is that it wasn't placed exactly where it now lies. It had been placed somewhere else but Hurricane Mitch(?) moved it into it's currently jammed position.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#59767 - 12/06/02 02:15 PM Re: If Only I were a Stingray (Day three)
Bobber Offline
Oh, THAT wreck. I guess the thought of a sunken barge never did sound thrilling enough to look at, but to each their own. Maybe I should check it out next trip, after all, just about anything is a lot more interesting underwater. Even just bare sand with a few weeds and fish is a lot more fun than most things on the surface. wink
Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt

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