According to the Daily Evergreen, Caye Caulker is one of the best warm water diving destinations in the world:

Scuba diving forces new way of thinking
Everyone should give it a try
Fritz Schoepflin

The Daily Evergreen

Published: 01/08/2008 00:00:00

This break I had the pleasure of flying to Belize to lounge for a couple weeks.

Among my daily activities were soaking in the sunís rays, diving off a wood plank high dive, being surrounded by bikini-clad women, and drinking rum mixed with every kind of tropical juice.

As rewarding as the above activities were, they were all trumped by my new favorite thing to do in the world: scuba diving. The multitude of amazing aspects of diving makes it hard to articulate them all, but Iíll give it a shot.

First, the purely physical feeling of floating underwater makes you think you are in a different world Ė a world with a thick, gelatinous atmosphere, nearly nonexistent laws of gravity and magnificently colored animals and coral that are surprisingly unafraid of a humanís presence. Donít worry, these arenít the mild hallucinogens I ingested on New Yearís Eve talking.

In addition to enabling a space-like glide through the water, scuba diving opens up a completely foreign and diverse taxonomy of flora and fauna to the casual observer or the marine scientist. Life on Earth originated in the sea, and it is evident upon submersion that the majority of organisms exist there, far from the watchful eye of us land animals.

I believe those who are exposed to the wonders of diving develop a strong connection with all life on the planet. More divers would equal more environmentally aware people motivated to form social organizations and become active combatants of pollution and over-consumption of resources.

On the flip side, we are carnivorous by nature, and diving allows many opportunities to catch delicious seafood without having a negative impact on the seaís ecology. Lobster, conch, shrimp, crabs and a variety of fish await the person dedicated enough to invest in diving lessons, a spear gun and a hefty drysuit (for the frigid waters of Puget Sound, at least).

For the local diver, Edmonds is a popular place to spear fish. The coldness and low visibility of the water drives away all but those with skill and ambition.

Unfortunately, diving in warm water completely spoils a personís ability to do this, so donít expect to see me anywhere near an oxygen tank and flippers while Iím in the Northwest.

The best spots for warm-water diving are Maui (Hawaii), Caye Caulker (Belize), the Red Sea (Egypt) and Fiji. There are surely hidden coves of beauty that no travel brochure has yet to advertise Ė use these places as a base to explore from if you like.

You may notice the absence of Australiaís Great Barrier Reef; it is disintegrating due to global climate change, and may soon be cooked. This should serve as a reminder that our presence in the ocean is unnatural and must be undertaken with reverence, respect and caution. Usually, dives are made far offshore where boats are otherwise absent. Diving mandates an innate moral responsibility to all life on the planet.

Finally, a diver must also exercise caution for himself. There are many dangers in descending or ascending too quickly, and keeping a close eye on the amount of oxygen left in oneís tank is a must.

Itís convenient that the dangers to self and potential hazards to the environment balance each other. It is a great experience when done properly, and I encourage everyone (especially students) to try it.

Wendy Auxillou
Auxillou Beach Suites
Caye Caulker, Belize