Yesterday, Thursday, three tourists were found illegally snorkeling in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve. How can tourists ‘illegally snorkel’ you may well ask? Well, to ensure the protection of the reef and its inhabitants, Tour Guides are assigned to lead snorkeling experiences within all the reserves in Belize and there is nothing different about the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve.
At lunchtime yesterday 3 un-named tourists thought that it would be a clever idea, to get out of paying for a licensed snorkeling trip, to take one of the free kayaks that are available at their hostel (Bellas) and paddle themselves to the reef!! It looks as though they were so cheap that they only had one snorkel and mask between them and therefore, when they got to Shark and Ray Alley they took it in turns to see what hid beneath the surface of the ocean, whilst the other two got sunburnt on the boat!
Officials (who keep an ever protective eye on our reef) saw the kayakers and set out in a motor boat to evacuate them from the reef and take them home!! We had to watch and giggle to ourselves as the tourists one by one were pulled into the motor boat and their kayak was towed home, back to Caye Caulker and most likely to face small charges of breaking the law of the Marine Reserve!!