Ambergris Caye is the only place I've ever dived in 15 years as a diver where the groupers are as friendly and curious as puppies. They come to you if you wave at them, will let you pet them, and will swim with you as long as you stay between 20 and 50 feet. All this without feeding them. Truly a fantastic experience. Don't miss it.
My husband and I were in AC with the Belize Extravaganza
in October. There were 5 divers and the DM named Gilbert going out from
Banyan Bay to The Pillars just outside the reef at Hol Chan. It was my
last dive before heading back to NYC and I was just hoping for an
interesting dive, but this was incredible.
I've swam with Mollie the Manta at Little Cayman and petted the grouper
at a feeding station at Cayman Brac. I've done dolphin dives and shark
dives with UNEXCO. I've done many wrecks and night dives all over the
Caribbean and until that dive, thought Bloody Bay Wall at Little Cayman
was my most amazing diving experience. But this was different. Not a
feeding station, not a programmed fish looking for a handout, but a
fellow underwater inhabitant looking for new friends. One of those
moments that stays with you always, ready to relive when regular life
gets too stressful.
The best part was when we surfaced. Four of us and the DM were
long-time divers and knew how extraordinary the experience was. The
fifth diver was a newly certified man on his second dive (and his
honeymoon). He kept saying how awesome it was and how he wished his
wife would get certified. We explained to him that this probably was a
once in a lifetime encounter and how lucky he was. Now he was really
On the plane going home, we were telling some people about it when
someone turned around and said they had a similar encounter at a site
nearby. I knew he was telling the truth when he described the little
isopods that were crawling all over the grouper's face.
I was just searching the website, which is great, when I felt I had to
share my thoughts. I'll come back to AC whenever I can. The people
were friendly, accommodations great, and diving superb. I hope it stays
that way and doesn't turn into Grand Cayman or Cozumel. I guess you can
tell from the way I go on and on that I'm a public relations person.
What my wife forgot to tell is that I was down about 60 feet. Suspended in perfect harmony with
the Grouper. He/she was about 20 feet away and parallel to me. I looked at him/her and waved
my hands with a come to me gesture. The Grouper swam to me ever so gently. I put my hands
on each side of his head and slowly drew him to my mask as if we were kissing. He obliged
without hesitation. It was the most astounding experience I have ever had in my 25 years of
diving. I don't think "Mike Nelson" could have done better.
Definitely on our short list of return-to's.
The people of AC were great and very hospitable. Lodgings were equally good and the shops
were extremely friendly and never put pressure on you to buy.
I hope the Belizean Government remains true to it's greatest treasure-
Warren S. Perry