Flores thelighthouse keeper who lives there
with his dog, "Whiskey".
The island has been protected since 1928 when it became a Crown Reserve.
Crossing the 50 miles to the island from San Pedro can be arranged by
hopping aboard one of the dive boats bound for the "Blue Hole". It's a day
trip and boat captains usually visit Halfmoon for a quick tour while lunch
is being prepared for the divers.
My adventure began when I made a deal with Captain Azueta of the Miss
Gina for my passage. I promised to guide his divers through the hole.
The trip and dive in the Blue Hole went smoothly. As we docked at
Halfmoon the captain asked me to show the divers around the island. Walking
barefoot along the well marked path to the west end was no problem. The path
curved back into a thick wooded area of cypress, coconut and gumbo limbo,
then ended at a metal observation tower. The tower rises to a level with the
giant rookery. The view was stunning and the rookery was very active.
Boobies, frigates, pelicans, cormorants and gannets are all in the same
order called Pelecaniformes. The island is crowded with them.
Pelecaniformes are a closely knit family of marine plunge-divers. They
eat fish caught by diving or steal from others who are better at it. The
entertainment level from the tower for a birdwatcher is a "10". The comic
look of young boobies in the nest made me laugh.
Big clumsy young white boobies with blue clown faces and red feet were
waiting for momma to deliver lunch.
The frigates seem to have no problem sharing space in the rookery with
the boobies and their nests are intermingled.
Binoculars are not really necessary because some of the nests are only a
few feet away. The birds seemed to ignore us, going about their daily life
as if the tower of gawking wet-suit clad humans didn't exist.
Watching the young interact within the rookery of adults is fascinating.
This must be what Bubba was mumbling about. From the tower in just a few
minutes one can witness these young birds learning lessons about life in a
I left the tower with a genuine feeling of thrill. I've heard Halfmoon
described as a jewel in the crown of Belize. It surely must be.