I’ll never forget my first snorkelling trip, to Buck Island off of St. Croix, when I was 12. We saw a number of tropical fish and even barracudas knifing through the turquoise Caribbean waters. It was spectacular. I’m pretty sure my daughter Avery will always remember her first time donning a mask and fins in an ocean aquarium during an excursion to the Belize Barrier Reef from our base on Ambergris Caye.
She saw electric blue damsel fish, orange and white longspine squirrelfish, yellow and white striped French grunts, giant brain coral and purple sea fans (an underwater camera would’ve come in handy!). And, with her little brother Bennett doggie paddling beside her in a life jacket (without a mask and snorkel — he’s not quite ready), she watched a nurse shark and eagle ray swim below her, followed by a green sea turtle. It was neat for me to see those critters, too, but it was more of a thrill to watch the kids’ jubilant reactions to a day spent offshore with Suya Tours.
The marine life is just one part of our visit to Ambergris Caye, one of the islands off the coast of Belize. In the coming days we’ll be exploring the town of San Pedro and the nearby Mayan ruins, and sampling more tasty island cuisine. When you’re staying beachside, however, the clear water is always beckoning, be it ocean or pool.
On “island time,” the kids are in the pool by 8 a.m. and pretty much stay in the water until 6 p.m., with mandatory down-time out of the sun for a couple hours over lunch. Overall, life is pretty beachy!