(2-foot wide Octopus during a night dive off Turneffe Caye, Belize)
Kimberly and I headed to Belize in November for our first dive trip in well over a year (we're not letting that happen again!) and spent a week on the Belize Aggressor III liveaboard dive boat. Doing liveaboards is the only way to dive – eat, sleep, and dive for 7 days! I did a bunch of courses during the week, including my very-long-overdue Nitrox and Advanced Open Water certifications, and 26 dives to make it up to 122 total dives. I managed to tick something off my bucket-list – diving the famous Blue Hole (down to 140 feet!). I also took a lot of photos!
Here I present my favorites from the week. Click on a photo for a 1024×768 enlargement.
Left to right below: Lizardfish; 3-ft Grouper who liked to be stroked.
Left to right below: Kimberly with her new camera rig; 5-ft barrel sponges.
Left to right below: mated pair of Banded Coral Shrimp; very small (1-inch long) Secretary Blennie that Kimberly found.
Left to right below: juvenile File Fish (about 2 inches) during a night dive; Brittle Star during a night dive.
Left to right below: Basket Star during a night dive – these guys are fun to feed by holding a light just by them and all the little worms and critters in the water swim to the light and and the Basket Star catches them; Brittle Stars in a barrel sponge during a night dive.
Left to right below: Large (9-inch shell) hermit crab; White-Speckled Nudibranch (about two inches long) I was lucky enough to spot in a sea-grass and soft coral forest.
Left to right below: Swimming with 8-ft Black-Tipped Reef Sharks – we really were that close!; looking up at a big shark.
Left to right below: the same shark again; swimming with a school of Jacks.
Left to right below: Speckled Moray warning me off; large (8-ft) Green Moray.
Left to right below: Now the Green Moray has seen me – Morays have terrible eyesight; a Jawfish – these guys live in little burrows in the sand and are very shy – I spent 1/2 hour lying on the sand waiting for this shot.
Left to right below: Lobster during a night dive – with mood lighting; solitary Banded Coral Shrimp during a night dive.
Left to right below: 4-inch Large-Eye Shrimp burrowing into the sand during a night dive; Speckled Toadfish during a night dive – these are really weird looking fish – very flat and wide – and extremely rare!
Left to right below: Octopus (same one as the picture at the start of the post) during a night dive.