This morning we woke anchored by the little island of Half Moon Key, on the Caribbean turquoise tropical waters of beautiful Belize. Sunrise was a truly breathtaking sight! This was an idyllic white sand island with large number of magnificent frigate birds spiraling over the treetops, surrounded by many different hues of blue between sky and ocean. After disembarking we spent a great time watching the nesting site of the frigate birds and red-footed boobies. We also took turns walking or snorkeling on the adjacent shallow coral reef. We all had a fantastic opportunity to visit the famous Blue Hole and snorkel there. It was quite a memorable experience to be able to snorkel on the shallow coral’s edge adjacent to the dark blue deep drop. All in all, a fantastic first day exploring wonderful Belize.
National Geographic Sea Lion
Monkey River and Ranguana Caye
Shortly after National Geographic Sea Lion dropped her anchor, we awoke to very calm seas with overcast skies and a light southwest wind coming off the land. Our guests prepared for early morning adventures and headed out in Zodiacs and local skiffs to explore the meandering lower reaches of Monkey River, the largest estuary of southern Belize. Great blue herons and great egrets stood knee deep on the sandbars near the shore while yellow-crowned night herons and black vultures hunkered down in the drizzle that accompanied us. Guides and guests gazed up at the treetops, hoping to see green iguanas with the males in their bright orange breeding colors and perhaps a troop of Yucatan black howler monkeys. We walked the trails through the gallery forest a few miles upstream. Our luck was shining brightly, and several monkeys were sighted high above. We returned to the ship to savor the delicious brunch prepared by the amazing hotel department. Ranguana Caye was our base for the snorkeling and island activities this afternoon. Guests had a wonderful experience swimming among the bright and beautiful fish and the other tiny critters that live in the hard and soft corals of the fringing reefs. Parrotfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, and sergeant majors were some of the familiar friends seen. As the trip wound down to the final stages, contact information was exchanged among new friends, experiences were shared, and future trips were discussed. Guests bid farewell to the crew and staff. Glasses were raised, and a guest slide show put smiles on our faces.