Thanks to Coral Reef Alliance, I was able to go to Hol Chan on the ‘Miss Ness’ with Belize Diving Adventures and students from Isla Bonita School as part of the Kids in Action program.
Cheers to Enes, Everette and Darrel for making the trip a safe, fun and educational experience for all of us.
They started off explaining about boat safety making sure to point out life jackets, explaining rules of the boat and letting us all know that there was a first aid kit oxygen fire extinguisher and cell phone available should any item be needed for our safety.
Everette was great about explaining the 4 zones of Hol Chan and what each one meant. We also learned many things about the sea and it’s inhabitants and kids were told they would be tested on this information afterward and have the opportunity to win prizes.
A few points on what we learned….
We have the 2and largest coral reef and it was the 1st living reef in the western hemisphere.
Without the barrier reef there would be no Ambergris Caye / San Pedro. Waves up to 15 feet high break on the reef and that helps keep our beautiful island safe.
Red mangroves help fight against erosion and west winds take fish eggs into the roots of mangroves – a safe place for baby fish to grow bigger.
It is important not to take shells as doing so can take away a home for a sea creature who needs one.
Coral is a very sensitive ecosystem in the under water world. If you touch it, you can remove the protective coating and algae can attack causing the coral to die. Coral is also sharp and can scratch you if you touch it – come kinds of coral sting.
It is important to respect the sea so we can keep our reef and water life healthy.
After Everette’s speech it was time to get comfortable in the water. They started us all out in shallows so that everyone could make sure their masks were on right and that we all felt comfortable swimming with fish.
Some of the kids did not have permission to go in the water so Darrel and Enes were on the boat with them pointing out fish and making it a fun experience.
For those of us who got to snorkel Everett had a rope handy and had everyone was able to hold on if they wanted to so they would not loose the group. We also got to wear life jackets around or waist as well in case we got tired we could just float easily and watch the fish. We saw so many different species and Everette was great at making sure everyone knew where to look and what we were looking at. We saw, a turtle, big black groupers, jack fish, rays, nurse sharks, fluorescent blue fish. conch, rainbow fish, grunts, snapper, divers, many varieties of coral and so much more.
After a good time in the water, we swam back to the boat and went to Shark ray Alley. We watched the nurse sharks swim for a bit the headed for home.
Thanks to Kids in Action and the wonderful staff at Belize Diving Adventures, my first trip to Hol Chan was a great experience and left me wanting more.
Getting fitted for fins
Enes explaining how to put on mask
Making sure it fits
Heading to the dock
Excited Isla Bonita students
Cloud patterns in the sky
Getting ready to go to Hol Chan
Isla Bonita kids
Walking to boat
Everette helping kids on the boat
Mauricio flashing you all a peace sign
Kids on boat
Ready to go
Belize Diving Adventures Crew
Everette teaching kids about Hol Chan and reef etiquette
Everette explaining how to use mask and snorkel
Kids ready to jump right in
Helping kids get in the water
Water is fine
Everette getting kids adjusted to the water before going deeper
Horse eye jacks
Horse eye jack fish
Winning prizes for answering questions