Top Ten Belize Adventures
They just don't come much better than this. Here on the eastern side of the atoll, the reef has a shallow shelf in about 15 feet of water where garden eels are plentiful. Their heads and a part of their bodies protrude from the burrows that protect them. They look to the untrained eye like blades of grass, but when you get closer to get a better look, the shy eels quickly disappear back into their tiny holes. Interesting to watch from a distance, they are but a precursor to what is in store as you go deeper into the water.
The sandy area broken with corals extends downward till you run into the reef wall, which rises some 20 feet toward the surface. Most boats anchor in the sandy area above the reef wall. Numerous fissures in the reef crest form canyons or tunnels leading out to the vertical face. In this area sandy shelves and valleys frequently harbor nurse sharks and gigantic stingrays. Feather duster worms of various types, sea anemones, shrimps, crabs, and starfish live here. All the reef fish you like to photograph are here: angelfish, damselfish, surgeonfish, triggerfish, butterfly fish, and parrot fish abound. You'll also see several cleaning stations, where tiny wrasses or shrimp rid fish of parasites. Divers who are lucky enough to be staying at Lighthouse Reef Resort or diving off live-aboards with photo processing aboard are sure to return with a wealth of wonderful slides.
Text © 2001 by Chicki Mallan & Patti Lange. Used by permission of Moon Handbooks. All rights reserved. Book is available through local bookstores and online booksellers.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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