I fall into the waves and a swarm of horse-eye jacks. A breath later I am fifteen feet below the surface. Stingrays glide beneath my legs and a nurse shark bumps against my hand. A white tube filled with chum lays in the dense sea grass prompting my company.
We are at Shark Ray Alley after having spent the early afternoon at Holchan. Both are preserved areas complete with fees and rangers. Unlike at the other sites we’ve visited, the marine life associates the sound of a motor with a food handout. They only remain where food is present. Having a shark brush up against one, to an extent, loses its charm when it is known they’re searching for food. However, when else would we have been able to gain such friendly proximity?
- Christmas tree worm, Spirobranchus giganteus
- green moray eel, Gymnothorax funebris
- great barracuda, Sphyraena barracuda
- hermit crab, Paguristes sp.
- cubera snapper, Lutjanus cyanopterus
- rock beauty, Holacanthus tricolor
- southern stingray, Dasyatis americana
- horse-eye jack, Caranx latus
- branching fire coral, Millipore alcicornis
- sharksucker remora, Echeneis naucrates
- common octopus, Octopus vulgaris
- graysby, Cephalopholis cruentata
- queen triggerfish, Balistes vetula
- dog snapper, Lutjanus jocu
- black grouper, Mycteroperca bonaci
If you have questions or suggestions of natural features or wildlife of Belize for me to discuss here, please contact me at [email protected]