We’ve officially had 10 visitors since we’ve been at post. And everyone keeps telling me that we will double that when we get to London, so we shall see.

Our last visitors were here last week. They stayed for about five days, and we took them to the usual sites…Xunantunich, Spanish Lookout, the Belize Zoo. Since it’s nearing the end of our tour, I was also hoping to knock a few things off my bucket list.

We’d only been snorkeling once and were planning to do so again. On the last trip, I hadn’t been that impressed with the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. It was incredibly busy, with probably 10 boats full of snorkelers, and they pushed us through the trip in what felt like 15 minutes with no time to really look at the reef. We also got up at 5am to drive to Belize City and catch a little plane so we could make it to San Pedro before 9am. This time, I wanted a nice leisurely trip to a nice shallow part of the reef and preferably in the afternoon. I also wanted a catamaran instead of a little speed boat.

Well, we got all of the above, except the catamaran due to a total miscommunication with the snorkeling company. They were one of two companies recommended to me for catamarans. I contacted both of them and told them want I wanted. They responded right away and were reasonably priced. But when we arrived on the island, they put us in a little boat. I tried to correct them on the spot, but all the catamarans were already out for the day, so there was no way to fix it.

When I returned to the office a couple days later, I emailed the company and said that at no point in our email chain did they say we would be in a small boat. And they promptly and politely responded that at no point did I mention that I wanted a catamaran. I looked back through the email, and sadly they were right. I guess I just assumed that since all the photos and reviews on their site were about catamarans that they were a catamaran-specific company. It eased my disappointment a bit but was still annoying.

We’ve only been to San Pedro three times since we’ve been here, and every time something seems to go wrong. The first time, it poured rain for the entire three days, so we finally just left early since we couldn’t really explore much. The second time, we stopped for breakfast before the snorkeling trip and had horrible customer service that kind of set the mood for the day…followed by the not-so-fabulous trip to Hol Chan. This time we didn’t get the cat, which was half the reason we went.

At any rate, the snorkeling itself was great. The sky was overcast, so the coral wasn’t as vibrant and colorful as it could’ve been. But we went to Mexico Rocks and Three Coconuts and had a nice long 45 minutes to check out the shallow reef. It really was like swimming in someone’s aquarium. We saw tons of rays, a few nurse sharks and sea turtles, and lots of great reef fish…a much better snorkel than at Hol Chan. And we did the afternoon one, so we didn’t have to get up early and still had time to have lunch on the island.

Mexico Rocks. Photo taken by our visiting friend who I'm trying to give photo credit while protecting his identity.

Mexico Rocks. Photo taken by our visiting friend who I’m trying to give photo credit while protecting his identity.

And of course, we had a good visit with our friends. They still work full time for the Antarctic program, so we hadn’t seen them in a few years either. It was great catching up and hearing all about how the program had changed since we left it in 2009. And we’ve already made plans for them to come visit us again in London. 🙂