17 January, 2022

Swimming with Rays, Turtles, and Nurse Sharks

Saturday saw one of us going to the sunrise yoga session before breakfast, then we both attended the other morning session.  Right after lunch, we boarded Our Devocean for the short trip to the ray, turtle, and shark snorkle site and then hopped over to the Silk Cayes.  

Our Devocean at the Ray Caye dock

Becki elected to stay on the boat and be photographer for the first stop, so I got to snorkel.  This place attracts rays and sharks because it is spot where commercial fishermen anchor to clean their catches, thus attracting stingrays and nurse sharks.  Nurse sharks are quite docile and not a threat to humans - they would much rather eat lobster heads and fish guts.  Rays can be a danger near shore if you step on their stinging tails, but that is not an issue when snorkeling.

Large nurse shark looking for food.

Here come 3 slightly smaller sharks toward the boat.
The rays were all near the floor of the sea, about 15 feet down, so there are no photos.  But I did manage to spot a couple of Southern Stingrays and one rough tailed stingray from the water.  The rough tailed ray was HUGE - at least 6 feet across.

But for me the real treat was seeing the turtles.  These were logger turtles out here.  I don't know if there are other kinds at this particular spot.  At our place, we see hawksbill turtles.  These loggerheads were pretty large.  They swim so placidly and were slow enough that it was easy to swim alongside them.  They feed on the sea grass beds in the area.  I could have stayed out there for hours, I was so entranced by them.  I kept having to check myself to be sure I wasn't swimming too far away from the boat.
One of our guides near a loggerhead turtle.
Finally, those of us in the water tore ourselves away from the sea creatures and reboarded the boat.  It was a 10 minute ride to the Silk Cayes - 3 tiny sand bars surrounded by coral beds.

One of the Silk Cayes.
This time Becki swam over to the caye while I snorkeled over the coral.  Another beautiful undersea world filled with colorful fish and both hard and soft corals.

Then it was time to go back to Ray Caye, shower off the salt, and prepare for yoga, dinner, and more yoga.

The head of this lobster may have been lunch for one of the sharks I swam with.


  1. Wilma, at last I have worked out that I need now need to use Chrome to be able to post comments! Anyway, thank you for visiting my blog again recently. What an extraordinary experience to swim with the turtles. Quite magical. Not forgetting the Nurse Sharks!

    1. So glad you figured it out, Caroline, because I had no clue! Swimming with the turtles was quite magical! Both the turtles and the nurse sharks completely ignored the humans in the water; which, all things considered, is a good thing!

  2. Replies
    1. Eating well usually features prominently in my travels! Poor lobsters.

  3. I am encouraged to hear good news of turtles. It must be magical to swim alongside them. Seems like Becki had a vacation she will not soon forget.

  4. Well, that is all just heaven. I mean truly and really heaven.

  5. How utterly wonderful to swim with the turtles. I hope that Belize is doing its part to protect them. I think it's safe to conclude that Becki had a fabulous vacation she will not soon forget.

    1. Belize makes a big effort to protect turtles and other wildlife. There are excellent conservancy regulations in place; enforcing them is sometimes another matter. Neither Becki nor I are likely to forget this vacation.


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