When you live in San Pedro, Belize and want to do something extra-special for your birthday, what do you do? Call up your friends at SeaStar Belize and ask them to take you and 11 of your friends over to Half Moon Caye for some diving, snorkeling, laughing, dancing and drinking. It was Rochelle’s birthday and this is exactly how she wanted to celebrate.
How did we get lucky enough to be invited to Rochelle’s island birthday extravaganza? The evening before they were leaving, we stopped at Dive Bar for a beer. Greg and Doug were there planning for the morning departure and they said, “hey, there’s room for you two if you want to come. We are leaving at 7:00 tomorrow morning.” Luckily we had nothing going on that Tuesday and were able to go.
Too lazy to read all of this? Check out the video instead! (Actually, the underwater footage is so worth watching in addition to reading this tale!)
Here is the birthday girl arriving at Dive Bar.
They came prepared for our one night of camping.
It was a perfect, calm day for our adventure.
The guys at SeaStar helped load up all of the gear into not one, but TWO boats.
We all rode in this boat with some of our gear.
The rest of it ended up on another boat.
How much gear is needed for one night? Apparently this much.
After we were loaded up, we departed the dock.
First stop, the Great Blue Hole for some underwater exploring. Some people dove while we snorkeled.
Here are the divers descending into the Great Blue Hole.
While they were down in the dark abyss, we snorkeled around.
The water was so flat and we were the only boat at the Great Blue Hole that day. Amazing!
After the dive, we made our way to Half Moon Caye.
We set up camp.
Some of us quicker than others –
And then adventured over to the Red-footed Booby bird sanctuary.
When everyone’s camps were set up, it was time to hit the water again. Some dove the wall at Half Moon Caye and others went fishing. We were in the fishing boat but just caught a couple of barracuda. Fresh fish would NOT be on the menu for dinner that night.
Back on Half Moon Caye, it was time to relax and enjoy some adult beverages.
They even had bathrooms on the island and they were really nice. Composting toilets that were very clean.
But, before you entered, you had to make a decision:
Male, general or female?
Inside of the bathrooms, there was this sign explicitly stating the 4 rules:
Once you finished your “important business”, you had to use the coconut cup to scoop two helpings of sawdust on top of it.
Here’s the party location before it was decorated:
And after. Look how much more festive it is with that zebra banner!
The sun was starting to set.
So we made our way out to the dock to get a better view.
The sunset was gorgeous.
The guys worked hard in the “outdoor kitchen” to prepare dinner. They made steak and chicken kabobs!
After dinner, we tried playing Catch Phrase but ended up making up our own game that was way more fun.
The rules are simple: somebody picks a word and everyone has to use it in a sentence. Let’s just say, we had a very creative and dirty minded group of friends with us!
The caretakers started this “small” bonfire for us.
Which ended up being a great backdrop for our impromptu dance party.
Before calling it a night, we went back out to the dock to take in the beauty of the stars. It was the most amazing night sky we have ever seen. Countless numbers of twinkling stars floating around the Milky Way. Amazing.
Sorry, but our camera couldn’t even begin to capture the beauty that we saw.
We went into our tent expecting to get a good night’s sleep. We only brought pillows and a sheet to sleep on because, we are sleeping on a beach and sand is soft, right?
Nope. Sand is NOT soft. Not even a little bit. And it was HOT in our tent.
So we went outside and slept on this for a few hours:
It was cooler outside on that “bed”, but definitely not any softer.
It was definitely not a good night’s sleep, but hey, you can’t beat this view!
Note to self: Sand is not soft. Always bring something soft to sleep on!
The next morning we had a delicious breakfast and then hopped on the boat again for some more underwater exploring.
A squad of squid swam by.
So did Josh and Brittany –
We went back to Half Moon Caye to pack up all of our gear and have one last swim in the clear waters.
On the way home, we did one last dive/snorkel at the wall off Half Moon Caye.
Under the water, we saw conch shells “racing”.
Countless neon fish.
And a gigantic nurse shark.
As we were returning home, we were treated to another beautiful sunset.
What a treat it was to be able to visit this tiny piece of paradise two times in one year.
It reminds us to never forget that life is a gift.
Thank you so very much to SeaStar Belize for organizing this memorable trip to Half Moon Caye!
When is the next trip????