Aquatic Adventures will be hosting a trip to Blackbird Caye Resort in Belize from October 21-28, 2017. Having visited Blackbird Caye on four separate occasions, I put together “ten reasons” why you should consider going to Blackbird. Here they are.
1. If doing the Great Blue Hole is on your bucket list, Blackbird Caye puts you about as close as you can get at only about 80 minutes away. The boat from Blackbird leaves at the usual time (instead of at dawn from San Pedro) and puts you in the water at the Great Blue Hole just after the boats from other resorts are leaving. When my husband Jim and I went last year, we dived the Blue Hole with just four other divers and had the experience all to ourselves.
After the Blue Hole, you dive The Playground, a dive site with reef swimthroughs and home to several sharks. Many people call The Playground the best dive in Belize. For lunch at Half Moon Caye the resort prepares a barbecue. After all the chicken and hamburgers, you can walk over to the red-footed booby rookery on the Caye and checked out the nesting birds from the above-the-trees observation spot. The last dive of the day is at the Aquarium, which lives up to its name. There is no better place to do the Blue Hole but make sure you have Advanced Open Water Certification. The divemaster will not take you down the Great Blue Hole without it. There is an up-charge for this trip.
2. You will see a variety of fish, turtles, and rays . .. . which is why most of us dive. The Caribbean reef is located only about a hundred yards from the resort, making the boat trips quite short and the dives fun. Turtles, rays and morays are pretty much a daily sight, plus you will see the spotted toadfish which is located only in this section of the Caribbean reef. The toadfish hangs out under reef or rock outcroppings and the divemasters know all the right hidey-holes.
3. You are a diver and your partner is a snorkeler. Between the shore and the reef lies about one hundred yards of shallow waters perfect for snorkelers. Rays, conch, and starfish are quite common. In addition, the reef is quite shallow on the island side, making it easily accessible to snorkelers. Sometimes the resort has as many snorkelers as divers because of the great conditions. The guides are very knowledgeable and patient. So both partners will be very happy.
4. You love great dive service. The Blackbird Caye crew provide valet diving for you after your first set-up so you have more time for relaxing at the pool or even taking a paddle in one of the kayaks. Relax and enjoy your stay; no need to fuss over your equipment until you are ready to leave. The boat trips are short; the boat usually drops you in on a wall and picks you up further down the wall. Except for the longer trip on Friday mornings to a dive site called The Elbow famous for its Gorgonians, all dives are one-tank dives with a trip back to the resort for the diver’s convenience and a decent surface interval.
5. You enjoy good food and don’t want to make daily decisions about where to dine. Blackbird Caye serves you three excellent meals a day plus hors d’oeuvres at 5 pm at the bar. Breakfast and lunch are buffets while dinner is plated and served to you, usually a choice between two entrees. They try to include local fish in their menus. Speaking of the bar, it is near the dining room in a palapa on the water just waiting for you to have a cocktail after your last dive of the day. (Bar charges are extra.) They also have started serving drinks at the pool as well.
6. You like staying close to the water. All the cabanas at Blackbird are on the beach.
7. You enjoy nature in an uncrowded place. Blackbird Caye is just about the only thing on the island. No town, no roads. If you are looking for noisy night-life, this is NOT the place for you. But if you want to see all the stars at night, commune with nature on a remote Caribbean island, and enjoy the swish-swish of the gentle waves, Blackbird IS the place for you. Also note that there are no televisions, etc. in the cabanas and an internet connection only at the main office. Remote is remote.
8. You enjoy knowledgeable divemasters. The people at Blackbird have all trained there or near there, and know the reef amazingly well. They will find all kinds of cool things and enjoy sharing their finds, especially the famous local spotted toadfish, with you.
9. The accommodations are good, the beds comfortable, and the daily service outstanding. These folks will take excellent care of you, leaving you free to dive, kayak, snorkel, or snooze in the hammock on your own screened-in front porch.
10. You love to dive the Caribbean. Enjoy.
Respectfully submitted by Cathy Marbach, Greenfield WI.