Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Travel: Magic under the sea (video)

Text: Julia Butterfly Hill traveling in the Caribbean; Wisdom Quarterly
A taste of night diving in a paradise under another ocean

BELIZE - I stayed in a wonderful place right next to the sea. I rented it in part because it had a kitchenette, so I could make my own food because being vegan in Belize can be challenging....

Ah…the joys of island life! I share the building with a couple from England, a man from Georgia, and a wonderful couple from Kansas. The husband has just returned from a six-month stint in Afghanistan.

He is so ready to play, enjoy life, and see friends and family. His wife is wild, funny, and larger than life in the best possible way. The two together are fabulous, and on my second day, as the husband is coming down the stairs, he sees me inside my place with the door open to the delicious breeze.

And he says, “We are going on a night snorkel in about thirty minutes, and you need to come with us!” I thought to myself, “That sounds like a fun idea. Why not?” So I go with them and we proceed to have such a fun and wonderful experience.

The crew consisted of the husband and wife power-duo team, the young woman who manages and cleans the place, whom they have paid to come with us as she has never even snorkeled in all her years of living there, their friend Mike, whom they met who is a neighbor to us hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, a young guy from France, and another from Argentina, as well as the guy who is our guide and boat driver.

The slick presentation by the mainstream media...

We were behaving like a bunch of unruly rabbits free from a cage as he was trying to give us our safety instructions. I finally clapped my hands together and said, “Hey Team! This gentleman is trying to give us the information we need to have a safe and fun experience. Can we please get quiet and give him our attention please? Thank You!”

As the group quieted down, I turned to our guide and said, “Please, sir, go ahead. Thank you so much for taking such good care of us!” He beamed a beautiful smile and proceeded to give us the information we needed both for safety as well as for what we could expect to see at night time in the sea.

Then we all jumped into the water and had the most magical of journeys. There is something so beautiful and magical swimming in the great big sea at night! We saw squid, octopus, sting rays, electric rays, lobster, HUGE sea urchins, various fish[es], the largest crab I have ever seen in my life, and nurse sharks.

The way it really was by Earth Films documentarians

Being such visually oriented [beings], there is something otherworldly and wonderful about swimming in the sea at night. Hearing takes over, compensating for the lack of visibility. And the sounds become so much more pure and acute. And to top it off, away from the lights, the stars were unbelievably beautiful....

After the trip, we went home, cleaned up, went out for a few drinks and dancing. By the end of the night, I felt like I had new best friends for life [a frequent feeling while traveling]. I love it when I meet people whom I would not normally meet in my work life, who live such completely different lives than mine, and yet we instantly bond and have such a great time together.

That has happened a lot to me already in my time in Belize, and it is one of the many, many reasons I love this place.

After three days on Caye Caulker, I had enough and was ready to go, but I was sad to leave my new friends. I decided to follow my new pilot friend’s invitation and go to Ambergris since I was in the area after all.

I called a yoga retreat hotel on the island that has cheap dorm-style rooms and good veggie food options on the island to see if they had availability in the rooms. More

A victorious tree hugger and forest protector hits the ground

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