Belize Diving, January 22, 2017
I was up early, as usual, so was raring to go by 8:30 when I was to show up at Frenchie's Dive Shop. I felt really comfortable: the front staff was excellent - very helpful, friendly and happy. In no time, I was suited up and boarded on the boat, heading for Tacklebox and Esmeralda dive sites, which are east of San Pedro, Caye Abergris-
We did a back entry into the water, I popped up immediately and gave the 'ok' sign to... No one was paying attention. While suiting up, I told them I needed 8 or 9 kg of weight. Everyone just laughs at that, but it's true. No dive master will give me that much but they carry extra in their pockets, just in case. Sure enough, I got rid of the air in my BCD - kind of like a life jacket that holds the tank, and I went no where. I had been assigned to dive with George, but he was no where in sight. Juan came along, gave me more weight and down I went. I stayed very close to Juan and the dive went well. We didn't see a lot of marine life: nurse sharks, yellow line arrow crab, lobster, Sargent major, a puffer, a school of yellowtail snapper milling around a corral type tree, a huge sting ray at the dock and Spanish mackerel. The coral was mainly yellow, green and brown, but there was the odd piece that was red, blue, purple or pink. Tacklebox is a canyon dive, so we were on the floor of the canyon with high walls on either side. I liked that! The first dive we went down 25.4 meters and the second was 18 meters and both were about 50 minutes long. I had a lot of air left too, around 90. I started with 3000. Usually, when one gets to 50, or with this shop 40, it's time to get out of the water but no problem for me and so no rush.
I thought about doing Blue Hole and 2 other dives later this week but there was only 1 spot left when we pulled out this morning. I was pretty unimpressed with what I saw so was glad I hadn't given a deposit to go tomorrow. I'll save my money for the next place and besides, I will be doing a lot of snorkeling during the sailing trip and often you see a lot of fish that way.
I didn't bring my water bottle because usually it flips and flops all around the boat and besides, they said they had water onboard. They did - a big jug of it and plastic glasses but it was very rough going out and coming in so the only time to drink was briefly. Needless to say, I only had one glass of water and a can of Coke Zero Cherry (very good) all day! So, when I got home, I started to read but...
The vision in my left eye was exploding black fireworks and my right eye was unable to focus. So, because I couldn't see, I lay down to close my eyes but my body itched, everywhere. I had a shower, thinking it was the salt water but no, I continued to itch. Then I hurt. My breasts felt like they used to when I was ready to nurse but the kids weren't available. They ached and were very tender to touch. My butt and the back of my thighs ached too. It felt like I had a lot of pinched nerves everywhere. Stretching would not help. I tried to sleep but I was hot yet shivering. I drank water and lots of it. I had a slight headache and decided to try and eat something so went for a walk. I ordered salad and fish which normally I would have devoured but I couldn't finish it. I was naseous. I walked home, feeling horrible and went to bed at 6 pm. Gradually throughout the night I improved and woke in the morning able to see properly, with no body aches and no shivering but still with a slight headache. I think I was dehydrated and perhaps had too much sun, although I tried to stay under the cover of the boat. I'm not sure what it was but it wasn't very pleasant!
Looking forward to a couple more days just lazing around, swimming and reading!