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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Back from Turneffe

We just got back to Caye Caulker after a few glorious days out on Turneffe Atoll.  We took two friends, Max and Matt out there for a few days.  They really enjoyed all the activities.  We spent hours and hours snorkeling different spots (we all got pretty sunburned), exploring the inner lagoon in the dingy looking for dolphins and conch 'hunting' aka picking them up.   As the day was winding down, Max caught a huge stingray on the fishing pole sitting off the back of the boat.  That really livened things up.  After a lap or two around the boat and constantly being threatened of being yanked over, the 3 boys got in the dingy and chased it down.  A grueling 30 minutes later, all 3 of them spent, they finally let it go.   That's ok, because we had a lovely conch dinner.  Not sure if I would eat the ray any ways.  

That evening around sunset we headed into the fish camp where 'Cricket' lives.  A 57 year old fisherman and gradfather of 7.  He has been fishing there with his brother for at least 35 years.  The amazing stories he had to tell!  About the 45' hammerhead shark that comes right up to the beach to feed on the little fish!  Yikes, near where we've were swimming!  But he only shows up once a year or so.  Dave and I have been doing a lot of reading lately on the environment and how it relates to overfishing or irresponsible fishing or managing fishing habitat.  It was so amazing to listen to the Cricket and see the other side of the story.  How they eat lobster out of season, east turtles even though the government tells them not too, and take 100's of tons of Nassau Grouper during their spawning migration.   He even gave me some rock fish roe, quite a delicacy, so that we could have it for breakfast with scrambled eggs.  

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