Entries in #beach (11)


Top 5 Spare-Time Activities On  Camp

Here in Belize we sometimes spend the whole day on camp, especially on Sundays, to relax from the activities of the week.

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Manatees came back for  Christmas!

As we were getting ready to celebrate Christmas here in Belize, we still continued our usual scientific activities with our volunteers. One of them consists in looking for manatees from the boat for our manatee database.

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Relaxation is Caye…

"The moment I landed in Belize, I realised I had a made a horrible, horrible mistake, I forgot to get changed into more appropriate clothing during my stop-over in Houston" 

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Marine Litter and Beach Cleans 

On Saturday afternoon, the first anniversary of the Caye Caulker beach clean, we participated in an awareness presentation hosted by one of our local partners, to highlight the problem of marine litter around Caye Caulker and across the world.

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Diving At The Blue Hole 

Whoooaaaa, what a great day! Last week the dive instructor told Tori and I that they needed 2 more people to do the blue hole trip the next day, so.. Tori and I decided to go!

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Perks of Being a Project Coordinator

 I am almost half way through my time here in Belize, and for an island which prides itself in going slow my time here has flown by. I thought I would share some of my favourite perks of being Project Coordinator…..

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First Thoughts As The New Assistant Research Officer 

My name is Alex Sullivan and I am the new Assistant Research Officer here in Belize. I arrived in Caye Caulker just less than a week ago, there is a lot of stuff still yet to get used to but I am looking forward to being a part of the great environmental conservation efforts which are underway here in Belize.

After an awesome and windy boat ride from Belize City, my first sights of Caye Caulker were of beautifully colourful buildings,  a white sand shore and blissfully turquoise sea. It was surreal to think that this beautiful place was going to be my home for the next six months.

Our base-camp located on the northside of Caye Caulker is not remote enough to feel totally isolated (there is the occasional boat going-by), but it is remote enough to be living closely with nature. Base-camp is basic, with a simple stove, outhouse, limited electricity, two resident chickens and no internet. Yet, you can still get phone signal which some may find handy.

Although the utilities at base are simple, I have managed to eat some of the best food I have had in a long-time, including fried pancakes with bananas and honey for breakfast, as well as breaded fish (freshly caught) with delicious homemade sweet potato fries, thanks to Holly our project coordinator and on-site masterchef. The simplicity of base-life will take a while to get used to, but with each passing day it is beginning to feel more and more like home.

The Caye Caulken people appear to be at the forefront of conservation work initiatives on the Mesoamerican barrier reef system, and I have noticed many novel signposts encouraging locals and tourists to be good to the environment and it will be good to you. Our environmental aims and objectives are closely aligned with that of the Belizean Fisheries department, whom we provide important environmental data on the health of the reef, seagrass beds and mangroves. This data hopefully provides a quantitative insight on the viability of current conservation efforts such as the allotted conservation zone and preservation zone.

I am looking forward to helping Holly develop our important survey work and important seagrass monitoring programme, which will provide  crucial data on the health of seagrass beds and allow us to compare the effects of anthropogenic development on seagrass proliferation and health. We are also in the midst of working with locals in the forthcoming island-wide invasive lionfish derby, where we hope to do a presentation and accompanying dissection for the locals.

It is currently a very busy and exciting time for Frontier Belize and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

By Alex Sullivan - Assistant Research Officer

Find out more about the Belize Marine Conservation & Diving project.

Check out what volunteers in Belize are up to right now!


My Time In Belize In A Beautiful Landscape

My name is Jonas. I’ve been here in Belize for almost two months now. I’ve seen the beautiful wildlife and landscape that Belize has to offer, I’ve seen new volunteers come and go and I’ve had one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

Overall my time here has been amazing. Taking part in surveys, beach cleans and just being involved with the locals has made this trip something to be proud of as well as something to add to my CV.

For anyone considering coming to Belize I would say that if you are an adventurous person who enjoys meeting new people this is the place to be. If you can’t stand an outdoors Spartan lifestyle you should consider something a little more comfortable.

I personally have loved cooking our own food, spending time outside and taking an active role in the conservation here on the Mesoamerican barrier reef.

The people I’ve met have been interesting and enjoyable to be with, the Spartan lifestyle has made me appreciate what I have at home one hundred fold and the mini adventures on the island and in the water have given me memories to cherish.

Taking a canoe out for a spin with two other volunteers and discovering a hidden beach in the mangroves, sharing stories and playing games after dinner, sharing a buggy ride on the south island, laying out on the jetty as the sun sets and the stars come out, shining bright enough that we can see the cloud of the milky way… or watching someone freak out in excitement underwater when they’ve seen a sea slug.

All of these will be memories that I’ll keep for years to come and I’m beyond grateful to those who’ve allowed me to have such a unique and breathtaking experience.

By Jonas Andersson - Marine Conservation Volunteer

Find out more about the Belize Marine Conservation & Diving project.

Check out what volunteers in Belize are up to right now!


My Time In Belize 

During my time with frontier in Belize, I experienced camp life with a great team of volunteers. Living in camp was always fun as we all helped with different jobs but spent time in the surrounding waters and on the jetty.

I dived in several different combinations of dive teams and undertook fish identification tests and did mock surveys. A highlight of my time in Belize was the trip I took to the blue hole. This was a whole new dive environment that tested my ability, but gave the prize of seeing several sharks and turtles. If I had the chance to do the whole trip over again, I would. My leaders, Rob and Leah, gave great advice on how to learn and remember the various fish species and lead all of our dives well.

It was clear how experienced they were and they took us to some of the best dive sites in the area. My time in Belize has been a great experience that has showed me a different way of life and has shown me the importance of protected marine environments like the meso-american barrier reef. I wish I could have stayed here for longer and I wish I could come back soon.

By Adam Rees - Marine and Diving Volunteer

Find out more about the Belize Marine Conservation & Diving project.

Check out what volunteers in Belize are up to right now!


Life In Caye Caulker 


With just over two weeks left of my six week long stint as a marine conservation volunteer in Caye Caulker, Belize, now would seem to be an appropriate time to pause and gather together some of the incredible experiences of the last few weeks. After nearly thirty hours of travel, the final leg of the outbound journey - a ten minute speedboat ride from the South Island - came to an end. What came into view as we turned a corner in the densely-mangroved shoreline was the isolated idyll that would be home for the following month and a half. A slightly rickety wooden dock welcomed us from the azure Caribbean water into our base camp - a cosy shelter that we share with a variety of wildlife: from 'Iggy' the dozy Iguana (camp recycler extraordinaire), to 'Pierre', the crab with a suspicious glint in his eye and a stunning blue shell. Living here is basic, but, with the world's second longest barrier reef just a five minute boat ride away, life's modern luxuries are certainly a worthy sacrifice to make.

Photo Credit - Leah Sampson

Despite our main focus being fish and coral surveys, the animal I had desperately wanted to see was the manatee - more specifically the endemic Antillean manatee. Fortunately we had a resident volunteer who was studying the local manatees for her masters degree; so, it was not long before we headed out to the reef one scorching blue morning to try to catch a glimpse of this elusive creature. In the most amazing coincidence of being in the right place at the right time, no sooner had we splashed into the water clad in snorkel gear than cries of 'Manatee!' erupted. Sure enough, gliding past, with a grace undeserving of the nickname 'sea cow', was the most beautiful creature I have ever seen. They are surprisingly fast swimmers, and as soon as it had appeared, after briefly surfacing for air, it had slipped away into the blue haze of the channel which divided the coral reef, and which led to the open ocean.


We spent the first week after arrival ensuring we were all adequately trained divers. In good hands at the local dive school, Frenchie's, we soon began looking and acting the part of divers ready to do some marine conservation. Aside from learning which hose went where on our BCDs, we also learned some valuable island lessons - most, if not all, held true to the much celebrated motto: 'Go Slow'. The most crucial of these lessons was to forget all preconceived notions of time and being 'on time'. After careful calculations we think we have deciphered the enigma: simply add no more and certainly no less than three to four hours to any time stated by the local dive instructors!

Plenty of plantain chips later and some Belizean Creole under our belt (Weh Gaan ahn!- what's going on?) we were all certified PADI advanced open water divers. No sooner had we qualified than we spotted our first Loggerhead turtle swimming through a deep valley of coral. It was the size of a small car, and a muffled underwater scream was a worthy reaction on my part! I wouldn't be able to do all of the marine life here justice in a short blog; the reef is just brimming with stunningly beautiful life and biodiversity. Yesterday we were lucky enough to witness a giant spotted eagle ray and a tiny black-tipped reef shark as we were ascending from a fantastic dive, in which we had begun to practice surveying the reef. The surveys themselves are pretty intense - try swimming slowly along a coral reef (making sure not to bump into the fragile corals!) in full scuba gear while writing down every single fish you see that is on our 104-strong target species list!

Photo credit - Leah Sampson

I will definitely miss early morning snorkels to wake myself up, the Caribbean swing of things, and stargazing on the jetty (partly to dodge the sandflies at camp) with 'Cooper', the mini crocodile with a cheeky grin, minding his own croc business nearby...

By Dominic and Sophia - Marine Conservation Volunteers

Find out more about the Belize Marine Conservation & Diving project.

Check out what volunteers in Belize are up to right now!