Ambergris Caye’s Reef Week organized by the Hol Chan Marine Reserve kicked off today, Monday, May 8, 2017, with the Swim to the Reef Awareness, which had participants swimming to the reef from Amigos del Mar Dive Shop.
It was a very early swim, 5:30a.m. sunrise saw the participation of a handful of island residents ready to challenge themselves to a brisk swim and show how much they care for Belize’s barrier reef. Some chose to use a snorkel, mask and fins, while the more advance swimmers like San Pedro Sports Coordinator/Ambergris Today’s Person of the Year 2016, Kent ‘Bob’ Gabourel swam it freestyle. Boy he’s fast…
The reef looks so close to shore, but don't let looks fool you. It’s quite a challenging swim. I was feeling tired half way there; but with a few stops to defog my mask (resting in the process) I was able to make it to and from the reef.
Did I forget to mention the Madi joined me too? She did amazing! Last year Amber took the challenge, this year it was our turn. Click Here to read Amber's post on iTravel Belize.
It was quite a sense of accomplishment. I even got to see a majestic eagle ray pass me by. BEAUTIFUL!! It made my day. Wish more people would join the cause; it’s pretty cool. After the swim, it was on with our daily schedule. Just a quick dip in the sea to get your adrenaline pumping and your spirits high.
So Reef Week will take place in San Pedro Town from May 8 to the 14 under the theme ‘Let’s Protect our Greatest Treasure; So it’s Enjoyed with Pleasure.’ The theme was selected in a Primary School competition held earlier this year with Kimberly Houghton of the Island Academy School with the winning submission.
Reef Week Activities Continue Through to Saturday
Tuesday - Primary School Trivia Competition at the San Pedro Lions Den starts at 9:30a.m. The competition will test participants’ knowledge of the reef.
Wednesday - Puppet Shows at different schools start at 9a.m. The presentations will educate the students about managing access to fishing, the rights to fish certain areas, and sustainable fishing.
Thursday - A Reef Week Fair is scheduled at 9:30a.m. a Central Park. Several organizations will set up booths with fun information for the community to learn of the reef’s important and to get to know what they do to help protect it and the environment.
Friday - A fun Lionfish Tournament will be hosted at Estel’s Dine by the Sea. Anyone can join (just sign up at Hol Chan Office) and the team with the most Lionfish caught WINS! The Lionfish count starts at 3p.m. when the boats roll in. There will also be a Lionfish Ceviche Competition.
Saturday - Reef Week culminates with a kayak race around the island. Race starts at Wayo’s Beach Bar at 8a.m.
To find out more, or how you can participate in the various reef week activities, contact Hol Chan Marine Reserve at 226-2247.