Snorkeling & Collecting Discussion Group

dbraun15

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Just returned from Ambergris Caye, Belize with my family...got to do a number of snorkeling trips at Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley and then numerous other parts of the reef. We were our guides 2nd charter since March(Belize opened borders on 10/1)! We saw 4 manatees on our trip which was a nice surprise! Covid has had some devastating effects on the local reef...last year at the reserve we saw numerous large fish(grouper/baracuda/hogfish/snapper/jacks/etc), but none were to be found this year. The locals have nothing else to do besides fish/dive/spear and without bag limits, the local fish population has been decimated, which is very sad! We picked up a number of large Horse Conch/ Queen Conch shells while we snorkeled the bayside. We also fished inshore and caught a bunch of mangrove/silk snapper and a few spiny lobster for a nice beach BBQ lunch. If you get a chance to spend some time in Belize, I highly recommend it...the people are great, reasonably inexpensive(based on where you stay/eat), and the food is phenomenal!
 
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Ron Reefman

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I'd love to see some photos!

We when to Belize in 2013 and had a lot of fun. We only snorkeled one day and did Laughingbird Caye National Park which is just a small island about 15 miles off shore from Placencia which is well south from Belize City.

laughing bird caye merge.jpg

P5070142.JPG
 

shred5

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I'd love to see some photos!

We when to Belize in 2013 and had a lot of fun. We only snorkeled one day and did Laughingbird Caye National Park which is just a small island about 15 miles off shore from Placencia which is well south from Belize City.

laughing bird caye merge.jpg

P5070142.JPG


That reef looks pretty healthy then. I see some stonies and even looks like some porites.
I know Belize just had a bleaching event on the Elkhorn's. I been following their efforts to bring back the reefs. Got to be sad to replant so much and it looked promising just to have another bleaching event.

I am surprised the Caribbean sea fan is not allowed to be collected. Sea fans and gorgonia are taking over. I mean look how many sea fans are in that picture.
To bad they are not reef building.

Nice picture.

I have a dive video that I did. It was of a drift dive off of West Palm. I really need to digitize it and get it off tape.
 

dbraun15

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I'd love to see some photos!

We when to Belize in 2013 and had a lot of fun. We only snorkeled one day and did Laughingbird Caye National Park which is just a small island about 15 miles off shore from Placencia which is well south from Belize City.
The reef in general isn't in anywhere near as good of shape as your picture. There has been significant bleaching and coral loss due to the storms they had this year. I didn't take any underwater photos, but have some I'll share of the places and areas we visited. Pics coming soon.
 

dbraun15

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Here’s a few quick pics from my phone.
Flying in from Mainland to Ambergris Caye
FAEC5734-A5F4-4B76-9FE5-B1E4D0D9C2D0.jpeg
Our home away from home about 8 miles North of San Pedro
065AE16C-3D90-47A2-91E9-B8911EC3194E.jpeg
View from our porch...we stayed at Tuto’s(Largest Coconut Plantation on the island). Reef is about 3/4 mile by kayak 8FA1E78B-50D4-426D-9583-73366845A64D.jpeg
From the dock at Tuto’s
798BF61A-8B81-4C41-A68C-51055BAAE83A.jpeg
Secret Beach...bayside of island and where I found most of my shells
2ACD5195-97C1-4C1A-9276-EDAFADCD65C8.jpeg
Sunset from our golf cart
A120FE15-6106-46F3-9D64-66511B4BFB60.jpeg
Fishing trip lunch spot...ate fresh mangrove and silk snapper along with some lobster. There was nobody around except us. A44ABB0D-44CC-4A3D-BF89-C78F02A70506.jpeg
We also did the mainland for a few days, stayed near Belmapen(capital city), but got rained out of cave tubing and ATM cave. Got to do some rainforest hiking and bird watching which was fun...mosquitos were terrible though as they had 2 weeks of solid rain before we arrived. Enjoy!
 
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Crevalle

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@Crevalle , where do you collect down around Marco? It's a long trip for me to get there, but I might like to try it at least once. And do you walk shallows with a net, or snorkel off a beach, or work from a boat?
Come on now, share some details. ;Hilarious;Hilarious;) I share everything about where and how I collect.
My favorite area that you can drive to is Tigertail beach. Wade across the lagoon to get to the beach. The water is normally clear and it has a well defined first trough and sandbar. I’ll walk the sandbar and snorkel the trough. Tons of sand dollars in the area along with the usual suspects. You can track the live olives and fighting conchs across the sandbar. Sometimes horse conchs too. There does seem to be quite a few large hammerheads on the deep outside of the sandbar. Decent fishing there too. Plenty of snook, sheepshead and sharks.

With a boat the possibilities are endless for collecting. All of the uninhabited islands south of Marco have been great for collecting.
 
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Ron Reefman

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Does anyone know what organism creates these blob like webs?
I see them quite often coming up from the sand when I am snorkeling and diving.
I now have one I’m my tank. Not worried about it, just curious about what it is.
4D6618FB-CD86-4D25-8489-58C79554631B.jpeg

I seem to remember seeing a story about a fish that creates a mucus blob around itself when it sleeps. But I doubt this is that.
 

Fishy65

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I seem to remember seeing a story about a fish that creates a mucus blob around itself when it sleeps. But I doubt this is that.
Some wrasses do this it
 
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Island Reef 242

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Does anyone know what organism creates these blob like webs?
I see them quite often coming up from the sand when I am snorkeling and diving.
I now have one I’m my tank. Not worried about it, just curious about what it is.
4D6618FB-CD86-4D25-8489-58C79554631B.jpeg
I have had one in my tank before, I thought it might be made by a snail but don't know for sure. I posted about it in this sight but no one gave me an answer. Another wonderful mystery in our tanks. My coral banded shrimp ended up eating it a day after it appeared.
1607698586384.png
 
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Ron Reefman

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@Ron Reefman and other Florida divers, what color of ricordia are you guys able to collect? There are so many colors available in the trade, I wondered where they all originate from
To be honest, in all the places I've snorkeled in the Keys, I've never seen a ricordia.

I'm pretty sure the Florida ricordia only come in 2 or 3 basic colors. I don't know where the more colorful one come from, but I suspect they are from the South Pacific.
 

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Hi @footgal. Yes, it's a Spanish shawl nudibranch, (Flabellinopsis iodinea) AKA purple aeolis.
Hi to you too @SMSREEF. The water temperature is usually between the high 50s to the low 70s depending on the season. And yes, I do try to keep things in my tank.....Oh wait, you must mean cold water critters, LOL ;Playful (Just kidding.) A long time ago (1980s & 90s) I kept temperate temperature tanks. (Actually the same tank just three different renditions, reef, shark, lobster.) I did keep one of these Spanish Shawls for a few years along with a bunch of other critters. The Spanish Shawl was probably the hardest because they only eat a certain hydroid. I'd have to go for a little free dive after surf sessions just to collect some.
07242043 (3).JPG
 

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Here's another picture of one in the wild.
Spanish Shawl Nudibranch.JPG
Excuse the quality as these are scans from some old slide film pictures. I'll post a few more as I am slowly transferring over some of my old dive pics to digital. Hopefully I won't post duplicates.
Baby Horn Shark.JPG
;Singing Baaaby Shark do doo do dodo. Horn shark that is.
California Sea Hare 1.JPG
California Sea Hare
Garibaldi headshot.JPG
Feed Me Seymour.... Garibaldi, the meanest Damsel around while tending it's eggs. I had one draw blood through a 6mm dive suit once, and you though your clown could bite.;Inpain
More to come.
 
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Ron Reefman

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@Reefer Reboot , really nice photos! You must have a nice camera to catch those.

BTW, do you know what the little brown striped guy at the bottom right side of your photo posted here is?

07242043 (3).JPG

I have a very small guy in my tank that looks a lot like that. I collected it dip netting just outside an estuary in a shallow grass bed area here in SW Florida along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
 
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