fbpx Maury Eldridge | Island Expeditions

Maury Eldridge

A snorkeler’s rapture. A kayaker’s bliss. A snorkeling kayaker’s paradise. Within a marine reserve, an Audubon sanctuary. A small island teeming with life on an atoll fifty-five miles at sea. Turquoise, jade and deep blue waters, comfortably warm. Walking from coral sands into a sea of curious eyes, the myriad variety of tropical fish greets us immediately upon entering their realm. From the shallows of patch reefs and a barrier reef surrounding the atoll, to the edge of the coral wall’s unfathomable depths, stingrays and spotted eagle rays, black-tipped reef sharks and nurse sharks, loggerheads and hawksbill turtles, moray eels and brilliant fish almost beyond naming. Paddling the vibrant waters to moorings above the deeper reefs, we slip off the kayak into a heaven of coral heads, waving fans, tube and barrel sponges, graceful movement and bright color. And above the water soar magnificent frigate birds and red-footed boobies from their nests on the island sanctuary.

Free diving to the bottom and holding on for as long as a relaxed breath allows, the fish come to see me. Unblinking curious eyes gaze into mine. Colors impossible to describe move in and out with fluid grace. On occasion, schools of yellowtail snapper, Bermuda chub, blue tang or silvery sardines circle me in perfect synchrony. The variety of fish is astounding.

Island Expeditions outfits their tandem kayaks with a sail. Moving with the wind across the turquoise water, white puffs of clouds on a blue horizon, is a whole other level of peace. The island guides are full of smiles and laughter, exaggerated greetings, enthusiasm and sincere appreciation of the natural beauty they help us encounter. They educate us about marine life with humorous stories, encourage us to pursue whatever will make us happy, nudge our skills to the next level and feed us until we are fully sated, over and over again. They are very conscious of our safety, but never hold us back from any reasonable experience. One can join group activities two or three times a day or choose entirely independent adventures. Thank goodness for the Belize Audubon Society, for the careful hosting of Island Expeditions and for this island sanctuary.
Trip date (YYYY-MM)
Where are you from?
Needham, MA
What were the highlights of the trip?
The ease of the snorkeling from the beach. I did so three or four times a day and twice at night.
What would be your advice to potential travelers?
Go! Enjoy a total immersion in tropical waters.
Trip photo
Kayak Sailing at Half Moon Caye
What trip did you take?