Re: NANFA-- Belize venture

Edward Venn (
Wed, 01 May 2002 08:05:28 +0000


It sounds like you had fun. So did you bring home any goodies? Get lots of

>Hello all -
>Belize trip highlights...
>What a great time! I was down there to co-instruct a tropical marine bio
>course w/another instructor and 20 students. We spent 3 days at a field
>station (Possum Point) on the Sittee River approximately three miles
>Another seven days were spent on a small mangrove island (Wee Wee Caye
>Marine Lab) about five miles from the coast. The reefs are still quite
>beautiful, although there was plenty of coral bleaching. The staghorns and
>elkhorns have really suffered in the past 10 years (at least where I was).
>Some of the more noteworthy "events" included...
>...seeing a 7 foot crocodile (Morelet's) from close range on the first
>night. I was actually lying face-down on the dock at Possum Point -
>way over trying to catch a few cool brackish/fresh fishes with a hand net -
>when I saw a largish movement off to the right. There it was - about six
>feet from my head. I watched it for a few minutes before I went up to get
>few of my students. Of course, when they came down, it got spooked and
>headed out into deeper water. I did catch a few interesting fish later
>on... checkered puffer, inshore lizardfish, and a pipefish (species?) to
>name a few. Unfortunately, I also tore some intercostal tissue (between
>ribs) when I leaned way out trying to catch a few others. Ah... the
>price(s) that we pay. It sure made breathing (and snorkeling) a bit more
>...seeing Rivulus marmoratus in the crab holes right below my cabin on Wee
>Wee Caye. The four single occupant cabins on the island are built up on
>"stilts" right among the red mangroves and at high tide there is water
>under them. I spent a couple hours one afternoon teasing a few up to the
>surface in some of the crab holes. Unfortunately, I didn't have hooks as
>small as those used by Scott Taylor, Bruce Turner, et al., but I did get
>some good looks anyway.
>...swimming directly over (4-5' above) a large Caribbean ray (7'+
>"wingspan") for about 20 yards out on a sand flat near the barrier reef. I
>did manage to get a few good photos of it.
>...snorkeling the barrier reef several times. I got several good photos of
>juvenile fish (many Pomacanthids) on the reef crest.
>...hiking 8k up to the summit of a peak known as "The Outlier" in Cockscomb
>Basin Jaguar Preserve.
>It really is a beautiful country. If you want to see at least one place
>that is still reasonably pristine (relative to other areas anyway), I would
>encourage you to consider a trek to Belize.
>Mike Bessert
>UNL School of Biological Sciences

Edward Venn,
SMG Holdings Co., Ltd.,
Deux Chateaux Blanc 2-303,
1356 Kobuchi, Kasukabe,
Saitama, Japan
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