Take a walk up the beach on Ambergris Caye and you are bound to find a few things. A tiny shell, a piece of drift wood, a plastic bottle or…maybe a cool looking piece of coral.
Depending on how far north you walk – and how close to the reef you are – the coral can be EVERYWHERE. Here’s a photo from a walk up at Robles Point – about 15 miles north Ambergris Caye.
But sometimes – in my 11+ years of living near the beach – I’ve found some even more interesting things.
They included – baby sea turtles…
This guy actually crawled about 20 feet up a concrete sidewalk in the wrong direction (found about 2 miles south of San Pedro)
or dead sea creatures. One I posted – and then was asked to bag and place in my freezer for later autopsy. (Found 7 miles south)
An angular rough shark. Headless.
One time I was even there when a boat of refugees from Cuba washed up in the middle of town. I kid you not.
But here are some of the more regular visitors on your shores.
Pumice – You can almost always find a scrap or two of this floating rock – but there are certain times when it is all over the beach. Since pumice is a volcanic rock – and there are no volcanoes in Belize – where is it coming from?
The short answer is…a volcano. And since it floats, it could be coming from anywhere around the world – probably volcanoes deep below the sea. But here is a picture of the volcanic islands/active volcanoes of the Caribbean…
Here’s a heart shaped one (use your imagination) I found a while back.
Also called drift seeds. These are my new sea-obsession. They are seeds from around the world that can float short or long distances. The most famous is the coconut. Here is a website devoted to all things seabean.
This fall was a particularly good time for sea beans on North Ambergris Caye. I have bowls and bowls of them now.
The water was quite rough – churned up – and I couldn’t figure out what the stuff was. Definitely layers of sand and…muck.
It wasn’t until a few days later, as the water cleared, that I saw it was a thick layer of the seabed – breaking up and washing to shore. Amazing how thick and rubbery it was.
The most frequent plant life is turtle grass – the seaweed that naturally lines much of our seabed.
You can see it here at low low tide way up north.
Or you might find something still using her shell.
We had a huge influx in 2015 – from February to about November – and now. 2018, the beaches, on and off (but mostly ON) have been covered with the stuff.
Food or fertilizer? Burying or burning…many are scrambling for a solution.
Everyone has heard and seen that our oceans are becoming a huge receptacle for our trash. Like all other things it ebbs and flows. We can see very little for weeks and months – and then get a tide of trash. Does it come from cruise ships? Some…I’m sure. Rivers in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico? Yup. There too.
(the below pics are my glamorized trash pics)
Someone found this bottle before I did.
Once in a while, you’ll find something cool. Like an old buoy or a bottle. I’m working on my collection.
But mostly it’s just icky trash.
You did NOT hear this from me – because I have no first hand knowledge about this – at all. But rumors abound.
Shhhhh…square grouper = a plastic wrapped package of illegal drugs.