Snorkeling Half Moon Caye was a treat, partly because the caye is protected by the Belize Audubon Society and has a colony of rare Red Footed Boobies that roost here.
This was the second stop on our Lighthouse Reef Atoll snorkeling trip. We stopped to have lunch and had a great snorkel here in some shallow water. One of the tour guides came off the boat to show us around while the rest of the divers left on the boat to go to a separate dive location.
The snorkeling area was on the west tip of the island on the atoll reef edge. It was all very shallow, in maybe four to six feet of water.
Our guide pointed out lots of interesting things, including a number of small octopus and lobster that I am sure we would have missed. We snorkeled around the area for about an hour and had a fun time focusing on all the small life.
Mostly we saw immature fish, but there was a nice variety of decent sized tropical fish as well, including the lovely Queen Triggerfish at right and the nice Hogfish below.
Generally we are not in favor of picking up sea life, but our guide was very hands on.
The area was also covered with conch shells, both alive and vacant. Our guide turned a few over to show their foot and eyes peering out in the picture below.
We also found a Yellowline Arrow Crab which was a treat to see. Our guide picked it up and handed it to us, but then made sure to put it back in a protected place.
We would not come all the way out for snorkeling Half Moon Caye again, but the other wildlife viewing on the island was a real plus that made it very memorable.
As mentioned above, Half Moon Caye is protected by the Belize Audubon Society and is notable for the colony of rare Red Footed Boobies that roost here. We hiked out to the observation tower and had a great time checking out the birds in the tree canopy, both Magnificent Frigatebirds and the Red Footed Boobies.
We also found some pretty huge iguanas on the island, and had fun watching some hermit crabs drag their borrowed shell homes across the trails.