So I was in Belize last week, off the coast on Ambergris Caye. We met a local guy who offered to take us on a half-day fishing/snorkeling expedition on his boat and we agreed. Me, reluctantly.
I’m really not much of a snorkeler. I mean, I like the ocean – I’ve been sailing numerous times – the water is pretty and I like the sound of the surf and all that, but not so much being in it. (Once I found out there are clear jellyfish in there that sting you, I was kind of over it. I mean, why are they clear? That’s not even fair!) Plus, snorkeling is always kind of a letdown. I can see the same thing in a nice Chinese restaurant – why should I get wet and subject myself to a possible encounter with a barracuda, fire coral or clear jellyfish?
Anyway, we went and had an awesome time. Our guide, “Chocky” also had his 12 year old nephew as a helper and first we went out and he caught some sardines with a net to use as bait. Then we fished for awhile and caught some assorted snapper while his nephew dove for lobsters – and caught a few for us as well. Then we went to a secluded beach and Chocky cleaned the fish and lobster and cut it up with some potatoes, onions, tomatoes and cilantro and put it all in a tin foil pouch and cooked it right on the beach for our lunch! It was fucking AWESOME.
Meanwhile, I had been putting on sunscreen like crazy because it had been awhile since I’d been in the sun and for some reason I was feeling like I was really getting it that day. By the time we got back to the place we were staying, I was beginning to look like the lobster we just ate. WTF?
Then, we figured it out. We had carried on our luggage and my husband packed one container of sunscreen and the other with bug repellent. He had come to me before we left and had me smell the two and try and figure out which was which since they looked exactly the same. At the time I was working and I was like, “I guess that one smells like sunscreen. Who cares?” and went back to work. Who cares? Well, I guess I fucking do now!
Yes, I had been slathering bug repellant on my skin all day and not one iota of sunscreen. I guess the fact that my husband had marked the bug repellant with a big sun threw me off. I was fucking fried like a hot dog on the grill. My face, ears, chest, arms – you name it. My lips even got sunburned, and if you have ever done that, you know that your lips swell up like you are Lisa Rinna. I looked like an idiot gringo for sure. Well, at least I was bug bite free!
Oh, and the snorkeling was kind of a letdown.
PS: If you are ever in Ambergris Caye, I highly recommend Chocky as a guide. I don’t have a number for him, but if you go to the Pier Lounge in San Pedro Town (where they do the Chicken Drop – gambling on what number a chicken will poop upon) and ask the bartender, he knows Chocky. His boat was called The Little Reef Runner.