Manta Dive Resort, Belize

20 August 2000

There I was, marooned on a sandbar outside of Dangriga ... feeling like Katharine Hepburn in The African Queen  (which is entertaining, because AQ's producer was Sam Spiegel - no relation - but I digress ...)  

Manta Resort is the only thing on Glover Reef, about 120 miles, give or take a little, from Belize City.   On Saturday, the Manta Resort folks picked up a rowdy and anxious group for a several hour boat trip out to the atoll.  On the boat we learned valuable survival skills such as opening a beer bottle with the (closed) cap of another bottle.  Amazing how fascinating this simple task can be to grown men!  Within the first 30 minutes of the ride we had formed an informal "Survivor" vote, and selected the person most likely to be voted off the island quickly (you know who you are!)   

    

Map of Belize and Islands
There was a small group that week - about 16 of us.  We ate all our meals together and did most of our recreation together.  It was a good group, and everyone had fun.  We were delightfully free from phones, TV, or radio.  We had electricity, but as someone pointed out - what would you do with it there?!  One of the locals showed us how to pound open a coconut and drink the milk.  He made it look so easy!  Now if only he had shown us how to pick a ripe coconut!

I left on the fourth day.  IMHO, this was the perfect length for the visit - the three-day version would have been too short and the seven-day version would have been too long.   I think we would have resorted to drastic measures against some of our members by that time.

The mid-week launch returns to Dangriga.  It's a much shorter trip (1-1/2 or 2 hours), and also a *much* smaller boat (with a very shallow draft - which will become significant in just a minute).   As we approached Dangriga, Egbert explained that shooting the approach would be tricky - that one could rarely get into Dangriga unless the tides were just right.  Silting of the entrance has caused some very shallow sandbars.  He was optimistic that with only three people in the boat we might be able to float in if he cut the engines and trimmed it right.  

No such luck!  We beached it in a big way on a sand bar.  Unable to go forward or backward, churning up the sand with the propeller, Egbert and David were finally forced to jump ship (in about 2 feet of water!) and pull the boat off the sandbar.  

   

Dangriga is - well - beyond words.  I regret not taking photos.  It's a ramshackle little place, albeit with a lot of character.  The "pier" is - ummm - less than most people's private boat docks; but hey - it's functional.   After docking at Dangriga, an honest-to-goodness TAXI took us through the streets of the town to the airport - a one-hut building for the airport official (waiting room outdoors only).  

The transportation alone was a worthy adventure!

Dangriga (photo by Annette Globke)

My apologies to Annette Globke, whose photo I  pirated from the web

Click below to link to larger images.   Click your browser's BACK button to return to this index page.

Intermediate Island enroute to Glover's Atoll Lagoon at Manta Resort
Intermediate Island (10K bytes) Manta Lagoon (6948 bytes)
Medium image  (31 KB) Medium image  (22 KB)
Cabanas Cabanas
Cabanas (15353 bytes) Cabanas (12781 bytes)
Medium image  (49 KB) Medium image  (42 KB)
Dive Boat Egbert
Dive Boat (8491 bytes) Egbert (6494 bytes)
Medium image  (24 KB) Medium image  (53 KB)
Beach on back side of Island Sunset
Back Beach (8289 bytes) Sunset (11536 bytes)
Medium image  (25 KB) Medium image  (34 KB)
Cookie (scanned in from film)
Cookie (9431 bytes)
Medium image  (41 KB)
Click on the film frames to see Underwater Photos (scanned in from film)
Underwater image filmstrip
Sponges Spiny Lobster Small Wrasse Angel Fish    Sea Fan                  
Underwater Film Strip #2
  Parrot Fish   Reef,
with sponge
& brain coral
Barracuda School of
blue fish,
probably wrasse

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