Cruise Day 5: Belize

Today we arrived in Belize and our excursion was Discover Scuba Diving. My eldest and I went together. This wasn’t really what I was expecting. I’d done a thing in Hawaii 15 years ago where they just put the tank on you and swim around with you.

This one was an official PADI thing. You watched a video, and then you go out to shallows and do some tests. The tests covered replacing your regulator and clearing it. Then you drop your regulator, recover and clear it. Then you had to clear your mask. You got a little water in it, then you tilt your head up and blow through your nose to fill your mask with air. Lastly you had to practice sharing air with another diver. You have a second regulator what is bright yellow, which you give to someone and they clear it and breath through.

My son wasn’t able to do the clearing of the mask. Getting water in his eyes made him freak. So they sent him back to the boat. After we qualified they took us to another spot and we went down to coral reef. They had a line tied to an anchor on the bottom and we pulled ourselves down the line.

You know those tropic fish you see in fish tanks? They come from somewhere, in this case, Belize. There were a lot of pretty little bright colored fish. There were also these little jelly fish near the surface. It was kind of like swimming around a 3D mine field. The guide said they “didn’t stink that much”. Which ended up being true. You could just push the round side and they’d move. But I swam past one and kind of back handed the flower looking part, getting a stink on my forearm. Not that big a deal, but it did stink for a while. Also scraped myself on coral.

We got back to the ship and I decided I’d like to see Belize City. Belize is a former English colony and is an English speaking central American country. It is really small, almost a city state. Whole country’s population is 287,730. Ran into the Mrs who was coming back from her tubing expedition and we went walking around the dock and flea market. Another very Libertarian country. Until just recently they didn’t have any public schools, everything was Catholic schools. A good government worker salary is $70/week. The flea market was pure capitalism and object poverty together.

You start seeing economics differently. Labor is cheap. Real cheap, but unskilled. Most of the manufactured goods are expensive because they have to be imported. Hand made stuff is cheap, but not able to really export in a quantity that can raise these people out of poverty.

When I got back to the ship my left shoulder started hurting a lot. It was so bad I spent the rest of the evening in the room, trying not to move my arm. I finally went to sleep and the next morning it didn’t hurt anymore. I think it was from wiggling out of the scuba gear, but I don’t know.

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