Saturday, 22 February 2014

Pompion Wall A Diving Adventure | Placencia Outer Reef Site

Pompion Wall Dive Site is a secluded diving area that gets its name from a privately own island named Pompion Caye, located just 50 minutes from Placencia, Belize. I often hear that the best dive sites are those “unknown” and after diving at the Pompion Wall I have to agree.

This dive leaves Splash Dive Center in Placencia at 9:00 am and is a two tank multilevel dive. Although Pompion Wall is not within the protected Barrier Reef Reserve System it is one of the most pristine reef in the area.

Full speed ahead we headed out in the mystical blue: Our Dive Master, Kingsley gave us the dive briefing. As he eagerly spoke about the unique formation of the Pompion area, it wasn’t a surprise to know it was one of his personal favorites.  The entire group was intrigued carefully listening as he spoke:

“It is a multilevel dive starting with a slow descend. The wall begins at around 30 feet and drops down to the deep blue. Once at 80 feet we will have a slow steady dive at that depth for 5 minutes before we start ascending slowly. Look out for moray eels, lobsters, spider crabs, and feeding Hawksbill turtles to name a few.”
He said, as he formed the hand gestures for each of the marine species.

As we arrived in the area my dive buddy Max and I were ready to start our underwater diving adventure. Max, having dived in the area was a bit more familiar with the dive, which only helped me to focus on the abundance of marine life I was about to see.

I entered the water "giant stride style" there was no stopping at this point. Visibility at this dive was amazing. The top of the wall is loaded with colorful schools of fish. Any wall combined with the reef is the perfect ecosystem for most marine life and we were all in for a treat the further down we went.

Our Dive Master made a clicking sound to gather our attention as he pointed ahead. Max and I nodded and move swiftly. We immediately caught glimpse of the giant moray eel moving in and out of its tiny crevice, as it restlessly tried to snap on a school of yellow tail Snapper. This was the first of many more surprises to come. We glided ahead as the surge moved us north of the wall. By now we were nearing 55 feet and I felt the water temperature getting warmer.

35 Minutes into the dive and at 40 feet, Max and I noticed a couple of medium sized Angelfish following our dive. It was my first time leading a school of fish and it felt pretty amazing. We approached a large Spiny lobster and by the looks of its demeanor it seemed very friendly, if I may say so. Spiny lobsters can easily be distinguished from true lobsters by their very long, thick, spiny antenna. This type of lobster is very common in Belize waters and can be easily spotted in the reef.

As our dive neared the end we drifted forward along the reef where we were able to spot many more species of fish.

We headed back to “home base” at Splash Dive Center and were greeted with Splash’s very own “jungle juice” (fruit punch) and cookies. I was still in a pleasant shock as the colorful, vivid images of the diverse marine life I had experienced just 50 minutes ago lingered in my mind.

I can't wait to dive into my next adventure!

Plan your Belize diving adventure with Splash Dive Center, a 5 Star PADI resort. Visit or email Patty at for more information.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The perfect Caribbean escape| A Day Well-Spent At Laughing Bird Caye National Park

The boat ride out to Laughing Bird Caye was not only short-lived but also exceptionally exciting. We departed from Placencia village and took a boat ride out to the island. I knew I was not only visiting an island but a protected one. I have visited other cayes in Belize such as the popular San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and the laid-back Caye Caulker but I had never visited an island that is also a National Park and a World Heritage Site, protected for its natural beauty.  

Laughing Bird Caye National Park is distinct from the other islands as it is a part of the famous Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System and it is a snorkeler's paradise. The natural beauty surrounding this island is sumptuous. In order to visit this paradise you must book a day tour with a licensed tour operator: our recommended choice is Splash Dive Center. Not only are the licensed guides friendly and informative, but also the BBQ grilled fresh on the island is a delightful lunch!

So, if you are still asking: what is so special about this island?  Well, let me describe to you the beauty.  Snorkel around the island and you will encounter a diverse and abundant marine life living below. The area is covered with a variety of coral reef habitats that sparkle and give life to other marine species. The island has a distinct elongate shape that forms a faro. A faro can be best explained as an angular atoll that is situated on a reef. The faro is elevated and encloses a central lagoon, which gives Laughing Bird Caye National Park its shallow waters surrounding the island.
If you are visiting the southern coast of Belize, there is much to experience on this beautiful island. The perfect Caribbean escape! The beach is formed by powdery unspoiled white sand, a heavenly and perfect texture. While on the day-trip we were told that the island earned its name due to the Laughing Gills that once populated the island. Today, Laughing Bird Caye is known as a nesting place for a variety of birds including
Brown Pelican, Green Heron, Melodious Blackbird amongst others that call Belize their home.

The northern end of the caye is a very busy rookery and for that reason it is off limits to the public.  The northern end of the caye is opened up one day each year for the annual cleanup by 100 or more school kids and volunteers organized by Splash Dive Center.

If you are visiting Placencia a day-trip out to Laughing Bird National Park will complete your visit to Belize!

Email Patty at to find out more about this beautiful Gem!