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Lars Hemel
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PADI 471740
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Middle Caye Reefs offers an oasis of colors and marine life, diving among fish seeing the best coral formations while doing so.

Name Dive Site:Middle Caye Reefs, Middle Caye Wall
Depth: 19-164ft (6-50m)
Visibility: 65-131ft (20-40m)
Inserted/Added by: aprivateisland

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Located about a third of the way up on the windward southeastern reefs, Middle Caye Reefs is one of the most remote dive sites on Glover's Reef. The dive site derives its name from the small palm and mangrove covered caye developed behind the reef crest. Many of the dive boats visit this reef, but it is usually a charter rather than a regularly scheduled run. If you want to dive this area, it is best to check with various live-aboards to determine when they intend to go there, or arrange for a trip to Manta Resort on Southwest Cayes at the extreme southern end of Glover's Reef. Even if you manage to arrange a trip, exceptional conditions are required to actually make the dive. Calm or westerly winds are needed to keep boats from swinging over and crashing into the shallow coral growths of this narrow reef tract. Another problem is large, incoming swells, which are common while storms are blowing in the Gulf and Caribbean. These can make getting back into your dive boat too dangerous for safe diving. But if the conditions are right, this site is well worth it.

Middle Caye Reefs offer some exceptional diving opportunities. A large variety of reef organisms can be found in a limited area because reef zones are condensed on the narrow fore reef. The entire area between the reef crest and wall is only several hundred yards wide. Reef formations are lush and healthy in this zone, with few areas overgrown by fleshy algae. The wall, which crests at 40 ft here, is spectacular and richly adorned with reef organisms. It also differs from wall profiles seen at most other locations because it is terraced at depth. Clear water and minimal currents allow you to see at least two terraces without making a dive below 100 ft. The first terrace at 150 ft and the second terrace at 210 ft are seaward sloping surfaces covered by platy boulder coral. Coral coverage is thorough and gives these terraces the appearance of a shingled roof. Virtually every kind of invertebrate and a wide variety of fish can be found at Middle Caye. Turtle grass beds with their unique collection of tiny organisms flourish in patches adjacent to the northern and southern shores. Small foraminifera, encrusting red algae and hydrozoans cling to the blades of these grasses, whereas several kinds of clams seek shelter among the plant roots. Turban snails abound in the rocky areas bordering the island. Here large heads of common smooth star, smooth and depressed brain corals and yellow porous coral form isolated growths that are surrounded by coral rubble, much of which is coated with red algae. Exceptional growths of tan lettuce-leaf create shallow coral spurs at 10 ft. Reef urchins, red boring sponges, and many other kinds of organisms hide or live on these large elongated coral growths.

By far the greatest diversity of marine life exists near the drop-off. You'll find some less common stony corals such as meandrine brain, rare rose, giant brain, large flower and large cactus corals. Forked sea feathers, knobby candelabra, deadman's fingers and common bushy soft corals sway elegantly on the reef surface. Red finger, lavender tube, giant tube and variable sponges decorate the reef with their brilliant colors and create homes for thousands of small shrimp, crabs and fish. The orange sea lily is especially common here. Densities of 25 individuals are not uncommon.

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- Green Parrot Beach Houses and Resort, No. 1 Maya Beach, Placencia

Green Parrot Beach Houses and Resort

Green Parrot Beach Houses and ...
 No. 1 Maya Beach

Green Parrot Resort is a small resort located in southern Belize. We have 8 cabanas, restaurant, and bar. We provide a great location for diving the worlds second longest barrier reef. The area is also popular for whale shark dives.

We have been in Belize for 15 years. We have worked with most of the dive companies in the Placencia area and we will make sure that you get connected with the type of company that will best suit your diving needs. We also arrange fishing tours. We have our own bar and restaurant to serve you after dive needs.

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