Yes I’ve neglected the beach rather and been to cenotes, archaeological sites, museums, and going on road trips so now it’s time for the seaside as both office and to go into.

NOW I’M JUST BACK from my road trip, which did indeed feel like Thelma and Louise at times, or just Thelma, I can relax again and start catching up with it all but I thought we would have a beach intermission first.

new office!

Yes I am rubbing it in!

I intend to go to the beach more now and do some work down there which I believe the perfect place to write, looking over that aquamarine sea and quaffing icy beers and dipping into some guacamole with tortilla chips. I think it’s lovely to do work from my studio flat but I need to start using the beach more. It was always my intention but there’s so much stuff that I had to upload and mess around with that it’s been more practical and cheaper to stay put. Now I’ve finally paid the rest of my rent for the month and seem to be ok financially I’m back on form and ready to cook baby! Also, I need to be meeting more people again and so I can’t stay in my little fabulous studio and not go out. It’s self-defeating after escaping the tyranny of the UK and its lockdowns.

Sea in front of my office.

Always wandering and wondering as I’ve ambled along these white sands where could I be happy to be a regular and sit and write and have them take care of my stuff while I swim. The last time down there I found the perfect place, not too hippy-dippy but also not harsh and commercial. Sadly the one I went to last time I was there is a bit far so now my decision is made. I’ll get down early while it’s cooler and there are less people and fit it the work and the fun and actually mix with other humans. I liked the staff there it seems perfect.

The other far one was on rocks but it started to get busy just after lunch. I reckon they go out late at night to partay and get up late to go to the rocky one. They also take huge cooler boxes of booze and play their fucking loud music.

Rock section too far and too noisy after lunch

The water here is superb and I am ready to start reef snorkelling but have to continue with my writing and editing of my huge Maya road trip, so this seems to be sensible and practical as long as it’s not too windy, don’t want sand in my techno private parts.

I’m just going to check out what to expect and where I can rent a boat for half a day the girl I first checked with said they only did 45 minutes which is rubbish.

Top Tip: You can go on those tour boats like I did in Caye Caulker and Nha Trang Vietnam but I find it too busy with so many people in the water. It was good value as they gave you lunch but you’re always going to have some arsehole kick you or bang into you or get into your shot. It’s infuriating but in some places the only form that you can do it. If you can rent a boat for half a day and maybe share with a couple of people or just go on your own it’s much better. I did this in Banukan Indonesia and it was fabulous, I also shared with my mate Andreas in Panglao Philippines and it was also so much better. I will check out here if I can go get a half day on this section of the Mayan Riviera Reef.

Coconut holding down my beach blanket

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS)

We know it as the Great Mayan Reef or Great Maya Reef, is a marine region that stretches over 700 miles along the coasts of four countries – Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. I went to Caye Caulker in Belize on my last trip here and that part of the reef was magnificent and offered a huge selection of marine fauna.

As we know all the reefs are in danger for many reasons and this, the second largest in the world is being attacked from different directions too. Apart from the usual factors here the Asian red lionfish, from the Indo-Pacific has invaded and is a real problem for the reef system as it eats all reef tending species such as the cleaner prawn and all algae-eating species which keep the coral clean, disease-free and thus alive. These voracious fish can strip coral bare of all the coral friendly things in months and thus kill the reef.

However the reef system is home to one of the world’s largest populations of manatees, with an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 of them, I saw just one in the Philippines which was more like a pet so I’m excited to see groups of them as they are really weird and wonderful creatures. Also, there are sea turtles (green sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, leatherback turtle, and the hawksbill turtle). So happy to be going to mix with these chaps again who I always love and seem to quite like me too! (see Banuken Indonesia post) The reef system is home to more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusc and more than 500 species of fish. The Queen conch, West Indian manatee, American and Morelet’s crocs are now under protection too, as are Elkhorn and black coral.

Some northern areas of the reef system near Isla Contoy are home to the largest fish on the planet, the whale shark. The normally solitary whale sharks congregate there in social groups to eat and to mate. So I might take a trip there too and swim again with these magnificent creatures. See whale shark blog.

Table of corals from wiki if you’re interested…

Stony coralsBlueBrainEleganceElkhornHermatypicChalicePillarStaghornTable
Soft coralsBambooBlackOrgan pipeSea fansSea pens
Coral reefsAtollCayCoralFringingMicroatollCoral reef fishCensus of Coral ReefsThe Structure and Distribution of Coral ReefsCatlin Seaview SurveySpur and groove formation
Coral regionsList of reefsDeep-water coralAfrican coral reefsAmazon ReefAndros, BahamasBelize Barrier ReefCoral Sea IslandsCoral TriangleEast African coral coastFlorida Keys National Marine SanctuaryGreat Barrier ReefMaldivesMesoamerican Barrier Reef SystemNew Caledonia barrier reefPulley RidgeRaja Ampat IslandsRed SeaSolomon ArchipelagoSoutheast Asian coral reefsTuvalu Archipelago
Coral diseasesCoral bleachingBlack band diseaseSkeletal eroding bandStony coral tissue loss diseaseWhite band diseaseWhite pox disease
ProtectionCoral Reef AllianceCoral reef protectionGreen FinsInternational Coral Reef SocietyProject AWAREReef CheckReef Ball
Symbiotic algaeZooxanthellae AmphidiniumSymbiodinium
OtherArtificial reefAquaculture of coralCoral dermatitisPrecious coralCoral in non-tropical regionsCoral ragCoral reef organizationsCoral sandCoralline algaeEnvironmental issues with coral reefsFire coralReef resilienceRugosa

So watch out fishies I’m preparing to start a snorkelling spree. I’ll report back to you and take loads of pics and videos. Much love to you my friends x