I’ve never been big on scuba diving.
Oh, I’ve done it a time or two. Enjoyed it just fine, really.
Somehow, though, I never quite caught the dive bug to the extent that it’s become an integral part of my usual Caribbean adventuring.
Perhaps I just haven’t come across the right dive destination just yet. Perhaps I need a little extra uncommon inspiration from my dive experience.
Perhaps I need to head to the Blue Ventures Bacalar Chico Dive Camp in Belize.
A research dive program set on a deserted, remote stretch of palm studded beach, the camp sits just a few hundred meters from the Belize Barrier Reef. This is the second largest barrier reef on the planet, trailing only Australia’s “Great” one in size. Much of this vast undersea ecosystem remains relatively unexplored and unstudied, which is where the camp, and someday maybe you or me, comes in…
Here, volunteer divers are invited to work alongside researchers in gathering data on marine life in the area. Collected data is shared directly with the Fisheries Department of Belize for inclusion in national and international marine management of the Meso-American Barrier Reef.
The Camp’s been operating since 2010, but the program’s been going a few years longer. More than 1,000 volunteers have participated in the six-week study course here since 2003, contributing mightily to the development of new conservation techniques that have kept the reef pristine.
It’s not all work, though, as noted on the Camp website…
In your downtime, you can explore Mayan ruins, rainforests, mangroves, turtle nesting sites and salt-water crocodile habitats.
Fun, educational and supporting one of the world’s finest natural treasures, the Blue Ventures Bacalar Chico Dive Camp is uncommon in a bunch of ways that could get anyone hooked on scuba diving for life.
For more on the Camp, visit Blue Ventures online.
*Elkhorn Coral photo credit: diver_meg via Flickr.