Welcome to Fantasy Island

View from the deckToday, I got in the pool with my snorkel. I have never been a strong swimmer and I need to practice before our upcoming trip to Fantasy Island. Yes, it is really called that. If you are of a certain age, you remember Fantasy Island with Ricardo Montalban as Mr. Roarke, with his tiny assistant, Tattoo, yelling, “The plane! The plane!” The guests would get to live their fantasies, always with a moral to the story.
THIS Fantasy Island is located off the coast of Dangriga, Belize. We visited there in March 2013 and our upcoming return trip inspired me to dig out my travel journal. Food and snorkeling feature prominently. Sunday, 3 March 2013 Arrived at Fantasy Island about 2 p.m. after three flights, a shuttle van, and a boat. On the 12-passenger plane from Belize City to Dangriga, I got selected to sit in the back seat with two other smaller women… Fantasy iIsland, from the boatFantasy Island has three guest cabanas, a dining room/bar, dive shack, generator/solar shack and employee rooms….Dinner: shrimp, beans, rice, corn on the cob, potato salad. Oh my, so good. Belkin beer…. The island is tiny, surrounded by super shallow water. From the deck, saw some birds, heron, egret, pelican, some type of gar-fish and a large sea star. Lots of bits of coral washed up on the beach. Very dark tonight, lots of stars. Tuesday, 5 March 2013 “Fry jacks” with breakfast, a dough with a touch of shortening, deep fried. Puffed up like pop-overs…Last night, watched the sunset, had drinks and visited. Dinner last night of fish, veggies, herb potatoes and salad. Banana cake with hot banana-liquer topping. E. is a very good cook! … We snorkeled at Salt Water Cay. SO many kinds of fish, incredible colors. And many kinds of coral. Saw a big lobster and several barracudas. It was so lovely under there. The water was 6 to 10 feet deep so we were very close to the reef and fish. Yellow, turquoise, purple, electric blue. Giant brain corals, tubes, fans…. Lunch of carrot soup, conch ceviche and some fish ‘panadas,’ like empanadas. All very delicious. First time eating conch, perhaps similar to octopus. Thursday, 7 March 2013 We did two snorkels this morning. Both amazing with the array of coral shapes and colors – brain, branches, tubes, snakes. Purple, red orange. Saw a huge lime-green moray eel. Scary! Big mouth. Swimming and then hiding. Cowfish, changing color as it went to the bottom. Spotted ray. Squid. Flouder. Lobster. Floating with the current, I feel very graceful. This is an amazing place…Fish enchiladas for lunch. Now on the deck, relaxing, lkistening to the water, looking at all the different blues, seeing other islands in the distance…Large gray heron, largest I have ever seen. Frigate birds circling low and slow above us. Pelicans zipping by. … Dessert tonight was a coconut fudge (coconut, condensed milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg). Friday, 8 March 2013 Calm and hot this morning. Had breakfast, eggs, beans, and homemade tortillas. … Yesterday, saw two manatees here at the island, just before our snorkeling. … Snorkeling, saw a lion fish, lots of parrot fish, eagle ray, a turltle, a school of jacks…. Dinner of pasta with garlic-mustard shrimp sauce. Ice cream with warm bananas. I am so much looking forward to going back to Fantasy Island! Can you see why? The excellent food, the calm, the clear water, the incredible snorkeling. And the funny, warm, friendly staff (mentioned in my journal but not mentioned in my excerpts here to maintain their privacy).

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