A tender boat picked us up around 9:45 a.m. and whisked us off to Bannister caye. It was a sculpted little island, about 1 ½ - 2 acres in size. It had a small swimming beach, a restaurant, a couple of stores, and lots of chairs. We swam for a bit, then wandered the docks.
The rocks bordering the shallow water by the beach were covered with small shells. I picked one up. Hmmmmm, looks empty.
Surprise! All of the shells had little hermit crabs in them. I let this guy crawl around on my hand for a few minutes, the put him back on his rock.
I thought the stars in Texas were big, but this starfish was the size of both my hands.
We took a two hour snorkeling excursion, and saw a small bit of the underwater beauty Belize is known for. The purple fan coral was amazing. We also saw a stingray. There were no fatalities. Our guide, Mr. Big of Hammerhead tours, was a funny guy, and very knowledgable about the reef and sea life.
After departing private island and returning to the Grand Princess, we caught another tender in to Belize City for a bit of shopping. We saw these folks (who we had also seen on the ship several times), and wondered if the matching hats and shirts were to avoid getting separated, or had a less obvious purpose. This couple had at least three other sets of shirts and hats, in different colors (lime green, etc.). Nothing says, "I'm on vacation" like a pair of huge floppy fur-fringed hats.
We did some shopping and bought a few souvenirs, and a beautiful table runner for our house, then headed back to the departure dock.
Apparently, it is a law that you have to stop and have a local beer (Belikan) before you can leave. Always the law-abiding, Amy and I complied.