The world’s 2nd largest coral barrier reef runs just off Belize’s coastline – closer to the land in some spots, farther away in others. Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize, has an especially choice location. The reef is visible all along island’s ocean beaches and its protection keeps the water relatively calm, relatively shallow and…well…relatively perfect. This reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, pretty much makes the coastline of Ambergris Caye a paradise for those who love the water. Can you see the white line across the horizon? That is coral reef running along our shores. Just a couple hundred feet away… Pretty spectacular, right? Grand Caribe Resort on Ambergris Caye is perfectly situated and staffed to enjoy all of it. And yesterday, I got a chance to spend the afternoon with Paul of SailSports Belize to check out the lessons and equipment that he offers Grand Caribe guests and visitors so they can get out on the water quickly and safely. We headed down to the resort’s beach to take a look at the boating options. For novices, they’ve got plenty of kayaks…just hop in and make your way out towards the reef. Sailors, especially beginner sailors, may have found the very best training grounds in the world. Great winds for much of the year, combined with water calm and sheltered by the reef, makes for ideal conditions. Paul promised he could have a total newbie sailing solo in an hour. Ronnie, Lisa and Dooley Bear, Grand Caribe homeowners, getting a bit of sun. Dooley is one cool customer…this clearly isn’t his first sail. Okay…this all seems very do-able…but there is more. Sailsports at Grand Caribe Resort offers lessons in two, more adventurous water sports. Wind surfing and kite surfing. It’s the only resort that offers on-site lessons on the north part of Ambergris Caye. Windsurfing starts with a quick 10 to 15 minute lesson on land to master balance and turns… and then you are out to the water. Shallow and relatively calm. This surely would be much more difficult when fighting off open-sea waves. Kite surfing takes a bit longer to learn…but Paul can take you through all the mechanics, get you in the water and then have you out, on your own, in about half a day. Now that is a vacation photo to brag about. Let’s just pretend that is me in the picture above. But please…don’t feel any pressure. For those who like to sun, tan, snooze and perhaps sip a pina colada by the pool, Grand Caribe has that too. Relax and enjoy the view. But we will get to your leisure options in an upcoming post. Ok…one quick preview. We hope to see you soon on Ambergris Caye. Come on down…the water’s just perfect.