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when anne crawley left the corporate world to pursue her salt life in Belize, she never prepared to fall head over heels for the deep blue. Through coral reefs and stunning depths, Anne takes us on a journey of passion, discovery, and what it truly means to find your deep blue soul.

photo by anne crawley

the blue hole all photos by anne crawley

in for the Salt Life eight years ago and have never looked back! I went through one of those major life changes early, a mid-life crisis at 31 sent me to my bosss office. I walked in and resigned, just like that. I didnt know exactly what I was going to do, how I was going to do it, yet I knew that I wanted to become an underwater photographer and filmmaker. Somehow I knew working at a great job, complete with flashy suits, high heels and fulfilling other peoples needs was not going to allow me to live my dreams. I knew there was more in this world I wanted to do and I had to find my path in life. And for some crazy reason I followed my intuition on that June day and resigned. My boss did not quite understand why I was leaving and as a matter of fact, I dont think any family member or friends understood either.

answering the call

I felt the sea calling my soul. I knew I needed to create a life that incorporated the ocean into my daily regime. To feel the salt dry on my skin in the sun, I yearned to feel it, taste it and touch it.

As soon as my body slipped into the water, not only was every one of my senses touched, my soul was turned on.
As soon as my body slipped into the water, not only was every one of my senses touched, my soul was turned on. Two months after ending corporate life, I was on a plane heading for Belize to work as a dive instructor and photopro on a live aboard dive vessel. For the next eighteen months I dived at least three times a day, read reef fish behavior books and became an underwater voyeurist as I searched the reefs every dusk for the

most unusual behaviors. Tarpon feeding, octopus group hunting, toad fish croaking were simple a few animals I observed. The first time I filmed video of squid underwater I cried with four other passengers because the footage of these cephalopods was simply out of this world with their colors changing thousands of times during the course of an hour long dive. We had no idea that nature could be so spectacular!

two months on Lighthouse Reef, one of the three off-shore atolls of Belize, there was a pair of Bottlenose Dolphins that had broken away from their pod. It was as if they accepted us divers as their family and then spent their days using us as foreplay for one another. The male would dig in the sand and give coral to the female, much like we give diamond rings. They would swim round and round with grins on their faces as if they were smiling and letting us all know they were in love. Every single week we dropped off passengers and took others out, we hoped and prayed that our dolphins would be at the dive site, the Aquarium waiting to swim with us. And for two months they never let us down, and then one week they were gonethey had found their pod again and we were left to dream.

the blue hole

One of my top ten dives in the world, The Blue Hole, is a dive often misunderstood. This sinkhole hosts no large animals, yet it is a geological phenomenon. With a diameter of nearly 320 meters and the greatest depth at about 125m, you start your descent and at about 100 feet GIANT stalactites come into view. In 140 feet of water you swim amongst stalactites that are more than 60 feet long. Stalactites only grow one inch every three to thirty years depending on how much water runs through the cave systemand this cave system used to be above ground! This is an underwater cave and cavern system, so diving the Blue Hole is like taking a step back in time!

salt life in belize

marine life
Belize tops living the Salt Life in the Caribbean. Whether you enjoy diving, fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, beach walking, history, Belize is a top notch destination! Whale sharks, dolphins, schooling snapper and even islands with nesting booby birds, Belize offers something for everyone.

barrier reef
Belize is known for the second largest barrier reef in the world. Rich with marine life, schooling fish, and three-foot long yellow tube sponges, every dive leaves you wanting more. You can find uninhabited coral quays, palm trees and local fishermen guarantee you a feast to remember. This is truly one of the last untouched places on earth, truly paradise!


beauty in simplicity
The longest and hardest shifts I have ever worked were on live aboard dive boats. 20-24 hour long days were the norm, yet I knew I was following my bliss. In Belize I had the privilege of diving with bottlenose dolphins. Once a week for

The hurricane and rainy season is known between October through December. In January-March is the windy season. The weather is usually sunny, yet very windy and can affect dive sites and boat trips if you are on smaller vessels. The best times to dive are May and September, between seasons. During July and August, the weather is the hottest and can be uncomfortable if you are not spending your days underwater.