By Elissa Gilbert
We set out from the island of Caye Caulker in Belize in our small boat, turning off the motor and poling slowly through the mangroves. At first we saw manatees, those ungainly mermaids, simply as distant gray lumps. But finally one chose to swim to our side and hung there beside us, only its nostrils poking above the water. We stayed until our guide insisted we leave to go snorkel with stingrays and nurse sharks; a dolphin swam ahead of us leading the way. Such is a morning in Belize.