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Over the last 10 years, SI Swimsuit has taken model Kate Bock to some unbelievable destinations and put her through some unusual paces in search of the perfect shot. But few locations have been an adventure action packed as Belize. On the day before her 2022 issue shoot, Bock went ziplining in the rainforest and swimming with sharks and stingrays on Caye Caulker Island. Says Bock, “You know, I like to fill my days with some activities and I think we’re doing the most today.”
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In the lush rainforest, Bock comes prepared for a full day of extreme sports. She starts her day off meeting her ziplining instructor, Victor Acosta, at Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures in Mayflower Bocawina National Park. After Acosta helps to tighten her equipment, the duo hikes through the jungle to get to their jumping-off point. Bock wears gloves to help control the speed of the zipline. “I think it's actually maybe better because when I’ve done it before, you spin in a 360,” Bock says. “This way you get to stay straight, so you get to enjoy the beautiful scenery.” Acosta gives some coaching tips. “To go fast, what you can do is put your feet up and lean back,” he says. Bock immediately jumps on the opportunity, calling herself a “speed demon.” High above the rainforest, Bock weaves between the trees, whipping through the air. “That is an ab workout if I’ve ever had one,” she says. “Try to keep your legs up and lean back while you’re flying through the air.”
Full of adrenaline, Bock was ready for her next adventure— swimming with sharks and stingrays—but first she’d have to take a jumper plane to a golf cart and board a boat to get there. “We drove over here to this tiny little airport in the middle of Belize. We’re taking a small little 30-minute ride to a golf cart, to a boat, to get to an island to then swim with sharks and stingrays. It’s very exciting. It’s a beautiful day to fly.”
Caye Caulker is a tiny Island of the coast of Belize with access to dive sites on the Belize Barrier Reef. Arriving at her dive spot Bock was surprised at the size of the nurse sharks she’d be swimming with. “I always understood a nurse shark was like a nursery shark, like a baby shark, but apparently they can actually get quite big,” she says, “The good news is they don’t enjoy human flesh. So that’s a positive. The stingrays, however…”
Diving into clear blue water, Bock finds herself within an arm’s length of her swimming companions. “I was definitely nervous and they were definitely bigger than I was expecting, but they eat grass,” she says. “They were very chill. They did have kind of crazy buggy eyes and looked a little scary because you couldn’t tell where they were looking, but they allowed us to go very close to them. I got close enough that I felt like I might've been able to reach out and touch one. The bottom was all beautiful sea grass that they would sometimes lay in. It was just such a cool, special experience. And now I get to say I’ve swimmed with sharks which I never have done before.”
Bock’s adventure day was packed with firsts. Says Bock, “Most people probably come here for the beach or the rainforest. We kind of took it to another level.”