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April 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 32, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Belize, Vieques, Indonesia, Molokai

Christmas crowds, lousy food, white tips and mantas

from the April, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Last year, Undercurrent was the first to write about a new find in Belize -- Itza Lodge -- and our reviewer was quite pleased with the operation, from the accommodations to the service to the diving. Since that review, as one might imagine, there has been some evolution in the resort, as Richard McGowan (Fairfield, CT) describes after visiting Itza Lodge in Belize during February. He wrote, "We found this gem from Undercurrent (February 2016), so it was a little out-dated -- though the underwater parts were very much spot-on.

"In December 2016, Arthur and Selina took over management of Itza, bringing along Elta, the fabulous cook, who makes everything from scratch, and it is delicious. From the bakery goods to plantain chips to fish fillet. What more can I say?"

He makes a few observations that could be crucial to a comfortable stay. "Bring bug spray. We didn't have any sand fly issues, but it was windy all but one day (February and March are the windiest). You need a small flashlight at night to find the bathroom without putting the light on, assuming you have company, as it can be pitch-black. They started upgrading the solar-heated hot water system to cover fewer rooms per unit, so expect better water [supplies] than we got -- mostly maybe lukewarm at best. It didn't help that everyone tried taking a shower at the same time after the last dive."

Regardless of the minor problems, if you're looking for a small, isolated Caribbean resort, give this a go. Another one to check out in Belize: Turneffe Island.

While many of our readers seem to be interested solely in diving during a trip, in December the adventurous Mark Thorne (Raleigh, NC) decided to try a company called "Bonaire from the Sea," which he says "marries diving, dining, and sailing in perfect balance. If you love diving, you definitely love being both above and below the water while being able to see the sights from the vantage point of a sailboat [rather than the more normal shore diving]. And if that were not enough, Bonaire from the Sea offers up some of the best gourmet food I have ever eaten."

Many divers who travel on the MV Cayman Aggressor do so because they want to visit Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, not just spend a week on Grand Cayman sites, which are all easily reached from resorts. That doesn't always happen, as Paul McFall (Cumming, GA) reports: "The weather was a bit windy most of the week, which kept us around Grand Cayman for the entire trip." He went in November, and it's the winter months that can keep the Aggressor from making the 70+ mile crossing to the sister islands. If you don't want to chance that your diving will be limited only to Grand Cayman, try another season. (You'll find a lot of reader reports on Undercurrent citing this problem.)

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