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Dive Review of Belize Aggressor III in
Belize/Central Offshore Cayes

August, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by James Heimer, TX, USA
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 1895
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Hawai'i, Tahiti, California, Texas, Belize, Honduras, St. Maarten, St.
Thomas, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Aruba, Bonaire, Malaysia, Indonesia
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy  
Seas
calm, choppy, noCurrents  
Water Temp
84   to 87    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth limited to 110 feet based on nitrox 32 (even for those using air)  
Liveaboard?
yes 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
Schools 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
Covered dive deck had spacious camera table with multiple shelves below for
other sensitive photo gear and electrical strip for battery charging.  Crew
was extrememly knowledgable about underwater photography and avid
photographers themselves; assisted divers with (all had digital cameras)
set up of equipment and photo tips.  Rental cameras (Olympus 4000 series or
5050 with Inon strobes) provided free of charge to those (2) who had
cameras flood.  Large rinse tank for cameras only at stern near dive deck. 
Only limitation was on ability to download and edit photos - boat had only
one computer with small screen and limited installed software (i.e. no
Photoshop), but did have universal card reader and ability to burn CD's.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
3 stars
Food
2 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
The Aggressor III was well kept and well laid-out for diving.  Although the
accommodations were the smallest we have encountered on six liveaboards
(only one person at a time could stand up and move about on the cabin floor
and the double bed was partially overhung by a bunk, giving the
"inboard sleeper" the feeling of being in a coffin), they were
clean and we didn't spend much time in them anyway.  The cabins (except
one) are located on the bottom deck.  Try to avoid cabin 8, which is
farthest aft next to the engine room and gets a lot of noise when the boat
is moving - which is not very often during sleeping hours.  The deluxe
cabin on the top deck may be worth the extra money, if you want more
space.

The salon / dining area and dive deck are above the cabins.  The dining
area is divided into three 3-person and two 4-person tables.  The salon has
a large screen TV and DVD / VCR player and limited seating on sofas.  The
dive deck is directly aft of the salon and has spacious accommodations for
the full load of 18 divers with plenty of room between tanks, storage bins
under the seats, and hanging bars for wet suits above.  Air filling
stations are at each set of 2 tanks and nitrox is available.  Entry is down
steps from the dive deck to a wide platform across the stern.  Exit from
the water was via ladders on each side.  An inflatable was always on
standby at the end of a tag line.  A hang bar and emergency air second
stage were deployed at 15'.  One unusual characteristic of the Aggressor,
which is a single hull vessel, was its tendency to swing 90 degrees and
more about the mooring.  Sometimes it was out of view, when returning after
a dive, but it would swing by, sooner or later.

The top deck was partially shaded with an area for sunning and a bar area,
plus the pilot house and deluxe cabin.

The food was good, but not as good as that we have had on our other five
liveaboards (which approached excellent on some).  There was plenty at each
meal and snacks between dives.  Wine, beer, and some alcohol were available
après diving.

The walls of Lighthouse Reef (Long Caye, Lighthouse Caye, etc.) are
spectacular with healthy hard and soft corals.  The bottom drops off from
20 to 30 feet under the mooring to several hundred feet on the wall. 
Turtles, sting and eagle rays, barracuda, large green and spotted morays,
and grouper were the larger marine life encountered.  The excellent
(repeat, excellent) dive staff participated in all dives and pointed out
micro critters like pipe fish, pipe horses, pike, sail and arrow blennies,
net crabs, and juvenile fish species.  The staff were as enthusiastic about
the diving as the paying customers, and they would be in the water, whether
or not anyone wanted a guided dive - photographing and exploring.  On the
return trip, Friday morning diving was at the less impressive Turneff
Islands (sloping rather than steep walls), but the very last dive was
joined by a family of dolphins (mom, pop, and baby).  In general, the
condition of the reef was excellent, and the fish life was plentiful, but
the larger stuff was sparse.

The Aggressor leaves Belize City on Saturday night and returns about noon
on Friday.  Although the trip does not officially end until Saturday (you
sleep aboard the Aggressor Friday night, but Friday dinner is on you), a
Friday afternoon departure back to the US is possible if you skip the last
night and morning dives.  You can do up to 27 dives during the week
(including a group dive to the Great Blue Hole), with the pool being open
for two dives at any time between 8 and 11:45 am in the morning and 2 and
5:45 pm at night, plus a night dive around 8 pm.

This is our second trip this year to Central Belize; enough said about the
quality of the diving.  Although the Aggressor boats are operated as
individual franchises, we would seriously consider other Aggressor vessels
in the future based on our experience here.
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Diving Guide to Belize
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.


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