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Dive Review of Blackbird Caye Resort in
Belize/Turneffe Atoll

September, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Chuck and Nancy Anson, CA, USA
Report Number 345
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Roatan, Cozumel, San Salvador, St Croix,
Fiji, St Vincent, Caymans, Grand Turk
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm, choppy, noCurrents  
Water Temp
83   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth limits 130', 500 psi, 50 minute max dive time.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
Comments
Large boats had separate rinse for cameras; small boats did not unless you
asked.   Crew handled equipment professionally.  No separate camera tables.
 Film was available but no camara shop and no spare parts for cameras.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
5 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
4 stars    
Comments  
Blackbird Caye offers value for the diving dollar that is hard to match in
Belize.  If your idea of the perfect dive vacation is dive, eat, and sleep,
with a good book thrown in for variety, then this is the place for you. 
The hour and a half boat ride out to Turneffe Atoll from Belize City
(drinks included) was very scenic and more enjoyable than expected.  The
sand spit called Blackbird is 166 acres and houses cabanas and a dining
area for a maximum of 25 guests and the staff.  The food was delicious.  We
stayed for two weeks and never ate the same meal twice, unless we wanted
to.  Fresh fish, conch, shrimp and lobster were prepared daily in a variety
of ways.  Pork and chicken dishes were also offered at each meal.  The
accommodations were comfortable, spacious, single cabanas that were cleaned
daily.  Each cabana had air conditioning, hard wood floors, and a large
closet with more than adequate drawer space.  There was a good sized
bathroom with a large tiled shower and plenty of hot water.  There was also
a CD player in each cabana so you can bring your own music if listening to
the local radio station is not your bag.  No phones or TV and Yes Virginia,
there are bugs.  Mangroves are the natural habitat for a variety of
insects, but a good healthy breeze and assiduous use of bug spray provided
adequate protection even for this sweet blooded diver.  The dive boats are
large, spacious, and well maintained.  They leave on time, three times a
day and surface intervals are spent on shore.  This leaves plenty of time
to off gas before the second dive and allows for two deep dives (50ft plus
for 50 minutes) each morning.  The dive staff is very helpful.  They set up
and maintain your gear for each dive unless you prefer to do that for
yourself.  The reefs close to the resort remain healthy for the most part. 
We enjoyed Chinamans Reef the best, a ten minute boat ride south. 
Although we saw only two sharks, we did see several large turtles, and
stingrays and eagle rays on many of our dives.  What really adds value to
your diving dollar are the Tuesday all day trip to Lighthouse Reef and Half
Moon Caye and the famous "Blue Hole"; and the Friday half day
trip to The Elbow. These reefs offer world class diving and are included
in the price of your package.  There is no shore diving but daily
snorkeling trips can be arranged.  We enjoyed sharing meals with the resort
manager, Mr. David.  He will do everything he can to make sure his guests
are well taken care of.  All you have to do is ask, that is, if you can get
a word in edgewise! In the Flordia office Rebecca is very helpful, toll
free at @ 888-271-3483 or via email at blkbrd@bellsouth.net, or their
website at www.blackbirdresort.com  

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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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