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Dive Review of Bottom Time/Banyan Bay in
Belize/Ambergris Caye

April, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Dennis Brower, MD, US
Report Number 1009
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Marshall Islands, Australia, Pohnepei, Hawaii, Florida, Caymans, Cozumel,
Galapagos, and Bonaire
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
choppy, surge, noCurrents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
40   to 80    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
No significant restrictions applied.  No more than 130 first dive and do
reasonable depth restriction second dive.    
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
Comments
The dive crew was great and they handled the cameras very well as you got
in and out of the boat.  However, there were no camera tables, containers
of rinse water, or anything similar, on the boat.  You had to hold the
camera the entire time or risk having it slide around. There were rinse
tanks at the dock.
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  
3 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
3 stars    
Comments  
We dove the first week of April 04 and the dive crew of Captain Eddie and
dive master Chocolate were first rate.  The boat was a single engine
inboard with plently of speed with seating for about 8 with a small cabin
and head up front; approximately 28 feet.  It had sun protection over 1/2
the boat.  The crew picked you up at the dock where you stayed and took you
out through the reef openings to moorings on the other side of the reef. 
The trip only took 5-10 minutes with the channel a bit rough.  There were
3-4 foot swells at the moorings and you did a back roll off the back side
of the boat.  The divers did not come back to the moorings, but the boat
followed the divers whereever they went.  This was a nice touch. The
visibility was generally good and usually improved as you move to the 60
foot depths.  The surge was evident anywhere above 50 feet.  There was
plently of soft corals and great cliffs, ledges, and valleys; very little
hard or colorful corals.  There were plently of tropical fishes there, but
you had to look for them and there was not a great volume.  Saw several
nurse sharks and large groupers which were very friendly due to feeding and
interaction with the local divers.  The diver operations were excellent
(except for the on board camera care)and the tanks were routinely filled
with 3200+ PSI.  You were encouraged to use all your air as long as you
could do so safely and get in your no decompression dives.  Chocolate
always lead the dives and attempted to guide you to interesting sights.  If
you needed to linger he would wait-he was never demanding or pushy.  There
were never more than a total of 6 divers on board throughout our 10 dives
(5 days).  After the first dive the boat went back to the Bottom Time dock
at the town of San Pedro (5-10 minutes) and you did your interval wait
there.  This was nice as there was no rocking and you could get something
to eat or just lay on the dock in the sun. The staff always changed our
tank setup and if you dove with them consecutively they kept your tank gear
and rinsed it each night and brought it back at pickup already set up. A
very pleasant diving experience.  If you want a lot of fish you need to go
to the further out islands/cayes in Belize or do the live-a-board.      
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Diving Guide to Belize
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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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