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Dive Review of Isla Marisol/Isla Marison in
Belize

March, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Craig Grube, VA, USA
Contributor   (18 reports)
Report Number 4673
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Tahiti, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Cozumel, Turks & Caicos, Fl Keys, Little
Cayman
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy, dry  
Seas
choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
77   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
60   to 80    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
no  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Generally need to stay within sight of DM if they are comfortable with your
skills.  Most dives down 55'-65' and for 50-55 minutes unless you hit about
700 psi early.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
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
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Comments
Rinse tank on boat for camera. A sink for rinsing at the dock and the crew
was very helpful handling gear in and out of the water.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
Isla Marisol is about an hour boat ride from Dangriga Airport; take
Dramamine if you are prone to motion sickness.  Depending upon which boat
they use and the sea conditions, you may get wet.  The covered boat is
obviously the one you hope for.  Glovers Atoll is pretty remote and the
resort is almost a complete escape, so forget about cell phone or
blackberry coverage.  They do have wireless internet if you bring a laptop.
 No TVs to be had.  You are there to dive, eat the excellent local cuisine,
and hang out at the bar over the water, where Mora makes a mean cocktail,
if you arent too tired from three dives a day.  They do have kayaks if you
want to explore the atoll.  Depending on time of year you may end up with
few divers, like we did.  For the first 4 days there were 8.  For our last
3 days, there were two of us to share this private island with the friendly
staff and the numerous pelicans that seem to dive bomb the water all day
long putting on a great show.  The accommodations are rustic but more than
adequate, as we had two full size beds, a ceiling fan, a few tables and
open closet.  The bathroom is simple, with limited hot water in the shower,
and the toilet takes NO paper products but is a flush toilet.  If you or
your significant other requires elegant bathrooms, then take a pass. 
However, if you can live civilization light the diving and solitude are
well worth it.  

Before I get to the diving, I must mention the food.  Jenice and Alicia
prepare regional dishes with fresh ingredients such as hand-made fish
tacos, fresh snapper, lobster, a variety of potatoes we had never heard of
but totally enjoyed, and steamed vegetables or slaws.  We had excellent hot
breakfasts of eggs prepared everyway you can think of and potatoes.  The
lunches were hot and varied.  In 7 days I dont think we had the same thing
twice.  Desserts were freshly baked puddings or cakes and excellent coconut
or banana ice cream.  I cant say enough about how much we enjoyed the
local cuisine, and the amazing variety of fresh fruit juices. 

The diving was excellent.  Kitty was a great divemaster with amazing eyes
for spotting small critters, eels, lobsters, octopus or whatever was
around.  If she is comfortable with your skills she gives latitude.  Most
of our 3-a-day dives were 45-55 minutes plus a safety stop.  The boats were
based on number of divers, and we rode in 3 different ones over the week. 
Captain Ishmael was friendly and helpful with camera gear, plus he plays a
rockin bongo drum in the bar.  Most boat rides were 5-10 minutes.  Make
sure you request trips to Long Caye Wall to dive, even though its a long
15-20 minute ride.  All safety stops are done back at the resort or on land
at Long Caye.  We were there the first week of March and the water was in
the high 70s, so bring a wetsuit as the water is a bit chilly.  Land temps
were in the low 80s, but a little cool at night so bring a sweatshirt or
jacket.   Also bring Deet as the no-see-ums can take a toll if the wind
dies down.

The reef was relatively healthy with lots of sponges, many huge and of odd
shapes, and plenty of gorgonians and sea fans.  In addition to the usual
Caribbean tropical fish such as angels, trunk, cow, trumpet, etc., we saw
several reef sharks on a couple of dives, eagle rays on several dives
including swimming with a pair for 5 minutes on the top of the wall.  The
black grouper were very large and on every dive.  We saw green sea turtles
as well as one massive loggerhead.  Lobsters seemed to be roaming quite a
bit as well and scorpionfish were spotted on numerous dives.  We typically
saw fat green moray eels or smaller spotted eels.  On the night dive we saw
several slipper lobster, white spotted toadfish, and several octopi,
including one roaming around the reef.most of the sightings on the night
dive was thanks to DM Kitty and her hawklike vision.

The owner, Eddie Usher, can be found diving, managing, or chilling and
frequently joins for lunch or dinner and you can get a great history of the
island from him.  He is trying to get the island to all wind and solar
power, and sources most food items locally in Belize.  One suggestion would
be to have the north side beach cleaned of trash once or twice a day as it
detracts from an otherwise gorgeous island.   My son and I had a great week
of diving, hanging out and eating great food.  Returning to Isla Marisol
during whale shark season is high on our list of where to dive in the near
future. 
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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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