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Isla Marisol, Mar, 2009,

by Karen Moore, MI, USA ( 2 reports). Report 4692.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Florida, Bonaire, Caymans
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, surge, no currents
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Start to ascend at 700 PSI. 3 min safety stop at 15 feet.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Fresh water tank on board for cameras. Crew good with camera handling.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My husband and I have just returned from paradise! Eddie Usher, the manager, made sure we had an amazing dive trip at Isla Marisol. Saw almost every tropical fish on the Belize fish chart, with many in schools. Eddie was our divemaster the whole week, and usually found something interesting each of our 3 daily dives. We saw turtles, a nurse shark, a bull shark, rays (both Southern and spotted eagles), spotted drums, many lobster and crabs (especially on the night dive), eels (both a large green moray, and several spotteds), a scorpion fish, porcupine fish (several), several cowfish, and many queen and french angels, grouper, barracuda. The only thing we missed, was a whale shark. Did go to Gladden Spit for one afternoon, without success (March is early for whale shark season). Now we have a reason to return! Coral is in good shape. Even saw some staghorn coral. At one site, there were tons of gorgonians. We were the only 2 divers for the first 3 1/2 days. Not once did we hear a complaint about taking only 2 of us out. Most dive sites are 5-10 minutes from the resort. We usually just stuck with Eddie, because he found the good stuff, however, this was not mandatory. Because all were drift dives, later in the week, the group tried to stay somewhat together. The norm was about 60 feet for 40+ min per dive, altho this varied considerably. The one rule was that at 700 psi, you should start to ascend with your buddy, and do a 3 min safety stop. Other divers with more air stayed down longer. Ishmael, our boat captain, was incredible at keeping an eye on all of us when we surfaced. He got the boat to us immediately without a problem.
This resort is just what we wanted, but is not for everyone. The cabanas (ours was right at the water's edge) are rustic, but clean and adequate. There is no phone or TV (to our joy), altho there is a TV in the bar hooked up to a videocam on the reef. Wireless internet is available in the dining room and bar The island is very small, and the drill was eat, dive, rest/read, repeat until nighttime. Surface intervals are at the resort, except when we went to another island, or to Gladden Spit. Before dinner, we usually hit the bar which is charming, on stilts over the water, with wonderful sunset views.
The staff is very friendly, and eager to please. Jenice, our cook for the week, made yummy Belizean food for every meal. She will accomodate food allergies and preferences if needed. There were fresh juices at each meal. Barbara, the kitchen assistant, served and cleaned up.
Now, about the no-see-ums. They were only a problem only at the boat dock/dive shop. Those little buggers wait until you come back from your dives, when the DEET is washed off, to attack. Just beware, keep covered up, or repply DEET immediately after dives.
The trip is definitely worth the effort. Our connections on flights on the way down were flawless, but we factored in adequate layovers. The boatride out from Dangriga is part of the adventure.
Isla Marisol is a gem, and we will definitely return.
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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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