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Dive Review of Nekton Diving Cruises in

November, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Rickie Sterne/Chrisanda Button, Arkansas, USA
Report Number 857
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, Bay Islands, & Sea of Cortez by liveaboards, Cozumel, and
local lakes
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, surge, noCurrents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
130 feet & return to boat with 500 psi (scarcely an imposition with the
steel 95 tanks)  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
 This trip was our fourth with Nekton Dving and our second in Belize aboard
the Pilot.  Obviously, we like this operation.  The boat is aging, but had
been spiffed up since our last trip.  Our upper deck cabin was comfortable,
although folks on the lower deck reported rainforest atmosphere due to
condensation in their ceilings.  The cabins have queensized beds and real
windows.  The food was good and plentiful.  Arminda, the Salvadoran cook,
offered dishes in alternative white-boy-bland and Belizean-spicy forms. 
Her midmorning cookies, baked fresh daily, would put anyone's grandmother
to shame.  The boat does not serve soda pop, but has lots of fruit juices
and uncarbonated drinks available. The sun deck is partially covered and
spacious.  The salon and dining areas are also roomy.  The dive deck,
however, is crowded. Most of the twenty-six divers onboard wanted to dive
all five dives per day, so we were elbowing each other as we geared up. 
The crew on the Pilot this year is excellent, much better than the boat's
crew in 2001.  One night the seas rose during a night dive, and the
divemasters did a great job of getting everyone out of the water quickly,
calmly, and safely. The diving on the walls of Belizeis beautiful.  The
sponges, corals, and gorgonians are large, healthy, and colorful.  One
memorable morning, a pod of seven wild dolphins swam by and stopped to
check out an equal number of divers.  We also saw several turtles, eagle
rays and southern stingrays, and goodly numbers of tropicals.  There were
green and spotted morays and one freeswimming goldspotted eel.  We also saw
a couple of uncommon nudibranchs. lots of shrimp, and Spanish and slipper
lobsters.  After a frustrating week of searching for them, we finally saw
both the whitestriped and whitespotted toadfish on our last day of diving. 
We saw an octopus on every night dive, and were joined by a curious school
of squid on one night. Nekton has started offering nitrox (good), but needs
to streamline its process for analyzing the tanks so the nitrox divers
don't have to be the last ones off the dive deck.  For some reason, they
have decided to provide a maximum concentration of 29%.  The price tag for
nitrox is $150 for the whole week. We took advantage of the free tour of
Altun Ha the Nekton people offered to those of us with late flights on the
Saturday we disembarked.  We enjoyed the diving, the crew, the food, and
the other divers we met on this trip.  Really a fun week!  
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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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