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Dive Review of Nekton Pilot in
Belize/Lighthouse Reef

January, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Bill Dausses, OK, USA
Report Number 368
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Flower Gardens, Cozumel and many freshwater lakes in Missouri, Arkansas,
Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, cloudy, dry  
choppy, noCurrents  
Water Temp
79   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
130 Ft, 24 hr flying after diving rule  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
4 stars    
My third return trip on the Nekton.  I just like everything about the boat,
the trip, the crew, the food and the diving.  This is laid back, easy
diving at its best.  Nekton just blows everyone away with their steel 95
tanks and the long bottom times.  Did 25 dives with a total bottom time in
excess of 27 hrs.  That may not sound like much but over half the dives
exceeded 100 ft and I always had plenty of air left after each dive.  
Lighthouse reef and Halfmoon Caye are super sites for color, clarity, and
outstanding walls.  The highlights of this trip were the numerous octopi
and green morays.  Big grouper and tarpon are still abundant and there were
plenty of big lobsters and channel crabs.  Night diving is a real hoot here
as the reef is simply alive and spectacular both in the shallows and on the
walls.  Several eagle rays and stingrays were spotted during the week but
only one or two sharks. Generally, this is not a trip to see big pelagics
like whale sharks or mantas, however, last year I did spot a pod of
dolphins and a black marlin cruising the wall.  
The Nekton Pilot is still in good shape and the food was plentiful and
delicious.  Fresh baked cookies in the morning, an afternoon snack, and
desert or popcorn after the night dive really hit the spot after diving.  
The crew was particularly great on this trip, quite helpful and a lot of
fun.  Several new divers were present and they went out of their way to
help them with anxieties and safely adapt to bouyancy in saltwater.  They
also let the veterans dive as they wanted within safety limits.  
It is hard to come up with many negatives.  The plumbing went down for
about two hours one day but the crew jumped on it immediately and replaced
a pump that went out.  This also was the last cruise for Captain John as he
was going into business for himself in Key Largo.  He was an outstanding
captain, quite entertaining, and very knowledgeable about the marine
ecosystem.  He will be missed.  
The only other potential problem is the weather in Belize during January. 
They are not immune to the cold fronts that sweep down from the north and I
suspect the outside temps, winds and rain can be a problem.  Although we
had fairly good weather the trip the previous week was all rain.  I have
been on this trip in late February and it was in the mid-80's and sunny all
week.  Our trip temps ranged from 72 to 83 degrees.             
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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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