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Dive Review of Nekton Pilot in
Belize/Lighthouse Reef

Nekton Pilot, Jan, 2003,

by Bill Dausses, OK, USA . Report 368.

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

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy, dry Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 79 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 130 Ft, 24 hr flying after diving rule
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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