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Dive Review of Nekton Pilot in

December, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Hilary Snitker, WA, USA
Report Number 2240
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, St. Thomas, Tortola, Key Largo, Maui
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy  
calm, surge  
Water Temp
75   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Recreational Dive limit of 130 feet.
First drink equals last dive.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
If you like macro, smaller marine life, abundant corals and sponges, this
is a good itinerary. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
This was our first liveaboard, and the Nekton Pilot exceeded all of our
expectations and provided an experience that we plan to repeat as often as
our finances and travel schedule will allow.

We arrived in Belize City late in the afternoon on Saturday and were met by
folks from the Nekton.  We were taken to the Princess Hotel in Belize City
and were told to walk down the street to a nice little cafe for dinner. 
While waiting for the Nekton folks after dinner, we were chatting with
others on our boat who told us that they had stayed at the Princess and
didn't recommend it.  They all said that the Radisson is a far better
choice.  We were picked up at 7:00pm, crammed into a van (there were 13 of
us), and taken to a supermarket to buy snacks, beer, soft drinks, and/or
hard liquor if we wanted since the Nekton does not provide alcohol or soft
drinks.  We had brought a small bottle of rum with us from home so bought
nothing after seeing the very high prices of everything.  Beer was like $3
a bottle!!

After arriving at the Pilot, we had our pictures taken and were given name
tags and room numbers.  We found out there would be 14 divers on the boat
(out of a max of 32), and that our 14th diver would catch up with the boat
the next day as his flight had mechanical problems and he couldn't get out
of New York.  We were free to go to our rooms and unpack until the muster
drill, which was about 15 minutes later.  After the muster drill, we
congregated in the lounge and had a boat briefing, then it was off to bed
after a very long day of traveling. 

Bright and early on Sunday morning we woke to a hot breakfast at 7am and a
dive briefing at 8am.  This was to repeat daily until the next Saturday
morning.  On Sunday the "briefing" was anything but brief, with
Jeff (our purser) going over all the dive deck procedures and the dive
policies/procedures of the boat.  By 9am we were heading down to the dive
deck to set up our gear and we were in the water by 9:30 for our first dive
of the trip.

We dove 3x that first day, 4 dives on Monday and Tuesday, and 2 dives on
Wednesday.  Wednesday brought us a weather front that proved the wonderful
design of the Nekton boats.  The wind whipped up and we had about 10 foot
seas at one point.  The waves made diving impossible by 2:30 on Wednesday,
and we wound up lashing down the wetsuits and furniture on the sun deck to
keep them from going overboard.  The rain washed all of our gear down,
which was nice, but the stability of the Pilot was the best part.  I have
motion sickness problems and wear a patch when I boat dive, and not once
during this storm did I think I would have any problems (yes, I was wearing
my patch).  Everyone ate a wonderful lobster dinner and nobody on board got
sick, but there were a lot of comments about the poor divers on the Peter
Hughes boat nearby that likely weren't as lucky as we were.  The Sun Dancer
II was pitching and yawing in a sickening manner, which was in huge
contrast to the Pilot.  I'm sold!

On Thursday we woke up to sunshine, and although viz wasn't as good, we got
4 more great dives in (we don't night dive).  Friday we got 3 dives in
before it was time to break down and rinse our gear.  

We found the staff on both the Pilot and in the Nekton's Florida offices to
be extremely professional and helpful from start to finish.  We loved our
Nekton cruise so much that by mid-week we were talking with other folks on
board about other itineraries, and already have planned our next Nekton
trip to the Bahamas.  
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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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