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Dive Review of Peter Hughes' Sun Dancer II in
Belize

Peter Hughes' Sun Dancer II, Mar, 2006,

by George Lock, PA, USA . Report 2371.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Mid-Atlantic, North Carolina, Bahamas, Bonaire, Roatan, Palau, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Grand Turk, Belize
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 79 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 70 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions max depth 130 ft.; unlimited bottom time
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No on board E-6 processing any more, but that's to expected with the rapid inroads of digital photography.

Crew provides a quick rinse in a segregated rinse tank as you exit the water. Camera towels and and air gun provided at each of two camera tables. You can re-submerge photo equiment for a soak as often and as long as you like

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 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 This was my fourth live aboard trip to Belize and my third trip aboard this particular boat. It's the quintessential Peter Hughes operation: good onshore booking staff, good boat crew, great food, and abundant amenities. This boat has 10 double cabins: two with queen beds, and eight with twin beds; all with private heads. The cabins are quite roomy by live aboard standards, and have individual AC control. The food is exceptionally good, and there's plenty of it.

One is able to do 27 dives, if you choose: two each morning, two each afternoon, and one each night after dinner. Most dives are wall dives with a 25 - 40 foot bottom between the mooring and the top of the wall.

On this trip we spent most of the time in the vicinity of Lighthouse Reef. The group elected to skip the Blue Hole, a decision which I supported.

Not many sightings of pelagic fish, and only a few sharks and dolphins were seen. Lots of the "typical" Caribbean fish, sponges and corals, and a few turtle sightings occurred. It appeared to me that there had been some significant inshore swells, probably due to hurricane(s), since my previous visit in 2004. So there was some sand "dusting" the corals and sponges on the wall at some sites as a result. One unusual sight: sponges spawning on the last morning dive of the last day.

The only negative observation regards the mooring at the dock on the last night before we flew out on Saturday, and it's a problem Ive encountered on other live aboard trips. When they tie up at the dock, they (understandably) use fenders between the dock and the hull. But use of molded rubber fenders generates squealing/squeaking noises throughout the hull all night long, and if you're a light sleeper, you're going to hear it. For that reason, I'd recommend requesting a cabin of the port side of the boat.

All-in-all, though, it was a great trip. I remain a fan of Peter Hughes Diving, Inc. and I 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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