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Dive Review of Peter Hughes' Sun Dancer II in
Belize

March, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by George Lock, PA, USA
Report Number 2371
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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 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

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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Diving Guide to Belize
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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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