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Dive Review of Peter Hughes -- Sun Dancer II in
Belize

September, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Karen Woods, TX, US
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 6718
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Hawaii, Cayman Islands, Bonaire, Curacao, Maldives, Cozumel, Costa Rica,
Utilla, Belize
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
dry  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
83   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
70   to 90    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Back on boat with 500psi.  Suggested depth limits to 100 feet.  
Liveaboard?
yes 
Nitrox Available?
yes 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
N/A  
Large Pelagics
  N/A
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
Excellent set up for photography.  Dry tables on both sides of boat with 2
shelves for cameras.  Camera rinse buckets and air pressure hose to blast
dry equipment if needed.  All dive masters were photo sensitive, handled
all cameras with great care and often picked them up and carried them to
entry point at beginning of dive for you.  3 of the dive masters were
expert photogs and were available to offer lighting tips and other tips if
asked including photography critiques and suggestions for better settings
or lighting positions etc.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
This was a great operation!  Best live aboard I have been on in terms of
service and comfort.  Great diving, with 5 dives per day planned and
executed.  Boat accomadates 20 guests.  Rooms are very comfortable.  All AC
works which has not been the case on prior trips with other boats I have
been on.  I was in room 10, walk out 10 steps and directly onto the dive
deck!  Only downside to room 10 is that it is very close to boat engine and
noisy on the one 5 hour overnight trip from Belize City to Lighthouse reef.
After that, no problem.  Most rooms have 2 twins, very comfortable
mattress.  Small bathroom but perfect for divers.  Great hot water, and
water pressure.  Marine head in each bath, but takes some time to flush. 
Flat screen TV with DVD player in each room with over 200 DVD's on board to
watch at no cost.  Big picture window in each room on main level.  Lower
level rooms were darker and had only port hole window and I would suggest
requesting a room on the main level.  The Owners suite was larger with a
larger bathroom on lower level, but not decorated any better and in my
opinion not worth the extra cost.  Very large salon with comfortable tables
for dining and large couch seating area with huge flat screen TV for
movies.  Electrical outlets plentiful in salon and 2 outlets over each bed
in your rooms for charging.  24 hour coffee in salon.  Wake up service
daily by hanging a card on your door with requested time.  They will also
deliver coffee, tea, or juice with your wake up call to your room! 
Breakfast includes a cold buffet with fruit, toast and bagels and made to
order eggs, omelets, oatmeal, waffles etc daily.  Lunch and dinner menus
are posted daily.  Lunch is a buffet and dinner is served at your table, 4
courses with linen table cloths and napkins.  Daily homeade soups and bread
with dinner!!  
The diving was excellent.  A divemaster is in the water on every dive but
you are not required to follow them.  Can always dive your own profile. 
Easy navigation as most dives are wall dives, sink to depth, follow the
wall one direction, turn around after 20-30 minutes and rise to top of wall
and return and explore until you find the boat.  Lots of great corals,
sponges, fans.  Many small critters, great for macro photography.  Reef
sharks on many dives, a few nurse sharks, turtle and rays.  Many octopus on
night dives, lobster, hermit crabs etc.  
General plan is wake up and motor about 15 minutes to dive site during
breakfast. Dive briefing and then 2 dives at morning site.  Lunch and motor
to next site.  3 dives at 2nd site (including night dive).  Snacks and
meals between dives.  Wine and beer after diving at no extra charge.  Warm
water deck showers when you come on deck and then staff wraps you in a warm
towel and give a quick neck massage after each dive!  Nothing better!! 
Nitrox available for $100.00 for the week.  Tanks are filled at your dive
station by hoses brought directly to your tank.  You never have to remove
your BC from the tank the entire week.  Rinse tanks for gear on both sides
of boat and hose with fresh water for other rinsing is available.
Food was excellent!!  Head chef is Jerry, assisted by Carlos.  Both take
great pride in their cooking and presentation and make every effort to
accomadate your needs.  Carlos shared recipes with me and commented that
the Culinary Institute of America sent a chef to work with them for 4 weeks
on recipes and food preparation.  Barbara assists with all kitchen serving,
room cleaning,the "boatique" and any other special needs you may
have.  She is awesome and fun.
All the dive masters are excellent and attend to any level of service you
need.  If you want close supervision, they will accomadate.  Minor
equipment issues can be addressed by them as well.  My inflator mechanism
stopped working on my BC and John switched out the device in order for me
to complete the week of diving.  Jerry ( the divemaster and ship engineer)
helped me with photography advice, and helped me set up a slide show on
their large screen in the salon to show at the end of the trip.  I can't
say enough about the excellent crew and their dedication to service.
On the day we dove the Blue Hole, we also stopped at Half Moon Caye to tour
the island and the Booby bird rookery.  Great stop and nice to get on land.
 We returned to port on Friday mid day. Had lunch on boat and then were
able to leave boat for excursions or stay on board and relax.  I opted to
stay on board.  Others went on an excursion for Cave Tubing  for $110.00.
They left at 1pm and did not return until 645pm.  Took 1.5 hours to get
there and back.  Once there they hiked in the jungle carrying their tube
and wearing helmets.  I am told it was very hot and humid and lots of bugs.
 Tubing part was nice but no rapids, they were hooked together on tubes and
pulled down the river.  Most say they enjoyed it after the long hike to the
starting point.  I was tired after 5 dives per day for 5 days and was
pleased that I chose to stay behind on the boat!
In summary, this was an excellent trip and dive operation and I would
highly recommend this trip.  Captain Eddy was awesome and his crew
Divemasters Jerry, Karim and John, Chefs Jerry and Carlos and service and
room maintenence by Barbara were fantastic.
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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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