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Dive Review of Peter Hughes Sundancer II in
Belize

Peter Hughes Sundancer II, Sep, 2005,

by Tom Chase, KY, usa (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports). Report 1967.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Carribean, Hawaii, FL, NC, CA, Puerto Rico, USVI, Dom. Repub.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 85 to 88 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Did buoyancy test first dive and then let you dive based on abilities/experience. 130 limit and 500 psi back in boat.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Had two well equipped camera tables and on-board facilities. Excellent on-board photo staff.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Second Peter Hughes trip. The Sundancer II is the Mercedes of live-aboard in terms of layout and accommodations. Very spacious cabins, huge AC salon, well laid out dive platform with great photography facilities. Since all divers on board had cameras (full trip of 20) it made a difference. The crew went out of their way to accommodate every request. Especially great were dive masters Elvis, Tori and Juan, Captain Andy, Engineer Ferdie and cabin hostess Elian (she was awesome!). Food was good and plentiful but not spectacular. The best was always the homemade soup and bread served with lunch and dinner each day.

The crew was very conservation focused and gave outstanding dive briefings. Dive Master Elvis (who described himself as the resident comedian gave particularly enlightening and entertaining briefings). Also gave very through and detailed safety briefings about the boat and abandon ship drill.

Diving conditions were great. We dove Ambergris Caye, Lighthouse Reef and Half Moon Caye. Did not go to the Blue Hole because of weather, but no one was all that disappointed with that decision. The reefs are healthy and contain tons of marine life. Sponges and corals are the big attractions. Lots of unique tropicals. The macro life on both day and night dives was spectacular. We saw a few turtles, some in group saw a Manta Ray and we all saw Eagle Rays. Not a great dive for the big stuff and sharks. No one on our trip saw a shark during the 26 possible dives (we could have done 27 but one night dive was scratched because of weather).

Our cabin (owners suite) was huge by live aboard standards and had a full bathroom with a regular sized shower and real bathroom facilities as opposed to a marine head. This is the only guest cabin on this level and it smelled like diesel fuel all week. The captain said it was due a spill that happened when they filled and they tried hard to improve the situation by venting the area and using air freshener (which helped but didn't eliminate the problem). AC did not work properly the first night and it was promptly fixed the next day and was fine for the rest of the week.

We did the cave tubing shore excursion at the end of the trip and it was interesting. It consumed about 5 hours and cost $110. We all agreed it was interesting and unique, but probably not worth the price. It was cool and refreshing.

All in all it was a fantastic trip. PH sets the standard with service and amenities (hot freshwater showers on dive deck followed by a hot towel and back massage. On night dives after those two you were provided hot chocolate with optional rum. Moist towels and cold water while you waited at the airport etc.) It is the little things that count and PH thinks about them all. I highly recommend this liveaboard.
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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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