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Dive Review of Peter Hughes /Sun Dancer II in
Belize

Peter Hughes /Sun Dancer II, Jun, 2009,

by Chuck & Nancy Anson, California, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 5080.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Caribbean, Sea of Cortez, Australia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Standard, 130' max depth, no deco diving, 500psi back on boat, min 3 minute safety stop at 15' to 20'
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 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 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Two large tables, air, camera towels, two seperate large tanks, even a small tank by the tables to leak test prior to dives, crew handling professional.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Sun Dancer Belize June 09 Chuck and Nancy Anson Oceanside, CA Experience 501-1000 dives VIS 40 to 100 feet Water 80-83 F, choppy. Our 16th live-aboard trip and 2nd with Peter Hughes. This trip had all the components necessary to satisfy our diving tastes: ease of travel to dive destination, healthy seas, moderate to good weather, beautiful boat with excellent crew and 5 good dives every day. Used to be that getting to your destination was part of the fun of traveling but we all know that ended some time ago so when we are deciding where to go for our twice a year dive vacations, we choose destinations that are easy to get to. i.e. Does more than one airline service the destination so there is competition in pricing and flight options? Can you get there in a day? Can you complete all your travel on the same airline? Are there multiple flights to get you where you are going in case you miss a connection? Will you arrive at your destination in plenty of time to get to the boat before it departs from the dock? If we can answer yes to all of these questions, this is our ideal dive destination. Belize fit the bill for us and probably would for most Americans. Once we got there, the dive staff met us at the airport and took us directly to the boat even though it was mid-day, no waiting around at some restaurant or marina until late at night to get onboard. Generous snacks were served throughout the early evening hours eliminating the need to feed yourself ashore on your day of arrival. The dive deck was roomy, we never felt cramped even with everyone suiting up at the same time. They accommodated my request for a 60cf tank and reserved a spot for me near the ladder for ease of entry and exit. For the camera crowd, there are two camera tables and two rinse buckets for cameras only, one on each side of the dive deck. On deck showers and dunk tanks for wet suits were available so you can rinse often and not offend your dive deck neighbors. There was plenty of shade on the sundeck for those who need to watch their sun exposure between dives. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style but dinner was served to your table every night from the most beautiful kitchen I have ever seen on a dive boat and included a delicious dessert. Alcoholic beverages were included in the price of the cruise but drink and dive restrictions were strictly observed. We had a room with a king bed and there was still enough space for two end tables on either side of the bed for books and personal items. Each room has a large picture window that let in plenty of light. There was ample in-room storage in full-length closets, drawers and overhead built in cabinets. The weather was windy with some chop so we spent most of our time on the leeward side of the atolls. We dove mostly around Long Caye and made it over to Half Moon Caye when the winds died down. We liked the diving around Half Moon Caye the best. The walls had excellent shallows to tool around in if you dont like going deep and there was plenty of life at any level to make the diving worthwhile. We saw lots of eagle rays and turtles, horse eye jacks and tarpon, free-swimming green morays and queen trigger, grouper and gray angelfish. For colorful sponges yellow, orange, purple, blue, green, pink etc., Belize is your destination. We were surprised to see a large variety of hard corals including stag horn, which is an excellent indicator of the health of the reef. For those of you who like macro photography, Belize has plenty of unusual subjects. We saw decorator crabs and slender file fish, red snapping shrimp, peppermint shrimp, juvenile drum fish, sailfin blenny, pikeblenny, roughhead triplefin blenny, arrow blenny, bluebell tunicates and the pea sized juvenile smooth trunkfish. We did the obligatory blue hole dive but didnt see any sharks. No big deal. What was a big deal is that Peter Hughes includes dinner on board Friday night so you dont have to fend for yourself in Belize City, which can be rough and make for a difficult trip home the next day. I forgot to mention, we did all of this during one of Peter Hughes buddy weeks where your buddy goes for half price. You really cant beat that for a diving deal.
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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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