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Dive Review of Peter Hughes /Sun Dancer II in
Belize

June, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Chuck & Nancy Anson, California, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 5080
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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 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

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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