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Dive Review of Nekton Pilot in

Nekton Pilot, Dec, 2005,

by Hilary Snitker, WA, USA . Report 2240.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 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 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was our first liveaboard, and the Nekton Pilot exceeded all of our expectations and provided an experience that we plan to repeat as often as our finances and travel schedule will allow.

We arrived in Belize City late in the afternoon on Saturday and were met by folks from the Nekton. We were taken to the Princess Hotel in Belize City and were told to walk down the street to a nice little cafe for dinner. While waiting for the Nekton folks after dinner, we were chatting with others on our boat who told us that they had stayed at the Princess and didn't recommend it. They all said that the Radisson is a far better choice. We were picked up at 7:00pm, crammed into a van (there were 13 of us), and taken to a supermarket to buy snacks, beer, soft drinks, and/or hard liquor if we wanted since the Nekton does not provide alcohol or soft drinks. We had brought a small bottle of rum with us from home so bought nothing after seeing the very high prices of everything. Beer was like $3 a bottle!!

After arriving at the Pilot, we had our pictures taken and were given name tags and room numbers. We found out there would be 14 divers on the boat (out of a max of 32), and that our 14th diver would catch up with the boat the next day as his flight had mechanical problems and he couldn't get out of New York. We were free to go to our rooms and unpack until the muster drill, which was about 15 minutes later. After the muster drill, we congregated in the lounge and had a boat briefing, then it was off to bed after a very long day of traveling.

Bright and early on Sunday morning we woke to a hot breakfast at 7am and a dive briefing at 8am. This was to repeat daily until the next Saturday morning. On Sunday the "briefing" was anything but brief, with Jeff (our purser) going over all the dive deck procedures and the dive policies/procedures of the boat. By 9am we were heading down to the dive deck to set up our gear and we were in the water by 9:30 for our first dive of the trip.

We dove 3x that first day, 4 dives on Monday and Tuesday, and 2 dives on Wednesday. Wednesday brought us a weather front that proved the wonderful design of the Nekton boats. The wind whipped up and we had about 10 foot seas at one point. The waves made diving impossible by 2:30 on Wednesday, and we wound up lashing down the wetsuits and furniture on the sun deck to keep them from going overboard. The rain washed all of our gear down, which was nice, but the stability of the Pilot was the best part. I have motion sickness problems and wear a patch when I boat dive, and not once during this storm did I think I would have any problems (yes, I was wearing my patch). Everyone ate a wonderful lobster dinner and nobody on board got sick, but there were a lot of comments about the poor divers on the Peter Hughes boat nearby that likely weren't as lucky as we were. The Sun Dancer II was pitching and yawing in a sickening manner, which was in huge contrast to the Pilot. I'm sold!

On Thursday we woke up to sunshine, and although viz wasn't as good, we got 4 more great dives in (we don't night dive). Friday we got 3 dives in before it was time to break down and rinse our gear.

We found the staff on both the Pilot and in the Nekton's Florida offices to be extremely professional and helpful from start to finish. We loved our Nekton cruise so much that by mid-week we were talking with other folks on board about other itineraries, and already have planned our next Nekton trip to the Bahamas.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, St. Thomas, Tortola, Key Largo, Maui
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 75-79°F / 24-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-100 Ft/ 12-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Recreational Dive limit of 130 feet.
First drink equals last dive.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 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 If you like macro, smaller marine life, abundant corals and sponges, this is a good itinerary.
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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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