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Dive Review of Peter Hughes -- Sun Dancer II in

Peter Hughes -- Sun Dancer II, Dec, 2011,

by Ken, ON, CA (Contributor Contributor 15 reports with 15 Helpful votes). Report 6408 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This is a repeat trip for us. Boat, crew & sites remain great. Still a goto destination for us (along with Divi in Bonaire and the T&C Explorer).

With aggressor, the boat remained at Half Moon & Long caye all week. Captin claims these are the best dive sites. There was a constant stream of day boat traffic coming out to the cayes every day. The crew indicated transit time of up to 2 hours each way for the day boats. This makes me wonder about the relative quality of the other "resort local" dive sites. Weather was calm enough to go to blue hole - first time in 5 weeks. The liveaboards need the wind to be just right or they can not moor without swinging onto the reef.

Dive sites around HM & L caye in good shape (no coral bleaching). Profile of most dives are very similar, a wall as deep as you wanted with reef top around 50 to 40' and sand chutes starting from 70' leading to 25' sand shallows nearer the shore. half moon caye sites had sand shallows with turtle grass, long caye sites generally had coral shallows with a few sand channels. Shallows under the boat meant no concerns with being restricted by NDLs as you can normally do the last half of your dive in relatively shallow depths (40 to 25'). Last 2 friday morning dives done off Turneffe were disappointing. Lower viz on a gently sloping bottom. less fish life.

Lots of macro critters. Most dives had a turtle sighting. A few eagle rays. A couple reef & nurse sharks. Handfull of morays. Not many large fish, but we always saw a few extremely friendly groupers or barracuda - likely due to the dive masters feeding them lionfish. DM asked topside each dive if it was okay to hunt lionfish. Night dives always produced a large number of basket stars on the wall edge, but little to no large crabs or lobsters. Lots of neck crabs.

5 dive slots, 2 dive sites each day - with no restriction on dive duration. 2 morning dives on first site, boat moved during lunch, then 2 afternoon dives, dinner and night dive on the second site. Boat always moved to a night mooring midway between the 2 cayes each night. Nitrox available, but not really needed for NDL issues. There was always a DM in the water for each dive. Many divers stayed with the DM, a few couples buddy dived independent of the larger group. Lack of current allowed you to go either direction on wall so we generally never saw other divers as every one spread out randomly. Lack of wind also meant the boat did not swing as much as usual on its mooring. Made for boring rides on the hang bar. Some divers luggage was 2 days late - the crew made sure they had substitute gear so they could dive.

Dive deck is split in middle by stairs to salon and in general was mirrored on each side of the boat with 2 of everything. Each diver had lots of under bench storage bin for fins, booties mask etc. Things can be tight if every one tries to gear up at the same time. Separate sets of mask & suit rinse tanks along with 2 on deck open air showers at back of boat. Plenty of hot water to rinse off, soap available as well. Individually numbered towels where kept warm from dryer in an insulated tub by the showers. You did not share (or exchange) your deck towel with another guest.

Boat was almost full with 19 of 20 possible divers. 17 were first time liveaboarders. The group integrated well with no night owls. Not a party boat. A few young couples in their 30's with the majority of the boat being over 50. When we came up from our first night dive, the rest of the boat had already retired for the night. Was it something I said? No one did every dive available, but we generally had 6 to 10 night divers each day. The night dive is normally done after dinner. Except on thursday night it was swapped with dinner so that the boat could head to turneffe sooner. This allowed us to finally have a glass (or 2) of wine with our meal. We stuck to 4 dives a day: 21 dives, 23 hours bottom time for the week.

Captain Eddy was relaxed and the crew had a lot of fun with the guests. Chef Jerry's food continues to delight & surprise - he made a carrot soup one night which had a touch of orange juice to liven it up! Elia's smile continues to brighten your week. Fresh cooked snacks after each dive. All drinks included. They give you a cd with photos, a video is available for purchase.

The new to us thing (which we found a little odd) was a policy for the crew to help you on and off with your fins. This was not a bad thing, but it also was not good for us. They claimed it was to speed up entry & exit but it actually slowed us down. By mid week we convinced them to abandon this policy for us, especially on the night dives. On the first few night dives we noticed a lonely DM hanging out near the hang bar waiting for us to finish our dive so they could take our fins off.
Websites Peter Hughes -- Sun Dancer II   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving PNG, Hawaii, T&C, Bonaire, Roatan, Caymans, Bequia, Dominica,
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 40-100 Ft/ 12-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions no deco, no solo, 500psi on the boat, they did not set a time limit on dives, can only dive during the appointed (5) time slots
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 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 2 multi level tables, 2 camera only rinse tanks, outlets on charging station on dive deck hard to access, extra charging outlets available in salon, crew handled cameras very carefully
boat had several s&s dx2g cameras with single strobe available for rent
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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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