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Dive Review of Peter Hughes -- Sun Dancer II in
Belize

Peter Hughes -- Sun Dancer II: "Wonderful Christmas Present", Dec, 2015,

by Harry , VA, US ( 2 reports). Report 8803.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 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 4 stars
Comments Family vacation over Christmas. First time in Belize. Boarded and from the start the boat's crew, all locals, made us feel at home. Very enthusiastic, positive and helpful. The 20 passengers included two other families with two college age kids each, three English (one nondiver), an Italian, Canadian and three other Americans. A good group to spend Christmas with. Boat is impressive and in good shape. Very stable in the windy conditions we had that week. Noticeably bigger than the Belize Aggressor docked next to her which did have some problems with the wind. Food was wonderful, especially the turkey dinner Christmas Eve. Felt kinda' bad for the crew to spend Christmas with us rather than their families, but they made us feel like we were family and glad to be there.
Diving supervision was very good, site briefings were well presented. Wife and I are experienced; sons certified on Caymen Aggressor at ages 12 & 13 but no diving other than minor pool "fun" since. They are in college now. Crew handled our experience and sons' inexperience with ease and professionalism. Thought they did a great job. We could dive by ourselves or follow the guide around the sites. Did both and satisfied both ways.
The diving was a little disappointing due to low vis caused by windy conditions all week - 25-40' vis compared to the 60-80' considered normal. Surface conditions were never rough enough to be a bother entering or exiting; but, man, I never saw a boat disappear so fast overhead as it swung on it's mooring point. My partner and I would be at 30' on the bottom directly under the boat, agreeing to go up and look up again and it would be out of sight all in those few seconds. It would swing back a minute or 3 later so no problems, but certainly surprising that such a big boat can be gone so fast. Once on the boat's 16' hang bar almost lost my mask because of the force of the movement. Most of the time it was a pleasant ride over the bottom while on the safety stop. No current and only minor surge on 1 or 2 dives at depth. As in most places the coral is not what it used to be, though there are some impressive stands. Plenty of huge barrel and tube sponges. Good walls and sand diving. Most of our dives were from 30-60' and enjoyed every one. A fair amount of small fish, more queen angelfish than I have seen elsewhere, but less triggerfish. A number of lionfish, though not as many as I expected to see. A few sharks, none aggressive. One came fairly close twice on one dive, recognized him because of a white mark near his dorsal fin. A few average size barracuda. I'm used to barracuda usually hanging under a boat all the time but never saw one. Too much drift due to wind? Some small grouper, but other than the sharks no big fish at all. Sons saw a big turtle, estimated 5' shell, on a nite dive that I didn't go on. 2-3 other turtles on day dives (1 per dive). One seahorse, possibly pregnant, at his "usual" location. Some spotted and green eels. A couple small stingrays, not close. Did the Blue Hole Wednesday but as one diver mentioned who had been there before it is over rated. I agree. Now I can say I have been down to 131'. But saw only one small fish and one lobster in the hole. The surface interval after that was to a nearby island to see the red footed booby, nesting at that time with the frigate birds. That was more interesting than the Blue Hole.
The Sun Dancer returned to port 25 Dec and we were on our own for dinner after a nice wine and cheese party late that afternoon (standard procedure for the fleet). Most of us ordered pizza delivered and the crew joined us. Departed the next morning disappointed to leave. Great crew, great passengers, great trip.
Websites Peter Hughes -- Sun Dancer II   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Truk, Palau, Maldives, Keys, Cayman
Closest Airport Belize International Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, no currents
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 25-40 Ft/ 8-12 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Be on the boat with 500lbs in tank.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
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
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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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