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#41011 - 06/19/01 06:17 PM Diving AC and Atolls
Jillymac Offline
Yikes! I think i'm spending too much time reading this board as I now am worried about being bored with diving 5 days around AC. A few postings have led me to believe that the atolls diving is much more spectacular and now I'm wondering if more than a day trip is recommended. Does anyone know of a place to stay for only 2 or 3 nights at any either Lighthouse or Turneffe...and do you recommend it?

#41012 - 06/19/01 06:28 PM Re: Diving AC and Atolls
Tinka Offline
Don't worry...I haven't seen anybody who managed to get bored in five days here on the island... and why not take one of the overnight trips to the atholls??? that would give you five dives out there and two days less to go... if your biggest worry is that you have too many days to spend...

Just come on down here and decide for yourself what you want to do...nobody experience the same thing the same way exactly the same way as anyone else... so make your choise after arriving and trying the local dives...They might be just exactly what you are looking for!! Who knows???

See you soon...


#41013 - 06/20/01 07:38 AM Re: Diving AC and Atolls
Jillymac Offline
I'm not worried about being "bored" in AC...I'm never bored. I am just looking for the best diving while there.

#41014 - 06/20/01 11:03 AM Re: Diving AC and Atolls
mayatravel Offline
Blackbird on Turneffe has 3, 4 and 7 nts packges. none has less. Fabulous diving there, nice big healthy island with a large assortment of flora/fauna, cabins with ac, very good food, great staff and more. And the diving is only mins by boat from their dock and they offer 3 dives daily on the packges.

Katie Valk
Maya Travel Services
Maya Travel Services

#41015 - 06/21/01 08:48 PM Re: Diving AC and Atolls
kong Offline

If you've been diving a while and been to other places, I would say you could easily be bored with the diving right around AC.
You won't be bored on AC itself, it's a fun place and there is much to do. But, the diving right around there isn't anything to write home about.

If I was going back and my wife(who doesn't dive) wasn't going, I would stay on the atolls someplace. The diving there is great.

But, to be where you can dive, and have the choice of many good resturants, AC is your only choice in Belize.

I only did the day trips to the atolls, which is A) expensive, and B) a long time on a boat. But, the diving was great.

I was hoping the 15 minute boat ride from my pier would put me on fantastic diving sites like it does in other places. Now I know.

#41016 - 06/22/01 12:16 AM Re: Diving AC and Atolls
Gaz Cooper Offline
I have to pipe up and say something about all this negative stuff about local diving here on Ambergris

Ambergris Caye came in as the 5th best place in the Caribbean to be able to see big animal life.

this award was the Rodales Scuba Diving Readers choice awards from divers who visited and voted in this annual award which is determined by the MAJORITY of divers who filled in there vote and sent it in.

Note I say the majority,

in order to come in 5th place you have to get significant votes to get this placing, by getting this placing it CLEARLY SHOWS Ambergris has some unique quality dive experiences.

Everyone will hear me continually say that Ambergris caye has Some GREAT diving and I will challenge ANYONE that they would NOT get bored with diving here for 5 days, there are some fabulous experinces to be had here on Ambergris which you cannot experience anywhere else in the world and are UNIQUE to AMBERGRIS CAYE.

I dont want to knock any other diveshop but i have noticed that the busier diveshops tend to stay close to town and dive the less interesting sites especially the ones with bigger boats with lots of divers aboard, as it takes a very long time to get divers in and out of the water when this time could be spent getting the divers to better divesites and longer bottom times.

I can take 98% of divers for 5 days and make sure they have a great experience HOWEVER should a diver indicate they are a very experined diver with many dives under there belt i will advise not to come to Ambergris just for diving if they just want to dive i will suggest one of the liveaboards or one of the offshore Atolls where I agree the diving is superior to Ambergris, HOWEVER 98% of divers would be very happy with the diving form Ambergris.

If you take note on the type of diver that slams the local diving on these boards you will find they are more experinced and are extensivly travelled, these divers should have dove the Atolls and they would of been more happy.

Ambergris diving is great for the MAJORITY of divers and you will have a great experience.

For those of you who are well travelled divers with extensive experince DO NOT COME TO AMBERGRIS just for the diving, as you may well be dissapointed not because the diving is bad just your expectations are too high and you are comparing the diving to the other places you have visited.

I NEVER compare dive destinations as it is crazy to do so each place is unique unto itself, if you dive in a mud pit open your eyes because theirs a wealth of life down there you just have to open your eye to see it.

Dive Safe

Gaz Cooper's DIVE BELIZE www.divebelize.com

#41017 - 06/22/01 01:17 AM Re: Diving AC and Atolls
Florian Offline
I've done a bit of diving in a few places, and I thought the diving around AC was pretty good. I was lucky and was there while the turtles were in the mood to make little turtles, and there were many of them.

I thought the coral formations right around AC were kinda cool. The big animal encounters were the high point though.

The only thing I saw lacking on the reefs close in to AC were big walls. Maybe it's because the atolls are so incredable that closer in to AC gets put down.

I made 17 dives in one week including 3 around the Blue Hole and three around Turneffe south. I was impressed with the numbers and health of the fish and turtles on most of these dives. True, the diving is best out on the atolls, but the diving around AC is none to shabby in my book.

#41018 - 06/22/01 01:51 AM Re: Diving AC and Atolls
Thanks Gaz, I wish you had posted that before we went to AC earlier this year.

But would you tell us when is the best time of year to visit the atolls or live aboards
(less wind, rain, as I am a hard core diver)? As you know I was there in the first of May and the winds were terrible that caused currents and bad surges which made
picture taking near impossible without grabbing the coral or sponges to steady

I will agree and put my vote with the 'MAJORITY' of divers who seen most of the big animals. But what I would like to know is why are there not much or any of the little critters that your neighboring countries have, I did see two anemones, one flamingo tongue, no brittle stars, or banded coral shrimp, fireworms, or even any arrow crabs. Or were they just hiding out from the rough seas?

I did however notice how you guys prepaired for your lobster season, If I may, I would suggest a change in hunting tactics for the good of a better lobster population. I would go to the group that Marty spoke of and suggest NO more lobster 'hide outs' the largre tin shelters they hide under during the day so the harvester can just flip it over and just grab what ever he wants as long as it meets the size limit. With proper harvesting regs you could eat lobster anytime of the year, but with the way it is being done now it will only get worse. As I see it some very strict conservation measurse has to happen or your eco-system will only get worse.

#41019 - 06/22/01 02:52 AM Re: Diving AC and Atolls
ScubaLdy Offline
I mostly agree with Gaz - However (yeah, here it comes) I think it has more to do with your relationship with your dive masterthan anything else. Let's put it like this: If you come to visit my home I'll show you around the first time you're here. Maybe I invited you back for dinner. After you've been to my place a few times you might start to learn where I keep things and I might even show you a couple of little treasures in my garden. It will take a lot of trust for me to show you where I keep my jewels.
The other factor is, IMHO, the majority of the newer divers who come to A/C don't understand about slowing down and looking for little things or big things in little places. Ched knows where all the Arrow (I get confused - are they Shrimp or Crabs?) are. One little hole had 3 in it and together they would not have covered my thumbnail. Of course I shoot wide angle. LOL
Another factor is the time of day/night when you are diving. The very best night dive I have ever had was last January at Hol Chan with a ripping current. The critters that were out feeding were spectacular. One is so rare I can never remember the name of it and had never seen one anyplace else in the world. My dive buddy got a great macro shot and before I could move in to get a shot a non photographer got there and decided to play with it to watch it close up. He stirred up enough sand it would be a half an hour before another picture could be taken. Needless to say I didn't get one.
I have never seen as many big Moray Eels on a single dive as I did on an afternoon dive in Hol Chan. They are so used to photographers that as soon as I turned my modeling lights on they came out looking to be fed.
I just got my slides back from last week and got some beautiful shots of medium sized fish. I think there is nothing prettier than a school of Mahogany Snappers. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#41020 - 06/22/01 08:28 AM Re: Diving AC and Atolls
Jillymac Offline
Thanks for the feedback all!
GAZ...will look you up when we arrive July 13! Plan to dive around AC and then overnight trip to atolls. Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder and quite honestly, I've never been on a dive I didn't enjoy! I'm sure we will love the diving in AC!! Only 3 more weeks!


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