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#56872 - 09/14/02 01:51 PM SCUBA Advice
Mojo Offline
My fiance and I are novice divers. My fiance in particular has just been certified last month. We intend to get more bottom time before our visit in March. From experience, can anyone tell me if the Atoll dives (in particular Blue Hole) are out of our skill level. Any other dives that you might steer a novice clear of? We were hoping that the tours were accommodating of all skill levels and currently we intend to try the Lighthouse/Blue Hole dives. Appreciate any opinions.

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#56873 - 09/14/02 05:34 PM Re: SCUBA Advice
diveron Offline
The Blue Hole is a deep dive ( 130' is where YOU are supposed to level off. There is no sandy bottom to prevent you from going deeper.The bottom is 440' down) At this depth you use 4 times as much air per breath than at the surface which can empty tour tank very quickly especially if you get rattled. Nitrogen narcossis can also be a factor at this depth. I've dove the Blue Hole three times and got narced every time.I'm not trying to scare you,but I would not reccomend this dive. Have a great trip and dive safe!

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#56874 - 09/14/02 06:04 PM Re: SCUBA Advice
Marty Offline
I've been diving for three years now, and have about 20+ dives in, all in Belize, going down to as deep as 100 feet. and i ain't going to the blue hole except to snorkel for awhile yet.

I'm with diveron. get some time under your belts, then go thataway...

[This message has been edited by Marty (edited 09-16-2002).]

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#56875 - 09/15/02 01:56 AM Re: SCUBA Advice
ScubaLdy Offline
You've had some good advice, but I'm sure you will hear from people who will tell you GO - they did and nothing happened.
I would urge you to do yourself a favor and NOT do the Blue Hole until you have your Advanced (not just open water) certification. Part of the Advanced Cert. is doing a deep dive under careful supervision. I know you can do a handful of open water dives, then get your advanced cert., but I urge people to get at least 50 dives in before taking the advanced course. Why? Experience.
On about my 25th dive I couldnít understand why my BC kept inflating despite the fact that I kept dumping air. After a few minutes it got ahead of me and I starting ascending quite rapidly. I knew to flare and hum, but even so I shot up above the surface like a whale. Fortunately I was only at 40í when the problem started. Then on the surface my BC was squeezing my lungs so hard I could barely breath. After they got me on the boat it took awhile to figure out the problem, and I never would have. The inflater value was stuck open (grain of sand in it). The captain said that the next time that happens, and it is not as uncommon as one might thing, just disconnect the inflater hose. When I got back to my shop I asked the instructor why this was never mentioned in the course. His explanation was that the courses have been cut down into such small short segments there is not enough time to teach everything.

You want to do the Blue Hole? Are you a disciplined person? Then I say go, but stay above 40í. Iíve been told that the pretty stuff, except the sharks and stalactites, are all up there anyway. The other two dives that are included in that all day trip are worth the trip.

An option is to take the day trip to Turneffe. There is good wall diving and not tempted to go too deep.

Enjoy - it's a whole new world diwn there and you have the rest of your life to see it - may it be long!

Harriette
_________________________
Harriette
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

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#56876 - 09/15/02 10:44 AM Re: SCUBA Advice
Mojo Offline
Thanks for the input. Turneffe was an alternative we were considering. Sounds like it may be a good fit.

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#56877 - 09/15/02 03:49 PM Re: SCUBA Advice
mddev Offline
My wife and I dove the BH when we went down the first time. Still only cert Open Water, but have been diving all over the place for 12yrs (30+ dives) Although not a real difficult dive, it's still a deep dive and anything can happen. >What a rush when you see sharks, but you have to be able to keep your cool at that depth. You should know your limits before trying.

I thought the best thing about the whole dy trip were the other dives you go on anyway. More bottom time and much better visibility. I'd opt for the Lighthouse trip, which we'll do in October (weather permitting).

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#56878 - 09/16/02 03:59 PM Re: SCUBA Advice
CMNate Offline
You've had a lot of good advice, but I would just like to add another view. I don't know what your experience is, what kind of health/shape you are in, how you keep your cool, how you were taught to dive, or how much diving you plan to do (and what type) before March. All of these can be a factor when doing difficult/advanced dives (which can be in deep water, rough water, or water with low visibility. I myself have been diving for about 6 years and have never gotten my advanced certification. I was instructed very well in a dive club with members diving before PADI was an organization. I was taught safe diving, but I was taught in rough conditions. I am also in great shape and can keep my cool in sticky situations.
That being said, if you can get some good diving in and get comfortable before March, I don't see a problem if you can go with a boat with someone very familiar and stick close to them. More than likely you might be able to get to 100 feet where you live (which I don't know). I'm not saying be careless. You should know your own comfort level. You can get a lot of experience in 7 or 8 months. I was very nervous about nitrogen narcosis after 100 feet. To my knowledge, I don't think that I have ever felt the effects (probably because I was so nervous about it). My deepest dive has been 136 feet and I have dove past 100 feet on several occasions.
Once again, I'm not saying be careless. You know yourselves and your experiences better than anyone else on the board. You can still dive the blue hole and not go deep. I went to Belize in Aug. and didn't even dive at all, but I will be returning in Nov. and that's a dive that I will do.

Nate

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#56879 - 09/16/02 05:10 PM Re: SCUBA Advice
Bud Smith s/v Kailani Bea Offline
I have dived for forty years and loved every dive. I think every person in the world should get certified and explore the ocean. Having said that, I would not recommend you dive the Blue Hole for a couple of reasons. First, I dont't think the risk, however slight, is worth the reward. It is just a big, blue hole. Except for a couple of sharks, there is almost no sea life worth observing. In my opinion, there are hundreds of dive spots in Belize that are far more interesting, and much safer. Second, this dive is listed in the dive books as a dive requiring advanced level experience, and should therfore only be dived by advaned divers. About a year ago, a diver with his two sons dove the Blue Hole. He was fairly experienced, about thirty dives, and very confident. The last I heard, no one really knows what happened, except that he didn't come back up with the rest of the group. Maybe he narced out, maybe his confidence caused him to be careless, maybe he had an equipment problem--no one knows anything for sure, except that he died.
Stick to dives well within your experience level and the experience level of your dive buddy. Diving is an awesome and very safe sport if approached conservatively and given the respect it continuously proves it demands.


[This message has been edited by Bud Smith s/v Kailani Bea (edited 09-16-2002).]

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#56880 - 09/16/02 05:54 PM Re: SCUBA Advice
coconutlady Offline
I'll take sides with Bud and Harriet. I've been diving for only 4 years, but have over 100 dives in Belize during that time. I also have my Advanced Cert. and working on the Rescue Dive cert, (blah, blah, blah). The Blue Hole, is just that, a big blue hole without much to see and involves as noted above varying degrees of risk. There are so many places at the atolls that offer far greater experiences that I personally have no interest in the BH. As an added note, the Elbow can be a bit disconcerting for some divers with little to even moderate experience. The current at the bend will take you to far away places if you are not alert and ready to respond.

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#56881 - 09/16/02 06:14 PM Re: SCUBA Advice
Mojo Offline
Thanks again for all your input. It is very helpful.

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