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#93495 - 11/09/04 07:51 PM Dive site recommendations please
Scumpy Offline
Hi, I am a certified diver coming to spend a week on Ambergris Caye for the first time in January 2005, and will probably only be able to get out on one, or possibly two dive days. So, I would like to make the most of my opportunity.

We are also considering doing the Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley SNORKLE tour, as a lot of the posts on this board say it is great. However, if somebody convinces me that it is WAY better diving it, I can be swayed. Or, if somebody tells me that these sites are way too busy these days, and the chances of seeing the big rays & sharks is slim, I might change my mind.

What are your comments on the Blue Hole?

What about something to an out-of-way spot on the reef that doesn't get much traffic (is there such a thing?)

Any other recommendations will be greatly appreciated.


#93496 - 11/09/04 08:22 PM Re: Dive site recommendations please
Bobber Offline
I personally think Hol Chan is extremely nice for a shallow dive (30 ft), lots of critters to see with a hefty bottom time. There are a lot of nice sites right outside the reef, but it tends to get a bit rough out there on the boat.
Everyone seems a bit mixed on the BH trip. We did it once and was properly impressed with the dive on the Blue Hole, but wouldn't do it again. More impressed with the two other dives on the trip and would do the whole thing again just for those, plus lunch. As for out of the way spots, check with the divemasters and see what they might recommend, they know the waters best.
Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt

#93497 - 11/09/04 08:36 PM Re: Dive site recommendations please
CrackerLarry Offline
Shark Ray Alley's on AC or Caye Caulker (there are 2) are both about shoulder deep and scuba would be a waste. There were plenty of sharks and rays at both in June. We were the only boat at CC and there were about 3 others at AC but no crowds, plenty of fish.

Hol Chan had about 3 other boats around too, but not crowded at all, great snorkeling but it had areas plenty deep for scuba, 30 feet or so. Lots of marine life too.

Mexico Rocks had good snorkeling and no crowd. shallow water,

These places, except for CC, are a 10 or 15 minute boat ride from SP.

The best spot and out of the way was Goffs Caye. I don't know the crowd situation though. It has been a cruise ship stop. Somebody else needs to update you.

Haven't made Blue Hole, yet. Next time.

That reef probably has spots on it no one has ever seen. Most guides want to take everyone to the same spots. Look for a flexible guide.

Wish I could rent a boat but no one does that.

#93498 - 11/09/04 09:04 PM Re: Dive site recommendations please
Hi Scumpy
A lot depends on what you like to do diving-wise. With just two days I wouldn't go to Hol Chan (though I would for a night dive, to see all the rays that sleep on the sand in the middle of the channel). I'd try to get a trip going way north of town and diving less frequented areas - a day out with lunch on the beach. A good chance of seeing large pelagics up there, whereas near the town they're a bit leery of folks. They see us but we don't (usually) see them. Actually, another spot I've dived a few times and seen large sharks (hammerheads) every time is south, outside the reef at Hol Chan. Very rarely dived.

As to the BH, it's a question of taste and experience. I like the dive but I don't think it's suitable for beginners or timid divers. The wall dives on the trip are superb. There has been extensive discussion of diving the BH on www.scubaboard.com.

#93499 - 11/09/04 09:28 PM Re: Dive site recommendations please
Catatonic Motivator Offline
Scumpy? Yo momma hate you? wink

Two days diving I'd skip the blue hole trip (but that's just me) and take the other Turneffe trip that Amigos does, if it fits your schedule and theirs. Big (fast) boat, great crew and a nice time. But, if you want to say you've done it, their BH trip has three good dips and is worth the time. Once.

For your other day, there are several dozen good, close reef dives and all the reputable shops there will be very willing to meet your desires within the conditions you can tolerate/desire. Some days are better than others, visibility/sea conditions wise. The great thing is that reef trips are VERY short in and out and, generally, very worthwhile.

At night, Hol Chan--particularly if you've not done much night diving--is a great dive. You can start at twilight in 8-12', swim out to the reef, make the turn and, without worry for a safety stop (max depth is under 30' and you swim slowly back from the bottom), end up under the boat with a ton of air and wanting to stay under just to watch what swims by. Lots and lots of sea life like big rays, parrot fish, lobsters, cuddlefish, etc. to enjoy. All in all a very, very enjoyable night experience and great for all levels of divers.

Just my opinion.
* I Go Pogo *

#93500 - 11/10/04 07:54 AM Re: Dive site recommendations please
itsjustme0770 Offline

The northern dives are exactly what I am looking for. We'll be staying a VH in April. Can you give me some reccommendations of flexible dive operators? I am certainly willing to pay for "out of the way" spots that folks don't usually hit.

We stayed on Glovers for a couple of weeks about 4 years ago, and while I realize Ambergris dives are probably not as unbelievable as those, I'd like to hit some of the lesser dived spots. Thanks in advance for your help!

#93501 - 11/10/04 10:59 AM Re: Dive site recommendations please
My dive center (Protech) does these trips. We normally need 6 divers to make the trip economic, but we can compromise on that. We usually make a day trip of it and have lunch on the beach somewhere. One dive before and one dive after, at places rarely dived by anybody. I haven't dived Glovers but I have Lighthouse and Turneffe, and while Lighthouse is certainly world class I rated Turneffe only slightly higher than these dive sites I'm talking about. They're really very good. If you send me your email address I'll send you more details.

#93502 - 11/10/04 12:10 PM Re: Dive site recommendations please
IRM Offline
Protech is an excellent dive shop with the best equipment. They go out in small groups and the crew there is great. They can definitely help you maximize your 2 day diving experience in SP. I dove with them for 2 weeks in August and enjoyed every minute. Their boat for the Blue Hole trips wasnít running and farmed us out to Amigos. I loved the Blue Hole dive, it was definitely a different diving experience and the subsequent wall dives were spectacular. Well worth it if youíre up for the 2 hr boat ride out. Turneffe would also be a great choice and might be a little closer (by a 1\2 hr).

#93503 - 11/11/04 07:10 PM Re: Dive site recommendations please
Scumpy Offline

Thanks a ton for the feedback. I appreciate all the info... Keep em coming.

#93504 - 11/12/04 09:19 AM Re: Dive site recommendations please
windyw Offline
Good morning!! Going to have my husband, the diver of the family, answer this one. Scumpy I'm always happy to help a fellow diver, I started diving A.C. in 89 and have made yearly trips and brought down many groups to S.P.
I totally agree with Bobber about the Blue Hole, I've done that trip 5 or 6 times. I think everyone should dive it once. I only dove it one time & stayed on the boat the other times so I could enjoy the 2 dives at Half Moon caye, which are world class dives, however a lot depends on the visibilty, I've had up to 150ft.& as little as 60ft.I've dove all 3 atolls & spent a week at Light House Reef Resort right after it opened.I would call it my best week of diving ever.
I also enjoyed the local diving, I only dive with Amigo's Del Mar. They will pick you up anywhere you are staying in S.P.
I always leave my gear with them because they take very good care of it & have 24hr. security.
I have become very good friends with Changa & his remarkable staff.
I will be there Jan. 29-Feb.13 05,I hang out of course at BCs and my favorite local bar Cholo's with my pal Dready.
The nite dive at Hol Chan is awesome, although it can be tricky sometimes with a very strong current.
A nice half day trip would be to Caye Caulker for the afternoon, It's only a 20 min. boat ride inside the reef.
Who ever you dive with you will have agreat time.
My best time is just hanging out in San Pedro,
Jerry W. Naui Inst.#12240


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