The next day was the famed Blue Hole!!! We went with //ambergriscaye.com/amigosdive/ , which has a fabulous boat for the trip, Miss Mel. 4:30am pickup was a drag but breakfast of fruit and cookies was nice and we were excited! There were more than 20 of us on the boat but plenty of room for everyone - we were relieved some of the people would be snorkeling though, we didn't want a huge group for diving. Turns out it didn't matter, we split into two groups for the dives anyways, so the groups were about 7-8 people with 2 dive masters for the Blue Hole dive and one for the others.
They warned us that the part out in open water would be rough (approx 30 min), but I didn't have a problem. My husband and I are both unfortunate divers that get seasick (irony
) but he took Bonine and I tried out the Scopolomine patch for the first time and neither of us felt a thing. The boat is great for that though, lots of open air, can watch the horizon, and no fumes in your face - what a difference from our beloved tug that we take out in Lake Michigan
Before we began the first dive, we were given a briefing. We weren't particularily nervous but even those that seemed a bit worried about going to 135ft were good to go by the time the guide got done. He asked everyone if we were OK with them chumming the waters to attract some sharks - luckily everyone was!
The dive itself is what everyone says, a bounce dive to 135ft for 8-10 minutes where you see lots of stalagtites and not much wildlife. Given that I was expecting it my husband and I had a fabulous
time, I talked to a few others and they felt the same way. I had been to 123ft so this was my deepest dive but not by that much, I don't think anyone that isn't nervous about the depth would have a problem, I hardly recognized we were at our max depth until the DM gave the signal to level off. There is a sandy place to about 45ft you decend to first, so if anyone worries about decending without a decent line in a big blue hole, don't worry, you can see bottom there. We were told there might be a thermocline but we had 80 degrees at the surface and 78 at depth. Considering we usually dive in the 30's and 40's, we laughed at the thought of a 2 degree "thermocline"
Anyways, we swam in and around the stalagtites for a while and the DM took my husband into a shallow cave just to poke around. There was only room for 2-3 people, it didn't go far. We had little 4cell flashlights with us and thought they were handy, most didn't bring anything and were fine. No one decided to chance bring a camera as most were a little worried about the depth.
My computer did show 4 minutes of deco at one point, but nearly all of it cleared before we even got to our extra long safety stop. As we began coming up we saw a few sharks off in the distance. Once we levelled off around 20 feet for a safety stop they had a line and extra tanks/regs just in case. At about 20 feet away we got to see 8-9 foot reef and bull sharks, it was great! They kept chumming for about 10 minutes then let them all clear before we got any closer to get back in the boat.
We ate lunch on //www.ambergriscaye.com/pages/town/parkhalfmooncaye.html , which is home to the Red-footed boobie birds, which we went to see after lunch. Lunch was traditional Belizean food, beans and rice with chicken and coconut pie for dessert, yum!
The next dive was in anywhere from 40-60 foot of water on Half Moon Caye Wall. It was great and I wrote down a million fish we saw in my dive log that I had to ask the names of
The DMs were very laid back and just said to signal when you had 700 psi before going up. Our second and third dives were over an hour apiece. And I didn't even run out of air the DM just eventually decided we should go up since a lot of people already had and I think he was finally sick of me following him around
The last dive they said was at two sites, can't remember the first one but we ended up at "the Aquarium". More fish than you know what to do with, most on the smaller side. About a million yellow tailed snapper, which the guide eventually fed a whole bag of rice to them.
Not the greatest picture since it's just a cheap disposable, but there's the guide, completely engulfed in fish and my husband catching all the action.