Canuk-Diver said: "I won't be doing the Blue Hole dive, but I'm told the remainder of the atolls are a 'must'."
From what I've been told and read, the dive is 130+ feet and the only things to see are lifeless stalagtites and maybe a few sharks. Every single dive buddy I know that has gone to Belize and has done the Blue Hole has told me it's a waste of time, and that the REAL treasures are the rest of the dives around the atolls.
At 130+ feet, your bottom time is only 5 minutes. If you're diving a 32% nitrox mix, you get 15 minutes, but youre PO2 is 1.58 (ie; fatal), hence not an option. Not to mention the possibility of being narced, although, some people actually like that.
So, with that said, a dive to 130+ feet with a bottom time of 5 minutes to see some stalagtites and maybe a few sharks really doesn't interest me.
I'd much rather spend my time on a wall dive, shallow wreck, or spur and groove with beautiful coral and sponges, a variety of reef dwellers, the possibility of still seeing a shark, and running a bottom time of 40-50 minutes on a mix of EAN32 at a max depth of approximately 75-86 feet, while still maintaining a low PO2 level.
If I'm going to blow 200+ dollars on a 2 hour boat ride to somewhere, I want to make the most of my dives.
Of course, this is only my opinion.
Peter and I are not discussing Lighthouse Atoll as a destination that I'd like to visit. I'm actually trying to set up for Glovers and/or Turneffe. Nothing has been officially arranged or discussed in great detail yet between us.
May I ask why you recommend the Blue Hole? Perhaps you might be able to change my opinion and show me that I'm missing out on something. I'm always ready to listen and learn.