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#58893 - 11/10/02 08:07 PM Refresher Dive Course  
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 7
LC Offline
LC  Offline
My 14 year old son is a certified diver, but he has not had a chance to dive for a few years. I want to find a refresher course for him as well as a dive master we can trust to be his "buddy" throughout his dives. I have a quote from Banana Beach and I know they are excellent. I want to get a few other ideas and quotes, as well. Of course, we need a really reputable company that comes highly recommended. We will be in San Pedro on Nov. 23.

#58894 - 11/11/02 01:50 AM Re: Refresher Dive Course  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 610
RobertE Offline
RobertE  Offline
If you have the chance try doing the refresher at home. Usually consists of a video to watch at home and a 3-4 hour pool session. Then when you hit AC he can dive away. The shop I work at in Colorado charges $50 for what is called a scuba skills update or I am sure that any of the shops on AC can do it as well as they get of lot of first timers, do full on training and continuing ed. Good luck with whatever route you choose. From first hand experience I would highly recommend Billy Leslie at Hustler Dive shop if your son does his update on AC.

#58895 - 11/11/02 10:11 AM Re: Refresher Dive Course  
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 25
Kent@BlueHole Offline
Kent@BlueHole  Offline
You should really have an instructor do the refresher. Divemasters are very knowledgable but an experienced instructor knows how to evalualte and teach students of all skill levels.

Most instructors here will offer a refresher course, but the prices vary somewhat according to what's involved.

We include a pool training session and two dives on the barrier reef with a PADI instructor. Cost is $100 US including equipment.

#58896 - 11/11/02 12:05 PM Re: Refresher Dive Course  
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 33
BobS Offline
BobS  Offline
I'm reading a Tune-Up book I just bought from my dive shop ~ $15 that hits the high points including test questions and explanations. Can't remember the exact name but will fetch if you can't find one. Surprising how much one can forget.
I also might share my experience in pre-testing. I joined a pool class last Wed and found my BC leaked[I now have a new one] and my regulator's first stage freeflowed requiring a reworking. Because I'm headed to AC next Sun I had to pay extra for fast delivery and service. So you might wanna wet check your gear.
I also will be with my son[29]. This being our first to Belize we updated our innoculations, e.g., Hep A, Tetanus, anti-biotic for travelers diarrhea and Malaria prophylaxises pills.
Something to think about...

#58897 - 11/12/02 08:58 PM Re: Refresher Dive Course  
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 7
LC Offline
LC  Offline
Thanks, Bob! I didn't know that there was a malaria risk in Belize. Is that a precaution, or were you advised to take malaria pills due to presence of malaria on Belize?

#58898 - 11/12/02 08:59 PM Re: Refresher Dive Course  
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 7
LC Offline
LC  Offline
Thanks, Bob! I didn't know that there was a malaria risk in Belize. Is that a precaution, or were you advised to take malaria pills due to presence of malaria on Belize?

#58899 - 11/13/02 12:37 PM Re: Refresher Dive Course  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 8
We just got back from AC. I believe that Bananas is on the southern end of the island near Ambergris Divers. We've dove with them and find them very good. They will cater to your needs and seem to take us out on "an easy" dive inside the reef (along with a snorkel trip) for the first outing. Then build up... I'm sure if you explain the situation, they'll be more than happy to keep an extra-special eye on your son. e-mail them at They have 5 boats now and are planning various dives throughout the day.

#58900 - 11/13/02 02:42 PM Re: Refresher Dive Course  
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 33
BobS Offline
BobS  Offline

Suggest you check out the CDC site and point your browser to Malaria Belize for insight. I figure that AC is the safest part of Belize but nonetheless the risk is there certainly higher than here in DE. If you read carefully even the web sites touting AC suggest taking DEET. I figure if there's a strong land breeze the risk increases. And if we take a jungle tour even more risk. I especially wanted to be sure my son[29] was protected. The prevenatives are a few pills v. the horrid effects of Malaria. An easy choice for us. Every area has it's risk. Heck I've had Lymes Diesease twice from my own woods here in lovely DE.
I've also been on the receiving end[no pun] of Monty's Revenge in MX. No I didn t eat the ice cubes or lettuce. I concluded I was exposed in the water snorkeling and diving for certain areas just piped the sewage into the ocean. And most dive boats that have a head dump direct which ain't pleasant to think about hanging on your decompression stop.
I went to our area hospital where there's a Travelers Dept and they made the suggestions for the innocs. It made so much sense to me a needle-phobic I took all three. Rather be ridiculed for over protecting than paying the piper.

#58901 - 11/13/02 03:22 PM Re: Refresher Dive Course  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
Actually there are now more cases of malaria in the U.S. than in Belize (of course Belize has a much smaller population). The risk of malaria in Belize has fallen dramatically over the past decade or so. At one time in the early 90s there were some 8,000 cases a year, now fewer than 1,000 in the entire country, mostly among immigrant groups in border areas especially southern Belize.

The Centers for Disease Control, which is very conservative in its recommendations, notes there is risk of malaria in all areas of Belize except Belize City. Chloroquine, a long-used drug with few if any side effects (I took it years ago in the army in Vietnam) is the recommended prophylaxsis if any is taken.

But as a practical matter the risk on Ambergris Caye is very, very, very slight -- probably about the same as going to Florida or Louisiana.

Better safe than sorry I guess but the vast majority of visitors to San Pedro and to other other cayes do not take chloroquine and certainly the residents don't.

--Lan Sluder
Belize books and publications by Lan Sluder:
Belize First Magazine (
Fodor's Belize & Guatemala Guide (new 4th edition coming this fall)
Adapter Kit: Belize (the first and only comprehensive guide to living, retiring, working and investing in Belize -- a best-seller on
San Pedro Cool (the first and only visitor guide to Ambergris Caye)
Belize First Guide to Mainland Belize -- sold out, new edition coming early 2003
UpClose Central America
Belize Book of Lists -- sold out, new edition coming early 2003
Best Hotels of Belize -- coming late 2002

Lan Sluder/Belize First
#58902 - 11/13/02 05:49 PM Re: Refresher Dive Course  
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 72
KJ Offline
KJ  Offline
My suggestion is to dive a refresher course with an instructor. We have used and recommend Happy and Grumpy. Our teenagers loved them. Look on there web site.

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