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#94652 - 12/21/04 02:29 PM Novice Diver in January/05  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4
JR Offline
JR  Offline
Hi everyone,

My wife and I are on Ambergris Caye for our honeymoon during the last two weeks of January. I have a few questions regarding the local diving.

1) My wife does not dive, however I do. Since I am without a dive buddy will I have a hard time finding a dive guide who will hook me up with a larger group?

2) As I mentioned in the subject line I am a novice PADI Open Water diver(quite a few freshwater salvage dives, but I have not dove in saltwater)who has recently completed a PADI refresher course. In addition to an easy dive to shake the rust off(Hol Chan Cut?) and an in shore dive, I would like to participate in an all day offshore dive.Are there any dive operators on the island who offer trips to the Turneffe(sp?) Atoll for divers of my experience level?

3) My final question: Is anyone in a similar dive budddy-less situation with a similar level of diving experience? If so I am interested in joining up for a dive.

thanks, any info would help.

#94653 - 12/21/04 05:04 PM Re: Novice Diver in January/05  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 591
Catatonic Motivator Offline
Catatonic Motivator  Offline
As to question one: Nope. Not a problem. Any shop can hook you up.

Two: Yes. Most shops do trips to Turneffe, I believe. Amigos Del Mar,, has the biggest (most comfortable) boat for the three-hour ride out and back. If it's choppy, you'll want to be on their Pro 48. They do two Turneffe trips. Check with them when you get there as to your skill and comfort levels.

Three: Nope. Will have been there just before you and again in March.

Have a great honeymoon and some great diving as well!

* I Go Pogo *
#94654 - 12/21/04 06:08 PM Re: Novice Diver in January/05  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 3,677
Bobber Offline
Bobber  Offline
Definitely do Hol Chan, it's a good checkout dive, 30 ft, and is also pretty with a lot of structure and critters. A good entry into salt water diving. Remember to add some weight, salt water is a bit more floaty than fresh. If your honey snorkels, you can both go out on the same boat. If she doesn't go, it is just a short trip and you'll only be away from her for a few hours max.

Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt
#94655 - 12/21/04 09:00 PM Re: Novice Diver in January/05  

If you wear the same suit (though the water here is currently around 82F) then reckon on an additional 4-6 lb of lead. Start with six and then try to reduce it. The only problem with Hol Chan can be currents when the tide is changing - you do need to dive it around slack water. It makes a good night dive as well.

By all means go to Turneffe or Lighthouse Atolls, and you'll have a great time. But do 2 or 3 days of local diving first, or you'll not get full benefit. I agree that Amigo's Pro-48 is the best boat. It isn't just (a bit) longer than the others, but it's also wider and has a very deep-V hull, so it's as stable as a boat that size can be in rough water. You'll be a bit too early for their new boat, which is a Belizean-built 56' and promises to have an even better ride.

As to needing a buddy, all diving here is in groups lead by dive guides, many of whom are also qualified divemasters and a few are instructors. So long as your group is small you won't need a buddy as that's not the way people dive here, though the dive guide will certainly find you one or buddy you himself if you feel you need one. I suspect you'd be better off in a small group, at least at first, so ask the question before you commit yourself.

Where will you be staying?

#94656 - 12/21/04 10:07 PM Re: Novice Diver in January/05  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4
JR Offline
JR  Offline
Thanks everyone for your quick replies,

We are staying at The Sundiver Resort and The Bananna Beach Resort.

Does anyone know which dive operator is used by Monkey Business?

Thanks again-I'm going out for a cold beer even though it will be -15 degrees Celsius.

#94657 - 12/22/04 05:26 AM Re: Novice Diver in January/05  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 591
Catatonic Motivator Offline
Catatonic Motivator  Offline
I don't recall who MB uses as a default, but it really doesn't matter. They'll book you through any shop you ask.

You can also just have your choice in shops bill you through the resort, rather than having multiple bills. They'll keep track of your dives during the week and set you up so you have one bill, rather than two (or three, or four). Life's very simple that way, IMO.

* I Go Pogo *
#94658 - 12/22/04 08:40 AM Re: Novice Diver in January/05  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 3,677
Bobber Offline
Bobber  Offline
JR, if this is your first salt water experience, you're going to find a whole new level of enjoyment. I gave up fresh water diving except for an occasional dip. Too cold, limited vis around here (MN). And all of the fish and everything else is green. Boring. The current in Hol Chan isn't too bad, just go with it when it is going in your direction and rest when it's not, kind of an ebb and flow. Not like Cozumel, where you fly over the reef no matter what you would like to do. The dive operators we have used have all been quite competent and keep an eye on you closely until they are comfortable with your capabilities underwater. Turneffe has a lot of nice dive sites and it is definitely worth the sometimes bouncy trip. You have some time to make some friends, divers for the most part are pretty gregarious. And after the dives are done, you can go out for some great cold beers in a t-shirt and shorts and flip-flops. Life doesn't get any better than that.

Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt
#94659 - 12/22/04 03:25 PM Re: Novice Diver in January/05  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 133
buzzbean Offline
buzzbean  Offline
My first ocean dive was also on my first trip to Belize. Ambergris Divers is right down the beach from Banana Beach. They took me to Hol Chan Cut for my first dive and followed it up with snorkling at Shark Ray Alley. They will also take you to the atolls and Blue Hole. Definitely go on the Blue Hole trip even if you don't feel ready to dive the Hole. I snorkled around the hole and it was pretty cool. Also, the other dives on that trip were incredible. We dove The Aquarium and a Half-Moon Caye wall dive with a picnic lunch on Half-Moon Caye. After eating, we were free to explore the island a bit. This island serves as a bird sanctuary for red-footed boobies and spinakers. There's a tower you can climb that takes you to the tree canopy level to view the birds nesting. It was an awesome trip.

#94660 - 12/22/04 03:28 PM Re: Novice Diver in January/05  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 133
buzzbean Offline
buzzbean  Offline
Oh! I forgot to add: I traveled alone and did not have a dive-buddy problem. We dove in what you would call the schooling fashion. The dive leader lead the way and everyone else followed in a group. Definitely check with the dive operator first, but I think that was the norm.

#94661 - 12/23/04 01:56 AM Re: Novice Diver in January/05  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4
JR Offline
JR  Offline
Thanks again for the info - much appreciated.

Does anyone have any tips on the following:

1) Do dive operators offer photos($) of your dive or are you better off renting photo equipment? If so where.

2) Do dive operators offer additional insurance on a pay-per dive basis or should I contact a carrier such as DAN.

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