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Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers

Posted By: ajeagle6921

Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/10/13 09:32 PM

There are 4 of us going next week and are trying to decide which trip would be best. My wife and I have done 6 dives and the couple going with us just got certified last week. We are wanting to do 1 day trip and can't decide which is best. If we do the Blue Hole we would only go to roughly 60 feet so we don't push our limits.

Would that still be a good dive or do you need to go to 130ft to get full experience. Which do you all recommend? Thanks!

Posted By: Nick Barton

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/10/13 10:52 PM

My recollection, from when I did it, is that the cavern at the Blue Hole doesn't open up until about 100feet so going to 60 ft misses the key aspect of the dive. Someone will correct me if I have remembered incorrectly.

The Turneffe dives are pretty , obviously not as deep, it takes a bit less time to get there and the trip is a bit cheaper too!

Might be the better option given your understandable caution re depth of dives
Posted By: elbert

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/11/13 09:49 AM

Nick is spot on. The round blue hole you see in all the photographs is the collapsed ceiling of an ancient cave.
The thickness of the ceiling is about 110 feet so on the way down you see only a featureless wall until you get around 110-120 feet deep. Another factor is the tour companies that take you to the Blue Hole will not let you dive a shallower depth because it would mean leaving you unchaperoned during the dive. It's 130 feet or nothing.
I agree with Nick again about Turneffe, especially the North end of Turneffe. Beautiful dives, shallower depths, easier and quicker to get to and cost only 165.usd for the day.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/11/13 02:28 PM

Again Elbert has the facts. But let me ask you a question: Why not just dive the reef? This would be much safer, cost less and give you the experience you all need. The reef is full of great dives and even those of us who live here never tire of them. The very best first (check-out) dive is Hol Chan. Hook up with one of the dive shops on the island; Elbert is one of many and a good one. We each have our favorites. Save the longer, more expensive dives for when you have more experience - like buoyancy control.
You will not be disappointed here.
Posted By: jweber

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/11/13 06:30 PM

I think the main point here is being newly certified divers you should stay to the depths you have been trained for being 60 feet
stick with turneffe
Posted By: Dawghed

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/11/13 08:51 PM

My 2 cents, the elbow potentially can have a strong current. So I have been told. When I went there wasnt any current (or fish) even though the dive master warned us there would be strong current and big fish. I have heard from others that the elbow is a spectacular dive when the current is running. Turneffe North is probably better suited to new divers. Then again, the local reef is fantastic and 5 minutes from shore.
Posted By: Dawghed

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/11/13 09:33 PM

One more thing, make sure which ever company you choose to dive with is PADI certified. There is at least one company in San Pedro that isnt.
Posted By: ajeagle6921

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/11/13 10:26 PM

We are planning on diving with Captain Ron. Anyone have any experience with his company?

Company name is Reef Adventures.
Posted By: Nick Barton

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/12/13 12:05 AM

If you go on one of the long distance trips, which require a longish trip outside the reef then make sure they have a BIG boat because it can be pretty choppy. I don't know Reef Adventures or their boat size. I went to Turneffe with Amigos two weeks ago on one of their big boats
Posted By: Nick Barton

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/12/13 12:07 AM

I should add that, as I live north of town, when diving just outside the reef I always go with Elbert's team who are fun and safe!
Posted By: elbert

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/12/13 12:11 AM

You definitely want the biggest boat you can book yourself on.
I've done the trip 40 or more times over the last 20 years and it can be a frightening trip on a small boat if the wind kicks up.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/12/13 01:50 PM

I know Capt. Ron from Portland, Oregon. He, along with Ched Cabral, owns Reef Adventures which is on the Wet Willy's dock. The last I saw Ched had three boats -none of them BIG but all a good sise for diving the reef. What is this obsession with the atolls.
Posted By: Nick Barton

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/12/13 03:13 PM

Harriette - the blue hole is an extraordinary place you have to admit and there is nothing like it near A.C or indeed anywhere else! If the sea is not too choppy then a 3 dive trip is fun!
Posted By: ajeagle6921

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/12/13 07:17 PM

Have read a few different places that the diving the atolls is better than the reef at AC. We are still planning on diving hol-chan and shark ray alley and a night dive but thought we would dive the Turneffe also.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/13/13 01:40 AM

NICK - Have you ever been NARCED?
Anytime you go below 80' you take a risk of being narced. Ive been narced a few times but fortunately had been trained to expect it.

Do you understand the reason to limit 'Open Water Certification"to 60'?

Every once in a while a new diver has good buoyancy control - but most don't. An uncontrolled ascent from 60' or less, while still dangerous, is not likely to be fatal.

I have taken fairly new divers to the Blue Hole but ONLY when they are right behind me and there was a very experienced diver behind them.

A person who has become a good friend did the hole when I first met her. At about 135' when we were 'ducking under the lip' she spotted some sharks down lower and decided to go pet them. Thankfully her husband (also a new diver) caught up with her at 200' and they both were able to come up.

It used to be that boats wouldn't take inexperienced divers out - now --- $$$ talk.

I don't know who has been giving you information but please listen to the people that may be saving your life.
Posted By: Nick Barton

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/13/13 11:54 AM

Harriette

I am perfectly aware of the risks -thank you!

I was commenting on the Blue Hole as a dive site. I do not presume to recommend that anyone including inexperience divers do that dive - I'm sure these people can make their own minds up on what they want to do based upon advice from their qualified dive masters.

AJ - re your last comment Hol chan is a cut through the reef and is only 30 feet deep and Shark Ray Alley is inside the reef and about 10 feet deep so these are best snorkelled in my view, other than for the night dive. For scuba you will go outside the reef and there are lots and lots of dive sites close to AC so there is no real need to do a day trip to the atolls if you are excluding the Blue Hole, except it is a fun day out.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Diving ?: Blue Hole or Turneffe/Shallow Divers - 07/14/13 09:11 AM

Ajeagle, if you feel you must do a day out at the Atolls, then chose Turneffe just make sure that the trip is not including the Elbow. The local reef off of Ambergris Caye is good diving. You won't be the least disappointed. Save the Blue Hole day trip for your return to Belize, after you have more dives under your collective weight belts.
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