This series of posts are all related to our time on the dive part of the Belize trip. If you haven’t been to Belize, I think you will find them interesting. If you have been, then perhaps they will bring back fond memories.
Day Three: The computer is telling me that I have no connectivity and yes, I am well aware of that as I look out on the open water near Lighthouse Island. We said good-bye to our friends in Ambergis Caye and made it to the Sundancer II in Belize City. Our friends from Maine came in a bit later and we caught up on the time since we’d seen each other. They had been on the Sundancer the year prior and they booked again this year. I want to digress for a moment to explain a dive live-aboard. Divers, please be patient. A dedicated dive vessel is not like other cruises. The boat is usually only about 125 or so feet and usually 18 divers plus approximately 7 crew members. There can be up to 32 divers (passengers) and 11 crew members on a slightly larger boat, but that’s about it. There are usually three-four levels; a crew/engine room level, cabins/dive deck, salon/wheelhouse, and sundeck. The cabins are small, the beds elevated so you can slide luggage underneath. Amenities are limited, but do vary according to the operation and there is no “bar”. There will usually be beer & wine, however, and of course meals are included. Food selection is limited, but good to excellent and a variety of cuisine throughout the week as well as accomodation for special dietary needs. There is no entertainment except perhaps some DVDs and a small collection of books. Now, there may also be marine-related seminars after dinner. If you regularly cruise, this may strike you as odd, but the point to a dive cruise is to dive. In fact, the mantra is, “Eat, dive, sleep, repeat.” You are on board with people who love to dive and stories of dive destinations around the globe quickly emerge. You may have some fairly new divers, but you frequently have those with 1000+ dives as well.
The normal arrangement is to do 4 dives during the day, and a night dive is offered. I don’t personally care for night diving, although my husband goes occasionally. On the other hand, you aren’t allowed to mix booze and diving, so he usually decides to forego the night diving and has a beer after diving and wine with dinner. With all of that said, here’s the way it works. Breakfast, morning dive. A break that has to do with keeping you from getting the bends. A second morning dive. Lunch and move the boat. Two afternoon dives at the new location, then a short break until time for dinner. Those who choose to do so will do the night dive immediately following dinner while the rest of us entertain ourselves with videos, reading, talking, etc. There is also star-gazing of course.
We did the four dives today with the usual array of Caribbean marine life, to include a lovely eagle ray on the last dive. No other big creatures, but lots of fish that we enjoy. Tomorrow, more diving and I’ll describe a typical day’s menu,