Lively reefs, the blue hole and whale sharks make Belize a popular diving destination. Last week a group of 10 AquaSub divers including myself went to check it out for ourselves aboard the Sun Dancer II. Despite hurricane Thomas having just recently passed through the area we enjoyed some nice diving and hospitality.
When we arrived there was evidence of the hurricane's destruction including the dock which was now is shambles. Unable to walk the dock to the ship we were brought in groups on the small inflatable tender which was fine by us. We were just happy to get aboard.
Once on board we were greeted by our crew and shown to our cabins. Having never been aboard a Dancer Fleet vessel before I was pleasantly surprised by the comfortable accommodations we had. At 138ft the Sun Dancer II has plenty of space for its 20 guests and 8 crew with room to spare.
Every day started out with coffee and a delicious breakfast of your choice from toast or fruit to an omelette or waffles. Next was a dive briefing about the morning site where we would normally do 2 dives with a snack and break in between. Then lunch, 2 afternoon dives at a different site followed by dinner and a night dive. So pretty much it goes eat, dive, eat, dive, eat, dive, eat, dive, eat, dive, drink, sleep and then start again. If you weren't up to doing all the dives you could lounge on the sun deck, nap, watch a movie, download your pictures, or just hang out. If you haven't tried liveaboard diving you really should. It makes diving so easy.
The blue hole is usually a dive site people want to tick off on their list but we were not able to go there due to the winds. Most of us were fine with that since it doesn't have nearly as much life as the reefs we were diving. We were very much enjoying the freedom we had exploring Lighthouse reef and Turneffe reef.
Many of our dives included eagle ray and turtle sightings along with a few reef sharks. Other highlights included seahorses, dolphins, toadfish, reef squid, octopi, and giant barrel sponges. The toadfish are one of my favorites and on each dive I could hear them making their mating call. It goes something like "arrrr...arrrr...arrrr". Sometimes, if you were very close to one you could actually feel the vibration of their call in your chest and yet still not see them since they tuck themselves away in holes coming out mostly at night.
In the end a great time was had by all and I plan to organize another trip there but this time in April when the winds will be more favorable.