Belize Trip Report - April 2001
(Please click on any image for a lager version)
We thought Cozumel was fun, so we decided to head a little further South, and check out the outer reefs around Belize and the "Great Blue Hole". I was thinking we could stay at one of the nicer resorts, when Janet suggested we try a Live-aboard. Needless to say, I was startled. I've spent a good portion of my adult life at sea, but she had never been out on the ocean in a boat.
We signed up for a week aboard the Peter Hughes boat the M/V Wave Dancer in Belize. The crew was wonderful, and we had a great time. I think we are both now "hooked" on live-aboard diving, which is luxurious, comfortable and sure beats schlepping your gear back and forth every day. All three of the Belize Liveaboards spent the entire week within sight of each other, but stayed at the outer reefs so we never saw any boats from Belize City.
We flew down a day early (to get some rest). Coming from Seattle, the only way to get there was on Continental through Houston. Continental did a great job, even arriving a half-hour early into Houston on the return flight, which made clearing customs in Houston a breeze (instead of the usual cluster).
We spent the first night at the Radisson Fort George, which is a nice hotel. Belize City itself isn't the best place for tourists or tourism, but the rest of the country is beautiful.
This was my first trip trying to take pictures underwater. I bought a new Light and Motion Tetra housing and an Olympus 3030 Digital camera (which produced all of these pictures).
It was pretty windy for the entire week spent offshore. We saw winds up to 45 knots on several days, and had to move the boat off of some dive sites early just because the seas were getting dangerously big for getting safely onto the boat after a dive.
The wind also caused quite a bit of local current on several sites, and stirred up the sand, which reduced the visibility frequently. There were lots of little particles in the water, but the 60 - 80 foot we found was so much better than the 15 - 20 feet we are used to in Puget Sound.
We did take a tour of the ruins at Altun Ha on Saturday before we headed for the airport. I highly recommend spending some time looking at the remains of a civilization that flourished 1500 years ago. It makes you wonder what we are going to leave for the future to find.
Next, the Diving