Log Date: Saturday, Apr 11, 2015
Entry By: Sun Dancer II Crew
Sun Dancer II
Water Temp: 82-84 F
Vis: 80-100 Ft
Crew: Captain Eddy, Second Captain Megan, Engineer Simon, Divemaster William ‘Buddy’, Chef Jerry, Stewardess Elia, Assistant Chef Jean and Onboard Assistant Conway!
Dive Sites Visited:
Sunday: Julie’s Jungle and Site Y
Monday: Long Caye Wall & Long Caye Ridge
Tuesday: Painted Wall & Cathedral
Wednesday: Blue Hole & Uno Coco
Thursday: Half Moon Caye Wall, Silver Cave and Sand Box
Friday: Sandy Slope
This was an incredible week, not only was it our first week back from being in the Dominican Republic with Hump Back whales but it was also our first time meeting a wonderful group of divers from all over the world. On Saturday we welcomed onboard Liz, Mark, Scott, Marry, Ruth, Bill, Cathy, Alain R, Alain P, Yves, Luce, Pascal, Molly, Hugh and Jean Luc!
After getting settled into their spacious staterooms the divers got set up on the dive deck and then went up stairs to enjoy some drinks and snacks before the introductions and briefings.
Dinner was delicious, as usual, which is always an important aspect of the Live-Aboard diving experience: fine dinning!
Just after dessert the Sun Dancer II made her way out to Light House Reef and the first day of diving started the next morning at Julie’s Jungle.
On the first day it was magical, each dive offering something new and sometimes very unexpected! At one point a Big turtle was discovered, a giant moray eel, arrow blennies, barracuda, yellow headed jaw fish and the always entertaining sand tile fish. The most exciting moment of the dives this day was while at Site Y the divers were enjoying the scenic view of the reef and wall and just a few meters into the blue a whole pod of DOLPHINS decided to swim past and almost half the divers who happened to be looking out got to see them pass, it was a very special moment and someone even expressed that it was their first time seeing dolphins underwater on a dive, amazing!
The next day started at Long Caye Wall and had the first Spotted Eagle Ray sighting of the week! Also a couple of sharks swam past and on the smaller side the always-adorable juvenile drum fish was seen doing its dance along the reef shelf. In the afternoon the Sun Dancer II was tied up at Long Caye Ridge and before even jumping in the divers could tell that there was a lot of excitement under the boat. There was a school of jacks and it made the entry and exit from the stern very inspiring to swim thru the school and feel like one of the fish. There was also a bunch of stoic tarpon under the boat waiting for the evening darkness before starting their hunt for a quick meal. The big barrel sponges that you always look into hoping to see something inside didn’t disappoint today with a lobster in one and a lion fish in another! There were many fish all over the reef making it very colorful and of course cave a lot of photographic opportunities to the divers interested in capturing the excitement and color. There was the Big turtle swimming past and a big lobster hanging out under a ledge and the cutest fish face in the roughneck blennie which looks like a baby alien coming out of the coral to grab a bite to eat. On the night dive the divers had a beautiful time discovering eels, squids that inked three different times and a hermit crab dutifully kicking up sand.
Painted Wall in the morning was another wonderful site full of color and fish. The school of bramuda chubs didn’t give the divers a break (in a good way) when they swam all around and left everyone smiling into their regulators at the sight of their funny smiles coming right at them. There was a big moray eel, a scorpion fish, Spotted Eagle Ray, turtle, grouper and of course the chubs all around made it a very eventful dive including schools of triggers and tangs eating something delicious. At the afternoon site Cathedral there were two file fish playing around each other, tarpon staking out the reef and a spotted eel was discovered. On the night dive the highlight was an octopus, who doesn’t love a sea creature that can change shape and color in split seconds!
Wednesday = The BLUE HOLE! After three months of being away everyone was all looking forward to this dive and it did not disappoint! Entering in from the top deck of the boat you could see the perfect blue circle of dark blue and the light green and coral all around. The dive went smooth as can be and the divers all had the opportunity to see a cave structure usual not found underwater, with stalactites hanging down and the divers getting to pass around the back left a lot of memorable memories with the epic structure and dramatic blue background. Once back on board the Sun Dancer II made her way over to Half Moon Caye Island where an optional island adventure took place and the birds and land creatures were enjoyed by everyone that strolled around the island paradise. At the afternoon dive site Uno Coco there were more tarpons, elephant ear sponges, wire coral, flamingo tongues and a SHARK!
Half Moon Caye Wall was the first dive site for our Thursday adventures, this dive is difficult to explain in complete detail as it is so divers and has so many surprise (good surprises) around every turn. There was a ‘super cool grouper’ as described later by a diver, 2 sharks, spongers that were spawning, sail fin blennies, spotted eagle rays and later at Silver Cave our friend the SEA HORSE was re-discovered by Captain Eddy who was very happy to find the big little guy again after three months, it was like seeing an old friend who didn’t know that you were going to ever get to see again. We say Big Little Sea Horse because as far as sea horses go this guy is HUGE! He is a red color almost orange and (even taking into consideration that everything underwater appears over 30% larger) this sea horse really is a giant and we would hate to give it a number and rather you use your imaginations on the extent of reef this horse takes up. Sometimes we joke that as we are pulling up to the mooring pin we can see his horsy face looking up out of the water and we can faintly hear a horse whinny just before we take our giant strides. In the afternoon and for the last dusk / night dive we got to experience Sand Box a wonderfully divers dive site with a lot to offer the divers. There were eels, both big green and golden spotted, file fish, flamingo tongues, blennies, barracuda, groupers in sponges, lobster, slipper lobsters and a VERY cooperative octopus to end the night right.
Sandy Slope on Friday morning gave the divers the rare opportunity to see the famous Toad fish, a really elusive creature only found in Belize. The dive was full of macro and included some bigger friends as well; one area of coral no bigger then a dinner table had 8 lobsters, and another coral half the size had 2 eels! An Angle fish was ‘dueling’ in front of one divers mask running into her nose and being overly adorable for about 5 minutes! A turtle made its photogenic debut and all in all the divers fully enjoyed their time underwater.
The week was fun filled and we as a crew would like to thank each and every one of you for joining us this week, we hope you enjoyed being here as much as we enjoyed having you.
On behalf of the entire crew of the Sun Dancer II Thank You!