Log Date: Saturday, May 09, 2015
Entry By: Sun Dancer II Crew
Sun Dancer II Captains Log May 9-16
Air Temp. 82 F
Water Temp: 81 – 83 F
Vis: 80 Ft
Crew: Captain Megan, First Mate John, Engineer Simon , Chef Carlos, Stewardess Barbara, Assistant Chef Jean, Divemaster William and Onboard Assistant Conway!
Jean, Robert, Jeannette, Gary, Dave, Natasha, Ron, Bill, Karen, Keith, Nunzio, Julie, Bruce, Maureen, Gail, Jim, Christophe, Samia and David!
Dive Sites Visited:
Sunday: Site X and Julies Jungle
Monday: Long Caye Ridge and Long Caye Wall
Tuesday: Dos Chichas and LCR
Wednesday: The Blue Hole and East Cut
Thursday: Half Moon Caye Wall and Silver Cave
Friday: Sandy Slope
Saturday: On a bright sunny day in Belize City the excited divers made their way to the vessel and were welcomed onboard by the crew members of the Sun Dancer II. The dive deck was busy with everyone setting up their gear and once inside their staterooms the divers made themselves comfortable before heading up stairs for the introductions and safety briefing. Just after dinner was served and enjoyed the Sun Dancer II set out for a wonderful week of diving at Lighthouse Reef!
Sunday: The first day of diving started at the mysteriously named Site X. The wall was beautiful and there was a very curious Big turtle checking out the divers. On the second dive something very incredible happened. As everyone was getting ready to make the turn after about 20 minutes down the wall they headed in towards the sand and laying out as if sun bathing on a beach was a beautiful and majestic Spotted Eagle Ray, the divers were able to swim up close to it and as if a plan getting ready to take off the spotted eagle rays wings started waving slowly at first then a little faster and faster. Once they had reached take off speed the ray swam up towards the divers and made a half circle before heading on its way. It was a beautiful sight and a very memorable one as well.
Monday: Starting the day at Long Caye Ridge was very enjoyable with eels and drum fish, butterfly fish and tarpon looming around. There were a bunch of cute puffer fish and a baby box fish! The first shark sighting of the week happened here and it was exciting for everyone to check it out off the wall swimming past. In the afternoon at Long Caye Wall there was a really cool channel cleaning crab and a peacock flounder in the sand, more reef sharks and a few more spotted drums. Someone had the opportunity to see something very unique and that was on a wire coral, the shrimp that we usually see on these whip looking strands are usual solo shrimp but today there was a remarkable line of 5 shrimp all next to each other on the green wire coral. There were also more baby drum fish, angel fish, squirrel fish, a big rock beauty, jacks under the boat, a big barracuda getting cleaned and some cool lobster, one even in a sponge looking out! There were Sharks swimming below off the wall and sometimes coming up closer to the divers. At one point a turtle slowly made its way past all the divers everyone getting an opportunity to take its picture. On the night dive we got to see a sting ray in the sand eating and moving around from place to place but not so far that we couldn’t keep up, also a variety of eels and a little octopus found by Keith was the highlight of the dive.
Tuesday: Dos Chichas for our first dive of the morning was beautiful and well lit with the sun grazing through the water column and making its way onto the shallow area of the reef and down the wall. Some really cool discovers came when a big turtle past by and also a small shark that was adorable (as far as sharks go) Karen found a scorpion fish, or a rock fish it is sometimes called which is one of the most difficult fish to find as it blends into the rocks and you have to literally make out its shape to see it camouflaged into the reef. There were numerous little colorful fish all out and about playing in and out of the coral making the whole dive entertaining and enjoyable. The afternoon side site was Long Caye Ridge and it was very wonderful to see more on this beautiful dive site, complete with a shark and happy divers.
Wednesday: THE GREAT Blue Hole was today, as we headed up an hour into the reef the divers made their way to the top deck so they could see as we entered into the perfectly symmetrical dive site that is known for being a world heritage site. The 130’ max depth gives the divers the opportunity to explore around and behind the giant stalactites and get very dramatic video and pictures of the grandness the atmosphere boasts and for being a relatively short dive it is very memorable. After the Blue Hole the divers chose to headed to Half Moon Caye island for a tour of, what looks like, the perfect paradise island. White sand beaches, tall palm trees and the light crystalline water that beckons you to take a dip. After checking out the local inhabitants on the island, birds, iguanas, hermit crabs and more birds, the divers made their way via water taxi back to the Sun Dancer II to enjoy lunch before starting their afternoon of diving at East Cut in the Half Moon Caye area. There were spotted eagle rays seen on this dive as well as a shark that kept swimming past all the divers off the wall. A Giant turtle was seen at the end of the dive and a couple divers couldn’t decide where to look at the Spotted Eagle Ray that was now over the shallows or the giant turtle that was heading up for a breath, a good problem to have underwater!
Thursday: Half Moon Caye Wall is one of the crews favorite dive sites and after someone has had a chance to submerge into this underwater paradise most they also agree that it is truly lovely. Today was no exception with the appearance of at least three turtles, some decorated with remoras, scorpion fish, sharks a baby barracuda and sting rays everywhere on the sand it was nonstop and relaxing at the same time. At Silver Cave for the afternoon dives the divers got to see a giant sea horse, cute puffer fish and big grouper all mixed in with the tiny reef fish that are always scurrying and darting all over the rocky reef shallows and off the wall grouped up. A beautiful day of diving that every one appreciated for its relaxed diving and enjoyable scenery.
Friday: The site Sandy Slope is perfectly named because unlike the sharp drop off wall dives of the rest of the week this gently rolls downhill with sand in the middle and reef on either side. There are so many nice surprises underwater on this site from the sandy areas with garden eels, flounder, tile fish, shrimp cleaning stations and other numerous active fish and eel activity. The two dives offered a lot and all the divers were happy with the entire week of diving and underwater adventures.
On behalf of all the crew of the Sun Dancer II we would like to thank you for joining us this week.
Thank you and we Love YOU!