Belize Ambergris Caye Report (long)

Belize Ambergris Caye Report (long)

Post by Mark Lindse » Tue, 25 May 2004 12:10:32


We just got back last night.  Our trip was phenomenal.  We've been to
Cozumel 9 or 10 times and weren't quite sure what to expect.

Here's our report:

San Pedro:

We flew into Belize City via USAIR.  Arrived 15 minutes early.  Our plane to
San Pedro was full, so we caught the next one.

There is one road that is partially paved with concrete pavers.  It
parallels the airport and Ramon's Village.  The rest of the roads are hard
packed sand.  After the second day, I only wore sandals to dinner.  The rest
of the time I was barefoot.  My mode of travel was walking on the beach.

We stayed at Ramon's Village.  They picked us up at Mayan Air about 1 minute
after we called.

The room was ready and everyone there made us feel welcome- including Ramon.
I was impressed by the way the entire hotel complex was raked every day.  I
usually get up early so it was nice to be "the first" to walk on the newly
raked sand everyday.  The beach was nice.  Breakfast on the veranda was also
very good.  Breakfast was so good I ate there every day except for two days
I had early dives.

The only drawbacks I saw were no TV in the room (We didn't miss it after the
first day, though.) and no refrigerator to keep our beer cold.  They brought
ice and bottled water to the room everyday as part of the daily room
servicing.  There is a grocery store one block to the south where you can
buy anything you want.

There was a moderate breeze all week from the ocean and I only saw one
mosquito the whole week at Ramon's.  The airport noise was never a factor.
You could only hear the planes when they feathered their props after
landing.

Eats:

Good: Caliente (2 times)
Great:  Elvi's (2 times), Cocina Caramba, Blue Water
Most Overrated:  Sweet Basil- We had lunch there.  $16 US for a hamburger
with an unripened California tomato and white iceberg lettuce?  Give me a
break.

Drinks:  Ramon's, Fido's, BC's and few others along the beach.  Just walk
around to find one.  We saw the Barefoot Iguana, but never made it there.
Fido's had live bands.  Some reggae, some 70-80's rock.

Travels:

1.)We rented an "nearly" new gas golfcart from Cars-R-Us next to Ramons.  We
drove to Journey's End and had a few beers.  It is a very rough golf cart
ride.  We forged our way across some areas where the water was a foot deep.
On the way back, we stopped at an "on the water" palapa bar whose name
escapes me.  Very beautiful views from there.  Drove to the south end as
well.  Better roads, but swamps and bugs all over the place.  Drove the heck
out of the golf cart, got it covered with mud, returned it and only used a
gallon of fuel.  About $62/day to rent.  Cash only secured with a credit
card.

2.)  Day trip to Caye Caulker.  Took the water taxi there.  $17.50 pp
roundtrip.  A small sleepy town.  I think we walked the town twice in 2
hours.  Spent most of the day at the Lazy Lizard drinking Belikin Beer.
BTW- when the taxi says they leave at 2:30 PM, they mean it.  Not a minute
later!  It was a fast boat with three 200 HP Yamaha motors on the back.
There are two new hotels there.  We looked at rooms in both.  Both were very
nice.  One has a small kitchen in it.

Diving:

I enjoy diving, but I'm probably as not into it as many of the persons on
this NG.  I usually dive 2-3 days, get bored and then find something else to
do.  (I do open wheel, grand prix style racing for fun, so you can imagine
what gets me going....)  I dove with Amigos Del Mar.

Blue Hole:

They picked me up at 5:30 AM, just as scheduled.  There was coffee, rolls
and fruit for breakfast at the pier.  Before and after all dives there was
water, fresh pineapple, coconut, bananas, etc.  It was a treat.

Excellent boat to the Blue Hole.  The water was rough and it was nice to
have two throbbing diesels driving us out there.  The boat was crowded with
24 divers and 3-4 DM's, but there was plenty of room to move around.

Two dive groups of 12.  Ugh, I haven't dove with more than 5 people in
years. Dive Depth 138'/30 minutes, water temp 82 at the top and 79 at depth.
  My computer went into deco and then cleared itself out before I hit 45'.
Judging by the beeps I heard, my guess is a lot of computers did. Several
boats were already there.  The water was a little murky or muddy and
visibility was about 50'.  In a few minutes we had a group of 3 and a second
group of 5 reef sharks circling around and passing by to see us.  It was
pretty cool.  Overall, it was  a long drive out for such a short dive.  But
I'm glad I did it.

Second dive was going to be Half Moon, but since there were several boats
there, so we went to Aquarium and I think it was called Spotted Ray Alley.
We split into 3 groups of 8.  Better than 12, but still crowded.  It was at
this point that I became a little disappointed with Amigos del Mar.  I've
been diving for 20 years and our DM, kept herding us like school children.
None of us were screwing up or having difficulties.  Meanwhile, some of us
were finding some nice eels and monstrous lobsters that he simply did not
see.  The DM would knock on his tank every 3-4 minutes to get us "bunched
up".  I was probably 15' from him and about 7' below him when he signaled
for me to come up to him.  I thought he had something to show me.  What I
think I got was an underwater reaming for being "too deep" as he appeared to
be yelling at me through his regulator. Did I mention that there were 8 of
us bumping into each other?  (My max depth was 75' and my computer was still
well in the safe area.)  I was furious.  Here's this guy yelling at me and
being completely un-intelligible underwater.  I was so angry I didn't even
bother asking him what his "issue" was when we surfaced (still with 1400
psi).  If he had wanted us to stay that close why didn't he simply tie a
rope to all of us?  I went up on the flying bridge and tried to calm myself.

Lunch on Half Moon Caye was excellent, but I was still miffed.  Several
others in our group were also a little concerned that he had us all bumping
into each other.  I walked to the rusted lighthouse to take some pictures.

Our last dive of the day was Half Moon.  We saw good number of rays and
skates.  I moved to the back of the group so I could do a little more
exploration and observation.   If I was going to get yelled at, he would
have to travel to say something!

On the way back, they provided us with beer and fruity***tail drinks.  I
soon forgot my disappointment with the cold Belikins.  One of the engines
had an oil pressure problem so we had to stop three times to let the engine
"recover".  We got back to the dock at 5:30 PM. I decided not to dive with
Amigos the next day.

Snorkeling:

My wife is not a diver, but she does like to snorkel.  We did Hol Chan Park
and Ray-Shark Alley with the Ramon's Village Boats.  I did not catch the
names of the two DM's on the boat, but they were excellent.  The guy would
point out a fish, say its name, talk about the markings and then say the
fish's name again.  It was like being in biology class.  It was a treat for
her and I learned the names of a few fish I didn't know before.

Ray-Shark Alley was true to its name and we saw a large number of rays and
nurse sharks.

We fell in love with Belize.  We will definitely be back.  Thanks to all of
those on this NG who provided us information and suggestions.

-Mark Lindsey


 
 
 

Belize Ambergris Caye Report (long)

Post by chill » Tue, 25 May 2004 13:37:26

I'm sorry to hear of your experience with Amigos.  I dive with them all the
time (buddyless) and they never try to herd me.  I dive whatever depth I
want and whatever distance from the group that I want.  That said, they do
know me and the level of my skill.

Perhaps if you'd had other dives with them besides that day only, you
wouldn't have had so much trouble with the herd mentality.  I do know that
they try to keep everyone fairly regulated on the Blue Hole dive for safety
reasons.

I'm glad you found the cache of the place though.  Isn't it wonderful?  :^)

By the way, when you were on Halfmoon Caye, did you take the walk up to the
***y bird sanctuary?



Quote:
> We just got back last night.  Our trip was phenomenal.  We've been to
> Cozumel 9 or 10 times and weren't quite sure what to expect.

> Here's our report:

> San Pedro:

> We flew into Belize City via USAIR.  Arrived 15 minutes early.  Our plane
to
> San Pedro was full, so we caught the next one.

> There is one road that is partially paved with concrete pavers.  It
> parallels the airport and Ramon's Village.  The rest of the roads are hard
> packed sand.  After the second day, I only wore sandals to dinner.  The
rest
> of the time I was barefoot.  My mode of travel was walking on the beach.

> We stayed at Ramon's Village.  They picked us up at Mayan Air about 1
minute
> after we called.

> The room was ready and everyone there made us feel welcome- including
Ramon.
> I was impressed by the way the entire hotel complex was raked every day.
I
> usually get up early so it was nice to be "the first" to walk on the newly
> raked sand everyday.  The beach was nice.  Breakfast on the veranda was
also
> very good.  Breakfast was so good I ate there every day except for two
days
> I had early dives.

> The only drawbacks I saw were no TV in the room (We didn't miss it after
the
> first day, though.) and no refrigerator to keep our beer cold.  They
brought
> ice and bottled water to the room everyday as part of the daily room
> servicing.  There is a grocery store one block to the south where you can
> buy anything you want.

> There was a moderate breeze all week from the ocean and I only saw one
> mosquito the whole week at Ramon's.  The airport noise was never a factor.
> You could only hear the planes when they feathered their props after
> landing.

> Eats:

> Good: Caliente (2 times)
> Great:  Elvi's (2 times), Cocina Caramba, Blue Water
> Most Overrated:  Sweet Basil- We had lunch there.  $16 US for a hamburger
> with an unripened California tomato and white iceberg lettuce?  Give me a
> break.

> Drinks:  Ramon's, Fido's, BC's and few others along the beach.  Just walk
> around to find one.  We saw the Barefoot Iguana, but never made it there.
> Fido's had live bands.  Some reggae, some 70-80's rock.

> Travels:

> 1.)We rented an "nearly" new gas golfcart from Cars-R-Us next to Ramons.
We
> drove to Journey's End and had a few beers.  It is a very rough golf cart
> ride.  We forged our way across some areas where the water was a foot
deep.
> On the way back, we stopped at an "on the water" palapa bar whose name
> escapes me.  Very beautiful views from there.  Drove to the south end as
> well.  Better roads, but swamps and bugs all over the place.  Drove the
heck
> out of the golf cart, got it covered with mud, returned it and only used a
> gallon of fuel.  About $62/day to rent.  Cash only secured with a credit
> card.

> 2.)  Day trip to Caye Caulker.  Took the water taxi there.  $17.50 pp
> roundtrip.  A small sleepy town.  I think we walked the town twice in 2
> hours.  Spent most of the day at the Lazy Lizard drinking Belikin Beer.
> BTW- when the taxi says they leave at 2:30 PM, they mean it.  Not a minute
> later!  It was a fast boat with three 200 HP Yamaha motors on the back.
> There are two new hotels there.  We looked at rooms in both.  Both were
very
> nice.  One has a small kitchen in it.

> Diving:

> I enjoy diving, but I'm probably as not into it as many of the persons on
> this NG.  I usually dive 2-3 days, get bored and then find something else
to
> do.  (I do open wheel, grand prix style racing for fun, so you can imagine
> what gets me going....)  I dove with Amigos Del Mar.

> Blue Hole:

> They picked me up at 5:30 AM, just as scheduled.  There was coffee, rolls
> and fruit for breakfast at the pier.  Before and after all dives there was
> water, fresh pineapple, coconut, bananas, etc.  It was a treat.

> Excellent boat to the Blue Hole.  The water was rough and it was nice to
> have two throbbing diesels driving us out there.  The boat was crowded
with
> 24 divers and 3-4 DM's, but there was plenty of room to move around.

> Two dive groups of 12.  Ugh, I haven't dove with more than 5 people in
> years. Dive Depth 138'/30 minutes, water temp 82 at the top and 79 at
depth.
>   My computer went into deco and then cleared itself out before I hit 45'.
> Judging by the beeps I heard, my guess is a lot of computers did. Several
> boats were already there.  The water was a little murky or muddy and
> visibility was about 50'.  In a few minutes we had a group of 3 and a
second
> group of 5 reef sharks circling around and passing by to see us.  It was
> pretty cool.  Overall, it was  a long drive out for such a short dive.
But
> I'm glad I did it.

> Second dive was going to be Half Moon, but since there were several boats
> there, so we went to Aquarium and I think it was called Spotted Ray Alley.
> We split into 3 groups of 8.  Better than 12, but still crowded.  It was
at
> this point that I became a little disappointed with Amigos del Mar.  I've
> been diving for 20 years and our DM, kept herding us like school children.
> None of us were screwing up or having difficulties.  Meanwhile, some of us
> were finding some nice eels and monstrous lobsters that he simply did not
> see.  The DM would knock on his tank every 3-4 minutes to get us "bunched
> up".  I was probably 15' from him and about 7' below him when he signaled
> for me to come up to him.  I thought he had something to show me.  What I
> think I got was an underwater reaming for being "too deep" as he appeared
to
> be yelling at me through his regulator. Did I mention that there were 8 of
> us bumping into each other?  (My max depth was 75' and my computer was
still
> well in the safe area.)  I was furious.  Here's this guy yelling at me and
> being completely un-intelligible underwater.  I was so angry I didn't even
> bother asking him what his "issue" was when we surfaced (still with 1400
> psi).  If he had wanted us to stay that close why didn't he simply tie a
> rope to all of us?  I went up on the flying bridge and tried to calm
myself.

> Lunch on Half Moon Caye was excellent, but I was still miffed.  Several
> others in our group were also a little concerned that he had us all
bumping
> into each other.  I walked to the rusted lighthouse to take some pictures.

> Our last dive of the day was Half Moon.  We saw good number of rays and
> skates.  I moved to the back of the group so I could do a little more
> exploration and observation.   If I was going to get yelled at, he would
> have to travel to say something!

> On the way back, they provided us with beer and fruity***tail drinks.  I
> soon forgot my disappointment with the cold Belikins.  One of the engines
> had an oil pressure problem so we had to stop three times to let the
engine
> "recover".  We got back to the dock at 5:30 PM. I decided not to dive with
> Amigos the next day.

> Snorkeling:

> My wife is not a diver, but she does like to snorkel.  We did Hol Chan
Park
> and Ray-Shark Alley with the Ramon's Village Boats.  I did not catch the
> names of the two DM's on the boat, but they were excellent.  The guy would
> point out a fish, say its name, talk about the markings and then say the
> fish's name again.  It was like being in biology class.  It was a treat
for
> her and I learned the names of a few fish I didn't know before.

> Ray-Shark Alley was true to its name and we saw a large number of rays and
> nurse sharks.

> We fell in love with Belize.  We will definitely be back.  Thanks to all
of
> those on this NG who provided us information and suggestions.

> -Mark Lindsey




 
 
 

Belize Ambergris Caye Report (long)

Post by Dillon Pyro » Tue, 25 May 2004 22:32:36

On Mon, 24 May 2004 03:10:32 GMT, "Mark Lindsey"

Quote:

>We just got back last night.  Our trip was phenomenal.  We've been to
>Cozumel 9 or 10 times and weren't quite sure what to expect.

<snip>

Quote:
>I enjoy diving, but I'm probably as not into it as many of the persons on
>this NG.  I usually dive 2-3 days, get bored and then find something else to
>do.  (I do open wheel, grand prix style racing for fun, so you can imagine
>what gets me going....)  I dove with Amigos Del Mar.

No shit?  What class?  SCCA?
--
dillon

When I was a kid, I thought the angel's name was Hark
and the horse's name was Bob.

 
 
 

Belize Ambergris Caye Report (long)

Post by Mark Lindse » Wed, 26 May 2004 06:22:45

SCCA, F-5, Southeastern Division.

And you?

(I always wondered about the "Morning Tabernacle Choir", did they sing in
the evenings also?)


Quote:
> On Mon, 24 May 2004 03:10:32 GMT, "Mark Lindsey"

> >We just got back last night.  Our trip was phenomenal.  We've been to
> >Cozumel 9 or 10 times and weren't quite sure what to expect.
> <snip>

> >I enjoy diving, but I'm probably as not into it as many of the persons on
> >this NG.  I usually dive 2-3 days, get bored and then find something else
to
> >do.  (I do open wheel, grand prix style racing for fun, so you can
imagine
> >what gets me going....)  I dove with Amigos Del Mar.

> No shit?  What class?  SCCA?
> --
> dillon

> When I was a kid, I thought the angel's name was Hark
> and the horse's name was Bob.

 
 
 

Belize Ambergris Caye Report (long)

Post by Dillon Pyro » Wed, 26 May 2004 10:30:57

On Mon, 24 May 2004 21:22:45 GMT, "Mark Lindsey"

Quote:

>SCCA, F-5, Southeastern Division.

Looking for a Novacar or a Red Devil.  Maybe a Mk 8 if the price is
right.  Gonna cross it for a while, then go RR.

SW Div, Lone Star Region.

Quote:

>And you?

>(I always wondered about the "Morning Tabernacle Choir", did they sing in
>the evenings also?)



>> On Mon, 24 May 2004 03:10:32 GMT, "Mark Lindsey"

>> >We just got back last night.  Our trip was phenomenal.  We've been to
>> >Cozumel 9 or 10 times and weren't quite sure what to expect.
>> <snip>

>> >I enjoy diving, but I'm probably as not into it as many of the persons on
>> >this NG.  I usually dive 2-3 days, get bored and then find something else
>to
>> >do.  (I do open wheel, grand prix style racing for fun, so you can
>imagine
>> >what gets me going....)  I dove with Amigos Del Mar.

>> No shit?  What class?  SCCA?
>> --
>> dillon

>> When I was a kid, I thought the angel's name was Hark
>> and the horse's name was Bob.

--
dillon

When I was a kid, I thought the angel's name was Hark
and the horse's name was Bob.

 
 
 

Belize Ambergris Caye Report (long)

Post by Dillon Pyro » Wed, 26 May 2004 10:31:23

On Mon, 24 May 2004 21:22:45 GMT, "Mark Lindsey"

Quote:

>SCCA, F-5, Southeastern Division.

Are you on the F500 list?

Quote:
>And you?

>(I always wondered about the "Morning Tabernacle Choir", did they sing in
>the evenings also?)



>> On Mon, 24 May 2004 03:10:32 GMT, "Mark Lindsey"

>> >We just got back last night.  Our trip was phenomenal.  We've been to
>> >Cozumel 9 or 10 times and weren't quite sure what to expect.
>> <snip>

>> >I enjoy diving, but I'm probably as not into it as many of the persons on
>> >this NG.  I usually dive 2-3 days, get bored and then find something else
>to
>> >do.  (I do open wheel, grand prix style racing for fun, so you can
>imagine
>> >what gets me going....)  I dove with Amigos Del Mar.

>> No shit?  What class?  SCCA?
>> --
>> dillon

>> When I was a kid, I thought the angel's name was Hark
>> and the horse's name was Bob.

--
dillon

When I was a kid, I thought the angel's name was Hark
and the horse's name was Bob.

 
 
 

Belize Ambergris Caye Report (long)

Post by Mark Lindse » Wed, 26 May 2004 20:35:38

Yes, I am.  It's a great source of information. F-5's are really fun to
drive and super fast.  We hit 138 on the back straight at VIR three weeks
ago. Racing in SC this weekend.

I race a KBS, Mk 5. #80.  My might also want to look at QRE's Invader.  He's
got a good program going.

For AC, the set up is completely different.

I tried sending this to you direct, but your e mail bounced back when I
removed INVALID

-Mark Lindsey


Quote:
> On Mon, 24 May 2004 21:22:45 GMT, "Mark Lindsey"

> >SCCA, F-5, Southeastern Division.

> Are you on the F500 list?

> >And you?

> >(I always wondered about the "Morning Tabernacle Choir", did they sing in
> >the evenings also?)



> >> On Mon, 24 May 2004 03:10:32 GMT, "Mark Lindsey"

> >> >We just got back last night.  Our trip was phenomenal.  We've been to
> >> >Cozumel 9 or 10 times and weren't quite sure what to expect.
> >> <snip>

> >> >I enjoy diving, but I'm probably as not into it as many of the persons
on
> >> >this NG.  I usually dive 2-3 days, get bored and then find something
else
> >to
> >> >do.  (I do open wheel, grand prix style racing for fun, so you can
> >imagine
> >> >what gets me going....)  I dove with Amigos Del Mar.

> >> No shit?  What class?  SCCA?
> >> --
> >> dillon

> >> When I was a kid, I thought the angel's name was Hark
> >> and the horse's name was Bob.

> --
> dillon

> When I was a kid, I thought the angel's name was Hark
> and the horse's name was Bob.

 
 
 

Belize Ambergris Caye Report (long)

Post by Dillon Pyro » Wed, 26 May 2004 23:49:01

On Tue, 25 May 2004 11:35:38 GMT, "Mark Lindsey"

Quote:

>Yes, I am.  It's a great source of information. F-5's are really fun to
>drive and super fast.  We hit 138 on the back straight at VIR three weeks
>ago. Racing in SC this weekend.

>I race a KBS, Mk 5. #80.  My might also want to look at QRE's Invader.  He's
>got a good program going.

Yeah, that would be my other choice, particularly if I wanted to race
off the bat.

Quote:

>For AC, the set up is completely different.

Very much.  Have to get a chassis rig (Sherline) when I do that.

Quote:

>I tried sending this to you direct, but your e mail bounced back when I
>removed INVALID

Hmm.  Try dmpyron at austin.rr.com . Not sure why it would bounce.
I'll try to ping you.

Quote:

>-Mark Lindsey



>> On Mon, 24 May 2004 21:22:45 GMT, "Mark Lindsey"

>> >SCCA, F-5, Southeastern Division.

>> Are you on the F500 list?

>> >And you?

>> >(I always wondered about the "Morning Tabernacle Choir", did they sing in
>> >the evenings also?)



>> >> On Mon, 24 May 2004 03:10:32 GMT, "Mark Lindsey"

>> >> >We just got back last night.  Our trip was phenomenal.  We've been to
>> >> >Cozumel 9 or 10 times and weren't quite sure what to expect.
>> >> <snip>

>> >> >I enjoy diving, but I'm probably as not into it as many of the persons
>on
>> >> >this NG.  I usually dive 2-3 days, get bored and then find something
>else
>> >to
>> >> >do.  (I do open wheel, grand prix style racing for fun, so you can
>> >imagine
>> >> >what gets me going....)  I dove with Amigos Del Mar.

>> >> No shit?  What class?  SCCA?
>> >> --
>> >> dillon

>> >> When I was a kid, I thought the angel's name was Hark
>> >> and the horse's name was Bob.

>> --
>> dillon

>> When I was a kid, I thought the angel's name was Hark
>> and the horse's name was Bob.

--
dillon

When I was a kid, I thought the angel's name was Hark
and the horse's name was Bob.