Some of us are back from Belize, so I guess I can start the trip report here. I tried to upload some pics to the gallery, but the Belize forum was locked?
Anyway, those of us on the early flight did indeed make it to San Pedro in time to dive. The site was on a nice reef, lots of coral, and some decent fish life. The reef structure was similar to most of what I saw in Belize, the "spur and groove" formations, which are pretty much mini canyons cut into the reef by whatever forces determine coral placement. I was happy to see permanent moorings, which seems to thankfully be standard in dive resort locations now.
There was a lot of life on the reefs, and enough decent sized fish to suggest the fishing is being done elsewhere. I did see several nurse sharks with gear still in the process of rusting out. I am not sure if these were lucky sharks or if the locals cut them loose.
The coral was everywhere, but to me the was an underwhelming amount of color. I have seen reefs where the color was just vibrant, and this reef was not like that. However, there were corals everywhere, as opposed to what I saw in Cozumel, which had much less coral.
Peter, the owner of the dive op, was in transition to say the least, so we were using a third party to dive with. The DM's were nice, friendly, and seemed up on the local reef. However the boats were a bit cramped, we were all in and out at once (up to like 18 of us at one point I think).
The dm's also didn't ask, they just set up your gear. I prefer to do that myself, but rather than push it, I just double checked everything they did. And you had too, as more than once a "fresh" tank had only about 2400 pounds, or the o ring was worn out and leaking and they left the air on, and we had an hour to wait to get back in.
I left the reef and swam high on a few dives, because my computer was showing my NDL was running low. Although nitrox was offered, it was not delivered. Those of us who ordered nitrox for the whole week got 1 tank.
All in all the diving was doable, although concessions were made and dealt with. I am sure the problems with nitrox and crowding were because the trip was last minute and everyone was scrambling.
The reef was healthy, but I like a bit more color. San Pedro has the potential to be a really quaint town, but the some of the locals are really pushy trying to sell you things, or at one point flat out asking for money.
The food was really tasty, and filling, everynight, but also not cheap. My average bill was 30-40 bucks for dinner, more than I like to pay.
I liked the trip, I had a great time, if you are thinking about diving in Belize you should go, as my tastes might be different than yours. But this is not a place I would consider repeating personally.
As for the "Focus Group", after an hour or two of us tossing around ideas the resort folks launched into a rather aggressive sales pitch to buy into their "membership"...think time share. I was not at all surprised, but I was more than a little disappointed. All in all I paid well over 1000$ for what amounts to a long weekend in Belize, I felt like they did not pay enough to demand my captive attention. I get time share offers in the mail that pay for you entire bill, air, hotel, meals, you want to pitch me a vacation property, pay the status quo. I know several of my fellow SDer's had similar feelings.
That all having been said I still had a great time, and am glad I went to Belize, and I now look forward to more locations to visit, with SD, adn I met some great divers and I think a trip from the NE contingent to Florida is in the works for this summer...
Now, back to my regularly scheduled boring work a day lifestyle...
Edited by WreckWench, 18 December 2007 - 03:36 PM.