Diving Belize

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by StephCat on September 12, 2005

I usually research my dive trips through Undercurrent.org, a site/newsletter exclusively for divers, and we chose to Fred Good’s St George’s Lodge, in large part because of reviews by other divers regarding Fred.

Note that the Lodge was sold prior to our trip, and we weren’t notified, but Fred was still there as divemaster for the first part of our trip.

I told Fred I wanted to improve my diving, and I did with his advice.

Dave (husband) and I got Nitrox-certified while at the Lodge. Fred is a big believer in the added safety of Nitrox/ Enriched Air for diving and has been diving himself exclusively with Nitrox for years. We did all our dives on Nitrox and enjoyed increased bottom times (often up to an hour) and increased depth (I dove my deepest dive yet visiting an octopus Fred knew about) AND significantly less fatigue. Most days, we only dove twice a day, but with the increased bottom time, it was like diving 3 dives/day at other resorts/locations.

Jose, the other divemaster, was great as well. As knowledgeable as Fred on the dive sites in the area, he was very good at finding all the small critters as well as the larger animals. Jose tended to be a little more conservative as a diver than Fred.

The Lodge had only a few other guests while we were there, so we usually had the dive boat to ourselves (no being missed, a la that Open Water movie!). Dave and I usually buddied one each with Jose and Fred, since I can descend like a rock and Dave, who has ear issues, needs to descend more slowly. Fred had to leave midway through the week, so Kim’s brother, Chris, came with us on some of the later dives. The water visibility was generally good but not gin-clear–-more in the 50- to 60-foot range. The variety of fish, sponges, and other invertebrates was quite good. The sites we visited were in very good condition–-healthy coral and sponges. The most damaged site was one by Turneffe Cay–-makes sense, since that’s a more popular dive area.

One memorable day we saw a spotted eagle ray, multiple nurse sharks, an open water swimming moray (as opposed to tucked in his crevice), a turtle, and too many to name other creatures. The highlight had to be our barracuda encounter-–a large (4- to 5-foot, even with the water magnification) barracuda cruised between Chris and Dave, then circled to come head-on to me. I wouldn’t have had to reach to touch it by the time it stopped right in front of my face. At that point, I was wondering, as I ‘stood’ in the water column, as it approached closer and closer, do I RUN AWAY? I stayed in one place, it turned sideways and opened and closed its jaws, then cruised away. Wow. Talk about a rush.

Diving Belize
St George's Caye
Belize City, Belize


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