Belize pt 2

Well, after the winter of not diving, the temperature dropping, sunlight disappearing and days needing some pick me ups, I decided to play hookie from work for a few weeks and head down to Belize to go diving with SPLASH out of Placencia.

I did my DS and OW with them back in the summer, the staff were great, the owners Ralph and Patty are awesome, always with a smile and an answer to anything and everything about diving, operations, and their community. When I left last time, they gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse with my AOW.

Flying in this year was less stressful, heading through DFW both ways (unlike the marathon East Coast flights of last time flying back), and considerably cheaper. I took a puddle jumper directly from Belize City down to Placencia, rather than staying over night and taking a handful of busses down.

The only issue with travelling this time, was accommodations. I found a cheaper place to stay, on the beach, but because it is a slightly busy time for tourists, I moved from room to room quite a bit. Also it turned out that it was one of the captains aunts place, and they are a lively bunch when the family get together.

Well, the first day for diving was cancelled due to some storms happening out over the reef. Patty was gung ho about getting AOW over with so we can have some fun diving, but I wanted just a day to get back into the groove as I haven’t been under in about 4 months.

We headed out for Silk Caye, a 50 minute boat ride out ESE of Placencia. I think I did fairly well on the first dive, aside from being over weighted. I did have a slight bit of panic as we were about to go over the wall. After signalling OK to everyone, my reg and mask flooded. Being a few months out of the water, I panicked for a few breaths, trying not to breath in water, until I realized to calm down, take a slow deep breath in, and blow the water out (I also could have hit the purge button), and I can deal with a flooded mask.

After that, not an issue to be had!
Placencia Belize, Silk Caye, North Wall, SPLASH
Date: February 5, 2013
Bottom Time: 49 minutes
Max Depth: 86 ft
Water Temp: 28C
Vis: Caribbean …. lots!
Notes: Lots of lobsters, nurse shark, lion fish, small rays, GoPro video. 3000/500PSI 16lbs
Running Time: 17:30

Placencia Belize, Silk Caye, Nurse Shark Alley, SPLASH
Date: February 5, 2013
Bottom Time: 47 minutes
Max Depth: 77 ft
Water Temp: 28C
Vis: Caribbean …. lots!
Notes: Lots of lion fish, big lobsters. 3100/500 14lbs GoPro vid
Running Time: 18:17

I dropped some weight for the second dive, which was better, but still heavy. Also, I didn’t realize this at the time, but one of the nurse sharks was moving slowly between the corals, pestering a lion fish, I just thought he was looking for a a place to have a nap for a bit.

The GoPro seemed to shut off after about 15-25 minutes of dive time … tried changing chargers and batteries (I brought a few down … 2 cameras and extra batteries. One of the cameras didn’t want to work at all down there.

I did get some nice footage during the SI at Silk. There are a bunch of Smooth Trunk Fish that hang out around the shore (as well as small trumpet fish), as well as a few small sharks. While everyone was staying dry on the beach, I went out and sat with the GoPro with the sharks cruising around the boats, as parts of lunch were dropped overboard. A LCD would have been great to actually see what was being filmed. I missed most of the eating, but they were still zooming away in the film.

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