Daily Dives

2014 Belize Fellowship Dive Team

2014 Belize Fellowship Dive Team

16 June 2014 (dive#1)

Hol Chan Preserve, San Pedro, Belize (inside reef)

Dive Leader: Shorty

Time in: 9:30     Time out: 10:30

Visibility: good.    Water temp: 83°F.    Conditions: strong current

Depth: 20-30 ft

Started turtlegrass beds and made our way to south wall of reef. Crossed through channel to north wall and circled back to boat. Current very strong, had to work the whole way.

16 June 2014 (snorkel#1)

First approach by a nurse shark

First approach by a nurse shark

Shark & Ray Alley, San Pedro, Belize (inside reef)

Dive Leader: Shorty

Time in: 11:30.    Time out: 12:30

Visibility: good.    Water temp: 85°F     Conditions: moderate current

Depth: Snorkeling

Snorkeled around turtlegrass beds observing nurse sharks, southern stingrays, horse-eyed jacks and black groupers.

16 June 2014 (dive#2)

Tuffy Canyon, San Pedro, Belize (outside reef)

Dive Leader: Shorty

Time in: 14:00.    Time out: 14:45

Visibility: good.    Water temp: 85°F.     Conditions: very choppy

Depth: average 45ft (max 60 ft)     Safety stop: 3 min @ 15 ft

Just decompressing after a good dive.

Just decompressing after a good dive.

Worked on finding neutral buoyancy. Several divers got sick from the surge while at safety stop.

17 June 2014 (dive#3)

San Pedro Canyon, San Pedro, Belize (outside reef)

Dive Leader: Shorty & Greg

Time in: 9:30.     Time out: 10:30100_1550

Visibility: good.    Water temp: 83°F.   Conditions: calmer, sunny

Depth: 60 ft (max. 70 ft )       safety stop: 3min @ 20-15 ft

100_1566

We worked on our buoyancy, trying to use breathing to move up or down. Keep hands and arms to sides or crossed in front. Move and breath slowly making subtle adjustments, conserving air.

Dr. John Savage our leader

Dr. John Savage our fearless leader

27 June 2014 (dive#4)

Esmeralda, San Pedro, Belize (outside reef)

Dive Leader: Shorty & William

Time in: 11:30.    Time out: 12:32

Visibility: very good.    Water temp:  83°F.    Conditions: surge

Depth: average 60 ft.     Safety stop: 3 min @ 20-15 ft

We worked on getting close to reef without touching or bumping. Move in close with a lung full of air slowly releasing as you get closer. Manage distance and balance with small flipper movements.

18 June 2014 (dive#5)

Bottom Time, San Pedro, Belize (outside reef)

Dive Leader: Shorty & William

Time in: 9:10.    Time out: 10:05

Visibility: 40-50 ft.    Water temp: 83°F.    Conditions: drift

Depth: average 50 ft (max. 70)      Safety stop: 3 min. @ 15 ft

Continue with buoyancy skills, id indicator fish, look for inverts.

Now where did that mooring go?

Now where did that mooring go?

18 June 2014 (dive#6)

High School, San Pedro, Belize (outside reef)

Dive Leader: Shorty

Time in: 11:20.    Time out: 12:46

Visibility: 40 ft.      Water temp: 83° F.     Conditions: drift

Depth: average 50 ft.     Safety stop: 3-4 min.@ 20-15 ft

Originally planned to dive at Tacklebox “Shorty’s Crack” but could not find mooring. Moved north to High School. Practice close approach to reef, look for invertebrates. Practice looking in holes and under overhangs.

20 June 2014 (dive#7)

Tuffy Canyon, San Pedro, Belize (outside reef)

Dive Leader: William & Greg

Time in: 10:15.    Time out: 11:17

Visibility: 40 ft.    Water temp: 83°F.     Conditions: choppy, surge

Depth: 40-50 ft (max. 60 ft)     Safety stop: 5 min @ 20-15 ft

Each student demonstrated close approach skills at submerged cement block. After checkout, we practiced close approach, finding inverts and identifications. Unfortunately we saw few critters this dive.

20 June 2014 (dive#8)

Esmeralda South, San Pedro, Belize (outside reef)

Dive Leader: William & Greg

Time in: 12:15.    Time out: 13:21

Visibility: 40 ft.    Water temp: 83°F.    Conditions: strong surge

Depth: average 30 ft (max. 40 ft)

Looking for invertebrates and indicator fish. Practicing skills.

21 June 2014 (dive#9)

Blue Hole, Lighthouse Caye, Belize (many miles out in Caribbean)

Dive Leader: Shorty & William

Time in: 9:45.    Time out: 10:45

Visibility: 20 ft.    Water temp: top 85°F, bottom 80° F (warmer than usual)

Conditions: good.    Depth: 25 ft sand bank, 65 ft ledge, 130 ft overhang

Safety stop: 3 min. @ 65 ft, 5 min. @ 25 ft (horizontal ascent)

Left the dock at 5:46 am arrived  at Blue Hole at 9:45 am. Blue Hole measures 1000 ft diameter and 480 ft deep (estimated). Dropped in, descended to 25 ft, gathered, dropped to ledge at 65 ft, rounded ledge, ascended along wall to depth of 110-130 ft. Swam under overhang, between stalactites try not to drop below 130 ft for <8 min. Ascended at angle to 80 ft, then 65 ft safety stop and 25 ft second safety stop. Quite an experience!

21 June 2014 (dive#10)

South Wall, Halfmoon Caye, Belize (well into Caribbean, between BH and SO)

Dive Leader: Shorty100_0540

Time in: 11:39.    Time out: 12:30

Visibility: 30-40 ft.    Water temp: 83°F.    Conditions: strong current, drift

Depth: average 30 ft (max. 45 ft)     Safety stop: 20-15 ft angled ascent over 5 min.

Recreational dive. Enjoy.

Elkhorn coral

Elkhorn coral

21 June 2014 (dive#11)

Painted Wall & Aquarium, Long Caye, Belize (closer to SP)

Dive Leader:  Shorty

Time in: 14:50.     Time out: 15:45

Visibility: 20 ft, poor      Water temp: 83°F.    Conditions: drift

Depth: 50-55 ft (along wall)    Safety stop: 3-4 min. @ 20-15 ft, gradual

Moved along wall, gradually towards Aquarium. Observing fish and invertebrates. Conditions have deteriorated noticeably since 2012.

Let's do this thing!

Let’s do this thing!

23 June 2014 (dive#12)

Buena Vista, San Pedro, Belize (outside reef) [ReefCheck site]

Dive Leader: Shorty

Time in: John, Shorty & Jeff; 9:00, John, Alyssa, Zena & Steve; 10:00, Alex & Jeff, Riley & Paul, Renee & Jimmy, Alyssa & Patev, John & Shorty; 12:30

Time out: 14:10

Visibility: 30 ft.    Water temp: 83°F.     Conditions: choppy, strong surge, deteriorating

Depth : 25 ft (max. 30 ft)      Safety stop: 3 min @ 15 ft (recommended)

Reefcheck site one, day one.

Delay due to weather. John, Shorty and Jeff laid out the transect tape and marked the site with floats and GPS. Returned to dock.

John, Alyssa, Zena and Steve went out to count and video indicator fish species. Returned to dock.

Patev, Alex, Jeff, Jimmy, and Renee went in to count invertebrates and gorgonians. Paul shot video. Riley filmed the entire transect and came back to shoot diseases. Alyssa and Patev assessed diseases and damage. John and Shorty documented substrate and rolled up the transect tape. All data were compiled and recorded. Job complete.

24 June 2014 (dive#13)

Coral Gardens, San Pedro, Belize (inside reef south of Hol Chan reserve)

Dive Leader: Shorty

Time in: 15:20.    Time out: 17:00

Visibility: 20-30 ft.     Water temp: 83°F.     Conditions: seas low, current, surge

Depth: 10-20 ft.    Safety stop: not required

ReefCheck: site two, day two

Transect: John, Shorty and Jeff were not able to lay out the transect tape due to rough seas at 8:00. At 11:00 they were able to go out and place the transect.

Everyone went out at 12:30, seas calmer,window of opportunity small.

Fish group: John: cop, Zena & Alex: fish, Paul: video. In at 14:10, out by 15:00

Invertebrates group: Patev: cop, Renee & Jeff: inverts, Jimmy & Alex: gorgonians, Steve: video, Alyssa & Patev: disease and damage. In at 15:10, out by 17:00.

Substrate group: John & Shorty: substrate classification, Riley: transect swimover video

Job complete.

25 June 2014 (dive#14)

Hol Chan Nature Reserve, San Pedro, Belize (inside reef)

Dive Leader: Shorty & William

Time in: 14:20.    Time out: 16:12

Visibility: 30 ft.    Water temp: 83°F.   Conditions: current, calm

Depth: 15-30 ft     safety stop: gradual ascent

Current flowing out: swim out to south wall with current, search reef face for variety of marine life. Cross over channel, work back over north wall. Great diversity of life, current very manageable. Dive for pleasure.

Nurse sharks and southern sting rays

Nurse sharks and southern stingrays

25 June 2014 (snorkel#2)

Shark & Ray Alley, Hol Chan Nature Reserve, San Pedro, Belize (inside reef)

Dive Leader: Shorty & William

Time in: 16:21.    Time out: 17:00

Visibility: 20-30 ft    Water temp: 83°F.    Conditions: mild current

Depth: snorkelling

Southern Stingray

Southern Stingray

Tooling around turtlegrass beds, observing horse-eyed jacks, black grouper, southern stingrays (one very large), few nurse sharks. Some boats were feeding sharks… Observed male and female nurse sharks in mating ritual. Male holding female pectoral fin, holding her down until submission. She broke free and male pursued, copulation did not occur, chance sighting.

Heading out to Hol Chan as the sun begins to set. We have "patiently" waited for more than a week to see the reef at night!

Heading out to Hol Chan as the sun begins to set. We have “patiently” waited for more than a week to see the reef at night!

25 June 2014 (dive#15, night dive)

Hol Chan Nature Reserve, San Pedro, Belize (inside reef)

Dive Leader: Shorty & William

Time in: 19:00.    Time out: 20:22

Visibility: night dive; 10-15 ft.    Water temp: 83°F.   Conditions: slack water, little current, optimal conditions

Depth: 10-30 ft    Safety stop: gradual ascent

Turtlegrass to south wall, cross channel to north wall, back across turtlegrass to boat.

Proliferation of life, cryptic animals all out actively feeding. Fantastic!

Last dive of our trip.

Objectives met, job well done!

Objectives met, job well done!