BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

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TheTimeLord
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BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:55 pm

Looking for live aboard recommendations for either Central America or the Caribbean for August. Right now I am looking at Cuan Law (British V.I.) and Roatan Aggressor (Roatan) as possibilities.
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The Wizard
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by The Wizard » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:44 pm

Although I've done over 500 dives in the last 20+ years, I've not done a liveaboard yet.

But we did encounter the Belize Aggressor moored at the Great Blue Hole a month ago during a weeklong dive trip to Ambergris Caye.
For us, it was a 90 minute boat ride each way out to Lighthouse Atoll and the GBH.
Once at the Atoll, the diving was good with much lower wave action than on the barrier reef where we dove the other days.
So being aboard that Aggressor lets those folks do a lot of calm-water diving without long daily boat rides.
I'd recommend considering this ship, depending on recent reviews from divers who sailed on it.

We encountered that Aggressor again on our last morning back in Belize City before our ferry docked and we taxied to the airport...
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by drawpoker » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:49 pm

Oooops, got it now :oops:

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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by The Wizard » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:52 pm

drawpoker wrote:Oooops, got it now :oops:
Take a look at this link to clarify the concept.
https://www.aggressor.com/belize.php
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by IFRider » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:53 pm

I did Turks and Caicos on the Agressor:

http://www.aggressor.com/turkscaicos.php

The diving was just ok: Not much reef, but the boat and crew were awesome.
I wanted to do their Palau trip but stopped diving before I could get there.

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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by 2comma » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:01 pm

We've done most of our diving in Cozumel but we do bareboat charter sailboats in the BVI and have done some diving there. I've actually seen the Cuan Law in anchorages. The diving in the BVI was ok but they get this blum (coral reproduction) certain times of the year, I think sometime in the summer, and it really cuts down on visibility. Other divers we've talked to seem to really like Roatan.
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by JDCarpenter » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:03 pm

http://www.undercurrent.org is good place to start (can't remember if Timelord is subscriber or not, but a lot of the content is non-paywalled....)

We haven't been on either of those--and have generally gotten to the point of not thinking caribbean liveaboards are worth it compared to just staying on Little Cayman (basically an immobile liveaboard)...
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:52 pm

JDCarpenter wrote:http://www.undercurrent.org is good place to start (can't remember if Timelord is subscriber or not, but a lot of the content is non-paywalled....)

We haven't been on either of those--and have generally gotten to the point of not thinking caribbean liveaboards are worth it compared to just staying on Little Cayman (basically an immobile liveaboard)...
I am missing something. Can't imagine land based diving comparing with a liveaboard, at least for the diving.
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by IFRider » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:07 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
JDCarpenter wrote:http://www.undercurrent.org is good place to start (can't remember if Timelord is subscriber or not, but a lot of the content is non-paywalled....)

We haven't been on either of those--and have generally gotten to the point of not thinking caribbean liveaboards are worth it compared to just staying on Little Cayman (basically an immobile liveaboard)...
I am missing something. Can't imagine land based diving comparing with a liveaboard, at least for the diving.
I think he's comparing the amenities on Little Cayman to a smallish yacht. Although, I would have guessed Cayman Brac falls way behind a yacht for comfort and pampering.

Also, don't discount shore diving. Some of the most beautiful reefs I've ever seen were behind a seawall across the street from a barracks at Ft. Davis Panama. Just snorkeling them was breathtaking (if you're into reefs). I've had similar experiences shore diving in Cozumel.
Last edited by IFRider on Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by JDCarpenter » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:10 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:...

I am missing something. Can't imagine land based diving comparing with a liveaboard, at least for the diving.
Little Cayman is the exception because the wall is so close to the resorts. We did 5 or 6 cayman liveaboard trips in the 90s and early oughts; the best diving is off little cayman. Given the distance from resorts, the land-based resorts do just/nearly as well in covering those dives.

Granted, you won't get your 5 dives a day in, which can be irritating--but the cost differential makes up for it.
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by JDCarpenter » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:12 pm

IFRider wrote:...
I think he's comparing the amenities on Little Cayman to a smallish yacht. Although, I would have guessed Cayman Brac falls way behind a yacht for comfort and pampering.

Also, don't discount shore diving. Some of the most beautiful reefs I've ever seen were behind a seawall across the street from a barracks at Ft. Davis Panama. Just snorkeling them was breathtaking (if you're into reefs).
Not the amenities. The diving. The amenities on LC vary quite a bit between the resorts. (Of course, amenities on liveaboards vary as well; we can't be the only divers who remember the Little Cayman Diver--which did not rival the aggressor/wave_dancer fleets in amenities!)
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by IFRider » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:14 pm

JDCarpenter wrote:
IFRider wrote:...
I think he's comparing the amenities on Little Cayman to a smallish yacht. Although, I would have guessed Cayman Brac falls way behind a yacht for comfort and pampering.

Also, don't discount shore diving. Some of the most beautiful reefs I've ever seen were behind a seawall across the street from a barracks at Ft. Davis Panama. Just snorkeling them was breathtaking (if you're into reefs).
Not the amenities. The diving. The amenities on LC vary quite a bit between the resorts. (Of course, amenities on liveaboards vary as well; we can't be the only divers who remember the Little Cayman Diver--which did not rival the aggressor/wave_dancer fleets in amenities!)
Yeah, my apologies. I got that after I reading your response to the OP.

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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:14 pm

JDCarpenter wrote:
TheTimeLord wrote:...

I am missing something. Can't imagine land based diving comparing with a liveaboard, at least for the diving.
Little Cayman is the exception because the wall is so close to the resorts. We did 5 or 6 cayman liveaboard trips in the 90s and early oughts; the best diving is off little cayman. Given the distance from resorts, the land-based resorts do just/nearly as well in covering those dives.

Granted, you won't get your 5 dives a day in, which can be irritating--but the cost differential makes up for it.
Never been to Little Cayman so I can't speak to it. Lost interest in Cayman years ago after diving Grand Cayman a couple times. I can say I have never had a bad trip on a liveaboard.
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by JDCarpenter » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:40 am

TheTimeLord wrote:...

Never been to Little Cayman so I can't speak to it. Lost interest in Cayman years ago after diving Grand Cayman a couple times. I can say I have never had a bad trip on a liveaboard.
They are rare, luckily (well, maybe excluding the Red Sea!). But they do happen. The recent debacles with the Sri Lanka Aggressor are illuminating (don't ever go on a new liveaboard...). We had bad experience our last Little Cayman Diver trip (old boat though by that time--but the limited electricity and water got frustrating while we kept waiting for the repairs to be finished, which never were); the suspect conditions of the Antares Dancer were barely saved by the high quality Caribbean diving. (Made mistake of going into the kitchen/dining area one night....)

Overall, however, our experience is the same as yours.

Enjoy your trip!
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by TheTimeLord » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:53 pm

JDCarpenter wrote:
TheTimeLord wrote:...

Never been to Little Cayman so I can't speak to it. Lost interest in Cayman years ago after diving Grand Cayman a couple times. I can say I have never had a bad trip on a liveaboard.
They are rare, luckily (well, maybe excluding the Red Sea!). But they do happen. The recent debacles with the Sri Lanka Aggressor are illuminating (don't ever go on a new liveaboard...). We had bad experience our last Little Cayman Diver trip (old boat though by that time--but the limited electricity and water got frustrating while we kept waiting for the repairs to be finished, which never were); the suspect conditions of the Antares Dancer were barely saved by the high quality Caribbean diving. (Made mistake of going into the kitchen/dining area one night....)

Overall, however, our experience is the same as yours.

Enjoy your trip!
Have you ever been to the Cocos Islands? Really interested in doing that trip in the next few years.
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by JDCarpenter » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:32 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
JDCarpenter wrote:
TheTimeLord wrote:...

Never been to Little Cayman so I can't speak to it. Lost interest in Cayman years ago after diving Grand Cayman a couple times. I can say I have never had a bad trip on a liveaboard.
They are rare, luckily (well, maybe excluding the Red Sea!). But they do happen. The recent debacles with the Sri Lanka Aggressor are illuminating (don't ever go on a new liveaboard...). We had bad experience our last Little Cayman Diver trip (old boat though by that time--but the limited electricity and water got frustrating while we kept waiting for the repairs to be finished, which never were); the suspect conditions of the Antares Dancer were barely saved by the high quality Caribbean diving. (Made mistake of going into the kitchen/dining area one night....)

Overall, however, our experience is the same as yours.

Enjoy your trip!
Have you ever been to the Cocos Islands? Really interested in doing that trip in the next few years.
Not yet--just a bit too much time commitment to mesh well with work. Heck of a crossing, but everything indicates it is well worth it! Cocos and Galapagos (Wolf/Darwin esp.) are on our list for early years of retirement to ensure we are still in good physical condition. Maybe late 2018 or early 2019 after our time in South Pacific....
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by queso » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:03 pm

Subscribed. I've been going back and forth about hitting Chuuk for years, but never pulled the trigger. Most of my liveaboard experience is overnight boat rides on the East coast because the wrecks are too far offshore to make it in one day. :)

https://www.trukodyssey.com/

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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by TheTimeLord » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:06 pm

queso wrote:Subscribed. I've been going back and forth about hitting Chuuk for years, but never pulled the trigger. Most of my liveaboard experience is overnight boat rides on the East coast because the wrecks are too far offshore to make it in one day. :)

https://www.trukodyssey.com/
Palau, Chuuk and Yap are all of great interest to me. I did the Palau Aggressor years ago and I would like to repeat that trip.
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by The Wizard » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:14 pm

IFRider wrote: ... I've had similar experiences shore diving in Cozumel.
Best places for shore diving are Bonaire and to a lesser degree Curacao. I've been to both several times.
Cayman Brac is apparently good for shore diving but I've not been there.

But Cozumel? The sites there are mostly way offshore. Where exactly did you shore dive?
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by The Wizard » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:51 pm

It's pretty clear that where liveaboards WIN is in situations where a grouping of dive sites is remote from decent landbased facilities.
This thread has rekindled my interest in this and I will now need to find a suitable ship...
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by JDCarpenter » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:18 pm

The Wizard wrote:It's pretty clear that where liveaboards WIN is in situations where a grouping of dive sites is remote from decent landbased facilities.
This thread has rekindled my interest in this and I will now need to find a suitable ship...
Nai'a, Fiji. :happy

The Tuamotu atolls on the Tahiti Aggressor was a noteworthy trip for shark lovers. The boat is no longer there though and I know nothing about the company that is running a liveaboard up there now.
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by TheTimeLord » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:29 pm

The Wizard wrote:It's pretty clear that where liveaboards WIN is in situations where a grouping of dive sites is remote from decent landbased facilities.
This thread has rekindled my interest in this and I will now need to find a suitable ship...
When I have been on liveaboard the vast majority of their dives are well beyond the range of day boats so less trafficked, better conditioned dive sites. Plus you can dive 4 or 5 times a day and the travel between sites is much more enjoyable than a day boat. Just don't lock out your computer or take a drink because your day is over. Night dives are often lightly attended.
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by WhyNotUs » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:46 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
I am missing something. Can't imagine land based diving comparing with a liveaboard, at least for the diving.
For instance, we stayed at Banarama in Roatan and did about a dozen dives. All but two required boat rides of less than 15 mins. In return we had a lovely casita and an island to explore. The wall dives required a longer boat ride.

I like liveaboard for dives in remote locations- ex. Coral Sea but we also did one in the Bahamas because it allowed access to many Cays.

I think diving is better in Roatan than BVI but I would not need to be on a liveaboard. It was excellent when we were there.

P.S. this liveaboard is on my someday list http://thearenui.com/
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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by IFRider » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:23 pm

The Wizard wrote:
IFRider wrote: ... I've had similar experiences shore diving in Cozumel.
Best places for shore diving are Bonaire and to a lesser degree Curacao. I've been to both several times.
Cayman Brac is apparently good for shore diving but I've not been there.

But Cozumel? The sites there are mostly way offshore. Where exactly did you shore dive?
The last time I was there was in 1993. The dive shop and hotel were next to each other. My wife was newly certified and as I recall the trip included a number of free shore dives. We did a few "practice" dives to help her get accustomed to the ocean -- all her training dives were done in New Mexico.

I just remember being blown away by the marine life right next to the hotel. You're right, I recall A LOT of long boat rides to the sites there, but I remember having just as much fun right in front of the hotel at 15 - 20 feet.

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Re: BH Divers: Liveaboard recommendations

Post by JDCarpenter » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:12 am

WhyNotUs wrote:...

P.S. this liveaboard is on my someday list http://thearenui.com/
That's a beautiful ship. We know some people who've dove off a similar platform and raved about it (and the diving). That area is among the options that we are exploring to fill about 10 week hole in our travel schedule next year. Doing liveaboard on both sides of that time though, so not sure...
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