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Action Divers & Adventures - Ambergris Caye (My Review/Endorsement)

Discussion in 'Belize' started by Jim-SAR, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. Jim-SAR

    Jim-SAR Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Kenosha, WI
    Not that "MY" endorsement actually carries any weight, but from one diver to another, I have no reservations in recommending Action Divers & Adventures for your diving needs around Ambergris Caye in Belize. :cool2:

    Disclaimer: I'm NOT being paid/compensated for my review.

    I spent the last week (6/13-6/21) staying on Ambergris Caye, and had some excellent diving with Roberto (Owner/Instructor/DM) and Blinky (Instructor/DM). Our situation was a little different than the usual group of adult vacation divers. We had three families totaling 9 divers and 2 snorkelers. Of the 9 divers, 4 of them were my Nieces/Nephews that were newly certified OWD/JOWD ranging in age from 12 to 15. Their only experience prior to Belize was Haigh Quarry in Illinois, USA, where the water was 45-50 degrees with 20 feet of viz, so this was a whole new world for them.

    Roberto and I had been emailing last September, and then again before the trip, discussing our plans for the new divers. Roberto assured me that the kids would be taken care of, and he would make sure they were ready before we did any more challenging dives. I would be lying if I said i wasn't a little hesitant about Action Divers, since they weren't one of the recommended ones when I posted earlier, but no-one had anything bad to say about them either. Once we met Roberto and Blinky, and I saw how they conducted themselves with us and the kids, all of my apprehension was gone. Roberto made sure that the first couple of dive sites were shallow reefs with minimal current/surge so the kids could get comfortable. It was great to see their faces and hear them talk about all the stuff they saw, and how nice it was to NOT wear a 7mm suit/hood/gloves.

    As our days went on, we got to experience quite a few different sites, all with varrying degrees of difficulty and depths. Since I'm a DM Candidate, and the kids' Uncle, I spent some one/one time with the kids over the sandy areas helping them with weighting and buoyancy control. One of my Nieces still has some work to do, but she'll get there - LOL! Our last day of diving was supposed to be a "bucket list" trip to the Blue Hole, but due to some strong winds during the week, the seas beyond the reef by Caye Caulker were 8'-10' breakers, and we made the call to turn back. The possible benefits of the Blue Hole trip just didn't outweigh the risks for my family. However, since we started at 0600, this gave us an early start on the day and we made good use of it going to some nice dive sites (Mexico Rocks and Mexico Canyons). Mexico Canyons was our final dive of the trip, and it was full of nurse sharks (active), grouper, a moray eel, and your other usuals. The nurse sharks were swimming right next to the kids, letting them touch them as they went by, and this was a highlight for them. This was also their first time descending into the "canyons" and swimming between the tall coral heads with a sandy bottom at 110', although we limited their depth to around 80'.

    One thing I would like to point out, is how Roberto planned the Blue Hole trip. I have read about other operators that take newly certified divers down to the stalagtites, and I've read the horror stories about poor air management, and people getting into a deco obligation without actually realizing it. Well, Roberto had a plan to ensure that NONE of those things happened. Roberto/Blinky had been evaluating the kids (and us) on the earlier dives, and we had sat down to talk about the Blue Hole. Roberto stated that, although the kids were doing well, he would rather have the kids stay up on reef area and not descend over the wall's edge and we agreed that it was the safest plan. To accomodate this, Roberto brought an extra Divemaster on the trip to stay with the kids while he and Blinky went with us to the depths. Roberto had a truly caring attitude about the kids, and I couldn't have asked for better service for them. Oh yea, the lunch that we were supposed to have on the trip? We ended up going back to the rental house (Blue Dolphin) and enjoying it poolside. Overall, our trip was excellent, and if/when we go back to Ambergris Caye, I'll be glad to use them again.
    Thanks Roberto, Blinky, and Shelby :cheers:

    Action Divers & Adventures
    Roberto Castillo
    Doc likes this.
  2. Downing

    Downing Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Portland, Oregon
    Thanks for the report.

    Any top-side photos?
  3. Jim-SAR

    Jim-SAR Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Kenosha, WI
    I've got some top-side photos, and some u/w photos/videos, but I haven't gone through and viewed/edited them yet. Hopefully by this weekend. Here's a few pictures taken with my iPhone-5S to tide you over.

    1. From the rooftop deck of The Blue Dolphin - What a view!
    2. The last sunrise of our trip viewed from the pool deck.
    3. A full moon shot. I walked outside, and saw the reflection of the moon across the ocean and the pool, framed by the trees/handrail light, and I just had to take it.

    Attached Files:

  4. GHDave

    GHDave Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Colorado
    Sounds like a great trip! Any further comments or recommendations on lodging if one were to dive with Action? It appears you rented The Blue Dolphin, which sounds great but would be a bit big for just my wife and me! We'll be in Belize and looking for someplace to stay and some things to do Feb 14-21, and we've not been to Ambergris. (We'll be on the Aggressor the preceding week so will have gotten lots of dives in already.)

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