One of the joys of living on Ambergris Caye is the incredible close proximity of some great dive sites. Most of the dive shops on the island will come and pick you up from the closest pier to wherever you are staying and bring you to the dive shop and at the end of the dives drop you right back off at your closet pier. As island living goes it is as close to door to door service that you will ever encounter.
Karen and I ended up choosing Belize Pro Dive Center http://belizeprodivecenter.com on a whim. They had an office close to our first place that we stayed on the island. When we walked in to check them out we found the staff to be exceptionally friendly and helpful. Once we checked them out on Trip Advisor ( http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g291962-d3706357-r171739837-Belize_Pro_Dive_Center-San_Pedro_Ambergris_Caye_Belize_Cayes.html ) it was a no brainer. I took my Rescue Diver Course with them under the excellent tutelage of Ian. And Karen and I have done several trips with them over the last couple of months.
Last night Karen and I started taking our Night Diving Specialty Course. It was incredible. There were just four divers plus Ian as the dive master. Even with having a catastrophic engine failure on the way to Hol Chan Marine Reserve we were still ready to go well before the sun set. The engine problem is something that happens to everyone eventually, it is how they deal with it that makes the difference. Ian calmly got on his cell phone and had another boat one the way in minutes (another advantage of diving here is most dive sites are within 10 minutes of the shop). He chatted comfortably with us until the other boat arrived. Everything was transferred over and we were on our way in 20 minutes.
At the marine reserve we were pleasantly surprised to find there was only one other boat there and the water was nice a calm. We had an excellent briefing by Ian on what to expect and the plans for the dive. We were slipping into our gear as the sun slipped below the horizon. Absolutely beautiful.
I have had a couple of people ask what equipment I use for camera work while diving. Honestly I am cheap. And I have found the best bet for quality and cost has been going with Go Pro cameras. My accessories I purchased were all from an online company called Backscatter.com. Great service and I have found excellent quality gear.I use both a Go Pro Hero 2 and Hero 3 while diving. Most of my video is shot with the Hero 3 and I have had the best success with it. I use the Hero 2 mainly for stills but it is challenging to get clear shots unless the lighting conditions are perfect. I don’t use any extra lights other than my flashlight when doing night dives. I am waiting on delivery of an extra light from B&H Superstore, will report on it once I have had a chance to use it a bit.
I have enjoyed using the head mounted unit. However it is challenging to remember to move your head slowly all the time. I am experimenting with video with the handheld unit as well.
Diving is a wonderful adventure and learning to share it with friends and family through photography is a very satisfying and challenging hobby.
Life is good.