Dive #169 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
© Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

PREVIOUS 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 HOME INDEX Next

Bottom Time to Date:


Dive Info:

Dive Start:

Bottom Time:
53 minutes

Maximum Depth:
82 feet

Safety Stop:
3 minutes

Beginning Air:
3000 psi

Ending Air:
700 psi

Weather Conditions:
Clear 80°F

Surface Conditions:

Surface Water Temperature:

Bottom Water Temperature:

100+ feet
* * *
Mar. 14,
Janel (buddy), Linda and John
Turneffe Island Resort - Belize
John and Dad on the Miss Belle at Belize City
Videograph by Linda Torkington in Belize 2004 
Dive Journal: “So do you still remember how to dive?”

Janel hates it when I ask this question. It’s been about 6 months since our diving aboard the Aquacat, and I’m always excited but a little anxious at the idea of getting back into the diving routine again.

For the children’s spring break this year, Linda books a return trip to Belize, but we take a decidedly more pampered course than our previous visits. That’s good, because our work has been so frantic over the winter that it seems we barely have any time to even anticipate this trip.

The Turneffe Island Lodge van is waiting for us at the airport in Belize, and we’re very soon onboard a big 40’ diving boat and headed out towards the resort. Turneffe Atoll is one of only four atolls in the Caribbean (the others being Lighthouse Atoll and Glover’s Atoll also in Belizean waters, and Banco Chinchorro in Mexico waters just north of Belize). It’s the closest one to Belize City and is a longtime favorite among divers.

Turneffe Atoll is a long north-south oval, and we’re staying on Turneffe Island, located inside the southern tip. Because the island is inside the atoll, it is well protected from heavy weather. A smallish island, maybe 10 acres, it is populated with 15 or so buildings including cabanas, a central office and dining facility, dive shop, and an expansive dock. (Location N 17°10 W 87°54)

The cabanas are relatively new and nicely built. The 2-room interior is finished in lacquered wood slats floor-to-ceiling for a neat but warm look. There is a full bath with shower, but we exclusively used the integrated outdoor shower. In fact, the outdoor shower was so nice that we’re thinking of building one at our home in Arizona. A screened-in porch fronts the cabana, a perfect place for morning coffee gazing at the ocean.

Turneffe Island Lodge aerial photograph
From www.turneffelodge.com  
The entire island is privately owned by the Lodge, which beautifully caters to the desires of both divers and fishermen. The primary fishing action is flyfishing for permit, bonefish, and tarpon, and anglers come long distances to fish here.

Probably 2/3 of the clients are divers, however, and the diving operations are first rate. We meet many of the divers over dinner and find a clientele of average age 48 or so, well traveled, relatively wealthy, and several are even early retirees. And very friendly.

Turneffe Island has adopted its own time, one hour earlier than the Belize mainland, and so our 6:00am coffee wakeup call comes mighty early. Still, we love the coffee service brought right to our cabana door, and we sit in peaceful bliss on our porch watching the morning breezes, sipping our joe.

The first dive today leaves the dock at 8:30am, and we learn that our boat captain will be Ricky, our divemaster will be Bo. The boat Cool Dive is a 20 foot diving runabout with a 200hp Yamaha outboard. Our first dive will be a moored dive and will serve as sort of a checkout dive, to re-introduce us to our gear and probably so that the diving staff can assess our comfort in the water. The site, Permit Paradise, is chosen since there is a more defined bottom, as compared to a wall that disappears into the depths.

Bo leads us slowly on a big oval around the mooring site. As is always the case in Belizean waters, I am immediately astounded at the gorgeous sponge growth everywhere – huge barrels, vases, and stunning yellow tubes. There are quite a few indigo hamlets at this site, too.

We start to reacquaint ourselves with our underwater friends, and I soon locate a whitespotted moral eel. Janel then spies a big green moray. Many other marine regulars are also spotted, too, e.g. hogfish, queen angelfish, grey angelfish, lots of parrotfish, goatfish, schoolmasters, grunts, etc. No permits, though!

It feels great to be back in the water, although Linda, Janel, and John all say they’re feeling cold as our air supply dwindles. My tiny gauge says the temperature is between 77 and 78F.

Welcome back to Belize!
Mares Avanti Quattro
U S Divers Matrix
80 ft3 Al
SeaQuest Spectrum 4
Dive Type:
BOAT, Cool Dive
Body of Water:
Caribbean Sea
U S Divers
3mm full wetsuit
Spectrum XR2
plus Oceanic
Slimline octopus
8 lb
Water Type:
Video Equipment: