Blue Hole - Amigos Del Mar - Very Poor
We travelled to Belize and spent a week or so diving in the second half of our trip.
I had been doing my diving with Pro Dive Belize - who are excellent - but they don't run trips to the Blue Hole very often - so I went with Amigos Del Mar.
They certainly have the best boat on Ambergris for the job - but that's the only thing to recommend them.
The lead Divemaster for the day - a guy called George, has been doing the Blue Hole for years and said he had done it 13 days straight. I am an experienced diver who used to instruct - and I'd say it was time for him to stop!
Him and rest of the crew kept to themselves for the whole trip with lots of 'in jokes' with each other and no interest in the guests. There were also family and friends of the crew on board going snorkelling which just added to the 'us and them' atmosphere. The captain was just a thug who swore and spat most of the time.
George's briefing for the Blue Hole consisted of a quick list of 'don'ts'. But very concerning was his instruction to ignore your dive computers and just follow him. The dive itself was terrible. 10 (mostly novice) divers following him down to 43 meters (140ft) - and some accidentally dropping to nearly 50m before they were spotted. But because very few had computers they would have no idea of their nitrogen profile! I carried a torch because it was pretty black down there - but George certainly never used one if he had one at all.
I buddied a guy who said he was nervous - but he would be because he had only done 11 dives!! He'd never been below 60 feet before. What are they doing taking him on a dive that deep??
The next dive had one of the divers run out of air completely! George couldn't have cared less. He just carried on - leaving the diver to share air with his buddy. Yes - it's the diver's responsibility to look after themselves - but I've never seen a guide behave like this.
The other aspect which was very frustrating was the constant RUSH RUSH RUSH. The crew, and in particular George - just wanted to get home as quickly as they could. A day that was due to finish at 5.00pm - 5.30pm actually got us back on the dock at 3.30pm. Lots of mistakes were made with gear by the Divemasters and I was hit in the eye by a regulator as they rushed to get my BC on and they swung it into my face. Without realising, I was sent into the water bleeding heavily and I did wonder why a couple of sharks showed more interest in me than is usual!!
Despite their flash operation and a big dock, these guys are cowboys and I'll be reporting their numerous safety breaches to PADI.
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