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Dive with Martin, Dive Palancar, Allegro Resort, June 2000, Pat Wikstrom (mrpat@webworkz.com), Warne, NC. Vis: 75 to 85 Feet. Water: 80 to 81 F, currents. Dive your own profile: yes. With computer — no deeper than 130', let DM know when you hit 1000 psi, back on boat with 500 psi, about 60 min max. Partly cloudy during the day rain most nights, some brief rain showers during the afternoons but we never lost any diving. The weird filamentous algae that had started to cover so much of the reef for the last few years was being overgrown itself by lettuce leaf coral along with several other species of coral and sponges. New stands of young Sea Whips, Plumes, Sea Rods and Fans were grabbing a toe hold and starting to sway in the currents. The Boulder, Brain, Star, and other hard corals seemed to have arrested their multi year decline and had a healthy look about them. Allegro Resort: we got a fabulous package price from Fun Jet — $729 per person — air and 8 days — all inclusive (advertised in the Atlanta newspaper) The Allegro really is a very nice place. There’s a new activities building down at the poolside bar, and they’ve added a gymnasium near the front entrance. Selection and quality at the main buffet restaurant was fantastic, and the three specialty restaurants (Chef’s Table-International, Mexican, and Italian) were Epicurean delights. Johnny took a quickie course in tequila tasting one afternoon and for the duration of the trip he requested and was given shots and drinks made from tequila that would cost $30-$60 a

bottle back home. The palm thatched roofs over the eight unit guest houses need repair. We could see light through the roof and one of the girl’s rooms had a water stain on the mattress from roof leaks. The smell from the sewer treatment plant was a factor in the afternoons for those in the 20, and 40 series units. And the on site dive operation, Dive Palancar, has gotten so busy that you’ve really got to plan a day ahead to get yourself on the morning boats. Even the two afternoon trips filled quickly so some of my; last minute; buddies missed a couple of dives due to their lazy nature. Dive with Martin: Christy at Splash Tours was very professional, took my credit card over the phone, and set me up with one of Martin’s package plans. Everything was handled by phone and fax. Two divers, four days of AM two tank trips— total 16 dives cost $400. Martin’s boats were all six pack style with twin outboards and a sun shade cover over the middle of the boat. Boats flew across the water and never had more than eight divers aboard, one day we went out with five. They had lots of bottled water aboard, fresh fruit after the dive, and filled up a plastic bucket to hold my camera between dives. guides gave good briefings, were friendly, and had intimate knowledge of the sites and how to best dive them. We did our surface intervals on shore at one or another cement piers along the southern side of the island. Dive sites were picked on board by the assembled guests, however when less experienced divers were aboard the DM’s tended to lead the group through

168 Copyright 2000, DSDL, Inc. publishers of Undercurrent, www.undercurrent.org

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