Brandon diving in Roatan
Brandon and Kathy
Kathy diving in Roatan
Roatan, Honduras, January-February 2006
A good dive trip and a learning experience with the camera
A fellow diver who we met on the 2005 Cozumel trip organized a small group dive trip to Roatan, one of the Bay Islands of Honduras. There were seven of us and we all got along well. We flew down (non-stop on Continental) on January 29 and back on February 4.
We had been somewhat concerned regarding the
weather. Roatan had been getting quite a lot of rain and some of the
forecasts that we saw showed more rain to come. When we landed, sure
enough, it started raining while we were waiting for our luggage. But
luckily it stopped. The next day was cloudy, and from then on we had
clear, blue skies. Because of the rain, the visibility in the water was
not very good in the beginning. But as the week progressed, the visibility
improved each day. By the end of the week, it was fairly good (but not as
good as Cozumel). The picture above on the left shows all of the debris in the water;
the picture above on the right shows the clearer water.
Fantasy Island Resort
is actually a small island that you reach by driving
across a somewhat rickety bridge. When we arrived at the resort we were
pleased at how green and lush the grounds were. And we learned that there
were all sorts of animals roaming around - monkeys, bats, small furry rodents,
peacocks and ducks, etc. Our room was in a new wing and quite nice.
The first two pictures below show the view from our balcony. The third picture (on the right) shows our room (and others) from across the bay. The next set of pictures shows Kathy's friends. (Most of the land pictures are Kathy's.)
The dive operation was well run. We were on the same boat all week,
with the same divemaster, Mark.
The boat went out three times a day for three single-tank dives. Most of the dive
sites were less that 20 minutes away. Between dives we could leave our
gear on the boat and at night we put it in a locker in the dive shop. We
also did shore dives on two afternoons. Kathy practiced with her camera on
the shore dives.
As I mentioned, Fantasy Island is quite green and lush. The beaches are
nice and the ocean views are picturesque.
Of course there is more to a vacation than diving. On two different nights the hotel put on a show on the beach. One night there was a fire baton twirling show; another night there was a bonfire and native dancers. Unfortunately, it was too dark for pictures. But we did get pictures of another non-diving activity - shopping. On Wednesday afternoon we skipped the dive and went on an organized shopping tour. We stopped at a couple of individual shops and then in the town of Coxen Hole (named for a pirate who hid out there) and the settlement of West End.
In Coxen Hole we saw street vendors and also went to the grocery store. At
West End we watched the sunset and saw a very small green flash.
On Thursday afternoon we signed up for a "canopy tour" - we did this without carefully reading the description on the flyer. We missed the part that called it an "extreme" activity. The tour consisted of about 13 zip line rides from one tree to the next. After getting the hang of it on the first zip line, these rides were relatively easy and quite fun. However, there were also 6 or 7 "bridges" which weren't bridges at all. They were tight wires to walk across or suspended boards that moved when you stepped on them. Holding on to the overhead lines to steady yourself was very strenuous. And then at the end when you were exhausted, there was a climbing wall to get up to the final zip line!
The picture on the right shows the view from the top of the hill. The pictures
below show our guides giving us instructions.
Even though the visibility wasn't the best, and even though I am still struggling to learn how to use my camera, I did get some pictures that illustrate the marine life that we saw.
We saw more sea horses than I have ever seen before. The iridescent blue vase sponges were everywhere. We saw lots of indigo hamlets and green moray eels. Once at the start of a dive, I was still adjusting my camera when a green eel swam right under the camera. I snapped a quick shot but the camera wrist strap was in the picture (see the last one below). On another dive, a large green eel swam between Kathy's legs. To see the rest of the underwater photos, click here.
|C. Brandon Jones
email: Brandon "at" cbjones.info
|updated March 2006|