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Diving in Roatan

July 5th, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 20-Honduras

Two weeks diving in the Caribbean on the second largest barrier reef in the world, can it get any better? Certainly not and what a way to end our trip.  The pictures are amazing and definitely our best yet.  The diving here (in our opinion) shits all over The Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

So far I’ve done 6 dives (1 night) and Sam 3.  Sadly that will be Sam’s lot as she’s picked up yet another ear infection.  She has started a course of antibiotics so she should be as right a reign in a few days, but no more diving.

Below is an extract from a local rag which goes some way to explaining why the diving is so good here.  We cannot understand why one of the best is one of he cheapest in the world, we are only paying $30 a dip, an absolute steal.

What Makes It Unique?

Why is Roatan’s diving so good? The island, nearly forty miles long and about three miles wide, is actually the top of an underwater mountain range called the Bonacca Ridge. The ridge includes the other Bay Islands, Utila and Guanaja, and the many smaller keys and islands nearby.

Roatan is surrounded on all sides by a living coral reef containing nearly every species of coral growing in the Caribbean Sea, including several species of rare black coral, and sponges of all colours and shapes. Some barrel sponges located off the east end of the island are the approximate size of large refrigerators.

The Reef

The reef, home to such beauties as seahorses, queen angel fish, stoplight parrot fish, blue tangs, and fairy basslets, slopes gently from shore providing excellent snorkeling and diving from nearly any point on the island. The reef stretches out to sea then drops off. Literally. Roatan is famous for its wall dives and nearly all dives are wall dives if you swim far enough out. Many crevices, chimneys, and caves punctuate the reef creating an impressive and varied topography.

The reef’s walls vary from inclines leading to sandy bottom at 30-200 feet, to sheer cliffs plummeting dramatically into the abyss. And I mean abyss. Roatan is on the edge of the Cayman Trench that provides clear water from the depths as well as a variety of pelagic animals such as whale sharks, turtles, dolphin, and rays. The trench plunges thousands of feet right off the west end of the island. In fact, the deepest tourist submarine in the world is located in Half Moon Bay next to West End. For about $500 it will take you to a depth of 3000 feet.

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