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A real dream come true

July 9th, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 20-Honduras - (1 Comments)

Yesterday, while on a staff day trip (yes I know we are not staff) to some rare dive sites, we spotted and swam with a WHALE SHARK.  It happened by sheer chance.  Because of the political situation and it being so quite here on the island, West End Divers arranged a day trip for its staff and few customers.  What a day it turned out to be.  We got halfway to our intended dive site when the weather picked up and we had to turn the boat around.  On the way back some of the staff spotted a spoiler which is basically some birds circling a school of fish, a sure sign of a feeding dolphin or whale shark – lucky for us it turned out to be a whale shark.

Most of our crew have never seen one.  Christy, a local Honduran dive master, had not seen one since she was snorkeling at the aged of 15, the club owner has been living on the island for 20 years and has never seen one.  It was a first for most of the other staff as well.  As you can imagine, the excitement was truly unreal.

Diving in the various countries en route we were always just out of whale season, and even then we would have been luck to spot one.  I read these few paragraphs on a scuba website and though I’d share them with you.  It really highlights just how lucky we were.

 

Spotting the elusive whale shark is the high point in the careers of many divers. Yet many can go their whole lives without ever seeing this majestic beast.

What is a Whale Shark?

The whale shark, or Rhincodon typus, is the largest fish in the sea and not a whale. It is a cartilaginous fish like any other shark and breathes through gills. It is also massive – it can grow over 12 meters in length and weigh up to 15 tons. Despite its massive size the whale shark is a gentle giant. It is a filter feeder with tiny teeth that play no role in feeding. This large fish poses no threat to a diver as it eats only plankton, krill, small fish, and jellyfish.

Although their migration patterns are poorly understood the following dive sites are well known for whale shark sightings. Top four places to see whale sharks

  • Richelieu Rock and Hin Daeng in Thailand
  • Ningaloo Reef in Australia
  • Utila Island Off of Honduras
  • Just off the Seychelles Islands

We were snorkeling, so we both got to see it.  I was so close I could have bitten its tail, surreal.

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Just chilling on the beach…

July 6th, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 20-Honduras - (1 Comments)

We’ve received a few emails of late asking if we have been affected by the troubles here in Honduras.  Apart from a 9pm curfew we are completely unaffected and are just enjoying our time either diving or chilling on the beach.

There are some riots in the capital and other parts of the country, but not a hint of it here on Roatan .  The locals are keeping a good eye on events, which are in Spanish, and are feeding the info back to us.  A problem may arise when we need to leave the island as all local airlines have been grounded and there are no busses.  Somehow we need to get from Roatan to San Pedro Sula to catch our flight to NY.  Hopefully all will have calmed down by the 14th.

For now its back to enjoying our last week.  I have 4 more dives booked for this week, 1 wreck, 2 coral wall and 1 night. I looking forward to the night dive most.

Some more photos of Roatan.

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Diving in Roatan

July 5th, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 20-Honduras - (3 Comments)

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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Roatan, Honduras

July 3rd, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 20-Honduras - (0 Comments)

A quick catch up on some posts as they will be rather thin on the ground from this day forward due to a lack of electricity here on the beautiful Caribbean island of Roatan in Honduras.  Things could be worse .

We had a rather quick and pleasant flight from Mexico City to San Pedro Sula.  Because of the political coup all roads were closed so we had to take two 15min flights on these toy planes.  All things considered, we arrived safely and in one piece.  How these planes flew I’ll never know, they must have been at least 40 years old.  The pilot had his hand out the window throughout! – keeping himself cool I assume.

We checked into a lovely room, $25 a night with a shared bathroom and kitchen, and will be here for the next two weeks.  We have done a couple of dives so far but you’ll have to wait a bit for the pics, they are just amazing.

Don’t worry if you don’t hear from us in the next week or so, the electricity is due to shut down, all part of coup, and we have have a 9pm curfu.  Other than that the island is nothing short of paradise and we are loving every minute of it. 

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