A very large green moray eel

Rain, Roatan—December, 2009


Although it rained Saturday and Sunday nights, our weather was OK during the day on Sunday and Monday. But it was cool so we actually wore our fleeces in the evening!

On Tuesday, however, the flood-gates opened up and it poured all day. But it didn't stop us from diving! We did, however, wear our jackets on the boat to keep us warm.

After enjoying the captions below, you can view larger versions of the photos by clicking on them. You can see even larger versions of the photos by viewing the slideshow in full screen (F11). You can also view the photos on a map.


Just Off the Boat (Saturday, 2009-12-19)

We began our trip with a red-eye from San Francisco into Houston, where we met Steven's girlfriend Denise for the first time. A couple of short hours later we were in Roatan where we waited a little longer for Steven, whose plane from Atlanta arrived just behind us.

After fighting off some eager taxi drivers, we located our driver who took us to the all-inclusive Barefoot Cay resort complete with its own dive operations, Barefoot Divers.

When we arrived at the resort, the hospitality director, Mel, gave us a tour of the grounds and made us feel at home. After a yummy welcome drink with rum and other fine elixirs, we retired to our villa for a power nap. We later returned to the dining room for a lobster feast!



Shark Bait Shallows (Sunday, 2009-12-20)

In the morning, we met Doug, the manager of Barefoot Divers and we filled out our paperwork. We learned that we would be pampered all week, and we were! The staff loaded our gear on and off the boat and rinsed and hung it too! I've never had such wonderful service.

Usually, the four of us had the boat to ourselves. In a few cases, another divemaster joined us with their students, but we didn't see them during the dive.

Our boat captain for the week would be Rich. He did more than just drive—he assisted us with our cameras and gear and gave us cold water and watermelon after each dive to rinse the salt water out of our mouths.

We met the divemasters Ted (from Alberta), Luc and Cynthia (from Montreal), and Giaco (of Italian descent from Mexico). All of them were extremely friendly and helpful.

Our first divemaster of the week was Ted. As you'll see in the photos, he was a lot of fun to be around. We looked forward to his call of, “The pool is open!”

Our first dive was at Shark Bait Shallows. There were lots of lobsters, and the forest of soft corals was amazing! This was going to be a great trip. Even though we were in the wet season with the inevitable cloudy water from run-off, visibility still ranged in the 20-30 meter range. Our first dive was 62 minutes; many of the dives this week would also extend over an hour.

The topography on the southern side of Roatan where we were diving consists of lots of coral at a depth of 5 m, which provided for entertaining safety stops and long dive times. The shoulder of the reef would drop into a steep wall at a depth of 15 m. The wall would either drop down to a visible sandy incline or deep down into darkness.



John’s Place (Sunday, 2009-12-20)

The next dive was at John’s Place. The visibility was only 10 m but there were a lot of cool critters!



40’ Point (Monday, 2009-12-21)

We had another great dive at 40’ Point as the visibility opened up again to 30 m. The water temperature was a comfy 29 degrees C (84 degrees F). The crabs were really cool.



Mary’s Place (Monday, 2009-12-21)

Mary’s Place is one of the best-known dive spots on the island. The volcanic history of this island has resulted in lots of nooks and crannies, so I was happy to have my Monterey-strength light with me! There were also cracks and crevasses that were large enough for us to drop down into or swim through. It's very interesting terrain.

At the end of this dive, some of us got close to our no-deco limits watching jawfish in the sand. Although I waited patiently, the jawfish near me didn't let me photograph him.

This is a nice spot.



Calvin’s Crack (Tuesday, 2009-12-22)

Ted had a couple of days off, so Luc was our divemaster today. Calvin’s Crack provided another great dive, beginning with a drop through a crevasse.



The Hole in the Wall (Tuesday, 2009-12-22)

We spent our surface interval in a small fishing village that is only accessible by sea. There are no roads leading to it. Our destination was a small watering hole called Hole in the Wall.



Half Moon Bay (Tuesday, 2009-12-22)

There were lots of things to see at Half Moon Bay, which was a light drift dive. There was also a light surge that didn't bother us, but it kicked up a lot of sediment from the sand channels, which lowered the visibility to less than 5 m by the end of the dive.


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