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Feb

Grouper Cleaning Station

Shot on our trip to Roatan, February, 2014.
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3
Feb

Roatan Trip Report #1

Forgive me for not getting started on this trip report sooner…..but we've been having too much fun and great dives to stop and jot down a few thoughts!

So, let's get started. We left Milwaukee on Saturday, the 1st, with bitter cold and snow left behind. After a one hour delay for aircraft computer problems and plane de-icing, we finally left and made our way to Houston. Upon arrival in Houston, we found out the flight from Houston to Roatan was also delayed, due to a maintenance issue. So, we left Houston about 90 minutes late and arrived in Roatan well after our scheduled time. No matter, since we were on holiday and we certainly welcomed the 80 plus degree temperature difference between Milwaukee and Roatan!

After checking in and completing all our documents for the resort, we all headed to our rooms to unpack and freshen up a bit before heading to the bar and dinner. Needless to say we all went to bed rather early.

AKR Dive Boats

Sunday morning started with picking up our weights and getting a briefing on how to use the resort's nitrox analyzer, as well as getting briefed on boat procedures. After that we were all required to jump off the back of the boat while moored to the dock in full gear to check weights and do a couple of basic skills for the divemaster, just to ensure we were comfortable. Once everyone was set for weights and skills, we headed out for the first dives of the week. Water temperature was in the upper 70's, with visibility around 50 feet.

Since we had a group of 19 divers, we were assigned one of the 48 foot boats, with lots of room for gear and divers, plus these boats are very stable in the water. The crew consisted of one captain and two divemasters. All were very helpful in getting divers into and out of the water, with lots of good natured banter between us and them.

The dive schedule is normally three per day: 8:30am, 11am, and 2:15pm departures, with two night dies per week, generally on Tuesday and Thursday. After each dive the boat comes back to the resort, so you can skip a dive and not lose out on subsequent ones. Today we were scheduled for a morning boat dive on the El Aguila wreck, followed by the second dive on the south side of the island then a buffet lunch at the resort's other facility on the south side called Maya Key, then a third dive on the way back to the resort.

The first dive on the wreck was really great…a short 3 minute boat ride and we were in the water within 15 minutes of leaving the resort. The wreck sits in about 110 feet of water, and is an old German freighter, which when sunk was intact, but Hurricane Mitch broke the wreck apart into three sections. Great for photography, and there are even a couple of short penetration opportunities for those qualified to do so. Even though the wreck is relatively deep, it would make a great place to learn proper wreck diving techniques in a PADI Wreck Diver Course.

El Aguila wreck

The second dive today was at Roatan's signature dive site called “Mary's Place” which is a labrynth of swim throughs and passages through the coral wall that would make any diver giddy. Healthy reef tops, and schools of fish complete the experience at this dive site.

Scrawled Filefish

Today's third dive was done on the way back to the resort at a site called “West End Wall”. During this dive we had a huge green moray eel swim with us for a bit, and some of the photographers captured some stunning images and video clips.

So, there's a recap of today's dives…more to follow, so be sure to watch this space! Also be sure to subscribe to our blog so you won't mss any updates!