This is where we've been... This is where you're going:
Co Co View Resort - Roatan, Honduras
Here we go again!
This trip was comprised of four divers, Al, Gary, Carla and myself. (You remember Carla, she's the absolutely crazy woman we met during our October 99 trip to CCV). Al, Carla and I were meeting at Houston Intercontinental to begin our dive adventure, and Gary was flying down to meet us on Thursday.
Fortunately, I had conned Gary out of his Presidents Club card, so Al and I went to the airport early to meet up with Carla once she flew in from Cincinnati. We met Carla at the TACA ticket counter, checked in, and headed for the Presidents Club in IAB. As it turns out, we were about three hours early for the flight, so after going to the Duty Free (and not buying anything...it was my idea to buy stuff in Belize instead), Carla and I begin our attempt to run the Presidents Club out of vodka and cranberry juice...It's amazing just how much vodka one can put away in that period of time.
|Osman (DM), Phil and Janine||Texas Tim||Clarke (with an E)||Carla lookin' happy||Carla Cruisin'||Clarke|
So...we tripped/stumbled/crawled down to the gate about 30 minutes prior to our departure time. The first thing we noticed is that there were only a few other passengers there, so it's looking like a very light flight. After a few minutes (remember all that vodka) we notice that there are no TACA agents at the gate, and begin to wonder if the flight was cancelled.
|Gary da' Limbo Man||Texas Tim and Janine||Jimmy, Carla, Texas Tim and Clarke||What the....?||Clarke bein' a Rummy|
As we were walking back towards the entrance, we heard the first announcement..." Senor Peeennneeey; Meeese Messserrr; Senor Schrrraddderrr; Please make jour way to gate teeen; De flight eees waiting just for jou". After decoding this message, we figured out that there had been a gate change (geeez...gotta love TACA), so we hurried/staggered/tripped up to the appropriate gate. During this 3 1/2 minute trek, we heard the same announcement five more times, even when we were within view of the TACA agents, and waving wildly to acknowledge the announcement.
|Chocolate fruit, my butt!||Gary, Carla, and Al||Michelle and Texas Tim||Holy Shnikees!|
The agents checked our boarding passes, poured us into the plane, and away we went...Caught a few Z's along the way (don't forget the vodka?) and made our way to Belize City, only to find that the Duty Free stores were either closed, or out of stock on anything that we wanted...trust me, I heard about that one for the rest of the week. We made it down to Roatan intact, but our luggage went to the twilight zone.
Here's a travel hint: If you fly on TACA to Roatan via Belize City, and the plane from Belize City to Roatan is full or very nearly full, your luggage will NOT go with you. The planes that TACA uses between Belize City and Roatan can not get off the ground with a full load of passengers and luggage, so they send the luggage on down to San Pedro Sula or El Salvador, with the intention of sending it back up on the next outbound flight that has space available. This is TACA's way of dealing with the weight problem. If this happens, don't freak out. All of the resorts on Roatan are aware of this policy, and loan equipment out to divers regularly as a result. Keep in mind, your luggage is not lost, and you'll most likely get it back to you intact within a day or two. TACA just gives your luggage a different itinerary than it gives to you...
|Beach House #7 (Mmmm)||A ship off of French Harbor||Lookin' at Parrot Tree||A little bit closer...|
We made it in to the CCV just after dinner. Chau got the kitchen folks to whip us up some noodles and chicken. Life was good. The CCV bar was fairly busy, and we met a few new folks there; Clarke (with an E) from Toronto, J and K from Delaware, Janine from Dallas, and a handful of others.Billy and Willie were determined to get a few of us hammered, and were buying shots to seal the deal. Took it a kinda' easy, as I was still feeling the sting from the Presidents club and TACA's booze supplies...
|Reef Squid (up close and personal)||Reef Squid||Grouper, Yellowtails and Sargeant Majors||BIG Grouper|
Diving Day One: Monday, February 14th:
The first site was 'Pirates Point': A nice seamount with lots of parrot fish, small tropicals, hard coral, sand chutes, and steep slopes dropping down below 120.
Depth: 35-40 at the mooring, 120+ at the lower chutes. Visibility: 60-70.
The drop off dive was on 'Newman's Wall': Some nice corals, crevices and ledges. A fair amount of small tropicals. The visibility was crap; maybe 25-30' as we made our way towards the cut.
Depth: 15-20 on the upper part of the coral, 125 towards the inside. Visibility: 25-35.
The afternoon dive site was 'Gold Chain Reef': So named because some hapless diver lost a sizable gold chain during a dive some years ago. The story goes that the chain has not yet been found, so anybody could be lucky enough to find it. I'm not buying it. Not a deep reef, but a truly colorful dive. Lots of healthy soft and hard corals and a fair amount of small tropicals
Depth: 20-25 on the shallow part of the reef, 75-80' at the deepest. Visibility: 45-50'.
Diving Day Two: Tuesday, February 15th:
The first site was 'Two Tall - Two Small': This site is named for four distinct sea-mounts. There are two tall mounts that go to about 50-60 from the surface, and two smaller mounts that peak at around 80-100 from the surface. When the visibility is good, it appears as if you are looking at a small mountain range underwater. The surge on the top of the formation was terrible. If the tide is moving, watch the surge on this dive at any depth less than 40-50.
Depth: 25-45 on the coral heads, dropping off to much deeper than I can go. (I couldnt see the bottom and heard it was 350+) Visibility: 50-60.
The drop off dive was on 'Co Co View Wall': Checked out some of the ledges and deeper cracks, then went on an outside tour of the Prince Albert..
Depth: 15-30 on the coral heads, 135+ in the lower part of the cut. Visibility: 35-40
|Blue Tangs on the Prince Albert||What Hot Dog?||Ya' want fries with that?||Follow me, boys!|
Diving Day Three: Wednesday, February 16th:
The first site was 'The Chimneys': A number of nice pinnacle type structure, hence the name. A lot of nice hard corals, fans and sponges. Saw a couple of huge Grouper.
Depth: 15-30 on the coral pinnacles, 130+ on the lower parts of the structure. Visibility: 45-50
The drop off dive was on 'Newman's Wall': Some nice corals, crevices and ledges. A fair amount of small tropicals. The visibility was still crappy (notice a trend here?); maybe 25-30' as we made our way towards the cut.
Depth: 15-20 on the upper part of the coral, 125 towards the inside. Visibility: 25-35.
The afternoon dive site was 'Anka's Place': As I stated in my October trip report, this site has not been visited much in the last few months, as the only mooring base had broken apart. The break has helped the reef, as the coral, small tropicals, and huge Grouper look even healthier than the last trip. Managed to get some good soft coral shots as well a couple of good lobster pictures.
Depth: 35 on the coral heads, 150+ on the chutes. Visibility: 45-50
The drop off dive was on 'Co Co View Wall': Went in with Jay and Kay. When we dropped off the back of the boat the vis was so bad that we couldn't see the wall. Took a compass reading and headed to where the wall was supposed to be, then damn near ran into it...only 25' away.
Depth: 15-20 on the upper part of the coral, 125 towards the inside. Visibility: 20-30.
|Urchin and Squirrel Fish||Feather Duster||Feather Duster||Christmas Tree Worms|
Diving Day Four: Thursday, February 17th:
The first site was 'Church Wall': This is the place with the incredible sand chutes. The water was not as clear as I had hoped for, but it was a great dive nonetheless. Clarke wanted to make a deep dive, and I took him with me on this one. The chute went down to approximately 200 plus, then disappeared into the abyss. A truly wonderful site.
Depth: 15-40 at the top of the coral heads, chutes go in different directions, some of them into the abyss. Max depth? There aint one! Visibility: 50-60.
The afternoon dive site was 'Menagirhea': A mostly level coral structure with lots of sand chutes crossing the top. Plenty of small tropicals, lobster and crabs, as well as the occasional appearance of large rays.
Depth: 46 on the coral heads and chutes, to 150+ on the edges. Visibility: 40-60.
|French Angelfish||Saucereye Porgy||Ooops...dropped my cuke||Lizardfish||Arrow Crab in a Tube|
Diving Day Five: Friday, February 18th:
The first site was 'Mary's Place': The dive starts at a permanent mooring buoy on the reef shelf, along a vertical crevice that drops from 40', with a huge section of the wall broken away from the main section to form a wide slit. There was a lot of particulate in the water, but the vis was still pretty good. Once again, I took my camera with me on the dive, but could not get enough light going on to get any good shots. Maybe it's time to go digitaI...
Depth: 20-35 on top of the cracks, 125 coming out of the second swim-through, dropping off to 250+++ Visibility: 50-60.
The drop off dive was on 'Newman's Wall': Some nice corals, crevices and ledges. A fair amount of small tropicals. The visibility was a little better than it had been; maybe 35-40' as we made our way towards the cut.
Depth: 15-20 on the upper part of the coral, 125 towards the inside. Visibility: 35-40.
The afternoon dive site was 'Inside Outside': So named for the large number of cracks and swim-throughs. Nice hard and soft corals, sponges, small crabs, and a fair number of fish, mostly small tropicals and parrot fish.
Depth: 35-45 on the upper part of the reef, 120 at the outside. Visibility: 45-50.
Clarke and I did a night dive on the Prince Albert: Saw a nice Spotted Eagle Ray when we came around the stern, a dozen or so Sea Cucumbers on the main deck, and the biggest Green Moray I have ever seen sitting in the bottom of one of the forward cargo holds.
Depth: 5 at the shore diving platform, to 65 at the stern of the wreck. Visibility: 20-30.
Clarke and I made it (late) to the party on Hawksbill Key that CCV throws on Friday nights, with a limbo contest, free rum punch, and some give-aways. The rum punch was potent, the night was warm, and we had a great time. See the picture page for a few shots of the gang doing the limbo thing, etal. Clarke and Maggie ended up on a date of sorts, and I have the picture posted...I'm holding it for ransom.
|Scorpionfish hidin' out||Trumpet Fish||Stoplight Parrot Fish||Indigo Hamlet|
Diving Day Six: Saturday, February 19th:
The first site was 'French Caye Cut': A neat dive! from the mooring, we followed a shallow wall to a fairly deep cut, then through the cut to some really nice steep walls on the outside. Good hard and soft corals, very colorful. Lots of small tropicals and decent sized Grouper, Filefish and Parrot fish.
Depth: 25 on the coral heads, 150+ outside of the cut. Visibility: near the mooring; 25-35', outside the cut 80-90
Diving Day Seven: Sunday, February 20th:
Made ya' look...Gary and I caught the TACA flight this morning to Belize to do some more diving, but hey...that's another story. See the report!
Okay...so I'm suffering from writers block, fuzzy memory, etc.. I have some more to add to this one, but I want to get the time line right. Check back in a week or so...
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This page was last updated on: 08/27/10