January 3 - 10, 2009
2009 began with a trip to Roatan, an island approximately 45 km (26 miles) from the coast of Honduras. The principal attraction of Roatan is its extensive reef and the diving.
We chose to stay at The Reef House on the south coast of Roatan, approximately mid-island. The Reef House is on a small cay along with about twenty other houses. The resort is not pretentious and its focus is diving. We arrived at the Roatan airport and were met by Mike, one of the owners. Just before getting in the van for our 45 minute journey from the airport to the resort, I asked him if there was any chance we could make the afternoon boat dive. To my surprise, he said that he would ensure we did and called the resort and asked them to hold the boat until we arrived. That was typical of the friendly approach we experienced all week.
The Reef House is a small resort and we were there with three other adult couples. One couple, from Vancouver, had their two children with them. Mike’s wife and three boys were also visiting. We all ate together and, as advertised, the meals were excellent. Although the menu offered little choice, Donna’s shellfish allergies were accommodated, extra helpings were available any time I asked and the food tasted wonderful.
It’s hard to be restrained about the diving. We had three boat dives each day; two in the morning and one in the afternoon. The boat left about 9:00 AM each day, we did two dives and arrived back at the resort at about 12:30 PM. We then had lunch and set out again at about 2:30 PM. The reefs and walls were full of colour and life. I was able to focus on some of the many small critters like shrimp and nudibranches that inhabit the coral.
David, the dive master, was always helpful and had an extraordinary ability to locate some of the most obscure animals. (He even found a seahorse that everyone except me was able to see – but that was me not knowing what to look for.) We were also lucky that Mike was able to join us diving on a number of the dives. Normally he is tending to the business of running things, but while we were there he was teaching both an Advanced Open Water course and bubble-makers to the Vancouver kids.
Snorkelling was also excellent. Unlike many places where the reefs are 3 – 5 m (10 – 15 ft) deep and snorkelling is mainly looking down, the reefs of The Reef House were close to the surface so that snorkelling was in and around the reefs and it was possible to look sideways and get a much closer look at the coral.
Would we return? Absolutely! The reefs, walls, resort and the friendly resort staff made it one great diving vacation!
I have posted my underwater pictures from Roatan here.
February 9 - 16, 2009
A sample of underwater pictures from Cozumel and from the Mayan Riviera are available by clicking here (As of April 16, the pictures posted were from February of this year. We are headed back shortly, so I will add more pictures after we return.)
Copyright Ron Brunton 2009