Utila & Roatan Islands, Honduras

Off on a bus from San Pedro Sula, I traveled to La Ceiba on the north-eastern coast of Honduras. La Ceiba is the jumping-off point for the Bay Islands, the Caribbean islands of Utila and Roatan. I figured I started the trip scuba diving in the Caribbean, I might as well finish up there.

On the ferry to Utila, I met some other divers and the owner of Alton’s Dive Shop, Julie. She invited us to jump in the pickup that was meeting her and check out her dive shop. Off we all went, about seven of us with our packs loaded in the back of a pickup Central American Style. After much deliberation (well not that much), and the desire to dive a wreck deeper than 100 feet, I decided to obtain my advanced open water certification with Alton’s. The wreck, The Haliburton, is a 120 ft. long freighter that is still intact and was an incredible dive.

After completing my certification, I moved on to the island of Roatan. There are no direct ferries between the islands, other than the occasional catamaran for hire, so I had to take a ferry back to La Ceiba, and then hop on another to Roatan. Roatan is more the stereotypical Caribbean island with beaches, snorkeling, boating, zip lines, and lots of other activities other than diving.

The first day I rented a moped and put almost 75 miles on it exploring the island. It was quite exhilarating driving a vehicle wherever I wanted after 2.5 months of being limited by busses, taxis and boats. Actually one of the most “liberating” sensations was when the moped decided it didn’t want to be ridden any more. I was coasting down hill on a dirt road (pretty slowly), when the bike stalled, causing the engine to lock up the rear wheel. Moped went one way, I went another, and a patch of skin from my leg went another. Luckily, no major damage was done to the moped or my body.

I finished my stay on the island with two days of diving with Ocean Connections Dive Shop in West End. We did some incredible dives: a wreck, a coral cave and along a coral reef wall that was just teeming with life. Diving here on Roatan was much better then the dives I did on Utila. There was more aquatic life and more interesting coral formations. I also discovered that road rash and salt water create quite an interesting sensation once you enter the water. Ouch!

Next, I’m planning a short stay on the mainland coast in La Ceiba, then to San Pedro Sula for my flight back to the states.

I was lucky enough to have two dives where someone had brought along an underwater camera, so check out the diving pictures (plus others) in the gallery. There is even a short video of me floundering under the water. It is only 11 seconds, but I couldn’t reduce the size so it is 20 Meg. If you have a speedy connection, give it a look.

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