Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras, C.A. 2011

Scuba Diving

Utila, Honduras

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My Aquarium

There was a little different twist to my visit to Utila this time. I was staying with Deep Blue Resorts on Utila, but it was separate from town.

About 95% of the people that live or stay on Utila do so where it is labeled "East Harbor" or Utila Town. The main road of town stretches around the bend of the harbor. In previous trips I've documented this area well, but for this trip I was moving to the other side of Utila. Along the South Side you can locate yourself the dive site Black Coral Wall. It is there where Deep Blue Resort is located (technically Pretty Bush and Labyrinth are the house reefs). The interesting part of this location is the isolation involved. You can clearly see the channel that cuts the island in half. Well there is no bridge and thus the west side of Utila is boat access only. This creates a very peaceful and tranquil location.

A beautiful sunset to arrive during. It certainly help set the mood for the upcoming week. Edin was the captain of this skiff, and he serves as the "taxi driver" for any shuttles you may request to/from town. I asked for his service twice and each time he was more than gracious. A storm kicked up the day I was leaving and he showed very good skills on getting the small boat stable at the dock as waves crashed around.

This is the view as we pull away from dock the first morning. The building with the orange roof is the dock/locker room/equipment area for Deep Blue. The small boat tied up to the far right is the boat used to shuttle guests to/from town. This channel is the only access to the resort and it comes from the lagoon.

The locker room up close with dunk tanks outside. To their credit, Deep Blue uses sterilized water in the wetsuit dunk tanks. I don't know which type, but the water was very pink.

The other dunk tanks and equipment room. Also on the wall is a board used to keep track of your dives for the week. It came in handy at the end by simply taking a photo of the dive sites.

Shortly after walking away from the dock area you are presented with a warm welcome. Paradise awaits just beyond. I recommend dropping your shoes before you pass underneath this sign. They won't be needed for the duration of your stay.

Typical pathway around the resort, groomed daily. Here is a 2 minute video walking the property of Deep Blue from entrance to water front.

A couple of the flowers found around the resort... I do not have any true complaints of the property or staff, but if I could make a suggestions to improve upon the existing property one area would be more flowers, or perhaps even a small flower garden. I cannot tell you how many hundreds of palm trees are on the property. Deep Blue has done a great job planting new growth trees and maintaining the old large ones. The gentle sway of palm leaves is ever-present on the property, but when I leave my frozen tundra of white snow I like to see lots of beautiful tropical flowers on my vacation.

Ahhh yes the token "tourist tree." Why tourist tree you may ask? Because it is red and peeling, of course!

More important than flowers is a great view, and Deep Blue provides this in excess.

This is the sunset view from my balcony. I could get used to that. Check out this video for a panoramic of the same spot with the added sound of the crashing waves.

With my feet at the edge of the water, you are looking at one of the two building housing the guests. This building had 6 rooms, all shown here, all merely feet from the ocean.

The view of the resort property from the boat. In the center is the restaurant/bar/lounge area. To the left and right are the guest rooms.

As you might imagine the sitting area for the bar provides ample relaxation. Also note the bird feeder hanging from the rafter. If nothing else it provides some form of entertainment in watching the birds. But if you like to try your hand at photography as do I, it presents itself as a neat and rewarding challenge.

 

Not too shabby, eh? Eventually night falls and the Hummingbirds are gone, but that doesn't mean the excitement dies down.

Fruit bats start circling!

And feeding from the sugar water.

You almost expect to see a string which this bat is hanging from, don't you?

During a surface interval before our second dive of the day I talked our Captain into docking at the Utila Cayes for a walkabout. You may think Utila is isolated... Until you visit it's satellite island population. Wow. It is mostly fisherman which live here. If they were ever going to film "Deliverance 2" these two islands would deserve consideration. You could swap out garbage can drums for the banjos and a fishing pole for the bow n arrow. "He sure looks good in neoprene, don't he?" OK, I'm just joking around. It really is an adorable little civilization worthy of the visit. I'm just saying the genetics on the island are not producing the next Caribbean Olympic sprinter, if you catch my drift.

The typical fishing boats used in the area.

I guess that rock is their anchor? I'd be interested in spending an afternoon with one of these fisherman just to absorb the experience of how they live their lives on a daily basis.

Church.

This is the only sidewalk on the island. It extends from one end to the other. Homes and businesses are built up against the sidewalk and usually extend out over the water on stilts. I'm not exactly sure why someone thought it would be a good idea to settle on this spit of sand, but anyway...

The school.

You just have to appreciate the ingenuity of island people.

Right they were. This place is actually a little restaurant. It appeared to be quite simple yet nice, but we didn't have time to stay and eat. We did come to see their rescued baby turtles, however.

Baby turtles this size are easy prey for birds or larger fish, so this place takes them in and feeds them until they are large enough to be released into the wild. Good stuff.

Now we are talking!

"Stepped on a pop top, blew out my flip flop..."

Eventually I had to leave. On Wednesday I decided I would fly back to Roatan, and it is a good thing I did. A storm kicked up and the ferry stopped running for a couple days and the only way off the rock was by plane. Did I mention I'm scared to death of flying?

Guess where I get to sit...

It would seem as I am the co-pilot today. I am not overly thrilled about this.

The pilot tells me that I am not allowed to touch any controls during the flight. I tell him that its likely my eyes won't even be open.

He thought that was funny.

Obviously I survived the flight, and it was actually mildly enjoyable. Much better than small propped planes I've taken in the past at the least.

Watch the YouTube video of us coming in for a landing. Pretty neat video.

So that's it from Utila this time around. Be sure to check out the underwater version of this trip as well.

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