Friday, March 12, 2010

Roatan The Land of Clear water and many adventures

Honduras, the land of water and adventure

We arrived in Roatan, Honduras on February 3. Our first stop was Guanaja which is a small rock island, population 6,000 and a strong Seven Day Adventist following. The houses are built up on stilts, the paths between are 4 feet wide, and the largest industry is the fish processing plant which became our best friend. Following the cultural norms all businesses close from 12 to 2 or 2:30 for lunch which gave us time to stop and sip the beers. We walked to the back door of the processing plant and bought lobster meat for $4.00 a pound and cleaned conch for $2.50 a pound. Life was good. We anchored off and met friends from Canada, Idyll Island, Cathy and Derek, Mystic Moon with Kathy and John, and Hooligan's crew of Paula, Tim and Nigel. Since they all dive and have equipment Dave broke loose from the depths of our storage his gear and started diving again. His first day he dove three awesome sites, walls and lava tubes surrounding him, fish and coral life within touch, and left the water with the most amazing grin on his face for hours. Our group went exploring and we dinghy drove to Graham's Key where a fishing resort owner welcomed us to walk his island, observe his fish pens which held turtles and a 300 pound grouper, see his bone fishing grounds, interact with his wildlife, and drink cold beer under the shade of his palapas restaurant. The snorkeling out on his reef was so cool-the coral variety, sea fans, and schools of small fish abound here.

After spending a week in Guanaja, we moved to Roatan and French Harbour. There we reconnected with reality by shopping in stores, buying a modem for internet connection, and walking on paved roads. We then dropped anchor in an area near Fantasy Island Resort where the gang refilled their dive tanks daily and did some more diving. Feeling the need to see what was around the corner we moved to West End and discovered diver's paradise. With over 20 sites within 10 minutes of our anchorage the serious diving began. On shore there are 4-5 places to get refills, island food restaurants, grocery stores for the basics-fruit juice, mixer, bread, and booze, vegetable trucks, a laundry, and 6 beers on ice for $8.00. Walking the unpaved road, and seeing the local shops brought to mind what Lahaina, Hawaii must of looked like before it became "found".

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