More diving in Roatan

Thursday morning we checked out the sea state and the surf was still pounding on the reef – so no diving for us today.   We had a lazy day on board before spending a few hours in the afternoon bobbing in the resort pool.

Fantasy Island pool

In the evening we went to the dock palapa for sundowners and enjoyed watching the monkeys playing around us…..

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Friday morning we were up very early and headed down to the diving dock – the sea still looked lumpy but we wanted to say goodbye to our fellow divers who leave on Saturday.    By eight o’clock we were underway and steaming out through the reef – straight into 5-6 feet swells!

Off on the boat

It was unlikely that we could take the direct route down the coast to the dive sites so Captain Trevor went behind another reef and we went through the cut keeping us out of the waves – the upside to this detour was that we got to see Roatan’s large fishing fleet.

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We finally arrived at the dive site and the crew struggled to pick up the mooring ball in the swells – finally we were hooked and we were kitting up – when the mooring broke!  Quickly we all helped get the ropes out of the water / ladders up while Captain Trevor restarted the engine and drove us out of trouble.   We moved further down the coast and picked up another ball – at a site called Tony’s Spot – jumped in and submerged quickly onto the reef and down the wall…   This was a multi-level dive so we went out deep and returned along the wall at a shallower depth – lovely colours and very nice coral formation.     We spent 55 minutes in the water to a maximum depth of 90 feet.

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Getting back on the boat was difficult with the ladder slamming up and down against the swells and I was very grateful that the guys helped me with my weights and tank…..   We then motored back behind the reef and rafted up against an old barge for our surface interval.

Time to go again and we headed back to Mary’s Place – a special request as the guys wanted to dive it one last time – and we were very happy with that.    We managed to get a deeper mooring ball this time and went down into the canyons….love diving between the walls and through the overhangs….   Great spot!   This time we went to 80 feet for 50 minutes.

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Back on board and we motored against the waves back to the dock – we said our farewells, cleaned our gear, and headed back to Morphie for a quiet afternoon.

Reversing in

Later on we went to the palapa for movie night – and they were showing Titanic.   Not sure about that film choice when we live on the water but at least we don’t have to watch out for icebergs LOL.  During the evening we were treated to a monster moon, just plain spectacular.

Bright moon

Saturday morning we did boat jobs – making some strengthening modifications to the tarpaulin we have pressed into service for shade – and installed the gas BBQ on the rail and made water.   Currently there is no water on the dock or in the toilets so we are watching our water consumption carefully.   Later on we went for a few drinks before having an early night.

Sunday we awoke to a grey and dreary day……and we decided to stay put.     I wandered up to the resort lobby to Skype my mum and, on the way, was surprised by loads of guests arriving.   First time I’ve seen more than a dozen people.    Anyway as I’m walking up the path Cheeky the monkey runs – at full speed – straight at me scattering the nervous tourists in his wake – before jumping onto my shoulder.   He settles behind my head, puts his hands around my neck and starts giving me kisses before checking my hair for bugs.   Some kids were absolutely transfixed by this. Eventually he got bored, jumped down and left.

In the lobby it was mayhem – there was barely a chair left to sit – and it seems like a huge dive club has arrived from Uruguay.    On the way back to Morphie I had Cheeky and Ethel both inviting themselves onto my shoulders.  They finally jumped back into the trees but they refused to even look at the other holidaymakers let alone get close enough to be touched – not sure why the monkeys appear to like me so much LOL.

For the rest of the day we stayed on board and enjoyed a steak on the BBQ before having an early night.

Monday morning we were up early again and went to the dive boat – thankfully the Uruguay group are taking their own private boat – so there was just eight of us with Captain Willy.   Two other experienced divers and four newbies who had just qualified.  We went off to the house reef for the first dive – and the water was lovely and flat – and we all went in.  We descended and waited on the bottom for them to come down – and they took a long time as they needed to adjust their weights.   Finally we all head off but two of the newbies were struggling – and suddenly I spotted one of the women shooting up from 50 feet towards the surface.  Chris, the divemaster, went after her and it was clear she was throwing up on the surface.  So while he was dealing with her we led the dive until he returned.  Finally we arrived under the boat and the newbies got straight out while Richard and I whiled away some time just checking out the lettuce coral and the baby fish that live in it.   We maxed at 90 feet and did a 45 minute dive – we actually went back to the boat with almost half a tank of air but decided it wasn’t fair to let them sit up there waiting any longer for us as they were clearly feeling ill.

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Back on board and it was decided to return to the dock for our service interval – and the couple got off, leaving us with just one set of newbies.   So back out again and we all descended onto a shallow spot before dropping over the wall.    Very pretty and quite a few things to see – we enjoyed ducking below some of the overhangs to see what might lurk in the shadows beneath.   During this dive we realised that the newbies were below us most of the time but they seemed confident enough – although when we turned around I did signal them to come shallower as they didn’t appear to realise the significance of why we had risen further up the wall.   Anyway…we returned under the boat…and Richard and I swam around exploring in the shallow water…    We were a bit shocked when the newbies got to the shallows and then surfaced without a safety stop.   We finally surfaced after another 50 minutes underwater to a maximum depth of 70 feet.  Chris asked the newbies what their decompression limit was / maximum depth during the dive and was very surprised that they didn’t appear to know.  Collectively we reckon they went down to at least 100 feet and with no computers or tables they weren’t aware of their diving limits.   Chris told them off – gently – and hopefully they’ll rent computers or follow his profile going forward!

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The rest of the day we chilled before having a few drinks in the palapa – with Richard enjoying cuddles with boat dog Libby – followed by an early night.

Richard with Libby

This morning – Tuesday – and it is shopping day.    Richard has cleaned Morphie’s topsides – as the water on the dock has been restored – and is now trying to get off yellow spots left on the gelcoat by the sap from the palm trees…….   I’m blogging having just returned from visiting the fruit and veg man.

Fresh produce

This afternoon we have our weekly courtesy bus trip to the supermarket for provisions and not sure about later – although Caroline and Scott are due to arrive into the marina later today, so will be nice to welcome them back.

We think we will probably stay in Roatan for another couple of weeks and do more exploring both above and below the water before moving on.   Next destination is a return to Utila – if the weather permits – and then onto Belize.   All very exciting….

Bye for now