We float weightlessly over the sandy sea floor making our way to one of my favorite reef outcroppings. Our exhalations rise in a column of bubbles where they disperse on the surface in concentric ripples. A gentle, vibrant green moray of 7 feet appears from a large crevice and seems to pose for the group I have brought to see her. The young diver to my right squeals audibly with delight.
Roatan, is one of seven islands comprising the Bay Archipelago, which lie off the coast of Honduras. Roatan has seen many people come and go, from its native populations, to pirates and cruise shippers, seeking a piece of paradise on this small island off the coast of Honduras. I too was fortunate to call it home for a short time while working there as a divemaster. More than anything, I loved leading dives and showing off the many underwater wonders found in Roatan’s seas. I quickly built relationships with some of the creatures and enjoyed locating things like small seahorses and elusive toadfish for our customers.
Diverse diving environments
One of Roatan's most attractive attributes is its diversity of diving environments. SCUBAdivers can investigate caverns, wrecks, channels and spectacular cathedral-like amphitheaters composed of colorful coral reefs. The reef formations sport spectacular hard corals, magnificent sea fans and gigantic barrel sponges.
Diverse populations of sea life
In addition to the large variety of environments, divers will also find diverse populations of marine life, some of which inhabit the area, and other species just passing through. Divers are likely to encounter the very colorful reef fish, several varieties of angel fish, parrot fish, damsel fish and snapper. One can also look out to the blue for passing turtles, eagle rays, and barracuda. Thrill seekers can inquire about dives with reef sharks and one may also have extreme luck and have an encounter with the massive and majestic whale sharks and manta rays that occasionally pass by.
Expand your diving skills
Because of Roatan’s clear, calm waters it's an excellent location for divers to advance and expand their diving knowledge and experience. Many companies offer courses and training certifications to further one's skills as a diver under the supervision of trained professionals. Some even offer internships.
Roatan's West End District is home to a large number of operators, includingAnthony's Key, and Coco View resorts. The large number of operators make it possible to walk into a shop, sign up for a dive, cross the beach to the pier and board their dive boat for the day. Many of the resorts also have their own private dive shops complete with dive boats that adds an element of exclusivity to the experience.
Travelers can find direct flights to Roatan from Houston.
Adam Straub currently resides in the Phoenix area, catch him while you can. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org