Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Exotic (08/08/13)
TITLE: Deep Turquiose
By Cindy Gerdes
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I discovered Roatan is an island 30 miles north of the main island of Honduras. Several cruise ships dock in Roatan as a routine port of call. Roatan has its own form of government and attempts to stay out the mess on the big island. I began to feel a little easier about the possibility of going to this small, seemingly remote island.
Next came researching the diving in the area. I have been a diver for over 20 years, but my husband had just recently certified for open water diving. To my amazement the resorts in Roatan boasted very nice all inclusive dive packages for relatively new divers. According to the brochures you eat, sleep, and dive, then repeat each day for 7 days. This sounded pretty good to both of us and the price was certainly right. I kept thinking “but what about the quality of the diving?”
As a person who has scuba dived all over the world I can be pretty picky about where I go diving. I could not imagine Roatan comparing to such places as St. Thomas, Grand Cayman, Costa Rica, Curaco or Aruba. The brochures and the internet all made Roatan sound like it was the optimal place to dive.
He finally convinced me we should at least try Roatan and see for ourselves. We arrived at CocoView resort Roatan, Honduras late Saturday morning. We had to do a check-out dive with our dive master right after we ate lunch. This dive is to prove to the dive master you know what you are doing and he can see you are safety smart. As long as we passed the check-out dive we would be free to take a dive from the shore afterwards. The after check-out dive was our first glimpse of the second largest reef system in the world – Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. The only reef system larger is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. After that very first dive off the reef I was hooked on Roatan. The coral colors and the variety of fish was simply amazing. The water was crystal clear and a beautiful turquoise blue color.
Each day we would be up for breakfast at seven and on the dive boat by eight. By nine we would be in the water, one with nature. After our first dive we would go back to one of the reefs by the resort and dive again. Then it was time for lunch and relaxation for an hour. At two we boarded our dive boat again and off we would go to the afternoon dive site and then back to another reef by the resort. That’s four dives so far. If we were real ambitious after dinner we would gear up and go for a night dive off the resort shore. The brochures were exactly right – eat, sleep, and dive.
A six months later the exotic waters of Roatan were calling me. I knew I had to get back there and experience the beauty of the waters below. This time I brought an underwater camera to capture the beauty. I was armed with my camera to take pictures of the puffers, lion fish, turtles, stingrays, octopus and even the sharks. With every picture I took, I thanked God for creating such a beautiful place for me to explore. The sunlight beamed through the turquoise water onto the coral which seemed to change colors as I swam by. Some of the time I would just float along in the silence of the deep and feel totally at peace. It was as if God had led me to my spiritual place sixty feet under His beautiful ocean.
While I was not sure at first about this place called Roatan, Honduras, I am now positive God brought me there to show me another one of His best creations. I go back to Roatan as often as possible and will continue to capture its beauty in pictures.
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