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Roatan Diving Adventure

A Journal Entry by Greg Maupin

Okay, so Monday afternoon we loaded up the Pelican and headed out for a dive at Canyonlands, a Roatanscuba site we love east of Sandy Bay out past the Odyssey (a wreck located just about in front of the Sunshine Cafe) with Captain Dan, Ann, me, our friend Diedra from Mexico and Gary, a new friend from Arizona.

Canyonlands is a relatively shallow drive site with lots of beautiful coral and little patches of sand that twist and turn and wind their way up into the coral formations. These spectacular coral formations, some 20 - 30 feet high, make up the sides of the "little canyons" providing a unique experience to explore, find creatures and get some great pictures.

Headed for Canyonlands
Roatan Eel

The fact that it is a relatively shallow (probably 50' deep at most) site makes it a great place for someone who is is a little inexperienced or, as in the case of our new friend from Arizona, an experienced diver who hasn't been 'wet' for awhile.

It also has the advantage of being outside but close to the reef so we can accommodate our friends who want to come along on the boat ride and then only snorkel. As long as you stay between the boat and the waves breaking over the reef, it is shallow enough to provide good visibility for snorkeling. This makes for a more exciting Roatan snorkeling adventure because you are actually swimming in the open open Caribbean Sea surrounding Roatan and not inside the protective barrier of the Roatan reef.

While snorkeling inside the reef has its own charm with less current and more shallow perspective (meaning you can get much closer to tiny things), the open sea gives you chances to see creatures that you probably will miss inside the reef. So, even if you don't scuba dive, it is always fun to be out for the boat ride to share the experience with your Roatan diving buddies.

Lion Fish

We are going to try a wreck dive today. We have the Odyssey which is Roatan's largest planned wreck just up the reef to the east of us in front of the Sunshine Cafe (a great Tex-Mex menu). The Odyssey is a 300-ft freighter owned by Hybur Limited. It was in the process of being refitted when it was hit with a massive fire putting an end to its days as a Roatan Caribbean freighter. Anthony's Key Resort (where you can dive with the dolphins) in cooperation with the owners of the Odyssey, spent a great deal of effort to turn this catastrophe into a wonderful Roatan wreck dive opportunity for all of us here on the Bay Island of Roatan. Many of the local dive operations pitched in with help and manpower to make this happen and we owe them all a great debt of gratitude.

The Odyssey is upright sitting on the sand in about 110' of water. It is bordered by two beautiful coral heads and is quite striking. This is a very large ship, some 300' long (the length of a football field) and approximately 50' wide. The location is in the general area called Mud Hole on Roatan.  Hopefully I will be able to add some photos of this site in the near future, but there are many available around the web if you want to do a little digging. (Me? I like diving better than digging, but whatever works best for you!) You can check out Subway Watersports' site which has a wealth of information on not just theOdyssey, but some of the other wreck diving opportunities on Roatan as well. This great dive and watersports operator is up on the East end of the Island which is more remote and thus provides a different and unique diving experience.

Now about that Tex-Mex menu... Kenny and Kathy with their sun Kai, have recently become new managers at the Sunshine Beach Bar and Grill. It is located right on the beach at Hobbie's Hideaway here on Roatan. I guarantee you will find a warm Texas welcome and a great Tex-Mex. They also have traditional Roatan Island seafood favorites like three lobster tails for $15. They also have a full international bar, so you are bound to eat well and enjoy your meal.

I enjoy using my photos to produce some interesting Roatan Wallpaper.

by: Greg Maupin

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