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CocoView Resort - 4/27 - 5/4/19 - quick write up

Discussion in 'Bay Islands' started by Basking Ridge Diver, May 5, 2019.

  1. Basking Ridge Diver

    Basking Ridge Diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
    For me I was looking for a place to dive that would accommodate my wife who was a new OW diver. Had 4 dives after being certified and only dove in NJ - once in the ocean and 3 times in fresh water - all of them were shore dives.

    She was hesitant about a giant stride off a boat and was not sure that boat dives would work. We chose CocoView - at the very least if she could not boat dive - we could do shore dives to get her comfortable.

    Leading up to the first dive - I will say the paperwork from the resort is skimpy at best - does not really explain how the shuttle pickups work and so flying into Roatan Airport (RTB) was a bit shaky - if you are a person that likes complete details on how the process works this is not the outfit. It is "Island Time Mon" just relax and go with the flow.

    We departed the half filled plane and walked into the airport. Very little lines and were in and out of customs in 40 mins tops and we were the last ones in line. So far so good. As we started clearing customs we noticed some folks with pink CocoView tags so we started a conversation. The box truck would pickup luggage and a separate van would pickup those going to CocoView. Now I am starting to feel better. Sure enough once we cleared customs - on the other side there was our CocoView representative with a handheld sign and collecting everyone and pointing the way. Would have been nice to know beforehand but I roll easy and oh there are 4 doors for flights in the entire airport so you can not really get lost - but I did not know that when I arrived. So all good - at least for us.

    The ride to Roatan was uneventful but I noticed a lot of security bars on windows and lots of "security" around some of the malls and what not on the way - about 30+ mins from the airport to the boat that takes you to CocoView Resort.

    There are no roads into Cocoview if you did not know - you can only access the property via boat. The other side of the property is owed by a "Billionaire" or so I was told and with the 24/7 security on that property it seemed very secure and safe.

    We got to CocoView and checked in luggage was brought up to the room but not in it. You handle your own carry on bags - get your keys on Saturday and we did the "orientation dive" on Saturday if you want. I should have left the keys in the office - I never locked a door - even at night - it felt very safe. There is a small safe if you wanted to put any valuables but not big enough to fit a laptop. I left all valuable in the suitcase and laptop on the desk and not once did I worry about it. I was very happy with the level of "safeness" that I felt at the resort. If you wait until Sunday you miss the first boat dive.

    So - I had told my wife the plane would likely be late and we would do the orientation dive on Sunday. But after realizing we would miss the morning boat dive - I pushed her to do the dive on Saturday. A little trepidation but she was a trooper and acquiesced. She had not dove since last fall with her 4 dives and was nervous. The orientation dive is just that - it is not a checkout dive or at least it did not feel that way. After a 30 min or less conversation on what to expect from the platform to the chain down to Prince Albert to Newmans Wall - back over the Prince Albert wreck and out to the CocoView Wall. We did a shore dive and found the chain which is your tell tail sign to the exit. We went far enough on each wall to get the layout and to be comfortable that we could find our way home on the dropoff dives. Every first morning and afternoon dive is at the "prime location" and has a Dive Master to point out any critters or interesting areas. After a surface interval your second dive is a "dropoff" dive this is without the DM - so this is where your orientation dive helps you find your way back to the chain. These dropoff dives alternate between Newmans and CocoView walls. You can extend your dives depending on your gas consumption. We would often dive the Prince Albert, the plane parts and the sandy bottom looking for the native critters.

    There are four CocoView Boats we were on the green boat or CocoView III locker area. Side note - all the boats have a ladder in the middle of the boat and in wavy conditions is very convenient - two ladders on the stern as well. There were 8 total divers on our boat the other boats had 10 divers and a DM. Since this was the first time I cannot tell you if this is normal this time of year or not. But it was by no means a cattle boat - lots of room and lots of time to meet your boat mates and make friends. Before leaving the dock for any morning or afternoon dive you get the briefing of the dive site. For two of our morning dives we had to show up 30 mins earlier to ensure we had the prime morning line to the destination. Boats generally leave at 8:30am and 2pm every day.

    We chose Nitrox for the week - on my wifes first dive vacation I wanted safety of the Nitrox. Everyone on our boat was diving Nitrox. You check the pressure and mix and put your initials / mix on green tape - sticking it to the tank. Log it in the Nitrox book and you are good to go. We chose to check 10 tanks at a time. 2 tanks for the morning, 2 for afternoon and 1 for a night dive. It was easier for me to just do it all at once. There were so many tanks available for the 8 divers on our boat - I never had to ask for more tanks. The gas monkey was constantly grabbing empty tanks located outside of our locker area and replacing new tanks inside the locker area. It was a smooth running operation and very easy to adapt.

    So the dive sites were in order of the day:
    Prince Albert + Newmans Wall + CocoView Wall (Orientation Dive)
    Big French Cay Cut + Newman's Wall
    Minagerhea's Reef + CocoView Wall
    Night Dive
    Calvin's Crack (8am) + CocoView Resort - (story will come later)
    Night Dive was cancelled due to weather
    First Bight Wall + CocoView Wall
    Mary's Place (8am) + Newman's Wall
    Two Tall Two Small + CocoView Wall
    Night Dive
    Chimneys + Newman's Wall
    Valley of the Kings + CocoView Wall
    Night Dive
    Tulio's Reef + Newman's Wall
    The Wreck of The Mr. Bud + CocoView Wall
    Night Dive
    Forty Foot Point + Newman's Wall
    I ended up with 27 dives for the week.

    Ok - the people were very nice and we made friends very quickly. 2 couples had been to CocoView multiple times and 2 couples were first timers - we fell in the latter. Not everyone had a camera or a gopro but everyone had a chance to look at the critters the DM pointed out. Again a well run process and organization.

    The first night I was awakened by my wife who was a bit nervous. The room was shaking and it was her first Tremor / Earthquake - this was going to be a trip for first's for my wife. Lol...
    uncfnp, Redfoot and drrich2 like this.
  2. Basking Ridge Diver

    Basking Ridge Diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
    So in the morning of Calvins Crack - the DM mentioned that we would do a SIT at "Hole in the Wall" and we should bring money. So I went back to the room and grabbed a few bucks. Calvins Crack was spectacular and my wife did a swim through we were riding a high - she was nervous and did great. We rolled into Hole in the Wall bar and immediately could tell this was a unique place. The shack was filled with memorabilia and we wrote our names and date on the wall as others had done before us. We engaged the bartender and found Drew Bledsoe had come here with other celebrities and signed teeshirts - it was a wonderland of crazy and fun stuff. So this is the morning dive and I am not really paying attention but happy as a clam. Bartender says what would you like - I said a local beer - I am on vacation and what the heck. So my wife and I are drinking our beer on the SIT. And one of the boat mates grabs a ring off a hook that is hanging on string and says try to get the ring on the hook from the line drawn on the floor. The bartender says get the ring on the hook first time and you get a beer. That is all I had to hear - I adjusted to the left and pulled the ring back another 4 inches. Let it go and sure enough it lands on hook. I was known as "Lucky" from that point forward - it really was a friendly interesting atmosphere on and off the boat. So we settle up and start climbing back on the boat. The DM asks are you doing the dropoff dive and of course I said yes. He looks at me and says well Drinking and Diving dont mix like Drinking and Driving. I laughed a little and had not noticed that everyone else was drinking soft drinks... Ooops... lol So had I known - I would have waited to grab a beer but now it is too late. So I agreed - safety first... When they dropped the others off for the dive - we got back to the dock and did a shore dive. Funny story - I was on vacation and did not even think about the beer in the morning or before a dive... My bad.

    So they run a tight show and I was pretty happy but obviously it is up to you to stay safe.
    One night they also cancelled the night dive due to the currents in the cut that you had to swim up the chain.

    We saw 3 octopuses on two of the night dives - 2 large ones and one that fit on half the side of my palm. That is another story. We saw seahorses that were slightly underwhelming - I dive in NJ and see lots of seahorses in the July through September time frame. We saw 1 sea turtle as well. My wife wanted to see a seahorse and a turtle so the vacation was a success from that point of view. But she did her first boat dive, first night dive, first swim through and overheads, first penetration but not far on the cleaned out Prince Albert.

    The food I thought was very good. I am not a picky eater but the omelettes in the morning were great, the lunch was always more than I could eat and I generally went back for seconds, the dinners as well had plenty of variety. If I had to say a negative - the desserts were ok - I am not a big dessert fan but the food was great the desserts were ok.

    At the bar there is a happy hour, with snacks and beers were 2 dollars, I think the Monkey La La's were 3 dollars maybe $4. We did not drink a lot but I enjoy a cocktail after diving. Lol except when I go to a bar in the morning.

    I found the Reefs to be beautiful most had more fish than I could count. Some had less but had other attractions to swim through or look at in the sand. With 27 dives I was pretty happy and exhausted until it was time to leave. I could have stayed another day or two. Live music and shows by locals seemed fun but I missed most of that with the night dives. But from my standpoint I would gladly go back. I dont know that I will become a CocoNut - those with more than 5 stays - I would like to try a live aboard and Bonnaire before I go back - but this trip was perfect for building confidence in my wife and to get her thinking about our next dive vacation.

    Overall for me I would give it an 8 out of 10. The service was maybe 9 out of 10 - the resort would help you anyway they could. My wife rubbed her ankles on the fins and they wrapped her ankles, gave her boots and new fins - we bought some dive socks but the rubbing did some damage. She had 23 dives and loved it. So mission accomplished for us.

    I have too much video and it will take me weeks to pull together something with editing. Hope this helps someone that is thinking of going.
    I never noticed it only allows 10K characters so split this in two...
    uncfnp, Hoyden, Redfoot and 5 others like this.
  3. Fitman5150

    Fitman5150 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Texas
    My wife & I agree with basically everything you mentioned above.
    We’ve been twice now.
    My wife was a fairly new diver as well on our first trip. This definitely made her a better diver. She called it “Dive Camp”. Nothing fancy but good diving, really good food, and decent accommodations.
    Oh yeah forgot to mention we saw a HUGE bull shark on one dive that really got my attention.
    We’ll go back again soon.
    Basking Ridge Diver likes this.
  4. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    Hi @Basking Ridge Diver

    My wife's favorite location is Bonaire. Her initial fear was descending into to blue/black. Being able to swim over the reef before the wall fixed that. We just made our 3rd recent trip. I would come up after our 3rd dive and she would say, "We're going again, right". She did 42 dives in 13 days.
    Redfoot and Basking Ridge Diver like this.
  5. AdivingBel

    AdivingBel Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
    BRD, thanks for the write up. My wife and I did CocoView early in our dive travels. I agree it checked all our boxes for one of our initial dive trips. I'm not sure we'll go back (there are just so many places to go dive and so little time :)), but we'll always have a "soft spot" for CCV. Hope you and the wife have many fun, safe dive trips in the future. IMHO, it doesn't get any better than dive traveling with your SO. :cheers:

    BTW we enjoy both Bonaire & Curacao, so you have that to look forward to..."dive freedom" :bounce::bounce::bounce:
    Basking Ridge Diver likes this.
  6. Redfoot

    Redfoot Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Detroit, Michigan
    That sounds great!

    Is there stuff to do for non-divers?
  7. tridacna

    tridacna ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    Read, lie in a hammock and drink. Not much else.
    Redfoot likes this.
  8. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Great White

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Carolina
    You should think of Coco View as a liveaboard that happens to be on land.
    tridacna's comment was spot on!
    Doc, Redfoot, tridacna and 1 other person like this.
  9. Basking Ridge Diver

    Basking Ridge Diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
    Not a lot in my opinion - at least on premise.
    In the Rec room they have a ping pong table and pool table.
    There were a lot of snorkeler's (maybe 15 snorkeler's - the front yard is relatively shallow about 4 feet to about 10 feet. There is a lot of life in that shallow area - trumpet fish, barracuda, pufferfish, conch, moray eels, lots of fish and eel grass.
    They had 6 or 8 SUP's (paddleboards) but I did not try them.
    There is no "real beach" to speak of that you would lay down on the sand and suntan or read a book.
    The comment about CocoView Resort being a Diving Boot Camp is pretty accurate if you take advantage of all the diving. I thought about getting up early and doing a morning dive but the beds were so comfortable I did not get up early like I thought I would...

    You can pay to go off the resort (boat ride to taxi) and there is zip lining, fishing and land excursions but it is not included in the AI - I was focused on the diving for myself and I was pretty tired after diving 5 a day. I heard one couple that paid $40 for the taxi ride into town - mentioned their meal was outstanding and cheap. But I don't know really what that means or where they went - so I can not comment on the off premise activities.

    Hope that helps. :)
    Redfoot likes this.
  10. Hoag

    Hoag Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    I was just there in late March/early April with a group of about 20 friends who I hadn't seen for a couple years and I couldn't dive for the first few days due to chest congestion & a severe cough. As stated above, if you are looking for something to do, then you could be out of luck. I chose a slightly different approach. I would get up & have breakfast with my friends & see them off at the docks. I would also be there to greet the boat when it returned (usually with only 1 or 2 divers who chose to not do the drop off dive). Same thing for lunch and the afternoon dive.

    In the "down time", I would relax, read a little, have a nap and enjoy that fact that "You don't have to shovel sunshine." If you are looking to keep active, then the staff can arrange tours of local sights such as a sloth sanctuary, but your options are limited. If, on the other hand, you are OK with simply relaxing and letting the stress of the "real world" drift away, then it can be a very relaxing spot.

    Obviously, I went there to dive, and I would have preferred that, but I still enjoyed my trip; even the days I couldn't dive.
    Redfoot likes this.

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