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Roatan

Discussion in 'Bay Islands' started by SteveWoj, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. EvilOtter

    EvilOtter Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Canada
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    I would be surprised if Sueno del Mar has a viable shore dive. They are close to Blue Chanel, which is a very popular spot for the snorkel tours. However, the reef is several hundred metres away from the shore and across a busy channel. Perhaps they drop off from their docks? Please let us know if you find any more info.
     
  2. SteveWoj

    SteveWoj Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Bellingham, WA
    23
    4
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    Just got an interesting email from CocoView. I was just about to make the final payment for the reservation and noticed in the email that diving will include one moored dive and a drop off at the wall on the way back. I was sure it was 2 moored dives and a drop off at the wall on the way back. I was hoping to get out and see a few different dive sites while out there. Would anyone have a good second choice for a stay if it ends up that is the case? I see many of of the other resorts have three boat dives a day...
     
  3. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    8,896
    1,430
    113
    In the am they do one moored dive then a drop off dive. Repeat in the afternoon. Someone told me on here it's possible to get them to do 2 moored dives if the whole boat agrees, but if that's true it's not something they will offer or that you can count on. I'd guess it happens rarely at best..
     
    Doc likes this.
  4. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
    9,814
    2,515
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    @SteveWoj ...Your information and Damsefish's advice is correct.

    Another good choice would be AKR, which I believe comes in a very close second to CCV in terms of value and overall experience on Roatan.

    Your apprehension as to "wanting a different dive" is understandable and a commonly held belief, something that usually disappears after the first visit. I'd encourage you to give it a try, hundreds and hundreds of divers who return five, even 15 or 25 times, year after year should be comforting.

    Actually, you will see "the same dive" only five times in the week, as the 10 "drop off" dives will be split between two distinctly different walls that converge in a vee to form the CCV channel. They will assume you want the wall that has Sunlight straight on it, so Newmans Wall in the AM and in the Afternoon, CCV Wall.

    You can really ask for either, they will drop you where you want, even if you're a solo diver. You can ask for "Enduro", which is just a longer version, dropping you further out along either wall.

    Many divers treat this as if was a race against their SPG, most coming ashore with 1200psi or more. I go very shallow, I have an enviable SAC rate, and exit with 300psi. I'm crawling on the sand in the last 300', so I don't run out of air...I run out of water. Drop off dives for me are 1:30+BT. I've never run out of air, but tanks make funny noises at 59psi, even in 2' of water. I always supposed I could just stand up.

    The best advice I can give is to, each time, vary your depth. You will indeed see different things. Stay with your DM in general, but on a drop off, tag along and watch what the macro photographers are all excited about. It pays off.

    Check in at the PADI dive shop. Meet Patty, invest in the Naturalist Dive course, she wrote the book on the subject. Always carry a glass magnifier and a flashlight. Tell your DMs to explain how they found that amazing little critter during the surface interval. Learn how by following them. The perceived need to be off on your own pays few dividends.

    Quite often on drop off dives, I'll ask to be dropped off right over the Prince Albert Wreck, that's the 140' that sits 300' off the front of CCV in 30fsw. Talk about repetitive! I never tire of gawking at the little critters clinging to the coral encrustations...or get predictable Alpha predators who hide in plain sight on their iron condo. I bring my new visitor friends there on purpose- this is the night dive location, so imbuing them with familiarity has worked well.

    The "same old dive" fear is widespread and common. This is why any given mooring buoy represents two named dive sites, one next door to the other. sure, they're the same reef wall shape but by gosh, they are different names on each side, so everybody's happy.

    CCV gives you the best acces to a dive zone that is totally different and unique in the Caribbean. It's shallow, always bathed in Sunlight, and has the only intact reef wreck. You may or may not like the resort, but the underwater scene is spectacular (for the Caribbean), and your number of logged dived will bump by 27+ without a lot if effort.

    When I had an intact spine, I downhill skied all over the world, 7 continents (one indoors, but who cares?) Not going to CCV at least once would be like me not having done Zermatt or Aspen.

    Some decry my posts in this forum as cheerleading. If that's how you read it, so be it. I also cheer for 7 or 8 other resorts/islands/zones far flung worldwide. I know what I like, I know what works.
     
    EvilOtter and shawrg like this.
  5. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
    5,207
    1,236
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    Yeah, you could put most divers on the same sites every day and call them different names and they wouldn't know it. Besides, same dive site doesn't mean you see the same things.
     
  6. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    8,896
    1,430
    113
    If one of the "things" you're into is topography, you mostly do. It's why I somewhat prefer the other side of Roatan. I like all critters and things big and small and dive with a magnifying glass, but I'm a sucker for scenic UW views and interesting structure.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  7. EssA

    EssA Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Montreal
    2
    0
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    Damselfish, where exactly is "the other side of roatan" ? We love macro and would love to find that.
     
  8. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

    11,830
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    West side, as opposed to east (south) side. Check out West End, Roatan vs Cocoview
     
    Damselfish likes this.
  9. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
    9,814
    2,515
    113
    “Macro” by actual definition means “large”. But, in common use...well, that depends on who is using the word commonly.

    Macro has gotten perverted with photographic marketing nomenclatures in approx 1979. The term “macro lens” became the new name for the cheaper replacements for the previous standard “micro lens”. These technical use definitions have become nebulous with the advent of digital imaging, but that’s a different 1,000 word post.

    You want Macro? (Bigger fish?) On Roatan, they’re slightly more common on North or West sites, they are, because of the terrain, easier to see. They are in full pelagic mode. They are also found on the South shore, but on the South they are exhibiting hunting behaviors (due to higher concentrations of smaller edibles) and due to the lush and florid character, thus often harder to see. This may be counterintuitive as the Southern side has much brighter Sunshine and is much shallower, but Apex predators use that to their advantage...experts at hiding in plain sight, mostly using the obvious contrasts and shadows. On the South, they often appear above you, between you and the Sun. Or, they lurk under ledges, you can go right by and not see them in the shadow as your monkey terrestrial irises can’t deal with shadow and Sunlight as well as our minds will delude us.

    On the North side, the bigger macro critters are much more discernible, They tend to materialize out in the distance. They are hunting smaller free swimming fish in general. The West North zones are within the RMP so there is much less fishing. That topic’s another 1,000 word post.

    You want micro? That’s the little stuff. It’s easiest to find on the South side. Magnifying glass and flashlight stuff. It’s best to follow a good DM like a ghost. Very shallow, full Sunlight, that defines micro zone as well as Roatan South side.

    So, not sure what most people seek when they use the word, “macro”.

    After many years of diving, I’d seen bunches of Lobsters, Squirel Fish, Crabs, Baracudas and etc, etc. Then, one day, a friend slowed me down and showed me what I simply was not yet seeing. The micro.

    See in my below signature line, the link to “micro” photos. Yep, it can get pretty wired. And it’s always been there, right in front of your faceplate.
     
    EvilOtter likes this.
  10. EvilOtter

    EvilOtter Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Canada
    151
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    This is such good advice. As a relative newcomer to macro video (and by this I mean subjects less than 10mm), I found myself struggling to find critters while going off on solo missions. Even though I was creeping along slowly and scanning every surface, I was coming up with very few interesting finds and was often missing things that the divers with the "good eyes" spotted immediately.

    It wasn't until a friendly DM, who also happens to be an incredible photographer, started explaining to me where to look and why that I started to understand what I was missing. Different type of critters relate to different habitat and often maintain symbiotic relationships for reasons of food, shelter, self-defense, etc. Once you become aware of those relationships, it becomes much easier to know what to look for, based on the type of structure that presents. Furthermore, an understanding of what might be present in certain types of structure helps to focus attention on revealing the natural colours, shapes and patterns that so effectively camouflage these critters in their environments.

    The other thing that I learned is the importance of research. By reading up on the lifestyle and habits of the critters that you are searching for, you can get a much better understanding of how they might present and of specific behaviours that they may exhibit. You also quickly realize how much there is to learn and how little you actually know. As a side benefit, you get to be that guy on the dive boat that ID's species using their scientific nomenclature. :p
     
    chillyinCanada and Doc like this.

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