Diving in Roatan is extremely popular, as noted by the numerous dive shops that operate in the West End (where all the gringos are). This is what we would’ve imagined beach towns to be like, and not like the megapolis city built along the beaches like that of Cancun! Sorry guys, no love for Cancun one bit.
We arrived last night, and it was raining. When we woke up, it was still raining. When we arrived at the dive shop, the owner told us it has been raining continuously for 11 days! Well, that was about to change because the moment we stepped outside to get geared up, the sun was out and the clouds were gonzo! Yeahhhhhh!
Planning to get both our Open Water & Advanced Open Water certifications, we definitely found a great shop to learn from as the owner is our instructor, and he’s been certified since 1978! Extremely patient and knowledgeable, you just feel safe with him as your teacher, and it’s hard to get this feeling because for the most part, diving for the first couple of times is a strange experience.
Today, we did 3 dives, repeating most of the exercises we did in the pool 9 months ago. Each dive was followed by a swim around the coral reefs that line the edges of Roatan. The water was clear, fishes were swimming amongst the coral, massive groupers were chilling under rocks looking extremely creepy. The currents in the ocean is a bit strange too, as you get sudden cold currents that change into warm currents 5 feet away!
In our last dive, while swimming around after the exercises, Alan spots this massive (probably 5-6ft long!) barracuda just floating in the middle of the ocean, staring aimlessly into our direction. Not sure how to react, but for the longest time there you were just reminded how foreign the ocean is for humans and how vulnerable we actually are in the wild! It wasn’t until the instructor gave us an “OK” sign after spotting the barracuda, we actually felt safe. The scariest part though, was after our dive, we saw the same barracuda in the same spot chilling, so we continued on towards our boat with the creepy predator behind us. Then, near our boat, BAM! The barracuda is there again just chilling , but this time swimming in a slow manner perpendicular to us. W T F? Scared the shit out of us.
After diving, both Alan and Jiajia got stung by jellyfish and had some reactions, which was washed off with the age old method of vinegar. We happily retreated home, showered, grabbed dinner at this awesome Tex-Mex place and spent the night chilling outside. The problem was, at around 10pm Alan started getting a rashes ALL OVER his body, and suddenly just came down with a fever that kept increasing until 39C. Jiajia worried all night, thinking if it was 1 of 100 causes in these tropical climates. Jellyfish poison? Dengue? Malaria? Food poisoning? Hyper-allergenic to something???? Oh no!