Roatan '10

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Coco View Resort -  Roatan, Honduras - April 2010
7 days of boat and shore diving with Coco View Resort
Scroll down page to see my review of CocoView Resort and video. To see slideshow, click on right arrow below.

 
This picture of the wreck of the Price Albert on Coco view's doorstep is a bit misleading. Most of the time the visibility was not as good as this around the wreck. It gave it that eerie wreck feeling, but I would have preferred better viz. This is not unexpected as the wreck is pretty close to the "bay" where the turbidity of the water really increases. When you do the drop-offs on the CocoView and Newman's walls you can easily see the visibility deteriorate as you get closer to the shore. Also, if you don't have a decent strobe (or two), it isn't going to look like this!

 
One of many seahorses that we saw. We saw more seahorses in this week than in the last 5 years combined. This picture was taken through a fogged housing due to having to open the housing in the humidity.

 
Plenty of Lion fish. This was one of 3 that we saw on CocoView wall on one dive. We actually saw a one inch juvenile Lion Fish right near the beach. It was absolutely the most beautiful fish I have ever seen and I didn't have my camera!! It was right in the path and while we were under the water, (in 3 feet of water) admiring it's beauty, a diver walking back to the shore came and stepped on it (accidentally)! 
 

Lodging.

Well, we reserved too late to insure that we got a room on the resort. Instead they booked us into a beach house. It was beach house 11, the largest and farthest away. Some people there that week had paid extra to stay at a beach house. We paid the standard resort rate.
We would have preferred to stay at the resort.
Why.. well, it is just too far to conveniently haul anything back and forth and that is what I usually do at the end of the day with my camera gear. You can't conveniently go back to your room to change before & after dives. They do have bikes, but I found it inconvenient.
I found myself changing batteries and memory cards outside and until I started using the dive shop to do that, I was getting fogging caused by the humidity I was letting into the housing. If I was going to go back to CocoView and I was still using a camera, I would not stay at a beach house.

The Beach house itself was fine. Bigger than the 2 of us needed. We only needed one of the two bedrooms available, but a spare bedroom was available. Only the downstairs was available, the upstairs was locked up. Although we had a "Beach House" there really was no beach where we were, just some grass leading down to the water. It did provide a lot of privacy, if we needed it. There were a couple of dogs that greeted us frequently, sometime boisterously. We are dog people, other may not appreciate them.
 

 

The dive setup.

Excellent! You have an area that you put your gear and it stays there all week. You get a little wood tile with your room number on it and if it is hanging in the right place, your BC and tanks will be put on the boat prior to the dives. They will only move nitrox tanks on the boat if you have checked and recorded them of course.
It was pretty close to live-aboard, but you did have to remove your BC and swap tanks. On most live-aboards we have been on, they fill your tank during the Surface Interval and your BC never leaves the tank.
Speaking of tanks, I prefer to dive with larger tanks and fortunately I had spoken to Patty, the dive shop owner and she offered me the use of her two larger (100cf) tanks. Thank you Patty!
Our boat had 11 people maximum on it. Most of the time it was between 7 and 9. Plenty of room. The ladder in the middle of the boat came in handy a couple a few times as we had some pretty decent swells and coming up with a camera was easier (a lot easier!) through the middle of the boat.

The dive staff was great. Friendly and professional.
Melgar, our DM, actually jumped in and retrieved the rotating bezel from my compass that had fallen off as I climbed into the boat. If he can find that he can find just about anything.

The coolest fish we saw were 2 very large black Large-eyed Toadfish. Again, I didn't have my camera!

One thing I will mention is that the shore diving can be a bit iffy if there is any kind of current and there were some times when there was current. The current seemed worse in the shallows, which I have never experienced before.

<<< Shore diving area..

 

 



 

Overall Impressions:

The food was OK and there was plenty of it. Not always exactly what was described on the menu, but I can't complain about the food. I'm a true gourmand. It was tasty and I never felt the need to snack in between meals like I do back here at home.

We met some very nice people while we were there. On more than one occasion we served as buddies for folks that couldn't talk the rest of their group into a night dive.

There was one unfortunate incident. During the week one of the guests died. She was assisted in from a shore dive and was apparently dead shortly after. There was no discussion of this from the management of the resort, but it did bring home the issue of mortality and made the trip a bit more reflective than expected. She was relatively young. As usual there were different stories about what happened. I met her before the accident so she was not a faceless person to me. It is something that I truly wish did not happen.

By the end of the week the spirits seemed to pick up again and we were sad to leave.
Getting there and back can be long and arduous, depending on where you live.
For first timers going there, arrival and transport to CocoView is very confusing.
You aren't sure who works for CocoView and who works for the airport, etc. Maybe that was because our plane landed a bit early and the CocoView person wasn't there yet.

Overall, it was one of the best resorts that I have been too, but if I ever did go back, I would stay much closer to the dive operations.
The managers of the resort (they are relatively new in this position) mentioned that it was like a live-aboard but much cheaper. I couldn't really agree with that.
We spent a week on the Turks & Caicos explorer last December. The live-aboard ended up costing us less money overall (airfare + resort / live-aboard cost), we had more dives, had better food and saw about the same (or more) variety of fauna on the dives. Certainly more sharks and fewer seahorses.
If you have been going to CocoView year after year (many people do) and have not yet tried a live-aboard, I encourage you to try it at least once and then make the comparison.
They are both great!
 

Friendly Gecko. !

Banded Coral Shrimp on the wreck at night.
I was using my UCL-165M67 that night and got lucky with focus.

 

 

 

(all pictures and videos on this trip taken with Canon G9 and Ikelite DS-51. Some with DS-125)

We learned how to dive on Roatan 5 years earlier. 200+ dives later, it is interesting to look back at our first experience with scuba. Click here to go back 5 years.

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