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Dive Review of Bananarama in
Honduras/Roatan

Bananarama, Dec, 2005,

by Jim Schoeneck, CA, USA . Report 2759.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Hawaii, California, Mexico
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather rainy, cloudy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 79 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20 to 30 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions told we could dive to 45 minutes, no depth discussed
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments Have been to Roatan before and had beautiful dive conditions. This was not one of those time. My group of 12 divers was on island for 1 day, coming off of a cruise ship. We had chartered one of the Bananarama boats.

Since conditions seemed to be poor up top and I could not get him on the phone, I went off the ship in a pouring rain to meet owner Ron Smith to see if we would be diving that day, which I assumed we would not be. Ron said that we would be going out and that conditions in the water should be fine. I went back, got the group and we piled into vans to go to the shop for paperwork, weights and tanks. Everything went smoothly at the shop (nice open air facility steps from the beach).

We then drove to the boat, loaded the gear and took off. As we reached the dive site, conditions looked OK, with 2-4 foot chop and some surface current. The first of our divers got in and had to pull themselves to the front of the boat to go down the anchor line. No line was in the water for divers that did not immediately get to the boat. One of our divers started to drift and could not swim back against the surface current. That diver's buddy released from the boat and drifted back to keep the pair together. Shortly after the 2 divers dropped under the water and tried to come back just off the reef about 35 feet down. Current there was just as strong and the pair came up farther from the boat rather than closer. The crew did not handle the situation well at all. They were not willing to make the call to abort the dive, seemingly because they were concern that Ron would be upset. I finally made the call to abort and the captain for that day told me he'd only been working there a few days and implored me to tell Ron that it was my decision to abort, not his. Keeping his job was more important than the safety of the divers. Our pair in the water were picked up by another boat and had a very rough tow back to us, but finally arrived safe. We had the boat return to dock and drop us back at the ship. I contacted Ron and told him what happened. After pushing pretty hard, he finally agreed to give us a PARTIAL refund of 40%...

Overall, one of the worst days of attempted diving I've ever had. Most importantly, Ron should have made the call that morning not to go, but he didn't. He and his captain put divers in danger to keep the charter rather than either cancelling or aborting. I've never felt my safety was second to anything else on a dive boat until this experience with Bananarama. There are many fine dive operations on Roatan, this is not one of them.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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