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Dive Review of CoCo View Resort in
Honduras/Roatan Island

August, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Vivian Weber-Pagel, WI, US (2 reports)
Report Number 5689
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Raja Ampat, Indonesia, 
Ambon, Indonesia
Grand Cayman 
Cayos Cochinos
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Boat dives - 1 hour; DM profile with leeway
Shore dives - unlimited time; dive own profile  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Large, dedicated rinse tank for cameras on each boat.
Dedicated dry area for cameras on boat.
Divemasters handle the equipment with care and pass it to divers in the
Dedicated rinse tanks on shore for photography equipment.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    

Vivian Weber-Pagel
Wisconsin, USA

The full moon of August had arrived, and the Honduras Bay Island of Roatan
began its coral spawn watch.  Tides, temperatures and ocean activity were
monitored and shared via emails.  Coincidence or not, during the week prior
to the spawn, the ocean was alight with beautiful Moon Jellyfish - perhaps
foreshadowing the spawn which is timed by the phase of the moon.  In my
1,000-plus hours of diving these Roatan walls, I had never seen such an
abundance of Moon Jellies.

Night dives became the order of the day for divers aroused by the
possibility of viewing this event seen by most only in documentary films.
Carolyn and I did night dives much of the week in an attempt to observe the
spawn.  We would nap after dinner; then get up to dive from 11:30 PM -1:30
AM or from 10:00 to midnight.  We talked about the exhaustion that was
building, but we kept the vigil.  And it paid off!  
When I think of a coral spawn, I envision what I have seen on
documentaries - corals expelling clouds of sperm and eggs.  And then it's
done.  And yes, in part, that is what happened; each coral type displaying
its own particular behavior.  Some emitted a cloud of sperm which at times
so heavily permeated the water with reproductive offerings that visibility
was reduced to less than 15 feet.   Others held onto their spherical eggs,
releasing them with the effort of birthing.  Some coral rods were wrapped
in a winter overcoat of film that methodically peeled off the rods and
floated into the water column as a clear sheet of eggs.  There, all done.
The coral had completed its annual spawn.  

Ah, but how naive we were.  The spawn is not just a coral event; it is an
orchestrated ocean happening. The ocean was electric with energy. 
Creatures moved about with atypical boldness, sometimes mania, engaging in
strange behavior and activity. Everything seemed to be either eating or
reproducing. We were mesmerized by the show for two hours.  
Creatures that normally hide from our flashlights, remained unaffected by
the lights and wandered the coral in a type of frenzy.  Octopi, lobsters,
crabs, Green-, Spotted-, Chain-, and Sharptail eels.  One huge Channel
Clinging Crab, either trying to escape the octopus stalking him or
intoxicated by the spawn, actually got too close to the reef's edge,
dangled precariously on the precipice for a minute, and then fell off.  He
drifted to the ocean bottom doing a classic, full-body flare to slow his
descent.  (Did he attend the Open Water Dive Course to learn that?)
There were starfish by the number.  I had only seen groups of starfish in
Roatan once, and that was on the West End in an area far from traditional
dive sites.  But suddenly they were here, boldly admitting their presence.

Sea cucumbers, typically lumbering their way across the ocean floor, were
crawling the walls - literally and figuratively.  These great globs seemed
ready to take on Mt. Everest.
A fish/critter, dancing too fast above us to be identified, continued its
frenetic behavior until we grew tired from just observing his antics and
moved on.  He swirled, jittered, twisted, jived, and tumbled-about like a
kitten on a mega dose of catnip.

Clusters of Brittle Stars held orgies, not in the privacy of their coral
hideouts, but entwined like a toupee atop coral heads.  Typically scurrying
to shelter with a strong aversion to our dive lights, tonight they were
oblivious to even sustained light, much too engrossed in their primal
activities.   And the Brittle Stars that were not in convention clusters,
behaved indecently, perhaps to gain the attention of others or to prepare
for their private contribution to the evening's reproductive stew.  Some
produced a cloud of what we presume was sperm.   They stood up on their
long, spindly legs, lifting their bodies to the moon, then undulated to
music we did not hear.  

The small Reef Urchins also abandoned their sheltered homes and moved to
communes on coral heads to give homage to the moon.  An occasional Brittle
Star lay tangled in the urchins' spines - eating, being eaten - hard to

A 3-inch Tasseled Nudibranch, only seen occasionally in the Caribbean,
survived its fall after a rowdy octopus knocked it from the coral wall. 
Then it delighted us with its red and orange net pattern and branched
And the worms - absolutely thousands of them in every color and size -
were far more persistent than the No-See-Ums.  Above them were schools of
small, silver-gleaming fish dining on a gourmet meal of Coral Eggs Con
Worms.  At times it was difficult to see the coral through the veil of
worms. And they were not forestalled by neoprene hoods, wetsuits, or vests.
 Only one's masked eyes and nose were free of their insistence.  They
wiggled in and around ears and in cleavage and were found in our hair when
we showered after the dive.  It was enough to pull the faint of heart from
the ocean, but we were too hooked to leave. 
So yes, we saw the coral spawn.  It released clouds of sperm and spherical
eggs.  And then it was over - and we were changed!  Carolyn and I returned
to shore after midnight, starry-eyed - or more accurately - moonstruck.  We
tittered into the wee hours about the incredible experience we had just
had, and then we would grow quiet in our own thoughts and the anticipation
of much-needed sleep.  But only minutes would pass before one of us would
pop up to share yet another recollection of the experience and another
giggle at our good fortune.   Not a problem, we could nap tomorrow!

Writer's Note:
Photos of some of the spawning activities will be posted in the near
future at

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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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