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Dive Review of Coconut Tree Divers/Private condo in
Honduras/Roatan

Coconut Tree Divers/Private condo, Feb, 2009,

by David Shirley, MN, USA ( 1 report). Report 4706.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Numerous Caribbean and Pacific destinations.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas choppy
Water Temp 78 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Staff clearly communicates guidelines for dive profiles and yet allows good latitude, based on experience and dive objectives. Safety is clearly a top priority.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments The boats have freshwater tanks exclusively for cameras/video equipment and there is a dedicated tank back on shore. The staff, especially Jose and Marco, are extremely helpful in pointing out small subject matter for the photographers. Their website (www.coconuttreedivers.com) has some outstanding UW photography output from customers.

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments As a diver with over 37 years of underwater experience, I often find myself being more than a bit critical on the nuances of dive operations. In the years of diving with Coconut Tree Divers (CTD) since their inception, I have never found the service, professionalism or quality of the operation to be lacking. Although at times the shear volume of activity at the operations West End facility is somewhat trying, the overall experience has been one of the more satisfying this professional dive instructor has encountered in decades of travel to destinations throughout the Caribbean and Pacific. The staff is first rate and the efforts to ensure customer satisfaction and dive experience nirvana is exemplary.

With two boats now serving their customers, the benefits of segmenting groups of divers, based on experience and dive objectives, is working quite well and there is minimal crossover of mismatched groups of divers. The facility has a well developed continuing education environment, resulting in a plethora of enthusiastic Divemasters in Training to compliment the existing professional staff of seasoned instructors. The staffs attention to detail on pointing out the smaller, often missed, sea-life during dives has been a humbling experience for someone who often claims they have seen nearly everything the seas have to offer.

Dive site selection is typically a negotiated decision in concert with diver group dynamics and dive objectives, along with the sometimes challenging conditions of the sea/weather. Safety is clearly job one and yet CTDs symbiotic balance of safety and genuine customer service is something not experienced enough in the realm of dive operators. From accommodating everyone from the back-pack transient divers frequenting Roatans West End, to seasoned divers and even the part time residents of this island paradise, CTD has a balanced and effective customer service approach that should appeal to the majority of dive society members.

Although the fish life and diving is still very good; with the increased pressure on the fish life and island ecosystem since 1998s Hurricane Mitch, there has been a noticeable decrease in fish activity in the Marine Park Preserve. Hopefully increased efforts to enforce the fishing bans in the preserve will yield positive results. To give divers expanded opportunities for unique underwater experiences, Coconut Tree will, (based on weather conditions and customer interest), offer trips to Barbaretta, along with the Cayos Cochinos, where the fish life is nearly unaffected by the last 10 years of increased pressure to feed inhabitants and tourists.

Above the water, the staff has been diligently helpful in providing concierge level service for both diving and non-diving activities, while suggesting everything from great meal venues for reasonable cost, to arranging one of the best shark dives I have ever experienced. The younger crowd seems to enjoy hanging out near the shop to share post-dive stories and beverages, with occasional organized social events to further enhance the benefits of the camaraderie that divers worldwide seem to share. Although at times the cost of flights to Roatan is somewhat high, it remains one of the best values in the Caribbean and the island is nicer than many other dive destinations in this hemisphere.

David Shirley-Minneapolis, MN-February 2009
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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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