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Dive Review of Fantasy Island in
Honduras/Bay Islands - Roatan

September, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Patricia A. Sinclair, La, US
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 6245
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Jamaica, Florida Keys, Statia,
Cozumel, Bahamas
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Maximum dive time 60 minutes (I poshed that) and no deeper than 110 fsw.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
camera bucket on boat and they watch to ensure no one puts masks in with
the camera.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
I left on a wonderfully rainy and blustery day (NOT) from Louis Armstrong
International airport (MSY) for Houston.  I was due to leave at 06:50 (AM.)
 We (those making international connections in Houston) were moved to the
08:10 flight to Houston.  That cut 1:20 off my layover time in Houston.
However, the 08:10 flight was re-routed to avoid TS Lee, and needed to
wait while more fuel was added for the flight, since it would now be
longer.  Oh joy  would I make the 12:10 Roatan flight on time?  The plane
finally left MSY at 08:45, and my layover was now cut to 35 minutes, if the
Roatan flight was on time.  I hoped Lee would not destroy my house while I
was gone. We arrived in Houston and luckily, I was seated in first class,
so I was one of the first off the plane.  I ran with my carry-on bag which
contained the camera equipment and went from Terminal C to Terminal E
without having to go through Security again.  As I ran, I prayed that the
checked bag (with all my dive gear) would make this plane too.  I got to
the plane just as they were finishing up boarding, and luck was with me
again, as I found a place very near to my seat for the carry-on bag as
well.  We arrived in Roatan at 12:45 (local time) which was about 40
minutes later than originally planned.  

I get off the plane and go through customs in only 20 minutes  this is
good  better than in the past.  I then go to the luggage carrousel and
hope the dive bag will appear, it did!  We go to the bus and head to the
resort and once there, I asked for and got room 501. I love that room, nice
water view, easy to get to on the SI and get back to the boat on time for
the next dive. I unpack and do the paperwork for the dive shop.   

I head to the dive shop, turn in the paperwork to Daren and play catch-up
on what has been happening since early June for him and for me.  Daren said
my boat captain would be Pedro and he was going to DM. 

Concerning the resort - there is always plenty of foodnot the best food in
the world, but ok and you can have as much as you want.  The rooms are
being renovated slowly and there are some maintenance issues at the resort.
 But they are working on getting everything updated and they are hiring the
old chef (from 2005 and 2006) again, and that should up the quality of the
food (he is a really good chef and the kitchen seems to run really well
under him.)  But, I dont go there for the food or the rooms, I go for the
diving and what I consider to be the best DM and Boat Captain on the island
 Daren and Pedro respectively.

On to the diving:
On the first dive we saw a very large barracuda, schools of Creole wrasse,
brown chromis, 2 flamingo tongues, barred hamlets, indigo hamlets,
damselfish (all kinds, tri-color, cocoa, yellowtail, etc.)  Large anemone,
a lizardfish and a long snout butterfly fish, along with the usual
angelfish and standard butterfly fish.  Most everyone on this dive ended it
at 40 to 45 minutes.  At the end of dive, I found a squadron of 3 squid. 
I did not want to go back in less than 45 minutes, like the other people
were doing.  So, I did my bring the squid closer trick.  Daren was
watching me, while I did this.  I managed to get one squid within about 6
to 9 inches of my hand  with tentacles outstretched toward me, like
he/she/it wanted to touch my finger tips.  The squid kept changing color
from a light tan-brown to a beautiful violet and back again.  No idea what
it was trying to communicate, but it seemed very intent on getting the
message out.  I looked into the eyes, and there is intelligence there, I
believe, or at the very least and awareness of self and surroundings.  It
sure was pretty.  I was hacked that I did not have a camera, but if I had,
it would never have come that close to me, since they seem to want to run
when you bring the camera up to shoot a picture.   Daren was really
surprised at how close the squid got to me, and at how I brought it in so
close.  I think the squid find me non-threatening, and that is why they
come in close, or they think my fingers are tentacles and are intrigued by
them?  In any event, I know that by doing my fingers in a certain way, they
will come to me every time.

Notes on the 17 other dives:
We saw lots of anemones: blue, green and pink tipped.  There were many 
lionfish, a large school of spadefish, Queen and ocean triggerfish and
sharpnosed puffer fish.  Found another Spaghetti  worm.  Saw a small Golden
Tail Moray, Sergeant majors were dancing together (getting ready to mate?)
Creole wrasse were swarming everywhere, looking like purple waterfalls
going over the reef wall. On other dives we found a reddish brown
seahorse,yellow seahorses, a sponge containing three coral banded shrimp.
Brown Chromis, Blue Chromis, spadefish and so many other fish.  Lots of
grouper this trip too. 

At about dive 6, Daren got sick and Miguel was our new DM.  I have been
diving with Miguel in the past and have fun ribbing him - very nice guy. 
But he likes to have you do 45 minute dives, do I purposely stay to 50
minutes and one time for 1 hour and 6 minutes, just to try his patience. 
It is a game I play with him, and he just laughs about it. 

Louis, the videographer offered to film for the people on the boat.  No one
took him up on it, so I talked to him about making a nice video of the reef
and all the fish for my grand kids.  This way they could see why I dive,
what is there, and perhaps get them interested in the environment, the
ocean and saving these for the future.  I paid him for this video, and he
gave me a copy for the grand kids as a gift, and wanted me to keep the
original for myself.  What a nice guy.  The economy there is so very bad
right now, that I wanted him to make something that week, which is why I
got him to make the video/DVD. 

I found what looked like it might be a snapping shrimp in a large barrel
sponge, it ran very quickly to a hiding place and I waited for it to come
back out.  It did come out again and I saw that the color was an olive
green, it did not seem to be patterned, but rather was a solid color and it
had unequal sized claws and the eyes were reddish in color.  I still have
not been able to identify what type of shrimp this was.  

On another dive, a large school of chubs passed us by and all the usual
Caribbean fishes appeared at one time or another.  When we did Mary's
Place,  I actually did the swim through, but I stayed about 10 feet higher
in it than the other divers were. 

On one of the walls, we found a baby frogfish.  It was a white one and very
small.  Daren is going to keep an eye on it and see if it stays in that
location.  He is also going to look around carefully for adult frogfish. 
There have to be at least a pair somewhere around this site.  
We found a HUGE stingray  wing span between 6 and 7 feet.  It was too far
away and I dont chase animals to get their picture.  Was beautiful to
watch as it went over the wall.  Found an almost adult spotted drumfish and
many juveniles.  

There usually are one or two toadfish at Calvin's Crack.  We looked in
their usual spots, but apparently they were out for the day.  I usually do
not do swim through, and I did not do this one.  I tried to get shots of
the bubbles coming up but those did not work out as I had envisioned them. 
They arent bad, but they arent good.  

On the next dive after Calvin's we came across two large (over 3.5 feet
long) green moray eels and I took pictures of both of them.  Since we had a
30 minute SI between dive one and this one, I went into the yellow on my
computer for the first time this trip.  I did not worry too much about it,
since I dive Nitrox on an air setting on the computer.  

The last dive of the trip (number 19)was at Missing Link. This dive was
just Miguel and myself.  My last dive!  Found a turtle on this dive, it was
the biggest of the 3; carapace was at least 2.5 feet long.  It appeared to
be asleep, so I got within 3 feet and took a couple of shots.  I backed off
and it continued to sleep.  Found a huge scrawled filefish,  flamingo
tongues and an anemone hiding in the rocks.  This might have been a hidden
anemone.  Took my time and watched yellowheaded jawfish, looked closely at
Xmas tree worms and feather duster worms, laughed at the damselfish trying
to attack me or my strobes.  Found what turned out to be a black hamlet,
until I looked this one up, I did not know that there was such a variety of
hamlet.   This was a nice long, lazy, slow dive and it was really the best
dive of the week in addition to be the saddest for me. q hour and 6 minutes
on this dive and Miguel was really wanting to get out of the water!  LOL! 

We returned to the dock and I cleaned my gear more thoroughly than I do on
a daily basis and hung it up in the gear room to begin the drying process. 
Then I went to my room and cleaned myself up, and headed to the bar.  I got
in 19 dives and 17 hours 1 minute in the water and made by 340th dive.
All too soon this trip was over and here I was drying and packing my gear
for the return home.   Now I began to wonder if my house was still
standing, was it damaged, was it flooded?  I know, it was a bit late to
begin worrying, but I was not sure what I would be returning home to find
and I did promise myself to worry about that later and now was later.  For
the return home, I had gotten the first class upgrade (before I left the
States) for both legs of the trip.  I was going out on the 15:40 flight and
would be in Houston around 19:38 and would get the 21:08 plane to MSY, and
would be home by midnight CDT.
I got to MSY safely and the house was standing, no flodding, it
was a good trip - just wish it had been longer!!!
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