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Dive Review of Reef House Resort in

January, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Samuel B Johnson, NC, US
Sr. Reviewer   (8 reports)
Report Number 5900
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Almost all of my experience is Caribbean, including Curacao, Bonaire,
Caymans, Turks and Caicos, and Cozumel.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy  
Water Temp
77   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 40    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars    
3 stars   
1 stars    
	This was my third and last visit to Reef House. The resort changed hands 4
or 5 years ago. Under the old management it was a low-key, very simple,
fun, family-like place, with the attitude of "We'll do whatever we
need to do to make it a fun time." Now it is only low-key and very
simple. The attitude is that any request is an imposition. Others may find
the new owner/manager, Mike, simpatico. I did not. He makes promises when
one books that he is ambivalent about fulfilling once one arrives. He is
defensive and rigid. He is also petty; on my departure morning when I asked
after breakfast for an extra piece of fruit to take on the plane, he at
first said that "probably" the kitchen had no more. I have no
idea of his personal history, but he feels like retired military. 
	David, the divemaster, who is a local native, continues to be excellent at
spotting reef life. He is by far the best divemaster I've ever experienced
for finding seahorses. However, one gets the feeling that he has burned
out. His dive briefings have become perfunctory, and his jokes are
delivered by rote. Most of his time underwater is spent hunting lionfish,
which may be worthwhile, but he shows divers much less life than he used to
	The dive boat entry is by back rolls, which is not to everyone's taste.
Far worse is that the exit requires one to reach up one's BC and then heave
oneself out of the water onto a wooden platform that is let down more or
less to water level but which is a difficult exit even in calm seas. At a
bare minimum some way must be found to add a ladder exit. The boat also has
no head. Packages include 3 dives a day, two tanks in the morning and one
in the afternoon. Normally there is a weekly night boat dive, but if Mike
rescheduled the night boat dive for one group early in the week, another
night boat dive might not happen during the week long visit of another
	The shore dive would be quite acceptable. On one night dive I saw four
octopuses among the rubble. But the return from the wall requires
navigating a difficult maze of channels and coral heads. Mike insists that
it is "easy," but three different experienced divers attempted
the shore dive on four different nights in different buddy combinations,
and only one buddy team succeeded in finding the dock. Mike refuses even to
consider finding some way to mark the return route because it is already
	The food is quite good but there are no choices; everyone eats the same
menu at each meal. At a minimum they should put out bowls and plates of
whatever is being served so that people can give themselves seconds without
having to play "Oliver" in the kitchen, begging for more. The bar
is serve oneself and record one's drinks on an honor system.
	The physical resort, located on its own tiny key in the Oak Ridge harbor,
is quite pretty and well kept up. Still very simple, but attractive. 
	As for Roatan diving, I have been to Roatan 7 times in the last 18 years,
and the state of the reefs and reef life continues to deteriorate. There
are no large fish; during a week of diving we saw one large grouper and
everyone was excited to see it. The hard corals are not in good shape. My
impression is that the small critters are much less in evidence, and even
the abundant species are fewer than in the past. I had the unusual
experience that most of the conversations with other guests about the
diving consisted in comparing notes on other Caribbean places where the
diving is better. 
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Diving Guide to Honduras
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