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Dive Review of CocoView in
Honduras/Roatan

CocoView, Jul, 2003,

by Jeffrey Houdret, PA, USA . Report 701.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Philippines, Bonaire, Jamaica, Caymans, Barbados, Belize, Bahamas, FL Keys, New Jersey
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy, cloudy Seas surge
Water Temp 80 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 30 to 40 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Stay with the guide.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments [None]Coco View, Roatan, July 12-20, 2003

This, my eighth trip to the resort over 15 years, illustrated what has changed and what is the same. No longer was I the only diver to be ferried from the airport to the resort. This time, a bus carried 20 or more of us. As usual, the CocoView staff person who met the plane whisked us through customs without hassle.
The Resort sports a new dock, updated dive shop, an exercise room, Internet access and a few new rooms. Bottled water is now free. The overall atmosphere of the place, I call it camp for divers, has not changed.
CocoView works for me. I love the people it attracts, everyone from neurosurgeons to Texans. Class barriers disappear. Diving is all that anyone talks about.
Still there are issues, the first being an intestinal malady we named the CocoRuns that has plagued the resort for awhile. It certainly hit our group hard. I was sick by my third day. By the middle of the week, 20 out of 25 guests were also stricken. Many lost complete dive days. One lady had to relieve herself off the back of the dive boat if you can imagine anything more humiliating.
The diving, to my eye was the same as always; well organized, efficient and adequate. Forget seeing large fish except on the extra cost shark-bating dive. The sites are the same ones they have been diving for years. Marys Place is in pretty good shape. Forty Foot Point still has schooling fish.
Visibility was on the poor side, 40-feet at most. It was unusually rough with 10-foot rollers on the boat dives. There had been a storm just the week before. Finding and entering the boat in the murk was occasionally challenging. CocoViews boats, with their unique centrally located entry chambers, work wonders in rough seas.
While the dive operation in general runs efficiently, Nitrox users complained of strange tasting air. The staff responded by scrubbing the affected tanks but the problem persisted.
I believe the biggest issue with CocoView diving is that the reef is dying. The dive staff lectures about reef protectionno gloves, no touching. However, all this becomes irrelevant when you realize that there is no sewage treatment on the island of Roatan. So, every shower, every dish washing chemical and every poop sooner or later ends up on the reef. There are septic tanks but effluent eventually reaches the reef.
Algae covers many parts of the reef, particularly those areas in front of CocoView and the small towns downstream. Dive sites to the east, upstream from prevailing currents, where there is little building, exhibited much less algae.
Diving is still enjoyable. The walls are full of sponges and crevices hiding eels, crabs and occasional sea horse. But, forget the diversity of hard corals, pelagics and nudibranchs that once were common in these waters.
Serving up to 40 meals, three times a day is a challenge in any environment. At CocoView, they do an excellent job. The food, while not gourmet by any stretch is adequate and often quite good. The staff punctuates the normal buffet style dinners with a cookout, which is lots of fun. Again, the intestinal plague that swept through the resort during my week, made everyone very wary of each food category. One night, they organized a dinner at a different restaurant on the island, almost everyone signed up, even though it cost extra. We were all pretty tired of CocoView food by then.
While some guests complained about the food and conditions, one must take into account that CocoView is a great Caribbean bargain. The week I was there, the fee was $699 for the week with accommodations, diving and food. Thats tough to beat in this hemisphere. It follows that in order to provide services for that price; costs have to be cut in lots of places. You get what you pay for.
Overall, CocoView offers excellent value. The friendly atmosphere exuded by both staff and the type of diver the resort attracts is contagious and welcome. The diving, while not world-class, is very good. Reefs are dying all over the world from global warming, sewage and physical damage. CocoView works much harder than most resorts to preserve what they have.
Intestinal maladies can strike anywhere. I have had worse problems in Switzerland than Roatan. Expect it and prepare for it by packing antibiotics and being wary of what you eat and drink.

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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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