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

Fantasy Island, Sep, 2011,

by Patricia A. Sinclair, La, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 31 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 6245.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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 food…not 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 don’t 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 don’t 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 aren’t bad, but they aren’t 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!!!

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

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 40-75 Ft/ 12-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Maximum dive time 60 minutes (I poshed that) and no deeper than 110 fsw.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments camera bucket on boat and they watch to ensure no one puts masks in with the camera.
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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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