Thursday, February 10, 2011


Dive! Dive! Dive!

This may give y'all a better idea of where we are now. Right here. See the little group of yachts in the farthest bay? That's West End on the island of Roatan. In the foreground is the tourist area of West Bay.

These photos were taken by our friends Ted and Joan on the motor vessel Panchita when they took an open cockpit airplane ride around the island! Check out that little sea plane - we would see it take off and land several times a week from the Fantasy Island Resort. We may not ever see Panchitia again as they just headed off for the Eastern Caribbean islands and Cuba. But, you never know about that...cruisers can and do change their minds.

In fact, we just ran into Enrique and Katheryn on the sailing vessel Pelican in French Harbor a couple of days ago! The last time we saw them over a year ago they were headed north up to the US state of North Carolina. Plans changed and now they are here!

I went scuba diving for the first time ever! It was fantastic and so much easier than I thought! Of course I'm already used to the water and having a snorkel in my mouth for a long time, but all that other gear looked a little (ok, a lot) overwhelming. I had my own personal instructor for 2 dives which made me feel very comfortable. This is a picture of Cheryl from the sailing vessel Interlude who was instrumental in talking me into taking the dive lessons. I lust over her pink fishy cap.

What was it like? Totally a Disney experience! Big schools of blue fish, big groupers lurking, and lots of colorful reef fish. The best part was being able to get in close and watch the behavior of the fish in their natural environment. Because this all is part of the Roatan Marine Park the fish are used to divers and don't fear us because there is no hunting or even touching allowed.

The little dive boat was crowded with gear and cruisers and I didn't get many pictures because I was way too busy (and happily nervous). We all went into the water for the first dive of the day. Even Jonesy, who snorkeled on top of the water and watched me the entire time. After about an hour, we rested on the boat and snacked. Then the rest of the divers went in for a 2nd "tank" (dive) while Jonesy and I relaxed in the sunshine of a beautiful day.

On the knitting front, I finished up a little pair of socks knit from Brown Sheep Wildfoote sock yarn. The foot is about 6 1/4" long which is the smallest size we make for the older children's orphanage.

Also on the needles is a very nice sock design that I am testing for another group. Sorry - I can't show you until April.

So, we've just been snorkeling, walking on the different stretches of beaches, making water, reading, watching the cruise ship tourists pass us on adventure boats. Then we have been listening to music, cooking and eating good food, and monitoring the sunset every evening and watch as the cruise ships leave the big ports around the corner of the island and head off to their next ports of call.

Queen Angelfish
Banded Butterflyfish
Tiger Grouper
Nassau Grouper
Foureye Butterflyfish
Rock Beauty Angelfish
Blue Tangs
French Brunts
Sergeant Major
Yellowtail Damselfish
Queen Parrotfish
Donkey Dung Sea Cucumber
Spiny Lobster
Queen Conch
Caribbean Reef Squid
Fairy Basslet  (aka Royal Gamma) pretty purple and yellow little fish
Spotlight Parrotfish
Bluehead Wrasse
Trumpet Fish
Remora Sharksucker - on another fish!
Yellow Goatfish

Plus lots of super healthy corals, sponges, and anemones and worms. I don't have an identification book (yet!) for this but that's on my shopping list now.

It sounds like you had a blast learning a new hobby. My hubby is a diver, I snorkle. Go to a dive shop in town and see if they have those laminated cards, sort of like a placemat, with pictures of the fish on both sides. Its made to take underwater with you.... Have fun. Love the pretty red sock. Darrell

PS, wish I was on one of those cruise ships. Never been to roatan.
Wow, you're my hero! Two years ago my daughter (who was living in St. Thomas) taught me to snorkel. It was a huge endeavor on my part because I've always been very afraid of the water and make a rule to never get in water where I can't see the drain (it's a pool maintenance thing) or get my hair wet. Needless to say it was AWESOME!!! And if I had the chance to learn to dive... I might just jump at it.
Terry, It's an extremely important job to monitor the sun setting. *ggg* Renate
WOW WOW WOW!!! I am very envious. You go girl!! What a variety of sighting under water. How exciting for you... what a great new adventure......... keep on going!
Your story is an inspiration! I just discovered your blog as I am a knitter myself, love your knitting and everything around is wonderful!

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