Dive 239: The Labyrinth, Utila (Honduras)

Standard

Dive time: 00:42:00
Max depth: 14 metres
Temperature: 26 C
Visibility: 15 metres
Buddy: Ed
Surface interval: 01:14:00

After spending the surface interval chilling out back at the dock, we motored back out to this site. It is a pretty cool site with lots of channels going in and out of the reef, which no doubt gives the site its name.

We saw a big crab sitting under some rocks and at the top of the reef we saw a couple of squid, and we also saw a massive stingray sitting on a sand patch. One of the guys in the group swam over to it and it took off over the reef. Magnificent creature!

Got a bit lost at the top of the reef (no wonder it’s called the Labyrinth!) so it was a short swim back to the boat.

Dive 238: Haliburton, Utila (Honduras)

Standard

Dive time: 00:31:00
Max depth: 30 metres
Temperature: 26 C
Visibility: 15 metres
Buddy: Ed
Surface interval: 03:25:00

Ed had somehow signed me up to these dives to be his buddy so another two dives this afternoon on top of the two I did this morning. Felt a bit lost without my dive computer to calculate my NDL on these repetitive dives but I figured that I would try to dive a lot more conservatively than the others.

The wreck of the Haliburton is just outside the Utila harbour on sand at about 30m. The wreck had a bit of growth on it but hardly any fish at all. The only thing of note was a massive green moray in the cargo hold. Swam through the bridge, and laughed a lot at our DM Alan on the safety stop, who was demonstrating his poledancing moves on the buoy line. Hilarious!

Dive 237: Rocky Point, Utila (Honduras)

Standard

Dive time: 00:40:00
Max depth: 19 metres
Temperature: 26 C
Visibility: 15 metres
Buddy: Peter
Surface interval: 01:00:00

We had an AMAZING surface interval – I swam with a baby whale shark!!! It was probably about 5m and it was only after two unsuccessful sightings (jumping in the water, madly finning, then nothing and having to fin back to the boat) that on the third try, we pretty much jumped on top of it! It was so graceful, a spotted dusky grey colour. Magnificent!!

The dive was a nice chilled out “drift dive” with no current. The site was a gently sloping reef, which was a garden of soft corals. Saw a green moray swimming about and a big cowfish floating about in midwater.

Dive 236: Blackish Point, Utila (Honduras)

Standard

Dive time: 00:45:00
Max depth: 20.1 metres
Temperature: 26 C
Visibility: 15 metres
Buddy: Peter

Ed was having a massage this morning so I went out on the boat and buddied with a German called Peter. We were out on the north side and this site was interesting with a reef at around 12m, which dropped off sharply to the sand at around 25m. Under the reef were little caves, some with skylights through the reef. Nothing much interesting inside though, except some sponge growth.

Along the dive we saw one massive barracuda, a few midnight parrotfish that were up to 2 feet long, a spotted moray, and a few triggerfish.

We were picked up by the boat – it was supposed to be a “drift dive” but there was no current at all on the bottom.

Dive 235: Little Bight, Utila (Honduras)

Standard

Dive time: 00:51:00
Max depth: 20.8 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 15 metres
Buddy: Ed
Surface interval: 00:45:00

Another nice chilled out dive with the OW students (including Blain!) trailing behind us. At one point Blain gave me the bird, which just made me laugh and flood my mask!

Saw some cute little cleaner shrimp, grey angelfish, and a few snapper swimming by. We turned back to the boat at the top of the reef and at one point it was so shallow we were bobbing on the surface.

Dive 234: Big Rock, Utila (Honduras)

Standard

Dive time: 00:47:00
Max depth: 21.8 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 15 metres
Buddy: Ed

This was my first dive in a long time without my dive computer – it was stolen two nights ago along with all my contact lenses. Thankfully, the dive shop had a prescription mask that was pretty much my exact prescription!

This site was on the southern side of Utila and was a sloping reef with a few little gaps where you could drop off. We saw a spotted moray eel, emperor angelfish and a spotted eagle ray swimming off into the blue.

A nice relaxing dive, though the swell picked up a bit by the time we ended the dive.

Dive 233: Silver Garden, Utila (Honduras)

Standard

Dive time: 00:47:00
Max depth: 18.9 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 10 metres
Buddy: Ed
Surface interval: 02:13:00

After a long surface interval at Fishburgers on Pigeon Cay, we motored back to the south side because the north was a bit too rough. The viz was down a lot on this side, with a lot of sediment on whatever in the water.

The reef was a shallow sloping one with a lot of fans and whips, making it definitely look like a garden. Saw a few big emperor angelfish and right at the end of the dive saw a massive snapper about 2 feet long!

Dive 232: CJ’s Dropoff, Utila (Honduras)

Standard

Dive time: 00:36:00
Max depth: 31.7 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Ed

Weather was cloudy again today so viz was down a bit. This was a beautiful site, with a sheer dropoff and amazing growth and life on the wall. As soon as we descended to max depth, we saw a lone barracuda. Along the wall we also saw a spiny lobster, a banded coral shrimp, parrotfish, emperor angelfish, a small spotted moral eel, and lots of colourful reef fish.

We stayed at around 30m for a while so I got to within 5 minutes of NDL according to my computer. There was a fair bit of swell at the surface though not really noticeable on the safety stop. Made it a bit of a challenge to get back on the boat though!

Still had 1500psi back on the boat and had been wondering why the dive was so short – turns out the DM Alan had only 500psi!

Dive 231: Ragged Cay, Utila (Honduras)

Standard

Dive time: 00:48:00
Max depth: 18.0 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Ed
Surface interval: 00:51:00

After a surface interval snack of Vegemite sandwiches, we jumped in for our second dive. This site was another sloping reef with lovely sponge growth, including some large barrel sponges and corals. We saw some little grouper, a massive crab hiding under a rock, spotted drummer, a large banded cleaner shrimp, little peppermint shrimp hiding in a little vase sponge, and a juvenile spotted drummer – spectacular looking black & white fish with long dorsal and tail fins.

Sebastian was much better with his air on this dive. Our boat also had OW students, and Ed, another bloke and I were the last ones to surface. The captain, Shane, jokingly started the engine of the boat and sped off just as we were surfacing, but came back for us before we went to Pigeon Cay for fish burgers!

Dive 230: Spotted Bay, Utila (Honduras)

Standard

Dive time: 00:40:00
Max depth: 19.8 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Ed

A much brighter and sunnier day so the visibility was a lot better than yesterday.

This site was a gently sloping reef with a couple of sandy gutters running parallel to the shore. There was no current at all and only a slight swell at the top of the reef. Our DM was a really chilled local called Alan (best afro ever I saw!) and let us do our own thing but pointed out some cool stuff.

We saw a flounder (such odd things), spotted drummer, colourful damselfish, baby yellow boxfish, parrotfish, and the BIGGEST cray I have ever seen in my life! It was under a rock but I reckon it would’ve been at least 40-50cm long!

One of our new Swedish friends, Sebastian, was on our dive and ran out of air, sharing air with the DM and his buddy.