Manta Divers September, 2010
This has been great summer, with hot weather warming the local diving spots, and plenty of varied destinations and attractions. In fact, since the beginning of June, I’ve logged 36 dives. Checking the calendar, you may notice I’ve added a couple more dives in September and October. If you haven’t gotten your fill this summer, or you have been procrastinating finishing your open water dives, these may be your last chances as all good things must come to an end. So, as our local diving season winds down, my thoughts are turning to Manta Divers’ January trip to Utila, Honduras.
Off the coast of Honduras, there are several Bay islands, the biggest being Roatan, Guanaja, and Utila. I was first introduced to the bay Islands when I was newly certified. I spent a terrific week in Guanaja. Unfortunately, as a brand spanking new diver, I didn’t fully appreciate that the 100ft plus vis and pristine reefs were not what I’d be seeing in future dive trips to the Florida Keys, Jamaica, and other more heavily dived reefs. Since that first trip to the bay islands, Team Manta has been to Roatan a couple of times, taking full advantage of the 24-7 shore diving, but this will be our first trip to Utila.
Just 11 miles from the mainland port of LeCeiba, Utila is the flattest and smallest (only 6.8 miles long and 2.4 miles across) of the Bay Islands, making it easy to explore by bicycle. Although the bay islands were “discovered” by Christopher Columbus in 1502, they were inhabited by the Payan Indians as far back as 400 A.D. The bay islands were eventually colonized by the British and Spanish, who exploited the native people for the slave trade. The protected bays were a favorite spot for pirates to lure unsuspecting cargo vessels for plundering. Scuba divers are still looking for the booty captured in a raid in Panama and lost somewhere in the bay islands by the famous pirate, Henry Morgan.
Our double occupancy package includes round trip air, 7 nights at Utila Lodge with a complimentary bottle of wine per room, 3 dives per day, including 2 night dives and a whale shark presentation. In addition to the pristine reefs and the worry free all-inclusive nature of our dive package, we are hoping to be able to swim with the largest fish in the sea, the whale shark. Don’t let this gentle giant’s name scare you. Whale sharks feed on plankton that they scoop into their massive mouths as they swim close to the surface. Besides, their over 300 teeth are only about 2mm! Whale sharks can grow to be 40ft in length and have a unique, domino-like pattern on their bodies.
With that in mind, plan your mid winter get away now! Deposits for this trip are due October 1, and spots are filling fast, so don’t wait too long to sign up for this fantastic adventure!
In Other News………….
Congratulations to our newly certified open water divers, Mike Hain, Kim Hain, Jake Jahimiak and Julie Zeller, and newly certified Underwater Navigators, Sheryl and Jerry Brandes.
Remember that in addition to our Utila trip, we have spots available for our Bonaire adventure in March.
Are you ready to get into Underwater Video? Manta Divers has a fantastic deal on an HD underwater video camera, housing and bag. This camera can take stills as well, so quite a bang for the buck. This set retails for $700 but Manta’s price is much better, so stop in and take a look!