Published: July 14th 2008April 11th 2008
I arrived here in Utila after spending a few days in Florida with my mom. Picking this as my first stop on a year long journey, was a decision I made while hanging out in Hawaii this past March with my dear friend Jim. Seeing a whaleshark was a animal on my animals to see list. Learning that this little tiny island was one of the best places to see these incredible fish and to dive for very cheap, I bought a one way ticket and headed off for the start to my adventure. Hoping that my 40th bday gift was swiming with one of these wonderful creatures. The largest fish in the ocean!
I arrived by plane. A very small plane that was pretty damn scary. There was only one pilot, a old man waiting to have a heart attack at anytime, that had to clear the rain from the windshield by wiping it off with his hand out the tiny window next to him. I took note of the terrifed female passenger next to him ( that obvisouly has not experienced the wonders of latin america travel), which had the other set of controls well intended for the
SECOND pilot and decided my plan if there was a problem!! And then giggled and smiled and thought, It feels good to be back in Latin America!!
We arrived without problems and I headed into this very little pueblo to get settled. A cute simple town, one lane with the form of transportation by out of control golf carts and dirt bikes. As, I walked the streets I realized for my 40 th bday I decided to pick a place where the average person was 20. Oh Well! The next day I started with a refresher course in diving and the day after with my advanced. I decided to continue with my rescue course a few days later.
I awoke to my 40th bday in a dorm, with 3 guys, not so bad. HEE hee, and a torrential downpour. I couldnt even leave the dorm for 8 or 9 hours. Pretty depressed and very alone I ventured out for the bday call to my mom. Of course, someone I could cry to and hopefully feel a little better. I left the internet cafe and decided to get a grip. Went to a local bar, tranquillo´s, which in the
end became a favorite hangout, and met Larry. A Canadian guy that has lived in Utila for 12 years or so. He showed up in his yellow rain overalls, braided hair, hat, and his favorite personal drinking glass. We got to chatting and he fired up a spliff right there. Which by the way smoking in a bar without getting in trouble reallly appeals to me!!
We bullshitted for quite ahwile and then I met his other colorful friend Chicken Joe. Another very interesting person. We ended up back at his house and I had a great homecooked meal and lots of cool stories. It ended up being a cool bday!
After, I finished the very enduring days of rescue diver, I decided to go ahead with my divemaster. Being back in a sport, and one I was starting to feel comfotable with was a blast. I am happy for a couple of reasons and one is that I did finally see my whalesharks! One I saw as I slipped in and looked below to see him only a couple feet below gliding by graceful and beautiful. The boat was all full of dm´s and dmt´s and was a
very special experience for all of us. I continued my diving and dmt over the next month. With many up´s and down´s it was an incerdible 6 or 7 weeks. Although, I was very dissapointed with many aspects of the dive shop.. I met many incredible people and new friends as well. I saw some of the biggest moray eels and barracudas ever. Also, incredible spotted eagle rays, including two swiming side by side just as I became a divemaster.. And l also experienced swiming with dolphins!
The day after I finished my dm and the dreadful snorkel test a few friends and I headed to Roatan for chilling and diving! Great times! Afterwards, Hilda and I headed to La Ceiba , where by chance carnaval was happening. Partied with her and the city and headed back to Utila for what I thought was instructor training. After, a week of fighting my bad feelings about the dive shop and the socially inept people there I choose to leave Utila and head back to Roatan for a job interview. The Reef House was a great place with incredible diving and the food, WOW! Especially after Utila, I was prepared to
stop traveling and settle down for a year and be a divemaster and instructor. To find out they only wanted a manager. ( 3 weeks on 14 hours a day, then one week off) Yuck! Oh yeah, and barely any diving. I chose to continue my plans to see the world. After, a week of incredible diving ( Giant lobsters, King crab, octupuses, sharks, etc.) great food, and free drinking I moved on to the west end of Roatan. THANKS! Jerry and Barry for a great free week!!!! Maybe, one day I can work there when they need an instructor. West end was awesome! Great diving, night life, and cute dive boys! I almost didnt leave. I forgot to mention that I met Jennifer and Harley at the reef house and had s great time hanging. Which I continued to hang with Jenn on the west end. Thanks guys, I had a blast. Especially when we sneaked away by water taxi and went to the local bars for a well needed break from the cay!!
Heading to Costa Rica after 7 great weeks
There are more photos below