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New divers, considering trip to the Bay Islands 8/18 - 9/3

Discussion in 'Bay Islands' started by Jeff Bannow, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Michigan, United States
    My wife and I are new to diving. We took an intro dive on Kauai and I was hooked - she's a little more apprehensive, but willing to go for it. We will be getting certified here in Michigan in the next few weeks.

    We have vacation time planned for August 18 through September 3rd, and are considering the Bay Islands based on the recommendation of our dive instructor. Some beginning questions:

    1. Will the weather be suitable? Seems like it should be hot and the beginning of the rainy season?
    2. Is 2 weeks too much time on the islands? If we don't take to diving as much as I hope, is there enough to keep us busy? We love hiking and such as well, and we both love being in the water and being active, but we aren't "lay on the beach" type people.
    3. I see that there's a diving festival the first week of our trip on Utila. Would this be useful for brand new divers?
    4. We're looking at Hotel Chillies on Roatan - any suggestions for something similar on Utila? This trip needs to be on budget, and I'm hoping to keep the lodging under $30.
    5. Do we need to bring anything other than mask, fins and snorkel? Do we need wetsuits or are those easy to rent there? Dive computer?

    Any other advice or suggestions would be great. Thanks in advance!
  2. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
    Take DEET, use it a lot.
  3. laurenceh

    laurenceh Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: utila & chicago
    weather should be no problem. august and especially september are some of my favorite months, hot, really warm water with great viz and nice breezes before the october rains. i highly recommend utila dive center (udc) and deep blue divers on utila for great dive staff and really cheap accommodations. add in the fun party atmosphere of utila town and you should have a ball.
  4. RTBDiver

    RTBDiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Jacksonville Fl/ Roatan Honduras
    The previous posts summed it up pretty well. I will just add that before I bought my place on Roatan I did many a dive with Native Sons and was not dissapointed. They are not all pro 42 or 48 boats but nice and I like the Idea that the owner is a native Islander that has scratched out a living in his home place even with the influx of so many others. Never stayed at Chillies, I think, not sure, but think it is a little more budget than we would have liked. Se stayed at Posado Arco Iris which is basically next door and it was fine for what we were looking for. That al said, We spent more on food having to eat out every meal than if we had a kitchen and did pay for air as unless there is a storm it can be dead calm with no breeze on the north side that time of year but you may want to check them out, I doubt they are $30 a night still but i was not into sharing a bathroom and at times I do like a little warm water, Chillies does have a few small cabins that do have hot water, not sure about the shared bathrooms
  5. DivingNole

    DivingNole Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Neptune Beach, FL
    Take some sort of after bite stick, it'll be some of the best $4 ever spent! I went in early August last year and it was the first one of my trips that I ended up with sand flea bites. I stayed on West Bay where they raked, but my legs were attacked even with the DEET slathered on. The bite stick helped a lot and we shared it with others that were looking more tortured than us. Don't know if it was true, but some of the expats on the island told us that was high time of the year for those pesky suckers. :confused:
  6. RTBDiver

    RTBDiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Jacksonville Fl/ Roatan Honduras
    Not true at all. The truth is that the no seeums. sand flies fleas, whatever you want to call them can be a problem anytime of year anywhere at the lowere altitudes on the Bay Islands. They are pretty non exhistant in Cayos Cochinos as there is no fresh water supply. To date, I have met many folks that said deet did not work for them BUT, when they were with me, Applied it when I did, were reminded about it, NONE were bitten up , I really do not think I was the super power, I just tink so many forget to reaply when needed
  7. Mike

    Mike Great White

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    With 2 weeks and you're not 'beach' people, I'd split my stay between two locations and two dive ops and dive the hell out of the place, maybe you'll be come dive people!

    Either split your stay on Roatan with a week on the north side and a week on the south side. (You will pretty much dive one side or the other depending on where your dive op is located) or split a week between Roatan and Utila.

    There is some hiking on Roatan, apparently there is hiking on the east end in the Port Royal wildlife refuge (haven't been there) and there is hiking in the Carambola Botanical Gardens (have done that). You can end up high up and overlooking Anthony Key Resort, plus while there you can dig on all the cool trees and such that are labelled if you've ever been curious about exactly what is that vine or tree in the rain forest, this is the place to finally be able to learn what it is.
  8. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Michigan, United States
    Thanks for the advice everyone! We appreciate it.
  9. Kryssa

    Kryssa Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sunnyvale, CA
    Just to add some thoughts to the thread... I was the wife that slowly slid into diving. After my first dive I thought "well, I can cross that off the bucket list" and booked a massage for the next day. After that same first dive, my husband booked his 2nd and 3rd for while I was at the spa.

    I suggest you consider a destination with more variety of stuff to do than Roatan. You're right- what if she doesn't want to dive every day? Many divers don't. That 2 weeks could seem very, very long.

    Our first vacation after getting certified was to Excellence Playa Mujeres in Mexico. We dove 4 days that week, but we also relaxed around the beach and pool, did a spa day, and toured Mayan Ruins. While we LOVED the resort, it's a bit far from the great diving. Maybe look at something on Cozumel. You can still see all the Mayan ruins, you'd just have to take the ferry over to the mainland.

    Just my thoughts. I'm sure you'll have fun no matter where you wind up :)

    For what it's worth, we've got a week booked at Cocoview on Roatan for November, so I've worked my way up to wanting to try a serious "every day" type of dive trip.
  10. go-scuba-dive

    go-scuba-dive Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: USA
    Deet or an anti-sand fly repellent. Citronella based products work fantastically. As an alternative, you can also use baby oil. Lots of it. The sandflies will actually drown in the oil, and won't get a chance to bite your legs as they did mine. :S

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