Trip Report Turquoise Bay Resort, Subway Water Sports, Bent in Roatan

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Jayfarmlaw

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Tuttle, Ok
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Get comfortable, this will probably be long- Just returned from a week in Roatan, our second time there, and all went well...mostly.

Getting There-

Delta pulled it off without any travel drama other than canceling our Saturday flight several months ago requiring us to fly in to Atlanta on Friday night, stay at a hotel, and on to Roatan on Saturday. Mysteriously, our original Saturday flight reappeared but we were never offered back on that flight. We flew out of OKC to Atlanta, stayed the night at a Hilton by the airport, (be warned-there are 2 Hiltons by the airport so you need to know WHICH Hilton) and on to Roatan Saturday with no issues. Turquoise Bay has a bus to meet you there and a van for luggage (there were 22 of us). Customs was easy but we landed with two other planes so it took about 45 minutes to clear. They had lots of agents working and the line moved quickly.

There is a pre-arrival form that must be filled out on line. The site did not work correctly and the English translation did not always work. Between my Spanish and their form....we got it done. You upload your negative test result for approval by their doctor. We uploaded our vaccination cards instead and were fine. We went ahead and got tested the day before we left just in case, but those weren't necessary.

Turquoise Bay Resort-

The resort is about 40 minutes away. It only has 26 rooms and Subway Water Sports is onsite. They have spent the last year building over water palapas, beach beds, overwater swings, hammocks, and generally improving everything since we were there in 17 or 18.

Three meals a day are served starting at 7am, 12, and 7pm with a snack at 5 pm. Our package included drinks the bartenders are very talented. Salva Vida is the Honduran beer and its actually very drinkable, although I prefer a darker beer. It is the perfect beer for a michelada. Food was always good and never got old. They serve your plate and masks are required when in the buffet line.

Rooms are typical and cooled by a mini-split ac. The resort switches from island power to generator at 5 pm and 10pm and the ac will quit cooling when that happens. You just have to turn it off and wait a few seconds and turn it back on to reset the unit. There was always plenty of hot water and the beds were very comfortable. The rooms had a refrigerator and coffee maker and they provide you with a gallon jug of drinking water. Toilets require the typical Caribbean practice of paper in the trash can.

There was a friendly kitten at the resort they called Bojagles. She adopted us one night and slept in our room. My wife is a cat person as well as several other people in our group so the kitten was a little taste of home. A donkey named Molly roams the grounds and may meet you at your door depending on your room.

Staff was wonderful and most knew our names within a day. Kareem, Kirvey, and Robert were all great.

Subway Water Sports-
I did a review of them in 17 or 18 and had nothing but good things to say. That has not changed. Newer large boats with heads and shade, plenty of room to gear up, we had 2 boats with capable divemasters, one even worked with a newer diver for 3 days working on weights and buoyancy. Giant stride entry with 2 fins off ladders on the rear. A DM will remove your fins if you want. They have a membrane system and 32% nitrox is an option. Testers are on the boats and always tested within 1%.

Roatan offers a reef structure like I have never seen anywhere else. Large reefs will have natural cuts in them like swim through's with no overhead. Some reefs will have large holes you could drop in with multiple levels. I would have like to have spent some time exploring the holes but I had to keep up with the group.

Three dives a day most days. Boats leave at 8:15ish and either come back to the resort for the SI or will do it on the boat depending on how far the first dive was away. Third dive is usually about 1:45 unless it is night dive day which left at 5:45p.

Other than Rockstar, the reefs were typical Caribbean reefs. Rockstar started as a wall and then ended up with the ravines. We had great visibility for Rockstar so that helped. The Vis in Roatan is my only complaint. There were times that the dive site was changed but it was never the crystal clear blue water you find in other places. I suspect the hurricane that hit Cozumel when we arrived and the one that hit New Orleans the day we left didn't help much either.

More in Part 2-

Jay
 

Jayfarmlaw

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Part 2-

There were times that the vis would drop to less than 60 feet and you could not see the entire dive group from front to back. There was always a DM in the rear as well so no one ever got lost. I think the diving would be amazing if I could get there when the vis is what it could be.

Dives were all 60-80 feet (ish) and ran right at an hour. About the 45 minute point we would be back at the boat on a mooring line and if you wanted to you could get on the boat. Lionfish hunting was allowed if you took the class and had the "license." Our group killed a few dozen and the resort cooked them for us. It is the best fish ever.

The night dive was typical until we were watching a large Caribbean octopus we found out in the open doing his color changes and texture changes before deciding to hide under a reef. I thought I knew were he was going so I went to the reef, covered most of my light and dropped down breathing as little as possible. He went under the reef about 18 inches in front of me and then the coolest thing I have ever seen happened. The hole he was going into was already occupied by a fish. As he entered the hole the fish tried to escape and the Octopus wrapped him up in his skirt and had dinner less than two feet in front of me. Absolutely amazing.

BENT IN ROATAN-

My wife dove 2 dives on Sunday, and 3 dives on Monday. The deepest was 81 feet, longest was an hour and they were typical tourist dives with a 10 -20 minute deep start and the last 2/3 of the dive at increasingly shallower depths with the last 10 minutes or so in the 20 foot range. We did at least a 3 minute true safety stop, even though the actual time at 20 feet or less was probably at least 7 to 10 minutes. Once we got back to the resort on Monday, we went to the beach area where she said her skin was itching. There was a slight splotchy rash in several areas on her stomach, but then she said her shoulder hurt, then she developed a cough and could not take a deep breath. This progressed in about 20 minutes. I called DAN's emergency number on the way to the dive shop to get their oxygen kit and they recommended a trip to Anthony Key Resort where the only chamber on the island is located.

Any dive shop can provide good dives....but when the sheet hits the fan, that's when you know how good of a shop they are. Subway was awesome. They had O2 and a demand valve immediately. We walked Kelly to the shop about 40 yards and got her on O2. They prepared a van and we were on the road within 5 minutes with additional bottles on board. The cough was almost immediately better and the shoulder pain was less within about 10 minutes. It took about an hour to get to the clinic. The clinic closes at 4p but Dr. Gale met us there and put her on a non rebreather mask at 15LPM immediately. Pulse ox was 99%, HR in the lower 80s, and I dont remember BP. He performed his exam, noticing the splotchy rash and doing a sensitivity test from the trunk to outer extremities. I had my computer (Shearwater) with me and hers (Oceanic PP3), but mine is easier to pull dive logs from. The only issue was our second dive was to 81 feet where our first was to 80 feet. He diagnosed skin bends, no chamber ride necessary, and wanted to see her Wednesday, unless she did not continue to improve. He said she could dive Wed. if the symptoms were gone, but she chose not to dive anymore for the week.

We loaded back into the Van for the trip back. Peter, a German instructor, and Tripp a Marine Conservationist working on coral restoration were absolute rockstars from the second I said, I need an Oxygen Kit. The only major scare was when she walked out of the cool van and the heat and humidity hit her she fainted. She came to seconds later was fully oriented and knew everything and everyone around her We got her to the room, got her cleaned up, and she was asleep within minutes. I checked her hourly throughout the night and all was good. She was tired the next day, but no symptoms other than the fading rash. There has been some continued soreness in her chest and back since we came home, but seems to be fading.

Darren, the shop manager drove us back to the clinic on Wednesday for a brief followup, to turn in the Dan paperwork, and she was cleared for all activities. Had we not had DAN, the exam and and hour on high flow O2would have been $350. A chamber ride is $900 and hour. Seriously...if you don't have DAN, get it. I showed my Dan card and nothing else was said about money, she went immediately to treatment.

THE TRIP HOME-

Turquoise Bay arranged for a medical team to come give us PCR tests the day before we left for $40 US each. Our results were delivered to us that night at dinner. They provided a bus to take us back to the airport, dropped us off, and from that point forward, travel was just like any other trip. Our arrival into Atlanta was uneventful, and Atlanta US customs no longer uses the forms. We went to an agent answered the normal questions, were cleared in less than a minute. Global Entry and the Passport App are not used in Atlanta. Everyone uses the same line.

What's next......wife called today to get checked for a PFO.

Safe Travels,
Jay
 

Jayfarmlaw

Divemaster
Messages
1,611
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Location
Tuttle, Ok
# of dives
500 - 999
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Jayfarmlaw

Divemaster
Messages
1,611
Reaction score
1,605
Location
Tuttle, Ok
# of dives
500 - 999
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drrich2

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There is a pre-arrival form that must be filled out on line. The site did not work correctly and the English translation did not always work. Between my Spanish and their form....we got it done.

The online entry and exit forms for Honduras are confusing, onerous and appear incomplete, based on my experience back in May. It seems they could get that squared away. I don't have Spanish, but I figure they must get a lot of English-only tourists.
 

Jayfarmlaw

Divemaster
Messages
1,611
Reaction score
1,605
Location
Tuttle, Ok
# of dives
500 - 999
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Jayfarmlaw

Divemaster
Messages
1,611
Reaction score
1,605
Location
Tuttle, Ok
# of dives
500 - 999
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