Open Water Divers Program (Country Honduras, Area Bay Islands, City Utila)
We have had 5 very tiring, but very fun days. After we left Copan we made our way here, to Utila, an island in the group of Bay Islands off of Honduras. It's pretty small with only one town, but you can walk to the beach, which we haven't had time to do yet and there are lots of restaurants and dive shops. Also, the people speak English here, you don't need Spanish at all. It's in the Carribean Sea and has more of a Carribean atmosphere than a Latin atmosphere, though some of the people here are native Spanish speakers.
The water is beautiful, very blue and there are something like 70 or 80 dive sites around the island. We got off a very rocky boat ride and were greeted by representatives from tons of dive shops giving us pamphlets and urging us to shop around, but to pick thier shop. We ended up walking with a British woman, April, to set down our things at her shop, Parrots Dive Shop, and after looking around a bit we went with them. The Open Water Diver Programs are all about the same price, but Parrots has a really nice new and very fast boat and free accomodations for us during the course and is right on the water. Plus, Spencer and April, the insrtuctors made us feel really comfortable. It's a small shop with small classes. We have been working through the course for the last five days, lots of cheesy videos and textbook reading and quizzes and homework. Also, we've been in the water everyday.
The first day was really hard, lots of skills to practice underwater and I had a hard time with some of them that day. But everyday since has gotten better and after practicing skills we got to swim around and see stuff. Also, in addition to the 4 dives for the course, I've done four other "fun dives" with Spencer, my instructor and other divers. The reef is so beautiful here, we have seen tons of different types of coral, so many fish and today we saw a hawksbill turtle!! I was really excited about that. On Sunday we went looking for the whale sharks that live near here, but we didn't see any, too bad, oh well. We went to one of the little islands near by, Water Cay and had lunch and chilled on the beach, it was so beautiful out there and there are tiny islands that you can rent, with a house, for $100 per day and they sleep 8 people, pretty cool.
So, we finished our course and we are officially Open Water Divers and can scuba dive anywhere in the world now! Alice, you asked about this place, it is the cheapest place in the world to do the program, but you are on the boat ALOT!! Ben even got sick a few times from the rocking and rolling, just a warning, I know how you are on boats. But, I loved it, it's so awesome to be able to breathe underwater and just be down there with the fish. I thought I would be scared or claustraphobic almost, but our teacher was so good and I felt totally confident. Anyway, we're here for another day or two, to get some relaxation time in and then heading north, through Belize to Cancun and flying home from there a week from today. Annie