Today was my last day of diving on Roatan, and it was a banner day! It has, in fact, been a great week of diving. I figured out that if you add up all the hours I have spent diving since getting certified in 1994, I have spent something like two weeks of my life underwater. Pretty cool, huh?
I’m staying in the same inn I stayed in during my first Roatan trip. And, I’m discovering (once again) that it’s true you can’t step into the same river twice. Kevin, the owner of the inn, is not as mellow and laid back as he used to be–of course, it’s understandable because he’s now married and has a young daughter. He did remember me, though, and his first question was “What took you so long?” Hah.
The other thing different about the inn is that it used to have an open view of the beach, which was across the dirt road that is West End’s main thoroughfare. Unfortunately, someone has put up another building right on the beach, blocking the inn’s pretty view. I’d envisioned swinging in the hammock on the front porch, leisurely sipping a beer after a long day of diving, and staring out at the Caribbean, just like I’d done before. Alas, this was not to be.
The town of West End has changed a lot–many new buildings, more people, more bustle. However, it looks like the rest of the island is changing even more. There are several *huge* resorts going in about a mile from West End, and everything is much more expensive. There are tons of real estate offices, and people have approached me on the street to offer, in hushed, secretive tones, a prime piece of real estate here. Of course, I offered them a lovely lot on the verge of the Everglades in exchange…no one has taken me up on my offer yet.
For some reason, I have been having the most freakish dreams while I’ve been here. Truly alarming stuff…for example, in one dream, I was enormously pregnant, waddling around in the heat, carrying a very heavy ladder, while looking for a shady place to sit down and rest. I walked up to a nearby house, and out came a good friend’s mom. Who proceeded to discuss, in great detail, the arrangement of petunias and begonias in her front yard (which were styled to look like an American flag). All the while, I was standing there in a bovine manner, holding the freaking ladder, and sweating. I don’t even want to try to interpret this one.
I think I have developed a tiny crush on my Argentinian dive master. Unfortunately, I suspect he is gay. My dive masters have been awesome. They have basically let me do pretty much whatever I want. I’ve gotten in several *very* deep dives, including one this morning to 110 feet. We dove to the wreck called El Aguila, and swam through the hull, squeezing ourselves through portholes and up gangways. On the second dive, I spotted a good-sized octopus–and it’s fairly unusual to see them during the day. We had a photographer on the dive, and he was thrilled. The other group of divers on our boat asked me to come with them on their next dive so I could find them cool stuff but, alas, my 24-hour no-dive-before-flying restriction is now in effect. Diplomatically, I resisted the urge to tell them if they stopped farting around, developed some basic diving skills, and pulled their heads out, they too could actually see cool stuff for themselves. (See, people? I *am* becoming a better, nicer person every day.) I think it is very sad that so many “certified divers” suck so badly at the sport. They are so busy fiddling with their fancy new gear, flapping their arms around, and generally being clueless, that they miss the whole purpose of being underwater next to an incredibly beautiful coral reef. Neutral buoyancy is so underrated.
Anyway, my last day on Roatan will be devoted to getting a bit more of a tan…really behind on my tanning schedule. And I’ll probably have a few cocktails…really behind on my alcohol quotient. And, I may take a little siesta…really behind on my doing nothing regimen. So, as you can see, it’s just go-go-go here on Roatan Island.