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What to do in Roatan?

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Heading to Roatan tomorrow for a week (25th wedding aniversary). Any suggestions on what to do there? Trying to sneak a fishing trip in and possibly some diving depending on how my right arm holds out...may have to condition it with some 12 oz curls on the beach! ;) I will see if I can find some pictures for those snow-bound members, but no promises that they will be like some of my past adventures :yahoo_rotfl:

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we can only hope.......6* in nh thismorning....a pic is worth a thousand words.....and about 80*

 

Enjoy a great trip Dan

Edited by scott's yott

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I take it the boys won't be with you to get some good shots of the local females to keep you out of trouble?

 

Looks like fishing, zip lining, horseback riding, snorkeling, having your belly rubbed.

 

Have a good trip Dan!

 

Roatan.jpgRoatan2.jpgRoatan3.jpg

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Scratch the horseback riding. Wife organized that a few years ago in Costa Rica as a way to insure I cannot have any more children. Nobody told me you used your legs to keep your butt light in the saddle....damn horse tried its darndest to crush the twins bouncing me up and down on that hard saddle!

 

If anybody comes here, try to avoid flying in on Saturdays. The airport can only handle 3 planes at one time and Customs is SLOW!!! It took 2 hours after de-planing before we cleared.

 

So far, everything is in walking distance of the condo. Seems to be nice. Talked to some of the locals yesterday, and they are catching blackfin and wahoo, and a occasional mahi. Needless to say, I completed arrangements for fishing for Tuesday on a 31 ft Contender. Owner of the boat also has 2 restaurants on West Bay that will prepare the catch for dinner that night. Looking forward to that!

 

Also have boat trips lined up for snorkeling on some less populous keys around the island. There are good reefs off the beach, but due to the large crowds, fish are a little scarce.

 

Dinners are good and cheap here. Last night I had grilled snapper, salad, and rice for $16. Very good! Only problem was the damn kids went crazy on the bar tab and ordered mixed drinks and beer. Once I got them away from their mother, I informed them they were responsible for their bar tabs from this point forward; I am only obligated to make sure they are fed. I think they got the point.

 

Beach sightings are slim pickings. There have been some nice ladies, but a lot are older than me and I don't think you guys want to see that! The locals said the population will improve as we get into the Spring Break season in a few more weeks. I will see what can be done to help out those in the more frigid climates. BTW, water temp is 82 and air temp about the same :yahoo_rotfl:

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I can see the headlines now, " Man arrested on privacy charges while using drone to beach film". I believe RBO funds will be justified for legal fees, should the need arise. :captain:

 

Enjoy the fun in the sun! :beer:

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Well...fishing was a bust. I should have know better after doing these trips during past adventures in the islands.

 

Met the boat at the dock at 5:30 yesterday morning; 31 ft Concept with twin Yamahas. Headed through the channel in the reef and started running along the dropoff (goes from 25 ft to over 1,000 ft over a 10 yard area). 4 lines, 2 stubby bubblers, 1 purple Yozuri bonita, and 1 naked blue and white Islander. First thing I noticed; boat was only running GPS, no bottom machine. I asked if we were blind trolling as a bottom machine would have shown any fish in the water column. Captain took offense to the comment and said this is how they do it here.

 

Trolled to the southwest corner of the island where two currents met and made a washing machine 3 to 5 ft slop. Damn if they made every effort possible to cross lines by making sharp turns. A few times I was re-positioning rods to minimize tangles. After reeling in one line, I set the clicker on to let it back out and had planned on leaving it on once the drag was set. Mate reached over and turned the clicker off...WTF???

 

Shortly after that, we have our first strike. Tyler jumped on the rod, but pulled the hook about a minute later. Re-set the lines and we get another bite about 5 minutes later after heading north along the wall into calmer water. Got this one to the boat; nice fat blackfiub tuna. Captain spikes the brain, then cuts a strip bait using the tuna belly. Put this on a black/purple islander on cable with a 6 oz weight 15 ft in front of the lure. Hopefully a wahoo will be interested in this. Send the bait back out and continue along the wall. 20 minutes later, we get another bite on the pink stubby bubbler. One of the other boys reels this one in. Halfway to the boat line looses tension momentarily. Get the blackfin to the boat and the tail is all slashed. Betcha a wahoo was checking that one out.

 

Set up another strip bait so we are now pulling two cable set-ups with meat, one cedar plug, and one stubby bubbler. For whatever reason, though, we are trolling much faster now...to the point that one of the meat baits is literally skipping out of the water back on the second wave of the wake. I casually pointed this out to the mate and said we typically run the short lines off transom clips to keep the line close to the water. Was told again 'this is how we do it here and catch fish this way'.

 

Thankfully, this was only a 1/2 day trip, so I shut up and reminded myself this was a dumb idea. So, tally for the day; 2 blackfins. Since the charter was $450 plus $50 tip, those were some expensive damn fish! At least they tasted good when I seared them tonight for dinner!

 

Still working on some pictures for you guys. It will be next week before I can upload them as the internet connections are extremely slow down here.

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Sorry your fishing trip was that messed up Dan, I would have been livid by the end of the day. I am not a pro by any means but have chartered enough in the keys to know when a crew was working hard to put me on the meat and when they are mailing it home.

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Back to the real world again :thumbsdown:.

 

Flew out of Roatan yesterday afternoon (83 degrees) and landed in Raleigh/Durham last night at 10:15 pm (34 degrees). On the road by 11 and home by 1:45 this morning. Just my damn luck that daylight savings time change would be the day we return. First, lose an hour since Roatan is in an other time zone, then DSL. So in reality, I guess you could say it was 2:45 when we got home.

 

Anybody wondering why the 3 hour drive, when checking airline tickets, the darn pricing is all over the place. We have two small airports within 45 minutes of the house and flights were $1,200 per person round trip. Started checking close "major" cities, and if we flew out of Raleigh/Durham, the tickets were $830 per person. For four people, that made a heck of a difference. Found a motel 5 minutes from the airport that allowed us to leave the car for up to 15 days for $15 as long as we stayed one night ($89). Since we flew out at 7:00 am last Saturday, it worked out fine and I still came out ahead.

 

Overall, Roatan is a pretty nice place. None of the problems of mainland Honduras, where crime rate is pretty bad. We talked to a couple of local people about this, and both said the same thing; police do a decent job keeping things in check, but the locals seem to have more "influence". According to the taxi driver, the bad guys prefer to get caught by the police. If the locals get ahold of them, they insure that crime is never committed again. Tour guide said a similar thing a few days earlier...seems the criminals disappear at the dump on the island. Kind of harsh, but seems to get the message across.

 

Roads are rough.

 

There is poverty in some areas, but we have seen this everywhere in the Caribbean.

 

You cannot drink the local water; everyone uses bottled water. It is ok to use the local water for showers and washing dishes, but nothing else. Their system is archaic and very minimal filtration and chemical treatment. This is the first place we have ever been to where the entire island has to use bottled water.

 

Electricity....even the locals joke on the power company. A good day down there is when you do not loose power at least once in 24 hours. When the local power plant was built 20 years ago, they did not size it to allow for future growth. The power company's solution to the problem...rolling blackouts.

 

Oh....the damn airport is like going back in history to what our local airport was like in 1965! Single runway and not parallel taxiway. Plane lands on the runway, turns around, and taxis back to the terminal before another plane can land or take off. Terminal can handle three passenger jets at one time. No room for a fourth jet! Immigration - try not to arrive on a Saturday. I covered this in an earlier post. Found out later there is a way to do immigration on line and save a lot of time or arrive and depart any other day than Saturday.

 

 

Now for the positive comments.

 

West End was perfect for us. Just enough touristy crap. Plenty of open air restaurants / beach bars to walk to. Perfect for the kids as they did a great job maintaining a blood alcohol level sufficient to keep entertained. There is only 2 large resorts; the rest of the rooms are condos and nicely appointed.

 

Dive shops everywhere! Tyler and I ended up doing 3 dives each. Equipment is first rate and there are no long rides to dive sites. Boat picks you up on the beach...no need to drive to a pier!

 

Roatan was smart enough to realize their barrier reef (Australia's barrier reef is the only one larger) needed to be set up as a protected resource, so they installed hundreds of mooring balls on the reef to eliminate the need for anchoring. Mooring balls are in 25-50 ft of water on the reef. Boat ties up, drops you off, and you do a drive dive exploring the shallow reef or swim over to the drop-off and explore the wall. When you surface, dive master pops a float for the boat to see and picks you up. Longest run to a dive site for us was 10 minutes. Visibility was decent, but we did get a lot of rain last week, so that did impact it some.

 

Be aware that dive operators run from one extreme to another. They have their "cattle boats" with 20-25 people on board, then there are the smaller operators that carry 8-10 people at one time. We used the smaller operators and thoroughly enjoyed the personal touch. Also found the smaller operators were more flexible on dive sites and cost per dive typically was $20 cheaper.

 

What to see underwater. Close encounters with sea turtles, moray eels, typical range of tropical fish, eagle rays, nice size snappers and groupers. Reef structure was a wide variety of things, including natural cuts and swim throughs. Thankfully, lionfish were not too prevalent. Did enjoy watching a pair of trigger fish work over one lionfish, so there is hope that something will start to control this invasive fish.

 

Dinner prices...said it before, but the price down there is the same or cheaper than stateside for fresh seafood. If you go to the island for a week, stop at one of the large local grocery stores and stock up on food stuff as it will help in holding costs down.

 

Cruise ships do visit the island, but there did not seem to be the large influx of college age spring break kids I was expecting.

 

Time to unpack, then get some pictures loaded for your enjoyment!

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Ok...time for helping out my buddies from the cold north!

 

roatan1_zpsmjksncz7.jpg

 

roatan6_zpsg8zcogjp.jpg

 

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Told ya pickings were slim...this was the best I could do after weeding through the pictures. While reviewing the pictures, the BOSS wanted to know if I was slipping on quality, then she remembered there were not that many walking the beach :blink:

 

Hope this little bit of eye candy will tide you over until boating season!

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Now for some "family-oriented" stuff!

 

Practicing a little artistic shot while diving.

 

GOPR0944_zpsjp6sznq1.jpg

 

At the top of the wall. No gradual slope; just straight down! Gotta keep an eye on the depth gauge once you progress over the edge as it is so easy to drift down and not realize it.

 

GOPR0951_zpssksfayf9.jpg

 

Turtles have no fear! I could have reached out and touched this one.

 

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Pangas make up the majority of the fleet down there. Some are nice and popped from molds on the island. Others are rougher looking, but all ride great and require little power.

 

P3100245_zpsw9yki5xk.jpg

 

And here are some shots from the drone I carried down there. The boat anchored in the bottom right is just inside the drop-off. All trolling is done just outside of the mooring bouys.

 

DJI_0123_zpspdk84o8h.jpg

 

This is the reef straight out in front of where we stayed.

 

DJI_0124_zpslq8xnpqa.jpg

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Nice pic's Dan, thanks for sharing. Not a bad escape judging from what you've shared, I may have to put it on the list.

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Thanx Dan....Looks like a great spot......And the scenery is allot better than winter coats and hats...Hope you enjoy it all

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