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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hopkinson

It's the little things that matter

We were speaking with a friend who is also a Dive Instructor the other day and he told us about a recent dive he went on with some new divers to the island of Roatan and after their first dive, one of the new divers goes, hope that wasn’t your best dive, we didn’t see anything. Now, we weren’t there and we’ve got the benefit of hindsight, but we would argue that every dive should be your best dive. Just like we should all continue to learn and grow as people, we as divers should always be fine tuning our skills and building upon the foundations of our education and previous dives, so that we can continue to Be the Difference.

Growing as a diver doesn’t always have to be about taking the next course, getting the next certification card, sure that's great and there are plenty of options available for divers looking to continue their diving education. Just drop us a line or give us a call if you want to talk about what options make sense for you. Sometimes growing as a diver is just as simple as working on buoyancy, maybe trying to drop a pound or two from your weight belt. Maybe you want to work on your underwater photography or video skills. Maybe you just want to get better at breathing underwater so you’re not always the first one out of air on those larger dive resort boats (try sipping the air). Maybe you just want to work on being present and seeing the small things, the little macro life that really makes life on the reef look so vibrant. Maybe you want to go hunting, slay a bunch of invasive, reef-destroying lionfish.

It’s not always about the big stuff. I mean, sure, size does matter and we love to see sea turtles, big old moray eels, white-tipped reef sharks, stingrays, Caribbean reef squid and more big oceanic life, but one of the big thrills of SCUBA diving to us is finding the small stuff. The overlooked stuff, like the often overlooked, incredibly valuable parrotfish, which produce sand from dead coral, among other charming, TED Talk worthy facts. The little crabs, the tiny little slender filefish, the pygmy seahorse, and all the many different kinds of stunning nudibranches. Anyone can point out a big old gorgeous spotted eagle ray cruising off the wall towards you, but being able to distill the essence of a coral reef, where there are thousands of living organisms tightly packed together fighting for your attention with color, texture and motion, and drill down into tiny little specifics to find the ghost pipefish or the tiny, little juvenile trunkfish (known colloquially as the pea), takes an incredible amount of patience, skill, and luck.

We’re getting better at slowing down, finding the right cadence, settling into that magical Goldilocks Zone between speeding through the dive site and crawling at a glacial turtle pace. Experience helps. Knowing the site helps, and we’ve been having a lot of fun doing some of the same sites on the southern shore of the island of late, really getting to know the rhythms of these particular areas, getting a feel for the flow of sea life. But one of the most amazing things about living on an island like Roatan in the Western Caribbean Bay Islands of Honduras surrounded by the Mesoamerican barrier reef, is that there are literally hundreds of amazing dive sites here. The Marine Park is putting in new dive moorings all the time (you can even sponsor one, if sponsoring things is something you do), which means there are always new dive sites to explore!

Diving on the amazing barrier reefs of Roatan, Utila, Guanaja and Cayos Cochinos, all of which are marine protected areas, is always an amazing, humbling experience. Now, we don’t guarantee that we’ll see anything, we can’t because you never know what you’re going to see. We always tell people about some of the things that you might see if we’re lucky like lobster, clinging wall crabs, spotted eels, etc. but we always tell our guests that you’ll see a lot more if you keep your eyes open. Meaning, you never know what you’ll see! Maybe a webbed burrfish if you’re lucky, like the one below we found in the shallows above the Parrot Tree channel.

Want to work on your diving or experience something new? Give us a shout and we’ll craft a unique itinerary together that lets you see the other side of Caribbean Life on your terms in convenient leisure.


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