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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hopkinson

It was raining...

It's like that scene in that, like really old movie Forrest Gump with that old dude who's playing Mister Rogers where Forrest is in Vietnam and "it was raining." It's kind of like that on Roatan right now. Not the war part, or the being in Southeast Asia part but the rain part. Which is good, because it's November and water temperatures have been high. Coral bleaching and the new stony coral disease with the horrendous acronym are just two extreme stressors taking their toll on the health of the reef's ecosystem. And since Roatan didn't really have a rainy season earlier this year, the plants on the island, to say nothing of the cisterns of the people who live here really need it. Plants that had seemed dead for months are just like that coming back to a thriving green vitality.

It's erratic. One minute it'll be nice, sun shining, a gorgeous, banner day in the tropics; the next the sky is slate, wind ripping, rain pouring down in turgid sheets of dense liquid. Good thing we busted our butts making sure all our leaks on City Dogs are sealed up tight. I mean, sure, we're a boat, we're gonna have a little leak here or there but we're essentially a dry bilge boat these days (aside from the condensation from the AC unit when we're plugged into shore power). It's a far cry from our first days aboard when we had leaks everywhere and there seemingly wasn't a dry spot above or below deck.

Of course, those parts of the island that still don't have the awesome new paved superhighway concrete roads are watching their soil, sediment, and rock wash away and are just hoping they have some road left by the time it finally dries off. It's not like raining 24/7, it depends where on the island you are, some spots get rain in the morning, some get rain at night. Some still don't get much at all. Depends on how these systems sweep down over the island. The storms are sporadic but intense. And persistent these days.

But it's also winter, which means the wind and the waves, the current and the sea are switching around like crazy, coming out of the north, sometimes the northwest. Which is weird because we're still getting roughly the same amount of daylight, and while the heat from October has finally, thankfully broken, it still gets Central American hot during the daytime. Maybe we're acclimating, but we thought about putting on our matching City Dogs hooded sweatshirts the other night it was so cold. We'd just been soaked in a downpour while walking the dogs, and coming down into our air conditioned boat we both just got the chills.

A little rain isn't going to stop anyone from diving though. There's something magical about coming up from a dive when it's raining. Maybe it's because everyone normally hides from the rain and we're soaked, looking up at the fresh water pouring from the sky as refreshment, as a free rinse for ourselves and our gear.

These days we're just putting on our thicker rashguards. Steve's breaking out his 3MM hooded vest, because even though the water temperature is still in the mid eighties, it's slightly cooler than normal and we've become acclimated to diving in these gorgeous aquamarine waters where all you really need if you don't get cold is a swimsuit. It's basically bathwater.

Steve's also been trying to get a bit better at framing shots with the GoPro. It's intimidating work, especially when Andrea and so many others on the island are so great at capturing the magnificent essence of marine life in expertly framed hi-res detail.

Although Steve loves spotting things, he's working on taking his time, lining his shot up and working on trying not to improperly light his subject.

Four-eyed Butterflyfish

It's all about progress, right? Baby steps forward towards better media when Steve has the GoPro. Want to come sail and dive with us? We'll definitely get some good video of you. Can't promise it'll be perfectly lit or perfectly framed, but Steve's working on getting better, that much we can guarantee.

Spotted Trunkfish


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