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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hopkinson

Sailing from Roatan to Cayos Cochinos

After sailing in light wind from Roatan to Cayos Cochinos a couple days ago, recently ranked by the New York Times travel editors as one of the Top 50 places to go in ‘23, we had the entire sweeping, stunning vista of an anchorage to ourselves, it was just City Dogs sitting on a mooring in about forty feet of crystal clear, aquamarine water.

Closer to shore, the ground slopes up quickly, going from lush, healthy fields of seagrass before yielding, at first to individual clusters of isolated coral heads, and then bigger groups, before reaching the shoreline wall, where there is an abundance of life.

Since all the fifteen islands (including Cayo Grande and Cayo Menor as well as many smaller cays) that comprise Cayos Cochinos are part of Honduran Marine Protected Area, no hunting is allowed at all, which translates into a healthy marine ecosystem with lots of fish. The reef is vibrant and teeming with life, which makes for some really great snorkeling experiences. Diving can get a bit tricky, with some current, surge, and sediment issues challenging even experienced divers, but the snorkeling is often superb, better than a lot of dives, thanks to all the startling biodiversity.

This time of year, just jumping into the water is refreshing, especially with some of the intense rain we’ve been having, the top layer of the sea gets cool, a balmy 79 degrees, turning a dive from the bow into an exhilarating plunge into the Caribbean sea.

What’s even better is seeing the sheer amount of stars that come out at night when you’re alone on a mooring in the lee of Cayo Grande, it’s like a personalized lightshow, looking up at the fields of stars, we’ll often see shooting stars. We saw at least one the last time we were there, along with Orion’s quick movement from the horizon across the rim of the sky before the gentle motion of the waves rocked us to sleep.

The visibility in the morning, once the sun went from turning the sky a pale rose color, and actually rose up over the crest of the Cayo Grande was amazing. The morning snorkel from the boat was nothing short of gorgeous. We saw all kinds of life including loads of lobsters, something not seen in a lot of non-Marine Protected Areas due to predation.

The sail back was great, we had light but steady winds, fifteen knots or so, with relatively flat seas. We even caught a fish along the way, it was some kind of a jack, but it was small so we didn’t keep it, and gave it back to the sea instead. Somehow, we managed to avoid all the storms and stayed dry; all credit to the Captain for another amazing sailing experience.

If you want to have one of your own sailing adventures, drop us a line and we’ll put a personalized itinerary together that suits your individualized needs. Dates in high season are filling in fast, so be sure to let us know your plans with as much lead time as you can! Fair winds and following seas, friends!


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