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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hopkinson

Saving the ocean, a little bit at a time

It'll be coming up on six months since the Bay Islands of Honduras closed down and business is only just starting to come back to life with the first commercial flight touching down just six days ago. One of the things that makes the islands of Roatan, Utila, Guanaja and Cayos Cohinos so unique is the fact that they're situated right on the MesoAmerican Barrier Reef system, which means they've got amazing coral reefs full of stunning, diverse marine life. And you hardly even need a boat to get out to the reef, the islands are surrounded by amazing dive sites. Pick a spot and you're gonna have a great dive. We like to say the only limit on what you're gonna see is your eyesight, because there really is that much cool stuff to see under the crystal clear, eighty plus degree Caribbean Sea.

We're both PADI Specialty Instructors, which means not only are we able to train up to the DiveMaster level, we're also what PADI likes to call torchbearers, role models of good behavior in and out of the water. The symbol of PADI is, after all, a torchbearer, meant to symbolize the acquisition of knowledge, the sharing of information, the connection between people that happens when the passion for diving and the love for the underwater world spreads between people. Do you want to be a Torchbearer too? We want to #savetheocean so there will be a gorgeous underwater world to share for generations to come.

We make the PROJECT AWARE 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet part of our routine every single time we set foot into the water. Steve's favorite is #8: Protect Underwater Life. He does this on every dive, but he's especially AWARE on dives when he's carrying his invasive species containment keeper and Hawaiian sling. Steve loves to save the small fish on the reef who have no natural defenses against the invasive Lionfish, who are voracious eaters, reproducing up to every 3-5 days with no natural predators. Like many divers certified to lionfish hunt by the Roatan Marine Park, Steve is always AWARE while hunting, making sure that he doesn't do more damage with the pointy end of his spear than he helps by removing a single invasive lionfish.

Andrea loves #7 Take Only Photos, Leave Only Bubbles, it's similar to a motto at the 5-Star Training Facility where we did our Rescue Diver and DiveMaster training, Utila Dive Center: Kill Only Time, Take Only Memories, Leave Only Bubbles. We kind of like the UDC version a bit better, Andrea especially as she loves to take photos and video underwater. We like to take underwater photos and videos of our small, private snorkeling and SCUBA groups so our clients aren't worrying about recording anything and are instead really experiencing a series of unforgettable moments, living the Caribbean Dream to the fullest.

Wanna help out a little bit, organize a local beach clean up, and remember any PADI Shark Gear sold during the month of August will contribute 15% of the sale towards PROJECT AWARE's campaigns to protect shark populations and keep our oceans healthy. Just saying, if you're in the market for some sweet PADI gear anyway, like this awesome dive flag Great White t-shirt get it now and help out PROJECT AWARE's shark efforts. I know some people are obsessed with a different kind of shark week that focuses on low probability events, but let's all just remember for a moment that sharks should be scared of people, not the other way round. Let's remember, sharks are our friends, not dinner.


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