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Honduran Hooky – Part 13, Coxen’s Hole

February 25, 2008 Posted by suefairview

Our last full day in Roatan the water was much smoother, but we couldn’t dive because we were going to fly the following day. My last massage was scheduled with David for first thing in the morning.

He showed up on time and we decided to do it outside on the second floor porch. He got the table ready and I got naked. I walked out in my sheet and got onto the table face down. Sean went for breakfast. David worked me hard and I groaned with the pain and pleasure of his talented hands. Man, he really knew what he was doing. Shortly, Sean came back and heard me groaning in pain,

“Is he hurting you Susie?”, he said with concern.

I moaned “Hurts so good.”

And he said “Oh. I see.”

No kidding, I tried to figure out a way for David to come to the US with us. But it just wouldn’t work out.

After my massage, I decided to go for one more snorkel in Spooky Channel. I walked down the wooden dive ladder and began to just look around and see what there was to be seen. I discovered the most amazing thing. Tiny schools of baby fish were seeking shelter under the ladder. There were all kinds of fry. Sergeant major fish, butterfly fish, needle nose gar and many more were there. They looked like exact miniatures of the adults at about an inch long.

They would have made the prettiest charms for a bracelet. I was fascinated and stayed for at least an hour gazing at them. At their size I could hardly blame them for being shy. They had quick meal written all over them. I’ll never forget seeing them.

After lunch, we gathered with most of the Dive group to go tour Coxen’s Hole. We piled into our vehicles and drove the short distance there. It was mobbed with traffic and people. Although part of the main street down by the water front was paved, there were potholes, monster puddles and uneven places everywhere. There were many tourist shops crammed together and we went to many of them. But there was really nothing new there to buy.

Idle men stood in doorways and gave the place a seedy look. We walked up a hill away from the waterfront to see what the residential areas were like. The residential areas were a bit nicer than the waterfront, but that wasn’t saying much. We noticed that we were being followed at a distance by a gentleman in his 40’s and at one point Sean lost his patience and asked him what he wanted. It turned out he wanted to give us a “guided tour”. Sean told him to get lost and thankfully he did.

Back down along the waterfront, we continued to walk along the now dirt street to the dock where the cruise ships moor.

We saw one couple dressed in their linen suits as if they were in Fort Lauderdale. They looked completely lost. We really were not that impressed with Coxen’s Hole at least as far as the waterfront goes. We joked about rich cruise folks arriving here with nothing to do or buy or see. The town needed a total revamp of roads and services just looking at it. The infrastructure was just a mess. Electric services looked cobbed together. One could only guess what else it needed if one took the trouble to ask around. If there was any charm here once now apparent in other towns, such as West End, it was long gone. We wondered where all the tourist dollars were going and whether the government was corrupt and how the money was being siphoned away from the people.

We returned to our hotel for dinner. Tomorrow we were flying home.

This trip is the last one we have taken. So I hope you enjoyed my summary and until our next great adventure, happy trails to you! Until we meet again!

Honduran Hooky – Part 12, West End & Dolphin Dive

February 18, 2008 Posted by suefairview

The following day, diving outside of protected bays was disallowed because of the rough waters from the storm. Sean and Woody decided to take advantage of the Anthony’s Key Dolphin Dive that was held within their reef. So, off they went to do that. Katy and I took a cab to the small town of West End to do some sightseeing and souvenir shopping.

West End was lovely with its dirt roads (should be called sand) and pretty and colorful little houses right on the water. We did a little shopping, but there wasn’t really that much to buy. We both bought little beaded purses for the children back home.

See the little beaded purses at the bottom of this photo? The ones we bought were prettier than these.

We finished way before lunch time and decided to walk back along the beach which would take us past Anthony’s Key.

We were astounded when we saw Anthony’s Key Resort. It was so fancy. We immediately decided that the next time we came to Roatan this was where we needed to stay. The beautiful accommodations were on islands reached by boats run by the resort 24-7. We could only see them from the dock, but they looked way nicer than where we were staying. The grounds were far better tended and landscaped. They had more boats, more staff, more equipment, and more of everything you want in a dive place. Needless to say, they were more expensive, but you get what you pay for. We real quick checked out their souvenir shop too. Eh, nothing there to buy. We used their bathrooms. Why not? They were sure to be clean.

In this photo from the AKR Dolphin Show, you can see the accommodations in the background.

Esteban – the male dolphin that was being aggressive during the dive

Normally, divers get to interact with wild dolphins during the dive

By then, the boys’ boat was back from the dolphin dive. They looked wet and happy. They told us that their dive had been cut short when one of the dolphins misbehaved and so it was free. Apparently, one of the dolphins was behaving aggressively towards a diver in the group, bumping him roughly. The diver was unharmed, but the dive master decided to get them all out of there quickly so as not to reward that particular behavior. But the divers got to see lots of dolphins anyhow, so they got lots for their money. Here is a video of divers with dolphins at Anthony’s Key Dive Resort:


Katy and I walked back to our hotel along the beach. When we got there a native vendor was selling her goods. They were very colorful and I bought some wine colored shorts with the hem bordered with colorful woven strip of fabric.

This is a street vendor from Honduras, but her wares are very similar to those we saw at our resort.

Honduran Hooky – Part 11, Butterfly & Carambola Gardens

February 11, 2008 Posted by suefairview

The next day, I was scheduled for my full body massage with David. I had engaged his services back when we scheduled the trip in the fall. The dive group had been to this resort previously and had good reports on David’s services, so I was anticipating a great massage.

David looked a lot like this dude.

He showed up to my room and Sean left for breakfast. He was quite handsome and asked that I get fully naked, which was expected. I came out of the bathroom wrapped in a sheet and lay down on his massage table that he had set up in the middle of our room. He positioned my body face down and began on my neck. He used a jasmine and grape seed oil combination that smelled really great. He did a kind of acupressure massage and I loved it. He made me moan with pain and pleasure. We talked about what I had been doing to get my back so tight, and I mentioned the horseback riding in Copan. He suggested that I not ride again. He also suggested that I see him again while I was on Roatan. I readily agreed as I was enjoying the massage so much and my back was finally loosening up. I didn’t realize how much pain I was in until he worked on my lower back.

He kept pulling the sheet down my ass, and I was worried that he would see my ass crack, but hell, what difference would it make? Then he rubbed my legs and feet. He asked me to roll over and did my front as well. It was so relaxing. Sean came back at some point. David finished and I thanked him before he left.

None of the resorts were allowing divers in the water today, as it was still too rough out because of the storm. Sean and Woody were going horseback riding on the beach.

Katy and I were going to the Butterfly and Carambola Gardens that were within walking distance of the hotel. So, we met up and began our walk. On the way off the hotel grounds, I spotted a weed growing that had the same flowers I had just bought a month or so before at the grocery store as a tropical flower for my Asia room. Amazing to see it here growing wild and native! This must be paradise!

Everything was still wet and dripping from the storm. It was a long walk, but we finally made it to the Butterfly Garden. We entered the enclosure and tried to spot the many butterflies. Here are some we saw:

Julia Butterfly

Queen Butterfly (Above)

Julia’s Sister Butterfly (above)

Owl Butterfly

Long Wing Queen Butterfly

We crossed the parking lot to the entrance to the Carambola Trail.

First we walked in the garden area and read the markers for the various tropical plants and trees. That was interesting as we saw some hardwoods such as mahogany that we had not seen before. Unfortunately, orchids were not in bloom while we were there.

An orchid that is sadly, not in bloom.

Any of these plants can be purchased in the US as tropicals, but here they grow wild.

Then we took the “jungle trail”, which was minimally steep up to the top of the hill and took in the view of Anthony’s Key.

This is pretty much as steep as the trail gets.

The breathtaking view of Anthony’s Key from the top.

All in all, the garden was well maintained and pleasant. Roatan is a tropical paradise; let no one tell you differently.

Honduran Hooky – Part 10, First Dive

February 4, 2008 Posted by suefairview

The next day, I was all fired up for my first snorkel and Sean’s first dive off of the boat. I rose first and raced down to breakfast, only to be met by somber faces at the dock and restaurant. Katy was there and broke the news to me. There was a storm coming and the boats were not leaving the channel. Fuck! So today again, we would be in Spooky Channel. Katy was going to skip snorkeling as she felt that the current was too strong yesterday and the dive group was going to dive in the channel later this morning. Double fuck! I looked out at the coral surrounding the channel and the waves were breaking harder on the reef. I sighed deeply and resigned myself to staying in the channel. It would be fun.

We fed the stray cats at the table and some of them climbed up and let us pet them. Tonight, we were going to see Finding Nemo. I had never seen it before.

Later that morning, I donned my snorkel gear and headed into the water. I had no buddy, but one of the dive personnel was going to keep an eye on me. The visibility was not as good as the day before because the wave action was greater and the bottom was stirred up more. But still I managed to be mesmerized by all of the living things as I drifted and swam along, looking at the unusual coral formations of the reef. Eventually I came over very deep water and sandy bottom and I wondered just where I was. So I poked my head up and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had been sucked almost entirely into the channel. I could literally feel the sucking. If I had stayed still, I would have certainly been sucked right out into the ocean in no time. But I swam away seriously for a good while. I did not have to use my arms or anything like that; just a good solid steady kick did the trick. I was close to needing my arms though. The current was definitely getting worse. When I neared the dock a few hundred yards away, it was worse still, and I was tempted to use my arms but determined not to. I am a stubborn old fool. Who was I trying to impress?

I missed seeing the dive group go in. They came back without incident. Three men swam in channel in the afternoon and I watched them come back. They had the same experience that I did and came back breathless and had to use their arms since the current had gotten worse in the intervening time.

Far later in the afternoon, there was some excitement when one person who was a guest at the hotel decided to go out with a kayak. He thought he would be safe, because the kayak would float and he could hang onto it. So, he tied himself to it and brought his snorkel fins. Little did he know that the kayak leaked and soon it filled with water and became unmanageable. Fortunately it never outright sank. But, he couldn’t untie himself from it and the kayak was heading for the channel opening and dragging him with it. Waves were pounding him and the kayak. He took off his fins and put them on the kayak, but he could not untie the rope and swim away from the boat. He had not brought his scuba knife. Meanwhile, the kayak was lodged across the channel opening and both of them were brutally being beaten by the waves.

The dive personnel took action. They manned a boat and drove it out to the troubled man, dropped off the dive master and the motored further west to a safe passage out of the channel. The dive master swam to the man and cut him free of the boat with his dive knife. Then he pushed the boat out into the open water beyond the channel. The two men followed the boat out into the open water, where the water was calmer. There they treaded water while the motor boat arrived.

The guy in the green shirt is the hero dive master.

Once safely back at the dock, the man was tired and though once he had been a lifesaver himself, he admitted that he would have been done for with out the assistance of the dive master. He felt pretty stupid not to have brought a knife with him. So he tipped the dive master one hundred dollars and bought him a drink and we all celebrated the life saved that night.

Then as the storm blew and howled, we watched Finding Nemo. The tarps around the outdoor restaurant had to be unrolled and tied down to protect us from the wind, rain and sand blowing sideways. I had a great time.


Here is a video of whale sharks, which hang out around Roatan and I would love to see:


Honduran Hooky – Part 9, Spooky Channel

January 28, 2008 Posted by suefairview

I had started writing Honduran Hooky in June, and stopped in September because Sean was running for Mayor of our small town. But, now at the request of Dennis, who was born on Roatan, I will complete this tale. You can find the first 8 posts here.

I walked down to the beach with Katy, my snorkel buddy. We had been told that the current in Spooky Channel would sweep us toward the inlet which was towards the East, so we began off the beach that was westward of the dock. We donned our fins and walked awkwardly backwards until the water was deep enough to swim in. This was the first time I had worn my full body swim suit. It was black and very cool. Then the underwater world of wonder opened to me. I kept hoping that I would see an eagle ray, or maybe some other rarity. But there was so much to see all around me I was captivated as always when I snorkeled. Just looking at the fish and coral was plenty to keep me occupied.

We had barely gotten out of the shallow water when Katy stood up and shouted for my attention. I picked my head up out of the water and she was gesturing wildly for me to look at something. So I did. I swam towards where she was pointing, and holy shit! It was a small eagle ray! It was flying shyly through the water to get away from us, but I swam at great speed to keep up with it as long as I could and had a great, if fleeting view. I’ll never forget it.

We next swam out following the contours of the channel, or so we thought. When we brought our heads up, we couldn’t believe where we were. We were in the middle of the Spooky Channel. We had been sucked in unbeknownst to us and in spite of our plans not to be. It happened pretty quickly. Now we had to swim out. But that was pretty easy, as the current was not that bad. We swam easily back to the dive dock. Many other snorkelers were there and had had a great time too. Of course we told them about seeing our eagle ray. To our chagrin, others had seen it too.

Then it was time for our first dinner at the resort. It was wonderful to be together with our whole dive group, since I knew all of them and we all got along so well. It was a big party full of jokes and boasts and that kind of thing. The female bar tender was a real character and kept us laughing. She had a scarlett macaw that was trained to do things. It was very amusing. The resort also had another large Amazon parrot that was green as well as a dog and several stray cats and chickens. The food was a fresh fish of some sort and the coffee was terrific. The staff was very friendly and warm. We shared stories of what we had seen that day in the water. The dive staff told us that sometimes there were whale sharks seen off Roatan. I was thrilled. It has always been a personal goal of mine to see a whale shark. We were all so tired that when it came time for bed, we were more than ready.


This is what snorkeling is like. Below is a video of a snorkel that I would have loved to do.