Scuba Diving Spooky Channel in Roatan, Honduras

Eons ago during the last Ice Age, an ancient waterfall cut a massive gorge through the very foundations of the island of Roatan. Millennia later, the ten-storey canyon at Spooky Channel rests just under the ocean surface, inviting Advanced Open Water Divers to shine their torches into this monolithic marvel. You begin the dive in murky green shallows of the Sandy Bay lagoon. The eerie visibility for which this site earns its “spooky” status will gradually engulf you as you follow the rocky bottom deeper into the grotto. You’ll feel almost overwhelmed as the channel walls slowly rise and close in from both sides. At 12m/40ft, you’ll plunge through a large dark hole leading straight down.* The sun is quickly » read more «

Flatworms Everywhere

Dive No.: 1993 Dive Site: Hawaii Loa, Oahu, Hawaii Max Depth: 40ft/12m Total Time: 26 mins Air: 200bar – 140 bar Mix: EANx36 Tank: 80cu Weight: 8lbs Visibility: 80ft/24m Water: 75F/24C Exposure: Rash Guard, 5mm full wet suit, 3mm skull cap Comments: Flatworms everywhere! In my brief time swimming the perimeter of the crater at Hawaii Loa, I spotted half a dozen beautifully colored divided flatworms. Fish life, particularly schools sergeant majors, was noticeably abundant. Several spotted eels poked their heads out from from the coral mounds surrounding the site. Unfortunately, my Open Water students were a bit too nervous to stretch out the dive, so I had to leave this flatworm-infested site prematurely. Dive No.: 1994 Dive Site: Koko » read more «

Contingency Plans

My hand twists the tank valve shut. She is visibly nervous. I watch her SPG drop 50 bar with each bubbly breath. The needle pegs at zero. Red zone. Out of air. Slash throat. She grabs her buddy’s alternate air source and tugs. It doesn’t budge. She jerks down again. Nothing. It’s snagged on her buddy’s strap. Her eyes widen with panic. My left hand twists her valve open. I can feel the air pulsing down the tubes to her convulsing lungs. “Okay?” I signal. She breaths deeply, rapidly. I lock my arms on hers and look in her wide eyes. “Breathe… breathe…” The bubbles slow. She’s shaking, but I’m not letting her go anywhere. Not until she’s ready. “Okay,” » read more «

West End’s Top Ten Dive Sites

In a previous article I wrote about my fifth favorite dive site on Roatan, the El Aguila shipwreck. It was intended to be a top-five countdown of my favorite sites around the island. Unfortunately, rum and procrastination formed a cocktail of laziness that drown said article into development hell. Since then, I’ve had the fortune of diving around the Roatan’s south side near Dixon Cove, Fantasy Island/CocoView, and Oakridge. In my 1200+ dives on this island, I thought I had seen everything. I was wrong. Roatan’s south side has a completely different charm than the West End’s north shores: sheer walls, stunning sponges, and minuscule macro life on the south replace the serene sandy shallows, mountainous coral mounds, and swarming » read more «