We’re really having an experience that is, as many others have said, like summer camp for divers.
The friendships we’re striking up are building from time at meals, of course, but that’s largely because almost all the folks on our boat (currently 8 of us, as 4 left yesterday morning) are coming together for meals. We have certainly met others over an occasional drink at the bar, or just getting into conversations with people at adjoining tables…it’s all about community here.
There are a handful of people who prefer to spend meal times alone, or just with the companion they traveled with, and no one puts pressure on anyone to join in or to be alone. Just very easy.
The dives continue to be wonderful. We did two dives Monday (no drop-offs), and yesterday we took off a very rainy morning. In the afternoon Pattie came on the boat but didn’t feel like diving, and I did the boat dive and the drop-off. I suppose one of the best testimonies to how much we’re enjoying this is Pattie’s wanting to just come along on the boat ride, hang out with Dave (captain) and get to know him, and be in the on-the-boat vibe. It’s fun; so much laughter, so many smiles. And Dave (whom Pattie learned has two grown daughters, an architect and an attorney, both on Roatan) and our dive master/dive guide Kirk (three kids, one of whom is the night dive master here) are so helpful, positive, supportive, engaging, amazing resources re sea life.
Walking from our accommodations to the main area is just about 5′. Along the way we pass several maintenance spots which handle various things (mainly boats), and of course other cabins. Then into the main dive operation on the right of the main path, and the dining hall-office-shop on the left. The dining hall is so very reminiscent of the mess hall i remember from the West End House camp of my three years as a camper in Maine as a kid.
It’s smaller, and has a bar, and almost-nightly music, but aside from that it’s about community. Buffet lines which have servers (rather than self-serve) for meals, but also always-available coffee, tea, ramen noodles, cereals, cookies for those right after dive starving moments. Rafters filled with stickers from dive clubs world-wide. And a super-helpful wall with pictures of the coral and fish most commonly found in this area.
Every night we head over to dinner at about 6, but don’t leave until 8, when conversation begins to wane as folks’ fatigue rears its head. The running joke is that after a day of diving the “late night” crowd doesn’t leave until 8:30.
As Pattie says, this diving thing is just good, clean fun.