Honduras Report
                        Roatan, Honduras
                           CoCo View Resort-- Roatan, Honduras  2009
                                                                               By: Berta Allen

        I arrived at the Corpus Christi Airport at 8:15 a.m. on the morning of July 25, 2009. A little early, because I never want to miss anything and my husband says that I have a nuclear reactor for a battery (It puts the drum beating bunny rabbit to shame).  I was a little nervous and  "very"  excited because this was to be my first Scuba Diving Trip.   As the rest of our group started arriving, I noticed that there were a few faces that I recognized.  I quickly realized what a diverse group of individuals were going to be on this trip. I could hardly wait to meet and greet and get better acquainted with my new traveling companions.

       As we were checking in at the airline counter, we were informed that it was Frank's birthday. Mr. Jim, very quietly, told each of us that we were going to take a group picture when everyone had reached the gate. Then after the picture, we would sing "Happy Birthday" to Frank.  As we started singing, Frank started singing, too, and looking around to see who we were singing to. Seeing his face when he realized we were singing to him was absolutely priceless. I remembered thinking, this trip is going to be a blast. 

      When boarding the plane, the seating was all mixed up, everyone was scattered and not seated with their partner.  We corrected this airline’s mini oversight by rearranging ourselves.  After a short flight to Houston and a quick lunch in the airport we boarded our flight to Roatan.

       A few hours of flying, a trip through Customs and Immigration, a short bus ride to the dock, and then a final leg of a short boat ride, we arrived at Coco View Resort. Sitting is the hardest part of any trip that I take, but the conversations with my new found friends made the time fly by. Our gear and luggage came on a different boat, a little later. After getting everything situated, we all met back at the dining room/bar area to wait for dinner and just spend some time visiting and getting to know each other.

     I was excited about meeting everyone, and started getting to know the other individuals on this trip. Our group ranged in age from 14 to 71. Our diving experience ranged from 52 years to just a few months. Our group was diverse. Students, teachers, business owners, store clerks, a factory worker, and a pastor, just to name a few. The one thing we all had in common was the excitement about the forthcoming diving experiences that Copeland’s was about to expose to the group

    The next six days went by sooo fast. We had our orientation and orientation dive on Sunday morning. We had a few minor technical difficulties, but with the help of a great dive team, we were soon ready to start diving. April had to help some of us “Rookies” with our dive computers, so we could update our log books. It wasn't long until we were all having a blast.

     Every morning and every afternoon, Captain Jorge, and our dive master, Kirk, would take us to a different dive sight.  There were reefs, wrecks and sometimes a crack or a wall. Upon completion we would get back on the boat, have a snack, and share our stories about what we had seen and experienced. Then, after a proper surface interval, we would head back toward the resort where we had the option to be dropped off to dive either Coco View Wall or Newman's Wall back to the resort. We could also do as many beach dives as we wanted.

    Sunday night, Frank, April, Sharon, Emily, Karen, Arvis and myself got together for a night dive. Earlier that evening, Frank had asked April if she would Marry Him, and to his relief and her excitement she said “YES” ! We therefore dubbed it “The Engagement Dive” in honor of this very special couple. To finish the day, we put a Copeland's Dive Shop sticker up in the Bar.

    Monday, most of us skipped the afternoon drop off dive. Instead, we went to the main Island of Roatan and did the Extreme Zip-line tour. That was a blast. There were 8 lines. The most exciting being over 1800 feet long and over 300 feet above of the ground. As some were afraid of heights, we as a group, supported each other (and pushed when necessary!) and all made it to the end.

    Tuesday evening, after our day of diving, we headed to the picnic island for dinner. There were Hermit crab races before a very nice dinner of bar-b-q ribs and chicken.  After the meal, a group of children from the mainland came over to do a show for us. They were the National Champions in Folklorico Dancing. They invited us to dance with them. Since I love to dance I wasted no time hitting the floor.

     Wednesday morning, Misty, Joe, Willie, Sue, Emily, Sharon and myself skipped the morning drop-off dive and went to dive with the Sharks. I don’t mind telling you I was just a bit nervous about this dive. The vision of JAWS in the minds eye was pretty unsettling, but with the great dive professionals assisting and encouraging us we made the dive. It was mesmerizing!  What an amazing experience!!  There were 16 sharks and at times they would be swimming within inches of where we were. We could have touched them, but were advised not to. As if that wasn't exciting enough, I reached Level 3 on this dive.

   Thursday morning, on the drop off dive, some of us went inside the "Prince Albert" shipwreck. Thursday afternoon, a small group of us skipped the afternoon dives and went to the Dolphin Encounter and snorkeled with the Dolphins.  This was especially enticing to me as I love dolphins.

   Friday, our last day, was very exciting. The water was really choppy from the storms in the area. Waves were actually crashing over the deck of the dive boat, buckets were sliding everywhere and Jack had to wear his mask and snorkel to be able to breathe. And another first for me, I dove to 100 feet.  We could not dive in the afternoon, since we were flying home the next morning, so the Copeland’s, Jack and myself took a taxi tour around the island and down to the West End of the Island. We wanted to see a little more of how the locals live. It was very interesting.

  When we got back to the resort, we met up at the bar/dining room and signed a Copeland's T-shirt to hang up in their bar.  We found out dinner was on the Picnic Island again with a show to follow. They had music, fire dancers and a limbo contest, along with Rum Punch!!.  Arvis became our DJ. We ate, drank some rum punch and danced up a storm. We did not want the trip to end, so Frank, April and myslf went to visit with Sharon, Jimbo, Julie and Emily for awhile at their cabin. What a wonderful way to top off an already fantastic trip.

   Saturday morning we spent getting ready to leave. Once we were all packed, we spent the rest of the morning just visiting and trading stories. After lunch, we headed to the airport. When we got there, we found out that our plane had been delayed due to weather in Houston. We took off a little over an hour later.

  Upon arrival in Houston, we had to claim our luggage, another trip through Customs and Immigrations and then recheck it. The lady told us that they were not holding the plane for us and they would not take our luggage. We were not going to let the airlines ruin such a fantastic trip. It took us awhile, but we got it all figured out and they did hold the plane for us. We landed in Corpus Christi about 10:35 pm.

   After sharing a very full and fun filled week in Honduras, diving beautiful sights, eating great  food and getting to know the individuals in our group, we arrived back home in Corpus Christi with some new friendships that I will last a lifetime.


Berta Allen
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