23 Dec 2004 10:28:00
Lou Vallone
Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.

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I've just joined a group trip from our dive shop in Pittsburgh (Splash), =
from January 8-15 at Fantasy Island on Roatan.

Yeah, I know. But they had an opening, it was cheap, I didn't have time =
to plan anything else, so it was the line of least resistance. I was in =
Ft. Lauderdale last week and the weather was so poor I didn't get any =
dives in. I need a couple of doses of nitrogen narcosis.

Anywho, if there are any at that place at that time, give a shout and we =
may bend and elbow (sic).

Best of the season, whatever YOUR reason, to all.



--=20
But then again, what do I know?
=20
Lou Vallone
=20
LouVallone@aol.com
=20
http://members.aol.com/LouVallone
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<DIV ><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>I've just joined a group trip from our =
dive shop in=20
Pittsburgh (Splash), from January 8-15 at Fantasy Island on =
Roatan.</FONT ></DIV>
<DIV ><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT> </DIV>
<DIV ><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Yeah, I know. But they had an opening, =
it was=20
cheap, I didn't have time to plan anything else, so it was the line of =
least=20
resistance. I was in Ft. Lauderdale last week and the weather was so =
poor I=20
didn't get any dives in. I need a couple of doses of nitrogen=20
narcosis.</FONT ></DIV>
<DIV ><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT> </DIV>
<DIV ><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Anywho, if there are any at that =
place at that=20
time, give a shout and we may bend and elbow (sic).</FONT ></DIV>
<DIV ><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT> </DIV>
<DIV ><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Best of the season, whatever YOUR =
reason, to=20
all.</FONT ></DIV>
<DIV ><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT> </DIV>
<DIV ><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT> </DIV>
<DIV ><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><BR>-- <BR>But then again, what do I=20
know?<BR > <BR>Lou Vallone<BR> <BR><A=20
href=3D"mailto:LouVallone@aol.com" >LouVallone@aol.com</A><BR> <BR><A=
=20
href=3D"http://members.aol.com/LouVallone"color=#0000FF> >http://members.aol.com/LouVall=
one</A ></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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23 Dec 2004 10:45:43
Rudy Benner
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.

Don't go, it sucks, just send me the tickets. Trust me, I will not enjoy
myself. Save yourself the aggravation.

"Lou Vallone" <vallone@smomp.org > wrote in message
news:10slp00i98uba1d@corp.supernews.com...
I've just joined a group trip from our dive shop in Pittsburgh (Splash),
from January 8-15 at Fantasy Island on Roatan.

Yeah, I know. But they had an opening, it was cheap, I didn't have time to
plan anything else, so it was the line of least resistance. I was in Ft.
Lauderdale last week and the weather was so poor I didn't get any dives in.
I need a couple of doses of nitrogen narcosis.

Anywho, if there are any at that place at that time, give a shout and we may
bend and elbow (sic).

Best of the season, whatever YOUR reason, to all.



--
But then again, what do I know?

Lou Vallone

LouVallone@aol.com

http://members.aol.com/LouVallone




23 Dec 2004 17:48:37
Dillon Pyron
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.

Thus spake "Rudy Benner" <bennerREMOVE@personainternet.com > :

>Don't go, it sucks, just send me the tickets. Trust me, I will not enjoy
>myself. Save yourself the aggravation.

Rudy, you're such a generous and caring person, they world needs
people like you. In fact, I'll jump up and prevent you from suffering
like that.

>
>"Lou Vallone" <vallone@smomp.org> wrote in message
>news:10slp00i98uba1d@corp.supernews.com...
>I've just joined a group trip from our dive shop in Pittsburgh (Splash),
>from January 8-15 at Fantasy Island on Roatan.
>
>Yeah, I know. But they had an opening, it was cheap, I didn't have time to
>plan anything else, so it was the line of least resistance. I was in Ft.
>Lauderdale last week and the weather was so poor I didn't get any dives in.
>I need a couple of doses of nitrogen narcosis.
>
>Anywho, if there are any at that place at that time, give a shout and we may
>bend and elbow (sic).
>
>Best of the season, whatever YOUR reason, to all.

--
dillon

"When the French are against it, you know we can't
be far wrong." - Adm. Bobbie Ray Inman


09 Jan 2005 20:35:45
chilly
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.


"Lou Vallone" <vallone@smomp.org > wrote in message
news:10slp00i98uba1d@corp.supernews.com...
>I've just joined a group trip from our dive shop in Pittsburgh (Splash),
from January 8-15 at Fantasy Island on Roatan.

>Yeah, I know. But they had an opening, it was cheap, I didn't have time to
plan anything else, so it was the line of least >resistance. I was in Ft.
Lauderdale last week and the weather was so poor I didn't get any dives in.
I need a couple of doses of >nitrogen narcosis.

>Anywho, if there are any at that place at that time, give a shout and we
may bend and elbow (sic).

>Best of the season, whatever YOUR reason, to all.

Can't wait to hear what you think of it, Lou.

I was up there the other day and had a drink while laying in a hammock on
their beach. Hope it turns out differently for you, but I was very glad I
wasn't staying there.







09 Jan 2005 12:59:49
Greg Mossman
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.

"chilly" <slarson@shaw.canada > wrote in message
news:BAgEd.35228$8l.24666@pd7tw1no...

> I was up there the other day and had a drink while laying in a hammock on
> their beach. Hope it turns out differently for you, but I was very glad I
> wasn't staying there.

Why? And did you check out BIBR for me?




09 Jan 2005 22:02:23
Whistler
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.



Greg Mossman wrote:
> "chilly" <slarson@shaw.canada> wrote in message
> news:BAgEd.35228$8l.24666@pd7tw1no...
>
> And did you check out BIBR for me?

She did, although I can give you more info.


09 Jan 2005 14:55:01
Greg Mossman
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.

"Whistler" <whiNstOler@sSan.rPr.cAomM > wrote in message
news:PRhEd.52376$Ew6.21663@twister.socal.rr.com...

>> And did you check out BIBR for me?
>
> She did, although I can give you more info.

Please do. In no particular order, how were the rooms, how was the food,
how were the bugs, and how was the diving (both boat and shore)?




10 Jan 2005 00:38:54
Whistler
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.

Greg Mossman wrote:
> "Whistler" <whiNstOler@sSan.rPr.cAomM> wrote in message
>
> Please do. In no particular order, how were the rooms, how was the food,
> how were the bugs, and how was the diving (both boat and shore)?

In general, I sum everything up as very good, comfortable, not luxurious.

Rooms: comfortable, but not luxurious. I got the room over the office,
the entire second floor of a small building. Screened in porch,
hammock, 40 paces from the dive shop and restaurant. Mostly I care
about the mattress and that was fine. I did not see any of the other rooms.

Food: good, not fancy. You can always order a hamburger or something
else safe and familiar if you don't like the special. I'm an omnivore,
but I like good food and I enjoyed the meals. The fruit juices are a
little sweet, but the water is drinkable. The local beer is drinkable.

Bugs: there were houseflies, no-see-ums, midges. Some people got bit,
but a simple application of deet fixed that for the most part. They
keep a can of Off at the bar. Fortunately, they didn't find me tasty.
Other than swarming the dinner table for a day or two after the rains, I
barely noticed them. They seed their beaches with nematodes to keep the
bug population down.

Diving: overall, very good.

Dive shop: has Nitrox, trimix if you plan ahead and do that. Staff is
all locals and they are all competant. Nitrox was easy, they have tanks
all set up. I think they have banked nitrox, but I didn't bother to
inquire. They will check pressure and mix with you there, label with
duct tape, log the transaction.

Divemasters: The divemasters help out those who need help and let the
others dive. They give good descriptions of the dive sites. They let
you dive. They're good at finding critters to look at. Not perfect.
One would try to keep turtles from swimming off, which I preferred he
wouldn't do. One helped me deal with a leaky o-ring, then turned my
tank back off when I wasn't looking. But on the whole, I was happy with
them. No attempts to control, lecture or any other nonsense like that.

My 7' hose sprung a small leak. One of the divemasters found a
replacement for me in town, replaced it on my reg, reattached the bolt
snap with cave line. Made the whole thing very easy.

Boats: the boat I was on was built in NC, used in Florida before being
brought down. It reminded me very much of the boats I've been on in
Florida. Fast, simple, aluminum benches, aluminum ladders. They just
brought down a bigger boat, but I didn't get a chance to ride that one.

Dive sites: the wall surrounds the island. Reef is in great shape,
preservation is helping the fish come back after years of the locals
supporting themselves off of it. Not so much in the way of big stuff.
I didn't see any sharks, the grouper wer far from the biggest I've seen.
Fair amount of turtles, though. Some big crabs. Plenty of schools of
immature barjack, blue tang, etc. Lots of beautiful fans, sponges,
coral: brain, ribbon, pillar. Lots of big pillar coral, which I
particularly enjoy.

Rarely had trouble getting a particular dive site. Saw other divers on
one dive only. Probably 2/3's of the dives were done as drift dives,
even though there was mostly little to no current.

The underwater topography is magnificent. Walls, pinnacles, channels.

Every dive is a multilevel dive. You can always come up to 25' or less
and still see wonderful reef. Often I ended dives with 10-20 minutes in
15' or less.

Favorite dive site: Spooky Channel. As good as advertised. Did two
drift dives beginning near the shore, drift out the channel in the
current about mid water (40-60', max depth 90'). The channel turns and
winds out to the gap in the reef, where the current reverses. You swim
through out into blue water, then drift the wall. The boat drops you
off and then goes around. Takes about 15 minutes to do the drift out to
the reef after being dropped off.

On the first drift in Spooky I saw two big remora. Mostly was just
mesmerized by the scenery.

Did a dusk dive in the first part of the channel, boat dropoff, swim
back to shore. Avoided going out the channel because of strong
currents and no boat support. Peacock flounder, lobster, several big,
big moray.

Last morning I finally did the snorkeling trail at 6AM. Juvenile drum
fish, conch, biggest hermit crab I've ever seen, anemone with clown fish
or something like that, juvenile gray angel, juvenile barracuda, baby
sea turtle about the length of my forearm. I watched him for about
15-20 minutes before heading back in. Max depth of water was about 5'.
One of the best dives I had, and it was snorkeling.

Getting in to town is easy. Sometimes the employees are driving in,
most times I just walked to the road and hailed a cab. Prices varied
from $3-$5. Getting back...cabs were a little scarce at 10PM the one
time I was there that late, but there was one. Don't know what the
limit was, but I wished I was within walking distance.

All in all, I had quite a good time.


10 Jan 2005 01:11:25
chilly
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.


"Greg Mossman" <mossman@qnet.com > wrote in message
news:41e19c2a$0$105$6c56adcd@news.qnet.com...
> "chilly" <slarson@shaw.canada> wrote in message
> news:BAgEd.35228$8l.24666@pd7tw1no...
>
> > I was up there the other day and had a drink while laying in a hammock
on
> > their beach. Hope it turns out differently for you, but I was very glad
I
> > wasn't staying there.
>
> Why? And did you check out BIBR for me?

Yes and dove with them too. However, it is Whistler that you should ask
about the place.




10 Jan 2005 01:16:26
chilly
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.


"Whistler" <whiNstOler@sSan.rPr.cAomM > wrote in message
news:y8kEd.65458$gd.48136@twister.socal.rr.com...
> Greg Mossman wrote:
> > "Whistler" <whiNstOler@sSan.rPr.cAomM> wrote in message
> >
> > Please do. In no particular order, how were the rooms, how was the
food,
> > how were the bugs, and how was the diving (both boat and shore)?
>
> In general, I sum everything up as very good, comfortable, not luxurious.
>
> Rooms: comfortable, but not luxurious. I got the room over the office,
> the entire second floor of a small building. Screened in porch,
> hammock, 40 paces from the dive shop and restaurant. Mostly I care
> about the mattress and that was fine. I did not see any of the other
rooms.
>
> Food: good, not fancy. You can always order a hamburger or something
> else safe and familiar if you don't like the special. I'm an omnivore,
> but I like good food and I enjoyed the meals. The fruit juices are a
> little sweet, but the water is drinkable. The local beer is drinkable.
>
> Bugs: there were houseflies, no-see-ums, midges. Some people got bit,
> but a simple application of deet fixed that for the most part. They
> keep a can of Off at the bar. Fortunately, they didn't find me tasty.
> Other than swarming the dinner table for a day or two after the rains, I
> barely noticed them. They seed their beaches with nematodes to keep the
> bug population down.

Actually, the owner was saying that they used to do it, but don't anymore.
I found the bugs to be voracious, both up at BIBR and in town. For good
measure, I was munched down on pretty good while waiting in the terminal
before departure.

(snip)




09 Jan 2005 17:47:20
Greg Mossman
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.

"Whistler" <whiNstOler@sSan.rPr.cAomM > wrote in message
news:y8kEd.65458$gd.48136@twister.socal.rr.com...

> All in all, I had quite a good time.

Thanks. It's the advertised quality of the shore diving (Spooky Channel)
that intrigued me the most as an alternative to Bonaire which is still a
real pain in the ass to get to from SoCal. I just might check it out this
spring as I'm looking for a relatively laid-back place to practice with our
soon-to-be-purchased UW video system before we hit the more demanding Cocos
in July. Unfortunately Continental wants over $750 for the R/T ticket which
negates the price advantage somewhat, and they only fly on Saturdays so I'd
have to commit an entire week.




10 Jan 2005 03:31:05
Whistler
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.



Greg Mossman wrote:
> "Whistler" <whiNstOler@sSan.rPr.cAomM> wrote in message
> news:y8kEd.65458$gd.48136@twister.socal.rr.com...
>
>
>>All in all, I had quite a good time.
>
>
> Thanks. It's the advertised quality of the shore diving (Spooky Channel)
> that intrigued me the most as an alternative to Bonaire which is still a
> real pain in the ass to get to from SoCal. I just might check it out this
> spring as I'm looking for a relatively laid-back place to practice with our
> soon-to-be-purchased UW video system before we hit the more demanding Cocos
> in July. Unfortunately Continental wants over $750 for the R/T ticket which
> negates the price advantage somewhat, and they only fly on Saturdays so I'd
> have to commit an entire week.

Yeah, it was the shore diving that also lured me. Unfortunately, I
didn't explore the shore diving as much as I wanted to. The rain had
set up some fierce currents. Snorkelers on the aquarium trail reported
not being able to swim against it and my first drift dive in the channel
convinced me that I didn't want to swim against it until the current
calmed down.

But the dusk dive we did was pretty nice. We just explored the
beginning of the channel, or a side basin near the beginning. There
were several bowls about 35' deep with sand in the bottom, rocky walls
on the side. Several big moray eels, peacock flounder. Lots of nooks
and crannies to explore. There are some young eagle rays that frequent
the area, as well.

I think the variety is not nearly what you can get at Bonaire, but it's
still a pretty nice dive site. Also, you might look at Half Moon Bay,
which is separated from the main bay of West End. I've read that while
shallow, the diving can be nice. Someone has a nice page on Roatan
shore diving which shows up on google.

Also, I should mention that in general I found the people at the resort
to be quite nice and very helpful. The owners, Ted and Camilla, were
down there when I was there. Their daughter Patti and her husband Bob
were running the place but went back to the states due to health
problems. If you call the number in PA, you will probably get Patti who
can give you more details.


10 Jan 2005 05:15:36
Steve
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.



Whistler wrote:

> anemone with clown fish or something like that,

Anemone fish are pretty distinctive, and supposedly only found west of Honduras. I've
got a brochure from CocoView that has a picture of an anemone and anemone fish, and
I've kind of wondered who they were trying to fool. OTOH, the first Emperor Angel I
ever saw was off of Ft Lauderdale, and I've heard several reports of Lionfish off of
North Carolina.

--
Steve

The above can be construed as personal opinion in the absence of a reasonable
belief that it was intended as a statement of fact.

If you want a reply to reach me, remove the SPAMTRAP from the address.



10 Jan 2005 06:19:59
Whistler
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.

Steve wrote:
>
>
> Whistler wrote:
>
>> anemone with clown fish or something like that,
>
>
> Anemone fish are pretty distinctive, and supposedly only found west of
> Honduras. I've got a brochure from CocoView that has a picture of an
> anemone and anemone fish, and I've kind of wondered who they were trying
> to fool. OTOH, the first Emperor Angel I ever saw was off of Ft
> Lauderdale, and I've heard several reports of Lionfish off of North
> Carolina.

Hmm... Indeed, I do not find anything that matches in Paul Humann's
Reef Fish Identification. The closest thing is the juvenile Gray
Angelfish. There was definitely one of those near the anemone, but it
was larger, perhaps 2-3''. There was another black fish with vertical
stripes, but much much smaller, probably not as large as a quarter, and
it was swimming in and out of the area of the anemone. I remember
looking at both and thinking that they were distinct fish. Given the
odds, though, I guess I'd have to go with really small gray angel.


13 Jan 2005 20:19:01
atlantahsi
Re: Jan. trip to Fantasy Island Roatan.

Good info
"Whistler" <whiNstOler@sSan.rPr.cAomM > wrote in message
news:ZFmEd.54812$nP1.2222@twister.socal.rr.com...
>
>
> Greg Mossman wrote:
> > "Whistler" <whiNstOler@sSan.rPr.cAomM> wrote in message
> > news:y8kEd.65458$gd.48136@twister.socal.rr.com...
> >
> >
> >>All in all, I had quite a good time.
> >
> >
> > Thanks. It's the advertised quality of the shore diving (Spooky
Channel)
> > that intrigued me the most as an alternative to Bonaire which is still a
> > real pain in the ass to get to from SoCal. I just might check it out
this
> > spring as I'm looking for a relatively laid-back place to practice with
our
> > soon-to-be-purchased UW video system before we hit the more demanding
Cocos
> > in July. Unfortunately Continental wants over $750 for the R/T ticket
which
> > negates the price advantage somewhat, and they only fly on Saturdays so
I'd
> > have to commit an entire week.
>
> Yeah, it was the shore diving that also lured me. Unfortunately, I
> didn't explore the shore diving as much as I wanted to. The rain had
> set up some fierce currents. Snorkelers on the aquarium trail reported
> not being able to swim against it and my first drift dive in the channel
> convinced me that I didn't want to swim against it until the current
> calmed down.
>
> But the dusk dive we did was pretty nice. We just explored the
> beginning of the channel, or a side basin near the beginning. There
> were several bowls about 35' deep with sand in the bottom, rocky walls
> on the side. Several big moray eels, peacock flounder. Lots of nooks
> and crannies to explore. There are some young eagle rays that frequent
> the area, as well.
>
> I think the variety is not nearly what you can get at Bonaire, but it's
> still a pretty nice dive site. Also, you might look at Half Moon Bay,
> which is separated from the main bay of West End. I've read that while
> shallow, the diving can be nice. Someone has a nice page on Roatan
> shore diving which shows up on google.
>
> Also, I should mention that in general I found the people at the resort
> to be quite nice and very helpful. The owners, Ted and Camilla, were
> down there when I was there. Their daughter Patti and her husband Bob
> were running the place but went back to the states due to health
> problems. If you call the number in PA, you will probably get Patti who
> can give you more details.