Deeper and Deeper

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
Trip End Aug 13, 2011

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Where I stayed
Tropical Sunset Apartments

Flag of Honduras  , Bay Islands,
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Over the next two days we completed our first two real dives off of Utila's Southwest coast.  We would start and finish with some skills with a fun swim around the reef in between.  The reef was amazing!  We saw countless sea creatures including garden eels, arrow crabs, parrot fish, trumpet fish, a southern sting ray and a sea turtle to name a few.  The swim quickly reminded us why we went through the hours of reading, the cheesy videos, and the confined dives.  We had dove to a depth of 60 feet, we had checked off all of the requirements, mastered all of the skills, passed the final exam; our friends were ready to bestow upon us the certification of PADI Open Water Divers.
We celebrated with a Skid Row Pizza before heading back to the apartment for some drinks.  After quite a few, our friends thought it would be fun to stumble our way to one of their favorite bars, the Treetanic.  We arrive to find a steep set of stairs leading to a platform up in the trees.  We quickly noticed that this was like no other bar we had ever been to.  Although quite dark, we could tell that a lot of effort went into decorating the open air bar and surrounding area.  Using whatever materials were available, the construction was more like a work of art.  We decided we must come back in the daytime to appreciate this place.
The next morning, after a much needed haircut from Phil (the best haircutter on the island; according to him), we set off to once again explore the Eclectic Treetanic Bar at the Jade Seahorse.  The place was even more spectacular in the light.  Mosaics made of glass, tile, bottles, ceramic, and wood were everywhere.  We walked the place and noticed they have cabanas for rent in the back.  This would be a very unique place to stay.  As we left we dropped a donation into a small box that goes to the artist so he can continue the work on this masterpiece before heading back to Lydia's Bakery for another Baleada.  After filling up, we headed to Chepe's Beach on the eastern end of the main road.  You typically pay about 5 Limps to get in, but with the key to our apartment, we got in for free.  There were a few chairs on the beach and we had the whole place to ourselves.  We waded out and just laid in the warm shallow water.  It felt like we were in a bathtub.  When we got out, we noticed that Chico, an occasionally seen Scarlet Macaw had come over to check on us.  She perched on a tree limb right near the water and politely posed as we took some great shots.  
We had seen some people doing Stand Up Paddle from the apartment and we had always wanted to try it, so we headed back down the road and located the place just behind a coffee shop.  Our guide was from Hawaii where SUP originated.  He gave us some great tips that would keep us from falling.  It was great fun as we made our way across the bay and he positioned us perfectly for a great photo with the sun going down behind us.  Quite a workout, but good fun!
After such a busy afternoon, we retired to the apartment.  It wasn't long before Phil emerged through our door.  He had fallen down the stairs a few days before and was definitely on "something" for the pain.  He rambled on and on about how Microsoft had finally crossed the line, and they didn't know who they were dealing with, and how he had sent a virus that was going to bring them down with a personal message reminding them, "Don't F*&k with Phil".  I am not really sure what he was talking about, but it made for great comedy!  Out of all the crazy things Phil said this week, there was one line that will stick with me;  He said simply, "When I die, I want to come back as ME!"  As I thought about these words, they really make a lot of sense.  Live your life, do the things that make you happy, and have no regrets!  This is what we were doing here on the Bay Islands, but reality is beginning to call us back.
It has been a great week here on Utila.  We thank our good friends Kori and Chad from Cuervo's Dive Shack for their hospitality, their generosity, and for exposing us to our newest hobby, SCUBA Diving.  Time to pack up, we have a date with Capt. Vern at 7:30am, for our return trip to Roatan.
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