Diving the Bay Island of Guanaja, Honduras (Part 5 - Diving)

A 4 minute read, Posted on Mon, Apr 18, 2016 In Scuba
Tags scuba, travel, tips

This is part 5 in a series on scuba travel and our trip to Honduras.

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Guanaja Diving

The diving in Guanaja is fantastic. Sure, I don’t have years and hundreds of dives to compare it to, but the reefs were healthy, the fish were plentiful and there were wrecks, swimthroughs and plenty of deep diving. They are very aggressive about controlling or removing the invasive Lionfish population and encourage you to spearfish them if desired. Several of the group were interested and the guides taught each of them to safely use the Hawaiian sling. The population is under much better control than it used to be and you had to actually hunt for the Lionfish, but everyone that went in with a spear came out with a Lionfish at least once.

Sites We dove:
  • Eel’s Garden
  • Fantasy Reef
  • The Elbow
  • The Pinnacle
  • Wonderful Reef
  • Denis’ Playground (x2)
  • Jado Trader (x2)
  • Lisa’s Reef (night dive)
  • Diana’s Wall
  • Paradise Reef
  • Lee’s Pleasure
  • Rainbows Reef
  • Michael’s Rock Canyon
  • The Pavilion’s
  • The Cut

In total we did 17 boat dives (which was a bonus, since we thought we would only get 15) and the only dives we repeated were ones we asked to do again. We hit many cool sites and while some had less marine life than others, they all had abundant coral of all types. The waters were fairly clear with only a couple sites that the current was bringing in a lot of particles. Most of our dives consisted of 60’ to 80’ and beyond horizontal visibility. The only really strong current we had was the second time we dove the Jado Trader shipwreck, you didn’t really notice it until you got to the end of the ship and came up over the hull to return towards the pinnacle and mooring line. You could feel it right away and I was happy to have my ScubaPro Nova fins to power through.

Some of the best diving for video and photography was in the shallower waters around 20’ to 30’ deep where we entered at sites like The Cut, Fantasy Reef, and Wonderful Reef where the marine life was plentiful and the shallow coral was bright and colorful in the sunlight.

One of the coolest experiences was diving Denis’ Playground. This site consisted of a Cessna plane that crashed a couple years ago and has only recently began to be used. In fact, on our first dive the site did not yet have a name or mooring line installed. After the dive Denis asked us to help name the site and we came up with Denis’ Playground, combining his name with our dive shop’s name. We really liked the site and it was cool seeing how quickly the corals begin to overtake the structure. We like it so much, in fact, that we wanted to do the dive again. The second we had the treat of being present while Denis and crew took rope and a buoy and installed a mooring line so future dives at that site would not require dropping anchor and risking damage to the coral.

There was a lot of good marine life and healthy reefs. Lisa and I had some good firsts on this trip. To begin with we both passed the 100’ mark, I had multiple deep dives that hit the 1 hour mark, we saw our first Barracuda, and we saw our first shark (a beautiful Nurse Shark)!

The weather and water was a dream. We only had day-time rain one day (unfortunately it canceled the beach picnic) but it was light rain and we jumped in and enjoyed nice calm waters coming out. The water temps were steady at about 82 F. I brought my tropical 1mm wetsuit, but decided to give the first dive a try without it on. The water felt so nice that the only time my wetsuit got wet that whole trip was on the boat when it rained. I do wish I had worn it for the night dive, simply for the extra comfort while swimming through so many schools of tiny fish that would shoot against my bright colored rash guard looking for a meal.

Next time we'll look at what to do with all those pictures you took while you were on vacation.

If you are interested in my photos or videos from the trip take a look at Flickr and YouTube.

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