One week full of experiences and adventure!

 

At the Roatan Underwater Photo Festival we will spend this week full of experiences and adventure! We will show you how to get the best underwater photos possible; not just for the week, but for your entire diving life. You will have the chance to experiment with your camera to see what works for you and what does not. Every day we will have a seminar where we’ll explore both Point & Shoot and SLR camera opportunities and talk about what seems to work best with both type of cameras. Each day will build on what you learned the day before and we’ll be in the water a lot to practice and experiment. Most importantly, we’ll use a “share to learn” technique. We’ll look at photos that have been shot during the day, not to criticize, but to learn. As a group we will talk about what the sample photos do well and what we might do to alter the shots. By sharing our ideas, we all learn more quickly and perhaps find different approaches that we would never have discovered individually. This is not a photo contest or shootout. Seminars would be conducted every evening and the hosts/photo pros will be diving with the participants on every dive. Afternoon (optional) dives will include a pro on the boat and a pro available on land to answer questions for those who chose not to dive.

The north side of Roatan offers unique opportunity to experience the largest variety of reef topography on the island. So you will get a chance to explore sloping plateaus perfect for spotting macro life, sheer walls with large soft corals and barrel sponges, wreck dives abundant with life, crevices, trenches, overhangs and cavern systems such as two of the most popular dive sites Underground and Dolphin's Den.

 

Diving Highlights 

Dive with Caribbean Reef Sharks!

One of Roatan’s most popular dives is the SHARK DIVE, which is also on the agenda. The dive site is called "Cara a Cara", which in Spanish means "Face to Face". It is organized by the dive center WAIHUKA situated in the south side of the island. Here is where you will literally be “face to face” with 10-15 Caribbean Reef sharks, all female. The very expert staff will give you a very detailed briefing in the dive shop. After a 10-15 minutes boat ride you will arrive at the site of the shark encounter. You will have a system of lines from the boat and a descending line too, as the site is often characterized by mild to strong current. You will descend on a flat plateau at the depth of 70 ft.

As you descend you will already see all the sharks swimming around in the area. The dive starts in a stationary position, you will have a little wall behind you. That means the sharks will never come from behind you. The divemaster brings a bucket with fish that (at the beginning) will be close. If the current is not too strong you will have the possibility to swim with them and that makes you experience spectacular. Swimming around you will see large Barrel sponges, amazing soft corals, Black groupers, Green moray eel and schools of Horse eye jacks. When your tour finishes, your divemaster will ask you to go back into the initial position and he will open the bucket at a distant of 10 ft. And now the real show begins! All the sharks will fight to have the best bite. When the bucket is empty usually the sharks leave, and you will have the possibility to find in the same area where they fed them, a little tooth to take home as memory. The Sharks can measure up to 10 ft in length and their lifespan is believed to be around 25 years. The max depth is 70 ft and bottom time 30 minutes.

 

Wreck dives!

Wreck dives will also be part of this week’s adventure. We will start exploring EL AGUILA, a 210' cargo boat perfectly sunk at 100 feet of water on a sandy bottom full of deep garden eels. It has been adapted for penetration diving so you can descend onto open large compartments where you can surprise a number of fish in their homes. Adjacent to the boat runs the wall to finish off the dive among the shallow water tropical fish. When El Aguila sunk in 1997, it was upright in 110 feet of water. In October 1998, Hurricane Mitch arrived and battered the north shore, breaking it into 3 pieces but Mitch provided a service to the wreck divers of Roatan. The 3 pieces created extra nooks and crannies to investigate.

Depth range: 18 – 40 meter (60 – 130 feet) Experience required: Advanced

Next stop would be ODYSSEY, Roatan's biggest wreck lies at 110 ft in a big sand patch next to a beautiful reef wall. The bow of the wreck is sitting upright while the superstructure of the stern is sitting at a 30 degree angle which makes swimming through it quite interesting. The midsection has collapsed from the powerful surge of several cold fronts.

Depth range: 18 – 40 meter (60 – 130 feet) Experience required: Advanced