Coral View Dive Center offered us two free fun dives to practice our new underwater skills. We signed up for the next morning, and were promised the boat would go to the famous “Northside” of the island for a different area for us to check out, after seeing four different dive sites on the Southside.
When we arrived we were introduced to our divemaster, Bel from Brazil, who happened to be our instructor, Chris’s, wife! Perfect. She showed us where to set up our gear. There were others joining us for a total of 4 in our group. Nice and intimate, with lots of space to spread out. John and I were ready to go on a dive where we did not have to do anymore skills underwater.
We arrived at our destination 45 minutes later, a dive site named Duppy Waters. Apparently, Duppy is the name for ghost in Utila, therefore the “Ghost Waters” was where we would descend on our first dive of the day. Bel gave us our dive briefing, we buddy checked each other, and then did our perfect giant stride entries into the eerie depths.
Descending to 40 feet beneath the boat, the waters did not seem that ghostly. The coral was plentiful and a turtle swam by within the first few minutes. As we rounded a corner, I realized why this dive site was given it’s name. The bottom dropped away from us and went to infinity. We could not see the bottom and the blue sea surrounded us. Bel caught our attention and reminded us to watch our depth gauges. It was easy to go deeper than planned when there is no bottom!
Our dive continued for the next 40 minutes along a steep wall overlooking the ghostly waters and ended right underneath the boat. (How these guides find the boat again is always amazing to me.) As we boarded, everyone chatted about the new and interesting fish we saw. John and I, of course, thought all of the fish were new and interesting. Our boat partners were way more experienced, and showed us photos of some fish we did not see on the dive. Guess it all comes with time!
After a surface interval of cruising around, we made it to our second dive site called Spotted Bay. Another incredible wall. This time we tried to look for the smaller fish our compadres showed us. We victoriously high fived when we spotted a goby (don’t ask which kind).
What a morning! I now understand how diving becomes addictive, and why so many flock to the island of Utila‘s dive universe.
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