Utila’s First Annual Dive Festival started off with a better than expected turnout. The opening ceremony on Saturday evening, with live music and live internet steaming, was host to over a hundred participants. Dive shop staff were busy signing up clients for classes, fun dives, and festival events. At the evenings end, many were full and closed. Lesson learned–sign up early! Several random drawing prizes were gifted, including a reg and camera, fueling the excitement for the upcoming week.
The early bird dive hosted by Paradise Dive Center was reportedly spectacular. Each shops divers participanted in the Peak Performance Buoyancy workshops. Volleyball at Underwater Vision was hot but successful, to the winning team anyways! The pub quiz at the Utila Lodge was a full house with the winning team members from UDC taking the prize.
Monday showcased try sidemount dives and freediving. All slots were filled on opening night, and the participants were eager to check out the newest in diving from Coral View and breathing from Apnea Total. Many Passport holders took advantage of the guided snorkeling tour of Blue Bayou, hosted by Coral View. The Fish ID talk was nearly filled with 49 of 50 seats taken. Better than most Friday night movies–dive guru Adam can put on a show! The evening concluded with Casino night hosted by Parrot’s Dive Center at Tranquila Bar. After a few hours of black jack and poker, chips were counted. It was a close call, but the winner and runner up walked with perfect prizes.
Today’s events are unfolding as we speak. A day of diving, try dives, and more snorkeling will precede the week’s most anticipated gathering–the Taste of Utila! Restaurants will offer a sample to Passport holders in hopes of luring them in for a full fledged meals. What a great way to check out all Utila has to offer in one night. Doesn’t hurt to put a little food in the belly along with that Salva Vida.
Participants are taking photos daily in hopes for the big prize at the photo contest Thursday night at the Jade Seahorse. We will see how many make it after Karaoke night at Utila Lodge. It could knock out a few people–or at least their voices.
As the week progresses the island of Utila will welcome more visitors and become long time friends with a few more wandering souls.