We headed first to the highlands of Guatemala where we spent a few nights in Antigua before moving on to Lake Atitlán to enjoy the scenery, renew friendships at the Cooperativa Spanish School, and celebrate with our Beca Project students and their families. Then we flew to the island of Roatán, Honduras for beaches, snorkeling, diving, and flyfishing. HAPPY TRAILS!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The rest of our week at Camp Bay Beach

Our 1st full day at Camp Bay Beach we went on a snorkeling trip with Mike the owner with the additional motive of scoping out fishing flats. We cut through mangrove areas, spotted fishing options, tried out 1 or 2, and made 3 wonderful snorkeling stops including 2 wrecks.
file fish
squirrel fish and lettuce coral
sub adult yellow tailed damsel
sharpnose puffer and neon goby
4 eye butterflyfish, blue tangs, grunts, and a squirrel fish
My view over the water to the boat
The big disappointment of the week was that, despite the right equipment, good background experience, heading out day after day at dawn, and gorgeous flats, the fish just weren't there. Even places Mike had fished in 2006 where he'd seen hundreds or even thousands of bonefish were barren. Damn poachers. :-(

The good news is he still loved trying.
That's Mike in the morning, looking at the water from the end of a neighboring peer.
He did see big nurse sharks in the flats day after day, though, and got some good photos.
I was hoping to dive a lot this week but ended up with 3 dives (which I loved) and a couple more snorkeling trips; I needed Mike the owner to be my dive buddy and he developed an ear infection mid week. The other minor disappointment was the relative lack of walk in snorkeling, though kayaks put the reef within reach. The variety and health of the coral and gorgonians was amazing and I identified more than 60 types of fish including several I haven't seen before.

Here we are paddling to the reef.
Here I am on the dive boat, a happy camper.
The water, the beaches, the facilities, the food (both what we cooked and what we ate in their excellent restaurant - lots of seafood!), the sunsets, and the company were all excellent.
Lobster fisherman pulled up to the dock.
Mmmm...fresh mangoes for breakfast every day.
Another thing I enjoyed were the critters.
The longest of these little shells was half an inch; they are seen below in a small cereal bowl before I returned them to their ocean home.
Here's a close up - check out the colors.
Here's another set for your viewing pleasure.
Near the center of the close up below, check out the tiny white-shelled hermit crab climbing on the tip of a bigger shell; remember the biggest ones are half an inch long. :-)
We could nearly always see a gecko somewhere in our room; I love the sounds they make almost as much as the service they provide (eating insects). Most were 1-2 inches long but this one was 4-5 inches.
This morning a little crab was on our window sill - don't ask me why or how; seen below in the bottom of a small white coffee cup.
Here's a close up.
Part of what made our week at Camp Bay enjoyable was good company including the owners, Mike and Roxanne, their kids Mike and Lizzy, and our neighbors (the only other guests) Izzy and Kimber from Indiana. Happy trails!

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