We have been trying to scuba dive at least one port per cruise since Sakari took an interest to this hobby a little over a year ago.
Originally I had plans to go see the sloths and then on to a beach for the day. I wanted to scuba dive in Costa Maya because that was the only port day that we didn't have any plans. Then Kendra booked and decided that she wanted to dive in Roatan.
After checking all the places in Costa Maya, we discovered that you had to dive BY BOAT there. That was an instant NO for both me and Kendra. Absolutely not! She has the same anxiety I have when diving and it takes us both awhile to get used to breathing under water like that. We need our feet firmly planted on the ground until the calmness sets in. This would only be her second dive, with the first being at Coki Beach and it took her forever to get used to it. I would see her constantly pop back up over and over at the beach and it wasn't looking good for a long time. But she accomplished it and managed to dive at Coki.
So it looked like Roatan would be the place we would dive. I contacted a lot of different places and our problem is...the kids. It's very hard to find a company that can accommodate both the adults AND the kids with a dive.
I found the perfect place: Bananarama. They gave us the option of a DSD right there at West Bay, which I had been wanting to return to since we were there last in 2011 and kind of didn't get to see much of the reef that time because they had had a lot of rain prior and everything was stirred up. They would take us right out off the beach and to the kidney area and around the outside and back. We would be going to Eel Garden and that sounded pretty darn awesome! They would also take the kids out so far with us and knew they were both PADI seals and felt comfortable with this.
We booked the DSD for $120pp (adult) which included the dive/equipment, round trip transportation, use of beach and chair after dive. The dive was $100 and the transportation was $20.
For the kids, it was $80 per kid plus $20pp transportation.
Then the non-diver (Billy) was a $30 package ($20 for transportation and $10 for...I thought they said a drink or two, I can't remember). Kam was free. So $617.50 later and we were booked and I was excited to be diving West Bay!
It had been a rainy week for the Caribbean I guess. We pulled up and the water looked disgusting. I was really hoping it didn't look like this everywhere and we'd be able to see some beautiful crystal clear water.
I have never seen any water in the Caribbean look this bad.
We finally arrived at Bananarama. It was over an hour drive there. I do NOT remember it being that long. I'm pretty sure it wasn't and it was just the extremely SLOW cab driver we had. After that ride, I swore I would never come back here again...at least not when docked at Mahogany Bay.
Hey at least it was nice and sunny out!
We immediately checked in with the staff and I was so excited but yet nervous as well.
They put a wristband on Billy and showed him and Kam to the bar. We sat down and started filling out paperwork.
The instructor for the kids started going over everything with them and answering questions and asking questions.
We met the girl that was going to be our instructor. Man did she look young. The owners (I think) are from Utah maybe? They came here and then later bought this place. I believe our instructor was also from Utah and came over to do her certification and stayed or something like that. There was another instructor or helper that would be with us that day and she was an exchange dive student, I believe also from Utah, and she came down to be certified and was also supposed to be here for a few weeks and loved it so much that she's dragging out her stay and has been here for months now. She doesn't want to return.
At one point I went out and checked on Billy and Kam and I wanted to see the beach and the bar.