Winter Diving – Roatan
Before moving to Roatan I used to work in the arctic during the winter. I really don’t like the cold weather. The whole bit; the end of your nose always feeling cold and wet, toes in the same condition, snuggling under all the blankets in the house while wearing your hoodie and sweat pants to bed, dressing in multiple layers covering the biggest percentage of your surface area as possible, and etc. Admittedly, the arctic was worse….
Layering up and braving the 70° weather on my scooter (60° with the wind chill factor) on the way to the dive shop, I began to question my plans to jump into the ocean for the morning dive. A recent storm has abated, and the surface is sooth with gentle swells, but the azure blue Caribbean looks almost icy from behind the cold nose mentioned above.
With no sacrificial Divemaster trainees around to throw in the ocean and test the water temperatures, it was time to man-up and git’er done. Tying a string onto my dive computer, while remaining safe and warm, I threw the unfortunate device into what is arguably the coldest spot in the Caribbean, the 7-foot abyss at the end of West End Divers dock.
A brief hand over hand rescue five minutes later and the temperature read 80° F! (Which is 26.6° Canadian) Balmy!
With no central heating on the island that I’m aware of, and the only alternative to a campfire being standing in front of an open oven door, it is obviously time to go diving, and warm up.
Roatan is open to tourism, and diving after a long hiatus involving a recent pandemic. Direct flights are arriving from Houston on United Airlines, and Miami on American Airlines once again. Escape it all, including the cold weather, come to Roatan. Let’s jump off a perfectly good boat, and warm up.