Day 85: Diving in Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro Travel Blog

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the only dolphins we saw that day

With the place all quieted down again after the Carnaval festivities. We had decided to stay in Bocas a few more days. Hey, last I was at a Caribberan island I spent most of my time underwater. Surely it would be possible to do some diving here as well?

We found a place that organised diving trips in the area. For Arnaud it was his first time diving, so he had to spend the morning in the pool, doing some basic underwater exercise. I wandered around town and to my surprise bumped into an English couple I had first met in Guatemala on the Volcán Pacaya tour. Once again I realised it actually *is* a small world after all, and I was feeling all Disney again. We agreed to meet up for a drink in the evening.

But first we had a tour to do.

Arnaud's first ever scuba dive
The tour we had booked was a combined tour featuring dolphin watching and two dives. First we'd sail around the islands searching for dolphins, which apparently are very common here. And then we would do a couple of dives in an area with nice reefs, where hopefully we would encounter even more dolphins, this time underwater.

Well, those who have followed my blog will realise that the combination of me and dolphins apparently doesn't work. We did see a couple of them, while on the boat trip, but their numbers were nowhere in the superlatives the tour operator had led us believe.

Still I didn't think this was the tour operator stating false information though - it was obvious from the many other boats floating about that this is indeed a popular tour, but that simply today was a bad day.

The storm that had raged at night could have had something to do with it, I guess.

Diving at Crawl Caye, Bocas del Toro
At least it had caused the visibility underwater to be very poor, as we would soon find out. I had already been told how spoilt I was having done my PADI course on Utila. Today I realised just how spoilt as the diving in Bocas del Toro could in no way match that what I had seen in Utila.

The first dive, at Crawl Caye, was a nice flat coral garden. Due to the poor visibility we didn't get to see much fish, but the coral was nothing short of stunning though. The highlight of this dive were the many coloured starfish we encountered.

The second dive was much better though. Hospital Point is a huge wall that drops down for at least 100 metres. We descended along the wall up to a depth of only 15 metres though, as Arnaud couldn't go as deep as novice diver.

It was another one of those “lunch” dives, we encountered several lobsters, crabs and prawns. The fish were also more colourful at this place, making up for the disappointing first dive.

In the evening we met up with the English couple for a great night of drinks down at the harbour, overlooking the Bahia Almirante and another perfect sunset. It was great fun catching up with them, comparing our travel routes of the past six weeks since we met.

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the only dolphins we saw that day
the only dolphins we saw that day
Arnauds first ever scuba dive
Arnaud's first ever scuba dive
Diving at Crawl Caye, Bocas del To…
Diving at Crawl Caye, Bocas del T…
A boat with tourists, another boat…
A boat with tourists, another boa…