Real diving day is here.

Corn Island Travel Blog

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A pet spider monkey swings in a front yard. My hotel has one too.

Hello all,
I slept great last night.  I woke up about 7:30am and felt outstanding.  I got my Mach 3 razor and went to work.  There was no way I was going to let my stupid facial hair ruin my diving the way it did the previous day's snorkelling.  It took a while to get a taxi, and once I did he took quite a diverted route to drop off other passengers.  On Big Corn taxis will pick up as many people as will fit in the taxi, and are going the same direction.  And all fares cost the same 15 Cordoba in the day ($0.82), and 20 Cordoba at night ($1.10) no matter where you are going.  There is one or two busses plying the island and it only costs 3 Cordoba, but you could wait quite a while before seeing one.

When I arrived at Nautilus Veronica was ready to go.

The ferry that goes from the Bluefields on the mainland to Corn Island.
  She informed me that another diver, John, would be coming along, so I had a diving buddy.  Not too long after another person showed up wanting to dive.  Jenny is from Bath in the UK, and she is also headed north through Central America on her way to meet her boyfriend in Honduras.  Her boyfriend is taking a dive instructor course in Utila for the next two weeks.  We waited for a while until there arose  some doubt as to wether John was starting his dives Sunday or Monday.  We took off without him.

Once on the boat Veronica gave me a quick refresher on equipment set-up and I felt things coming back to me.  Putting everything on seemed very awkward, possibly because of the glass bottom boats design taking up much of the room onboard.  I also don't remember wearing a weight belt nearly as heavy as the 20lb. one that I was set up with.  But they know what they are doing, right?  Maybe they were using different equipment last year in the Philippines and Maldives.

Things all came back to me once we flipped backwards into the water.  The feeling was great, and the equipment was all very good.  My mask loved my newly smoothed face, and the weight belt allowed me to reach neutral bouyancy very easily.  All systems go!  What's down here?

The big draw to the Corn Islands is certainly the coral.  It is plentiful, healthy, and beautiful.  There are not alot of fish, which seems kind of strange, but there are certainly enough to keep things interesting.  On the two dives the first thing we saw was a pair of spiny lobster.  They were enormous!  About two feet long without their very long antenae, and very thick.  It makes me sad that lobster season doen't start here until next month.  Later on we saw two nurse sharks, and one more as we were headed up to the surface.

Overall it was a very good diving experience.  The main disadvantage to diving with two tiny women is that I use alot more air then they do.  I'm about 190 pounds, and I'm still a beginner so that means I'm using air at nearly double the rate that the women were.  Maybe tomorrow, with John along, I can use less air then somebody.

After reaching the shore I walked all the way back to the hotel taking the beach route the taxi driver had showed me earlier in the day.  I took a wonderful shower, kicked the A/C on, and headed down to the beach to chill.  The breeze wasn't as strong as it was yesterday, but it was still beautiful (and still no bugs).  I ordered a beer and relaxed for a while, drifting in and out of sleep.  Some time later Jenny walked by checking out the beach.  I invited her to sit down for a while, and we decided some food would be a good idea.

We talked about travel, life, and our experiences while waiting.  I also grabbed my laptop so she could check her email.  Unfortunately she had the same troubles I did using Yahoo!, and after asking Mike we figured out that it's not just us having that same problem.  Strange.  The food was good, and she headed back towards her hotel before it got dark.  Veronica, Alex, Jenny, and some others had made plans to go out later tonight to Nico's, the Sunday night dancing hotspot on Big Corn.

Mike, the owner of Club Paraiso, and several of his guests, friends and employees were headed to Nico's as well so I hung out in the room for a while playing on the internet and resting up.  About 9pm there was a huge downpour, so when I looked out my door I was pleased to see everybody was still in the Paraiso bar.  Walking to the main road in the rain sounded like no fun to me.  About 10pm I the rain had let up a bit, so I went out to the bar to wait for our taxis.  It took four taxis aboyut 10 minutes to carry the 17 people to Nico's on the south side of the island.

Nico's certainly was hopping.  The little shack on the sea held about 60 peopleafter we arrived.  Beer was 17 Cordobas ($0.93) and served out of a huge ice filled tin tub.  The mixture of music played was vast, but it all had a happy Caribbean island vibe.  The was reggae, reggaeton, soca, old school country, and some rock en espanol.  The country, I've been told is a remnant of when the laborers from the Panama Canal would layover and rest here.  The locals really got a taste for folky rural American music.

Jenny and Veronica never showed up, but I hung around with Mike's group, Alex, and Omar from the dive shop until about midnight.  I'd had four beers, and knew there was a 9:30am dive in the morning.  I crashed fast and hard into the comfy bed at Paraiso.

Later, Phil

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A pet spider monkey swings in a fr…
A pet spider monkey swings in a f…
The ferry that goes from the Bluef…
The ferry that goes from the Blue…
Corn Island
photo by: swhayden