Rescue Rain Day

Very rarely do us Dive Masters get a snow day, but that is exactly what happened one morning last week. Let me start with; diving during a rainstorm is a treat. You are going to get wet no matter what, so why let precipitation deter you from a good time? To be completely unaffected by any elements, submerged, 10, 20, 40 feet under water, floating on your back, looking up as drops disrupt the surface in a static, white noise sort of manner, is a calming, novel experience. There are dangers associated with diving during a storm, though very few actually influence behaviour underwater. Instead it is the entry and exit from the boat during a storm where most accidents happen.

On this day, last week, the water and wind were consequently too rough to even consider a boat dive from any side of the island, so the morning boat was cancelled, leaving 8 dive masters and 4 instructors puttering around the shop. A movie on skills (sans popcorn) was turned on for review and all dive masters settled in. Not 35 minutes later, the instructors interrupt the movie and being yelling about a missing diver. We all quickly recognize the interruption as a drill and even quicker scatter like cockroaches being chased by a flame. The next 40 minutes evolved into what can only be described as mildly controlled chaos. The missing diver was eventually located but was unable to be resuscitated as her bottom time was well over 20 minutes. The supervising instructors were disappointed, but as we were all reminded by our newest DM from Switzerland, drills like the one we just bombed, are the reason we all become better, as individuals and as a team. Rather than thash out every error we made, I’m going to isolate and highlight the correct response to an emergency which is an important refresher for all divers of any level.


Missing Diver/Search + Rescue


1.       Assess the Situation


a.       Before anyone moves in any direction, assign a lead. No matter what the conditions, you will be working as a team, but it is far less confusing and much more efficient to know who is delegating tasks and who should be aware of all information passing through.

b.      Collect all information. Who is missing, Where were they last seen, When were they last seen, What are they wearing, How much air did they have left, Why did they go missing?


2.       Create a Plan

Denver using proactive teaching techniques

Denver using proactive teaching techniques

a.       The DM’s were informed of the missing diver in a classroom where we were watching a movie. We had a white board, multiple maps, a spine board, emergency oxygen, first aid, and various other useful tools, which you can be sure none of us took advantage of, because in the excitement we all just bolted for our equipment. What we should have done was draw the search area/dive site on the white board, and assign teams and search patterns.

b.      Assign roles to your team.  There were 8 of us. Perfect for one snorkel team of two, two scuba teams of two and one team of two to stay on land. Discuss search patterns, recall signals if a team finds the diver, assign gear, compasses and have the land team put emergency services on standby while checking the missing diver’s hotel on the off chance they have surfaced and gone home.


3.       Implement

Sean successfully applying CPR

Sean successfully applying CPR

a.       After this crucial first and second step, MOVE! Time is crucial for increased survival rates. Get your gear and get to the water. Have one more meeting before entering the water to ensure everyone is clear on the plan, or to accommodate any changes.

b.      Communicate! When you create a plan stick to it. The easiest mistake to make is to become an independent member and abandon your team with dreams of becoming a hero.

Anthony tells Sean a secret once recovered

Anthony tells Sean a secret once recovered


c.       Depending on the diver’s condition when found, the recovery standards will differ. The most experienced EFR trainee should work on the patient until EMS arrives.






At the end of the day, we all learned that you cannot succeed without the cooperation and help of your team. We became stronger as a group and will definitely be carrying this lesson into many other experiences.

Rescue Rain Day narrated by Chloe

Rescue Rain Day narrated by Chloe

Caribbean reef fish of Roatan

Here are some photographs of just some of the variety of fish we have here in Roatan, Honduras. The location of these shots are mostly taken in dive sites ranging from Pablo's to Spooky Channel. How many can you identify? If you haven't done so already, ask to do a fish identification dive and one of the instructors will go through with you, the best techniques for finding and learning as many fish as possible.

All photographs are taking by the talented Alex Harper-Graham find more photos by clicking the link

Some of these fish can be spotted swimming amongst the beautiful mesoamerican reef, and the others are more shy and hide in the coral and take cover from predators.

As the staff are busy looking for exotic features and creatures for you, safety is still our first concern with our customers making sure we do air checks when needed and not to worry if you run low on air, we always have a divemaster intern that will assist your safety stop and buddy with you back to the ladder.

a lionfish spotted by a scuba diver diving with coconut tree divers in west end, roatan

Be sure to follow us next week on an adventure, we haven't been able to promote funday friday lately because of weather issues.  Next week will be worth waiting for, make sure to follow along.......  happy bubbles from CTD

Scuba diving amongst Hawksbill turtles in Roatan.

All photos courtesy of

The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a critically endangered sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. It is the only extant species in the genus Eretmochelys. The species has a worldwide distribution, with Atlantic and Indo-Pacific subspecies.

The hawksbill's appearance is similar to that of other marine turtles. In general, it has a flattened body shape, a protective carapace, and flipper-like limbs, adapted for swimming in the open ocean. E. imbricata is easily distinguished from other sea turtles by its sharp, curving beak with prominent tomium, and the saw-like appearance of its shell margins. Hawksbill shells slightly change colors, depending on water temperature.

While this turtle lives part of its life in the open ocean, it spends more time in shallow lagoons and coral reefs. The World Conservation Union, primarily as a result of Human fishing practices, classifies E. imbricata as critically endangered.[1] Hawksbill shells were the primary source of tortoiseshell material used for decorative purposes. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species outlaws the capture and trade of hawksbill sea turtles and products derived from them.

Macro photography diving - top tip to find the small stuff

Today, was a clear, sunny and typically warm day in Roatan. The diving was also clear, warm water and little current, a perfect day of searching for the little critters underwater. Go slow and you'll always find more.

Macro tip of the week, look for Sailfin Blennies in sandy areas. Their little black or white heads will generally be seen in an isolated coral head on the sand. If you're lucky and patient you might even see them fully come out of the hole and display their amazing dorsal fin.

Sailfin Blenny, Deep Turtle Crossing Dive Site

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Harper-Graham


Superbowl Sunday + BBQ at the diveshop

Your big winners of the night!!!  Alex and Monty won three times on the squares, about 160USD... whoohoooo

Your big winners of the night!!!  Alex and Monty won three times on the squares, about 160USD... whoohoooo

Super Bowl LI will be the 51st Super Bowl and the 47th modern-era National Football League (NFL) championship game. The American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots will play the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Atlanta Falcons to decide the league champion for the 2016 season. 

As it stands all bets are in for the game, good luck everyone!!

Burgers and Dogs

Burgers and Dogs

BBQ Chicken Wings

BBQ Chicken Wings

Saskatchewan Roughriders would love to take on the Patriots or Falcons!!!!  Greatest football team in the world!!

Saskatchewan Roughriders would love to take on the Patriots or Falcons!!!!  Greatest football team in the world!!

Tonight on the menu will be burgers, weiners, kabobs, chicken wings and much more... Its a potluck dinner so bring what you want to throw on the BBQ, or bring a side dish.

Watching it on the HD Projector, so a 10ft screen for tonight.

Watching it on the HD Projector, so a 10ft screen for tonight.

End of the week Sunset Cruise with family and friends.

And so ends another week of diving at the shop.  The weather started with a short two day storm which we fled to Flowers Bay for some south side diving. By Wednesday we were back diving in west end enjoying dive sites like Texas, Hole in the Wall, Peters Place, and Bears Den.  To end every week we have Funday Friday, a customer appreciation day with sunset drinks, fishing, music, dancing, and shenanigans with all the dive staff. 

Looks like were off to the south side on sunday..... booooooooo.... However we are keeping the big boat over in Las Palmas for the week, which means we are diving Marys Place, 40 ft point, Mr bud wreck, Prince Albert wreck, Valley of the Kings, and many more... 

Potlicker will then stay in Flowers Bay for the open water courses and DSD,s for the week.  Be sure to come down and check out at the wave action at our friend Daryls resort, Lands End..  Amazing views and cheap beer!!

Outta here, see ya!!

Outta here, see ya!!

License to kill!!!!!

Chantal and Rachel slaying lunch

Chantal and Rachel slaying lunch


Ever since we arrived on the island, Chantal and I knew we wanted our Lionfish licenses. Although they are pretty, in the Caribbean, Lionfish are an invasive species. There are a number of theories on how they arrived from the Indopacific, but no matter who or what is to blame, Lionfish are a problem in Roatan. They have no natural predators, voracious appetites, and a strong resilience to environmental factors allowing them to easily spread through the Caribbean and beyond. Our licenses were obtained through the Roatan Marine Park, the NGO responsible for protecting over 941 hectares of coastline and sea surrounding our island. Although the license was 50 dollars (a little pricey for a DMT) We knew our money was largely a donation to the Marine Park, and when you have a passion for diving, supporting local conservation efforts is a no brainer.

Plus, they gave us spears!

After we watched the video had a short talk with Nic, the Marine Infrastructure Coordinator, we headed out to the sand patch to prove our worth! The harvest of lionfish is important for the health of the reef, however the irresponsible use of spears could potentially be worse. Bad buoyancy and missed shots risk hits to the coral, damaging thousands of years of growth.  So before we were able to head out and hunt we had to prove to Nic that we were capable. He provided us with a number of coconuts so we could get a feel for the action of our spears. After we were comfortable he set up a ‘pretend’ reef and placed the coconuts in small alcoves (where lionfish typically hang out), and we KILLED those coconuts!

 I think even Nic was surprised.

With our licenses to kill, Chantal and I can’t wait to join the fight for the control of lionfish in Roatan. The free ceviche doesn’t hurt either!

An H.P. hose vs L.P. hose, in a cut hose situation which will leak the fastest?

Are you sure you know?

As an experienced diver or not, it is important to know your personal dive equipment and rental equipment.  Today's question is from Monty and he asks the public which tank will empty faster?  The air tank on the right has 3000psi a Cressi Sub first stage and a high pressure hose attached but has been cut in half.  The nitrox tank on the left is 3000psi Dive rite first stage and a low pressure hose attached and is also cut in half.

Low pressure hose on the left, High pressure hose on the right.

Imagine diving along enjoying the wonders of the underwater world and BOOM and a Channel Clinging Crab climbs aboard your first stage and cuts one of your L.P hoses.  How long do you have?


Same situation by the deadly human hating crab, but this time he goes for your only H.P line, how long do you think it is before all the air is out considering the tank is full?



Please feel free to leave a comment, I will show a video later in the week on the correct answer.

2 80cf tanks filled to 3000psi