After organizing ordering and building parts for a new camera rig, packing, double packing, unpacking, and repacking everything down into 2 carryon and 2 checked bags, I departed for the airport.
The lineups were minimal like last time (maybe 20 minutes to get all the way to security). The longest part of the pre flight experience was standing in line at the Timmies for a morning beverage (or two).
The flight to Houston was alright, seemed a little longer than 4hrs, could have been from the $10CAD TV screen that didn’t do anything but let you know what you may be missing out on.
Getting into Houston, I landed in Terminal C, and had to leave out of E. Apparently, it was just the entire length of the one wing of the airport. Made it with time to spare, but not much for food for the day yet.
The flight to Roatan was short (2hrs), and I met Gita and her husband Larry who were sitting beside me.
Arriving in Roatan was a little stressful, there was no lineups for customs or baggage, but only 1 of my bags made it. Very frustrating, especially because it has my fins, drysuit and most of my clothes in it.
After filing a missing bag with the airport staff, we headed into a large bus to take us to the resort on the other side of the island. Once there, we had a quick orientation (along with a rum punch of course), paperwork, maps, times, keys, etc were all discussed.
I am staying on the Key, at the very north end facing east. It gets a little gusty (as in can’t enjoy a hammock), but it makes up for it at night by keeping the room nice and cool.
I quickly made my way back to the mainland (via a very short boat ride) to complete my NASE Nitrox course. It was being offered for free, and free nitrox tanks for the week of diving, so it seemed to be a clear no brainer to do the course. A quick recap of what we learned from the online portion, and another quick recap of the questions we may have answered incorrectly from the online portion and we were off to diner.
Our group with Scubaboard don’t take up the whole dining area, but pretty close too it. After our diner, I made my way back to my cabin to assess the packing damage. My one checked bag that made it was my main bag, until I saw what the overweight charge was for United ($400!!!), so I quickly added a second checked bag ($40). Everything was in it, but I couldn’t quite remember what I took out.
My BP/W, lights, bug spray and other liquids, and a few clothes were all that was left in this bag. In the bag that didn’t make it, was my exposure (dry suit, shorts), clothes, fins, mask, dumb, other safety gear, and lastly my OPV for the wing ..grrr.
Yolanda with the resort was very helpful with organizing the staff to get my bag when it arrives, as well as making sure I have any equipment that didn’t make it from the dive shop.
To end the night, there was the SB Welcoming Party, where we all met up, got to know each other, get the ‘lay of the land’ so to speak with what the weeks special events are, and of course, the Sponsors prizes. A few GoPro 3+, Sola lights, books and gift certificates were drawn for, as well as a take home goody bag of other offers and contest details.I ended walking away with a $25 credit from Divers Direct on top of the rest of the other sponsors gifts.