So after 4 weeks of assisting courses, performing practical and written exams and leading a few dives I got my divemaster certification.  Which makes me a professional diver. i.e. they now pay me to dive! Although in PADI’s eyes I had completed the course on Tuesday there were several unoffical tests on Wednesday night at the graduation ceremony.  This included performing a ‘sexy’ demonstration of one of the main scuba diving skills (regulator removal and replacement for those familiar) along to music (Far East Movement – Like a G6).  I scored a respectful 12 out of 15 which meant I only had to neck half a cup of this awful concoction of several ingredients which  included blended refried beans and nasty local spirit called Tatascan.  After a few more ‘tests’ the finale was ‘clearing a flooded mask’, but with twist that the mask was flooded with beer and you cleared it by snorting through your nose… once we had completed the task we were treated to an egg being smashed on our heads.

Sexy demonstration:



‘Mask clearing’ and celebratory egging:


Apart from the diving I’m spending a lot of time just chilling out, jumping off the dock, chatting with people from all over the world, and playing tunes in the bar.  But I have done a few other excursions that are customary for people passing through.  The first of which being a trip around the island.  This includes renting bikes or a golf cart (I’ve done both) and driving out to these awesome underground caves that have beautiful crystal clear water and various caverns that are only accessible by ‘swim throughs’.

Cave swimming:

The next stop on the tour is a jungle plane crash.  Utila is a favourite refueling spot for drugs planes on their way from Colombia to the US. However, this three years ago the local authorities had a nasty surprise for the crooks on this particular consignment and they apparently deliberately took the plane down by blinding the pilot with lights.  The last stop is to the island’s mini golf course which appears to be have been set up on a junk yard in the middle of no-where by an eccentric America guy called Ed.  You get a free beer with every round and it’s the craziest mini golf I’ve ever played : )

The other trip is to the island’s cays which are an archipelago of several smaller islands, some inhabited some not.  Every few weeks some of the staff at the dive shop charter a boat and 30 or so travellers all head there to play beach footy, snorkel and drink. The Cay that we stop at, ‘Water Cay’, is totally uninhabited and about the size of a two football pitches.   It’s like a little paradise with it’s bath-like turquoise waters over white sand on one side and an incredible snorkling reef on the other.

Water Cay:

The cooler:



I’m starting to get slightly itchy feet having been here nearly five weeks especially with the rest of Central America at my finger tips but it’s an incredibly easy place to stay and with the impending SunJam festival  (biggest of it’s kind in Central America)and the chance to celebrate my birthday with the friends I’ve met here have convinced me to stick around for a couple more weeks.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patrick
    Jul 31, 2011 @ 20:51:33

    Good work Booth. Seems you’re having a great time. Lucky man. (Glad to see your Maths degree is being put to good use on your travels too!!) Take care pal.



  2. Kerry
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 22:37:42

    Boothdog! Your adventures look awesome. You’ll be pleased to know that things in london haven’t changed much. Darlo is still managing to cling to his missus, Sag is getting increasingly irate about being included on emails that don’t concern him any more. All as usual. Apart from the fact that the financial world is about to melt down, that is.

    Anyway champ enjoy your birthday, congrats on the PADI and good luck in South America. Rest assured we are all still jealous (of your trip, not your gerbil-face), you self-indulgent bastard.



  3. Trackback: Leaving Utila « Ducking N Diving – Travel Blog

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