Jul 12

Life at Utila Dive Centre | Little Bight

By Utila Dive Centre Editor

Posts written by PADI Staff Instructor Sarah Dowdall on behalf of Utila Dive Centre Utila Dive Centre is now managed by a team of experienced, young, passionate and environmentally aware dive professionals who are actively involved in the daily operations of the dive centre. Our training programs, from beginner through to Master Instructor, are taught to the highest standard possible.

Today I realized what it is that makes Utila such a unique and amazing place to dive. As the daily boats came back into Utila Dive Centre and I chatted to the returning divers, I couldn’t help but notice just what a range of courses and dives we had in just one day. Open Water divers starting their adventure, advanced divers honing their skills, Wreck specialty divers returning from the 30m long Halliburton and Sidemount divers who had been exploring Airport Caves delighting in the freedom Sidemount gave them. As the boats arrived back we also had the organized chaos of a Rescue course off of the dock, which is always entertaining…as we say that is a course that is “serious fun”!

The great thing here on Utila is we have sites that are perfect for all these courses and fun divers. Utila has more than 40 marked dive sites, most within 10 or 15 minutes of the dive centers. Over the next few updates about life at Utila Dive Centre and Utila, I’ll tell you about some of the favorite sites and what they have to offer.

Today I’ll start with the first boat back which had Open Water divers on it. They were literally brimming with excitement after their first ever dives in the ocean. They had been to Little Bight (which means Bay in local language) and then Black Coral Wall (which unsurprisingly is a wall with black coral on it!) Little Bight is a massive white sand underwater beach surrounded by coral. The sand patch is perfect for new divers to learn about buoyancy without damaging the reef and then they are lead out onto the reef to see their first glimpse into the underwater world. Little Bight is gorgeous. The sand patch is home to curious garden eels, tiny Pedersen Cleaner Shrimp and Arrow crabs and Spiny and Peacocok flounder.

All of these have great appeal to new divers…point at a Garden Eel and they think it is sea grass until they suddenly see it is moving and then peering at them. Show them a flounder and they think it is just sand until it suddenly decides to move. Get them to lay down and put out a finger and then hear the underwater squeals as the shrimp jumps on and starts to clean their nails. There are also regularly up to 22 squid that string themselves out in a line and change color. Because the sand patch is so shallow (starts at about 4m) and so the reef is also shallow at the start of the wall, it is also like a nursery for fish with tiny versions of all the fish you see as you venture further out along the reef. The reef at Little Bight actually goes down as deep as 25m or so and is beautiful, softly fringing with amazing soft cora,l so not only is it good for students but for general divers and also photographers for macro photos.

To add to the general excitement they had also had the opportunity to snorkel with dolphins in their surface interval. The Instructor had heard their clicking on the dive and Captain Errol went off in hot pursuit to where he thought they were…and sure enough a huge school of over 200 dolphins (both Bottle Nose and Spinners) was also enjoying the waters of Utila. The divers leapt in with snorkels and mask and fins and the dolphins were very playful. As one of the new divers said, as he sipped an ice cold beer whilst watching a glorious sunset from the Night Dive Bar on the dock at Utila Dive Centre….”days don’t get much better than that”??

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Latest entries
Aug 31

Secret Spot: Iceberg Diving In Lake Sassol, Switzerland

The harmony of the iceberg and cold water

Icebergs in Switzerland? Wait, did you just read that right? Yes, you did. The nearest coast to landlocked Switzerland is 100 miles away on the Gulf of Genoa, Italy, and... Read More

Aug 30

Water, Water, Everywhere…

Dollarphotoclub_45313984

As divers, we tend to spend a lot of time in the water, so why worry about our water consumption? Go on a dive trip, especially in a warm area,... Read More

Aug 29

Top 10 Dive Resorts in North America

Scuba Diver Life NA resorts pic

There are thousands dive resorts around the world, so we couldn't just pick 10 to cover all continents and oceans. We broke down our favourite spots by continent to give... Read More

Aug 29

Top 10 Shore Diving Locations

Scuba Diver Life shore diving pic

The quest for the best shore diving location is highly disputed—there are just so many great places to go. While we can't all them all, here are 10 of our... Read More

Aug 29

My Favorite Dive: The Produce, Aliwal Shoal, South Africa

produce

Only 15 minutes offshore from the tiny dive town of Umkomaas, South Africa, Aliwal Shoal has a well-earned reputation as one of the best places on the planet to dive... Read More

Aug 28

16 Things Nobody Knows About the Ocean

Earth is immersed in water, among the clouds against the sky."Elements of this image furnished by NASA"

That water covers over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, mostly within our oceans, is pretty commonly known. As divers, we spend a lot of time in the sea, or at... Read More

Aug 27

7 Must-Visit Livaboards From Around the World

Scuba Diver Life Livaboards pic

If you're an avid scuba diver and have yet to go on a live aboard scuba excursion, you're definitely missing out. These trips are life changing, so be sure to... Read More

Aug 27

Saving Sharks

save sharks video

By Adam Dorfman   Decades-long commercial overfishing of our oceans has led to a major imbalance in the ocean ecosystem, beginning with sharks, the ocean’s apex predators. Sharks help keep... Read More

Aug 26

Top 10 Cold-Water Diving Destinations

Scuba Diver Life Cold Water pic

Tropical diving too hot for you? Want something a little more refreshing? We break down the best cold-water diving destinations to explore...if you're up for the chill.

Aug 26

From Reeds To Regulators: The History Of Scuba

scuba gear

As divers, we frequently take our equipment for granted. If we stop to think about it, though, that we’ve found a way to transcend our physical limitations and breathe underwater... Read More