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
Sep 17

Liveaboard Diving Versus Resort Diving

Dollarphotoclub_69511639

When it comes to choosing where to spend your hard-earned vacation dollars, there’s a long list of questions to be answered before you decide where to go, including the type... Read More

Sep 16

10 Beautiful Underwater Creatures

Scuba Diver Life beautiful creatures pic

The ocean is absolutely full of visually stunning natural wonders and we're celebrating 10 of the most beautiful in this gallery. Consider this your afternoon refresh of beautiful photos. Do... Read More

Sep 16

Divers Can Drown

Sea rescue

By Juanita Pienaar DAN Asia-Pacific recently published an article entitled “Divers Can Drown.” Based on DAN’s study, nearly half of all diving fatalities were caused by drowning. Certainly this isn’t... Read More

Sep 15

8 Places to Get Certified

Scuba Diver Life certification pic

If you're planning to get your scuba certification, you might as well do it in style. Here are our top picks for certification destinations, where you can even fit in... Read More

Sep 15

Scuba Diving Heroes Clean the Ocean One Dive at A Time

garbage on the sea floor.

By  Torben Lonne What if you could clean the ocean in just one dive? Over the past 20 years, scuba diving has evolved into a vibrant worldwide community. Scuba diving,... Read More

Sep 14

The Benefits Of Joining A Dive Club

scuba divers on surface before a dive

The sun had just come up over the English Channel, and around me, 10 other figures huddled on the quayside, similarly clutching thermoses full of hot coffee and seeking relief... Read More

Sep 13

Top 5 Worst Invasive Species

Lionfish hunting on the Carnatic

Marine life is migrating from ocean to ocean, causing ecosystem disruption. Which five immigrants are the worst? It is not just humans who globetrot; marine (and land-based) wildlife and plants... Read More

Sep 12

7 Ways You Can Help Save the Ocean

Scuba Diver Life save the ocean pic

Like all other great causes, when every individual commits to making a change, the task suddenly becomes wholly less daunting. Working towards saving our ocean is definitely no exception.

Sep 12

The World’s Largest Underwater Wedding

Underwater (Magdalena B.)

Every year an unlikely event takes place in the azure waters off Kradan Island in Thailand’s Trang province: the world’s largest underwater wedding ceremony, a designation officially endowed by Guinness... Read More

Sep 11

9 Luxury Dive Destinations

Scuba Diver Life luxury pic

If you love a great underwater adventure and happen to have the dollars to spend as well, one of these luxury dive destinations might be perfect for your next vacation.