Land of Giants and Big Bight Trip Report
by Mike Lubing
This week, West End Divers traveled to the north end of beautiful Roatan, Honduras to hunt lionfish, and explore the macro sea life at Big Bight. We started our two tank trip at 8:45 with lots of coffee and two packed coolers, starting the hour-plus trip to our first dive site in high spirits.
Our first stop was “Land of Giants,” a site named for its famous pillars of coral, which reach from a sandy 100+ foot bottom nearly to the surface. Because few divers frequent this area, we were the only divers anywhere near the site. Huge crabs, lionfish, spotted scorpionfish, spotted drumfish and giant towers of corals abounded.
While our crew of underwater naturalists found a loggerhead turtle and enjoyed the unspoilt reef, our lionfish hunters went to work cleaning the area of this invasive species that have no natural predators on the Mesoamerican Reef.
We managed to capture our very own divemaster, Joseph Price, in action spearing a giant lionfish! Nice shot, Joseph!
On our way to our next site we enjoyed fishing off the back of the boat and caught two large tuna, which would be used for a cookout feast for divers and staff along with the slew of lionfish we caught. We enjoyed the sun and a light lunch on the calm seas before we anchored at “Big Bight”, a shallow site popular with snorkelers. The area is named for the sloping curve of the island, called a bight, which creates a giant, shallow, protected bay filled with sand patches and coral heads.
This unique geography created the opportunity for us to enjoy the shallowest and longest dive of most divers' careers. With a maximum depth of ten feet, we searched the bottom for nudibranchs, invertebrates, and seahorses, and finding all of them in abundance. Some of the species spotted included the rare Purple Spotted Sea Goddess, the Fringeback Dondice or Pinbal Seahare . Because of the shallow depth, many divers were able to log dive times of 90+ minutes!
We returned to the shop around 3:30, tired and happy from a long and productive day. The incredible West End Divers staff managed to put together an amazing trip for our divers, seeing a part of the reef that few visitors to the island ever get to experience.
We are always excited to fulfill diver requests, and love to plan specialized two-tank dives to give you the opportunity to experience everything Roatan has to offer. And with our convenient stay and dive packages, all you have to do is pick your dates, buy your tickets, and pack your bags.
Are you new to the underwater world, and inspired to learn how to dive? Check out our Discover Scuba courses, or earn your certification through our Open Water Diver courses. We can also offer specialized courses in everything from Wreck Diving to Underwater Photography, and would love to help you develop your skills as a lionfish hunter! Contact us today to get started creating your dream diving itinerary.