A bit less than 30 years ago two commercial divers, Euro Mezghez and Paolo Finzi were growing disillusioned with their entry level positions doing underwater work in the 2000 year old harbor of Trieste, Italy. Seeing an ad in a travel magazine for Anthony's Key, the only dive resort on Roatan at the time, it was decided that there was better life elsewhere and the two packed their lives along with some scuba gear, a compressor, and a couple of zodiac boats in a container and flew to Roatan to await its arrival.
Our two founders originally set up shop just south of the village running some scuba excursions and doing a lot of exploring. It is said that these two know the deep portions of the reef better than anyone.
Establishing the legal business "West End Divers" in 1991, construction was started in the present location and the cement for the front porch was poured in 1992 as forensics attest. The zodiacs were replaced with the boat Sea Cat obtained locally, and Very Deep purchased in Mexico and piloted down hugging the shore with it's 60 hp outboard, a trip I would like to hear about!
The next 15 years or so were no doubt spent stacking the money made in a scuba excursion business and living the dream in tropical paradise. Roatan gained in popularity and population, business grew and more businesses opened to accommodate the increasing numbers of travelers. Occasionally a cruise ship would make port, and eventually the real estate agents and developers started to turn their baleful eyes in this direction.
There is a finite amount of enthusiasm in anyone and as teaching scuba and providing scuba tours started to become routine, Euro and Paolo started developing some property they owned. Life goes on, situations change, and around 2006 the pair decided to sell the business and follow newer pursuits.
Enter three of the unlikeliest gringos dealing with mid-life crises, political refugeeism, and corporate glass ceilings. In 2007 the current owners took over the business and started to bring their vision to fruition adhering to the strict schedule of island time.
I shoulda kept a diary, I could write a book. Chapter titles would include; Divers, Stupid Diver Tricks, Employees (they have tricks too), Did You See That?, Honduran Plumbing, Honduran Electricity (big chapter), Boats, Marine Park, Damn Boats, Roatan Municipal, Silly Competitors, Silly Us, Damn Boats, Girls, Police, Taxi Drivers, Hurricanes, Rain, Heat, The New Road, DornEbanksDornEbanksDornEbanks (local egomaniac), and have I mentioned the damn boats?
Stories? We got 'em. Legends? We forged 'em (remember when Bugs took the valve off the tank with air in it?). In 9 years we've been here, done this, sold the t-shirts, and are set up to be blindsided by what we can't even begin to imagine...once again.
I wouldn't change it for anything..........(actually, let me give that some thought).
To Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the business and the 9th year of our ownership, we held a gathering of friends acquired over the years at Lands End Resort, roasted a pig and enjoyed island libations. If you aren't in the photos below, we really wish you were! You get a second chance next year when we celebrate our tenth anniversary, the end of May. Fuzzy Math.