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Thread: Caribb-LEM Mark II: March 7th-17th 2015 - details here!

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    So who's going this year?
    Im really working on finding a way to fit this into my budget. Ill try my best
    Freelance Laser Operator in L.A.
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  2. #22
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    Grr scuba diving AND laser enthusiast here. I don't think I will have enough time off from work :-( My big yearly event is MAGFest in January and it's going to eat up a bunch of my vacation time. I'll try to figure out what my time off looks like.

    Do you normally bring regs/masks/fins/wetsuit/computers type stuff then rent tanks?

    How many non couples go to dive?

  3. #23
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    No need to bring a thing. I never dive with my woman, but I'd be happy to put here in a bubble of some kind. It's not a problem finding a dive partner. The trip is well worth it, the reef is mostly still alive with live and a many types of dive sites with WARM water not provided by pee.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyGarcia View Post
    Im really working on finding a way to fit this into my budget. Ill try my best
    Sure hope you can make it dude. You'll have a blast, I promise! Be sure to look at flights first. We need to figure out when people will be arriving so we can coordinate the hop from the mainland airport (SAP) to the island and back.

    Quote Originally Posted by telmnstr View Post
    scuba diving AND laser enthusiast here.
    Then this will be perfect for you, Ethan! Trust me when I say that you'll never see diving like this. I've been diving in Hawaii and around the Caribbean, but nothing is as good as Utila. The reefs are pristine (because they haven't been trampled by tourists like all the other reefs around the world). You see things like this:



    and this



    and this



    and this



    and this



    Click on any of those images to see the larger version. And remember, those were all taken while snorkeling on the reef right off the dock at the resort. The stuff you see when SCUBA diving from the boat is ever better!

    I don't think I will have enough time off from work
    Believe it or not, I'm taking time off without pay to attend this one. Burned up all my vacation to go to Hawaii to see the new granddaughter. But I'm still going to make the trip to Utila! Yeah, the diving is that good.

    Do you normally bring regs/masks/fins/wetsuit/computers type stuff then rent tanks?
    As Cody posted above, they have everything you need at the dive shop. If you want to bring your own mask, that's fine, and if you're super-picky about your fins (or if you have a set of the $200 Seawing Novas, or maybe a set of split-fins), then you can bring those as well, but I wouldn't bother packing anything else. (Well, if you have a wrist-mount computer, that would be fine to bring, but all the divemasters carry dual computers anyway, so you'll be safe no matter what.) Be mindful of the weight restrictions on airline bags (usually 50 lbs).

    Personally, I'm going to bring my mask, my dive light, my go-pro, and that's about it.

    How many non couples go to dive?
    Pretty much everyone who is single will dive. (Just ask Daniel Briggs about his experience!)

    As for the couples, of the people who have expressed interest in going so far, there is only one husband and wife team who are both SCUBA certified. In the other cases, either the women only snorkel, or they don't go in the water at all.

    Last time the women often went into town in the mornings while everyone else went out on the boat to dive. (Alternately, sometimes they sat at the dock, drank mai tais, and read books while we were out.) After 2 tanks, we were usually pretty tired, so we came back to the resort for a relaxing lunch. Then we'd go into town for dinner, and after that we'd play with lasers in the dive shop classroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Picasso View Post
    It's not a problem finding a dive partner. The trip is well worth it, the reef is mostly still alive with live and a many types of dive sites with WARM water not provided by pee.
    I can second this! We will have lots of divers, so pairing up with folks will be easy, even if some people don't want to do every dive. Likewise, they have tons of instructors they can draw on if we end up with a huge group and need extra guides.

    As for the reef condition, what Cody said above is important: This is a thriving eco-system. You can see brain coral anywhere in the world, but you don't often see fan coral, or fire coral. And the variety of fish is astounding. Plus, if you're lucky you might end up seeing one of these guys:

    http://photonlexicon.com/gallery/v/u...tila_.mp4.html (If you are using Chrome, you may need to right-click and enable the quick-time plug-in to play the video.)

    That's a spotted eagle ray. (VERY COOL) Wingspan is around 5 feet or so! I actually saw three of them (Cody was with me for one of those sightings), but this is the only one I caught on camera. Amazing creatures! And note that this video was taken while I was snorkeling right off the dock at the resort. (The reef starts about 20 ft off the end of the dock!) The video isn't the best quality, but it was a cheap Panasonic Lumix camera in a vinyl bag that was only waterproof to 15 feet, so it's not all that bad considering. Next time I'll have my go-pro with me!

    So yeah, if you like SCUBA diving, or even just snorkeling, Utila has some of the best reefs you'll ever see in the Atlantic.

    Adam

    PS: I just uploaded a bunch more pictures from my first trip to Utila. They are in my gallery. Here's the link if you'd like to check them out.
    Last edited by buffo; 10-19-2014 at 15:56. Reason: Added more links

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    ..Trust me when I say that you'll never see diving like this...
    IMHO, Diving is the closest thing to being able to take a trip to 'outer space', most people will ever get in their life.. It's *truly* 'another world'.. There simply aren't enough adjectives..

    Here's one question: (..not that I've got any-way of even remotely-predicting if we could consider going or not.. Way too-much in-flux for me, atm, but..)

    Has anyone, that went, actually *brought* a projector with them? And, if-so, how was 'Aduana' (Customs) to deal with at the Airport? I recall Honduras being a bit of a 'pita', when we went by land, to go do shows in the interior, but.. that was a) at a 'non-tourist' border-crossing, and b) 3 guys, in a truck, with something that looks like Darth Vader's ATM with 'DANGER' stickers on it / a story of '..we're doing a laser show..', likely gets more 'attention' than some Gringo with his Wife and Kids and a tidy lil' RGB in a Pelican-case..

    ..But, still... Would hate to end-up being able to make it, pay extra to drag an RGB down, and then end up having to go thru a bunch of customs-drama / paperwork / pay a bunch of 'impuestos'...

    ..just looking for any 'experiences from the front lines', in that regard..

    cheers..
    j
    Last edited by dsli_jon; 10-19-2014 at 16:09.
    ....and armed only with his trusty 21 Zorgawatt KTiOPO4...

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsli_jon View Post
    IMHO, Diving is the closest thing to being able to take a trip to 'outer space', most people will ever get in their life.. It's *truly* 'another world'.. There simply aren't enough adjectives..
    Well said, Jon. I told my oldest son (the one stationed at Perl Harbor in Hawaii) that SCUBA diving is like flying, in that you can go anywhere with nearly zero effort, and you can be in any orientation (even upside down) while breathing completely normally, just as if you were sitting in your living room.

    It's really hard to explain this freedom to someone who's never been SCUBA diving before, but once they try it, they're hooked! Dan called me after his first pool dive, and I couldn't get him to shut up for like 15 minutes, because he couldn't stop talking about how awesome it was. (And this was before he had ever been in open water.)

    When we did finally get to go out diving together, it was a fantastic experience and he absolutely loved it. No doubt: he's hooked for life! And I think Daniel Briggs had much the same reaction when he first went diving in Utila during the first Caribb-LEM. ("Bloody Brilliant" was his comment, if I remember correctly...)

    Here's one question:

    Has anyone, that went, actually *brought* a projector with them?
    Yes, two people brought projectors. One was packed in a flight case, and the other was in a standard suitcase with clothes around it as padding. Also, I brought a laptop with a docking station (holding my QM-2000), and my wife brought an Android tablet and a Nook E-reader. No problems.

    how was 'Aduana' (Customs) to deal with at the Airport?
    No issues. One guy had to explain what the laser projector was, and they (Customs) didn't quite understand the concept of "laser projector", until one of the guys said, "Like a video projector?", and the guy said "yes", and that was that. No problem.

    The one thing we didn't consider was WEIGHT. Putting a projector inside your suitcase will make it very heavy. If it's a little over 50 lbs, that's not a problem. If it's over 75 lbs, the cost goes up considerably. And if it's over 100 lbs (as this one was), the cost becomes ASTRONOMICAL!

    So be sure to weigh your luggage in advance. If you will break the 50 lb weight barrier by more than 20 lbs, it is CHEAPER to check a second bag than it is to pay the overweight fee. Keep that in mind if you plan to pack a projector.

    I recall Honduras being a bit of a 'pita', when we went by land
    We will not be traveling by land this time. Last time we did, and while we didn't have any issues, it was still unnerving. Plus it meant we had to tack on an extra day at the start and another at the end of the event just to accommodate the overland travel. (And who the hell wants to ride in a taxi for 4 damned hours to get to the port in Laceiba from San Pedro Sula?)

    This time everyone will fly into SAP, get their bags, clear customs, and then get right back on another plane and fly directly to the island. From SAP to Utila is around 35 minutes by air. Alternately, you can fly into Roatan (RTB) and then catch the hop from there to Utila (even shorter flight). But either way, no one will ever have to leave the international airport.

    It's much safer this way, and it's also faster, since we get to the island the same day we leave the US. (More time for island fun!)

    Once on the island, all the concerns about being in central america vanish. The island is populated by mostly ex-pats from Europe, the US, and other areas, and they are very cool. Also, since they survive off the tourists that come to the island, they treat tourists VERY nicely! But unlike Roatan (which is very touristy thanks to the cruise ship terminal), Utila is more laid back. People aren't hounding you for stuff like they do in Cozumel, or Ocho Rios, or Nassau.

    3 guys, in a truck, with something that looks like Darth Vader's ATM with 'DANGER' stickers on it / a story of '..we're doing a laser show..', likely gets more 'attention' than some Gringo with his Wife and Kids and a tidy lil' RGB in a Pelican-case..
    We had one in a pelican case, and one LT-1000 projector. Both made it through customs OK. Considering that you speak the language (and the guys at the first Carrib-LEM didn't), I have a feeling you won't have any issues at all. Just be mindful of the weight issue!

    All that being said, Rich will have 5 laser projectors at the event for us to use. (3 RGB units and 2 red-blue units) But of course folks are welcome to bring their own gear as well. More projectors would be cool for the outdoor beach party, which we plan to do again since the last one was so much fun! (up to 700 half-naked islanders dancing on a beach for over 24 hours is a sight to behold!)

    Adam
    Last edited by buffo; 10-20-2014 at 06:08. Reason: Typo

  7. #27
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    Hey Chief -

    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    ...Yes, two people brought projectors. ...No issues. One guy had to explain...Considering that you speak the language... Just be mindful of the weight..
    Cool, thanks for the 411.. I've only traveled thru SAP or flown-in w/ 'regular bags', not a PJ / my usual riot-gear tools, etc.. We always drove any gear I/O.. And, I've found that 'Aduana' can be widely-varying in being lax or hardcore, depending on the Country (..and day of the week / particular-agents.. So, good to hear peeps' SAP experience was hassle-free.. Besides, like you say, I'd be able to 'explain' what / why, etc, and I could bring 'OEM purchase docs', etc, proving it was not initially-bought / shipped there, etc, etc.. Anyhoo, thx for the 411..

    ..Oh, and weight: No issue.. the PJ, in Peli-case, is about 55#, so it sails right thru... And, even if they wanted to 'quejar' (argue.. with all the 'priveleges' I've got in frequent-flyer accts, etc, I'm sure I could pass 70-75#, w/o xtra charge.. But, no worries, especially if we can't even go.. That's a *super* 'TBD' right now, as there's usually so much going on for us, come-Spring.. but.. we'll see..

    Thx..
    j
    ....and armed only with his trusty 21 Zorgawatt KTiOPO4...

  8. #28
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    Hi guys,

    Long time no write. It has all been a little crazy my end. New chapters and all. New country, new house, new kid, blah blah blah. Anyway I am now back in the land of the living and will stay more on top of this post. Although I have relocated to the US with the family I am still managing the dive resort in Honduras albeit remotely and my sister is still there onsite. I am flying back March 3rd so will be onsite before everyone arrive to ensure everything is ready to go.

    Having spoke with Sarah we currently have 14 rooms still available. These can accommodate 3/4 people if you want to look at sharing with someone.
    Don't forget to give us an idea of any of the daily activities you are interested in so we can start scheduling those as well. You can reach Sarah and myself at info@coralviewutila.com with any questions or bookings.

    For those that are already diver and those looking at trying diving we include all the equipment you need in the prices. If you happen to have any of your own gear then feel free to bring it if you have space and weight allowance.

    In terms of customs I have flown inland out a lot over the past 8 1/2 years and have never had an issue. Sure I haven't always been traveling with a laser projector but there has been lots of other stuff. Multiple video projectors, laptops, dive gear, etc. If you do get asked what it is just mention it is a projector (maybe video) and that it will be leaving the country with you the following week.

    Like I said I will stay onto of this thread to make sure I can answer all of your questions - feel free to email us too.

    All the best
    Rich

  9. #29
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    Here's an article from the BBC that has a little mention of Coral View!

    http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20...ceful-honduras

    Cheers
    Rich

  10. #30
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    And here is one from the Huffington Post

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chandr...b_5384718.html

    and another one:

    http://wlrn.org/post/newsflash-hondu...terrible-place


    We are starting to get inquiries for rooms at the same time as the Carib-LEM. It is important that we start getting a list of names for tentative bookings - deposits would be good as we don't want the rooms to go to anyone else.

    Cheers
    Rich
    Last edited by neutrino; 11-12-2014 at 13:30. Reason: another link

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