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Roatan Report
Old 02-17-2007, 05:21 PM   #1
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Roatan Report

Since Nords asked (fool!) here is a link to the photos from my vacation.

http://new.photos.yahoo.com/rufusandchi/albums

Hope it works, this is the first time I've tried to use the Yahoo site for shared photos. Most of them are bad underwater pics of blurry fish, but I had fun taking them, and learning to identify the various fish, critters, corals and sponges.

The trip was wonderful. Great diving, and much relaxing on the beach with a Salva Vida (Honduras' national beer). Before the week of diving, we stayed at a lodge in the jungle above La Ceiba and did a rafting trip. Then took the ferry to Roatan. I found it to be more tourist oriented than the smaller island of Utila, where I dove two years ago, but that is what I expected. The town of Coxen Hole where the cruise ships arrive has clearly been affected by them, but West End, the little village near where we stayed had not been so commercialized. I would call it the epitome of "laid back."

I really loved diving, and can't wait to do more - I'm already trying to plan the next trip!

P.S. let me know how the Yahoo! photo system works.
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-17-2007, 05:37 PM   #2
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Re: Roatan Report

Sheryl, the pictures are beautiful! I really liked how you labeled each with an identification of the fish or the coral. How do you take pictures underwater? They came out exquisite.
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-17-2007, 05:56 PM   #3
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Re: Roatan Report

Thanks Martha.

I bought an underwater housing for my little Canon PowerShot - similar to this: http://tinyurl.com/32gk5q.

Underwater photography is a challenge because the fish are moving, and so are you, usually. Without an external flash or strobe it's close to impossible to take good underwater pictures. Unless you get really close, like my pic of the crab, everything has that blue tint because the light from the little digital camera's built-in flash can't travel through much water.

But its still fun.

If I continue to do a lot of diving I might invest in something better.

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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-17-2007, 06:03 PM   #4
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Re: Roatan Report

Nice pictures, Sheryl, thanks!

So all it takes is a waterproof housing now and not a $1500 underwater Nikonos & strobe? Cool.

"Si, senor, you get into this basket here and we take you across the river. No problemo!" Yeah, right, amigos, I'll be waiting for you on the beach...
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-17-2007, 10:27 PM   #5
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Re: Roatan Report

Sheryl,

How much of what you saw could be seen snorkeling? DW & I have lowest level PADI cert, need to go with guides and generally we prefer a place where we can do interesting snorkeling. ±±Would that work there?
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-17-2007, 11:55 PM   #6
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Re: Roatan Report

All of the dives we did were from a boat and out a ways from shore in order to reach the deeper reefs. But I have heard and read that there is very good snorkeling from the beach in the West Bay area - that is a small beach/resort area a few miles away from West End. We saw lots of people out there with snorkels.

We didn't try it because we were diving every day, but I belive there would be plenty to see. On the day we left we couldn't dive because you need to wait 24 hours before flying - so I snorkeled just around the shallow area near our resort, and saw many interesting fish, eels and lobster.

But if you are interested in diving, I'd encourage you to give it a try - the place we dove catered to new and inexperienced divers - many were just getting their certification while there - so we were always with attentive guides (divemasters) who were aware of each divers' experience. Dive sites and groups were chosen accordingly.



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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-18-2007, 09:16 AM   #7
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Re: Roatan Report

Sheryl,
Great pics. I am envious. How long have you been diving?
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-18-2007, 10:33 AM   #8
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Re: Roatan Report

My husband and I just got back (two weeks ago) from a cruise that stopped in Roatan. We took a snorkle trip to Cay Calker for the day. It was the most amazing snorkle trip I have ever done. We saw an amazing number of fish and a huge moray eel. I was a diver in my past life (really my past marriage!), and I have missed the experience. The most I can talk current husband into is snorkeling. We have snorkeled in many places during our 16 years together but never have we seen the fish and coral that we say on the trip off Roatan. Thanks so much for posting your photos. They are beautiful!
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-18-2007, 10:53 AM   #9
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Re: Roatan Report

Thanks, Sheryl, I enjoyed the slideshow!
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-18-2007, 11:25 AM   #10
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Re: Roatan Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Nice pictures, Sheryl, thanks!

So all it takes is a waterproof housing now and not a $1500 underwater Nikonos & strobe? Cool.
Yeah, if you want fuzzy blue photos you can go with the $169 housing. If you want anything actually printable or publishable, the Nikonos is probably necessary. I think I am going to start with checking into what it would take to get an external strobe flash for my point-and-shoot - it does have a thingy (forgot the technical term) on the bottom for connecting it.

Quote:
"Si, senor, you get into this basket here and we take you across the river. No problemo!" Yeah, right, amigos, I'll be waiting for you on the beach...
Actually, no - they don't take you. They just bring the basket over. You (read Greg) have to propel yourself across with a system that involves a sort of lever handle that you use to grip the cable. Greg was embarassed that the little girl who brought the basket hardly had to work at all when she did it - but then I pointed out that he (with some help) was trying to propel four full-sized humans. Anyway it was a fun little ride if you were just riding. On the other side is a women's sewing cooperative - they make quilts and purses and potholders and such, and sell them somehow thru a broker on the internet. We bought a beautiful quilt for the upcoming grandbaby for $45.
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-18-2007, 11:30 AM   #11
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Re: Roatan Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
Sheryl,
Great pics. I am envious. How long have you been diving?
Thanks. We got certified in 2004 and did about 15 dives on a two week trip to the Mayan Riviara that October. Then I got my Advanced cert. in Utila (the other Bay Island) in Feb. of 2005. Then didn't dive again until this trip. I am all the way up to 36 dives now!
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-19-2007, 05:07 PM   #12
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Re: Roatan Report

Sheryl:

Thanks for the pictures. I am hoping to go to Belize one of these days and the underwater shots helped convince me that I should give it a shot. Just a word of advice. If you still have the original high resolution digital images (or if they are prints, you can make scans) you should run them through Photoshop, Phoptoshop Elements, or GIMP if you can't get those and want to save money (free download: http://www.gimp.org/windows/). I downloaded your "Me" picture and just using a quick "autolevels" function I was able to bring out a lot more detail. Underwater shots often have a somewhat washed out blue look that hides a lot of detail that you actually captured. A little work can bring it out. This is two versions of Me (low res Web copy). If you work on the high res copy you can get a lot out of those images: The first one is adjusted simply with autolevels (me2.jpg); the second is theoriginal on the Web (me.jpg)

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Me2.jpg (53.9 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg Me.jpg (43.8 KB, 11 views)
Attached Files
File Type: jpg_thumb Me2.jpg_thumb (36.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg_thumb Me.jpg_thumb (32.8 KB, 0 views)
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-19-2007, 06:15 PM   #13
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Re: Roatan Report

That is amazing. I had never realized how much you could tinker with the color. I'm stealing borrowing the office copy of Photoshop tonight.

Thanks for the demo!
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-19-2007, 08:13 PM   #14
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Re: Roatan Report

Thanks for sharing your pictures. It looks like you had a wonderful vacation. There are so many places and so little time.
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-20-2007, 12:19 AM   #15
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Re: Roatan Report

Nice, Sheryl. Thanks for the pix!

By the way, for those considering retiring to Roatan, I have heard that the no-see-ums that bite are really bad some times in the year. Check it out if you are serious.

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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-20-2007, 06:15 AM   #16
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Re: Roatan Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
That is amazing. I had never realized how much you could tinker with the color. I'm stealing borrowing the office copy of Photoshop tonight.

Thanks for the demo!
To get started I would fiddle with image>adjustments>auto levels and image>adjustments>curves (try pulling the curve down in little in the lower left third. Don't try to directly change the color settings. You can play around till you get it tweaked as you like. Also remember, every time you save a jpg you lose some detail so save changes to copies and always keep the original unaltered.
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-20-2007, 06:23 AM   #17
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Re: Roatan Report

Great pictures, looks like a very relaxing vacation.
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-20-2007, 09:23 AM   #18
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Re: Roatan Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
Nice, Sheryl. Thanks for the pix!

By the way, for those considering retiring to Roatan, I have heard that the no-see-ums that bite are really bad some times in the year. Check it out if you are serious.

Yup. They were bad. They are, however, selective. I have over 100 bites, but my SO, 2-3. None of the repellants, neither DEET or the special Cactus Juice they sell there seemed to do anything for me. They seem to favor women, but only certain women. One that we were with didn't get bit at all. Which is totally unfair, because she was also thin, tan and looked great in a bikini.

I am still scratching after being back over a week.
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-20-2007, 01:57 PM   #19
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Re: Roatan Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
That is amazing. I had never realized how much you could tinker with the color. I'm stealing borrowing the office copy of Photoshop tonight.
Wait until you see what he has you doing in that photo next week!
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Re: Roatan Report
Old 02-20-2007, 02:12 PM   #20
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Re: Roatan Report

I played with the contrast and noticed something that wasn't apparent originally!
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