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Shark Dive Day Tours in Roatan with Utila Dive Centre November 26, 2015

Posted by Utila Dive Center in scuba diving, Uncategorized.
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Want to experience what swimming with over 20 Caribbean Reef sharks is like? Join us on one of the most thrilling dive adventures available in the Bay Islands, the Shark Diving day trip with Utila Dive Centre!

We begin our journey at dawn, setting up our gear for the first dive to the famous Odyssey Wreck in Roatan, our sister island about 2 hours away. It’s a deep dive with a sandy bottom at 33.5 mts / 110 ft and the wreck itself is 100 mts / 300 ft long, its open spaces are fun to explore and host interesting marine life to keep your eyes entertained.

After the wreck dive, we head into town where we meet up with the dive center that takes us to the shark encounter. The guides have years of experience in the area and the sharks are accustomed to the presence of divers. As soon as you jump in the water, the first ones start to make their appearance, when everyone is in position, kneeling on the sand at approximately 18 meters / 60 feet, the magic starts to happen, more and more Caribbean Reef sharks start to swim around you, until you lose count.

After that adrenaline rush, its time to eat! We then head down to a beautiful ocean view restaurant, relaxing and sharing the excitement of the dives. As the day draws to a close we depart back home, arriving at our dock on time for sunset.

Package includes dives, transportation, snacks, drinks and all tax. Contact us for details.

Join us for Sunrise Diving upon demand September 4, 2015

Posted by Utila Dive Center in scuba diving.
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Sunrise is one of the most magical moments of a day for us, diurnal creatures. The world starts moving and the colors explode in front of our eyes. It’s the birth of the Universe all over again. That’s why we like to share the moment with our loved ones, creating memories that will last forever.

Now imagine the sensations you will experience when enjoying a sunrise under the sea. Witnessing the last movements of the nocturnal creatures, the awakening of all diurnal fish, mollusks and crustaceans, and the outstanding sight of a whole reef appearing in front of you where there was nothing but darkness just minutes before.

UDC now offers you, upon demand, sunrise dives on our unique dive sites around the island. Discover with us all the shades of the Mesoamerican Reef and take your diving experience to a whole new level.

Contact us for more information or reservations.

Photos by Keith Thompson.

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The new Poseidon Se7en Rebreather units July 2, 2015

Posted by Utila Dive Center in closed circuit rebreather, utila.
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At Utila Dive Center, we are the only PADI Career Development Center in the Americas to offer diver and Instructor level training on the PADI Closed Circuit Rebreather programs. Now, with the acquisition of two new Poseidon Se7en units, we keep leading the industry in the region by offering our customers the latest tecnology available.

Some of the benefits of diving with a closed circuit rebreather over traditional open circuit scuba are:

  • Longer dive times with extended gas consumption, and longer no decompression limits.
  • Less noise and no bubbles, fish and other creatures will come closer to you.
  • Enhanced photos and videos quality of aquatic life as you can get much closer to the subjects.
  • Stay warmer longer as less body heat is exhaled.
  • Divers who do not want to GoTec but want the benefits of extended times

Rebreather diving, is simply put, scuba on steroids!

Some of the upgrades on the new Poseidon Se7en unites are:

  • Generation 7 electronics, more possibilities for interaction, accessories and app integration. Completly new internal hardware driven by a new generation of firmware makes the SE7EN faster, flexible and reliable.
  • Automatic dive log downloads via Bluetooth, combined with detachable displays and sensors that making support faster and more convenient than before.
  • An upgraded mouthpiece with a new system that keeps the bail-out valve locked in place in closed or open circuit, while still enabling simple switches from closed to open circuit.

For more information on the new units visit the official Poseidon website.

The next complete Diver/Instructor programs will be scheduled for 2 weeks in July 2015. Student level will start July 15th and the Instructor level July 25th and later dates in October/November.

Visit our Rebreather section on our website for more information or contact us at gopro@utiladivecenter.com.


UDC trimix team in Roatan for freediving World Record January 19, 2015

Posted by Utila Dive Center in freediving, tec diving, trimix diving.
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At the beginning of September 2014, Utila Dive Center’s trimix team was invited to participate as support divers for Eusebio and Christina Sáenz de Santamaría (a free diving couple and founders of Apnea Total) that decided to descend together in the discipline of Variable Weight in West Bay, Roatan.

Of course UDC was honored and accepted this special invitation, Jhair Herrera, CJ Howarth & Guillermo Peirano loaded our very own Old Tom boat on Friday 3th and traveled to Roatan to meet the whole crew and dive.

Eusebio & Christina’s goal was to establish a new world record as the world’s first dive of two people to descend on a weighted sled and ascend under their own power at the same time from a depth of 100 meters, which they successfully completed. It was all documented directly by the Discovery Channel and will air at the end of October 2014.

The logistics and security for the event was provided by Esteban Darhanpe, organizer of the Caribbean Cup free diving competition held in Roatan annually at the end of May.

Lets get technical…

The team was formed by:

  • Two Trimix divers, our very own Jhair & CJ, at 90 mts with 5 tanks each. As part of safety equipment, they carried a leash that in case the divers pass out on the bottom, they can tie them up and send them with a lift bag to the surface, which was not needed.
  • Guillermo Peirano was providing in-water coordination and support for the trimix divers during decompression.
  • Two recreational scuba divers at 20-40 mts with one tank each.
  • Three safety freedivers from Apnea Total, down to 30 meters.
  • Surface team.

Eusebio and Christina first prepared for the descent with a 45-minute warm up breathing exercise. The Trimix team took 6 ½ minutes to reach desired depth, and waited for the couple. A few moments later they saw the two divers reach depth and the divers began their ascent.

The Trimix team bottom time was 13 minutes, including descent time; they preformed 3 gas switches and had 59 minutes of decompression stops. The last stop was at 5 mts for 18 minutes on pure oxygen while getting friendly funny visits from the freedivers and wondering the official outcome of the world record. At the end on the surface, as an extra precaution, they breathed 5 more minutes of pure oxygen.

The whole crew enjoyed many smiles and excitement as they celebrated the record and got the opportunity to work together and share their passion for the underwater world.

To learn more and follow Eusebio & Christina story, visit their blog at

Congratulations Ossie – 1st female Rebreather Instructor in Central America December 29, 2014

Posted by Utila Dive Center in courses, scuba diving.
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How fitting that on Earth Day (April22), marine biologist Ossie Stewart qualified with us as a PADI Poseidon Rebreather Instructor, and becomes the 1st female certified as a PADI Rebreather Instructor in Central America, congratulations Ossie!

Ossie originally trained with Utila Dive Center as a PADI Scuba Instructor and was employed with us for several years and is now the dive officer on board a Super Yacht and will now be overseeing all rebreather diving and training and allowing her divers a more enhanced dive experience with longer no decompression times.


Sea Shepherd visits Utila Dive Center with the MV Brigitte Bardot November 25, 2014

Posted by Utila Dive Center in conservation, enviroment.
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After a successful patrolling mission in Guatemala where together with the Guatemalan Department of Fisheries enforced an anti-poaching operation, the 35mt vessel MV Brigitte Bardot arrived in Utila, Honduras on March 15th, 2014.

With the objective to help enforce local fishing laws in the region, the Sea Shepherd crew met with the community of Utila to listen what the needs are and how they can help better implement these laws. After several meetings, they now have open new doors for the protection of marine life in the area.

On Sunday, March 16th, a gathering with the Sea Shepherd crew and over 120 people was held at Utila Dive Center’s facilities to give our divers the opportunity to learn about who they are, what they do, ask questions and purchase t-shirts to directly finance the different projects around the world.

On the following day, Sea Shepherd opened its doors of the MV Brigitte Bardot vessel to the public, giving people the opportunity for a close up experience to the life on a boat and take plenty of pictures with the crew. Field trips where organized for schools, giving the young generation an interactive experience, witch is a rare opportunity in our precious little rock.

Now the Bay Island will have a permanent group of volunteers in Utila representing Sea Shepherd, gathering funds and working with the community finding ways to conserve and protect the marine environment from illegal activity in Honduras.

See more pictures of the presentation in the Facebook album



more info

Sea Shepherd is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization established in 1977. Their mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. There mostly know for the show Whale Wars on Animal Planet.


UDC is now 100% Aware October 18, 2014

Posted by Utila Dive Center in enviroment, partners, project aware.
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We’re proud to announce that in January 2014 and beyond Utila Dive Center will be supporting Project Aware as a 100% partner and financially supporting Project Aware by issuing an Aware version of every PADI certification card to all divers who get certified with us.

In addition to our support for the University of Queenslands/Project Aware ‘Coral Watch’ program with our coral reef surveying and monitoring, and our monthly clean up ‘Dive Against Debris’ events, we have also initiated the following measures through our facility and hotel for 2013/2014;

  • All light bulbs switched over to energy efficient rated bulbs
  • Solar panel installation at the hotel and for the pool pump
  • Installation of a ‘treadle pump’ (YouTube it!) at our dive center to save electricty and fresh water for our sanitation systems
  • No throw-away plastic plates/cups served anymore at our restaurant/bar
  • Issuing of re-useable non-plastic water bottles to all our PADI IDC Instructor candidates!

Once again we’re proud to leave the way not just in the training we offer all our divers, from beginner through to Instructor, but also in sustainable environmental practices.

You make a difference when you choose to train with Utila Dive Center, not just in the quality and standard of your dive training but also in what you do to make a positive difference to our precious aquatic environment, your future office!

Protecting Our Ocean Planet, One Dive at a Time! 

100% Aware

UDC partners with pioneer business in discount network in Honduras October 3, 2014

Posted by Utila Dive Center in discounts, partners, scuba diving, transportation, travel.
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Creating something new and innovative is not easy, specially when it involves multiple business around the country, but that is what the PromoDias Community has managed to achieve in a very short period of time.

The membership card from PromoDias.com is a tool designed to create benefits towards consumers in different business nation wide; and for two years in a row, the Mango Inn hotel and Utila Dive Center have been part of this community (one of the first to sign up on the island). With your membership we offer 15% discount in our rooms, courses and fun dives every day.

With this card you have access to all the discounts published in PromoDias.com available nation wide. You can purchase the membership directly with us or before arriving in Utila, that way you get the most out of the discounts on transportation, hotels and restaurants. You can see other points of sale here.

Take advantage of the discounts offered with a PromoDias membership during your travels!

Great discounts all over Honduras with the best business

Great discounts all over Honduras with the best business

New International Yacht Training courses at Utila Dive Center September 30, 2014

Posted by Utila Dive Center in Uncategorized.
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In 2013, UDC’s PADI Divemaster and Instructor training raised the game once more, expanding our amazing and comprehensive curriculum and course offerings and partnering with International Yacht Training (IYT) to offer the Dive Boat Mate and Coxswain/Captains programs.  The IYT professionally recognized boating qualifications are specifically targeted to meet the needs of the scuba diving industry and to develop PADI professionals maritime knowledge and skills including practical boat driving experience. The Dive boat Mate courses were introduced due to demand from the diving industry and cover components relating to health, safety, engineering, legal and competency aspects that are required to safely operate such a boat.

The IYT/PADI Dive Boat Mate is being offered and scheduled in conjunction with our PADI Divemaster and MSDT internships, and for already certified PADI Divemaster and Instructors these courses can be offered as a stand alone program. We will be offering training all year round for the Dive Boat Mate course with a start date of the first week of each month and e-learning is completed independently though supported with our Instructors remedial training. The course allows our PADI pro’s to start tendering and driving boats as second command, logging sea time and once an individual has completed 180 days (4 hours = 1 day) of sea time, as dive boat crew, they are eligible to take the IYT Coxswain Boat Captains course, which we also offer at Utila Dive Centre.

The Captains & Coxswains license will be offered each quarter and candidates will be able to take this course once they have completed 180 days of sea time, as crew, will be able to complete their Captains license.

For candidates who are training to become PADI Instructors with us on our MSDT program, there is also the option to qualify as an IYT/PADI Dive Boat Mate Instructor, thereby increasing your own employment prospects and that of the future PADI Divemasters you train, and increasing your earnings potential and own maritime teaching experience.

Please see the following sections for more information on the IYT training and courses offered at Utila Dive Centre;

IYT/PADI Dive Boat Mate Crew (Recommended for all PADI Divemasters and Instructors with no sea experience required)

IYT Coxswains/Boat Captains License (For individuals with sea experience as crew)

First group of Dive Boat Mate & Coxswains, Instructors and Instructor Trainers on Utila in February 2013

First group of Dive Boat Mate & Coxswains, Instructors and Instructor Trainers on Utila in February 2013

There’s never been a better time to train as a PADI Divemaster or Scuba Instructor, with a growing dive industry worldwide, but also in recent years the expansion and growth of the yachting industry and recreational superyachts, makes this the perfect compliment to enhance your dive training and employability in dive resorts, and on day boats, liveaboard vessels and superyachts worldwide. Utila Dive Centre is the perfect facility to gain this experience and training, with a fleet of 6 licensed vessels for carrying passengers and dive crew, and with our own on-site docking area, bay and harbour for practice maneuvers, and dive trips scheduled every day to dive sites with mooring posts, and with drift dives, this is the perfect facility and location to gain experience and a maritime certification.

Contact us for more information on gopro@utiladivecenter.com and book early as we have very limited spaces on these programs each month/quarter (just 8 places each month for every IYT Dive Boat Mate course and 8 places each Quarter for IYT Captain/Coxswains course).


IYT graduates Leora & Sean completing their DiveBoat Mate training and Nic Hirtle & CJ Howarth their Coxswains certification. March 2014

IYT graduates Leora Guillonneau & Sean McDowell completing their DiveBoat Mate training and Nic Hirtle & CJ Howarth their Coxswains certification. March 2014

IYT logo


Utila Dive Community & Tec Divers Recover Abandoned Fishing Net In Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras. January 18, 2013

Posted by Utila Dive Center in scuba diving.
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In early January 2013, the personnel of the Bay Islands Conservation Association, BICA, discovered that a huge abandoned fishing net had drifted from the open sea onto “Raggedy Cay”, one of the popular dive sites on Utila’s West End, and was so big they were unable to lift or remove it, particularly as initial reports stated that the net was at a depth between 30 and 70 meters / 100 to 200 feet and as big as a volleyball court.

So BICA contacted all the scuba diving centers on the island, especially addressing Technical Divers to aid in the removal of the net in a joint effort and the next day Utila Dive Center sent a team to the dive site to research the actual depths and the size of the net in order to plan and execute the recovery in a single mission.  It was important to recover the net as early as possible to prevent any aquatic life becoming entangled in this underwater hazard and to prevent further damage to the beautiful fringing reefs on Utila.

From the tec divers initial survey it out, that the net was stretched out over about 150 feet (45 meters), about 10 feet (3 meters) wide and lying at a depth of 100 – 150 feet (30 – 45 meters).  After evaluating the net and video footage, UDC’s tec divers decided to organize one single mission for the recovery with different teams of both recreational and technical divers working together, executing separate tasks each that were carried out:

  • Team 1 descended, located the net and marked the spot by sending up a surface marker at the shallowest point of the net.
  • Team 2 then descended and attached a lifting device at that end of the net to gently and in a controlled manner start lifting up one end of the net.
  • Team 3 (a team of technical divers from UDC as well as a freelance instructor) was gently releasing the net from the reef, cutting it loose and leaving the weights on the bottom (the net was weighted down with several cinder blocks in intervals of about 20ft (6 meters).
  • Team 4 (also a team of technical divers from UDC) was responsible taking footage of the whole mission, in order to record size and location of the net, execution of the mission and casualties caused by the net.
  • Team 5 was the biggest team of divers and responsible for coordinating the lifting of the net with buddy teams being distributed along the length of the net, each controlling the lifting of their section and coordinating with all the other teams so the net could be lifted as a whole with minimal impact on the environment and keeping everyone safe at the same time.
  • Team 6 was on the boat lifting the net onto the boat itself.
Utila Dive Centre Sidemount diver cutting net

Sidemount diver cutting net loose of Utilas reef

Upon successful removal and lifting of the net, the two technical dive teams then had to complete their decompression using pure oxygen before surfacing, where the boats could pick them up with everyone else already having surfaced before.  All in all the mission was a great success: the logistics were complicated but the group as a whole worked in perfect harmony accomplishing the mission in less time than expected and planned for. The net was confiscated by BICA who will decide together with the local authorities on how to dispose of the net appropriately.

One of the teams tec profiles that was executed, conducted by trained tec divers using specialized equipment (Disclaimer: do not try this at home kids!)

Level    45mt/150ft     12:00    (15)    Air    1.16  ppO2,  150ft ead
Stop at    18mt/60ft      0:30    (20)    Air    0.59  ppO2,  60ft ead
Stop at    15mt/50ft      2:00    (22)    Air    0.53  ppO2,  50ft ead
Stop at    12mt/40ft      3:00    (25)    Air    0.46  ppO2,  40ft ead
Stop at    10mt/30ft      3:00    (28)    Air    0.40  ppO2,  30ft ead
Stop at    6mt/20ft      8:00    (36)    Oxygen    1.60  ppO2,  0ft ead

Utila Dive Community removing rogue fishing net from reef

Utila Dive Community removing rogue fishing net from reef

For the future, we will have a working system in place to remove any threats to the fringing reefs around Utila, in a timely and efficient manner, should a similar situation come up, and part of Utila Dive Centers tec training courses and mission based planning will focus on projects such as net recovery.  The Utila Dive Centers involved in the mission: Utila Dive Centre/UDC Tec (including freelance Tec Divers), Parrots Dive Centre and the Bay Islands College of Diving.

By Mary Peter PADI Trimix Instructor #274958


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