The Grand Roatan Resort and Spa, West Bay Road, Roatan, Honduras.
Coordinates in degrees decimal: N 16.271667, E -86.600000
Visited in February-March, 2019. Photographer: Nigel Thomas. Cameras: Pentax WG-II, Sea & Sea 1G with DX1G housing and Olympus Tough T5.
Roatan Island sits approximately 50 kilometres north of the coast of Honduras. West Bay is located at the western end of the island and is in a north to south orientation. A coral reef stretches over the length of the bay but is closest to shore in the southern part of the bay. The reef edge is between 100 and 200 metres from shore in the most accessible areas. Two resorts are located immediately adjacent this stretch of beach; The Grand Roatan (www.grandroatanresort.com) and The Infinity Bay Spa and Beach Resort (www.infinitybay.com). The Grand Roatan, in particular, has made strenuous efforts to protect the reef, through a variety of initiatives.
Tidal range is very limited, less than 0.3M, with wind conditions in the area ideal, as they blow from the east almost all year round. Marine life diversity is good with over 160 species recorded over a 10 day period, although some of the fish species were unusually skittish, which is my excuse for not catching a good image of the more common species! Sadly, some of the reef is showing signs of wear and tear, with several areas of moribund coral and examples of poor coral health, with patches of algal and sponge overgrowth. Visitor pressure is also having an effect, despite the efforts of the wardens who appear to be constantly telling people not to stand on the coral. So please don't stand on the coral!
Completed without the support of the resorts.