|Roatan: Summer 2012 - Day 11
Day Eleven: Mary’s Place and Smith Banks
What a difference a day makes! Yesterday the wind was blowing and the seas on the other side of the island were rough, with a strong current. Today, it was very calm and we were able to go back around the island to dive Mary’s Place and Smith Banks, something we had wanted to do yesterday, but could not. Mary’s place is a sea mound that is relatively close to shore. The walls are covered with black coral and calcareous algae, along with lots of fish. Smith Bank is a 50 acre shallow spot off Coxen Hole that was discovered on Google Earth. It is one of the largest remaining stands of Staghorn coral left in the Caribbean and the area was just declared a National Park last week. After dinner, we did our second and final night dive. The dive went very well up until the very end. The calm seas, while making the diving better, allows the box jellyfish to move into the shallower waters. They tend to gather at night near the surface and are attracted to lights (they feed on plankton). The end result was that about three quarters of the group got stung getting back into the boat, but a little vinegar and/or meat tenderizer took care of the issue in short order and everyone was over it by the time we headed up for dinner. Some even viewed it as a badge of honor, moving them into the elite group of “Night Divers”.