Sanitation Solution -- Dive Deeper

Sanitation was a problem in West End. Plumbing though present was a recent arrival to the neighborhood or so it seemed. The entire strip smelled like sewage and nobody ever mentioned it. It was accepted and embraced. Every other week or so, one of the more popular outdoor eateries and bars would put on a curry feed. It was always the same yellow curry with potatoes, rice and carrots. Nothing gourmet, but it was all you can eat and every island transplant would come for the best deal around. Unfortunately, the bar was located where the human waste smells were most pungent. You'd get your plate of food, eat while speed walking down the beach, mouth on fire and not enough hands to carry your drink. The dirtiest travelers would just hang around the bar, ignoring the foul air, but most would split as quick as possible.

Compared with the opposite side of the island, where flushing toilets simply didn’t exist, we didn't have it so bad. In place of an actual john, docks stretched fifteen to thirty feet out above the surf with a shack at the end. Once inside the shack, you needed to be careful not to fall through the circular hole cut into the floor. I imagine potty training was a real treat for overprotective mothers on Roatan.

Anyhow, Justus had the bright idea to take a few divers to explore a coral wall on the North side. One client, didn’t feel like diving and instead went snorkeling. Head down, feet kicking she swam all around the abundant shallow corral reef. Tons of fish, small rays and tiny jelleyfish were abundant in this area. But, so were the outhouses.

Kicking along in bliss, barely covered in a yellow and white bikini, she swam right into a liquid pile of poop and toilet paper clumps. At least the water was warm.

The dive group, however, had a great time. A beautiful nurse shark swam within a few feet of us, the coral was very healthy and the current allowed us to relax and just enjoy the magic. About half way through the dive, I had a little scare. My weight belt came undone and slipped off. Without good judgment I dove down and caught it as it slipped. With my velocity carrying me further down and the little air in my BCD compressing as I went deeper, I began slowly accelerating. By the time I rolled back into my weight belt, I was way too deep. I didn’t have a dive computer at the time and now my charted dive would be off. I darted back up to our original sixty feet. I was fine, but had used poor judgment and it bothered me. Oh well, the dive could have been full of crap... After all, I could have been snorkeling.



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