Haliburton In Utila – Wreck Dives, Close Calls And A Night Dive

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Haliburton In Utila - Wreck Dives, Close Calls And A Night Dive

We woke up refreshed and found out we were doing our wreck dive today!!! The dive is at a wreck of a ship called the Halliburton. Evidently this was a ship that they used for some sort of shipping and was going to be destroyed or dismantled. The people of Utila bought the ship and sunk it off the reef.

Diving The Halliburton

As we entered the water all we saw was a deep blue below, no bottom. The wreck is at 100 feet and as we descended down, all of a sudden the ship came into view!!! Extremely cool! We were amazed at the sea life and reef developing on the boat. It was amazing. We were down there for about 40 minutes and went all around the boat. We couldn't go into the ship because to do so will require a PADI Wreck Specialty, which we don't have. But that was ok with me, we still went around the completely intact ship and saw the wheel house, and the cargo bay, took some really good pictures with our cheap disposable camera and dove in awe of the life below the waves.  The visibility was great and the seas were calm.

Problems Out At Sea

That afternoon we went on some fun dives. We had two dives free for taking the course and they took us to another deep dive place. The current was really strong and we had to descend 20 meters before the current was non-existent. The site was 20 minutes off shore, and the seas were a little rougher out there. Shelly had some trouble equalizing her ears (popping her ears) and so we waited for her. Within a couple of minutes we were 50 yards from the boat, and getting pulled out to sea. We swam hard to try to get back to the boat to go back down, but we didn't get anywhere. Shelly's equipment then malfunctioned. Her BCD or inflatable vest was "power inflating" which means it was continually inflating making it impossible for her to go under at all. We then had to disconnect it making floating with 30 lbs or more of weight, even tougher. The Divemasters were great and we waved for the boat to come pick us up. It was scary for a moment and really let us know how dangerous this sport can be.

Shelly was absolutely spent at this point! She really had to swim and had a leg cramp. So I stayed with her on the boat when the others dove. After this dive, Shelly wanted to rest some more, and wanted to conserve energy for the night dive so she stayed on the boat, and the next place we went was called airport caves. Sadly enough this place was one of my favorite dives. There was a underwater cave we went through (only about 20 meters long) but very cool. And we saw a sea turtle and some other cool wildlife.

Our First Night Dive

That night, we did the night dive!!!! WOW~!! Super amazing! We all got a flash light, and we went out at dusk. When we got into the water, it was dark, but we could still see each other, by 10 minutes, it was pitch black. We all stayed very close together, and Shelly and I held hands the entire dive. What was weird...is that fish sleep. I knew they did, because I had gold fish growing up and saw them become inactive at night. But these fish really slept. They laid down on the bottom of the ocean floor and looked dead. Apparently they make a protective bubble around themselves that make it very difficult for their predators to see them. If we were to bother the fish, they would get eaten by their predators, so we were careful not to disturb them.

 

 

PADI Advanced Open Water

Haliburton in Utila

Getting Certified

It was magical underwater at night, a little scary, but mostly peaceful. Only the flicker of lights, which appeared as light sabres in the water. We both really enjoyed it and it was a great end to the day. We also got certified as PADI Advanced Open Water Divers!!!!  The captain then poured the cooler of ice water all over us!!!  We also got nitrox certified. This is a blend of 32-40% oxygen, as opposed to the normal tanks with 21% oxygen, which is what we breath in the air on land. The theory is that you don't get the bends as easily and less nitrogen in your system. Basically, you feel less tired after diving. We used it on the fun dives today. It was cool!

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