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DansDeals Forum => Trip Reports => Topic started by: Something Fishy on July 04, 2017, 01:16:04 AM

Title: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 04, 2017, 01:16:04 AM
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4236/34866253444_e1aaafecee_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/03VJHn)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4396/35562912833_d8811fecac_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/1c1sNT)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4008/35707583115_a9364ed3c2_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/73MW8A)



It was many years ago that I discovered the existence of Jade Mountain Resort (http://www.jademountain.com/) on the island of St. Lucia. This was years before I discovered my true love of travel and the miles and points game which made it all possible; all I knew was that this incredible place existed and that I want to stay there, preferably to celebrate my tenth wedding anniversary. The fact that rooms are between $2000 and $3000 a night didn't faze me much; clearly, by the time I was married for ten years I'd be a millionaire (at least!) and able to afford it, no problem.

Well as the years went by my tenth anniversary inched ever closer, but the million dollars remained elusive. It was becoming clear that there is no way in the world that I am blowing ten grand on a few night's worth of Jade Mountain. While the resort has remained on my bucket list (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=10537.msg1571919#msg1571919), for the last few years I've been vaguely looking for an alternative place to go.

While the Maldives or Bora Bora were the obvious candidates, we needed something closer as we couldn't leave our daughter for too long. My main objectives were privacy and incredible snorkeling; with that and the time constraints, the obvious answer was somewhere in the Caribbean.

And so I found myself a few months ago marching into the house, cold, wet, and exhausted. I had just finished shoveling three feet of snow off the driveway and I was sick of it. I plopped down on the couch with one goal: book a tropical vacation.

Looking through a collection of "top places to snorkel" type lists, one unlikely place kept on popping up: the Bay Islands of Honduras. I had never even heard of these islands, and yet here they were, touted as a snorkeling and diving mecca. Further research showed that this was indeed true - despite not exactly being on a typical tourist's radar, the underwater world here is absolutely beautiful and pristine.

Still sitting on my couch on that cold, cold, wet day, a magical word jumped out at me: cheap private island.

Cheap private island? If there was an oxymoron in the travel world, surely this is it. Private islands are for the likes of Richard Branson and I don't know... the Queen of England? No way that a schlub like me could ever afford to even rent one for a few nights.

But if the internet says that a cheap private island can be had in Honduras, it's gotta be true. Do I duly did some research, and lo, not only does it exist, but the reviews were numerous and positive!

A private island? Incredible snorkeling? Cheap, to boot? Sign me up! I immediately fired off an email to the owner and got the booking-ball rolling.

The first thing I needed to do is choose an island. Yes, it turns out that there are actually two  to choose from... Sandy Cay is the smaller one of the two, but offered more privacy and a better reef. Little Cay is a bit bigger (yes, I know...), has a larger and nicer house, and a protected swimming area great for kids. Considering that our priorities were privacy and snorkeling, Sandy Cay easily emerged as the winner.

And so, for the princely sum of $140 a night, we became the sole inhabitants of a private island in paradise.

And by private, I mean private. There is nothing on the island but sand, palm trees, and a single house. No neighbors, no staff, no yentas insistent on learning your entire family history. Just utter and complete privacy.

The reviews were invaluable for a number of reasons, most importantly for helping to set expectations. This was not a 5-star resort; if I had to quantify the house, I'd compare it to a bungalow in the Catskills. Large and decent, but not new or fancy by any stretch of the imagination (I'll expound on these details greatly further along in this TR). The pictures on their website (http://www.utilacaysrentals.com/sandy-cay.html) were somewhat out of date; but recent reviews and trip reports more than made up for that.

Booking the island was somewhat of an adventure in and of itself. Honduras, being the third-world country that it is, is slow enough. Couple that with "island time" and every email took three days to get a response to. Eventually we learned to live with it; that's just how things are done there (we had the same exact experience with every Honduran we dealt with). Payment was by Money Gram only, and 50% up front was required to secure the reservation. Not something I'd normally be comfortable with, but reading many people's positive experiences sure helped. It took over a week, but eventually everything was all set.



Now we had to figure out how to get there; this was by far easier said than done.

Getting to Honduras itself is easy; there are tons of flights to San Pedro Sula (SAP), which is the biggest city in the country and its main point of entry. UA, AV, and CM all fly there, so there was even decent *A award availability. The problem with that (of course there's a problem!) is that getting from there to the islands involves an overnight. With SAP holding the honorable distinction of the third most dangerous city in the world (recently downgraded from #1), that was not a particularly relishing thought.

Additionally, there were a few other wrinkles that complicated the flight planning tremendously. As per anecdotal accounts online, the mainland airports were far stricter at customs than on the islands; the flights to SAP mostly left between 1 and 3am, which was highly undesirable; and if I was going to Honduras, I really really wanted to fly in and out of TGU, which has been on my bucket list forever.

To top all that off, I had won a raffle recently for $600 worth of airfare which I wanted to use on this trip, which made me lean away from using only points. In any case, pretty much all the award availability was in J, which seemed like a waste on such relatively short flights.

And then came the internal flights... There are very few scheduled flights to the islands, none on "real" airlines, and most are on Shabbos anyway. But we could charter a plane for quite cheap... Or should we instead take a pair of ferries, which takes 4 hours but costs less...?

As you can imagine, adding all this up into a comprehensive itinerary resulted in the mother of all spreadsheets.

After weeks of looking, booking, and cancelling, I had an itinerary in place. On Sunday, we'd fly United to Houston and on to Roatan - the "big" airport on the islands. Overnight on Roatan. Monday morning we'd charter a plane to the next, smaller island, Utila. In Utila we'd meet the owner of our island and be taken over by boat, where we'd stay for three nights.

For the return, we'd take boat back to Utila early Thursday morning. We'll fly a hinky-dinky airline called Aerolineas Sosa to La Ceiba (on the mainland) and continue over to Tegucigalpa. From there we'd fly Copa to Panama City, have lunch in town, and fly home to JFK.

United: EWR-IAH-RTB; $436 x2, -$600 from the raffle. Booked in Y, got Y+ due to status, got upgraded to J on the second leg.
Private charter: RTB-UII; $278 for the plane.
Aerolineas Sosa: UII-LCE-TGU; $139 x2.
Copa: TGU-PTY-JFK; 30k UA x2, booked in J.

(http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=c:green,ewr-iah-rtb%0d%0ac:yellow,uii-lce-tgu%0d%0ac:violet,tgu-pty-jfk%0d%0ac:red,rtb-uii&MS=bm&MR=240&MX=540x540&PM=*)

(http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=c:green,o:noext,ewr-iah-rtb%0d%0ac:red,rtb-uii%0d%0ac:yellow,uii-lce-tgu%0d%0ac:violet,o:noext,tgu-pty-jfk%0d%0a&MS=bm&MR=30&MX=540x540&PM=b:disc7%2b%22%25t%25+%28N%22)



With an overnight on Roatan, only one thing was left: find a hotel. Luckily, this turned out to be a rather easy task: the top rated hotel on Trip Advisor was also the cheapest. $75 secured us a room in the lovely Seagrape Plantation Resort (https://seagraperoatan.com/), which we ended up being extremely pleased with.



And so after a few weeks of planning, we were all set for an epic anniversary trip.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: mmgfarb on July 04, 2017, 01:25:11 AM
Great start as usual, hopefully since we don't have to wait for WhyMe and CITH we can get the rest a little sooner
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: User6669 on July 04, 2017, 02:59:19 AM
#SFClassic
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yammer on July 04, 2017, 03:34:41 AM
Well you should have made some kinda exclusive booking rights... he'll be swarmed now...
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Z56 on July 04, 2017, 04:10:04 AM
Thanks for sharing!!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yehoshua on July 04, 2017, 06:50:11 AM
Wow, looking forward to the rest before next December!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yaalili on July 04, 2017, 08:37:27 AM
Wow!! This TR is off to a great start.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: shmebeble on July 04, 2017, 09:38:20 AM
Is the island going to be killed off like every other good thing ever posted here? ;D
Do they store kosher food still?
jokes jokes
Looks amazing. cant wait for the rest
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Dawie on July 04, 2017, 10:05:30 AM
 8)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Dan on July 04, 2017, 10:41:58 AM
Is the island going to be killed off like every other good thing ever posted here? ;D
Do they store kosher food still?
jokes jokes
Is it safe?
Is there kosher food in the grocery store on the private island?
Is there a minyan on the private island?
:D
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 04, 2017, 10:53:46 AM
Is the island going to be killed off like every other good thing ever posted here? ;D  #GHK effect?
Do they store kosher food still? Two fridges and two freezers, and they don't even charge a delivery fee!


Is it safe? Definitely not. I nearly sat on a stingray at one point.
Is there kosher food in the grocery store on the private island? Yep. But you'll need to get the coconuts down yourself.
Is there a minyan on the private island? Nine crabs and an iguana. Does that count?
:D

Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on July 04, 2017, 10:56:33 AM
Is it safe?
Is there kosher food in the grocery store on the private island?
Is there a minyan on the private island?
:D
This isn't an arab country.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Dawie on July 04, 2017, 10:57:43 AM
Is it safe?
Is there kosher food in the grocery store on the private island?
Is there a minyan on the private island?
:D
what about Zika?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 04, 2017, 11:06:03 AM
what about Zika?

That's actually a legit question.

Officially, there's a risk of zika according to the CDC. But my research showed that the CDC is overgeneralizing based on the entire country (as they nearly always do). There have been no reports of zika on the Bay Islands, and outside of swampy areas mosquitoes are not that common. On a tiny island with no standing water they're even less of a problem.

Of course we took the obvious precautions, including spraying our clothing with permethrin and using DEET-based insect repellent.

In the end, as expected, neither of us got any mosquito bites.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yaalili on July 04, 2017, 11:12:23 AM

Alol :D
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: tageed-lee on July 04, 2017, 11:27:41 AM
Amazing! Cannot wait for all the pics!

Love that you figured out how to attain your private island dream!

Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Lou Bob on July 04, 2017, 11:34:15 AM
I hope you left your toaster behind for the next person :)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: LoLo on July 04, 2017, 11:40:06 AM
Great start, creative thinking, looking forward to the rest.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: ushdadude on July 04, 2017, 11:41:55 AM
That's actually a legit question.

Officially, there's a risk of zika according to the CDC. But my research showed that the CDC is overgeneralizing based on the entire country (as they nearly always do). There have been no reports of zika on the Bay Islands, and outside of swampy areas mosquitoes are not that common. On a tiny island with no standing water they're even less of a problem.

Of course we took the obvious precautions, including spraying our clothing with permethrin and using DEET-based insect repellent.

In the end, as expected, neither of us got any mosquito bites.

how about panama? It's on my bucket list. awesome diving and plenty of kosher food
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: mgarfin on July 04, 2017, 12:32:46 PM
how about panama? It's on my bucket list. awesome diving and plenty of kosher food

To keep to tradition of hijacking a thread, the Panamanian's claim that central Panama/Canal area has no reported zika, only down south...
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Luvtotravel on July 04, 2017, 12:46:37 PM
Is their site down due to #ddf effect??
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 04, 2017, 03:41:39 PM
@Something Fishy , I've seen discussion with regards to length of stay in Maldives or BOB. How long, in your opinion, do you feel is to short/long for (this) a private island?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on July 04, 2017, 03:46:42 PM
I'm just waiting to see the picture of the gear you bring on a non-photography trip (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji13.png)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 04, 2017, 03:47:04 PM
how about panama? It's on my bucket list. awesome diving and plenty of kosher food

I haven't looked into the situation there, so I really have no idea.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 04, 2017, 03:48:40 PM
@Something Fishy , I've seen discussion with regards to length of stay in Maldives or BOB. How long, in your opinion, do you feel is to short/long for (this) a private island?

Minimum three nights, preferably four. I think longer than that and you'd get island fever.

My wife disagrees and says shes fine with moving here for a year ;D.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 04, 2017, 03:57:25 PM
I'm just waiting to see the picture of the gear you bring on a non-photography trip (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji13.png)

I didn't take a gear pic .

Here's what I took:

Sony A7r II, 16-35 f/4, 28 f/2, and 16 f/3.5
Nikon 300 f/4 with Sony adapter
DJI Mavic
GoPro Hero4 Silver
Ricoh Theta 360° camera
Ikelite underwater housing with 8" dome port, 2x DS51 underwater strobes, and 4x 7" extension arms
Tripod, monopod, filters, tools, and a mountain of other accessories
Enough batteries to power an aircraft carrier (5x Sony, 5x Mavic, 5x GoPro, 16x AA, 6x external power banks, and who knows what else.)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: MeirS on July 04, 2017, 08:56:47 PM


Enough batteries to power an aircraft carrier (5x Sony, 5x Mavic, 5x GoPro, 16x AA, 6x external power banks, and who knows what else.)

ALOL
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: lfas25 on July 04, 2017, 10:27:04 PM
Minimum three nights, preferably four. I think longer than that and you'd get island fever.

My wife disagrees and says shes fine with moving here for a year ;D.

Are you picking her up on the 11th anniversary?   ;)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 04, 2017, 10:28:54 PM
Are you picking her up on the 11th anniversary?   ;)

ROFL
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: yoohoo on July 04, 2017, 10:45:56 PM
Enjoying....
.....And now we wait.....
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 04, 2017, 10:47:27 PM
Enjoying....
.....And now we wait.....

I enjoy making you wait, so we're even :P.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on July 04, 2017, 11:03:18 PM
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidmal on July 05, 2017, 12:23:03 AM

Lol
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Dawie on July 05, 2017, 10:24:57 AM

Well I'm still waiting for a certain someone (hint: his name rhymes with Shcmyme) to finish it up...

Ahem...
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on July 05, 2017, 10:33:38 AM
Well at least he can't blame this one on me.


(which means he'll probably finish this before we finish Cuba (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji15.png))
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 05, 2017, 10:36:29 AM
(which means he'll probably finish this before we finish Cuba (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji15.png))

No doubt...
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: moish on July 05, 2017, 04:37:32 PM
Did you actually use 5 Mavic batteries?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 05, 2017, 05:37:05 PM
Did you actually use 5 Mavic batteries?

Yes. But I didn't run them down completely, and I didn't charge them too often.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 06, 2017, 04:55:23 PM
We were up at 3:30 in the morning to head to EWR, and my bother in law was crazy enough to give us a lift, thankfully. Our premier upgrades to IAH didn't clear, but at least we got the exit row for free, so legroom was wonderful. Flight was completely uneventful, and we landed in Houston to a light drizzle.

The UA lounge in IAH was decent, and we spent an hour or so relaxing. The lounge is on the third floor, so we had a great view of the apron, which was completely dominated by UA (excuse the cellphone picture...):

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4235/34919588404_96f6b27e20_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/r1Em24)

We got upgraded to J for the second leg, but this being a United 737, legroom was absolutely horrible. Leave it to United to have a business product that's less comfortable than coach... In any case, the seats were wide, the flight was short, and we survived .

Approaching Roatan we flew over the incredible reef and the West End area, where our hotel was located. If you squint you could just make it out, past the half-moon bay on the top:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4216/35597909981_4b6b0851c1_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/V4G5cm)

RTB is a tiny airport right on the beach. I found it interesting that the control tower is located way off the airport grounds, on top of a nearby hill:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4034/35560105642_4112a2042b_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/078K4v)

The airport itself is pretty much a mess. Customs, immigration, and baggage claim all happens inside a single room with no A/C. There are a number of Americans hanging around trying to direct and move groups of people (apparently it's a thing here for retired American expats to volunteer at the airport when American planes land), but it wasn't working very well. A nice American lady directed my wife and I to the immigration "group line". I was processed first, but then my wife was left standing by herself for fifteen minutes (after which the agent was proud to tell her how much she "respects the Amish culture" ). And of course, the baggage handlers also made sure that all priority-tagged luggage came out dead last.

The good part about waiting for my bags was that it gave me an opportunity to observe the customs queue. As expected, all bags were put through an x-ray, but thankfully the operator was busy looking everywhere but. When we finally went through, he didn't even glance at his monitor once and lo and behold, we were in Honduras with all our kosher food intact.

We got picked up by the hotel van, which was driven by an incredibly entertaining local. He had his son next to him and they did this whole back-and-forth spiel all about the island and its history. "How many groups of people are there on Roatan?" "Five!" "And what are their names?" "Garifuna, Caracoles..." It was quite cute and enjoyable, and surprisingly informative.

Our room turned out to be in the main building and was quite adequate. Clean, good air conditioning, a fridge, and so on. Other than needing to kill a large troop of fire ants at one points we had no complaints.

We didn't have anything planned with what was left for the day, so we just took it easy, resting and exploring the resort grounds.

Late afternoon and sunset along the resort's oceanfront:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4235/35380527380_f5dc5cbdfe_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/14k9Y8)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4052/35342076790_7d1f9179f5_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/b3i412)

This little guy held on even as waves constantly crashed over him:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4279/34919655043_a87fca0967_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/G485ny)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4143/35721845106_c055a49cf1_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/b6A340)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4287/34921677974_941589abc7_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/HKGB49)

After an early night, it was another early morning for us. We wanted to head into town for some souvenirs and fresh fish, find some groceries, and then head to the airport to meet our chartered plane and fly to the next island, Utila.

The lady at the front desk suggested that we walk to town instead of taking a car, and that she'll meet us there with our bags to take us to the airport. Considering that we were running a bit late and town was just a quick stroll down the road, we took her advice.

Walking into town:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4242/35560120732_2e42cd111e_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/10p1L8)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4231/34887892304_279208f0ff_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/0V978n)

Seems legit :

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4065/34887895124_8e96583470_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/T8p7pC)

A lovely crescent beach, with waters so clear that we were able to see fish swimming all the way from the road:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4263/34887878084_522a54970a_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/KdTq64)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4151/34887884634_67c3ef4bf9_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/8vek88)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4033/35597936591_f59fc710f0_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/08VKcg)

Looks like we've found our souvenir shop:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4061/34939977633_802a85d2f1_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/e797mk)

Who apparently have a couple of yeshivisha guys for sale:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4111/34939972163_0335f2dbc3_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/fF5BiQ)

Duly memento-ed, we needed to find some fish. We knew that fishermen often sell their catch on the side of the road, and indeed it wasn't long before we found one. $20 got us three yellowtail and a big red snapper, which he then cleaned in the ocean for us:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4049/34940555633_508763cc23_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Cj8YKh)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4025/34939961123_bdd2f88fc0_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/13N278)

Cleaning the fish took longer than we expected, so we were technically running late for the airport. We still needed to get some grocery staples, so we stopped at a larger grocery near the airport. There was a ton of kosher food, surprisingly - it seemed that half the items for sale were regular American brands with an OU. We bought some fruits and veggies, snacks, oil, and things like that.

Our flight was scheduled for 10:00 am, but we got to the airport at 10:05. The beauty of chartering your own plane ...

And now the adventure began in earnest.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 06, 2017, 05:06:29 PM
We were up at 3:30...
Noooo! How many parts do we need to wait for?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 06, 2017, 05:12:08 PM
Noooo! How many parts do we need to wait for?

יום לשנה
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: mgarfin on July 06, 2017, 05:19:02 PM
The art of not having to wait for whYME
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on July 06, 2017, 05:28:20 PM
The art of not having to wait for whYME


Just know, that the real reason Cuba isn't being finished is because Something Fishy's been busy with this
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: stbaum on July 06, 2017, 05:40:22 PM


Just know, that the real reason Cuba isn't being finished is because Something Fishy's been busy with this
And the gloves are off! :)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: E-MAN on July 06, 2017, 05:55:03 PM
Please keep it coming!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yehoshua on July 06, 2017, 06:08:34 PM
Wow, great TR so far. Looking forward to the rest!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yaalili on July 06, 2017, 06:18:43 PM
Nice installment. Your cellphone pic is very clear too.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: skyguy918 on July 06, 2017, 07:53:05 PM
Who apparently have a couple of yeshivisha guys for sale:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4111/34939972163_0335f2dbc3_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/fF5BiQ)
Please tell me this is tongue in cheek, and you know who that is.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: @Yehuda on July 06, 2017, 08:25:00 PM
Just had a chance to read up. Great job so far as usual. The master storyteller is at it again!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: maxmiles on July 06, 2017, 08:31:21 PM
Amazing start!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yehuda57 on July 06, 2017, 08:50:21 PM
It's simply unfair, it's not enough that you are a phenomenal photographer, you also have to be a compelling writer? Leave some talents for the rest of us.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 07, 2017, 06:53:37 AM
A cellphone pic from SF? Blasphemy!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: AsherO on July 07, 2017, 08:39:01 AM
יום לשנה

נ״א יום ליום יביע אומר
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Shua on July 07, 2017, 09:24:41 AM
Awesome start! Did you have to take any vaccines and/or anti malaria tablets before you went?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 07, 2017, 12:04:33 PM
Thanks everyone 8).


A cellphone pic from SF? Blasphemy!

I know. The horror!


נ״א יום ליום יביע אומר

ALOL
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 07, 2017, 12:06:09 PM
Awesome start! Did you have to take any vaccines and/or anti malaria tablets before you went?

We took Malarone for malaria. There had been a number of cases on Roatan in the last few months so it seemed prudent.

And like I said earlier, we took precautions against mosquitoes is general and B"H never not bitten.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 07, 2017, 12:07:45 PM
Just realized I forgot a drone pic in the last segment; I added it in now.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: username on July 07, 2017, 12:15:52 PM
We took Malarone for malaria. There had been a number of cases on Roatan in the last few months so it seemed prudent.

And like I said earlier, we took precautions against mosquitoes is general and B&H never got bitten.

Auto-correct?   :)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: tageed-lee on July 07, 2017, 12:23:12 PM
and B&H never not bitten.

ALOL! Nice plug!  ;)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 07, 2017, 12:24:14 PM
Auto-correct?   :)
ALOL! Nice plug!  ;)




Fixed.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: username on July 07, 2017, 12:29:25 PM



Fixed.
almost. You need to fix the next word to 'got'

B"H never not bitten.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 07, 2017, 12:32:56 PM
almost. You need to fix the next word to 'got'

Wow, I'm on a roll today apparently. Thanks.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidmal on July 07, 2017, 12:35:28 PM
Wow so much to say here. below comments are not to disrespect you or your trip but my own feelings on recommending (or Warning) this trip to others.
also great photos so far I really liked the Semi Submerged one!

1. Roatan, wow. If not for the private island I would not see the draw. Snorkeling can be found in Belize or Cozumel that equals or bests Roatan.
Roatan is a Dirty 3rd world country but that goes hand in hand with spending less. Safety is a big concern in some parts.
2. Private Island, while I love the idea of privacy. I love the idea of having service when I'm on a trip.
My Idea of a Vacation is not having to deal with some things like cleaning the bathroom or making my bed. If your up for those things GO FOR IT!!!

This trip while insanely cool only few members can pull it off Married. If you do have the ability to pull this off
1. Be prepared to bring everything you might need from a tooth brush to pam for a pan or whatever you would need for your day to day activities.
2. If you want to do a private island but don't want to give up service you can charter a boat to drop you off and pick you up for the day at a Remote Island some can be had for Free.
we did a remote Island for the day then headed back. (Same story bring EVERYTHING you might need for the day.)


Either way Have Fun & Post a TR!


Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: jj1000 on July 07, 2017, 12:44:06 PM
Wow so much to say here. below comments are not to disrespect you or your trip but my own feelings on recommending (or Warning) this trip to others.
also great photos so far I really liked the Semi Submerged one!

1. Roatan, wow. If not for the private island I would not see the draw. Snorkeling can be found in Belize or Cozumel that equals or bests Roatan.
Roatan is a Dirty 3rd world country but that goes hand in hand with spending less. Safety is a big concern in some parts.
2. Private Island, while I love the idea of privacy. I love the idea of having service when I'm on a trip.
My Idea of a Vacation is not having to deal with some things like cleaning the bathroom or making my bed. If your up for those things GO FOR IT!!!

This trip while insanely cool only few members can pull it off Married. If you do have the ability to pull this off
1. Be prepared to bring everything you might need from a tooth brush to pam for a pan or whatever you would need for your day to day activities.
2. If you want to do a private island but don't want to give up service you can charter a boat to drop you off and pick you up for the day at a Remote Island some can be had for Free.
we did a remote Island for the day then headed back. (Same story bring EVERYTHING you might need for the day.)


Either way Have Fun & Post a TR!



You be crazy. The draw of your own island for days is amazing.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: skyguy918 on July 07, 2017, 12:46:06 PM
Who apparently have a couple of yeshivisha guys for sale:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4111/34939972163_0335f2dbc3_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/fF5BiQ)
Please tell me this is tongue in cheek, and you know who that is.
Since I got no response, I'll just let you know that it's the Blues Brothers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blues_Brothers) - SNL cast members Belushi and Akroyd.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidmal on July 07, 2017, 12:47:14 PM
You be crazy. The draw of your own island for days is amazing.
I did it for a day and it was hard.

Imagine you forgot ANYTHING
your like shoot now what¿

maybe if you had a uber boat or Google now delivering things for you as your day continued

You never realize how Needy you are intill you can't get something.

I think it's a GREAT TRIP
just for the people who can handle it.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: jj1000 on July 07, 2017, 12:49:50 PM
I did it for a day and it was hard.

Imagine you forgot ANYTHING
your like shoot now what¿

maybe if you had a uber boat or Google now delivering things for you as your day continued

You never realize how Needy you are intill you can't get something.

I think it's a GREAT TRIP
just for the people who can handle it.
You sound like such a NY'er :P

What if there aren't 12 kosher restaurants within 2 blocks?

Part of the whole romantic idea is it's just the 2 of you and if you forgot something it's just you two so who cares you make do. (Not to mention with SF's planning skills it's unlikely they forgot anything.)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: mgarfin on July 07, 2017, 12:50:57 PM
I did it for a day and it was hard.

Imagine you forgot ANYTHING
your like shoot now what¿

maybe if you had a uber boat or Google now delivering things for you as your day continued

You never realize how Needy you are intill you can't get something.

I think it's a GREAT TRIP
just for the people who can handle it.

Can you elaborate on what part of the world you found a drop island for the day?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Work-for-ur-muny on July 07, 2017, 12:53:03 PM
legroom was absolutely horrible. Leave it to United to have a business product that's less comfortable than coach... In any case, the seats were wide, the flight was short, and we survived .


So why didn't you just sit sideways?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidmal on July 07, 2017, 12:55:13 PM
Can you elaborate on what part of the world you found a drop island for the day?
Roatan

but It was also available near the Bahamas

and also St Thomas
st John

I don't recall if it was available in other areas like off the cost of DR or Aruba
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidmal on July 07, 2017, 12:56:50 PM
You sound like such a NY'er :P

What if there aren't 12 kosher restaurants within 2 blocks?

Part of the whole romantic idea is it's just the 2 of you and if you forgot something it's just you two so who cares you make do. (Not to mention with SF's planning skills it's unlikely they forgot anything.)
Again I wasn't commenting on My desire to go or SF's Trip but rather trying to say it's not for everyone.
While I'm ok without Kosher Restaurants. I might not be ok without AC. Or with AC and it Dies and no one to call.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 07, 2017, 01:02:51 PM
Wow so much to say here. below comments are not to disrespect you or your trip but my own feelings on recommending (or Warning) this trip to others.
also great photos so far I really liked the Semi Submerged one!

1. Roatan, wow. If not for the private island I would not see the draw. Snorkeling can be found in Belize or Cozumel that equals or bests Roatan.
Roatan is a Dirty 3rd world country but that goes hand in hand with spending less. Safety is a big concern in some parts.
2. Private Island, while I love the idea of privacy. I love the idea of having service when I'm on a trip.
My Idea of a Vacation is not having to deal with some things like cleaning the bathroom or making my bed. If your up for those things GO FOR IT!!!

This trip while insanely cool only few members can pull it off Married. If you do have the ability to pull this off
1. Be prepared to bring everything you might need from a tooth brush to pam for a pan or whatever you would need for your day to day activities.
2. If you want to do a private island but don't want to give up service you can charter a boat to drop you off and pick you up for the day at a Remote Island some can be had for Free.
we did a remote Island for the day then headed back. (Same story bring EVERYTHING you might need for the day.)


Either way Have Fun & Post a TR!
I'm going to respectfully disagree here.
Why is it so hard to pull off while married? I'm married and can easily make this work.
Many destinations require you to bring with, many of the basics you will need. As SF said, there was a supermarket on the main island, and if its a big deal I'm sure you can get basics. I think this planning is a bit more extensive than the typical trip, but can  definitely be done if you put time into planning the details.
Some of the major pros here are, the flights, and the cost. This appealed to me being that I am newer to the game, and may not be able to hit the Maldives or Bora Bora just yet, but this taste of the tropics is within reach and shall hold me off until then.
Just my opinion...
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 07, 2017, 01:04:56 PM
Wow so much to say here. below comments are not to disrespect you or your trip but my own feelings on recommending (or Warning) this trip to others.
also great photos so far I really liked the Semi Submerged one!

1. Roatan, wow. If not for the private island I would not see the draw. Snorkeling can be found in Belize or Cozumel that equals or bests Roatan.
Roatan is a Dirty 3rd world country but that goes hand in hand with spending less. Safety is a big concern in some parts.
2. Private Island, while I love the idea of privacy. I love the idea of having service when I'm on a trip.
My Idea of a Vacation is not having to deal with some things like cleaning the bathroom or making my bed. If your up for those things GO FOR IT!!!

This trip while insanely cool only few members can pull it off Married. If you do have the ability to pull this off
1. Be prepared to bring everything you might need from a tooth brush to pam for a pan or whatever you would need for your day to day activities.
2. If you want to do a private island but don't want to give up service you can charter a boat to drop you off and pick you up for the day at a Remote Island some can be had for Free.
we did a remote Island for the day then headed back. (Same story bring EVERYTHING you might need for the day.)


Either way Have Fun & Post a TR!

1. Roatan is split into two parts, the touristy part and the third-world country part. No reason for a tourist to venture into the other half of the island, and as such he will be as safe as in any other Caribbean destination. And you are wrong about the snorkeling, Roatan's waters are in infinitely better shape than Belize and Cozumel et al due to having a tiny fraction of the tourists. Roatan (and Utila) is also the best place in the world to swim with whale sharks in season; no where else are they as predictable and numerous.

Roatan is also the cheapest place int he world to get PADI certified; it could be done for around $400 including room and board. Beat that.

2. Service vs. privacy is a never-ending debate. I would stay in an airbnb over a fancy hotel any day of the week, so I clearly value privacy more. If you insist on room service, a private island shouldn't even be on your radar so that's a moot point.


1. Yes, you need to make a list of your needs and pack accordingly. Whoda thunk?

Regardless, anything we would've forgotten or wanted was a phone call away. The island's owners are at your beck and call and will deliver anything you need by boat within an hour or so.

2. Can't compare sitting on a quiet beach for a few hours to having your own island day after day after day. It's just two completely different things. Mind you you don't even need an island for what you did, we've had "private beaches" in Hawaii multiple times.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 07, 2017, 01:06:15 PM
You sound like such a NY'er :P

What if there aren't 12 kosher restaurants within 2 blocks?

Part of the whole romantic idea is it's just the 2 of you and if you forgot something it's just you two so who cares you make do. (Not to mention with SF's planning skills it's unlikely they forgot anything.)

Exactly.

And we didn't forget anything. But like I said, if you did, it can be brought over quickly.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 07, 2017, 01:09:55 PM
I'm going to respectfully disagree here.
Why is it so hard to pull off while married? I'm married and can easily make this work.
Many destinations require you to bring with, many of the basics you will need. As SF said, there was a supermarket on the main island, and if its a big deal I'm sure you can get basics. I think this planning is a bit more extensive than the typical trip, but can  definitely be done if you put time into planning the details.
Some of the major pros here are, the flights, and the cost. This appealed to me being that I am newer to the game, and may not be able to hit the Maldives or Bora Bora just yet, but this taste of the tropics is within reach and shall hold me off until then.
Just my opinion...

Honestly I don't think this would be very interesting if you weren't married. The point of this is the solitude, the relaxation, the spending quality time with each other and no one else.

Being far closer and cheaper that MLE and BOB is indeed a huge plus. Of course they aren't the same thing, but definitely the same "genre".
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 07, 2017, 01:15:46 PM
1. Roatan, wow. If not for the private island I would not see the draw.

I forgot to respond to this bit.

If I you're not going in whale shark season, or to get PADI certified (which I plan on doing one day there), I don't know if I would recommend Roatan, if for no reason other than there may be some better options (places with different types of non-water activities, for example).

At the end of the day I didn't go to Roatan because I was "drawn to it". I went because it was a convenient place to stay the night.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 07, 2017, 01:18:17 PM
Honestly I don't think this would be very interesting if you weren't married. The point of this is the solitude, the relaxation, the spending quality time with each other and no one else.

Being far closer and cheaper that MLE and BOB is indeed a huge plus. Of course they aren't the same thing, but definitely the same "genre".
Exactly my thoughts. Although at this price, I can see a group of guys getting little cay for a shabbos.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidmal on July 07, 2017, 01:18:29 PM
1. Roatan is split into two parts, the touristy part and the third-world country part. No reason for a tourist to venture into the other half of the island, and as such he will be as safe as in any other Caribbean destination. And you are wrong about the snorkeling, Roatan's waters are in infinitely better shape than Belize and Cozumel et al due to having a tiny fraction of the tourists. Roatan (and Utila) is also the best place in the world to swim with whale sharks in season; no where else are they as predictable and numerous.

Roatan is also the cheapest place int he world to get PADI certified; it could be done for around #400 including room and board. Beat that.

2. Service vs. privacy is a never-ending debate. I would stay in an airbnb over a fancy hotel any day of the week, so I clearly value privacy more. If you insist on room service a private island shouldn't even be on your radar so that's a moot point.
I can argue but that's not my point. I was bringing out awareness which was done. sorry if I ruffled your feathers.
The island's owners are at your beck and call and will deliver anything you need by boat within an hour or so.
ok thats a game changer.
2. Can't compare sitting on a quiet beach for a few hours to having your own island day after day after day. It's just two completely different things. Mind you you don't even need an island for what you did, we've had "private beaches" in Hawaii multiple times.
I don't think the sleeping on a private island is the thought but rather the part that your awake Walking the island and knowing your the only 2 on the whole whole island (600 feet Diameter?)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 07, 2017, 01:21:01 PM


I don't think the sleeping on a private island is the thought but rather the part that your awake Walking the island and knowing your the only 2 on the whole whole island (600 feet Diameter?)

It's about waking up on the island. And spending a day somewhere often is nothing like spending the nights, especially with these types of destinations
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidmal on July 07, 2017, 01:22:30 PM
I guess we know where your next trip is heading to.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 07, 2017, 01:25:04 PM
I guess we know where your next trip is heading to.
Nope, next trip was planned before he posted this, but this will most likely be after that.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 07, 2017, 01:25:33 PM
I can argue but that's not my point. I was bringing out awareness which was done. sorry if I ruffled your feathers.

Heh. If you think this is ruffled ...

ok thats a game changer.

...for those who are more service-minded. All I was worried about while booking was a real emergency - a broken bone or something like that. As soon as I learned that the owners are reachable and available I was happy.

I don't think the sleeping on a private island is the thought but rather the part that your awake Walking the island and knowing your the only 2 on the whole whole island (600 feet Diameter?)

Well then you missed the entire point...
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidmal on July 07, 2017, 01:26:47 PM
Well then you missed the entire point...
Well for me I'm fine with that....
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 07, 2017, 01:29:19 PM
Well for me I'm fine with that....
It seems, we have very different things that appeal to us (like everyone) and I can respect that. I'll relish over your TRs at 5 star hotels, and SFs Island adventures, and enjoy them both while doing my own thing.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 07, 2017, 01:33:48 PM
It seems, we have very different things that appeal to us (like everyone) and I can respect that. I'll relish over your TRs at 5 star hotels, and SFs Island adventures, and enjoy them both while doing my own thing.

Bingo
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidmal on July 07, 2017, 01:41:55 PM
Agreed. I was only trying to bring out some awareness that this is really private and what that really means.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 07, 2017, 01:45:47 PM
Agreed. I was only trying to bring out some awareness that this is really private and what that really means.
Well thank you for that I'm still in for one.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidmal on July 07, 2017, 01:46:27 PM
Well thank you for that I'm still in for one.
Don't forget the.....
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 07, 2017, 02:06:12 PM
Don't forget the.....
ALOL
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: moish on July 08, 2017, 05:13:19 PM
Roatan (and Utila) is also the best place in the world to swim with whale sharks in season; no where else are they as predictable and numerous.
Better than Donsol?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 08, 2017, 10:11:20 PM
Better than Donsol?

Apparently, yes. And obviously much closer and cheaper.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: sky121 on July 08, 2017, 10:52:32 PM


I did it for a day and it was hard.

Imagine you forgot ANYTHING
your like shoot now what¿


You never realize how Needy you are intill you can't get something.

I think it's a GREAT TRIP
just for the people who can handle it.



I actually tend to find the opposite most of the time. Pack all this stuff and once you get to places like that you realize how little you really need. 
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidmal on July 08, 2017, 11:12:45 PM



I actually tend to find the opposite most of the time. Pack all this stuff and once you get to places like that you realize how little you really need.
Haha I've done that too.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 09, 2017, 12:03:24 AM
@Something Fishy , what are your thoughts on spending shabbos here? Too complicated?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 09, 2017, 12:43:30 AM
@Something Fishy , what are your thoughts on spending shabbos here? Too complicated?

My first reaction is that it is indeed too complicated. There are a number of things which are a total-non issue during the week, but are deal-breakers on Shabbos. For example, you need to flip a switch to start an electric pump to flush the toilet. Perfectly fine on a Wednesday; not so much on Shabbos.

I also wonder what the halacha for carrying would be on such an island. Even if you don't plan on carrying outside, the bedrooms are technically in a different building than the rest of the house.

Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on July 09, 2017, 01:14:31 AM
I also wonder what the halacha for carrying would be on such an island. Even if you don't plan on carrying outside, the bedrooms are technically in a different building than the rest of the house.
I may be wrong, but I think you can carry throughout the island.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: moish on July 09, 2017, 04:11:58 AM
Apparently, yes. And obviously much closer and cheaper.
How is it apparent? After all, Donsol is considered the whale shark capital of the world.
Much closer obviously depends on your origin
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Hjay on July 09, 2017, 11:51:25 AM
I may be wrong, but I think you can carry throughout the island.
No mechitzos, no carrying.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Dawie on July 10, 2017, 02:19:39 PM
No mechitzos, no carrying.
-1
https://judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/10063/eiruv-in-manhattan
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yehuda57 on July 10, 2017, 03:34:19 PM
Because of course we can reach a consensus in a eruv discussion in a random TR thread.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on July 10, 2017, 04:50:29 PM
-1
https://judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/10063/eiruv-in-manhattan
How does that link apply to this island?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: yitrap on July 10, 2017, 05:09:25 PM
How does that link apply to this island?
Might not but the concept of a natural eruv exists
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Dawie on July 10, 2017, 05:15:04 PM
How does that link apply to this island?
The sea can be the boundary ala Teveria
and you can see the whole island from one spot

see this for an interesting discussion https://www.dafdigest.org/eruvin/Eruvin%20087.pdf
i think we can now move this to the halacha thread
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on July 10, 2017, 06:06:13 PM
The sea can be the boundary ala Teveria
and you can see the whole island from one spot

see this for an interesting discussion https://www.dafdigest.org/eruvin/Eruvin%20087.pdf
i think we can now move this to the halacha thread

Why would you think that a beach on an island in the ocean is not maale sirton?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 10, 2017, 06:46:32 PM
I never would've asked the question had I foreseen this outcome 🙄
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on July 10, 2017, 07:21:54 PM
I never would've asked the question had I foreseen this outcome 🙄
how could you not have foreseen this outcome?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 10, 2017, 07:22:23 PM
how could you not have foreseen this outcome?
Shame on me, I know.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on July 10, 2017, 07:30:59 PM
Why would you think that a beach on an island in the ocean is not maale sirton?
So for the ignorant among us, are you saying that there is a natural eruv here or that there isn't?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on July 10, 2017, 07:34:07 PM
how could you not have foreseen this outcome?
where's the quote about every thread turning into a halachik argument?
( @TimT )
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on July 10, 2017, 07:39:07 PM
where's the quote about every thread turning into a halachik argument?
( @TimT )
In my Sig
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: TimT on July 10, 2017, 07:49:10 PM
where's the quote about every thread turning into a halachik argument?
( @TimT )
every thread is the halacha/Kashrus thread.
you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used to start a religious discussion
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 10, 2017, 07:57:31 PM
...and this is all before we get into the discussion of the grill and the fish ;D.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on July 10, 2017, 08:07:43 PM
...and this is all before we get into the discussion of the grill and the fish ;D.
Can't wait! Now you really have me looking forward to the rest!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 11, 2017, 09:32:36 AM
Was wondering whose knife that was :)  .

The fisherman's :P
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on July 11, 2017, 09:52:00 AM
The fisherman's :P
Oh thats what you meant? We discussed that before you left!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: username on July 11, 2017, 10:05:07 AM
...and this is all before we get into the discussion of the grill and the fish ;D.
Dont try to change the subject...

WE WANT MORE!!!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidmal on July 11, 2017, 11:49:39 AM

+3
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: shlonx on July 11, 2017, 03:16:37 PM
Fantastic report! Can't wait for the rest... How close was the nearest landmass?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 11, 2017, 03:58:42 PM
Dont try to change the subject...

WE WANT MORE!!!

LOL, new segment should be up in the next few days.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 11, 2017, 04:02:10 PM
Fantastic report! Can't wait for the rest... How close was the nearest landmass?

Thanks.

South West Cay is around 0.8 miles away, Utila is 1.1m, and some other cays even further. Most of those are visible on the horizon (especially SW Cay), but all are far enough that you can't make out anything but treetops. Even with a 300mm lens, I couldn't see a thing. So yes, true and absolute privacy.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4241/35822902826_80e34663d1_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on July 12, 2017, 01:14:27 PM
LOL, new segment should be up in the next few days.
Is it a few days yet?  (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji48.png) (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji13.png)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on July 12, 2017, 01:43:55 PM
Is it a few days yet?  (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji48.png) (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji13.png)
He must be waiting for @whYME
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Dawie on July 13, 2017, 02:09:17 PM
He must be waiting for @whYME
cuba before private island???? you just cost me $100 :'(
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on July 13, 2017, 02:19:33 PM
cuba before private island? ??? you just cost me $100 :'(
Next time we'll split the money and I'll make sure you win (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji13.png)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on July 13, 2017, 02:21:36 PM
He must be waiting for @whYME
The hope was that if he's busy enough with this he wouldn't bug me about Cuba, but alas, no such luck :(
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: mgarfin on July 13, 2017, 02:32:47 PM
The hope was that if he's busy enough with this he wouldn't bug me about Cuba, but alas, no such luck :(
At least bugging still helps
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Denverite on July 14, 2017, 06:05:53 AM
Haven't been on DDF in (gasp) a couple weeks and just read through this whole thing.

First off, wow, wow and WOW...I can't wait for the rest!

Just to defend Davidmal for a sec, I guess I'm kinda JAPy but I think he brought up some good points because I'm so ignorant that it never occurred to me that there wouldn't be AC at the place!  ;D

And then in your whole inevitable Halacha discussion you mentioned having to activate a pump just to flush the toilet and that pretty much sealed it that as much as I think this trip is AMAZING it probably isn't a couple's trip that would work for us....I showed this TR to my DH and told him we should do it as a stopover on our next trip to Panama and he was like "No way, don't even think about it"...lol.

Seriously, can you do a segment of the TR going through some of the details of what kinds of things are different because you are so isolated and not on the grid?  Electricity, gas for cooking, did you just have a burner or what was actually in the kitchen, where does the waste go (into holding tanks?), etc.

I think people will find it interesting and helpful (like once I learned about having to attach sewer lines to an RV I realized my family would not be renting one...totally OT but husbands of two close friends who rented them independently managed to spray their toilet refuse all over themselves and their surroundings)!  Can't wait for the rest and especially to know if your flight times worked out so you were able to get your killer hamburger again at Pita Plus in Panama!  :P
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 14, 2017, 12:36:04 PM
Haven't been on DDF in (gasp) a couple weeks and just read through this whole thing.

First off, wow, wow and WOW...I can't wait for the rest!

Just to defend Davidmal for a sec, I guess I'm kinda JAPy but I think he brought up some good points because I'm so ignorant that it never occurred to me that there wouldn't be AC at the place!  ;D

And then in your whole inevitable Halacha discussion you mentioned having to activate a pump just to flush the toilet and that pretty much sealed it that as much as I think this trip is AMAZING it probably isn't a couple's trip that would work for us....I showed this TR to my DH and told him we should do it as a stopover on our next trip to Panama and he was like "No way, don't even think about it"...lol.

Seriously, can you do a segment of the TR going through some of the details of what kinds of things are different because you are so isolated and not on the grid?  Electricity, gas for cooking, did you just have a burner or what was actually in the kitchen, where does the waste go (into holding tanks?), etc.

I think people will find it interesting and helpful (like once I learned about having to attach sewer lines to an RV I realized my family would not be renting one...totally OT but husbands of two close friends who rented them independently managed to spray their toilet refuse all over themselves and their surroundings)!  Can't wait for the rest and especially to know if your flight times worked out so you were able to get your killer hamburger again at Pita Plus in Panama!  :P

It depends on your priories, as I've said upthread. If you need pampering and a fancy place, this simply isn't for you. But if you want an adventure, absolute privacy, and beaches and snorkeling all to yourself, run and book it.

I'll discuss all the points you mention about the facilities in the next segment, hopefully to be posted very soon.

About that RV snafu ;D... I've emptied plenty of holding tanks with nary an issue. The connections are designed to keep you clean and away from any gunk.

And - spoiler alert :P - I did make it to Panama and my burger.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 14, 2017, 12:48:56 PM


And - spoiler alert

Thanks for the heads up. Stopped reading right there.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yehuda57 on July 14, 2017, 01:07:06 PM
I did make it to Panama and my burger.

I can't wait to see the pic you took of the burger with "food" mode on your cell phone.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Denverite on July 16, 2017, 02:00:27 PM
It depends on your priories, as I've said upthread. If you need pampering and a fancy place, this simply isn't for you. But if you want an adventure, absolute privacy, and beaches and snorkeling all to yourself, run and book it.

I'll discuss all the points you mention about the facilities in the next segment, hopefully to be posted very soon.

About that RV snafu ;D... I've emptied plenty of holding tanks with nary an issue. The connections are designed to keep you clean and away from any gunk.

And - spoiler alert :P - I did make it to Panama and my burger.

Lol...glad you got your burger! Seriously, thank you for taking the time to write all this up.  Organizing charters and other stuff is not a joke and to lay all this info out for everyone, really opens a whole new world of travel opportunities for people!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on July 16, 2017, 04:12:16 PM
About that RV snafu ;D ... I've emptied plenty of holding tanks with nary an issue. The connections are designed to keep you clean and away from any gunk.
I might be more worried about finding a place to empty it (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji12.png)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 17, 2017, 04:10:32 PM
I might be more worried about finding a place to empty fill it (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji12.png)

FTFY

<shudder>

Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on July 17, 2017, 04:34:54 PM
FTFY

<shudder>
You can't post in this thread until it's the next segment. Saw your name, and actually got excited
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Denverite on July 25, 2017, 10:29:45 PM
You can't post in this thread until it's the next segment. Saw your name, and actually got excited

+1 any chance of another segment this week? Pretty please...
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: 12HRS on July 25, 2017, 10:37:57 PM
+1 any chance of another segment this week? Pretty please...

to much simcha during the 9 days
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on July 25, 2017, 10:46:13 PM
+1 any chance of another segment this week? Pretty please...

If underwater photography is twice as hard as terrestrial, post-processing them is ten times as hard. It's taking far longer than I anticipated, but I will likely have a post up this week (or thereabouts).
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Dawie on August 10, 2017, 11:39:18 AM
...and this is all before we get into the discussion of the grill and the fish ;D.
http://matzav.com/watch-can-meat-and-fish-be-cooked-on-the-same-bbq/
this should settle that...
oh and BumP
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on August 10, 2017, 02:57:37 PM
http://matzav.com/watch-can-meat-and-fish-be-cooked-on-the-same-bbq/
this should settle that...
oh and BumP
It amazes me that he didn't even mention a very common way of grilling fish which ir on a plank.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Denverite on August 10, 2017, 03:22:12 PM
Since we already going OT...lol...in this other TR this guy also says he got sewage on him when unloading his RV tank  :P

http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=81754.0 (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=81754.0)

SF, you just have to flip a switch at this place to use the toilet, right?  No other tasks to use the bathroom plumbing?  ;D

And yes, Bump, waiting patiently for next installment!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on August 10, 2017, 10:08:32 PM
SF, you just have to flip a switch at this place to use the toilet, right?  No other tasks to use the bathroom plumbing?  ;D

Well some like to lift the lid first too
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Denverite on August 10, 2017, 11:03:18 PM
Well some like to lift the lid first too

And from the perspective of my half, we just want to make sure that lid just gets put back down (and that there is no interaction with raw sewage)!  ;D
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on August 10, 2017, 11:06:12 PM
And from the perspective of my half, we just want to make sure that lid just gets put back down (and that there is no interaction with raw sewage)!  ;D



Yes, yes it does. No worries.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on September 18, 2017, 01:36:47 AM
There are basically two "standard" ways to get to Utila from Roatan, neither of which would work for my trip. The scheduled air service runs only on Saturdays, and the ferry involves around 5 hours and a roundabout routing via the mainland.

This left a charter. There are a number of locals who offer boat charters between the islands, but these are long, bumpy, and very prone to cancellations. Plane charters on the other hand, are reliable, quick, and undeniably more fun. Best of all, these don't cost that much more than a boat charter.

The entire internet agreed that Alice from World Wide Travel is the way to go to book a charter, so I reached out to her via email. True to Honduran standards it took her a few days to get back to me, so it was another two weeks until everything was in place. I also booked our return domestic flights through her, even though she was around $20 more expensive than going through the airline directly. Aerolineas Sosa is known to cancel flights on a whim ("not enough passengers" is the typical excuse), but supposedly Alice will put you on a charter if that happens. That's worth $20 in my book.

So this is how flight charters in Honduras work: you get a cellphone picture of a handwritten receipt and instructions to "meet Banjo at the baggage area"...:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4345/36659099601_750996c7ff_z.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/yKq226)

On Monday morning, we finally finished our grocery shopping and headed off Roatan airport to meet our charter. According to an email I had gotten from Alice a few hours earlier, I was to meet "Captain Romero at the coffee shop". This seemed slightly more legit than "Banjo at the baggage area", so things were definitely looking up.

Sure enough, we had no trouble finding Romero and after a quick introduction it was off to the plane.

Captain Romero showing his paperwork to security so that we can get onto the tarmac:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4415/35535458554_da97988b45_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/L3135J)

By far the tiniest plane I've been on to date, a Cessna 182 Skylane:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4434/36326573186_826edfa917_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Z41Un0)

As you can imagine, it was a heckuva job fitting everything into the plane. We had two large suitcases, a snorkel bag, a box full of groceries (there are no plastic bags on Roatan), plus a big camera bag and my wife's bag. It took a while and some experimentation until we got everything to fit, during which the cardboard box broke and our bag of fish sprung a leak (because of course). Luckily I had stuffed some shopping bags into the snorkel bag on a whim back in New York, so these saved the day in the end.

Takeoff:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4344/36371386995_463996343f_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/ZjV70S)

Our shadow on the reef:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4425/36371385355_0aa6e42a13_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/2Mo605)

Goodbye Roatan:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4342/36326564306_f2f7e61da8_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/0r0NU1)

The only thing that could make flying in your own chartered plane more fun is sitting in the cockpit seat, so I was in nerd heaven. Poor Romero on the other hand was terrified that my long legs would hit some important control or another, so he asked me to pull my knees up and back as far as possible:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4425/35974446590_7d0e2f1c82_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/q5VjEz)

Flying over the open ocean:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4341/36326565896_6c9219574c_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/600944)

On approach to the Utila airstrip:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4367/36326558506_84e0ba7390_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/uF035a)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4395/36326556636_30c186cbfc_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/t19M64)

Utila airport is epic. The runway and apron consist of some roughly-graded asphalt, the "terminal" is more like a large shed than a real building, and there was nary a soul nor aircraft around:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4374/36326555006_b48f738728_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/9k2m05)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4337/36326550946_f1cf08cedc_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/7pRLq1)

Still more sophisticated than LaGuardia:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4070/34919588004_7787c84e92_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/54551G)

And best of all, you could own it yourself for the low, low price of $200,000!:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4395/36202933032_4fc3c18f58_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/7q3FWZ)

We finally found some signs of life: a couple of soldiers protecting the airport from... something:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4336/35562960303_c1f1188b56_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Y3AC8M)

After waiting a while a taxi showed up, in the form of a tuk-tuk:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4378/36234571341_e905f9a600_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/b79Q89)

Suffice it to say that it was a royal adventure getting all our stuff to fit, but we managed it in the end. My wife had just enough room in the back with all the suitcases, while I shared the single seat with the driver, half hanging out the side.

The main road into town:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4344/36371374395_0c6144688e_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/1RUD02)

Way too close for comfort, what with me hanging out the side:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4419/36202925712_cdde52240f_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Z9UoEC)

Driving through town:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4344/36371367245_2b26f1fcd8_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/C88H5t)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4397/36371363255_0f99f59ba8_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/133FL7)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4415/36371356865_75c2bb3c97_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/608099)

We had made up to meet the owner of our island, Barry Jackson, at the main grocery store's dock. Our tuk-tuk driver has evidently made this trip before, as instead of dropping us off in the street he sped onto the docks at full speed, my wife and I holding on for dear life:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4355/35974407400_58985ddbba_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/6482M0)

Sure enough, Barry was waiting for us along with his daughter and one of his workers. They got the boat loaded while I ran into the grocery for some last-minute provisions, including a five-gallon jug of water and charcoal for the grill.

Ready to go!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4365/35974404570_9913f92a8d_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/66i1RG)

Barry:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4348/36371344065_cbdb7cf022_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/302eq0)

The ride over was wonderful; the water was calm and beautiful. The colors were just amazing, and offered a tantalizing hint of what was to come:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4334/36371340145_a942056661_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/792Ccp)

A short twenty minutes later our private slice of paradise came into view:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4378/36371335445_f3aa120404_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/iXn2B4)

Barry tied the boat to the dock and helped us out. There was another boat already there, with Barry's workers doing the final preparations for us. Apparently a large and rowdy party had left that morning, and it had taken longer than usual for the crew to clean up the mess they had left behind.

The crew carrying our bags into the house:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4358/35535417394_0c34c5bb97_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/h2q44f)

Barry gave us a tour of the island, explained how the electricity and plumbing worked, showed us the emergency phone, and packed up his crew and left.

After two days of traveling by jet, car, propeller plane, tuk-tuk, and boat, we were finally here.

We were now essentially marooned on a desert island, and couldn't be happier.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on September 18, 2017, 01:42:29 AM
Now before y'all murder me for such a short segment, I didn't want to post this until the main segment TR was done. I finished that just now, so I'll post it as soon as I give it a final go-over in the next day or so.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: thaber on September 18, 2017, 01:54:47 AM
Now before y'all murder me for such a short segment, I didn't want to post this until the main segment TR was done. I finished that just now, so I'll post it as soon as I give it a final go-over in the next day or so.
you don't have to travel so far for airports like that, they have them all over the US (minus the soldier dudes). Amazing so far!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on September 18, 2017, 01:57:17 AM
you don't have to travel so far for airports like that, they have them all over the US (minus the soldier dudes). Amazing so far!

Private airstrips, sure. But I doubt there are airports like that in the US with scheduled service from three different airlines.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: thaber on September 18, 2017, 02:00:06 AM
Private airstrips, sure. But I doubt there are airports like that in the US with scheduled service from three different airlines.
Public, but General Aviation, not Commercial, true.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Moshe123 on September 18, 2017, 08:21:37 AM
Wow!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yehoshua on September 18, 2017, 09:28:55 AM
Nice segment. I don't think I could ever convince my wife to get on a small plane like that, luggage or not.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on September 18, 2017, 10:08:02 AM
Nice segment. I don't think I could ever convince my wife to get on a small plane like that, luggage or not.
#shidduchquestions
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: @Yehuda on September 18, 2017, 10:54:17 AM
Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.

Bit risky waiting till the last second hoping a random grocery would have charcoal, eh? Also, you should have left us with one full view of the island, you meany.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on September 18, 2017, 11:16:29 AM
Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.

Bit risky waiting till the last second hoping a random grocery would have charcoal, eh? Also, you should have left us with one full view of the island, you meany.

It's more "the biggest supermarket on the island" than a "random grocery". Their stock is obsessively monitored on TA, so I know I'd be good (I even knew that I can expect to find some kosher items there, which I indeed did). Worst case Barry could have brought us over a bag later.

And what's a TR segment without a cliffhanger ;D?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yehuda57 on September 18, 2017, 11:20:10 AM
Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.

Bit risky waiting till the last second hoping a random grocery would have charcoal, eh? Also, you should have left us with one full view of the island, you meany.

He'd make a fire and make his own charcoal. What is this, a 5 star hotel? He barely has a flush toilet.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on September 18, 2017, 11:22:51 AM
He'd make a fire and make his own charcoal. What is this, a 5 star hotel? He barely has a flush toilet.

LOL. To be fair, we had perfectly normal plumbing and we didn't end up using the large fire pit.

(Well, kinda normal plumbing ;D. You needed to flip a switch before using the toilet, and the shower drain was a hole in the floor, but still.)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: @Yehuda on September 18, 2017, 11:24:02 AM
It's more "the biggest supermarket on the island" than a "random grocery". Their stock is obsessively monitored on TA, so I know I'd be good (I even knew that I can expect to find some kosher items there, which I indeed did). Worst case Barry could have brought us over a bag later.

And what's a TR segment without a cliffhanger ;D?
Fine, fine.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yehuda57 on September 18, 2017, 11:25:30 AM
LOL. To be fair, we had perfectly normal plumbing and we didn't end up using the large fire pit.

(Well, kinda normal plumbing ;D. You needed to flip a switch before using the toilet, and the shower drain was a hole in the floor, but still.)

Isn't *every* shower drain a hole in the floor?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on September 18, 2017, 11:26:53 AM
Isn't *every* shower drain a hole in the floor?

Yes, except that this one was nothing more than a hole with a nice view of the sand beneath the house.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on September 18, 2017, 01:19:53 PM
Bit risky waiting till the last second hoping a random grocery would have charcoal, eh?
Clearly you don't know Something Fishy.

He probably had a map with every store on the island and exactly what items they carry (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji13.png)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on September 18, 2017, 01:21:02 PM
Clearly you don't know Something Fishy.

He probably had a map with every store on the island and exactly what items they carry (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji13.png)

FTFY ;D
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on September 19, 2017, 12:03:15 AM
The second Barry left we had one goal: to get in the water as fast as humanly possible. So instead of taking pictures of the nice clean house, we exploded our possessions all over the place, looking for our swimming and snorkeling gear and hightailed it into the water. And as everyone knows, if you don't take pictures of your lodgings the instant you walk in all hope is lost: there will be stuff all over and you won't get a decent picture anymore.

So... Here's the part where you grab the tar and feathers and run me out of town: I don't have a single picture of the house to share. Not one.

(https://media.giphy.com/media/vQqeT3AYg8S5O/giphy.gif)

But wait! There's hope. A guy named ‎Lucie Pineault was there shortly before me and has some decent pictures of the house, so I'll link to his Facebook pictures below when applicable. [EDIT 2/27/19: Lucie's pictures are now gone from Facebook, but DDFer @as2 just came back from the island has has an awesome walkthrough in his trip report - you can see it around halfways down this post (https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=101830.msg2064367#msg2064367).]

My first impression of the island was that it's larger than we expected. It's not large by any means, but there was a lot of space.

A drone shot is probably the best way to get the lay of the land:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4436/37005611625_5939fbe02c_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/2zc6Qw)

On the bottom of the picture is the "front" of the island, and is where the main beach is. The part to the right of the dock was our favorite spot, with perfectly perfect sand, a gentle slope, and a great water entry. Towards the top of that beach, near the trees, is a large fire pit and a pile of kindling.

A little past the left of the dock you could see a stripe of debris along the high tide line. This is where the currents going around the island meet, so anything that leaves the island end up back there. Palm fronds, coconuts, and pine needles all pile up around here. While clearly visible from the air, the entire thing was pretty much hidden from view due to the steeper slope of the beach here, so we didn't really notice it at all.

Continuing clockwise, we get to the left tip of the island and a sandbar extending out someway. The island drops off here in a kind of bluff, around two or three feet high. You could kinda see that bluff in the picture: the smooth-looking sand is below the bluff and covered in water at high tide, while the island above the bluff seems rougher due to the animal tracks not getting erased by the waves (more about those guys later).

Rounding the tip to the back part of the island, the bluff becomes gentler and there's another wonderful ocean entry. Around halfway around the coastline turns rocky, continuing around to the other side and down to where the soft sand begins yet again. The shore here is a mix of rocks, shells, and bleached coral and makes for great souvenir hunting.

The interior of the island consists of a palm forest, with some pine and other tropical trees mixed in. The ground is all sand and liberally covered with fallen fronds and coconuts. We loved the fact that everything was left in its natural state, instead of being swept up and manicured. A big part of the island's charm is simply that it's so natural; you really feel like you're alone in the world there.

And then comes the house. As I've mentioned before, and as we'd expected, the house is very far from fancy. It's large, it's clean, and is perfectly adequate (mostly, at least ). But if you expect to be living in the lap of luxury, this is simply not the place for you.

As you can see in the picture, the house is really made up of two separate buildings. The long, narrow one on the left contains the master bedroom with one king bed, a second large bedroom with two queen beds, and a bathroom. The building on the right is itself divided in two sections. The right, squarish part is a very large living room and doubles as a third bedroom (there's a big pile of mattresses in the corner). The other part of the building consists of the main bathroom and shower, the kitchen, and a covered outdoor dining room.

The house is completely surrounded by a wooden deck, which extends between the two buildings as well. The deck is an important part of the house, as that was the place to be when you didn't want to be all sandy (a big basin of water at the foot of the stairs ensured that your feet wouldn't drag the beach into the house). The covered dining room is on the deck, along with a bunch of lounge chairs, access to the grill, and so on.

Considering that we were on an isolated island, there were a bunch of quirks in the house, primarily relating to plumbing and electricity.

You can't see it in the picture, but towards the back of the middle section is a large water tank on the roof. This powers the sinks, shower, and toilets. In order to flush, you need to turn on a pump on the outside of the house, which is accomplished with a simple switch. Just a minor hassle, but not the end of the world. A fact that did cause us some concern ahead of time is that there is no hot water on the island for showering. Googling around I discovered the existence of solar showers (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VNITQS/), and at under $10 a pop I figured these would be an ideal solution and bought two of them. As it turned out though, the water was never too cold, what with the tank sitting in the sun.

The house was powered by a number of solar panels on the roof. This provided enough power for the lights, two fridges, the toilet pump, and a surge protector hooked up to an inverter. This meant two things: all charging had to take place in the living room, and there was no A/C - or even a fan - in the entire place. Point number one worked out fine, even with my massive amounts of batteries: I found a routine of charging everything and worked off power packs when needed. It was the second thing with was a problem. I could understand no A/C; that needs massive amounts of power. But no fan? That was seriously annoying.

The rationale goes that by day you'd be outside and not need A/C, and at night the wind picks up and cools everything down. Indeed, the second and third nights were wonderful; two whole walls of the bedroom are essentially huge screened windows, and it was incredibly comfortable (we even needed blankets one night). But the first night there was not a hint of a breeze and it was swelteringly hot. Barry claims that such a night is exceedingly rare, but in my opinion not having some sort of fan (at least!) in the bedroom is a major oversight.

In the end, this and a cockroach we found one night were my only grievances with the place, so that's pretty good in my book. We will undoubtedly return, but I think I'll insist on Barry setting up some kind of fan first.

So...

We had two qualifications for this trip: absolute privacy and incredible snorkeling. We had achieved number one, and now it was time for number two.

Barry left, we found our swimming gear, and ran into the water.

In this drone shot you could clearly see the huge reef surrounding the island. I've marked the two main entry points:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4402/36380058374_ac2f53d54a_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/57N835)

For our first snorkel today we opted for the entry on the bottom of the picture, as it was the shorter option. We slid down the little sand bluff, got our fins on, and just jumped in. The water was about three feet deep here, and quickly dropped to around ten at the narrow chokepoint. Beyond that the bottom continued to drop to twenty feet of so, before going way deeper once past the main part of the reef.

Before I continue, a quick note about the pictures: this was my first time doing real underwater photography. In the past my underwater work consisted of a GoPro, shooting blindly and in auto mode. This time I had brought along a serious underwater rig, consisting of an Ikelite housing, a huge 8" dome port, and a pair of underwater strobes, each mounted on two feet worth of articulating arms. My Sony a7R II, 28mm f/2 lens with the 16mm fisheye attachment went into that contraption. The thing was an absolute monstrosity, to say the least. It was incredibly heavy, but as designed, it was completely neutrally buoyant once underwater:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4383/37045368492_6dee603cbb_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/YrzcpS)

The problem with underwater photography is that it's incredibly difficult. Light works completely different than you're used to, focus is thoroughly weird (you're not focusing on your subject, rather on a projected image on your dome port), and changing settings in the housing is a nightmare.

Why am I saying all this? Simple: my initial attempts were pretty lousy, so please don't judge the first few pictures too harshly.

We had snorkeled twice in the past, in arguably the best spots in Hawaii: off the Big Island and Lanai. We had been blown away and fallen in love. But nothing - nothing! - could have prepared us for the diversity we saw the instant we put our faces in the water.

Not a terribly great picture, but this was our first view, looking toward the narrow opening and the deeper water beyond. There are over 30 fish here, including pufferfish, tangs, butterflyfish, sergeant majors, snapper, grunts, chubs, and a bunch of others:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4404/35535413254_18f143fcf7_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/AZx2N0)

The snorkeling here was absolutely out of the world. The water was calm, warm, and unbelievably clear. The reef spread as far as the eye can see, made up of all manner of interesting formations. There were huge tracts of hard lettuce coral covered only by a few inches of water, hundreds of little fish darting in and out of the folds. Isolated towers of rock covered in gigantic, swinging, purple fan coral came straight up from the ocean floor, angelfish and parrotfish swimming circles around them. Here and there, like huge boulders, sat bright yellow brain coral, perfectly round and symmetrical. Huge schools of blue tangs swam sedately hither and yon.

The stuff that dreams are made of:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4435/36371250185_4f961981d2_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/6AF36n)

A group of sergeant majors:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4356/35535382184_0e7f5b634a_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/6y1hG5)

A great example of the coral diversity:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4420/36371259915_2bf48779ed_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/F45w8k)

A stunningly beautiful stoplight parrotfish:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4335/36371255315_d202bcecfe_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/972dh2)

These parrotfish spend all day, every day chomping at the coral with their ultra-strong teeth. They extract whatever nutrients they can from the coral, and what's left is excreted as sand. An average parrotfish creates over 200 lbs. of sand a year. Next time you're on a Caribbean beach, remember to think about the fact that every grain of sand you see once passed through the digestive system of a parrotfish .

This giant brain coral was over four feet wide:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4334/35535383084_e34dc9962b_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/WFq24a)

A bluehead wrasse hanging out in front of a lettuce coral. Still can't decide if the lighting is horrible or not:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4411/36234521501_0473dbf08e_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/86P197)

You can see how close the lettuce coral was to the surface. In the above picture the tide was beginning to recede and the very tops of the coral actually poked out above the waterline.

A French grunt contemplating a school of juvenile bluehead wrasses. "Hmm, which one shall I eat today?":

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4337/35562899583_866d894308_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Dz11Xp)

Some more lettuce coral (challenge: spot the perfectly-camouflaged threespot damselfish):

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4350/36503610433_48894374d6_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/X9JQ61)

By now we had been in the water for nearly two hours, and the sun was beginning to set. It was time to return to shore, but not before attempting to take a picture I had been itching to try for years. Between fighting against the current, attempting to keep the suddenly-heavy camera precisely half over and half under the water, and trying to strobe the dark coral to balance the bright sunset light, I was getting a major workout.

Probably one of the most difficult pictures I've ever pulled off, but I couldn't be happier with the results:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4396/35562912833_d8811fecac_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/eu0ucN)

We rested for a bit, grilled a bunch of steaks for dinner, and made an early night. As mentioned above, this was the one very hot night and neither of us slept very well, so as soon as it got light it was out of bed and right back in the water.

This time I left the huge camera contraption behind and just took the GoPro, which of course meant that we had the clearest water and saw the most amazing things of the trip . Such is life .

if we thought the water was clear yesterday, that was nothing compared to today. We had 150 feet of visibility, easily. It was mind boggling.

We spent the bulk of our time frolicking with a school of over 200 blue tangs, following behind and even amidst them (although they always made sure to stay just beyond arm's reach). Like I said, I didn't have the real camera with me, so all I have is a semi-decent GoPro video and wonderful memories:



(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4417/36326425086_d3a785d94b_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/A72g86)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4382/36202809052_f1bc797e1e_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/9P6h2F)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4438/35562856193_b495297415_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/3N2785)

After a while, it was time for breakfast:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4393/35974383410_c140c41158_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/M2b3tG)

Absolutely delicious pan-fried yellowtail, salt and pepper rub, a bit of lime juice, and veggies:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4361/35535399654_e9852ecc2a_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/kD1fKs)

(We actually got the fish - and the recipe - from a fisherman in Utila. But it was more fun setting up the picture of the washed-up fish and freaking my parents out .)

We were joined for breakfast by one of the resident dinosaurs iguanas:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4432/35974376870_8b7680f902_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/bc6533)

The little weirdo took one taste of Pringles and spit it out, but he absolutely loved our carrots. My wife named him Larry ("Yer a lizard, Larry!"):

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4420/35535393294_4cc484e878_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Ki7Yb3)

There were at least three of them living on the island, and we soon got to recognize them and learn their personalities. The guy above was absolutely fearless, and apparently made it his life's goal to bite a big chunk off my toes (spoiler alert: he failed). There was the darker, timid one, who would dive for safety under the deck if you as much glanced in his direction. And then there was the little guy, who'd swagger up to you all macho only to jump, terrified, two feet in the air once he got within arm's reach. But they all hated Pringles equally.

Our other hosts were the hermit crabs. There were literally hundreds of them, all over the sand and the deck (but never indoors). I spent hours watching them drag their houses across the sand, their little feet making intricate tracks in the sand. No two were the same, and most were exceedingly pretty. They ranged in size from maybe half an inch across to as large as apples, and it was amazing to see how each had found a shell that was precisely the correct size.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4352/36234523091_330982afbd_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/n4e80D)

I found five lined up at one point, each with a unique look and color:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4385/35535414944_f29d6e2bfa_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Z68479)

They'd be skittering around happily, but the as soon as you'd touch their shell - no matter how lightly - they disappear inside instantly, leaving only their main pincer exposed. After a few seconds an eye will cautiously appear, scan the area, and then suddenly the rest of him would pop out and he'd be off again:

(https://media.giphy.com/media/OxoEHCwUXp4kM/giphy.gif)

I personally very much enjoyed the crabs, but my wife only tolerated them (at a certain point I got the message and stopped bringing over what I thought were particularly interesting specimens ). At night though they totally creeped her out, what with their claws and their skittering about.

Island living:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4335/35535376634_528e3bfbde_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/A8f83y)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4375/35974363590_be9384452d_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/2r98C3)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4350/36865067761_abcc8efd56_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/09en48)

Can't stay out of that water for long... snorkeling again, this time from the longer, shallower entry from the front beach. As it turned out, we much preferred this entry. Being right off our favorite beach, it made for great lounging before and after the snorkel. And although it took a longer time to reach the "main" reef (maybe five minutes of swimming vs. 30 seconds), it offered a trip through an entirely different underwater world.

The water here was shallow, around two or three feet deep. The bottom consisted of a mixture of fine white sand and rocks covered in soft tan seaweed, so the going was nice and pleasant. The coral here was more dispersed and more individual than on the main reef, and the fish were larger and less skittish:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4348/35974366060_e64d420fd5_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/63r3H3)

Schoolmaster snapper:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4347/35535381464_4fcc9b321d_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/3mo4o5)

Striped parrotfish:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4399/35974366190_c9f13c5c94_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/c65n65)

There were also a couple of dead spots in the shallows, with nothing but sand and rocks. Probably something to do with the currents or whatever:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4426/36326424106_5df548ca1f_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/M34349)

The view returning to the beach - nice, soft, and easy slope:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4384/36326422446_d5a76360a1_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/MKJ72Z)

As an aside, it was really cool how the fish living around the coral were all brightly colored, while the ones hanging around on the sand were silvery and difficult to spot, like the one above.

Dinner tonight was red snapper (also bought in Utila, not washed up on our beach ) while watching a lovely sunset.

Contrary to last night, as soon as the sun went down the wind began picking up. It got stronger and stronger, so much so that walking out on the dock was a challenge. But a million stars were twinkling above me, the Milky Way rising in all its grandeur. So off to the end of the dock I went, holding onto my tripod for dear life.

The view took my breath away:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4343/36175359814_72fd607c10_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/SN9F8N)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4359/36326488916_433dd20eee_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/17qJ6e)

While the wind was wild out on the beach, the little forest of palm trees sheltered the house and all we got indoors was a delicious breeze. It was nice and cool all night, thankfully.

My wife slept in while I woke as dawn was breaking. The ocean was lapping quietly against the sand; everything was calm and bathed in lovely pre-sunrise blue:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4358/36197196863_d0ecc85710_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/75m0L1)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4354/36865064331_0db12e1875_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/2x8q9F)

Sunrise was a pretty subdued affair, with only a hint of color in the sky:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4396/36197195023_fef6c25d00_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/5Uh2ii)

The sun rose over Utila. I flew up to nearly 2000 feet here in order to capture the entirety of the island in the shot:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4408/36175361744_6806acf599_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/2q064N)

Some clouds rolled in, releasing a small squall maybe a mile away from our island. I turned around just in time to capture a tiny rainbow:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4387/37005614775_6bd92c305c_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/i111Xr)

Our island under the threatening skies:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4420/37005613115_8b9895f5e2_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/54A5P8)

Luckily, as is typical in the tropics, the clouds passed through extremely quickly: I don't think they hung around more than two minutes all told. Once it cleared up, it was interesting to see the waters in front of the island and the ones behind taking completely different hues:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4367/36817326376_210bbe0c3e_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Xq0057)

Beautiful morning light once more:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4353/36169860974_2a805555e8_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/60k67U)

Abstract reef view:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4389/36817322626_fa8ab31920_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/3zGi85)

By now my wife was up and it was time for our morning snorkel:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4433/36326424396_c81c9280ec_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/oAtWa11)

A number of years ago I was having a conversation with @AJK, during which he pointed out that there are three "worlds": Earth, space, and underwater. For most people, the underwater world is as alien as outer space. That's unfortunate, as with very little effort you can have access to this absolutely wonderful place. It's just so amazing, so different than what we're used to upside, and yet most people never get to see it or be in it.

I couldn't agree with him more. Even after multiple snorkeling trips, I continue to be blown away anew every single time. I had spent hours on the reef here in the last few days, and yet it never ceased to take my breath away:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4403/36234438191_3a486dff00_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/7m2x3D)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4430/35535390094_5ef39e7b0d_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/o1eD5Z)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4417/36234436581_f028aef838_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/pC3J5H)

Lovely blue tang:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4351/36371254475_c85b51af08_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/i3fhm4)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4346/36326423296_4d00a81422_b.jpg) (http://hhttps://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/301T25)

Popping out for a moment, the mountains of the Honduran mainland are visible on the horizon, over 30 miles away:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4365/36202808422_6c95730857_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/wMT0S7)

My wife had gotten back to the beach a minute or two before me. As I was approaching I saw that she was gesticulating excitedly. "Did you see the stingray over there?! It's larger than me!" Needless to say, I turned right around and headed in the direction she was pointing to.

It wasn't long before I spotted a large cloudy area off to the side, which I knew indicated a stingray grazing and kicking up the sand. I swam up to the edge of the cloud, trying to determine where exactly it was so I can stay safe around it. All of a sudden the water cleared up a bit and to my horror I realized that I was nearly sitting on it!

It was an absolute monster, over five feet across and nearly seven feet long. And there was just about six inches of water between the soon-to-be-pissed-off stingray and my soon-to-be-stabbed bottom.

I hightailed it outta there as fast as I was able to frog-stroke it, and it never took notice of me. Once I was safe I fired off a few exposures. I wish there was a frame of reference here to show how enormous this guy was:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4340/35974365370_6a32a136bb_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/8eG6M1)

I checked that I got the shot and hauled out of the water.

Breakfast visitor:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4395/35535397274_6852e98774_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/D963Xh)

Check out those claws:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4363/35562904573_01e339be66_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/2Da35C)

He was in no mood to pose, instead trying his best to bite by index finger off:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4346/35562903783_bb0f7c42b0_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/FgY3D7)

One of the things that we were excited to try on this trip was fresh coconut water. It seemed that everyone was raving how delicious it was, and c'mon, how could you go to a tropical island and not have a coconut fresh off the tree? So we spent 20 bucks on a coconut opener (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00USB0MQS) and couldn't wait to try it out.

Man were we disappointed. That thing was disgusting. It was like drinking grass, and it was warm to boot. Oh well. Good thing that this was out only disappointment of the trip.

Giving up on coconut water, I figured I'd see if I can get inside a mature coconut for its meat. Of course I didn't have the right tools, but with my coconut tool, a large piece of coral, and some elbow grease, I was able to get inside. And whaddya know: it tasted - surprise! - like coconut:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4391/36175362974_973eb40490_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Z2XQRR)

The solar showers had been in the sun for a few hours and were boiling hot by now:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4346/36839904242_f8b3155652_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/pe41q3)

They each came with rope and a large S-hook for mounting, so it was fairly simple to hang from the nearest palm:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4334/36839902632_873e3ec8aa_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/1656yp)

(The stuff in the background is the fire pit and kindling.)

The shower was great, but truth be told I really needn't have bothered; like I mentioned earlier, the house's shower, while not hot nor very pressurized, was perfectly adequate.

One last snorkel...

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4426/36234456941_5594d13479_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/PHSKhH)

French Grunt (or, as my 5-year-old insists it's called, a corn-on-the-cob-fish):

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4414/35974366270_cd607ecf93_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/6x99iF)

Lettuce and elkhorn coral:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4427/36234454501_7039449208_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/8hJXC3)

Rock beauty angelfish:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4364/36234450611_051a67b941_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/866pcY)

Yellowtail damselfish hiding out:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4423/36234442811_b08e49b3ac_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/2HPg8u)

A small school of bar jacks with a bicolor damselfish in the background:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4331/36371257815_c51b3aa563_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/QX8Km6)

A pair of stoplight parrotfish: an adult in the foreground and a juvenile in the background:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4338/36371255485_659a57bb1b_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/op1189)

Bermuda chubs:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4371/36202823882_0e9ebb2c66_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/s41b72)

This flat needlefish was nearly invisible, hanging out just beneath the surface and blending in perfectly:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4365/36371253875_46b7abe965_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/22i812)

A sea urchin hiding in the coral:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4370/36371254875_b787e3c716_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/W5J48m)

A lovely foureye butterflyfish (guess how it got that name ?):

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4398/36371254935_888d320a6b_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/5g35v9)

Spotfin butterflyfish:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4353/36234432181_bb14ae9dda_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/p9qZH4)

Something Fishy fish:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4438/35562852623_57a84acd16_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/h3t172)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4379/35562853423_f7f51062e1_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/1EG50V)

Time to leave the water...

One last drone flight, seeing our island in all its perfect isolation:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4420/36169868594_0359fe2325_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/pK15CJ)

Bittersweet sunset from the dinner table, before an early night:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4366/36371246035_eb59649ceb_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/aReg3W)

...And before we knew it, our alarm was going off, our suitcases were dragged outside, and we were in Barry's boat heading back to Utila and into a glorious sunrise:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4379/36202811742_406357d834_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/iCvwhs)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on September 19, 2017, 12:27:22 AM
Love it. The pictures are unbelievable. I'm speechless.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on September 19, 2017, 12:30:01 AM
Incredible.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: tageed-lee on September 19, 2017, 12:37:11 AM
Jaw dropping gorgeous pics!!!!! Looks like you got the hang of it real quick...  ;)

The name Somethingfishy really does fit the bill....

Thanks for sharing!!! Sounds and looks like you guys really got to relax from your everyday lives...

Many more happy healthy anniversaries!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Shua on September 19, 2017, 12:41:04 AM
Wow. Really incredible pictures.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: 12HRS on September 19, 2017, 12:44:24 AM
Absolutely amazing. I think my favorite shot might actually be the stars; ironic for a trip focused on the underwater world
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: thaber on September 19, 2017, 02:20:26 AM
Absolutely amazing, and your writing is spectacular as well. As I'm going through this I'm thinking, ok, maybe I can get my wife to deal with no a/c, the plane, the boat, (fat chance on any of those), but all hope was lost when I got to this shot: (https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4420/35535393294_4cc484e878_b.jpg)






and then the hermit crabs were נחתם את הגזרה


but who knows? if there's mosquitoes don't tell me :)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: saw50st8 on September 19, 2017, 07:56:02 AM
Incredible! Both the setting and your photography.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yaalili on September 19, 2017, 08:09:57 AM
Excellent pics and storyline!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: jj1000 on September 19, 2017, 10:01:50 AM
Ok, sign me up. Unbelievable.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yehuda57 on September 19, 2017, 10:31:08 AM
Uch. I hate you.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: yg1836 on September 19, 2017, 10:56:07 AM
Unbelievable. So jealous. This is my favorite trip report. As most guys were saying probably will never get the wife on board with this one.  :'( :'(
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yehoshua on September 19, 2017, 11:43:04 AM
Wow! It certainly looks like you had a nice time!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Welder on September 19, 2017, 11:47:02 AM
Amazing! Thanks for the write up and pics!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: @Yehuda on September 19, 2017, 11:49:26 AM
What a trip! Thanks for taking the time. Really enjoyed. You are a master storyteller and photographer.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on September 19, 2017, 01:09:31 PM
When do we get this part?
...and this is all before we get into the discussion of the grill and the fish ;D.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Mordyk on September 19, 2017, 01:19:44 PM
Unbelievable. So jealous. This is my favorite trip report. As most guys were saying probably will never get the wife on board with this one.  :'( :'(
say that another million times. simply breathtaking; but with every paragraph i mumbled to myself that my wife would never do this...
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Work-for-ur-muny on September 19, 2017, 07:37:10 PM
W - O - W - ! - ! - !

Oh, and now we got a new longest Something Fishy on DDF. Sorry to see you lose the exclusive rights.  :'(
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yammer on September 19, 2017, 08:12:15 PM
Pics are simply breathtaking...from the 
Milky Way to the hermit crabs from the stingrey to the drone pics..

Truly amazing.

And like mentioned above, my wife is out. Before we even start the discussion.

Also we all know what happens... I'll never see it like you @somethingfishy ...
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: etech0 on September 19, 2017, 08:23:52 PM
Pics are simply breathtaking...
+1
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: ludmila on September 19, 2017, 08:53:38 PM
+1
+1k
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on September 30, 2017, 10:58:37 PM
Love it. The pictures are unbelievable. I'm speechless.
Incredible.
Jaw dropping gorgeous pics!!!!! Looks like you got the hang of it real quick...  ;)
The name Somethingfishy really does fit the bill....
Thanks for sharing!!! Sounds and looks like you guys really got to relax from your everyday lives...
Many more happy healthy anniversaries!
Wow. Really incredible pictures.
Incredible! Both the setting and your photography.
Excellent pics and storyline!
Ok, sign me up. Unbelievable.
Wow! It certainly looks like you had a nice time!
Amazing! Thanks for the write up and pics!
What a trip! Thanks for taking the time. Really enjoyed. You are a master storyteller and photographer.
W - O - W - ! - ! - !
Oh, and now we got a new longest Something Fishy on DDF. Sorry to see you lose the exclusive rights.  :'(

Thanks, y'all!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on September 30, 2017, 10:59:58 PM
Absolutely amazing. I think my favorite shot might actually be the stars; ironic for a trip focused on the underwater world

@AJK's three worlds, huh ;D?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on September 30, 2017, 11:03:01 PM
Absolutely amazing, and your writing is spectacular as well. As I'm going through this I'm thinking, ok, maybe I can get my wife to deal with no a/c, the plane, the boat, (fat chance on any of those), but all hope was lost when I got to this shot: (https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4420/35535393294_4cc484e878_b.jpg)

Unbelievable. So jealous. This is my favorite trip report. As most guys were saying probably will never get the wife on board with this one.  :'( :'(

say that another million times. simply breathtaking; but with every paragraph i mumbled to myself that my wife would never do this...

Pics are simply breathtaking...from the 
Milky Way to the hermit crabs from the stingrey to the drone pics..
Truly amazing.
And like mentioned above, my wife is out. Before we even start the discussion.

What exactly is it that would so turn off your wives...? The non-fanciness of the house? The animals?

If they want privacy and love the ocean I would think these "negatives" would be easily outweighed, no?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on September 30, 2017, 11:29:28 PM
What exactly is it that would so turn off your wives...? The non-fanciness of the house? The animals?

If they want privacy and love the ocean I would think these "negatives" would be easily outweighed, no?
This boggles my mind as well. It a private freaking island. I'll pitch a tent if I have to. Clearly I'm low maintenance, and so is DW, because she's on board since day 1.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on September 30, 2017, 11:44:17 PM
Different people have different ideas of what they want for a vacation. Some are delighted going to Miami or Israel every year and can't fathom someone going to a place where they don't have a different restaurant to eat in each meal. Others want to go somewhere where they will be pampered and bask in luxury. Others are willing to forgo the luxuries for privacy etc. To each their own.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: thaber on September 30, 2017, 11:50:44 PM
What exactly is it that would so turn off your wives...? The non-fanciness of the house? The animals?

If they want privacy and love the ocean I would think these "negatives" would be easily outweighed, no?
The animals. The small boats and planes.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Moshe123 on October 01, 2017, 12:17:38 AM
Seeing it now. My jaw is on the floor.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on October 01, 2017, 12:18:46 AM
Seeing it now. My jaw is on the floor.
He deserves some likes. Especially from a guy like you who doesn't give likes to easily
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: mmgfarb on October 01, 2017, 01:04:06 AM
This boggles my mind as well. It a private freaking island. I'll pitch a tent if I have to. Clearly I'm low maintenance, and so is DW, because she's on board since day 1.
When are we getting the TR?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: mmgfarb on October 01, 2017, 01:05:14 AM
@Something Fishy Amazing TR and pictures as always!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: stbaum on October 01, 2017, 01:12:22 AM
Contrary to last night, as soon as the sun went down the wind began picking up. It got stronger and stronger, so much so that walking out on the dock was a challenge. But a million stars were twinkling above me, the Milky Way rising in all its grandeur. So off to the end of the dock I went, holding onto my tripod for dear life.

The view took my breath away:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4343/36175359814_72fd607c10_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/SN9F8N)

Absolutely without a doubt, my favorite pic of the entire trip. Ye the half under half above water shot is awesome but this tops it. Amazing tr and as always, you don't disappoint with the pics. Happy Anniversary Fishies!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yammer on October 01, 2017, 02:14:38 AM
What exactly is it that would so turn off your wives...? The non-fanciness of the house? The animals?

If they want privacy and love the ocean I would think these "negatives" would be easily outweighed, no?

The animals. The small planes.

FTFY

+ A stingrey​ in the 100 miles around the island.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: moish on October 01, 2017, 06:39:19 AM
Awesome read. Thanks for taking the time and effort
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on October 01, 2017, 09:07:18 AM
When are we getting the TR?
As soon as I get back
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: mmgfarb on October 01, 2017, 12:29:55 PM
As soon as I get back
Which is?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on October 01, 2017, 12:39:39 PM
Which is?
As soon as I go
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on October 01, 2017, 01:29:57 PM
Absolutely amazing. I think my favorite shot might actually be the stars; ironic for a trip focused on the underwater world
Absolutely without a doubt, my favorite pic of the entire trip.

Yes, it's a great shot, but I think I still like the Maui one (https://flic.kr/p/pc39XW) better.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Joe4007 on October 01, 2017, 05:23:34 PM
Awesome read. Thanks for taking the time and effort
+1!

Couldn't agree more regarding coconut water!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on October 15, 2017, 07:56:50 PM
This boggles my mind as well. It a private freaking island. I'll pitch a tent if I have to. Clearly I'm low maintenance, and so is DW, because she's on board since day 1.

This is my philosophy as well, but I suppose I can understand this side too:

The animals. The small boats and planes.
+ A stingrey​ in the 100 miles around the island.

Oh well. More available dates for me then ;D.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on October 15, 2017, 07:57:45 PM
This is my philosophy as well, but I suppose I can understand this side too:

Oh well. More available dates for me then ;D.
Lol, yup!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on October 15, 2017, 07:58:55 PM
Absolutely without a doubt, my favorite pic of the entire trip. Ye the half under half above water shot is awesome but this tops it. Amazing tr and as always, you don't disappoint with the pics. Happy Anniversary Fishies!

Thank you!

Yes, it's a great shot, but I think I still like the Maui one (https://flic.kr/p/pc39XW) better.

I suppose the diplomatic thing for me to say is that I love them both equally :D.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on October 15, 2017, 08:00:55 PM
+1!

Couldn't agree more regarding coconut water!

Glad to see I'm not the only one. I thought we were weird, considering it's like the coolest thing to do when on vacation somewhere warm.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on October 16, 2017, 06:37:56 PM
Glad to see I'm not the only one. I thought we were weird, considering it's like the coolest thing to do when on vacation somewhere warm.
Count me in on this one as well. That stuff is disgusting.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on October 18, 2017, 03:03:34 PM
The boat ride was quite choppy, but before long Barry dropped us off at the same dock we had met in the beginning of the week.

Off to the airport in a real taxi; no tuk-tuk this time:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4508/37678174356_e1f36412f3_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/3279t0)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4509/37678175796_15618be389_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/1oJDZ2)

We were flying a tiny, local airline called Aerolineas Sosa to La Ceiba on the mainland, and continuing on to the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa. Once there we'd transfer to Copa, have lunch in Panama, and fly home.

When we arrived here in the beginning of the week, the airport was completely deserted. This morning however it was practically teeming with activity. There were 5 or 6 passengers, a teenager who supposedly works for the airline, and the owner of the airport hanging around at the bar (who ended up cornering us and made us pay the entirety of the $2 airport use fee).

Check-in (aka checking our passports against a hand-written list):

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4453/37726143431_7dc4b1e398_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/F7v3fh)

Boarding pass, consisting of a laminated bit of cardboard:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4493/37678179426_e4bafd010a_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/6DA80x)

There was just one problem: too many passengers had shown up for the flight. No worries, says the pilot. He'll be back in half an hour for the rest of us ...

Aerolineas Sosa is such a hinky-dinky airline that the plane waiting was some random dude's Cessna:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4452/37016727024_ea435549af_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/B64bzk)

Now there was nothing to do but hope he'll be back, or we're seriously stuck: this was the first flight out of four for the day, and there were no other flights leaving the airport today. As you can see in the picture, the plane we had come in was still parked there, so I suppose we could have chartered it again if need be.

Well there he goes:

(https://media.giphy.com/media/3o7aDf8SZXVi5oIP72/giphy.gif)

I davened shachris while waiting, and watched this monster (he was a good foot and a half across) try to extricate himself from behind the door:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4508/37726140521_2ac4bdbe37_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Y3AV1n)

After a while, lo and behold: our plane was back!

Time to go:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4483/37726139041_9442b0422c_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/wSaApJ)

The plane was a Cessna 206 Stationair 6 II, so a tad larger than the 182 we came in on. Unfortunately this meant that I didn't get the cockpit seat this time, and instead was seated behind the pilot.

Crossing over open ocean to the Honduran mainland:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4488/37016717854_3e30260547_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/h8816W)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4483/37694275772_7833c76cb3_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/39N0q7)

Farms and the Rio Bonito approaching La Ceiba:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4451/37726131251_89710eb2e6_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/41wKVb)

Cool pattern:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4471/37694272192_b5aa6610c3_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/32H32Q)

Final approach:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4493/37016700674_0813dcc695_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/WEm3Y1)

Taxiing past an airplane graveyard:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4506/37694268642_9a273fe256_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/kR163a)

La Ceiba is a lovely-looking airport, what with the beautiful Nombre de Dios mountains and Pico Bonito National Park as a backdrop:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4496/37016697184_4c6a0abf7f_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/t613x9)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4460/37468560830_8bcce31414_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/yc4381)

Moving up in life... Aerolineas Sosa had a real check in desk here! It almost looked like a real airline:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4478/37016691354_2bca1491dc_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/XKeFw3)

Next stop: Tegucigalpa!

Flying into TGU has been on my bucket list forever, and I specifically planned my itinerary to take advantage of this opportunity. Tegucigalpa appears on pretty much every "10 most dangerous airports in the world" and similar lists, and for good reason. The approach is incredibly difficult (http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=341801), consisting of extreme drops and turns, and then proceeds extremely low over the surrounding buildings and terrain. Once you hit the ground, you find yourself on the shortest runway of any international airport in the world, which ends - because of course it does - in a steep cliff with a major roadway beneath it. Needless to say, there have been a number of serious accidents here over the years.

Only a few pilots from each airline are certified to land here, and need to fly this route at least once in 60 days to remain current. I suppose that the good part is that you know your pilot has a ton of experience landing here...

Here's what it looks like from the ground:



Takeoff is bonkers as well, with mountains rising sharply all around the airport. The climb is extremely fast and steep, and generally heads directly into bad weather.

The History Channel named TGU the second most extreme airport in the world; it's well worth watching the 13-minute documentary they did on it (beginning at 57:34):



So... being a hopeless aviation geek, how could I pass up the chance of flying into here?

Time to board!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4487/37678141746_9ae597c257_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/0k3q40)

The plane today was a BAe Jetstream 31, a small 19-passenger British affair. At least it was a "real" plane for a change, with a pressurized cabin, twin engines, a co-pilot, and an actual livery:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4498/37056047743_a14247b922_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/a8Yp9i)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4497/37678138036_f804ff8e19_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/xi5FsD)

The interior was unbelievably small. While it was obviously far roomier than the last two Cessnas we flew in, you kinda expect those to be cramped. But when you walk onto the Jetstream it's disconcerting how a plane with 2-1 seating could be so tiny inside.

I knew I needed a window on the left side if I wanted to see and photograph the TGU approach properly, so I was glad that the single seats were on the left side; no way in the world I would've fit if I had a seatmate.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4443/37678132806_dd404a8bae_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/42n423)

As is often the case with small propellor planes, the engines absolutely dominated the view out the windows. On top of that, the windows were small, filthy, full of glare, and tinted purple . So yeah, overall wonderful conditions for photography .

So you do what you gotta do and roll with the punches... Incorporate the annoying bits into your composition, throw all your Photoshop skillz at the color and glare issues, and hope it all works:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4465/37678008256_9a99ac6da6_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Q483s3)

The view of mountains were stunning, and accompanied us throughout the flight. This definitely ranks as one of the most beautiful flights I had ever taken:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4479/37016577244_c85112c7b4_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/80R715)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4472/37468536650_c8e75b26af_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/n4M631)

The flight was short and very turbulent, and before we knew it we had begun the crazy approach to Tegucigalpa. True to expectations, it was the most epic descent of my life: mad drops, steep banks that didn't seem to end, and flying closer to buildings than I had ever seen:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4446/37678004126_2efefabdfc_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/zc5Mj3)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4445/37677970216_20b0a00661_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/2634EN)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4493/37016543084_f7a32d7d98_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/ZEN418)

We hit the ground surprisingly softly, but this was followed by ridiculously heavy braking. We reached the end of the runway (made it!) and turned around towards the terminal (no taxiways here...). During the turn I got a good view of the recent modifications to the airport: an entire hillside has been cut away in an attempt to make the approach slightly less dangerous:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4464/37678186256_c40c946f44_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/44W0bk)

Our plane is pretty much just an oversized bean:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4466/23873472048_834d800b8c_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/6Y84Gb)

Apparently we were now back in civilization... TGU is a large, thoroughly modern airport, and so we had to wait at a carousel for our bags. While hanging around I spotted this absolute gem:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4449/37678182266_2a3e9fc4fc_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/xrKk7K)

Hmmm... analogue Trip Advisor. Unfortunately most of the entries were in Spanish, but there were enough English bits of wisdom to keep me entertained till my bags came:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4508/37678178636_072162ba1b_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/7Ec66z)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4445/23873467578_e0bb64181a_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/e5v3D0)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4467/37678176646_c551e1e7e6_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/41w457)

What really got me was that every page had an official stamp at the top, so someone actually reads all this.

I've never seen an airport located so smack dab in the middle of a city, and a national capital no less. There's literally nothing between the terminal and a random strip mall but a small local street:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4449/37710111356_daa1e679c8_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/k580Hr)

A crop from the above picture - check out these electric lines. Even Cuba wasn't so bad :

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4455/37678179646_14afb0c15c_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/f8J6Mm)

Hung around at the gate for a while (no lounge access here, even for international J pax), and it wasn't long before we were boarding the third flight of the day, bound for Panama this time.

Copa business was exactly as it was when I flew them to Cuba a few years ago: nothing fancy, basically domestic F and perfect for these relatively short flights. Got settled into seats 1A and 2A, and went through the reverse dance as the way in: taxi to the end of the runway, turn around, and take off.

Way better view of the cut-off hill this time:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4475/23905566468_f59cc06495_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/35k35x)

The steepest climb out I've ever experienced:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4486/37710104806_18deeb3dee_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/j6Ba1f)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4457/23905560978_1d83ce5c8f_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/0r9b4D)

Most of the city consists of gang-ruled slums. It's striking to see the endless spread of these shantytowns:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4486/37710095346_373e332850_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/VR2o5z)

Close-up view:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4460/37710095686_5375cffe1f_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/i2a8G2)

As is the norm here, we headed right into bad weather spilling over the mountains:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4489/37758673161_f3f0c28383_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Wq1476)

Once we reached cruising altitude we got our first KSML of the trip, which was predictably inedible:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4506/37500145610_8610aaf3ea_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/4L44A6)

Approaching Panama City I noticed a ton of these developments. Apparently they're pretty hot right now, but I dunno, it just looks thoroughly dystopian to me:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4466/37049380084_0e931a03ca_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/ez0PYB)

First view or the canal, with the new Post-Panamax locks in the foreground and the old Miraflores locks behind it:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4461/37758668741_81653e90d4_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/ut22Vx)

When I visited the canal two years ago (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=65070.msg1783905#msg1783905), construction on the new channel was just getting underway, but by now it was fully operational already. Not too shabby.

Bridge of the Americas, with Panama City behind it:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4507/37500144140_41fc852001_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/r5N60T)

The tide was mostly out, and the waves were looking pretty on the shallow water:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4504/37500142420_be32dbdfd9_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/B9uf27)

Cool patterns in the tidal mud:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4453/23905537528_19842a42f9_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/opYQ53)

Landed in PTY, and hightailed it to customs. Our layover was only around three and a half hours, and we wanted to go into town and have lunch at Pita Plus, so we were kinda running tight. Arrived at customs and the line was humongous. Nothing to do but grin and bear it, but that was a loooong half hour.

Finally got to the agent, where our entry to Panama was unceremoniously and adamantly denied.

"You're coming to Panama for three hours? I'm not buying it."

Explanations and placations were getting me nowhere, so I did something I really hate to do: I pulled the Jew card. I'm still not sure if he had any idea what I was hocking to him about kosher, but it sure resulted in a speedy stamp in my passport .

Got assigned an official taxi by the dispatcher, and got in only to find that our driver had lived in Sheepshead Bay and enjoys Russian kosher food. What are the odds?

He was familiar with Pita Plus and offered to wait for our return trip at no extra charge. Not a bad deal, and certainly more reassuring than having to wait for an Uber.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4467/37500168420_da4aa35b86_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Ud92w7)

When we got to the restaurant we found the Panamanian TV show NEXtv inside filming a cooking show:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4502/37088196753_5a1c054e8b_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/838A6t)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4458/23905527538_cfb4484110_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/372kTc)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4445/37758634511_3e1178b30d_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/48bE5g)

Like last time, the staff was super helpful and before long we were feasting. Unfortunately however, the main reason for coming here was no longer. I had called it the best burger I ever had (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=75186.msg1736842#msg1736842), but no one seemed to have any idea which burger I was talking about. For some reason I couldn't pull up a picture of it, and so went with their regular double burger. Still pretty good, but definitely not in the same league than the first time around:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4514/37500166790_c5abab90f0_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/8U0wr7)

Assorted sides (seriously, that kibbeh is epic):

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4486/37088187493_f0f301997f_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/447Z00)

We ate a ton and left stuffed to the gills, and with a bunch more food for the flight home.

Hopped in the taxi, drove back to the airport, got my water taken away by the secondary US security (y'all are safe now!) and back it was in the pointy end of the plane.

We were way too full to eat much, but the locally-sourced KSML was surprisingly quite tasty:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4460/37500165330_8fac1c133e_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/6G2UP8)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4514/37710115776_c8231ec722_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/4k69YU)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4506/23905569958_f1d213d855_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/Zrr97g)

Fell asleep after an exhausting day to the sight of a lovely sunset:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4503/37710057276_db1368b962_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/K3WbHv)

And that, as they say, is that.

The end.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: jj1000 on October 18, 2017, 03:10:57 PM
Amazing stuff!

Can we please make a smallest places Something Fishy has sat/slept etc...? All POIDH.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: @Yehuda on October 18, 2017, 03:30:23 PM
Great finish! (Congrats!) What a trip.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on October 18, 2017, 03:32:04 PM
Can we please make a smallest places Something Fishy has sat/slept etc...? All POIDH.

Well we can start here

Now the real fun started. While the camper supposedly sleeps five, it only really fits three adults - on two beds. The bottom bunk was not bad: there was plenty of room for two, and a camera bag divider did a nice job of maintaining, uh, a secure Demarcation Line. The top bunk, on the other hand, while being plenty wide, only had a clearance of twelve inches or so :o . I volunteered to climb up and be the guinea pig.

Oh. My. Flipptin'. Felusa. You have never felt something as claustrophobic as this. Once I was in, my fate was sealed; no way I'm getting out of there without some major gymnastics. I couldn't roll over; I couldn't bring my arms up or down. In fact I woke up at one point in the middle of the night freezing cold, as my blanket had fallen down and there was simply no way for me to retrieve it.

And it goes without saying that the bed (shelf?) was not exactly long enough. Chaim'l and whYME were laughing for half an hour straight when they caught sight of this:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/685/23537272322_4b4bdb394b_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/7929ve)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on October 18, 2017, 03:40:25 PM
Assorted sides (seriously, that kibbeh is epic):

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4486/37088187493_f0f301997f_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/447Z00)

Did the portions shrink since we were there? Or did you only remember to take the picture after it was half eaten?
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4304/36191758185_09c8fe432f_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/vaYJ25)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4326/35355503704_f98aa888e9_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/370QK8)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4296/35387660003_589b69fb6b_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/284359)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: tageed-lee on October 18, 2017, 03:41:49 PM
Thanks for finishing your TR! Epic from start to finish...

"Aircraft engine not properly assembled. loose screws."  :o  ;D


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4508/37678178636_072162ba1b_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/7Ec66z)

Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on October 18, 2017, 03:46:09 PM
Amazing stuff!
Can we please make a smallest places Something Fishy has sat/slept etc...? All POIDH.
LOL, sounds like a fun scavenger hunt ;D.

Well we can start here
Good times 8)

Did the portions shrink since we were there? Or did you only remember to take the picture after it was half eaten?
Wow, looks like you're right :o.

Thanks for finishing your TR! Epic from start to finish...
"Aircraft engine not properly assembled. loose screws."  :o  ;D
I was having so much fun reading that book that people were coming over and reading over around my shoulder. That book is gold.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Dawie on October 18, 2017, 04:46:56 PM
Amazing stuff!

Can we please make a smallest places Something Fishy has sat/slept etc...? All POIDH.
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=55809.0
2016:
[Forthcoming] London
[Forthcoming] Svalbard
[Forthcoming] Norway
[Forthcoming] Iceland Again

when the pics do come......
the Swiss ZHR-EWR in Y
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on October 18, 2017, 04:52:29 PM
when the pics do come......
the Swiss ZHR-EWR in Y

Man that was a horror show.

But no pictures unfortunately. I had split my camera open in Bodø that morning.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yehoshua on October 18, 2017, 05:09:48 PM
Great TR! Thanks for finishing.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on October 18, 2017, 05:12:12 PM
the Swiss ZHR-EWR in Y
Just reading that is making me cringe
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: moish on October 18, 2017, 05:54:31 PM
A crop from the above picture - check out these electric lines. Even Cuba wasn't so bad :

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4455/37678179646_14afb0c15c_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/morrishersko/f8J6Mm)

Reminds me of my time in Vietnam


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/295/19362146438_36f8798fb7_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yaalili on October 18, 2017, 08:35:00 PM
Awesome trip report!!!

You can add the KSML details to this thread as a DP - http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=24510.0.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Work-for-ur-muny on October 19, 2017, 12:18:03 AM
Did the portions shrink since we were there? Or did you only remember to take the picture after it was half eaten?
Nah! Last time you were there you probably had @lfas25 with you...
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: lfas25 on October 19, 2017, 02:26:27 AM
Nah! Last time you were there you probably had @lfas25 with you...
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on October 22, 2017, 11:04:00 PM
Awesome trip report!!!

You can add the KSML details to this thread as a DP - http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=24510.0.

Good idea, done (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=24510.msg1819272#msg1819272).
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on October 24, 2017, 04:29:08 PM
Holy moly! Look what I found - this is my plane and pilot three weeks after I flew:

(http://www.elheraldo.hn/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=zbfgEK9xByPVXa2RX1LVEM$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYtn9yQHClJZtBvOqrBmEaQa6FB40xiOfUoExWL3M40tfzssyZqpeG_J0TFo7ZhRaDiHC9oxmioMlYVJD0A$3RbIiibgT65kY_CSDiCiUzvHvODrHApbd6ry6YGl5GGOZrs-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg)

(https://scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/20287110_10209102251543098_367233346123536541_o.jpg?oh=259fa8cf77ffb16461cc6f0a8fe943af&oe=5A71EE06)


Quote
Heroic: Pilot achieves emergency landing with plane over Utila beach
The ship lost hydraulic fluid in the air, four people were saved from a major accident

Full news piece, translated from Spanish:

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elheraldo.hn%2Fsucesos%2F1092164-466%2Fheroico-piloto-logra-aterrizaje-de-emergencia-con-avioneta-sobre-playa-de-utila&edit-text=&act=url
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on October 24, 2017, 04:34:39 PM
Holy moly! Look what I found - this is my plane and pilot three weeks after I flew:



Full news piece, translated from Spanish:

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elheraldo.hn%2Fsucesos%2F1092164-466%2Fheroico-piloto-logra-aterrizaje-de-emergencia-con-avioneta-sobre-playa-de-utila&edit-text=&act=url
Holy crap.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yehoshua on October 24, 2017, 04:35:54 PM
Holy moly! Look what I found - this is my plane and pilot three weeks after I flew:



Full news piece, translated from Spanish:

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elheraldo.hn%2Fsucesos%2F1092164-466%2Fheroico-piloto-logra-aterrizaje-de-emergencia-con-avioneta-sobre-playa-de-utila&edit-text=&act=url
Wow!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on October 24, 2017, 05:02:19 PM
You really want to keep this island to yourself.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: tageed-lee on October 24, 2017, 05:37:59 PM
Wow!! That's crazy! How'd you come across that news?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yammer on October 24, 2017, 06:01:54 PM
Holy moly! Look what I found - this is my plane and pilot three weeks after I flew:




Full news piece, translated from Spanish:

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elheraldo.hn%2Fsucesos%2F1092164-466%2Fheroico-piloto-logra-aterrizaje-de-emergencia-con-avioneta-sobre-playa-de-utila&edit-text=&act=url
Chilling

At least he seems like good pilot
Wow!! That's crazy! How'd you come across that news?
+
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yaalili on October 24, 2017, 07:37:41 PM
Holy moly! Look what I found - this is my plane and pilot three weeks after I flew:

Wow!

Wow!! That's crazy! How'd you come across that news?

You mean that you don't track your aircraft tail numbers of past flights? ;)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Work-for-ur-muny on October 24, 2017, 07:41:44 PM
Holy moly! Look what I found - this is my plane and pilot three weeks after I flew:




Full news piece, translated from Spanish:

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elheraldo.hn%2Fsucesos%2F1092164-466%2Fheroico-piloto-logra-aterrizaje-de-emergencia-con-avioneta-sobre-playa-de-utila&edit-text=&act=url
Wow! This really complements your TR! You gotta update the status of this TR in the wiki back to ongoing...  :P
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on October 24, 2017, 09:15:46 PM
You really want to keep this island to yourself.

Au contraire, I think this is very comforting. It shows that the pilot is an absolute pro. Like @Yammer said above.


Wow!! That's crazy! How'd you come across that news?

I was trying to identify the plane's owner by its registration and ran into the accident reports.


You mean that you don't track your aircraft tail numbers of past flights? ;)

LOL, yup.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on February 21, 2018, 02:38:52 PM
Finished my Shutterfly photobook, figured I'll share it.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4707/26534181768_be6d52c888_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4700/25533254447_2de6ee9f1a_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4677/38594255130_6141e3c713_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4765/25533254357_1465f11ae6_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4745/38594254920_5741d07b21_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4766/25533253467_21bba6e8fc_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4655/40360508092_576298915a_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4695/38594257950_8e90801549_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4652/25533256367_a90704fd26_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4660/25533254237_1f6a94e5e2_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4742/38594257880_e3ba44e14c_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4622/25533254117_c24b191b4e_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4703/25533256207_d2f98c26eb_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4722/38594257670_d2f98c26eb_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4676/25533256097_a8288a0f73_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4769/38594254700_4607ecf743_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4648/38594257300_14e9ea24ea_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4661/25533254077_0a6070ef1c_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4710/25533255877_f379df4c7b_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4708/26534183208_7cf549e7b5_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4723/25533255737_14e9ea24ea_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4677/26534181148_6fc93e8532_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4706/40360506852_79bb696002_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4719/25533253917_6766b024c5_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4670/25533255607_9be5ce925d_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4754/26534180988_2249de4d93_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4761/26534182828_b053a9ebe9_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4747/25533255537_7dffb0d7d2_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4709/26534182708_7d2d08a983_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4608/25533253837_1a2e357da0_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4770/25533255447_9524c595d8_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4698/40404940001_9b09c333ce_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4657/25533253717_386ffe5609_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4743/25533255277_c6dfb710eb_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4622/40404939911_aa97f84730_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4604/26534180898_1cc330020f_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4744/25533255207_865e846fc6_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4632/25533255127_94e565f77d_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4658/40404939771_74b97a90be_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4620/25533253607_0d7376ae3f_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4758/25533254817_95c15b0047_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4611/26534181878_d532803ce3_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4656/25533254627_6591acc9ee_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4626/40360503592_10c14fd00d_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: tageed-lee on February 21, 2018, 02:53:32 PM
LOVE IT!

Great job!! (duh)

Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidrotts63 on February 21, 2018, 02:54:53 PM
Finished my Shutterfly photobook, figured I'll share it.
Really cool
(shabbos TR)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yehoshua on February 21, 2018, 03:16:15 PM
Excellent pictures!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yaalili on February 21, 2018, 03:48:36 PM
Nice book!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: moish on February 21, 2018, 03:57:08 PM
If I send you pics, can you put together some books for me?  :) (Seriously, though)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: davidrotts63 on February 21, 2018, 04:02:24 PM
If I send you pics, can you put together some books for me?  :) (Seriously, though)
He should do this part time.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on February 21, 2018, 04:21:39 PM
If I send you pics, can you put together some books for me?  :) (Seriously, though)

Sure, as soon as I clear my own book backlog ;D
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: saw50st8 on February 21, 2018, 04:58:38 PM
You are incredibly talented
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on February 21, 2018, 05:11:05 PM
Sure, as soon as I clear my own book backlog ;D
Good to know it's not only me
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yammer on February 21, 2018, 11:36:08 PM
Beautiful book!

How many pages is it?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: 12HRS on February 23, 2018, 12:13:19 AM
Sure, as soon as I clear my own book backlog ;D

Make a DO out of it
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on May 24, 2018, 09:51:48 AM
Flying into TGU has been on my bucket list forever, and I specifically planned my itinerary to take advantage of this opportunity. Tegucigalpa appears on pretty much every "10 most dangerous airports in the world" and similar lists, and for good reason. The approach is incredibly difficult (http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=341801), consisting of extreme drops and turns, and then proceeds extremely low over the surrounding buildings and terrain. Once you hit the ground, you find yourself on the shortest runway of any international airport in the world, which ends - because of course it does - in a steep cliff with a major roadway beneath it. Needless to say, there have been a number of serious accidents here over the years.

Another plane just overshot the runway and landed in the road:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.rt.com/news/427485-honduras-plane-crash-broke-in-half/amp/

https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=kOybx_1527027662

Supposedly the airport is slated to be shut and replaced with the air Force base in Comayagua, but that's been delayed over and over.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yaalili on May 24, 2018, 01:33:45 PM
Supposedly the airport is slated to be shut and replaced with the air Force base in Comayagua, but that's been delayed over and over.

Hope those delays continue. Still need TGU checked off.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Mordyk on May 24, 2018, 01:39:15 PM
Hope those delays continue. Still need TGU checked off.
looking to check off your bucket list going down a cliff in a plane?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: aygart on May 24, 2018, 01:54:50 PM
Another plane just overshot the runway and landed in the road:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.rt.com/news/427485-honduras-plane-crash-broke-in-half/amp/

https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=kOybx_1527027662

Supposedly the airport is slated to be shut and replaced with the air Force base in Comayagua, but that's been delayed over and over.
Sounds like it was a good thing you didn't go there with Jetsmarter.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on May 24, 2018, 02:28:24 PM
Sounds like it was a good thing you didn't go there with Jetsmarter.

Indeed. The airlines have special rules regarding training and currency, but you gotta wonder if the private pilot here knew what he was getting into.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Yaalili on May 24, 2018, 11:19:32 PM
Indeed. The airlines have special rules regarding training and currency, but you gotta wonder if the private pilot here knew what he was getting into.

Here is what W0X0F had to say about TGU back in '09:

Quote
I just checked Delta's schedule and we fly a 737 in there out of Atlanta once daily 4 to 6 days a week depending on the time of year. I checked the airport information that Delta puts out to pilots and there were some interesting nuggets there:

• B737-700 only authorized
• Captain will conduct all approaches and landings.
• Operations prohibited at night, or when runway is reported wet by tower.
• TWR may not allow take-off or landings with aircraft on taxiway due to close proximity to runway.
• Airport is a non-radar environment. Be prepared to provide position and altitude reports.
• Due to mountainous terrain, do not accept/request off course clearances unless obstruction clearance is assured.
• Anti-skid, APU electrical, auto speed brakes, and all thrust reversers must be operative.
• Rwy 02 is the preferred runway due to Rwy 20 rejected landing performance issues.
• Tegucigalpa is pronounced “Tay goose e galpa”. Do not say “Ta goose” for short on the PA. It is offensive to the passengers. (<--- I love this one!)

WARNING
Airport located in a valley surrounded by mountainous terrain in all quadrants.
Terrain rises above 5000’ MSL within 5 NM of airport.
Terrain rises above 7500’ MSL within 11 NM of airport.

[my note: the airport elevation is 3,297 ft MSL; the runway is 6,109 ft long...shorter than DCA by over 800 feet!]

CAUTION
Large birds on and in the vicinity of the airport.
Expect extensive VFR traffic in the area.
Use extreme caution if a decision is made to make a non-normal landing. Consider diversion to a suitable alternate, if feasible.

ARRIVAL
Arrival Procedures
• Cross TALAG at 210 KTS and expect to cross at 10000’ MSL or 11000’ MSL
• Recommend maximum flap setting for landing.
• Autobrakes 3 or higher. Do not hesitate to use maximum autobrakes any time there are questionable winds.
• Do not attempt go-around once spoilers/reversers are activated.

Rwy 02 Anticipated EGPWS Warning
• EGPWS warnings are likely during turn to short final RWY 02. Do not inhibit.
• PM will announce descent rate with all EGPWS aural warnings.


There's some other, more esoteric, information on our "green pages" but you get the idea from the above; it's an airport that you want to be on your game for.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on October 21, 2018, 02:40:40 PM
So, planned and planned, but plans fell through last year. I just booked the island for this January, with DW. Can't wait!
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on October 21, 2018, 02:48:03 PM
So, planned and planned, but plans fell through last year. I just booked the island for this January, with DW. Can't wait!

That's awesome! We hope to go back soon as well.

The only real issue I had was that one warm night, so maybe ask Barry what he can do about a fan. Also speak to Alice (https://www.facebook.com/wwtutila/), some new flights have been added to the area. You may be able to avoid the overnight in Roatan.

Also make sure that your snorkel gear fits properly before you go, otherwise it'll be a pain to get new ones once on the island. Any specific questions, ask away.

And of course, TROIDH ;D.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on October 21, 2018, 03:11:47 PM
That's awesome! We hope to go back soon as well.

The only real issue I had was that one warm night, so maybe ask Barry what he can do about a fan. Also speak to Alice (https://www.facebook.com/wwtutila/), some new flights have been added to the area. You may be able to avoid the overnight in Roatan.

Also make sure that your snorkel gear fits properly before you go, otherwise it'll be a pain to get new ones once on the island. Any specific questions, ask away.

And of course, TROIDH ;D.



I was a bit worried about it being too warm at night, I usually have my room below 70° at all times, but I think I'll be fine. I'll inquire about a fan. I don't plan on overnighting in RTB, as I'll be landing at 12:45 and will go directly to my charter. (I PMd you about that last year, and you said the overnight was avoidable.) No snorkel gear yet, but was wondering about that. I never snorkel, and am not sure if I'll ever use them again, is it not a good idea to rent? I did make note, and will skip the solar showers
I've read through your TR and others thoroughly, as well as PMd you a bunch, so I think I got most of my info, thank you! I'm not sure how I'm supposed to write a TR after yours, but I'll settle for POIDH
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on October 21, 2018, 08:49:57 PM


I was a bit worried about it being too warm at night, I usually have my room below 70° at all times, but I think I'll be fine. I'll inquire about a fan. I don't plan on overnighting in RTB, as I'll be landing at 12:45 and will go directly to my charter. (I PMd you about that last year, and you said the overnight was avoidable.) No snorkel gear yet, but was wondering about that. I never snorkel, and am not sure if I'll ever use them again, is it not a good idea to rent? I did make note, and will skip the solar showers
I've read through your TR and others thoroughly, as well as PMd you a bunch, so I think I got most of my info, thank you! I'm not sure how I'm supposed to write a TR after yours, but I'll settle for POIDH

You could rent, but compare prices. A decent set of gear would not be terribly expensive. Just make sure to try it on first, preferably in a pool or something.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: whYME on October 22, 2018, 09:37:50 AM
in a pool or something.
something = bath tub? (https://emoji.tapatalk-cdn.com/emoji12.png)

(or maybe in a convertible)
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: LoLo on October 22, 2018, 02:41:21 PM
..mikvah?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on October 28, 2018, 11:18:24 PM
Anything more than the usual domestic F available out of TGU or SAP?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on October 28, 2018, 11:24:51 PM
Anything more than the usual domestic F available out of TGU or SAP?

Nope. It's not be terribly long flight though.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on October 28, 2018, 11:28:43 PM
Nope. It's not be terribly long flight though.
I know, just figured I'd throw it in if they had lie flats. Wish full thinking. Oh well. Bucket list aside, TGU or SAP?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: Something Fishy on October 29, 2018, 12:13:18 AM
I know, just figured I'd throw it in if they had lie flats. Wish full thinking. Oh well. Bucket list aside, TGU or SAP?

SAP is closer and has way more flights.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: as2 on October 29, 2018, 11:36:12 AM
SAP is closer and has way more flights.
Thanks, seemed to be the conclusion I was coming to as well. FYI, they have now started accepting PayPal as a form of payment for the Islands, but it needs to be a "friends" payment, not a business payment, so it will incur a fee if paid with a  credit card. Still better than Western Union, and it codes as travel IINM.
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: FlightGuy on December 26, 2018, 07:17:38 PM
Breathtakingly Stunning! Ma Rabu Maasescha Hashem. Your pics are award winning
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: FlightGuy on December 26, 2018, 07:22:10 PM
Here is what W0X0F had to say about TGU back in '09:

 :D Apparently this pilot didnt watch all those "10 most dangerous airports" you tube videos
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: 675634814@qq.com on January 12, 2019, 12:56:33 AM
A truly amazing journey, but if there is an acute accident on the island such as a snake bite, is there a first aid measure?
Title: Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Post by: JuryDuty on May 19, 2019, 02:52:22 PM
https://www.foxnews.com/world/honduras-plane-crash-americans-killed