The RED LINE is the track Memory Rose took on our passage west.(click on photo to enlarge)
We found the Maxsea charting software to be accurate enough for distance work, but could be off by a few hundred yards down here in the bay islands. It was a wonderful tool, but needs to be understood that it is only a 'Tool' and not a guarantee. The Nobeltec software seems to more accurate.
This outstanding daydream of an Island Home is situated in a delapidated waterfront community. The housing here in Utila is quite poor and this example of bucks?? makes you scratch your head. It was lovely to look at, but then you would turn your head and see drunks, malnurished, rotting homes within feet, and wonder .
Utila was a composite of 5 things.
1. Key West, mid 60's with all its color and problems.
2. Cowboy town mid 1800's....anything goes, so beware, you're not in La La land.
4. Locals call the harbor, "Burglar's Bay" because of constant high theft to mariners.
5. ISLANDS magazine recently had a Major article specifying Utila, Honduras a s a BEST BUY FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR PROPERTY. "Bullshit"! I say, unless you are doing such as a long term investment... 50 years!
I would think if you come here for a short vacation as a diver and things are set up for you, you can be blind to the rest of it; have fun, watch your butt and go home... Cruisers?? beware, there are good folks here that DO care. THEY warned us. Two of them in 10 minutes.
Nigel Calder's Cruising Guide, circa 1991 seems to be accurate. His HOT SPOTS fall short in my estimation. The few cays SW of the Utila Island offer a spot in his book between 2 islands. We entered and "we were glad we did", as we will probably not pass this way again, but... the anchorage attractions were minimal. The diving was poor. Coral and fish life was no better than the Florida Keys, which are not exemplary in this decade. Above water, the islands are still beautiful to look at and we met some locals there that are still enamored with their homeland. Uh, if you swim to the beach Nigel suggests? Well there is a gent there that will request $2 per person for your efforts. We, swam by!
I understand that I am critical by nature, but cannot pass on disinformation.
Often reefs were awash. Readability of water depths was always excellent at the right time of day.
Still enjoying the pleasure of freedom and sailing tho!
With more time here and there, I find that my perceptions change a bit, so take all I have written with a pinch of salt..or spoonful of honey. :)