Waxing Away on the Tropical Highway–Mister Blue Sky

Posts tagged ‘Diving’

According to Alton’s Dive Center instructor Phil Smith, if you find yourself talking to a giant moray eel while hovering next to you is your twin ….. you are actually experiencing nitrogen narcosis and you should then__________?
A. ascend and drink 4 Salva Vida’s
B. ascend and eat 2 lobster avocado Baleadas
C. ascend and eat 3 La Cueva Happy Cookies
D. all of the above

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Mister Blue Sky discovered very different types of coral in the shallow water off of Shepherd’s Island in the Bocas del Toro area. The coral surrounded the entire island and disappeared after about 15 feet of depth as the wall sloped down into 50 feet of water. This made for phenomenal snorkeling in real calm clear water off of the Starfish Reef Resort..

The Coral Wall Off Of Starfish Reef Resort

The Coral Wall Off Of Starfish Reef Resort

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Hasta La Vista Utila, Honduras —- Hola Bocas Del Toro Panama

To Utila: A drinking island with a diving problem
L.P.D. Utila – Live Dive Party Utila
Hasta la vista Utila y adios a amigos locales me. A todos mis nuevos amigos muchas gracias por los buenos tiempos! Muchas gracias a todos en Alton’s Dive Center.
Until we meet again Utila and goodbye to my local friends. Thank you for the great times to my new friends (from around the world). A special thanks to everyone at Alton’s. Please feel free to send me “friend requests” on Facebook and follow Mister Blue Sky on the Road to Tropicville. I apologize for not properly saying goodbye the last evening but the Utila monsoon swept everyone into their thatched huts, me included. Great memories, thanks to all for letting this Yank share a tank and …. other ‘tings’!

From the classic goodbye saying of the late Roy Rogers and wife Dale with a tropical twist by Mister Blue Sky: “Happy Tropical Trails To You … Until We Meet Again”

This is a picture of Brits, German, Honduran, Aussie and Canadians; all fellow dockdekkers (and new friends) flocking together for the last time at Alton’s to toast the sunset and good times. Cheers, Salud to all!

The Final Sunset for Mister Blue Sky with Fellow Dockdekkers Flocking at Alton's

The Final Sunset for Mister Blue Sky with Fellow Dockdekkers Flocking at Alton’s

Bocas del Toro, Panama:

I arrived at 7:05 AM Sunday morning in bad weather. Took a taxi for $2 to Casa Verde which is a waterfront hostel and was able to get a private room without bathroom for $35 for one night. No comment on the room quality but it served its purpose. I walked around Bocas Town for a couple of hours to check out other lodging and fortunately found Hotel Olas de la Madrugada (see website under blog roll) just a short walk from Casa Verde and moved in first thing Monday morning. Three story waterfront on quieter side of town with open air bar-restaurant over the water and another open air covered porch on second story which is where Mister Blue Sky’s has set up his office and where he is presently drafting this blog posting.

Bocas Del Toro Office of Mister Blue Sky

Bocas Del Toro Office of Mister Blue Sky

$42 tax included for room with ac, tv and good internet plus thin walls. In the Bahamas this room would cost $175 and up. Its now Tuesday morning and the weather is still ugly, but I am truly enjoying my new office perch, 14 boats moored up 400 yards away and a marina with lots of sail boats next to them; plus a local boat cruises by every 30 seconds-most are small panga tour boats with canopies draped or water taxi’s ferrying people around in the mist and rain, a few small skiffs scurrying about all of which are bailing out rain water. I am in no hurry, no commitments, no where that I need to be, so about the weather — NO WORRIES I AM CONTENT.

I may have been too conservative about a boat every 30 seconds, more like every moment and I am on the quiet side of Bocas Town. Its ironic that Mister Blue Sky started his tropical adventure on Utila with the first ten days of rain, mist and clouds, and after two days of traveling in similar weather, its still the same but as I just stated “aino tingmon I be aappy” …… boats boats tropical waters and islands in view with so many “man o war” birds you would think they are seagulls too.

Another Mister Blue Sky Office View on a Misty Wet Day

Another Mister Blue Sky Office View on a Misty Wet Day

If Utila is a drinking island with a diving problem I will have to wax philosophic for proper monicker for the Bocas del Toro area …. it will involve boats, drinking, surfing, zip lining, snorkeling, fishing, island hopping, water taxi’s (no tuktuks) and ………

Panama-its currency is the US dollar, not sure how they get it or print it but that is the official currency. Panama means “abundant fish” … lots and lots and lots of fish on both the Caribbean and Pacific coast. I will finally break out the 12lb spinning rod/reel and my 20lb open face rod/reel that I have been lugging around. The Bocas del Toro area is on the Caribbean side very close to Costa Rica. We are talking about islands and cays and rocks with trees. It is an archipelago which includes more than 30 islands and cays plus another 200 islets. Excellent surfing on the outer ones with many real tropical sand beaches. Bocas Town is the only real town area. It is located on the island Colon. You can ferry in per a very large car carrying ferry or take the numerous go fast people panga ferries that seem to blow by every few minutes plus fly in commercial from either Panama City or San Jose Costa Rica which is how I arrived. This is an all water tropical sport area with lots of tropical jungle critters plus chocolate farms. Food prices are higher than Utila but plenty of $7.50 bottles of Ron Flor de Cano rum. There are several surf camps and surfing schools here. Hotel Olas de la Madrugada has an over head rack in the bar-restaurant area with several surf boards to rent plus there are kayaks, bicycles as well as snorkel gear to rent. As I have mentioned in prior blogs I am traveling heavy, no backpacker here, more like a flashpackersorous. I brought 2 sets of fins, 2 snorkels, 5 masks, 5 rash guards, 6 pairs of board shorts, 3 pairs of polarized sun glasses and a soft tackle box that looks like a giant fanny pack. Hotel Las Olas also have 3 panga style tour boats to run guests out to other areas for ‘excursional’ pleasures.

I briefly checked out the scuba diving industry in Bocas Town yesterday. It is very small and under developed. In my opinion its because they do not want to go out to the deeper water. Which may be directly related to the small boats. They primarily dive 5-10 minutes away inside the barrier islands with 13 meters being the deepest. They do not really go out into the ocean beyond the inshore reefs and only when it is flat calm if they do so. They charge $70 for two tank dives which is almost three times the going rate on Utila which has over 60 official dive sites compared to the 6-8 sites shown on the dive shop walls in Bocas Town. One of Alton’s type boats would mop up the diving business here because there are a lot of touristos. Deeper water is not that far away. By the way Bocas del Toro also have Whale Sharks that pass through seasonally but hardly any one goes out to them, so little chance to experience the cosmic smile of one.

Mister Blue Sky’s eyes are getting tired trying to type and watch all the aquatic transportation units cruise by at the same time so I am dropping the anchor down on the first blog posting from Bocas del Toro. A few last comments … on Utila primarily with my association with Alton’s Dive Center I was never socially alone … it was a social club in many ways, lots of friendly people. That probably may not be the case here, at least for a while, unless I hook up with some aquatic operation in one of the islands outside of Bocas Town (and when my niece Laurel and her friends show up in a few days). So keep those comments, postings and hellos coming from where ever you are on our planet, they are much appreicated. I hope you are enjoying the Hammock Philosopher Blog …… My agenda here is to find that next occupation opportunity (tropical) for Carrie and I before the sun truly sets … so wish me luck and then come visit!

By the way Bocas Town … my early impression is that of a (somewhat seedy) wild wild west, 1800’s, type of frontier cowboy town … a tropical Dodge City. Instead of horses its boats hitched up all along side one another, beating against each other in the wakes of the boats blowing by …. then there are the actual traveling cruising boats now moored up or docked at the few marinas … much like the covered wagons crossing the plains and camping out for a provisional stay in Dodge City … they are here in ‘troppo’ Bocas Town. Oh ya .. definitely need to bone up on el espanol!

Till Next Tide my Blog Flockers,

Mister Blue Sky, wishin’ he was fish in’ … or may be line zippin’ through the jungle on Bastiemente across the misty way … just $7 water taxi round trippin’

Carrie you are the best!

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Sorry if you have not been to Utila this will not have any meaning, if you have then you will understand…….feel free to expand. I am sure you can do better! A free baleada for the best ballad……..lol

YOU CAN'T ESCAPE UTILA BY RUNNING AWAY

YOU CAN’T ESCAPE UTILA BY RUNNING AWAY

Help I can’t seem to get off the island!

Mermaids of Utila put a Lazy Daze spell on me.
Stumbled into a TukTuk, putted right into Rehab.
Bought my freedom with tasty wings El Picante.
Holy baleadas still owe a Kings-Dona Rosa’s tab.
Can escape island if find the treasure of Treetanic.
It sunk somewhere near exotic Tranquila Bay.
Took four shots on Skid Row but no drinking panic,
I won the shirt tattooed with the map of the day.
X marks the spot, its buried in La Cueva the bar,
Right under its tastey happy cookie jar.
Speaking of Munchies, tonight its RJ’s,
Wahoo soaked in aged Ron Flor de Caña.
Oh well I’ll be on the ferry for sure mañana…..
Ya that’s what I say every day……
cause its just another Utila Ground Hog Day.
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Stacey and Justine-I am honored to have spent time with you all and thank you for letting the boys come out and play with Mister Blue Sky

Stacey and Justine-I am honored to have spent time with you all and thank you for letting the boys come out and play with Mister Blue Sky

Nils--You ruled Utila Town--You are now a Utilian Legend...is that Eeemileeeo next to you? The Posing Roxbury Boys

Nils–You ruled Utila Town–You are now a Utilian Legend…is that Eeemileeeo next to you? The Posing Roxbury Boys

Adam and Landon-front side beers-bee action--sorry guys but the judge's jean shorts-jorts is  stealing the picture

Adam and Landon-front side beers-bee action–sorry guys but the judge’s jean shorts-jorts is stealing the picture

Adam and Landon beers-bee action at its finest

Adam and Landon beers-bee action at its finest

Mister Blue Sky Waxing Philosophic in a Beers-Bee Moment on the Tropicville Road

Mister Blue Sky Waxing Philosophic in a Beers-Bee Moment on the Tropicville Road

These pictures are dedicated to the “Edmonton Five” …… who left Utila this morning in route back to Edmonton Canada….I am glad I caught you at the airport this morning at 5:50 AM to say adios, so sorry I missed dinner last night …… I was captured by the Pirate Ship Miss Trinity (again) … forced by Capt. Mitch to booze cruise the harbor for hours in search of…….? I never did find out…..but let me say ‘dis bout dat’……it was a truely beautiful evening in the harbor of Utila one of those mesmerizing rare moments (with a tinge of sadness that Carrie was not with me)….saw Capt Margaret sailing the Drummer out of the harbor as well as other vessels coming and going….sailboats moored up and the lights of the bars and restaurants glimmering on the water their sounds being …. totally invaded and drowned out by the thumping speakers of the Miss Trinity … pirate terror strategy. This is one of the prime reasons Mister Blue Sky chose Alton’s Dive Center…..they like to use their boats for more than just diving, no other dive center on Utila does this or run out to other islands or distant dive sites.

FOR THE RECORD–THAT IS NOT LIPSTICK ON MISTER BLUE SKY’S CHEEK—THAT IS A BEERS-BEE WAR WOUND!

Stacey, Justine, Landon, Adam and Nils I sincerely hope our paths will intersect again somewhere on the Tropical Highway……. may the cosmic smile of the tropical whale shark always great you upon your future travel…..Gracias for teaching Utila and Mister Blue Sky Beersbee! Stay in touch dudes ….ey

Waddup with Mister Blue Sky ….. well he’s stiiiillllllll on Utila….what else is new………. Its Carnival this week in Bocas del Toro Panama so its either wait here till next week or try and hop over to Guanaja island for a few days and then on to Bocas….where rumor has it that Mister Blue Sky’s Tropicville Road will intersect with his niece Laurel’s Central American trail in March…….

I was back out to Water Cay yesterday ….. snorkeled for about an hour along the reef and ran across about a 60-70lb Tarpon waiting to ambush some bait coming off the flats into the channel between Water Cay and the next Cay. Too bad I did not take my Gopro …. saw a plethora of Parrot fish and also saw several Spanish Mackeral.

I was yaking with an unnamed dive master on an unnamed dive center dock yesterday morning …. when I commented that he looked tired …. his reply …. “oh man all I do is dive and have sex, sex and dive everyday” …. Dive and Sex, The Life of a (young and not married) Dive Master on Utila

Hey muchas gracias to the over 1000 blog viewers that have tuned into the Hammock Philosopher’s blog over the last month. Mister Blue Sky’s phonetic creation of new words and new tropical quotations at times flows over the heads of the viewers and his own ….but hey that is what this blog is about … you never know what tropical liquidation, herbation, fruitation induced pronunciation will result in the next Mister Blue Skyism……

Tropical Dream Job…..already taken but holamoly…..I have cruised down to Water Cay a few times now…all with Capt Mac aboard his 25ft mellow yellow Panga … he can take up to about 15-18 people at a per fee head……then he sets up his hammock under the shade of Australian Pines and spends the time listening to music (lots of yours truly mixes), drinking rum, firing up…., reading writing and enjoying life …. waiting to return the flock back to the dive center dock(s)…….that’s a great tropical gig…….

Well its time to walk down the harbor road to get lunch …. a lobster baliada for $55 Lemps …. a huge flour tortilla filled with avocado, lobster and other fixings … that is about $2.70 US…… the dive masters and instructors virtually live off of these …. the regular no lobster is $40 Lemps.

Till Next Tide,

Mister Blue Sky

ps Carrie you are the best!

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HOLA…GREETINGS FROM THE BAY ISLANDS OF HONDURAS…..UTILA-ROATAAN-GUANAJA

OH MY…….Mister Blue Sky has been captured by pirates…….forced to either walk the plank from the second forecastle on the dock of Alton’s Dive Center or join the pirate crew of the Miss Trinity….. soooooo…….Mister Blue Sky joined the ruthless pirates…….(or are they toothless pirates)……..pirates of the (western) caribbean……..with cutlass (fishing rod) in hand, canons (scuba tanks) on deck and barrels of rhum (rum) lashed to the masts this ragged band of tropical hobo’s….are raising anchor this very morn…….OFF TO SEIZE THE WIZARD OF GUANAJA……….a 4-5 day tropical mystery tour…(or earlier if the rum runs out)……and then with canon ablaze we shall round the reef into the harbor of Utila….row ashore to slog some grog at the infamous Alton’s Pub…..where one-eyed (3 hoof) Master Blue Sky will tell tale (and lie) about the misadventures of the Miss Trinity’s crew……………stay tuned…….FOLLOW THE TROPICVILLE ROAD….for were’ ………OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD OF GUANAJA

Till next Tide Mateys,

Mister Blue Sky

FOLLOW THE TROPICVILLE ROAD

FOLLOW THE TROPICVILLE ROAD

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Show Time: “Mister Blue Sky and The Giant Langoustes”

Per the last blog posting, this is a 10:30 plus video showing combined highlights of the dives on the two seamounts located about 20 miles from Utila. Video taken by yours truly on a GoPro Hero3…deepest depth at about 100ft……You may download this video. Its best to let the video load prior to watching. Hopefully everyone on the dive is captured at some point in the video……..a shout out to Rob Smith for leading us down and under the tropical highway and muchas gracias to Alton’s Dive Center for daring to adventure beyond the waters of Utila……only………Alton’s boldly goes where no dive center has gone before     …….. exploring new aquatic worlds……in the far far galax-seas of the Cosmosphere de Tropical…..……. Who can name the “instant replay” fish in the video?………… Free Alton’s Dive Center Shirt to the first person that posts in the “comments” section the correct number of fish seen in the video…………enjoy the show….Mister Blue Sky

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