Posts tagged Roatan
Once a year I take a trip to Roatan Island off of the coast of Honduras to go SCUBA diving. In 2 weeks I dive at least twice a day, getting in about 25 dives. I also read books, eat, drink, and sleep, but diving is my passion.
After people dive they usually talk excitedly about what they saw. Turtles, barracuda, lobsters, crabs, maybe a shark, big animals usually get us excited. I also admit that I like the thrill of diving deep, a habit I probably should be giving up as I get older!
But a funny thing happens after my first dozen dives or so. I find myself hanging around the reefs looking at the little animals, the fishies going about their business, maybe a seahorse when I am lucky, and the coral itself. It is a fascinating metropolis down there on the reefs, watching these animals interact with each other, take care of their babies, shoo off outsiders, etc. On my last dive of my latest trip we watched as a turtle contentedly munched on the coral, totally oblivious to us. It is those little things that really excite me.
I sometimes envy these little guys. They live in such a beautiful world and they seem to be blissful and happy on their lovely reef. If you watch nature TV you might think that animals spend all their time eating each other, but the truth is that I don’t think I have ever seen a fish eat another. Most of the time they spend their time swimming around, munching the coral, and mingling with each other. I think about how lucky they are to live in such a paradise, unaware of the turmoil that is upsetting so much animal life in the world.
Since that time we have had the oil spill, and I hope and pray it doesn’t spread to the Caribbean and my favorite reef. At the same time I feel such pity for those animals that have been affected already, so many millions of lives will never be the same, and many will be killed prematurely by a poison that they have no way of dealing with.
In my own neighborhood I have a multitude of animals, not just the cats and dogs, but the crows, seagulls, rats, mice, shrews, possums, raccoons, and the sealife just offshore in the Puget Sound. It makes me shudder to think of an oil spill here. Twenty years ago we had a governor Dixie Lee Raye who wanted to open the Puget Sound to oil tankers. She was soundly thwarted by our Senator Warren Magnuson who pushed through a bill banning tankers from the Sound, forever. During the last Republican Administration, Rep. Joe Barton tried to overrule that law. Yes, the same Joe Barton who thinks our President should apologize to BP Oil.
Food for thought.
As I get ready for my vacation on Roatan Island, Honduras, I wanted to write a little post about the political state of Honduras. The coup seems to have succeeded. Zelaya, the ousted President, is still holed up in the Brazilian embassy, and a new very conservative President is getting ready to take office, leaving Zelaya……in the Brazilian embassy. There is some talk of a “compromise” in which the generals who spirited him out of the country are arrested, and then everybody is pardoned including Zelaya, who will presumably have to be exiled to another country.
In other words, the coup leaders have won and the American government has a black-eye for not being powerful to restore Zelaya. My friend Michael Oreste, who spent 30 years in the State Department, knows much more about this than I do, so I have invited him to write the next blog post.
For this we can thank some American rightwingers, including the Dias-Ballart brothers and Congressmen from Miami, probably the most reactionary of all our congressmen. Just associating with Hugo Chavez is enough reason for them to support the coup, as well as Senator DeMint from South Carolina, likewise a reactionary. It occurs to me that if a Democrat were to oppose the U.S. State Department like they did, he would be called a traitor by these nutcases. Instead, they seem to have won this battle.
As far as Roatan goes, the island is so isolated that the coup doesn’t seem to have affected them at all, except in one way. Apparently their tourism was down 50% during the recent season. It will be interesting to see what has changed in West End especially, since I haven’t been there in 2 years.