There are several anchorages to choose from in Roatan such as Jonesville Bight, also known as Hog Pen Bight, Port Royal near Camp Bay, West End and French Harbor to name a few, all worth visiting.
West End is a cute, small village that is laid back and much less touristy than it's neighbor West Bay. It offers over 20 scuba dive shops, seaside bars and many different delicious restaurants, a few gift shops, a grocery store and fruit and vegetable stands.
Daily, we swam and snorkeled right from our boat and on other days, we wondered a bit further, tying our dinghy to a dive buoy. We were never dissapointed. Back in Guatemala, we met a Swiss cruiser named Patric. He works at "Reef Divers" as a Dive Master in West End. Patric took Tim and I diving and showed us creatures we've never seen before. We continued to dive with Reef Divers and they never dissapointed us as their service is top notch. The island is surrounded by numerous wonderful dive sites.
|SUSAN AND SHANNON DIVING WITH REEF GLIDERS AT WEST END|
We did a short sail from West End to French Harbor on the East side of the island. The anchorage is beautiful with views of Little and Big French Cays, the reef, beautiful water and again, great snorkeling & wreck dives right from your boat or beyond the close reef.
|SHRIMP BOAT NEAR THE ANCHORAGE AT FRENCH HARBOR|
|HOUSE IN THE VILLAGE NEAR THE ANCHORAGE AT FRENCH HARBOR|
We had a wonderful time taking advantage of the resort, their beautiful pool and wonderful beaches. We had a pot luck Christmas with new and old cruiser friends. On New Year's Eve we rafted up our dinghys in the bay by the resort at 11pm to watch their fireworks show and wow, it was amazing !
|GERALD ET PATRICIA DE MARIA, GASPE|
|S/V SECOND SUMMIT|
|LILLY ON S/V SECOND SUMMIT|
|KAREN & TRAY FROM WESTCLIFF, COLORADO|
|NEW YEAR'S EVE RAFT UP|
|PAT, RUDY & SANDY ENJOYING CHRISTMAS|
There is an iguana farm in French Harbor. We saved up our left over vegetables and fruit and fed the iguanas.
Tim went wake boarding with Scott who own's our sister ship "Milika". Tim also went kayaking quite often. As my shoulder is still not healed from my surgery, kayaking is still hard on me. So, I hopped into the kayak in front of Tim and there you go, our one man kayak is now a double kayak, well sort of....It just gives Tim and harder work out.
Within walking distance of Frenchie's is Johnny's farm. It's a rescue zoo with a few animals. It's a guided tour for $10us and they let you hold and play with most of the animals.
|FEMALE 3 TOED SLOTH|
|MALE SLOTHS HAVE A STRIPE ON THEIR BACKS|
YOU JUST NEVER KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT AT FRENCHI'S
On Sunday afternoons, people of the Garifuna village in Punta Gorda play drums, sing old African songs and dance the Punta. We had a great time listening to the music and walking around the village with our friends Linda, George and Dana.
|HAPPY IN PUNTA GORDA|
In Punta Gorda, the local Garifuna dish is Machuca, a delicacy soup made with fish, coconut milk, and any seafood they have. We each at a lobster tail, a fish head, fish and conch. It was delicious and filling.
Fantasy Island Marina has 3 resident wild monkeys, Chiqui, Luci, Chiqui's mother and Ethal. Most mornings, Chiqui comes on board to say good morning to us and I share my breakfast with him. He's very gentil and only weights about 5 pounds. He loves to groom my hair and cuddles Tim. He can be quite mischievous at times as he'll steal things from your cockpit and once he actually pee'd on me, what did I do wrong ?????
|LUCIE, CHIQUI'S MOM NEAR OUR BOAT|
|TIM'S BEST FRIEND|
|SUSAN SHARING HER BREAKFAST WITH CHIQUI|
Three years ago I went to my high school reunion and reunited with an old school mate, Linda. She owns a house in Calabash bay and happened to be there while I was in Roatan. We visited the sloths with her and her daughter Shannon, went snorkeling & scuba diving, visited her beautiful home and walked along the shore. We had an awesome lunch at Crow's Nest and walked thru their amazing gardens. Thanks Linda & Shannon for driving me around visiting Roatan, I had a great time with you girls.
|SUSAN & LINDA AT CROW'S NEST RESTAURANT ENJOYING THE VIEW|
|VIEW FROM CROW'S NEST RESTAURANT|
|HOMES IN CALABASH BAY|
|HIKING PATH ON CALABASH BAY BY LINDA'S HOUSE|
|ACHIOTE TREE SEEDS|
|ACHIOTE TREE PODS|
Little French Cay is a short kayak from the marina and anchorage. It's a tiny cay used to drop off people from the cruise ships. It is very quiet on those days no ship cruisers are there. They have numerous caged rescue animals. We were very lucky to meet the vetenarian, a 24 year old local who followed us everywhere we went and answered all our questions.
|SCOTT & TIM HANGING OUT|
|YOU CAN GO HORSE BACK RIDING AT LITTLE FRENCH CAY|
|LITTLE FRENCH CAY|
|TIM JUMPING OFF THE PLATFORM AT LITTLE FRENCH CAY|
Our cruiser friends Linda and George invited me to tag along with them to do a land tour with their visiting friend from Nova Scotia, Laurie.
|GEORGE, SUSAN, LINDA AND LAURIE|
|LIGHTHOUSE NEAR WEST BAY|
|VIEW FROM LIGHTHOUSE|
|WEST BAY BEACH|
It's easy to get around Roatan by means of their local buses which we used often to go shopping, daily hospital visits (see Roatan Part I blog) and visiting around. So, off we went with Dana to Jonesville Bay to have lunch at BJ's restaurant which feature live music by ex pats who live in the area. We also got Alfredo to give us a tour of the surrounding bays. Thanks to Dana for the pictures !
|TOILET AT BJ'S. OPEN TO THE SEAS !!!|
|LIVE MUSIC AT BJ'S|
|ALFREDO, OUR BOAT DRIVER. CHECK OUT HIS LOUNGE CHAIR|
|FAMOUS "HOLE IN THE WALL" RESTAURANT|
|A LONE FLY FISHERMAN IN JONESVILLE BIGHT|
A very special thank you to the Fantasy Marina Managers, Debbie and Steve who constantly helped us with any needs that we had. It was a blast hanging out with them and swapping stories over glasses of wine. I wish you both lots of great adventures as you set sail soon. Love to both of you.
Please note that by the time you get to Roatan, the below information may be out of date. This was written at the end of January, 2017.
Utila: You can check in and out from Utila, see my blog named UTILA, ROATAN.
Roatan, Coxen Hole: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ranguana: You can check in/out here, sorry I have no additional information.
French Harbor, Fantasy Island Marina:
General: Marina slip holders only (can't use if you are anchored), may use the resort facilities which include a salt water pool, nice beaches, blue water, snorkeling and diving right from the shore. Slip holders get a 20% discount at their restaurant ($30 buffet lunch, there's also a cheaper bar menu). We personally had the Caesar chicken salad for $10us and it was aweful, however other's had the club sandwich and they loved it. To get to the main road, it's a 10-15 minute walk from the Fantasy Island resort & marina.
Tiki Palapa: This is where all the marina socializing takes place. Some social activities include BBQ night, Movie night, $2 beers, $4 wine, 2 for 1 on Lady's night. Can you the BBQ anytime, just ask the marina managers. Boats anchored are allowed to use the Tiki Palapa but must pay $2 to park their dinghy. Anchored boats may also drop off their trash.
Grocery store: There's a free bus that leaves the Tiki Palapa weekly to go to Eldon's grocery store weekly (tip your driver please). If you buy 6 bottles of wine you get a 10% discount (you can mix and match).
Fruit/Vegetables: Weekly, there is a truck that goes to the Tiki Palapa. All fruits and vegetables arrive from the mainland on Wednesdays.
WIFI: Free WIFI at the resort lobby.
Laundry: There are no laundry facilities at the Fantasy Island Marina. You must go to Mama's at the Mega Mall.
Bathroom/showers: There are 2 bathrooms with showers (not always hot water), 1 at the Tiki Palapa and the other is room #705 (if dirty, call marina managers on VHF 71 to call the resort to have it cleaned).
Animals: There are 3 resident monkeys (don't leave anything out in your cockpit as they steal). Your animals must be on a leash.
Water: Share water hoses on some docks, water is NOT potable. The water is good however the pipes are very rusty with lots of iron (if you mix this water with bleach it'll turn dark red). You can purchase 5 gallons of potable water for $2us at the Tiki Palapa.
Cruiser's Net: Monday thru Saturday's at 8am on VHF 74. VHF 71 is the local hailing channel.
Other than the Fantasy Island Marina:
Bus: Flag down a collectivo bus on the main road just outside Fantasy Island Marina & Resort. They go to several places including Punta Gorda, Coxen and West End (must change buses in Coxen to get to West End).
Taxis: They are cheaper if you flag one down at the main road. It's easy to bargain with them.
Mega Mall: The mall has 2 banks, a Dentist, Hair dresser's, Cel phone store, seafood store/restaurant, 2nd hand clothing store, a couple of clothes stores, coffee shop, Mama's laundry service, Optometrist, marine parts store, coffee shop, ice cream parlor, BBQ reataurant, an emergency hospital...
Hairdresser: There's one at the Mega Mall however it's cheaper at the Pineapple Resort nearer to Fantasy Island. If you spend $50 or more, you may use their facilities (pool, hot tub, sauna, ect...).
Diesel Engine Mechanic: Percy. Ask the marina managers for his phone number.
ACE hardware store: On the main road between Fantasy Island Resort/Marina and Eldon's grocery store.
Pineapple Resort: 5 minute car ride from Fantasy Island, for $15 a day, you can use their facilities (pool, hot tub, sauna, ect...). They are a full service spa (massage, hair, pedicure...).
Pristine Bay resort: They have a beautiful restaurant up on a cliff with views of both sides of the island displaying the water and reefs. Not cheap though...
Cel Phone: Go to Claro at the Mega Mall.
Turtle Grass marina: They monitor VHF 68. Mobile: 504-3167-8319
Scuba Dive French Harbor area:
1. Fantasy Island Dive center: Marina guests get a discount. You can rent gear and dive on your own or go with them on one of their boats. They cater to resort guests who have purchased a dive package first, then resort guests that want to dive a day here and there, then lastly it's marina guests. Do not anchor, use the dive buoys if you are diving from your dinghy or simply do shore dives or dive from the gazebo.
2. Coco Beach Resort Dive: Across from Fantasy island. They only cater to their guests. You cannot rent gear nor go on a dive with them.
3. Barefoot Resort dive shop: It's about 4 miles from Fantasy Island. I have no experience with them.
Scuba Dive West End area: There are loads of dive shops to choose from. Many if not all dive shops include equipment if you dive with them (all gear; mask, fins, weights, tank, BCD, Regulator).
Groceries: Eldon's. Take collectivo bus or dinghy to past Miss Annie's big black shrimp boat. The Fantasy Island Marina also has a free weekly bus that takes you there and back, just tip the driver.
Dental: Dr. Grant at the Mega Mall. $46us to get your teeth cleaned.
Laundry Service: Mama's at the Mega Mall is a laundry service. Same day if you bring your clothes in by 10:00 am.
Shrimp & Fish market: On the main road between Fantasy Island and Eldon's called Hyber's. You can also purchase fresh fish at the Seafood store & restaurant at the Mega Mall.
Dinghy Dock: If you anchor in French Harbor you may dock at Fantasy Island Marina for $2us / day. You can also dock at Frenchie's 44 restaurant and at Miss Annie's.
Hospital: At the Mega Mall & in the town of Coxen.
Banks/ATM: There are 2 at the Mega Mall. If you are in West End, use the safe ATM at the gas station.