Little Corn Island, Nicaragua
The hotel Casa Iguana. is located on the southeastern part of the island, about an 8-10 minute walk through the jungle from the dive shop and the main street. The hotel consists of a main lodge where the meals are served and 8 cabanas spread out along the water. There's a steep dropoff down to the water but you have an excellent view and it's very nice sitting on the porch with a view of the ocean. The cabana I stayed in is a basic 12x16 ft house with two beds, a bathroom, and a porch. The shower located outside around the corner from the front door.
There are two hotels on the island and also a couple of places with just a few beds each, more like bed and breakfasts. The other real hotel on the island, Los Delphines is a new hotel and is located very close to where the water taxi arrives. The whole week we were there the hotel was empty and we were pretty much the only people frequenting their restaurant/bar too. The hotel looks nice and it's very close to the dive shop. I don't know what they charge though. I didn't even know the hotel existed (no internet presence...) if it wasn't for a guy (Hi Clam) I found on the internet that had been on the island and stayed at that hotel.
The divingWe did a total of 15 dives including two night dives. We met at the dive shop at 8 am every morning to pick up our gear that we left at the dive shop every afternoon/evening to dry out. Well, the humidity was high and it rained a lot so the gear never got really dry as the storage area for our wetsuits and BCDs didn't have a roof, but it saved us from lugging our gear across the island every day. It also made sure that all the salt was washed off so the salt didn't dry on our gear.
One of the nice parts of the diving was meeting Waz and Elle, our dive guides for the week. They run the diveshop and have been on the island for 5 months. We were their first big group and they were really excited about it. They made sure we had a good time and good diving and were very helpful and accomodating. They let us do our own dives but stayed down with us for about an hour and showed us the site. If anyone had any problems with their gear, they helped to fix it or lend us a spare. During their stay on the island they have found many new divesites and continues to look for new ones. Isn't that a perfect life???
We left for the divesite around 8.30 every morning and normally had a 10-20 minute boatride out. The dives were normally about 1 hour long as most of them were really shallow. I always came up with between 1000 psi and 1500 psi of air left and only on one dive was I ever remotely close to a deco obligation. Most times it didn't even register... The dives normally had about 30-50ft visibility,and due to it being rainy season, most days were mainly overcast which cut down on the light a little. Throughout the week my computer showed the water temperature to be 82 degrees and my 0.5mm full wetsuit was just fine.
#1: White HolesDepth: 29 ft Time: 72 min Looked kind of like a golf course with sand patches surrounded by the "rough" low coral ridges. I had a good start of the trip by seeing a small 3ft nurse shark just after jumping in. I guess he was rudely interrupted in his morning swim by some noisy funny looking animals jumping in the water just above him - he turned and took off... The water was pretty clear compared to the rest of the dives off the week. It was a very good dive with some more nurse sharks, several eagle rays, beautiful elkhorn coral, misc. Angel fish etc. The Eagle Rays are amazing creatures and I saw several swimming past me getting within 25 feet of me.
#2: Shark HoleDepth: 33 ft Time: 71 min
This site has a lot of swimthroughs and they are spectacular - big and with very nice rock formations. Definitely better than the ones in Cozumel - the only one's I really have to compare with. We saw blacktips, nurse, stingrays, trumpet fish, miscellaneous Angel fish, lobsters etc.
#3: Grant's CaveDepth: 27 ft Time: 56 min
This was named after Grant, the owner of Casa Iguana. We started in shallow 6ft deep water and went through the swimthrough to the other side of the reef. It's a very nice swimthrough. The thing with this site is that the reef almost goes to the surface so it's very difficult to get back if you don't find the entrance when you are on your way back. A few stragglers found that out the hard way... We saw them surfacing about 100 yards from the boat on the other side of the reef.
#4: Yellow TailDepth: 60 ft Time: 69 min
This is one of the "deep" dives. It's basically small "canyons" in the ocean floor with a lot of little things to see. There were a lot of Ocean Trigger fish but we also saw barracudas, misc. Angel fish, and misc. other fish.
#5: Sueñas CavesDepth: 37 ft Time: 60 min
This dive had some nice swimthroughs as the name implies. This was one of several dives we saw Eagle rays on.
#6: Stanley ReefDepth: 40 ft Time: 92 min
A long and relaxing dive - my computer said I had 30 minutes left but I didn't want to keep the others waiting. We saw lots of cleaner shrimps, peocock flounders etc. The visibility was around 30ft again but if you got close to the reef you had plenty to see.
#7: Point of ReefDepth: 77 ft Time: 58 min
My deepest dive - all of 77ft... It's a sloping coral ridge with a sandy bottom around it. The visibility was around 50 feet but it had that weird light that makes everything look washed out. But if you got close to the reef, there was a lot to see - a paradise for macro photographers. We saw lobsters, crabs, miscellaneous damsel fish, Flamingo Tongues etc.
#8: Abel HoleDepth: 53 ft Time: 66 min
This site consists of a hard flat floor with 8-10 ft deep canyons cut into it. I "got" separated from the others and had an interesting and a little disturbing experience - I was swimming along and turned my head and saw this big school of barracudas swimming right towards me. They were 3-5 ft and about 20-30 of them. I hoovered about 5ft from the bottom and they swam right around me. It was a little disturbing being surrounded by that many barracudas... Apart from that the dive was like most others - lot's of fish and critters. We saw one turtle - it looked like it was missing the left front flipper.
#9: White Holes (night dive)Depth: 29 ft Time: 49 min
This was the first night dive and we went back to where we did our first dive. It was one of the best night dives I have ever done. We saw sharks (nurse and reef), several octopi, more lobsters than you could count, a toad fish, crabs.A the end of the dive we all met close to the boat on sandy patch with coral reefs all around us and then turned off our lights. We then saw the most fantastic display of bioluminescence I have ever seen. It lit up the reef like the stars on a clear night. It was beautiful.
#10: Shark HoleDepth: 33 ft Time: 55 min
This dive had some nice swimthroughs and we did sea one eagle ray and one shark, but other than that it wasn't that memorable. The visibility was only about 30ft and since it was overcast, it was kind of gloomy.
#11: Baga CutDepth: 48 ft Time: 62 min
This was THE shark dive - nurse sharks, reef sharks and my "bump and run" encounter with a nurse shark - it swam right into my video housing.
#12: BuouyDepth: 39 ft Time: 85 min
We saw quite a few turtle net buouys here and we "accidently" cut some of the lines. It's a round reef with small sand patches within it. Most people loved it but for some reason I wasn't in the mood and didn't see a whole lot. My video housing fogged up too. It was still a long dive but I just tooled around doing very little - kind of a "Zen" dive.
#13: Casa IIDepth: 56 ft Time: 67 min
This reef has a shape of a donut - a round reef with some patches of sand in the middle. The vis was about 40ft and light wasn't good. My video housing fogged up again so I didn't shoot much video on this dive. I had another "off" dive but others seemed to have liked it...
#14: Baga WallDepth: 60 ft Time: 61 min
This was one of my favorite dives (together with the first night dive). It is a drift dive were we followed a ridge rising up form the sand on our left. Vicky and I stayed together and went real slow as we constantly found stuff worth filming. It was one of those dives where you find something, stick around observing it, raise your head, find another interesting fish and follow that one. I saw lots of nudibranchs in different colors, puffers, cleaning stations. At the end of the dive we noticed at the safety stop that it rained hard. All of us had gone at different speeds and in the rain the boat had lost our bubbles. When I came up the waves were high and I didn't see the boat the first time I looked around the horizon. The second time I saw the boat far a way and I deployed my safety sausage and Vicky used here whistle. My safety sausage didn't stay up in the strong wind but they heard the whistle and found us.
#15: White Holes (night dive)Depth: 29 ft Time: 71 min
This was a repeat of our previous night dive with a little less bioluminence (still clearly visible though).
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