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Photography Corner – What Equipment to Buy for Underwater Photography

Photography Corner With Alexandra Harper-Graham

Alex is part owner of Coconut Tree Divers Roatan, Honduras and an underwater photography connoisseur with her own business ‘Alexandra HG Photography‘. A photography degree from Plymouth University combined with her love for scuba diving has lead Alex to her greatest passion: Underwater Photography. With over 12 years of experience underwater Alex is here to help guide you through all of your underwater photography needs, equipment choices and tips!

Alex with her underwater set-up!

Today’s topic:

What is the best equipment to buy for underwater photography?

I am often asked my recommendation on the best equipment for taking decent underwater photos (Note: still photos, as video is not my domain).

Before responding I always ask two questions back:

  1. What do you want to get out of your photos?
  2. What is your budget?

As these two answers often make a huge difference in my recommendation for the right equipment and set-up. Like many things in life, there is never one correct all encompassing answer!

Compact Camera vs DSLR

Compact Camera

A compact camera, often referred to as a point-and-shoot camera, is a small and easy to manage camera designed to make photography easy for everyone. They are popular cameras for travel and everyday life because they are usually lightweight, easy to use, and budget friendly.

A point and shoot camera is just that… you point, you press a button and the camera automatically handles the settings for that shot.


AKA a Digital Single-Lens Reflex. These are very popular cameras and pretty much synonymous with professional cameras. A Single-Lens Reflex camera means just that. The DSLR that you photograph with has one lens, where the light will travel through to hit the digital sensor. These cameras are more complex in nature and allow you to completely customize each shot instead of just pointing and shooting in automatic.

Alex Harper-Graham Photography. Pederson cleaner shrimp with eggs.


Recommended camera brands: Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Lumix, and Panasonic are all great brands of cameras that have plenty of models to choose from.

Compact camera recommendations: 

A photographer friend who has been visiting Roatan for years takes amazing photos with the Sony Rx100V compact camera with Fantasea housing. This set-up for just the camera and housing is approximately $1,400. She also uses dual strobes and a wide angle wet lens to really bring out the colors in the shots.

My absolute favourite is the Canon G series. Over the years I have used many starting with the G11 and worked my way up to the current Canon G7x Mark ii. You can shoot with underwater preset modes with a red filter if you want a simple point and shoot capability but also shoot in manual so it can work for many different photography skill levels. It also shoots in RAW which is important for post editing but I’ll save this for another blog. To give you an idea on price you can currently buy a Canon set-up with Fantasea FG7XII housing for around $1000. Another option you can go for is the Canon own brand housing which can bring the cost down a bit if you’re already thinking this is out of your budget.

a close up of a camera

Left: Sony RX100V RIght: Canon G7x Mark ii

DSLR recommendations:

An example of a high end DSLR take look at the Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR camera. You could then buy a Nauticam for $3,390 or Ikelite housing $1,695 for this camera. The cost starts from $3000 without all the bells and whistles.

This example of a DSLR set-up has been recommended from professional photographer Francesca Diaco. She uses Nikon D810 in SEA&SEA housing; Sigma 15mm fisheye, Nikon 105mm macro and dual SEA&SEA YS-D2 strobes. It costs around $10,000. Her photos are stunning, check out her bio here.

Left: Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR Right: Nikon D810


What makes a camera available for underwater photography is not the camera itself, but the housing you choose to encase it in! Choosing a housing is important, it obviously protects the camera from the water but also you can still use all the same functions underwater as you can on land. They are all depth rated and can vary quite a bit so make sure to choose wisely if you enjoy deeper dives or technical dives.

Some recommended housings:

Aquatica & Nauticam – The more expensive option, yet the most durable and excellent for deep or tec dives. Many have an immense depth rating of 100-150 meters/500ft. A downside here is these set-ups tend to be slightly heavier than most due to their extreme durability.

Ikelite – This is the most popular housing choice for DSLR and mirrorless cameras but recently they are branching into making models to fit cheaper point and shoot cameras. Ikelite is a reputable solid manufacturer at mid-range cost, you can find their housing options here.

Fantasea – This housing is designed for compact camera’s like the Canon G series. A solid product found also at mid-range cost.

Olympus – This is one of the cheapest models you’ll find available for underwater photography. Olympus have recently brought out the new TG-6 with many new features. If you like macro you’ll love this camera. The cost is around $750 for the housing and camera on Amazon.

Alex Harper-Graham Photography shot using the Fantasea housing. Silversides in Hole in the Wall


A strobe is an external underwater flash. This really can help improve in underwater photography as strobes allow you to try different lighting output, angles and help to reduce backscatter when used correctly.

The most popular brands of strobes include Inon (more expensive), Sea&Sea (mid range) and Ikelite (larger and bulkier but powerful)

Strobe recommendations for DSLR:

A few of the most popular and highly recommended are the Sea & Sea YS-D1, Sea & Sea YS-D2, the Ikelite DS-160, and the Inon Z330. All at different price points!

Strobe recommendations for compact camera:

A few of the most popular and highly recommended are the Sea & Sea YS-01, Sea & Sea YS-03, Inon S2000, and Ikelite DS-51s.

Left: Sea & Sea YS-D1 Right: Ikelite Substrobe DS-51

What is right for me?

I mentioned in the beginning the two questions I ask to those interested in underwater photography.

What do you want to get out of your photos and what is your budget?

Remember buying the best is not a shortcut to taking great photos! I have seen many a photographer will all the gear and no idea! If you are a beginner, sometimes starting with the basics and working your way up is the safest way to go.

Here are the pros and cons of each type of choice you could make:

Choosing a DLSR

Pros: Amazing high quality photos and sharpness. Recommended for those interested in really perfecting their underwater photography skill set. DSLR’s can give you a wide range of freedom in the type of composition and photos you desire.

Cons: This is the most expensive avenue as prices can get from $3000-$6000. This set-up is not for everyone and the housing will be more expensive than that of a compact camera. Before starting your dive, you will have to commit to shooting in wide angle or macro since you cannot change this underwater. So it is best to discuss with your dive shop and dive master the type of dives you’ll be going on.

Alex Harper-Graham Photography shot with the Canon G7x Markii. Hawksbill Turtle
Choosing a compact camera

Pros: Price, you can get an array of compact cameras for a much lower price point compared to DSLR. Great for beginners as the cameras are lighter, more manageable and easy to use. With these cameras you are able to use wet lenses on most housings so you can shoot in macro or wide angle in a single dive.

Cons: Overall quality can be compromised when in comparison to high end DSLR cameras. However, with a good eye and knowledge of your camera you are still able to get great shots.

Overall, any quality camera is going to get you great shots if you know how to use it. One of my biggest pieces of advise is to take a photography course and learn to how to use your own equipment!

Alex Harper-Graham Photography. Trio of Flamingo Tongues My personal pick I shoot multiple times a week and teach underwater photography. With how much my life involves underwater photography I have invested in higher quality equipment because that is what is best for me! I use a mid range set-up of Fantasea housing with a Canon G7X Mark ii, dual strobes Sea&Sea, a Fantasea wide angle wet lens, and Nauticam CMC macro wet lens and SubSee +10 diopter lens, both of these macro lens are great for getting the detail out of the smallest of small creatures.
My personal set-up!

Happy picture taking! If you find your self in Roatan Honduras stop by our dive shop and say hello! We offer photography course’s taught by me, and we would love to have you!

We would love to have you come dive with us!
For more info on Coconut Tree Divers, schedules, courses, and pricing head to our homepage HERE!
To make a reservation head to our online reservation page HERE!
Want to keep up with all things Coconuts?! Make sure to follow us!
Instagram : @coconuttreedivers
We would love to have you come dive with us!
For more info on Coconut Tree Divers, schedules, courses, and pricing head to our homepage HERE!
To make a reservation head to our online reservation page HERE!

How to Conserve Air While Diving

How do I conserve air while diving?

We hear this a lot. If you are familiar with diving then you know the amount of remaining air in your tank is often turned into a competition among divers. While some friendly competition never hurt anyone, remember everyone’s body is different!

FACT: Different body types are going to require more air than others. If your body is stressed or tired, it is not going to operate at 100% and therefore use more air.

However, no one wants to be the guy or girl who causes the rest of the group to end the dive early because they are low on air.

If you are struggling with air consumption, or tired of frequently running low on air… or you simply want some tips to beat out your buddies.. you have come to the right place! These tips will help.

a group of people posing for the camera

Some happy divers at our shop, Coconut Tree Divers Roatan, Honduras!

Tips to conserve air while scuba diving

Breathe slowly and deeply.

AKA control your breath, be conscious of it. Ever taken a yoga class? If so it’s the same concept. Deep breath in, slow exhale out. Try to pause a second after your deep breath in, do not hold your breath, simply pause, then exhale. A deep breath, compared to shorter more frequent breaths, allows a greater amount of fresh oxygen to be absorbed by your body. To get your body familiar with this breathing try counting as you inhale and match that count as you exhale. Keep that count in your head until your body becomes familiar with it.

Control that buoyancy.

The better your buoyancy control, the better your air consumption will be. The constant manoeuvre of going up and down requires energy expenditure, causing more air intake. As well as inflating/deflating your BCD frequently and using your fins to compensate for your buoyancy. All of this drains air and energy. Practice is everything when it comes to buoyancy control. Have patience with yourself, you will get there… and when you do your tank will remain fuller longer!

An excellent way to improve your buoyancy is obtaining your Advanced Open Water certification. One of the five dives you could elect to take is called Peak Performance Buoyancy, it is solely focused on buoyancy and guaranteed to help you improve!

Buoyancy control spot on!

Dive slow and steady.

This ain’t a race, sloth it up! Higher speeds take an increasingly higher amount of energy out of you. Directly correlating to more air consumption. Take it easy, soak it in and go slow… the slower you go the more time your eyes have to spot our underwater friends and the more you will conserve air while diving!

Gear check please.

Always make sure to check your equipment for leaks with your buddy before each dive. Be sure to check your o-ring, inflator hose, and all connection points. If you are unsure how to do so, simply ask one of your dive leaders to show you how! No leaks is a sure way to conserve air while diving.

a couple of people that are standing in a room
Gear check! #buddycheck

Streamline your dive.

Dive horizontal, AKA don’t be a seahorse! (ugh how cute are seahorses though?!) Getting your hydrodynamics down will help you maintain air. When your body is in a vertical position underwater it automatically has less control. You start using your arms, your fins are flipping around more, and overall you are expending way to much energy. Get horizontal, make sure none of your equipment is dragging, and keep your arms close to your sides. Arms are not to be used to manoeuvre your body underwater, keep them at your sides, it is all about your legs and fins! Speaking of letting your legs and fins do all the work…

Perfect your kick.

Your fins are your biggest asset. When used correctly they will get you to where you want to go with minimal effort. Avoid bicycle kicks, try frog kicks! Long frog kicks allow the fins to push water behind causing you to soar forward, while bicycle kicks slice through the water and propel you forward less. Take a look at your dive leader, how is she or he kicking? Try and mimic that, kick from your hips not just your lower legs and you will save air!

a turtle swimming under water
Turtle Turtle! Cruising around the Roatan waters

Dive shallower.

This is a super helpful one, especially for those really struggling with air consumption. Just like you learned in your open water certification, the deeper you go the more air your body requires. Try diving a few feet above the group, it can make a big difference in how much air you consume.

Keep calm and carry dive on.

Being nervous underwater is the quickest way to empty your tank faster than your fellow divers. The heart rate goes up and your body uses more oxygen.

The solution to this starts above water. Take a moment before entering the water to visualize your decent and dive, go over the motions and become comfortable with the idea of getting in the water. It may sound funny but talk to yourself. Tell yourself ‘this is going to be a great dive, I am calm.’ Jump in the water, check in with yourself often and practice that deep slow breath like mentioned above!

Swimming in a sea of Silversides in Roatan Honduras

Lets sum it up

Next time you are about to the hop in the water.. check your equipment for leaks, take a minute to mentally prep yourself for your time in the water, practice your breathing pattern above water then jump on in. As you descend keep focusing on that breathing, then once at the bottom take a minute to really find your buoyancy while keeping that breath. Stay streamlined, go slow, perfect that frog kick and have a kick ass dive…. you got this!

Whether it is to last a full 55 minutes underwater or to beat out your buddies… Follow these tips and you are certain to save more air while scuba diving!

a group of people standing in front of a store

Our Coconut Tree Dive shop in Roatan, Honduras!

We would love to have you come dive with us!

For more info on Coconut Tree Divers, schedules, courses, and pricing head to our homepage HERE!
To make a reservation head to our online reservation page HERE!
Want to keep up with all things Coconuts?! Make sure to follow us!
Instagram : @coconuttreedivers
We would love to have you come dive with us!
For more info on Coconut Tree Divers, schedules, courses, and pricing head to our homepage HERE!
To make a reservation head to our online reservation page HERE!

Best Places to Catch a Fiery Roatan Sunset

A sunset in Roatan, Honduras is unpredictable.

In the best way possible.

You never know what colors your eyes will be graced with.  A sunset sky that starts out orange can quickly fade into purple, then into pink, then back to a fiery mix of red, orange, and yellow. It is a sight you do not want to miss and luckily we are counting down our top five favorite sunsets spots so you are sure not to miss out on a beautiful sunset in Roatan!

a sunset over a body of water
Mood. Coming to you from our beach front dive shop in West End

A countdown of the best spots to watch the sunset in Roatan 

#5 Oleajes

We love this spot because it still feels a bit like a secret! Oleaje is a Spanish inspired tapas restaurant located in the heart of West End, it is a second floor restaurant so it can be a little easy to breeze by. However if you look for the staircase painted with a beautiful octopus mural that leads up to the restaurant, you cannot miss it. Upstairs, Oleaje has a large open air deck with such a charming ambiance. It provides a gorgeous sunset view, often times with live acoustic music, and the owners Paul and Ali are very welcoming and always down for a chat!

It is a low key, relaxing place to watch the sunset over the Roatan waters.

a sunset over a body of water
A purple and yellow sunset from the beautiful deck at Oleaje

#4 West Bay Beach

A water taxi from West End will get you to West Bay beach, arguably one of the best beaches around. West Bay beach is littered with places to grab a cocktail and watch the sunset over the sandy white beach and crystal clear water. A couple of our favorites are Bananarama and Beacher’s Bar & Grille, or simply grab a beer and stroll the beach for all the best views!

West Bay beach is where the majority of the resorts are, so it can be more crowded than West End, but it sure is stunning and one of the best places to watch the sunset in Roatan!

a sunset over a body of water
Will sunsets ever get old? Answer : Hell No

#3 Lands End

One of our all time favorites… what makes Lands End so significant is it’s unique location and landscape. Located in West End, but tucked about a 6 minute walk away from the main strip, you will find this little slice of paradise. Lands End is a hotel and restaurant bar with a large ocean front deck and turquoise blue pool that overlooks the ocean. A rocky coast instead of a beach front gives Lands End a unique look as the sunsets over the pool and ocean, providing a killer view.

A very tranquil and gorgeous spot to catch the sunset and indulge their happy hour!

a sunset over a body of water
We love the way those waves crash into the rocky coast and the beams of orange sunlight across the blue sky

#2 Sundowner’s Beach Bar

What we would consider the most happening bar on the island. Definitely the place to be if socializing with locals, tourists and ex pats alike is your cup of tea! Sundowner’s is a two story bar located on the beach in West End’s Half Moon Bay. This little beach bar is an island hot spot and as the name suggests, a perfect place to watch the sun go down over the horizon.

If you are looking to make some new friends, grab a Monkey Lala and watch the sky change colors, Sundowner’s is definitely the one of the best places to watch the sunset in Roatan!

a small boat in a large body of water

#1 With us @ the Coconut Tree Dive Shop!

Every evening when the last dive boat rolls in… it’s beer o’clock at the Coconut Tree Dive shop! Each evening staff, customers and friends gather on our beach front dive shop deck to bid farewell to another beautiful day of diving. We are located conveniently right in the heart of Half Moon Bay AKA prime sunset territory. Come visit us, it would be our pleasure to make all of your scuba diving and sunset dreams come true!!

For more information about our dive shop check out our website. We would love to make you a part of the Coconut Tree family!

a sunset over a body of water
The sunset from our front yard. Look at those colors!
a group of people standing in front of a crowd
With a good looking crew like this it is no wonder this is our number one sunset spot in Roatan. 😉

There you have it, our version of where to catch the best sunset in Roatan.

Come share in these beautiful moments with us, see you soon!

We would love to have you come dive with us!

For more info on Coconut Tree Divers, schedules, courses, and pricing head to our homepage HERE!
To make a reservation head to our online reservation page HERE!
Want to keep up with all things Coconuts?! Make sure to follow us!
Instagram : @coconuttreedivers
We would love to have you come dive with us!
For more info on Coconut Tree Divers, schedules, courses, and pricing head to our homepage HERE!
To make a reservation head to our online reservation page HERE!

Best Dive Sites of Roatan Honduras

Roatan is home to some of the best diving in the Caribbean. Located about 30 miles off the East coast of Honduras you will find the island of Roatan. Being the largest of the three Bay Islands of Honduras, Roatan has so much underwater beauty and healthy reef to explore!

As part of the Mesoamerican barrier reef system, the second largest reef in the world, Roatan is an absolute mecca for scuba diving. Countless dive sites surround the island, providing us some real difficulty in narrowing down the best dive sites of Roatan. So we turned to the people who would know best… our staff of instructors here at Coconut Tree Divers Roatan, who spend everyday in this underwater playground!

a group of people standing in front of a crowd
Some of our staff and divemaster trainees!

Best Dive Sites of Roatan Honduras

Here is a breakdown of what each of our instructors said when asked what their favorite, most recommended and best dive site of Roatan was and why…

HOLE IN THE WALL  – recommended by our part owner and underwater photography connoisseur Alex Harper Graham 

This dive site starts with a dramatic descend through a long chute that takes you down to the actual ‘hole’ in the wall that opens up to the deep blue. As one of the deeper dives, the blue goes on forever but we bottom out to a max depth of 40m/130ft. Once through the ‘Hole in the Wall’ you head along the wall where you can see all sorts of marine life. Make sure to bring your flash light to get a better look into all the dark corners and crevasses, you can spot an octopus, many juvenile fish, and some rarer blennies! In addition this dive site is home to several networks of caves and swim throughs, all at a much shallower profile for all levels of divers!

As a lover of underwater photography Alex’s favorite dive sites all involve caves, “I love the darkness in the over head environment with beams of sunlight shining through, it is one of my favorite scenes to photograph especially if they are populated with thousands of Silversides!” – Alex

Pro tip: practice your buoyancy before this dive as it will make your time in the swim throughs easier to navigate and will keep those fins from ruffling up a sandstorm for your friends behind you!

Taking in the magic of the silversides at Hole in the Wall, WOW

Alex sure captured the magic of swimming with Silversides in this photo above, if you have ever been interested in underwater photography make sure to check out her photography course.


SEA QUEST SHALLOW – recommended by Rachael our favorite little Saskatchewanese fluent instructor

A calm, sandy wide-open paradise is how we are going to describe this one! Sea Quest makes a great dive site for any level of scuba. There is so much in this large underwater playground for you to float around and explore. Due to it’s shallow depth, the corals are especially vibrant with that natural sun light shining through the water. Sea Quest is a great place to spot a lot of sting rays and tiny creatures!

“I love all the sand. It is perfect for photographers because the light is reflected off the sand so it can be bright even on cloudy days. Everyone can really have their own space and creature hunt for their own favorite stuff while I also try and keep my eye out for the turtles and feeding rays! Definitely one of the best dive sites of Roatan” – Rachael

A spotted eagle ray laying on the sandy floor 

EL AGUILA – recommended by the super knowledgeable Scuba Ted

Who doesn’t love exploring a good ship wreck? A 220 foot cargo ship sits at 30m below the oceans surface called the El Aguila (The Eagle). Broken into a few pieces, this ship wreck is always exciting to explore and see what is hiding in its crevasses. A few entrance and exit points make for some great swim throughs depending on your diver level. The ships depth allows us a bottom time of about 16 minutes with the wreck before shallowing up to finish the dive on the neighboring wall where huge resident groupers are always floating around.

Full Disclosure: When we asked Ted for his choice of best dive sites of Roatan, in true Scuba Ted fashion he answered “All of them, all of them are great. They all have something different to offer, and they’re always changing over time. That’s the best thing about Roatán‘s reef system, diversity!” – Scuba Ted

Pro tip: A great way to extend your bottom time with the El Aguila would be diving with Enriched Air Nitrox!

One of the resident large groupers found outside the El Aguila 

BLUE CHANNELRecommended by instructor Cruz

Blue Channel is a perfect way to start your time diving in Roatan. Here you can explore the awesome network of swim throughs or spend some time on the northern wall, all while searching for juvenile spotted drum fish, pipefish, goatfish, snapper, and resident green moray eels!

“Blue Channel is night dive cheat mode, you can spot octopus, squid, lobsters, all of it.. during the day! Great swim throughs, great wall section, a lot of macro life in the rubble and I see eagle rays every time. Best of all it’s got burr fish which are my favorite… and the channel walls sometimes have hiding nurse sharks..!” – Cali Cruz

A huge green moray eel lurking in the Blue Channel 

JOSIE “J” SHIPWRECK – recommended by our fearless tec diving leader Monty Graham

A dream dive site for many divers, as you can only catch a glimpse of this shipwreck if you are very experienced and trained in technical (tec) diving…

Beyond the recreational limits lies a live shipwreck that accidentally sunk in an undisclosed location near West Bay point (so cool). The highest point of the ship is 168ft / 51mt on the aft starboard baller.  To enter the wheelhouse you need to dive to 185ft / 56mt, however the tec diver must be very careful to enter here as there are many electrical wires hanging from the roof! The bottom of the bow in the sand is 211ft / 64mt.  For the divers to safely dive at the wreck they must be equipped with dual tanks of either air or trimix and also carry 2 separate decompression gases 50% and 100% oxygen.

A dive obviously not for everyone, but for anyone who dreams of pushing the limits and becoming a tec diver can do so through the Roatan Tec Center courses with Monty here at Coconut Tree Divers!

A look at the ‘ghost ship’ of Josie J 

MANDY’S EEL GARDEN recommended by our youngest instructor Sammy

Mandy’s Eel Garden is exactly what is sounds like! This dive site has hundreds of little eels emerging from the sandy floor. The closer you get to them the more they shrink back into their home under the sand. Providing us with way to much entertainment as we float around the bottom trying to catch the biggest glimpse we can before they go into hiding! This is a dive site for all levels of divers trying to catch a glimpse of the tiny eels, and all the other great marine life found here in the sand patches as well as the coral wall.

“Mandy’s Eel Garden is a major favorite of mine. I love going through the big sand patch there, because we always spot eagle rays feeding or spend time searching for little creatures too. The wall has lots of growth and a really cool structures. The little garden eels are always cute too and the customers love them!” – Sammy

The eel garden!

BEARS DENrecommended by our newest instructor Tina of Argentina.. Aka ‘Argentina Tina’ 

Bear’s Den get’s its name from the large underwater tunnel and cave located here. A cave big and perfect for a bear…if only bears could breathe underwater! The tunnel gets a bit narrow, a perfect place for divers eager to put their well practiced buoyancy to the test. This is a diverse dive that can reward you with sightings of barracuda, nudibranch, spotted drum fish, crabs, lobsters, sea sponges, black coral, grouper, turtles and who knows what else!

“Bears Den.. is.. so.. cool!! There is a ‘U’ shaped swim through at the beginning where you go from 25 to 65ft. A bit dark at the beginning, but then opens up in the blue when you get to the wall. There is also a cave a bit further away that is all kinds of spooky. I always ask that if my customers have torches, not to use them here… It is a bit dark but sun shines in through the top like skylights and you always see crab and lobster shells so is like a small graveyard. So cool and nice!!” – Argentina Tina

One of the narrow tunnels of Bears Den… BEAUTIFUL 

FISH DENRecommended by handsome English Shane

An exciting shallow dive site where some of Roatan’s best coral and fish life is abundant. Beautiful soft corals and plenty schools of fish teeming around you throughout this dive. We always like to spot the sargent major fish that tend to hang under the boat in the shallows, as well as keeping our eyes peeled for scorpion fish! Fish Den is a great night dive site as it is easy to navigate back to the mooring line and there is always plenty to see!

“Fish Den is always on my must dive list. I love to look for the tiny creatures, and Fish Den is shallow with lots of light for me to better spot the little guys for my divers. It is almost like an underwater aquarium, the marine life variety is amazing with plenty of juvenile fish, blennies, spotted drum fish, crabs, grouper, trumpetfish, parrotfish, trunkfish, and banded shrimp.” – Handsome Shane

Some of the tiny critters you may spot at Fish Den!

There you have it!

The most favorite, fun, cool, exciting, interesting, adventurous, unique (the list could go on forever) and best dive sites of Roatan Honduras according to our fab set of instructors here at Coconut Tree Divers.

However.. this does not even begin to scrape the surface in terms of the best dive sites of Roatan. There is just SO much to explore! The Roatan Marine Park has done a stellar job in executing and promoting the protection and health of our corals and underwater life, making our reef system one of the most healthy in the Caribbean. This is something we all take great pride in and cannot wait to share with you!

Roatan has great diving any time of year, come see us soon and make sure to bring your reef safe sunscreen to ensure we keep our reef healthy!

a group of people standing in front of a store
Our dive shop!

We would love to have you come dive with us!

For more info on Coconut Tree Divers, schedules, courses, and pricing head to our homepage HERE!
To make a reservation head to our online reservation page HERE!
Want to keep up with all things Coconuts?! Make sure to follow us!
Instagram : @coconuttreedivers
We would love to have you come dive with us!
For more info on Coconut Tree Divers, schedules, courses, and pricing head to our homepage HERE!
To make a reservation head to our online reservation page HERE!

Nitrox Me Now, The Benefits of Enriched Air

Ever wonder why some divers have those green and yellow tanks while others the typical grey?

You over hear them talking about ‘Nitrox’ and ‘Enriched Air’ and you’re all like..

What is Nitrox?

Why is my air ‘not rich’?

And how do I get my hands on one of these green and yellow tanks?


Enriched Air ready!

What is Nitrox?

The air we breathe every day above water is the same air we breathe out of our tank when we scuba dive. This ‘surface air’ is made up of 21% Oxygen and 79% Nitrogen.

Nitrox is a general term for a gas that is made up of any combination of Oxygen and Nitrogen.

Nitrogen + Oxygen = Nitrox

(Our scuba tanks are not 100% oxygen, a common scuba myth we busted)

And Enriched Air is…?

Very often the terms Nitrox and Enriched Air are used interchangeably, however Enriched Air refers to any combination of Oxygen and Nitrogen containing more than 21% Oxygen. Aka any combo is Nitrox, but only above 21% Oxygen is considered Enriched Air Nitrox. In recreational diving the Oxygen content will not exceed 40%, with the most common percentage of 30% and 32%.

Now that we are little more well-versed in all things Enriched Air Nitrox (EAN)… Why would we choose to use it, what are the benefits of Enriched Air Nitrox?!

Checking our tanks for the correct percentages

Benefits of Enriched Air Nitrox

Increased no decompression limits – AKA MORE DIVE TIME

One of the main reasons divers choose to use Nitrox is the allowance for longer dive times. It is the amount of Nitrogen we breathe into our bodies that limits our time at depth. The higher percentage of Oxygen not exceeding a partial pressure of 1.4ATA in Enriched Air allows the diver to stay at a safe depth longer than a diver using surface air who must return to shallower depths to apply their no decompression limit sooner than those on EAN.

Enriched Air Nitrox does not allow you to go deeper than surface air, but it does allow you to stay down there longer. Those extra minutes could be all the difference, as we all know you never know what you can see on a scuba dive!

Shorter Surface Intervals

A diver using Enriched Air Nitrox absorbs less nitrogen on any given dive than a diver using air.

With less nitrogen in your body, the time required to ‘off gas’ in between dives is decreased. Giving you less time needed to kill in between dives and getting you back in the water sooner!

Longer Bottom times on Repetitive Dive Times

If you like to do multiple dives in a day… we’re looking at you!

When you plan to dive for multiple days, it makes sense to introduce less Nitrogen into your body. The less Nitrogen you use, the more time your body is allowed at any given depth. A diver using Enriched Air Nitrox will have a longer bottom time allowance on a repetitive dive than a diver using air because the EAN diver has absorbed less nitrogen.

Great for vacations when all you want to do is dive, dive, dive!

Less Fatigue

Speaking of dive, dive, dive… diving all day can get pretty exhausting eh?! It can really take it out of you, in a great way, but still!

Now we got to be honest… this benefit has yet to be scientifically proven however, many of our divers report less feeling of exhaustion/fatigue when switched to Enriched Air Nitrox. If you think about it, with a lesser concentration of Nitrogen, your body spends less energy absorbing and ‘off gassing’ that Nitrogen.

So… seems to us like this could be very very true!

There you have it, the many benefits of Enriched Air Nitrox!

Staying underwater longer and getting back in the water sooner… with less fatigue?! Sounds like a divers dream.

So what is the next step, how do I actually get me one of those green and yellow tanks?!

Diving with Enriched Air Nitrox allows you more bottom time to explore the ship wrecks located in Roatan, Honduras!

Enriched Air Certified

In order to dive with an Enriched Air tank you must first get certified. But don’t worry, it is super easy and painless. The entire course is completed out of the water and can be done from the comfort of your own home through PADIs Enriched Air Course or here at the Coconut Tree Divers Roatan!

For more on what you learn and what it takes to be Enriched Air certified check out our EAN information page here

If staying down longer and getting back in the water sooner sounds appealing, then don’t hesitate to become an enriched air diver.

PADI Advanced Nitrox
Monty teaching an Enriched Air Nitrox certification course at the dive shop!

We would love to have you come dive with us!

For more info on Coconut Tree Divers, schedules, courses, and pricing head to our homepage HERE!
To make a reservation head to our online reservation page HERE!
Want to keep up with all things Coconuts?! Make sure to follow us!
Instagram : @coconuttreedivers
We would love to have you come dive with us!
For more info on Coconut Tree Divers, schedules, courses, and pricing head to our homepage HERE!
To make a reservation head to our online reservation page HERE!

Top 6 Scuba Diving Myths

Over the years, we have heard many ‘myths’ about scuba diving that simply are not true. In fact, many of these so called scuba diving myths stop people like you from even attempting scuba diving in the first place!

Not anymore, Not on our watch!

After years of correcting scuba diving myths or concerns from our customers here at Coconut Tree Divers in Roatan Honduras we found it time to officially bust some of these ugly myths!

A band of Spotted Eagle Rays spotted and captured by our DMT Jana Fireblue

Top 5 scuba diving myths that need to be BUSTED…

MYTH 1: A scuba divers tank is filled with pure oxygen.

We often hear people refer to a divers tank as an ‘oxygen tank,’ implying the tank is made up of purely oxygen. However, a divers tank is not filled with 100% oxygen, it is actually filled with ordinary surface air. Containing about 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen! Not quite the percentage combo you may have expected huh?!

So next time you hear someone refer to the cylinder strapped to your back as an ‘oxygen tank’ you can take pride in knowing the true facts: surface air for the win!

Instructor Racheal on side mount!
MYTH 2: You must be in excellent shape, young, and a killer swimmer.

We hear these concerns all the time so lets break it down:

You do not have to be super in shape to dive, you simply need to be a relatively healthy individual with a some what average fitness level. Let us put it to you this way, people from ages 10 to 80 are out there diving right now. Yes 80! Meaning there is no age limit. If you are willing and able then you CAN scuba dive, we see a broad range of all ages, shapes, and sizes come to dive. If there is a will, there is a way!

As for the swimming part, a basic level of swimming is required. In order to achieve your open water certification you are required to swim 200 yards and float for 10 minutes. However there is no time limit or technique required, so as long as you can doggy paddle or frog kick your way through it you are golden! In fact, while diving the goal is to move a little as possible and not use your arms, letting your fins and the water do most of the work!



Man, the movie Jaws really did us in, because the truth is sharks are really not that dangerous! Out of about the 400 species of sharks only a few have been known to be aggressive towards humans, all of which are typically never encountered by divers. Most sharks feast on food much smaller than any scuba diver, and pose no threat to humans. Actually, most divers consider a shark sighting a very wonderful experience as they can be so rare to spot! Seeing a shark for the first time is a thrilling memory no diver forgets.

Simply stay in your lane, do not attack the shark and the shark will not attack you! Forget the exaggeration you saw in Jaws, follow the instructions from your dive lead and you will be just fine!!

a shark in the water
Scary or cute? #sharkchillin
MYTH 4: Getting your open water takes too long

We get it, you come on a hard earned tropical vacation and do not want to spend that time studying dive theory or watching videos in a class room. Totally understandable.

But did you know you can now do all of the classroom work online, all on your own time? PADI e-learning makes it easy for you to knock out the classroom portion from the comfort of your own home (maybe even with a cheeky glass of wine in hand 😉)

You then can show up on your vacation and get right in the water, straight to the fun stuff. After 2 or 3 days in the water you will be officially certified! PLUS, you can feel good about any trees you saved from completing the learning online 🙂

For any questions on how to access e-learning feel free to contact us to put you in the right direction!

MYTH 5: I can’t dive it makes my ears hurt

You know when you were a kid and you tried to dive for rings into the deep end, but you couldn’t quite get there because OUCH, my ears!!?

That same pressure happens when diving, however as a kid you were probably never taught how to equalize the pressure in your inner ear. Equalizing is one of the first things you learn in your open water course and it’s easier than you think! You simply pinch your nose and blow out softly against your nostrils until you feel the pressure alleviate, and repeat as you descend. Bet you wish you knew this trick when you were diving for those rings all those years ago!

a group of people sitting at a table
A few of our dive master trainees hard at work!
MYTH 6: I have no one to dive with

Been trying to convince your mom, brother, uncle, or your cousins best friends younger sister to come dive with no luck?! Feeling like you cannot dive with out a scuba partner in crime, so you decide not to even give it a go?!

One of the BEST parts about scuba diving is the instant friends and camaraderie that go along with it. You meet new like-minded friends from all over the world and go on badass underwater adventures together. The diving community is one of the most inviting groups, and together you get to see and experience some amazing underwater life that the majority of people will never get to see.

Still think you have no one to dive with?

Ahem… WRONG.

We are waiting with open arms here at Coconut Tree Divers for you! Our instructors, dive masters and customers are always looking for new dive buddies. So come visit us in Roatan, Honduras and make a couple friends, we are waiting for you! All the info you need is below, feel free to reach out for more information!

a person sitting on a bench with a dog
The pups and instructor Sammy are waiting for you too!

Myths = Busted

We hope this clears up any existing concerns you had and hope to see you underwater soon!

For more info on Coconut Tree Divers, schedules, courses, and pricing head to our homepage HERE!
To make a reservation head to our online reservation page HERE!
Want to keep up with all things Coconuts?! Make sure to follow us!
Instagram : @coconuttreedivers
Picture credit : All photos by our very own Alex Harper-Graham unless otherwise noted!
We would love to have you come dive with us!
For more info on Coconut Tree Divers, schedules, courses, and pricing head to our homepage HERE!
To make a reservation head to our online reservation page HERE!