Thursday, November 12, 2009

RAINY SEASON/DIVE MASTER BEGININGS


Well rainy season is upon us, last week three days of torrential rain and more of the same this week. However when the rain stops and the sun comes out i get to see this view again and it never gets old. I've spent the last two weeks working on my padi dive master course which has been a lot of fun and i even got to assist Juca teaching a padi advanced open water course. I'll be hitting the books while i'm back in Chicago and will pick up the practical part of the course again when i return to Utila.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

OUR FIRST BANANAS





We planted some young banana shoots (donated by our night watchman "El Pastor") in February and they've just sent out their first fruit. Really beautiful and i had no idea that each baby banana had a flower on it, kind of like a courgette (zucchini). Hopefully we'll be around when they are ripe, i love bananas and the potassium stops me getting leg cramps when i dive!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

THIS MONTH AT TREASURE BEACH







videoEvery year on the nights leading up to the September full moon, the land crabs come out of the jungle and migrate down the beach to drop their eggs into the sea. There are literally thousands (the pics don't do it justice), they're even up the almond and sea grape trees. Every night for a week or so we watch this amazing sight that is like something from a National Geographic episode, it will either intrigue you or freak you out!


There have been lots of guests at the Pineapple House this month. we had a group of eight (four couples) from Pennsylvania for a week at the beginning of September. While they were at Treasure Beach five of the group completed the p.a.d.i. advanced diving course. Congratulations to Sean N. and company, it was really nice to welcome you to Utila and thanks for sharing your lovely photos.
Another group of four guests stayed for the last two weeks of the month. Christi, Allan and friends really got into the no phones, t.v. or outside distractions and got thoroughly decompressed from their busy lives climbing the corporate ladder in New York City. Christi became a certified open water diver and the whole group wiled away many hours snorkeling our house reef. All the friends agreed that it was very hard to leave Treasure Beach and that they'd loved the Pineapple House.

Without doubt one of the high points of the month for me was watching a pod of pilot whales pass between Treasure Beach and Diamond Cay just before sunset one afternoon, beautiful.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

LION FISH ARRIVE ON UTILA !


well i guess it was inevitable, they're showing up all over the caribbean. however, seeing two on one day, at different dive sights, was still a big surprise. we saw our first utilan lion fish (juveniles) on dives one morning last week, one at "the pinnacle" on the northside and another at raggedy cay on the westside. we tried to get them with a knife but they're slippery devils and to be honest we were worried about getting stung. they certainly are pretty though.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

TREASURE BEACH VACATION RENTALS

I've just finished editing this short 2 minute video showing the homes available for vacation rental at Treasure Beach, check it out. video

A GOOD DAY

there's something about being in the water with a whale shark that just makes my day (manta rays have the same effect). video

Sunday, August 2, 2009

UTILA MARINE LIFE

video an overview of what you can expect to see diving and snorkeling on utila (or just sitting on the pier at treasure beach).

UTILA....THE LITTLE ISLAND THAT COULD.



although the bay islands have been unaffected by the current political situation in honduras, it's inhabitants have strong feelings about what's been happening and the way in which it's reported in the media.
i especially like the sign that says "honduras is an example to the world. we don't have oil or money but we have balls! we want peace and freedom, viva honduras."

Monday, July 27, 2009

TREASURE BEACH, UTILA.............THE MOVIE !

video although i'm a klutz on the computer, even i could do this with the help of my trusty mac.

JUCA COMES TO CHICAGO


while travelling to europe for a family wedding, honduras' top diving instructor mr. juan carlos castillo molina stopped off in chicago to see honduras vs. u.s.a. in the world cup qualifier. there were so many honduran fans in chicago for the match (2-1 over u.s. fans) that when i took him sight seeing around my town, he met more people he knew than i did!
we'll be diving with juca again in three weeks when we all return to utila. i can't wait !

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

NEW OCEAN KAYAKS

currently in transit from the u.s. and arriving at Treasure Beach soon, one double & one single ocean kayak. guests can now paddle to their hearts content! lunch on the utila cays or at the purple pelican on pine point beach are now just a paddle way. amazingly beautiful and you'll burn all the calories that's for sure. please don't forget to bring your mask and snorkel but most importantly, sunscreen and a hat!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ahhh the wonders of nature.

forget about watching t.v. when you're at treasure beach (actually i don't have a t.v.).  get outside, you just never know what you might see when you're sitting on the pier waiting to watch the sunset! video

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NIGHT SNORKELING AT TREASURE BEACH





one of my favorite things to do in the evening is to snorkel from our pier. you never know what you might see and it's as good as any night dives i've ever done.  the sea is very other worldly at night and when there's no moon (and my dive light is turned off, or broken!) the phosphorescence is magical. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

MI PEQUENO AMIGO




our night watchman has a little dog named camilla who's taken quite a shine to me (or my couch) lately. back in january when she first started patrolling our beach at night she wouldn't come near me. then one night i came home and found her asleep on one of the couches on my veranda. now she's my best buddy and hangs out with me every evening and usually sleeps on the veranda outside my bedroom at night. she's a great watchdog and chases the crab hunters off of our beach every night (she likes to "play" with the crabs and doesn't like the competition) and is most insistent that nobody goes on our pier except the treasure beach residents. camilla, mi pequeno amigo (i think that means, my little friend).

THE PINEAPPLE HOUSE IS FINISHED !












i'm so proud of the new house we just finished, it's beautiful. the pineapple house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a huge kitchen/living/dining room. i spent the last few days living in it to make sure that there's no little electrical or plumbing tweaks needed but all was perfect. like the coral house that i completed last year, the pineapple house really takes full advantage of the prevailing east wind to naturally cool the house. the big veranda that wraps around the house stays shady all day and is the perfect spot for siestas and what an amazing view!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

WHALE SHARKS AND DOLPHINS AND MANTAS, OH MY.






beth and i have had an amazing week of diving and snorkeling. we've seen three whale sharks, including a forty footer that we snorkeled with twice. it was feeding at the surface on a bait ball created by a big school of bonito and was joined in the feeding frenzy by manta (or perhaps mobula) rays and some very big wahoo. what a sight, beth estimated the whale sharks mouth to be at least five and a half feet wide (she used her body as the measuring tool) ! we also snorkeled with a pod of spinner dolphins which was a fantastic experience, they are absolutely beautiful and amazingly fast. however, not all the action has been out in the deep blue water, at treasure beach this week we've also seen southern rays, tarpon, spotted eagle rays and a moray eel. all-in-all a great week to be in the water, which has been 80 degrees!  video video video

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

AHHHHHHHH.....MI CASITAS



the coral and pineapple houses now have beautiful water front casitas, the perfect place for that afternoon cerveza. it's like a corona ad come true! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MOVING FURNITURE INTO THE PINEAPPLE HOUSE




yesterday the thatchers came and put the roofs on the beach casitas/palapas. now we have large shady, palm leaf covered places to enjoy the sea breeze while staying out of the hot caribbean sun. at the same time we started to move the kitchen , bathroom cabinets and furniture into the pineapple house, exciting times !

Thursday, March 19, 2009

STAFF LUNCH SATURDAYS


I started a little tradition during the construction of the Pineapple House, “staff lunch Saturdays.” I usually do a fish or chicken Thai curry with rice and it’s the first time I’ve ever cooked for more than 6-7 people. It’s a fun way to do something nice for the guys, after all, they bust their humps for me in the hot sun, six days a week and never complain. Plus I get to feel good too. When I remind them on Friday at knocking off time that its staff lunch tomorrow, they all cheer! They’re a great group of guys and a real bunch of characters, most of them have been with us for 3 or 4 years now (I know they all look like kids but they’re all in their twenties).

As usual our foreman Peter Howell and the crew have done an amazing job on the Pineapple House, the fit and finish of every post and beam is perfect. Aside from the beautiful woodworking done on site, Peter has also made me some beautiful furniture in his woodshop on Pigeon Cay. I have to say the bedroom furniture, bathroom counters and kitchen cabinets I designed have all been constructed impeccably by his cabinetmakers, I’m really pleased.

As much as I look forward to Treasure Beach no longer being a construction site, it’ll be strange not to have the crew around the place everyday. Hopefully we’ll all be starting a new job next month, a water front restaurant about a mile west of Treasure Beach for our friend Sebastien, a chef from the south of France.

Monday, March 16, 2009

THE BIG PUSH TO FINISH THE PINEAPPLE HOUSE !








this week we're putting the final touches on my most beautiful project to date, the pineapple house at treasure beach. paint touch ups and landscaping today, followed by the installation of the kitchen cabinets and appliances, bathroom sinks and moving in the furniture and lighting. an exciting week for me and the crew. 


i'll post more images next week when the furniture is in   x 

UTILA : MY TOP TEN PICKS FOR FOOD & DRINKS

  • DRIFTWOOD INN - great for a cool breezy lunch on the dock, bruce on the b.b.q. at night (his brisket is famous on the island but i like the beer battered snapper). a favorite amongst the expats, horse shoes on the sand & u.s. sports on t.v. sunday afternoons.
  • LUNCH AT THE CAYS- wether you choose beau's "fishburger" or mr. hermans "cay view", no trip to utila is complete without lunch on the cays. everyone goes for the fish burgers but i prefer the chicken or lobster (in season). great places to spend a surface interval, bring your camera.
  • MANGO INN-best pizza on the island, authentic thin crust italian style from the brick oven. beautiful gardens, watch the hummingbirds feed by day, bats at night.
  • THE INDIAN WOK- consistently good indian/asian cuisine, a welcome new addition to utila.
  • THE PURPLE PELICAN-my new favourite place for lunch. located at pine point one of utilas prettiest beaches. nice food, beach chairs and lovely water (i've never seen so many starfish). stay for a couple of hours, eat, drink, swim and relax.
  • THOMPSONS BAKERY- the place to stop on your way to that first dive of the day. great coconut bread and cinnamon rolls.
  • TRANQUILLA BAR- a favorite of backpackers and locals, great place to sit on the water and watch the sun go down. an eclectic music selection fuels the party as the evening progress', an institution on utila.
  • TREETANIC BAR- located in a treehouse on the grounds of the jade seahorse. atmospheric , hip bar thats a favorite of the divemasters and younger expats. things usually get going around 10pm,. nice crowd, good vibe.
  • ULTRA LIGHT - great falafel sandwiches and chicken schwarma . very reasonably priced, quality middle eastern food.
  • UTOPIA RESORT- for a special evening out of town, chef hugh prepares the best food on the island (probably honduras), his menu changes daily . try the blackfin tuna if its available, amazing ! accessible only by boat from town, contact the hotel to make reservations and transportation arrangements.

About Me

My photo
my adventures in island living . after visiting utila as a diver for four years (it reminds me of ambergris caye belize, 20 years ago) i bought some beach front land in 2005 and built a home for myself in 2007. i'm located on the beautiful southwest shore opposite the utila cays at treasure beach. now i'm in partnership with my builder Roger, designing/building beautiful homes for our clients (we've completed 5 so far) and living my island dream !