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Roatan lies about 40 miles (65 km) north of Honduras in the Caribbean. Roatan, Guanaja, and Utila make up the Bay Islands, with Roatan being the largest. It is 48 miles (77 km) long and less than 5 miles (8 km) wide at its widest point. The island is an exposed ancient coral reef rising 890 feet (270 meters) above sea level. It is located on the southern edge of the Meso-American Barrier Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea and in the northern hemisphere, and the second largest in the world after Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Roatan hosts 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of molluscs, and more than 500 species of fish.

We dove the Bay Islands in 1995 aboard a liveaboard dive boat.

split-crown feather duster, Anamobaea orstedii

fan worm tube worm

Solitary gorgonian hydroid, Ralpharia gorgoniae

Giant basket star, Astrophyton muricatum

basket star

Common octopus, Octopus vulgaris


Sponge brittle star, Ophiothrix suensonii

brittle stars brittle stars on sponge brittle star on sponge

Cryptic teardrop crab, Pelia mutica

teardrop crab

Yellowline arrow crab, Stenorhynchus seticomis

arrow crab

Caribbean spiny lobster, Penulirus argus


Pederson cleaner shrimp, Periclemenes pedersoni

Pederson cleaning shrimp

Hidden cleaner shrimp, Lysmata rathbunae


Banded coral shrimp, Stenopus hispidus

banded coral shrimps

Stove-pipe sponge, Aplysina archeri


Branching vase sponge, Callyspongia vaginalis


Orange icing sponge, Mycale laevis

sponge on coral

Variable boring sponge, Siphonodictyon coralliphagum

sponges on coral sponges on coral

Staghorn coral

staghorn coral

sea fans

sea fan

fire coral

fire coral coral and tangs


globular encrusting tunichate, Diplosoma glandulosum


Painted tunichate, Clavelina picta


Bulb tunichate, Clavelina sp.


Bluebell tunichate, Clavelina puerto-secensis

tunichates tunichates

Lettuce sea slug, Elysia crispata

lettuce sea slug

Tasseled nudibranch, Bornella calcarata


Crisscross tritonia, Tritonia bayeri


Flabellina sp.



Common (Atlantic) bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus


Creole wrasse, Clepticus parrae

creole wrasses

Silversides (ten species)


Yellow goatfish, Mulloidichthys martinicus


Spotted goatfish (night colors), Pseudupeneus maculatus


Large-eye toadfish, Batrachoides gilberti


Balloonfish, Diodon holocanthus


Yellowhead wrasse (terminal phase), Halichoeres garnoti


Indigo hamlet, Hypoplectrus indigo

Stoplight parrotfish (terminal phase), Sparisoma viride


Porkfish, Anisotremus virginicus

Red hind, Epinephelus guttatus


Nassau grouper, Epinephelus striatus

Nassau grouper

Blue tang, Acanthurus coeruleus

blue tang

Spanish hogfish, Bodianus rufus


Hogfish (intermediate phase), Lachnolaimus maximus


Spotfin butterflyfish, Chaetodon ocellatus

Banded vbutterflyfish, Chaetodon striatus

banded butterflyfish

Smooth trunkfish, Lactophrys triqueter


Scrawled cowfish, Acanthostrocion quadricornis


Sand diver, Synodus intermedius

Slender filefish, Monacanthus tuckeri


Neon goby, Elacatinus oceanops


shark-nose goby, Elacatinus evelynae


Glass goby, Coryphopterus cf hyalinus


Peppermint goby, Coryphopterus lipernes

Rock beauty, Holacanthus tricolor

rock beauty

French angelfish, Pomacanthus paru

Gray angelfish, Pomacanthus arcuatus

grey angel

Queen angelfish, Holacanthus ciliaris

queen angel

Yellowtail snapper, Ocyurus chrysurus

yellowtail snapper

We returned in 2017 to set up an amateur radio station at Chillax Roatan, in Sandy Bay near Anthony's Key, for the CQ WW CW contest, which we operated as HQ9X. The aluminum tower arrived damaged. Getting someone locally to straighten the bent cross-bracing and reweld the broken welds took most of the time we were there. We also needed to get the base hole dug. So the tower and beam will go up next time, and we operated the contest entirely on wire antennas.

QTH QTH Paul on roof QTH: Paul on roof Paul and Dennis kitchen humingbird hummingbird hummingbird parrot Charlotte and parrot Paul and parrot iguana broken weld welding base hole digging base hole tower base Paul and Dennis Charlotte and Dennis Paul with wire antenna Paul soldering Paul with string amp Charlotte and amp Paul and Dennis operating Paul operating Paul operating

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Last modified 14 February 2018