In one hour we are heading out for a night dive. We take the afternoon off from diving and head into the town, which involves a 15 minute boat ride through the lagoon and across the bay. The main road parallels the water and is bordered by small shops, eateries, houses and accommodations painted either white or bright Caribbean colours. Most of the buildings are built up off the ground on pylons. The main road is concrete rather than asphalt. ATVs, scooters, dirt bikes, bicycles and small trucks and vans ply the road, some traveling at speeds disregarding the safety of pedestrians.
We mosey along popping into shops looking for a fish for our “fish wall”. See some possibilities but want to survey it all before making a decision. One of the shops was called the “Fancy Fish“ which sold artwork and handcrafts created by people on the island. We enjoy these shops and try to purchase locally crafted fish to support the local economy.
One of the dive masters tells us to visit the Jade Seahorse Hotel which is down a cross street to the main street. The owner and artist has decorated the lot with walkways, patios, walls and steps with glass pieces, shells, tile in an array of fabulous colours. It is like walking through a magical wonderland. There are little cabins at the back of the lot available to stay in and a little shop on site.
We walk further down and see a sign for a gallery just off the street. We hunt it down and enter a yard full of wood and paint and debris. Climb steps up, pass by boots and paint and buckets and more debris and enter the gallery that looks like someone’s kitchen. There are wood sculptures and paintings on display and while Mur chats with the once Austrian turned US ski instructor turned artist now in resident in Utila, I find a fish painted on a rough board and decide it is perfect for our wall. It says Utila – rough around the edges but a promise of fish. We buy it.
It is now after our night dive. This is the first night dive that I feel like I have seen alot of wildlife. We see a Cryptic Teardrop Crab, a Toad Fish, Shrimp, Lobsters, an eel and many sleeping fish. Did you know that fish sleep on their sides?
It is time for bed as there is more diving to come and our 7:00 am breakfast is approaching.