• Overview
  • Objectives
  • Skills you gain
  • Costs to Consider
  • Site Conditions

This expedition is based on Utila Island and is aimed at training you to become a PADI Divemaster (DM). You need to be qualified to PADI Rescue Diver and have 40 logged dives before starting on this course. Your course will then involve assisting qualified Divemasters and Instructors in training new Open Water divers and providing additional supervision in the water to the normal DM and Instructor ratios. The costs of the course are included in the expedition, though you will have to purchase the necessary PADI training materials ahead of joining the expedition and pay PADI registration fees after completion. During your expedition you will also have time to join the Caribbean reef ecology and survey techniques course and will be able to learn how to identify most of the coral and fish species encountered in the Caribbean as well as gain an insight into the marine research being carried out at the Coral View Research Centre. Note, one of the benefits of training with Opwall is that assuming you perform well on site then for future seasons we offer those who have trained with us the opportunity to fill one of the DM roles on different expeditions around the world.

Honduras Marine Research Objectives

In the Caribbean, there are a number of core issues that have been affecting the biodiversity of the coral reefs – including the mass mortality of keystone sea urchins that have allowed algal colonisation of reef areas, an invasive species originally from the Indo-Pacific (lionfish) that acts as a predator on reef fish which has been spreading across the Caribbean, and overfishing of reef fish by local communities. Opwall has two monitoring sites in Honduras: one is on the island reefs of Utila and the second on the coastal barrier reef of Tela. At both sites, teams of Opwall scientists and students collect annual monitoring data to assess temporal patterns of ecosystem change, alongside novel research to address key management priorities and gaps in our current understanding of tropical marine coastal ecosystem function.

  • Gain an internationally recognised professional SCUBA qualification
  • Dive on a range of reefs around Utila island
  • Experience working in a fast paced dive centre, supervising divers and assisting with training courses
  • Complete a week-long training course on Caribbean coral reef ecology
  • Collect ecological survey data on coral reef health and diversity
  • Opwall fee
  • Cost of international flights into and out of San Pedro Sula
  • Cost of internal travel to and from the start and end point of the expedition, plus any hotels you might require. This costs around £160 or $208 on average. Extra nights’ accommodation in San Pedro Sula costs around £49 or $71.
  • Dive equipment rental – £50 or $75 per week for full dive kit. Please note that wetsuits/rash vests cannot be provided – you should bring your own.
  • Park entrance fees – £17 or $25
  • PADI Divemaster crew pack and registration fees
  • Vaccinations and prophylactic medicines – cost can vary depending on your healthcare provider.
  • All prices in GBP or USD unless specified

Climate
Our marine sites are hot and usually dry, but with occasional storms.

Fitness level required
Low – Moderate. Some fitness is required for in water activities, but conditions are relatively easy.

Creature comforts
Facilities are comfortable but basic. There is phone signal and limited wifi that is often unreliable.

Locations

  • Honduras
  • Utila

Want to get involved with this project?

Preparation

Want to get involved with this project?

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