Three years ago today, on November 21st, 2013, Roatan Divers opened its doors under new ownership to our first guests, a group of 9 cruise shippers. We started small, with 20 tanks, homemade tank holders in two water taxis, 5 small lockers and an electric kettle because we couldn’t afford to splurge on a proper standing water dispenser. That first day, Saaya ran the dive center, Victor was captaining one boat, and Karl and our instructor friend, Pete, were guiding. It was a stressful and exhilarating day, with a dive center that was still in the final stages of completion and a boat that was being built on island time. We were very unsure of our future, to say the least. But we knew we would succeed, because we had no other choice but to.
Fast forward three years. We went from our rag tag team of four (technically two and a half, because Victor and Peter, our first DM, didn’t join us full time until late December) to eight full time staff (two owner/managers, two captains and four instructors). We moved our classroom upstairs, added a Nitrox system, 20 more tanks, are building Boat #3, Sága (post on that coming soon!), and are currently working to expand our facilities even further.
In the last year alone, we were named Diving Company of the Year for Honduras from the Luxury Travel Guide (and were a Top Five Finalist for the Global Awards), we joined Go Blue Central America Geotourism, received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and now have a sister dive center on the south side of the island, Tobri Divers, so that we can offer excellent service and facilities from both sides of the island, regardless of the weather.
The road to where we have gotten hasn’t been an easy one, and it certainly hasn’t been lacking in hard work. It’s been long hours and high stress, many moments of self-doubt and not one moment of regret (okay, there have been many moments of regret. But they've also been learning experiences, so...win?). So many people have been integral to our success, so we’d just like to take a moment, on our three year anniversary, to thank everyone who has helped us make it this far.
To each and every guest who has walked through these doors, thank you. There are so many of you that feel that our success is your success and have rooted for us every step of the way, and we are eternally grateful for your passion and belief in us.
To all of our Instructors and Divemasters, past and present, thank you. We are only as strong as our team, and your professionalism and desire to represent the best of Roatan Divers has been our greatest strength. I'm not sure if we're a very functional or dysfunctional little family, but we are a family nonetheless.
To our captains, thank you. Victor, you have been a rock throughout, and we could not have asked for a better person to take this journey with. Kevin, we wish we found you sooner! It’s been a privilege to watch you both grow from young’uns to confident young men, and we can’t wait to see where the years take you next.
To our newest family at Tobri Divers, thank you. Thank you for also believing in our vision, and for helping us grow and to up our quality game. We know Karl brings everything to the table and Saaya brings nothing, but we hope you love working with us as much as we love working with you!
To our families and friends, who let us convince them that buying a dive center sight unseen in Honduras was a good idea (lawdy, the thoughts that must have been going through your heads), thank you. Thanks for your faith in us, and for supporting us from thousands of miles away.
And finally, to the people of Roatan, thank you. Thank you to every person who has shown us kindness (there have been so many of you) and to every person who has not (because it was a very good learning experience). Roatan is filled with extraordinary people, and this has been an incredible experience that we would not be able to recreate anywhere else.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all. We’ve had an amazing three years so far, and can’t wait to see where the next three take us.
Saaya and Karl