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Sailboat Charter from Utila to Cayos Cochinos

Sailing to Cayos Cochinos with Rusty's Sailboat Tours & Charters

Vacation Date: February 2008

Report Date: 20th February 2008

Author: Elena Ferretta

Captain Rusty, Keith and 50lb Wahoo
Captain Rusty, Keith & 50lb Wahoo

Keith and Lena visited Utila in early February 2008. We were fortunate enough to hook up with Captain Rusty for a delightful trip to the Cayos Cochinos. A local dive instructor from Gunter's (Ecomarine) and his companion accompanied us by chance for our big adventure. Sailing to the islands was quite lovely and relaxing.
Rusty put out the lines to catch lunch, but alas, there was no fish for us that afternoon. We arrived at Cayos Cochinos which is a paradise! After mooring the boat, we went for an afternoon snorkel. Much to our surprise, the reef was just moments from the boat and the coral was in immaculate condition. The marine life on the reef was tremendous as the area is a protected marine reserve. Really, the most gorgeous snorkeling we had ever experienced. The water in the bay was calm and teeming with creatures large and small.

Cayos Cochinos
Cayos Cochinos

We were greeted back on the boat with a huge, delicious lunch prepared by Helen, Rusty's first mate. We spent the early evening at the resort on the island, carousing and celebrating Keith's birthday. Back on the boat, we all enjoyed the bright stars, peaceful evening and glistening water (alive with bioluminescent plankton).

The next morning, we went for an early swim, then back to the boat for a feast of fresh fruit and granola. We spent the early part of the day working on diving basics with our dive instructor, Degs and Victoria. After playing in the water, we went for a long hike across the island to a Garifuna village then around the perimeter of the island soaking in the beautiful scenery. We stopped in for a few beers at the resort, then back to the boat for a scrumptious dinner.

Cayos Cochinos at Sunset
Sunset at Cayos Cochinos

In the morning, we headed out to a dive site called Lionshead for a fun dive. Again, the reef was spectacular, and deserted except for us and the abundance of aquatic life. It was then, reluctantly, that we set sail back to Utila.

However, our adventure wasn't over yet. Not long into the boat ride back, the fishing line snapped to life. Keith manned the reel with Rusty's guidance and after 15 minutes, there was a gorgeous 50 pound Wahoo on the boat! After the Wahoo was tamed, we resumed our trip, but the excitement wasn't over. The dolphins swimming along-side the boat topped off the adventure in grand style. After arriving back in Utila, we decided to finish up our open-water PADI certification with Degs and Ecomarine. The experience was wonderful. We felt very comfortable with the staff and dive training we received. Lena was a very hesitant student at first, but because of the excellent instruction became at ease and confident despite the initial fears. Degs, Shannon and Nick were all terrific.

Captain Rusty in action
Captain Rusty in Action

We had a tremendous trip and highly recommend the Cayos Cochinos excursion with Rusty for persons who are looking for a unique experience away from the large tours and crowds in the Caribbean. Rusty offered suggestions for activities, but ultimately left it up to us what we wanted to do. Our biggest problem was deciding how to spend our time wisely! We enjoyed our time on Utila as well. We had many good meals (the best being the Wahoo that we had caught) and had a terrific time going out in the evening. People were very friendly and helpful and we think Utila is a great, low-key island.

Thanks again to Rusty and Ecomarine!

Lena and Keith