Crocodiles and Planes

April 1st, 2012
by Gunter Kordovsky

[private] v10-4-Utila PerspectiveRecently I have heard several reports about croc sightings by divers and land laborers. I understood that the juvenile species lately seen were relocated into the swamp of Utila. In all my exploration and dive trips, I never saw one, except a photograph of a 12-foot crocodile caught a few years ago at Jack Neals Bight.

Jan from the former Bundo CafĂ© saw one at Cross Creek a few times, a place that used to swarm with those prehistoric monsters which where all but killed off before I came by. Maxen Morgan and Willy Waterhouse Sr. were the island’s crock hunters who used to sell their skins to Kawas in La Ceiba. Several years ago Willy Waterhouse Jr., once the captain for the Utila Lodge, saw a small croc 5-6 miles out at sea which he brought in and released into Turtle Harbor.

I vividly remember circumnavigating Utila after hurricane Mitch to access the damage done by the 40-foot waves that had battered Utila for days. As I crossed the Turtle Harbor flats alone with a heavy backpack and water up to my neck, I came within sight of the renegade crocodile.

The Mystery Plane

While chilling out at the Babalu expat hangout after UPCO left us without lights from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., somebody mentioned that “another drug plane crashed.” Having seen the devastated two-engine plane that had crashed previously in the forest by the airport (a crash which cost the life of the pilot and injured the co-pilots), I was surprised to see the one-engine plane in rather good shape.

Before the wreck blocking the runway was finally moved, at least a dozen cobras with ski masks guarded the plane which proved to be empty with no pilot in sight. According to a nearby neighbor the plane crashed in broad daylight which is very unusual, as this kind of activity typically takes place at night.

I’m always flabbergasted how that kind of activity can be tolerated in a so-called Christian community with about a dozen different denominations and a church on every corner. I recall my first encounter with drugs in the seventies when a black guy asked me in the typical island lilt: “Hey man, wanna smoke?” I thankfully declined.

I recall the big 4- by 8-foot sign at the old airport close to town which, in English and Spanish, promised 21 years in jail for drug possession.

Over the years I have seen quite a few youngsters on this beautiful island becoming victims of the unscrupulous drug dealer and turning into crack cocaine addicts just looking for another fix. It is a real crime to ruin the lives of young people for profit. I hope someday soon we’ll get a leader who will do something about the disgraceful situation. [/private]

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