[private] Utila’s first Lionfish derby started with a big splash April 29, with three teams entered by Alton’s Dive Shop, BICD, Deep Blue, UDC, two teams from Cross Creek, Gunter Ecomarine, Parrot and Underwater Vision and one team by Coral View and Laguna Beach Resort.
The Utila Center for ecology and BICA organized the event which entrance fee was L.100 per person and entitled each participant a place in the hunt and a Utila derby 2011 T-shirt.
The atmosphere was competitive but friendly, as the different dive sites where scoured for that destructive intruder who just recently started to invade the reef of Utila.
The first catch arrived around 9:30am brought in by the UDC team with 32 fish in one dive an impressive start. As the rather flamboyant species where brought in they where all counted, measured, and their venomous spines removed. The credit of the hard work of filleting the impressive catch of 429 lionfish hoes to Chef John Souza who also made delicious fried fish cakes later with Steve from La Pirata.
The lionfish were cooked in a Sunday cook-out at Chepas beach which was greatly enjoyed by our motley group of expats and a few locals. Peter from Utopia Resort made a scrumptious lionfish curry, and John Souza served pan fried lionfish cakes in a Portuguese dip. Chef Anders from the Utila Aggressor treated us with a LF ceviche and Urs Zuger prepared a delicious fried lionfish.
The lionfish treats vanished in less than an hour and an award ceremony was done very nicely and plaques by Elke Blynn and Urs where presented to the winners; first place with most lionfish caught by Deep Blue Divers, 90 Lionfish, second place with 56 Lionfish caught as a team UDC, third place UWV with the biggest Lionfish caught of 30.4cm, forth place BICD with the smallest Lionfish caught of 6.3cm.
Death While Picking Mangoes
Mid May Francisko Hernandes Bush was picking mangos with a metal stick and accidentally connected with the 1,000 volts power line. Unfortunately this mistake cost the young man his life. It was quite a job to lift the victim out of the branches and lower him to the ground. The tragedy was a repeat of what happened around 10 years ago when a man hit the electric wire with a machete while cleaning branches for the power company.
Hosted by Pat Flynn and his beautiful wife Nelly, a former beauty queen and model, was held at the La Pirata Sport Bar during Semana Santa. Around 20 beautiful contestants showed up to compete.
In the face of the current obesity epidemic which is sweeping Utila it was a delight to se actually girls who are proud to look good and work at. A huge crowd turned up to admire and cheer our mostly very young contestants.
Most where under 18 and participated the first time, one could see a professional touch is needed to teach our beauties how to walk dance and pose. The winner was Stephanie Zelaya, 16, second place went to Loany Tyrcia and third place to Yany Enamorado.
Camponado Cut Off
One week in May the working class neighborhood of Camponado with round 800 people were cut off from the rest of East Harbour. The community’s only connection to the rest of Utila is a narrow six foot wide path that the Utila Municipality decided to pave. While the concrete dried for one week, neither vehicles nor pedestrians could pass. Camponado residents had to create a way out by whacking a path through the swamp which some braved to use in getting to work and bringing in supplies. [/private]