David Benz  /  Sport Diver
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updated 7/20/2005 6:44:26 PM ET 2005-07-20T22:44:26

I arrived on the scene at the aptly-named Fantasy Island Resort for the inaugural PADI Diving Society "Society Singles" event toting my Sport Diver staff hat and credentials. Like the popular television program's opening scene, one can easily imagine arriving on this private tropical island by amphibious plane. However, the land approach is a little more practical, by way of a rustic wooden bridge from the mainland of Roatan, one of the Bay Islands of Honduras. Fantasy Island is a state-of-the-art dedicated dive resort with an abundance of diving and leisure amenities. I was there to chronicle the adventures of the fun-loving group of single PADI Diving Society members who had signed up for a week full of diving, dancing, and dating.

Upon arrival, Nick Palandra from Fantasy Island Resort informed me that I would be staying in the honeymoon suite. Being a married guy, I immediately thought to myself that this would be a waste of a perfectly good room, and certainly some single Society member would be more deserving of such a romantic bungalow. But then again, I am not one to turn down an upgrade.

David Benz  /  Sport Diver
The 87-room resort has two tennis courts, two bars with frequent live entertainment, and an elegant restaurant featuring the finest in continental and island cuisine. The rooms are furnished in a tropical motif featuring tiled entrances, plush carpeting, air conditioning, ceiling fan, color TV, telephone, refrigerator, sitting area and balcony with ocean view.

The owner of Fantasy Island Resort has gone to great lengths to develop a diver's paradise, complete with a fleet of custom dive boats, an expanded photo/video center and a dedicated beach-diving gazebo on a remote side of the island. Mother Nature must have known divers were coming when she laid out the perfect island configuration with three separate and unique beaches -- one for snorkeling, one for diving and one for water sports.

David Benz  /  Sport Diver
By day we explored spectacular wall dives and stunning wrecks. Roatan is truly a diver's paradise, with an underwater community that includes seahorses, barrel sponges, turtles and spotted eagle rays. While the diving in Roatan is nothing less than world-class, it was probably the most subdued activity during this week-long event.

On dry land, divers mixed, mingled and vied for prizes. Contests ranged from coed leapfrog and limbo to a shagadelic '60s costume contest that brought hot pants and pimp hats crawling from every corner of the resort. In fact, there were so many activities between and after the dives that it left the beachside hammocks swinging lonely arcs (at least until the cover of darkness).

The week was such a hit, the PADI Diving Society and Fantasy Island Resort are doing it all again this year. The 2005 "Society Singles" event will take place September 3-10 at Fantasy Island Beach Resort in Roatan, Honduras. For more information, go to SportDiver.com’s Society Singles resource page.

As the official publication of the PADI Diving Society, Sport Diver is the magazine divers turn to each month to find out what’s going on in their world. Sport Diver is the ultimate source for up to date information on dive culture, equipment, travel, training and PADI Diving Society activities.

© 2012 World Publications, LLC

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