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Old 03-12-2011, 02:56 PM   #1
Road Rash OP
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Roatan Honduras............An Island Adventure

Roatan is very popular for scuba and snorkeling, but I'm not much into that. I went to Roatan to visit an old friend (Vern) who is living there, running his Catamaran from Roatan to Utila. Vern and I had not seen each other for over 10 years, and it's been longer than that since we have rode together.

Vern no longer has a bike as he spends most of his time on his boat. And since I flew in - I was bike-less............................so we rented the biggest bikes on the Island that we could...........................a couple of Honda XR200's

Before we take off the guy at the rental place does a little PM on our little steeds.




And of course we need a good breakfast............very tasty and only 100 lempiras ($5)




Roatan is aprox 35 miles long and 3 miles wide and Vern lives in West End Roatan. So we headed east, but took a dirt route for as much as we could.
Nice helmet huh?




Then this dood seemed to want us to stop and take his picture.





His cousins.




At this spot we also were approached by a couple of locals that were obviously very poor. They were talking to Vern in spanish, and the only thing I understood is that Vern told then all he had was a 500 lempira bill and he wasn't going to give them that. They nodded, smiled, turned and started to walk away. I asked Vern what they wanted. Vern said they they were looking for change to buy some rice and asked if I had any change. I pulled a dollar bill out of my wallet and called the guys back, they were very grateful, thanked us and went on their way.



Above French Harbour, Vern was always turning around for me since I wanted to stop and take lots of pics




Next stop was the little town of Jonesville to visit some friends of Vern's, this is the view from their back yard looking towards the Ocean



Looking inland.




Still in Jonesville we stop at Miss Lilly's store.




Vern goes in to say Hi, then steps outside and makes a phone call............................................"hey, I need a ride"

I'm thinking ride? we have bikes.
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:21 PM   #2
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Next thing I know a little boat pulls up to take us to the other side of the bay.



Looking toward our destination



We pull up to "Hole In The Wall".........it is only accessible by boat http://www.roatanonline.com/moreroat..._east/hole.htm



Vern hanging with some of his friends.



At the Bar



This boat in the background belongs to Vern and one of his friends..................can't remember how long he said it's been sitting there.



Island life is rough.



Vern goes on shore to hang with a couple more friends he has not seen in awhile.



There was writing all over the place, so I asked if I could sign my name..................the guy I was sitting next to said go for it and handed me a sharpie.




After a great burger and fries (sorry no pics) we asked for a ride back.



Self portrait.




The "street" (there is just one) of Jonesville.





All along the ride I saw things that I wanted to take pictures of, like cute little kids at work or play, old timers sitting in the shade,... but did not want to make anyone uncomfortable so I did not get the camera out.

One of those times was along this street, where a family had a little pet monkey under their carport.
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:48 PM   #3
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cool. Hole in the wall...some great lobster cevechi there ...so good trip?
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by freeflow View Post
cool. Hole in the wall...some great lobster cevechi there ...so good trip?

Very good trip.....................didn't know if you would see this report or not so I was going to send you a link to it when I was done

Not sure what I enjoyed most, driving or riding with very little rules, the food, the views, the eye candy, the rum punch.....................it was all good

I would have loved to have my KLX400 there for riding around the Island
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:00 PM   #5
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Back on the Main Road

From Oak Ridge looking down to Bodden Bight




Getting closer to the East side of the Island we stop at Camp Bay......................you may notice that Vern is on his cell in a lot of the pics, every time we stopped he had, or would get a call from someone looking to hop a ride on his Catamaran to Utila.



As I look for shells for TG, Vern is writing in the sand.....................



................for his girlfriend Zuni.



One more shot before we hit the road again.




Back on the bikes we start gaining in elevation, then the road starts heading back downhill, we can see we are getting closer to the end of the Island.



At this point I thought we might be at the end of the road as it dead ended here with a big puddle in front of a dirt wall. I got off my bike and told Vern to "go for it"...............and I'll take a picture.

He goes ripping down the road, slams on the brakes just before the puddle and starts cussing at me..........................hey what are friends for?



Coming back up...............good thing we only had 200cc bikes, cause I know he would have roasted me if he could



Looking at the end of the Island before we drop down to the beach on another road that we found.



The road does not go to the very end of the Island as the last couple of miles is the Saint Helene Wildlife Refuge.



Down on the beach we went a little ways but there was so much trash on this remote beach I was worried about getting a flat with no tools and miles from anyone, prep aired?...........................I'm on vacation with a rental bike, although I did have my trustee Leatherman with me



Collecting more shells and rocks.............lots of conch shells on this beach.



On the way out we did find one more road...but again I thought about how far away we were from anything... I decided I would pass on this puddle since I had no idea how deep it was.........................this didn't stop Vern.................."about 2 feet" he said

Sorry for the blurry pic, and I thought I had a good one of him coming back across, but it didn't even come out.



One more view of the West side before we head back...............notice Vern is wearing my backpack....................I had it loaded down with conch shells and rocks it slipped out of the bungee straps.



Heading back to West End, we only made one stop at this little place for a little refreshment before "racing" back to the other side of the Island.

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Old 03-12-2011, 04:07 PM   #6
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you're killing me....camp bay beach is where we spend most of our time there....glad you got there...
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeflow View Post
you're killing me....camp bay beach is where we spend most of our time there....glad you got there...
Yes, Camp Bay Beach is a (one of many) beautiful place.

I want to and will go back, as small as that Island is, and I did see most of it, I want to be able to spend more tiime at a lot of the places that I visited.

OK, I need to finish this report
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:02 PM   #8
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Riding on the Island was a blast once I got used to how people drive, the only rules of the road are.............if you're in a cage, wear your seat belt................if you're on a bike wear your helmet, and don't hit anyone (pedestrians do not have the right of way here).

I wish I could have had a helmet cam on the ride back................yeah we were just on little 200cc bikes, but we wound them out for all they were worth, passing every car, truck and bike that we came up to. When you pass you just give a little 'toot-toot' with your horn to warn the driver/rider that you are passing. At one point we came up behind a big truck with a Policia car in front of it, both were going quite slow and I asked Vern (who looked like he was going to make a pass) "you do see what is in front of the truck don't you?" he looked at me and said "yeah, so?" and went around the truck................shit! OK, the truck is going slow so I make the pass. Then Vern passes the Policia car!.................damn Vern, don't do this to me....so I hang back to see what the Policia is going to do (oh, BTW...there is no plate on the bike that Vern is riding!). So as I see Vern riding away I decided to make my move (something I would never do here in the States) 'beep!beep!' ... and I make my pass, catch up to Vern and we are off to West End passing more trucks, cars and bikes reaching speeds up to 100km.

This ride would have been funner on little bit bigger of a bike, but I still had a blast


The next day I still had a couple of hours before I had to return the bike, and Vern had to prep for his next trip to Utila, so I just rode around the West side of the Island for a bit.

On the beach.



Self portrait.



Above the beach.



The Policia station in West End.



They ride around 2 up on this little DRZ200.............with assault rifles



Somebody started to develop here.



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Old 11-18-2012, 09:18 AM   #9
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what the ?

This is just too weird -have to share -recently booked a trip with my wife to Roatan -leaving between Christmas and New Years for a week- so i do a search for riding motorcycles in Roatan and find this report from Road Rash -he spends the ride with a friend of his -Vern -who runs a sailboat, catamaran cruise /ferry between Roatan and Utila. after researching motorcycle rides i start looking "goggling" side trips -figure a trip to Utila for a day would be nice. with the goggle search this newspaper article pops up-see below. "this just happened last week"





Captain Vern Murdered at Sea, Skipper of the Daily Utila to Roatan Honduras Catamaran Ferry Service
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At approximately 5:00 pm, Friday (based on new information, the actual time was closer to 2:00 pm), November 16, 2012, Captain Vern Fine was murdered at sea, just off the coast of Utila, by two passengers who he was transporting from Roatan to Utila during his regularly scheduled daily round trip. Captain Vern was found dead on his Catamaran from multiple stab wounds.

Update 6:30 AM November 18th: Assailants caught this morning trying to escape on the Utila Princess!

A teenager this morning tried to buy two tickets on the Utila Princess this morning. The police have arrested him and his family who were hiding the assasins. They are currently at the Utila FUSEP Jail ad we will try to get some pictures for you soon.



Update: 3:00 PM November 17th, 2012

The Catamaran could be seen around 3:30 to 3:45 pm, up against the rocks at Paradise Cove by the resident who first boarded and found Captain Vern slain. Our HondurasNews.com reporter was with this resident of Utila early this morning at the Utila Municipal Dock and assisted in translations with the Honduran Police. We apologize for the discrepancy in times, and some of the inconsistencies in the original account, and can only offer that exhaustion, and the shock many were experiencing who were closely involved in the gathering of information, have played key roles since this tragic incident occurred. The resident who discovered Captain Vern’s body is may be issuing a statement at a later date; we will continue with updates as facts are provided.

According to Captain Vern’s long time companion, referred to later in this report as his “usual First Mate”, she and Captain Vern had been suspicious of the the two passengers from the beginning, and so she had been phoning Captain Vern every 30 to 45 minutes, to check that all was okay. When she phoned at 2:00 pm, however, there was no answer. Based on this, the time of the incident is now estimated to have happened sometime around 2:00 pm.

Update 6:30 AM November 17th, 2012

Following an interview with the First Mate this morning, who was accompanied to the Utila Municipal Dock by police to review passengers leaving the island on the Utila Princess ferry headed to La Ceiba, the account of events has been clarified as follows:

The First Mate was driving the boat, while the two passengers and Captain Vern went below deck. The First Mate reported that he heard a heated argument, followed by things breaking. As he approached to see what was going on, one of the assailants pulled a gun on the First Mate, who then jumped over board fearing for his own life. He was adrift at sea for approximately 40 minutes before being rescued by the Honduran Marines.

The Catamaran was found, by a resident who lives directly in front of the cove in the Trade Winds area, at full throttle up against the cliff in the small cove. The resident, who was first on the scene, was assisted by two others, and managed to get up onto the Catamaran while in neck high water. He proceeded below deck, and found Captain Vern lifeless, with multiple stab wounds.

Honduran Police are transporting the First Mate back to Roatan this morning. According to the Honduras Cobra police officer at the ferry this morning, descriptions and drawings of the assailants have been given to the law enforcement officials on Utila in order to assist in identifying the assailants. Members of the National Police, and one Cobra officer were present while the Utila Princess was boarded this morning, prior to leaving for La Ceiba.


Captain Vern’s Catamaran anchored in Utila the morning after he was killed



Honduran Police Check for suspected assassins of Captain Vern at Utila Municipal dock

Police Inspect the Utila Princess prior to leaving for La Ceiba after Captain Verns death

Utila Municipal Dock as Honduran Police inspect passengers of the Utila Princess in search of the Captain Vern murder suspects
This is the original report, which has been corrected above: The first mate, who was accompanying Captain Vern at the time, but below deck, the two passengers from the mainland of Honduras overpowered Captain Vern. The first mate felt the catamaran shift in an unusual way as they approached Red Cliff and the area known as “the Point”, near the Trade Winds community. The crew member began to step up on the deck, but saw Captain Vern had been stabbed by the passengers, and fearing for his life, jumped overboard. The incident was seen on land by a security guard at one of the residents of the Red cliff / Trade Winds area, and the Honduran Coast Guard was alerted immediately.


Captain Vern murdered at sea off the coast of Utila Honduras
The coast guard was able to rescue the crew member, who is being kept under guard at this point, as he is able to identify the assassins who had steered the Catamaran into the Red Cliff harbor, and jumped off, fleeing into a heavily wooded area. There is currently a large presence of Law Enforcement on the Island of Utila, as the Honduras Primary elections are scheduled this coming Sunday, the 18th of November. Law enforcement from just about every division of the Honduran police force are investigating this matter, but due to the current heavy rains, the search is somewhat hampered.

At this point the motive is unconfirmed the only thing identified missing so far is his Laptop which is believed to have been thrown over board by the assailants. Captain Vern logged all Identification of his passengers on his laptop computer.

Captain Vern is extremely well known in Roatan and Utila, as well as around the world, and for those who would ask about his “usual first mate”, she was at home. She and Captain Vern had purchased a residence in Roatan just last week. Captain Vern’s body is currently at the Utila Clinic, and arrangements are being made to transport his body to La Ceiba, as required by law.

No further information is available, other than the matter was quickly escalated to the Top Honduras Police Chief, “Tigre Bonilla”, and the police spokesman for the National Police of Honduras said simply, “We are going to catch them.”

This story will be updated as more details become available.

Utila is a popular destination in Honduras, known for its pristine clear waters and reef. It is a world class scuba diving attraction, visited by tourists who enjoy a tranquil “barefoot” environment.

Follow this story and more on our Facebook Page


Sorry to post this info on your thread Road Rash-i don't mean to offend-not sure if you kept in close contact with Vern but on the chance you don't i figured you would want this news -take care.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:54 PM   #10
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wow.

thats insane. no reason...ever.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:50 PM   #11
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RIP Captain Vern
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:39 PM   #12
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well that freakin blows. RIP Capt. Vern.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:02 PM   #13
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Tragic!

I'll call you later, little brother.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:38 PM   #14
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updated-Captain Vern Murdered at Sea

http://www.hondurasnews.com/captain-.../#.UKyDUuTLQTY
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:49 AM   #15
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This sucks. I lived on Utila for 6 months back in 91. I hate to see this kind of crap in the bay islands. RIP Captain Vern.
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