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Locust Fish   by Laura Radford

Mid-dive at Overheat Reef, located east of Sandy Bay, I was watching a pair of four-eye butterfly fish as they wove gracefully in an out of the reef when suddenly I saw something large and dark approaching.  I lifted up a few feet and saw that the mass was actually about sixty blue tangs swimming in unison, gliding up and down over the coral heads.  Suddenly, in perfect synch, all turned nose down and began feeding.  Just as suddenly they righted themselves and continued on.

My dive buddy and I nicknamed them “locust fish.”  Roatan Diving, Roatan - Honduras, Dolphin Greeting Boaters

Two days later at nearby Melissa’s Reef I saw another swarm of about forty blue tangs approaching.  Amazingly another swarm of equal size was approaching from the opposite direction.  I decided to hang back and watch what would happen.  Collision?  Chaos?  Tang Warfare? 

The two groups seemed completely unaware of each other until they were face to face.  As if prearranged, all tangs tipped down and began feeding.  After a few moments, all lifted and swam off in one large school of locusts.

The bubbles from my laughter flooded my mask and prevented me from seeing where they went from there.

Laura Radford is a writer and a PADI certified SCUBA Instructor.  In 1995 after completing an MFA in Creative Writing she moved from Alaska to Costa Rica where she taught diving and lead SCUBA tours.   She later returned to her home state of California where she worked as a high school English teacher. 

Currently Laura is working as a freelance writer and is traveling and diving in her free time, which is most of time.  She was drawn to Honduras by the extraordinary diving off the Bay Islands but was lured to mainland by Honduras’s natural beauty and fascinating history.

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Many thanks to Laura Radford for her articles and photos on Roatan diving and Honduras.

Laura would be glad to answer any of your Roatan diving and Honduras diving questions.  She may be reached


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