Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cozumel México: Diving, Snorkeling, and Jokes (Friday Dives)

Before we got home from Cozumel I made sure to grab everyone's pictures, especially those underwater since I didn't take many myself; I focused on diving and getting that under control. Ocean diving is different, way different, than fresh water diving. Anyway there were 394 photos I had to go through for Friday's dives. And I believe I actually took a few of these... Go me, right?

On our ride out to our dive sites, underneath the boat deck it gets a little warm. I wouldn't want a boat without one though because it was great during the real heat of the day to get away from the sun. In the morning though, it was nice to sit out and get the air and water hitting you in the face!

One day Grady used the ladder (behind him) as a drying rack, the next day he let it "air dry."

How many people does it take to fix whatever is wrong here......

Our first dive of Friday was Devil's Throat. It is a tunnel that starts out at 90 feet. When you come out you're between 125 and 135 depending on if you come out toward the top or bottom (is what Grady said). Hubby really wanted to do Devil's Throat but at the last minute decided he shouldn't. (he'd gotten sick the day before and getting down that day he didn't feel great. It is always best to call a dive before making yourself sick). I had talked myself in to doing it (even though I was nervous) until I had issues. We fought some current getting down, then my mask fogged over, and I lost Deb & Jared who were the two I was following, so I stayed with the group that went up and over Devil's Throat. So these pictures are from those that actually went under. I didn't have my camera with me as the depth is 100 feet and if I'd have done Devil's Throat I'd have succeeded that... so look at Devil's Throat at Punta Sur.

Now when you're going up to the surface 3 things to keep in mind.

  1. As you get around 30 feet or so you're supposed to extend your safety sausage allowing people (and your boat) to know you're below. 
  2. Then at 15 feet you have to do a 3 minute safety stop. Once you hit 15 feet my dive computer will start the 3 minute count down. As long as you don't go below 20, it continues. If you go below 20, it starts over once you hit 15 again. Deb just watches her time and starts counting around 20 feet or so.... (never usually below)
  3. Congregate so that the boat doesn't have to make multiple stops to pick all divers up.
I was pretty sure these safety stops were going to do me in, only because I kept floating up. As long as I got my 3 minutes going and then went below 15 feet I was okay, if I didn't get back between the 15 and 20 feet mark, I floated up up and away. I kept getting pulled back down because for some reason I wanted to hover around 10 feet if I didn't float all the way to the surface. ugh! I'm sure I was annoying to everyone (including myself)


Then you do surface intervals. During those, we ate. The boat provided Pineapple (with chili pepper powder to put on it, yum would have never thought of that!), cookies, and one day another fruit, a different day jícama (pronounced: hick-a-muh). There was a big joke that jícama was an afrodesiac because Cezar (the videographer) eats a lot of jícama and has 6 kids. Jícama tastes a lot like uncooked potatoes or something of the sort. I think the other fruits we got were papaya and mango and maybe Cantaloupe.....

This day on our surface interval we were in about 30 feet of water. One of the guys was pointing out what could be starfish and said this is the area where starfish come to gather so a bunch of us jumped off the boat with our mask and fins and snorkeled (minus the snorkel... except Doug, he had a snorkel).

Now Note: a Snorkel is usually part of dive equipment for helping to swim across the surface but our group typically doesn't dive with a snorkel as part of our rig.

This is Doug. The backwards mask is correct. Unless your mask is on your face, it should be turned around backwards. Pushing it up on your head (like you would goggles) is actually a sign of distress. I just thought this was a funny picture because his camera lights look like antennas or something.

While we were "snorkeling" Doug found this little shark. He couldn't have been very big to fit in that small reef. I actually took the picture. I was the one with my camera out :) Woot woot, look at me go. ha!

After our surface interval, we were back at it.

I got ahead of the group a little bit, looked back at the reef and thought seeing the bubbles coming up from the reef was really cool. Know that I was with the dive master, so I wasn't ahead of the group, they were just stopping to look and take pictures.

So there was this all over the ocean floor. I never did touch it because it looked like cat poop in kitty litter to me. No one could tell me what it was, but doesn't it?

Sadly I didn't see these next two figures, but someone had fun, that's for sure!

Rachele had to get out of this turtle's way. He almost smacked her in the face.

And this guy was PO'ed beyond measure. It is an Eel. Normally them opening their mouth is just breathing but this guy was pissed. He actually came out from under his coral and moved reefs. Someone said they'd never seen one do that. He almost ran into one of our people too.

This is a conch egg or so they tell me. I hope they weren't trying to see if I was gullible because I seriously don't know what it is. When I googled it, there was one that looked like this that came up....

And those were our dives. On the Dive boat once you're headed back, there is a garden hose you can rinse the salt off of you and your gear. Grady and Deb said that when Cezar came to the island 20 some years ago he was clean shaved and clean cut. Now he has his "island look" which is long hair, long beard. Well he was rinsing off with the hose and Clemente thought he'd help with some soap. Those two teased and teased each other. And finally Clemente said he'd stop with the soap and help rinse the soap out and continued to put more soap in. We laughed and laughed.

Off in the distance is this building. Shirley (not on the trip) calls it the cow udder building or says it looks like a cow udder. There are 4 points that come off of it and it really does look like a cows udder. I told Deb they needed to call one of their trips something to do with that.



Monday, May 30, 2016

Cozumel México: A Day of Pee and Currents and Wreck Dives (Thursday Dives)

Toward the end of the week it was just easier to tell them to be at the dock by 8:30, which meant that they'd be there by 7:45. I guess that just means that we were out early to get back early. On Thursday we made 2 morning dives and an afternoon dive. But this... this was a "fun" day of dives.... Let me explain......

Deb and I showed up in similar colors and I happened to be in her favorite color so that meant, Picture time!

On Thursday there were 2 ships in port and 2 who were being pulled in by the shore taxi boat.

Now, on more than one occasion a couple people dropped their sausage reel... Doug just happened to be caught on film. He wasn't the only one who did it though.

So, now these next three pictures... Here are pictures of me peeing. Yes, you read that right. Remember... all my friends pee themselves. ha! Okay so if you dive in a wet suit, you'll probably pee in your wet suit. Between the pressure and the fact that if you're cold (not down here) you use it to warm up. Gross I know but it is what it is.

Okay anyway... the whole drift diving thing kept me from being able to pee. I had so much to concern myself with... So when you're drift diving, if you get ahead of the group, go in behind some coral to slow down. Well I decided to pull it and pee. I was in front of the group anyway. So Deb swims up to see what I'm up to and takes my picture. The whole time I was peeing I was just hanging out there. So then everyone in our dive group swims up to see what exciting thing I'm looking at. And as you can see... it wasn't much.... There's also video and it's funny to see everyone congregating around me to see what I was looking at.

So when we got back up on the boat Deb said I did good getting out the way and that's when I fessed up I had to pee and that's what I was up to.

Meanwhile, this same dive was a deep dive. I got down to 101 feet... Karen and Dan on the other hand... we were all starting out around 80 feet and then bam, Dan rubbed Karen's head and from there Karen grabbed Dan's hand as they headed down. Down all the way to 124 feet. Dan said Karen had her BC inflated as full as it would go and so did Dan. They were trying to get out of the current that was dragging them down, down, down. Grady warned about that current and said you have to get out of it. And between the two of them, they finally got out of the current and were able to go back up.

On one of the dives we came across baby sea horses. Apparently you see them in this spot every time. At first when I saw it, I thought I was looking at either A) A small snake (blech) or B) a stick hanging off to the side of another. Nope, it was in fact a baby sea horse.

After our morning dives they took us back to shore. Then the boat ran to their dive shop to refill tanks while we went up to the hotel to eat lunch. We asked them to be back to get us at 2, but they were there at 1:45. We were all back down at the dock around 1:15 because there wasn't a lot of time to do much else.

Jared and Mark jumped off the dock to pee and as they were coming back out of the water, they woke me up from my nap to take pictures of the 2 crabs that were hanging out underneath the stairs to get out of the water.

Our afternoon dive was to head to the Wreck to check it out. Jared said he remembered when the wreck was put down back in 1999. It was the Felipe Xicoténcatl or C-53. It was sunk in 82 feet of water. He said he could remember that you could see the tile and there were still toilets. A lot of people liked to have their picture taken on the toilet while diving. I guess they weren't still in there when we dove it. Grady said that when one of the hurricanes came through it actually broke the ship in 2.

So we were asked to take 2 magazines down with us, one for Dive Training and one for Show Me. Deb said it works great on the deck of the boat because we're not stirring up sand from the bottom. We decided we should have been closer together and for some reason I thought I was lower down than what I was.

This ginormous crab was in one of the areas of the ship that we dove through.

Karen

Jared

Carlene

Hubs

Me

This was made into an artificial reef and chained down.

Grady

Jebadiah Scuba Claus.

The hubs and me.

So while we were diving the wreck, I had to start coming up before everyone because of course I'm an air hog. So I was hanging out on the line back up doing my safety stop when I started seeing something angling off of the wreck. At first I couldn't figure out what it was and thought maybe it was part of the wreck, then I realized it was moving. It was the submarine that Doug pointed out to me earlier in the day on the surface.

Deb wanted a picture of her and Grady with the sub and just as the picture went to take, the camera strap was thrown in front of the lens by the water. Otherwise this would have been a GREAT picture of it.

Although this one isn't bad.

And there's Deb chasing after it for a picture.

Dan said he's been going here for 12 years and had yet to see the submarine anywhere but on the surface. I told him I was the good luck charm. It knew that I was on a celebration dive even though we still didn't know if I was celebrating yet. They told me this is a submarine for civilians to pay to ride on and go through the water in.

Back on the surface, we loaded back on the boat and were headed back to shore. Then we saw the submarine being towed across the surface. They told me that the submarine gets towed when it is on the surface.

We were supposed to have cell reception down in Cozumel like we do at home because with Verizon we could pay $2/day for that in Mexico. My phone NEVER acted right but hubby's did. So we were headed back to shore when I thought he was going to stomp a hole in the floor. I was like what's wrong with you. I made him a deal that he could heckle me if I actually passed comps that round. He said I knew you would and started jumping up and down. I needed more of a context and he said, you passed comps. I was in such shock I almost started crying. I didn't believe him. So then someone said I needed a drink. I told them I needed 4. I didn't drink 4, but apparently 4 was the number of drinks I needed. This did, in fact turn into the celebration trip it was planned on being months earlier.




p.s. Happy Memorial Day!

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