New Year’s Celebration in Cozumel
Tuesday – December 29, 2015
Our first stop was Columbia Deep and it sure was. We jumped in and headed straight for the nearest coral head. By the time we got there I was at 90 feet deep and counting. I went around the first coral head to see Mel (one of our dive buddies) using her iPhone 6 in her new underwater case to shoot a turtle. Water is clear and the current is slight so we continued on. I found myself at 105 feet deep so I decided unless I wanted to make this a short dive I’d better head a little north and so I did. Again, just in time to see Mel after an Eagle Ray headed into the mystic (deep blue and it’s an inside joke on my part… Ask me some time…) It turns out we were headed toward shallower areas anyway so we stayed in the 75’ to 85’ range for awhile until we headed over to the shallow part of the dive for the remainder of this dive. Lot’s of stuff to watch again. I’m hoping we see some of the pictures Karl took to refresh my memory. Sometimes I get mixed up with all of the critters I see on all of the dives. Basically nothing new this dive but plenty to keep my attention. Mel went up after about 45 minutes and we followed 20 minutes later. A good deep AND long dive.
Wednesday – December 30, 2015
We all jumped in (all 8 of us) to “Brain Damage,” my old favorite boat till they rebuilt it a few years back. Now I don’t have a favorite… We headed south to our first dive spot and after discussing options, decided on Santa Rosa Wall (my original idea). The water was clear and blue as this wall is deep. We jumped in and landed on top of a “herd” of lobster under a coral outcropping. Next a Stingray was headed away from us and an Eagle Ray was way out so the GoPro couldn’t get a good shot at it as it “flew” away from us against the current. We had a good dive and enjoyed the beautiful wall. Santa Rosa is one of the healthiest walls I’ve seen recently. The coral is beautiful and the fish life is plentiful although Karl wouldn’t be happy as the critters are all “normal” plentiful and boring to take pictures of. He seemed to keep busy though as he’s trying out a new “macro” setting. Seems the fiddling continues and that’s great. Only problem is when you have a group of newer divers they tend to “race” down the wall swimming with the current. Karl and Anne’s MO is to take it SLOW and capture all of the dive sites many critters. Arturo had to hold everyone back a bit several times to let Karl and Anne catch up. Pretty normal dive actually. Mary seemed to run low on air early so she headed back to the boat a bit before us. The newer divers went up next and the last of the mohicans (oops, politically incorrect…) us, were last on board once again (as usual).
Thursday- December 31, 2015
We finished as Karl & Anne arrived so we stayed and visited before heading to the room to get our gear and head over to the pier. We jumped on the boat (Brain Damage again) with a total of 7 divers today, most of them we knew already. We headed for Palancar Gardens for our deep dive. It was cloudy but a slow current so we could get close to the scenery if needed. We didn’t see much out of the ordinary but it was fun to swim around the coral heads and see the deep blue sea then turn around and work our way back up the wall to the shallower area. I stayed fairly deep for at least half of the dive then headed north for the remainder of the dive so I didn’t run into air of deco issues. We finished up after an hour or so and surfaced. The surface interval consisted of motoring to the next site at slow speed while we soaked up the sun and compared notes with our dive buddies. We arrived at our next stop right on time and jumped back in to Chankanaab Bolones for a nice long (but still cloudy) shallow dive. We could see things fine but pictures and my GoPro were lacking a bit because of the low vis combined with the lack of sun at times. No matter it was a fun dive capped of with a great shot of an Eagle Ray heading my way and staying close for quite a while. Great fun.
We finished up and headed back just in time to gobble down a quick lunch and head back to another boat. This time it was a ride on the “Winning Ticket” with friends of Mike and Margaret and the host and hostess. Mike took the helm as we left the pier then handed over the captain’s chair to Margaret when he went to get some fishing gear ready. Mary jumped into the chair next to Margaret and had discussed life (or whatever they talked about). We motored north and soaked up some more sun while visiting with new-found friends over a beer. Margaritas were ordered and planned but Rockie got stuck in traffic and didn’t make the alcohol delivery in time for our departure. Great fun anyway. We went to the north end of the island and turned back, slowed down and threw a few lines in the water. Only one line had a hit but no landings so we slowly returned to the pier and debarked after our “Three Hour Tour…”