19 February 2007

Akumal Diving - Day 4

We drove our car a mile south to Eric/Adriana's hotel and spent the day there. Christine, Adriana and Emma hung out at the beach while Eric and I did three more dives through the Bahia Principe Dive Center.

It was a short walk from the dive shop down to the beach and the awaiting boat. Our dive instructor/guide's name was Nester which really didn't fit his local appearance. Nester was a good guide, funny and informative. His 8 year old son, you guessed it, little Nester, rode on the dive boat with us. Each dive was about 15 minutes from the shore. The boat was a decent size and it wasn't overcrowded. The standard method of entry was to get into your gear, sit up on the side of the boat, back roll off, meet behind the boat and descend. Although there was little or no current here the procedure was to all follow Nester. When someone was low on air Nester took out an inflatable buoy, on a reel, and sent it up. The person low on air would either ascend, along the buoy line, with their buddy or if two buddy teams agreed they would swap buddies so the 2 lowest on air could ascend together and the other two could get some more bottom time. The boat would follow our bubbles and then the buoy to pick us all up via a ladder of the side. Weights were handed up first, then fins and the BC/tank. The crew switched our tanks for us. All the dives had some surge but it was nothing bad.

  • Dive site 1 - End of the World

  • Site Depth - 100 feet?

  • My maximum depth - 94 feet

  • Visibility was 60 + feet

  • Coldest water temperature was 81F
  • Bottom time - 39 minutes

  • This was probably my favorite of the 3 dives this day. We reached the bottom and I was surprised to see 94 feet on my depth gauge. Maybe this is because of how light it was compared to the murky waters of the Pacific Northwest. I think most of our dive was spent at about 60-70 feet. Although I didn't see any large pelagics there was still plenty of beautiful fish and reef to look at and it was just good to be in warm, open water again.

As I may have stated there had been a storm blowing in and the reported visibility 2 days before was about 10 feet. The ferries to Cozumel had even stopped running. But the storm blew over and the vis must have been returning. I thought it was quite good but I'm sure it gets better.

We returned to shore to drop off some divers, pick up some others, grab some burgers for ourselves, the captain, the deck hand (plus a cup full of jalapenos), and headed back out.

  • Dive site 2 - ? reef close by

  • Site depth - 70 feet?

  • My maximum depth - 61 feet

  • Vis - 60 + feet

  • Water temp - 79F
  • Bottom time - 47 minutes

  • As we hit the water I looked down to see about a 5 foot green moray on the reef which everyone soon proceeded to scare under the reef. Shortly after Nester pointed out a turtle, the Eric (my buddy) pointed out 2 more above us. Sadly all were fleeing away, apparently late to some very important turtle meeting. Otherwise we saw the usual beautiful fish and reef. I did experience some pain in my right ear while I was at depth for about 30 seconds. I think I turned to the left and swam into the surge while equalizing. This went away and I had no trouble over the next few days/dives.

Back to the shore for the diver exchange again. This time we lost Nester to another dive instructor/guide. This one I really didn't like at all. I don't remember his name. He seemed to have a stuck up attitude, but it in no way ruined my dive.

  • Dive site 3 - Paradise?
  • Site depth - 50 feet
  • My max depth - 41 feet
  • Vis was less here - 40 - 50 feet
  • Water temperature - 81 F
  • Bottom time - 52 minutes
  • Nothing too notable but still a good dive.

Other then previously noted sea life seen on the dives this day included french grunts, blue striped grunts, stoplight parrot fish, blue tang, yellow tail damsel fish, great barracuda, several different types of wrasse, spot fin butterfly fish, trigger fish, blue chromis, sergeant major, puffer, trumpet fish, yellow tail snapper, sea fans, sea whips, sea rod, brain coral, elk horn coral and mountainous star coral.

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