Emerald Sea Photography
After four days of “fluffy bunny” diving
in Cozumel, we boarded the ferry for Playa del Carmen for
a little more “serious” diving in
the Cenotes of the Riviera Maya.
We spent the night in
an old-style Mexican hotel in Playa, and then we were off
with my good friend Rogelio Mier for some Cave and Cavern
After picking up our tanks at Cuzel, we bounced down the road to Chac Mool. I had done quite a bit of training in this cave, but had never really had a fun dive, so we strapped on a stage bottle and swam back to see the world’s largest underwater stalactite. Wow, it was an impressive site, standing almost 70’ tall! I was also pretty impressed at how quickly I fell back into a comfortable rhythm of cave diving, managing to do the entire dive on a single stage bottle with plenty of gas to spare.
Upon returning to the Cenote, we lead two cavern tours for our remaining divers. I did notice that the main cavern line had changed a bit after part of the ceiling in the cenote collapsed recently. The new divers were enjoying the haloclines, but I promised them that the caverns would get much, much better.
That night, we stayed in Puerto Morales, which is a sleepy fishing village whose time has passed since the Cozumel Ferry moved to Playa del Carmen. The house we were staying at had no air conditioning, and the restaurants and facilities that we are used to in Akumal and PDC just couldn’t be matched in Puerto Morales. We’ll be staying in Akumal again for our next trip. Puerto Morales kind of sucked.
The next day, we headed down to Taj Mahal, and Rogelio and I swam off to Chinese Gardens, which were stunning. Running the jump reel through the halocline and restrictions to get there is entertaining, but Wow. The decorations are beautiful. The very end of the lines past Chinese Gardens gets very, very tight and delicate.
After our cave dive, we took the rest of the hooligans for a nice long Cavern Tour, surfacing in both of the shallow cenotes to admire the bats and formations. Our friends from New Mexico liked this even better, but I promised them we’d do even better tomorrow!
The following day, we drove down the long bouncy road to Dos Ojos. The owners have moved the tables and parking back quite a ways from the entrance, making for a lot longer walk in your gear, and the Cavern line has been re-routed significantly (better). We did two long cavern dives in Dos Ojos and the Bat Cave. The hooligans were very, very happy!
For our last diving day before heading home, we took the troops down to what I consider the most spectacular Cavern dive in the world, Grand Cenote. Rogelio and I headed back to Cuzan Nah, which is the most highly decorated underwater cave that I have ever seen. I managed to take some stunning pictures in Cuzan Nah last year and it was even more beautiful than I remember. After the cave dive, we escorted the open water dives on a Cavern Tour, and they were suitably stunned at the exquisite beauty of the Grand Cenote Cavern. Wow. It knocked their neoprene socks off!
After days with no air conditioning, I decided I needed a good nights sleep, so forked up the money to spend the night in one of the mega-resorts and Cancun. It was expensive, but I slept like a baby and soaked all of our stinky dive gear in the tub to get rid of that nasty odor.
The flights home were actually very good. My first flights on US Air. Although I did question the sanity of the moron that arranged our flight schedules (Stacey Minton). We flew from Cancun to Seattle via Charlotte, and her divers flew from Cancun to Albuquerque through Chicago, then Dallas. Pretty nuts, and Stacy was completely inflexible about changing the flights, even though there were lots of less expensive, better routed alternatives available. Oh well, we had a good time, and now know better! If you want good customer service in Albuquerque, consider the alternatives.
More Cave Diving Photos are available