Travels2012-13 Germany Cozumel Roatan Cozumel (Feb) Cuba Akumal

Cozumel

November 24 - December 1, 2012

We arrived on the island of Cozumel on Saturday November 24, 2012 and were at the Iberostar resort shortly after noon. It was particularly delightful because it had just started to snow in Montreal as the plane was starting to leave. We later found out Nova Scotia had received about 5 cm of snow the same day. (We left NS at 6:30 that morning.) Also at the resort for the week were friends from Akumal: Bob and Adrienne, Glen and Deb, Trina and Mark, Jane and Noel. Bob and Noel were dive buddies for many of the dives I did. Our room was close to the dive shop, the beach and the restaurant for lunch and between-dive snack. It is the bottom room in the picture. The first two-tank dive was Sunday with a two-tank dive each day through Friday the 30th. On Monday we saw a black-tip reef shark, but it was too far away for a picture. The wonderful things about diving in Cozumel is the clarity of the water, the beauty of the reefs and the coral formations and the plethora of wildlife. The sponges are fascinating, colourful and often have shrimp, spider crabs and small fish dwelling inside. The splendid toadfish is only found on these reefs. It’s always tucked away in a small cave as you can see in this picture. At night you can hear them croaking! The most spectacular sight happened on my second to last dive of the trip on Friday November 30th. The dive site was Punta Sur. It is  a deep dive with coral swim-throughs. One of the passages comes out on the side of the wall over the abyss - where the reef drops off and the bottom drops to well over 300 m. We had just come out of this swim-through, looked up and there were five eagle rays. The dive masters later said they had only previously seen groups of three. Thank goodness for digital cameras. I took quite a few shots as did the other divers with cameras. We then moved off to continue the dive and saw another group of eagle rays, this time four swiming toward us. A little later we saw a solitary eagle ray that shied away from us and as we were doing our safety stop, another pair of eagle rays swam below us. This made a total of twelve eagle rays that we saw on this one dive. None of the dive masters, other divers, or members of the Dressel Divers shop had ever seen this many eagle rays on one dive before. It was a treat of a lifetime!. The next day, Saturday, it was time to head back to Nova Scotia. We immediately wondered why we hadn’t planned a two- week stay. We said farewell to our friends, most of whom were also heading back to colder environments. We arrived back home at 12:15 AM Sunday morning. The good news is that we are off to Roatan in January and then back at the Iberostar in Cozumel for the first two weeks of February. I have posted more underwater pictures and some lovely sunset shots here.
Cozumel