November 24, 2014 - December 8, 2014

The reefs off the island of Cozumel are compelling. Although I’ve dived them many times, they continue to be fascinating. Their health is improving since hurricane Wilma in 2005. The marine life seems to grow in abundance and, because the reefs are part of a National Marine reserve, in size. We have been to Cozumel ten times, nine of which we have stayed at the Iberostar resort. As noted in previous pages on our trips to Cozumel, the Iberostar is pleasant, small, and clean. The food is very good and the staff are wonderful. We now get greeted by name as many of the staff recognize us from past visits. In addition, I really like the associated dive operation, Dressel Divers. Here I am also remembered and recognized by name. Again reiterating what I’ve previously said about them, Dressel only hires certified dive instructors to lead the dive and I’ve found them to be consistently excellent. This year it was a treat that our group (Diana, Lee [from Saskatchewan], and I) were assigned almost exclusively to one dive master, Jay. Of the twenty dives I did, 17 were with Jay. Jay enjoys a slow dive where we can examine the nooks and crannies to find those little critters that are completely hidden unless you do some very close looking. After so many dives on these reefs I might expect to have “seen it all”. However, the underwater world is so fascinating that there were still new animals to discover. This year I saw a Pipefish, a Harlequin Pipefish, and a tentacled animal I believe to be a Reticulated Brittle Star. (If you think it is something else, please let me know.) The pipefish was spotted on Santa Rosa Reef, in front of the resort and I saw the Harlequin Pipefish on Jurassic Park Reef. My new camera, which offers higher image resolution and new closeup and macro focusing options. This enabled me to get an image of a Christmas Tree Worm that shows the head of the worm. I never tire of seeing eagle rays. They are so magnificent and majestic as they fly through the water. It’s wonderful to watch them move seemingly without effort against the strong south to north current while I burn through air just trying to stay in one place as they move by. I have uploaded a set of underwater pictures and they can be viewed by clicking here. Of course, this is not our last trip to Cozumel. After all, I have a coupon for a double-tank dive that I have to redeem.
Harlequin Pipefish Pipefish Reticulated Brittle Star Spotted Eagle Ray Christmas Tree Worm