Valentina Trip Report Newsletter
Place: Cozumel, Mexico (Mayan Caribbean)
Trip dates: May 18-28, 2008
Purpose: To shoot new TV show I am hosting
Average temp: 89 degrees Fahrenheit
Water temp: 82 degrees Fahrenheit
May 18, 2008 Sunday LAX:
Flew from LAX into Cozumel via Mexicana Airlines: Don’t use them EVER! Had to pay $100 at LAX for excess baggage weight (hard when you are a diver with equipment)! Plus plane went out at 2:50am and took 3 airplanes with 2 stops (including Mexico City, which I could have been fine with avoiding these days)!
Got into Cozumel around 1:40 in the afternoon. Took taxi to 5 star hotel: Presidente Intercontinental Hotel
The room was exquisite and the room opened up right unto the white sand beach.
Went diving a few hours later right in front of the hotel in 25 feet of water. There was actually a little wreck right in front of the hotel! Here are the shots from that experience!
I ended up chasing a yellow stingray around that was
feeding. It was so cool! (sorry no pics, camera malfunctioned).
The day ended with shooting a scene on the beach for the
show and then me hitting the hay at 8pm, just dead tired
from all the flying and plane changes.
May 19, 2008 Monday:
Shot interviews of hotel staff.
May 20, 2008 Tuesday:
86 degree day, already early in the morning, and this was
dry heat, NOT the humid heat I was hoping for and
expecting. More interviews of the staff, who was genuinely
nice and very helpful.
May 21, 2008 Wednesday:
The Cozumel Tourism Board Van picked us up at 9am at the hotel. First stop: Park Chankanaab (a water themed dolphin park)!
There, I got to try Sea Trek for the first time ever, which is
basically a helmet with the air supply at the surface. Where
you walk on the bottom of the sea floor (it is only 15 feet deep). It was fun! I felt like and underwater astronaut hopping on the moon!They also offer SNUBA (which is closer to diving, only you
have no tank and the air is above you on a little float). You
do have a regulator just like a diver though. I did not get to fulfill my dream of swimming with dolphins ($100 perperson) since they were out of spaces. (sniff)! While the director finished up shots, I went and had some lunch. We were at the park about 3 hours and then it was off toPunta Sur (South Point), the most southern point of Cozumel island. This place offered empty white sand beaches, a lighthouse, and crocodile pit, and a few scattered stores and snack places.
On this side of the island, it is actually facing into a realocean, so it is very choppy and not for swimmers or surfers. (The other side of Cozumel faces into a channel, across from Cancun, hence, calmer ocean)! I did climb ALL the stairs of the lighthouse (only because I have never actually been in one) and made it to the top! The view was breathtaking! I only had to stop once and catch my breath!
I had to try a real coconut drink! I couldn’t finish it all-that thing must have like 20 ounces of juice in it! The ride back required a stop at famous .Coconuts Bar., whichattracted tourists, and bikers alike! It is the type of bar where men leave their t-shirts and women seem to be able to do without their bras or panties or both!
I wasn’t about to leave a $48 Victoria’s Secret bra up there! (lol). Had a Mojito and stayed about 45 minutes, then it was back in the hot van and on the road back to the hotel. We drove past the Bob Marley Bar, a place I wanted to stop in and checkout, but I didn’t want to be a pain and ask to stop.May 22, 2008 Thursday:
Up at 9am and get a knock saying to be ready to shoot in 15 minutes-aaargh! So much for taking my time AND breakfast! Filmed at the water’s edge, but contact boat traffic (the boat harbor was around the bend from hotel) made it hard to hear what I was saying, and caused take after take! After an hour, it was off to Stingray Park! Ooh goodie, another one of my life’s dreams was about to come true! I told the director I would only shoot if my face wasn’t in water, since I was all made up. But the guy at the park said then I couldn’t hand feed them, if my face was underwater to make sure it went in their mouth. So he was my answer to that: Suddenly I didn’t care about my makeup at all!
From Stingray park, I was dropped off back at the hotel,
because they were going to film KiteSurfing and I was
warned it was very dangerous and that I could kill myself, so I opted out of that little lesson! I caught up on sitting by the turquoise water and writing in my journal and using the free Wi-Fi the hotel provided.
May 23, 2008 Friday:
Snorkled in front of hotel, very silty and bad visibility (not
like the first day). Went into town to the supermarket to get donuts and things I could put in the minifridge. The room service was murder!
May 24, 2008 Saturday:
Dived in front of hotel, silty again.
May 26, 2008 Monday Memorial Day (but not in Mexico):
Woke up at 5:45am to dive with Aqua Safari.
2 dives and back by 1:40 pm. It was a small group on the boat: just 8 divers and 2 Dive Masters.They served us fruit and water during the Surface Interval.The dive sites were Palancar Reef and Tormentos Reef. Both of them were drift dives and they were my first of that kind. I have to say, I don.t like them, since I wasn’t the best at stopping and it was really annoying to be shooting a fish andthen having the current completely take you away! Th