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Cozumel -- Sept 27 to Oct 9, 2007 (part 2)
jfhuard - 12/25/2007 5:19 PM
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Category: Travel
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Cozumel -- Sept 27 to Oct 9, 2007 (part 2)Part 1, Part 3

Monday, Oct. 1st (2 dives: 0:50, 0:48) Today the boat was much more packed.... I decided to dive nitrox 36. We went back to Palancar Gardens with Jason, Andy, David, Pheobe, Amy and Bryan. The only turtle that we saw was on its way up to the surface way off in the distance. Amy and Alison came out of a cave and confronted a humungous barracuda. On Jason and Pheobe’s safety stop they saw a baby green eel swimming around looking for breakfast.

Nathalie wanted to see some sharks so Alison brought us back to Dalila. I found the first shark which was really big and swimming right past us. We later found a smaller one lying on the bottom. Bryan got some good pictures of the nurse shark and sadly, he then later lost his brand new camera when he was going up the ladder. Jason dropped his mask getting back on board the boat. Carlos drove Alison back to where he thought that the camera fell and she got back in to do a search in solo diving. Unfortunately, she only found the mask, and not the brand new expensive camera of Bryan and Amy...

Thursday, Oct. 2nd (3 dives: 0:38, 1:08. 1:03) Nathalie was by now feeling comfortable in the water and decided to do her Advanced Open Water certification.... Who could have guess that someone who was almost terrified 10 days earlier would now be asking to get to the next level.... Our first tank was on Palancar Horseshoe. There was a lot of wave at the surface and almost no current. We did a 100-foot dive for Nathalie’s Advanced Certification course. We did a math puzzle at the surface and one at deeper level. It took Nathalie almost twice the time to solve a similar problem... We visited underwater canyon.

Nathalie did a navigation dive at Colombia Shallows for her certification and I practiced buoyancy. We saw two turtles. She was fascinated with the big horse conches and queen conches in the sand. We also saw several giant lobsters and I found an empty skin.

Then we went to San Francisco wall to practice Peak Performance Buoyancy Control while drifting. We swam under ledges and overhangs. We tried not to touch the bottom, top or sides as we did. It is hard to do! Nathalie mastered hovering on that dive and found a juvenile peacock flounder in the sand.

Although I was already Advanced certified, I`ve learned a lot today by listening to Alison teaching Nathalie and discussing her knowledge reviews... I tested my buoyancy during our last safety stop; I`m taking off two pounds again tomorrow.

Wednesday, Oct. 3rd (2 dives: 0:54, 0:56) We went to Santa Rosa Wall with Rich, Jason, Amy and Bryan. The conditions were perfect. There were no waves, very light current and good visibility. We had a beautiful, relaxing dive with big groupers and a turtle that Amy pointed out to us. It was great to dive in the tunnels.

Normally Cedral Wall is one of Alison`s very favorite spots. This day the current picked up quite a bit of speed and it was a challenge for the first half of the dive. Alison crossed the group over to Paso Del Cedral to get out of the current and we swam right up to a little turtle. We found a giant lobster posing sideways in a hole, a stringray and a tombstone. We saw three dolphins on our way out.

Thursday, Oct. 4th (3 dives: 0:48, 1:23, 0:51 - night) Alison took us with Jason, Pheobe, David, Andy and Rich to Colombia Deep. We saw dolphins and a flying fish on our way to the reef. When we got in the water there was absolutely no current at all. Gradually, however, the current kicked in. We found two large nurse sharks sleeping side by side under a coral formation right next to the big anchor. Then the current really kicked in and we flew around in a sand storm. It was like diving in a blizzard.

The second dive was one hour twenty-tree minutes on Colombia Shallows. Nathalie did her underwater naturalist adventure dive (she identified many vertebrates, invertebrates and plants). It had nice calm current. We had a pleasant dive with a two small turtles, a couple of big stingrays and Rich found a mega-sized lobster and an octopus in broad daylight... As Pheobe and Alison were heading up a big nurse shark swam off and they went back down and chased it for a minute.

This was Nathalie`s first night dive. She was very nervous and had swore that she wouldn`t dive at night only a few days before. She`s really doing great. In the last few days, she completed her open water certification, has been drift diving, and she is now on her way to complete her advanced. She was absolutely committed to brave her fear of the dark and see the animals at night. In the first then minutes underwater, she consumed about 1000 psi !!! and then started to relax. We saw three octopuses, lots of huge lobsters, crabs, many different kinds of sea cucumbers, spotted and green morays.... We ascended altogether and ended the dive after 51 minutes. Congrats Nathalie!

Part 1, Part 3