Fat Mexicans

There are not many skinny Mexicans around, and when so much of their lovely food is deep fried and/or stuffed with cheese, it’s not really surprising.  And if it isn’t the cheesy morsels that tempt, the hot weather means that ice cream is always available and beckoning.  Thank god I’m nearing the end of the Mexico leg of my travels because I’m quite sure I’ve put on a couple of kilos since being here.  I must learn to say NO, rather than thinking “aah, but I’m on holidays!” because, for the sake of not only my figure but also my arteries, I can’t keep saying that for the next 5 months.

Of course, this was slightly relaxed for my 30th birthday, when I treated myself to a lovely, juicy ribeye steak at the fanciest place in Cozumel.  Heaven!

I did a couple of great dives in Cozumel off Punta Sur on the morning of my birthday, seeing a turtle, an eagle ray, and gorgeous reef fish and colourful corals.  I also tried to dive on Christmas Day, however it was pretty blowy out so the dives were cancelled.

All in all, the last few weeks in the Yucatan peninsula – Cancun (awful, awful place), Isla Mujeres (planned to stay here for 3 days and ended up here for 6 days) and Cozumel (nice diving, shame about the cruise ships) – have been pretty relaxing.  I arrived in Tulum yesterday to try some cenote diving, which were completely different to any diving that I’d done before and were a great experience.  The first dive was in Angelita, where we went through a halocline of hydrogen sulphate around 25m.  I couldn’t even see my buddy a metre in front of me through the cloud – really eerie feeling!  The second dive was in the cavern of the Grand Cenote, where the water was gin clear and we weaved our way through hanging stalactites.  Breathtaking dive!

Tomorrow is my last day in Mexico before I head off to Belize.  Adios amigos!

Dive 223: Gran Cenote, Tulum (Mexico)

Dive time: 01:12:00
Max depth: 11.3 metres
Temperature: 26 C
Visibility: 100 metres
Buddy: Adrian
Surface interval: 01:28:00

The Gran Cenote looked beautiful and inviting on the surface, and there were lots of swimmers and snorkellers there too. The water was just so sweet when we jumped in – so nice compared to ocean diving!

I followed Johannes with Adrian behind me along a line that had already been laid. It was amazing seeing all these stalactites in gin clear water. The viz was amazing!

Midway through the dive, Johannes gave me a much better torch and I could see even more. Really surreal feeling seeing caves with the gin clear viz – couldn’t believe that I was underwater because it looked like we were just floating in midair! We followed Johannes past some stop sign (Qualified cave divers only!). A bit scary. The most amazing view is back towards the sunlight and the cenote opening and seeing swimmers’ legs.

A beautiful dive!

Dive 222: Angelita Cenote, Tulum (Mexico)

Dive time: 00:40:00
Max depth: 42.4 metres
Temperature: 26 C
Visibility: 30 metres
Buddy: Johannes

I was really excited to do this dive to see and go through the helocline cloud – a sulphur mix in the water that hangs between the fresh and salt water layers in the cenote. Angelita is a sinkhole that is fairly round in shape. I felt a bit murky going down, and the water is just blue until at 25m or so, where the helocline sits. It’s really eerie, since it looks like a cloudy mist and there is a mound in the middle that starts at 22m and goes to the bottom of the cenote. On the mound is a dead tree with branches snaking out. Really eerie!

Through the cloud, I couldn’t even see the DM Johannes just one metre in front of me – just his light. Then we were in the salt water where the visibility cleared again. There were lots of dead leaves on the bottom.

Coming back up through the depths, we explored the sides of the sinkhole, went into a small circular tunnel and saw a few little fish.

A really different and interesting dive! Lots of mosquitos on the surface though!

Dive 221: San Francisco, Cozumel (Mexico)

Dive time: 01:12:00
Max depth: 21.6 metres
Temperature: 28 C
Visibility: 25 metres
Buddy: Sandy
Surface interval: 01:21:00

After a chilled out surface interval with fruit and water, we motored to shallower San Francisco reef. More of a wall dive where the top of the reef gradually slopes down toward the deep.

We had a pretty long dive considering we went into deco on the first dive but we had an amazing group. We only had about 5 minutes of deco for this dive.

There was a fair bit of current so it was basically just a mega relaxing drift dive along the wall. No big things on this dive but nice reef and colourful fish.

Dive 220: Punta Sur, Cozumel (Mexico)

Dive time: 00:54:00
Max depth: 33.5 metres
Temperature: 28 C
Visibility: 25 metres
Buddy: Sandy

What a way to bring in the 30s! Punta Sur is supposed to be one of the best dive spots in Cozumel and we had a fun dive going through some nice swim throughs, including one called The Cathedral since it had a high, pointed opening.

Lots of rocky outcrops with so much growth, soft sponges, hard and soft corals, loads of huge emperor angelfish and grey angelfish, small groupers, hunting barracuda, parrotfish, a turtle, and right at the end on the ascent, we saw a spotted eagle ray on the bottom.

We had a group that was pretty good on air so ended up racking up 8 minutes of deco. Great dive!