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2006 Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Day Four December 27, 2008

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log.
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The fourth day of diving was still marred somewhat by the weather. This time, however, on the 23rd of November 2006, the only problem was a delay in getting going, with pickup from the dock at the Occidental Grand Hotel just after noon. In no time we were at the dive site and splashing into the water at the Palancar Bricks dive site by ten to one.

I requested Nitrox for the dives that day. It’s now standard practice for me to dive Nitrox the day before I fly, just to be a little more conservative. Most of the time I when I do air dives in the Caribbean I get really long bottom times and end up with a small decompression obligation. Nitrox keeps me away from the no decompression limit so I feel a bit safer. This dive, on EAN32 (32% oxygen) hit a maximum depth of 95 feet and a bottom time of 45 minutes. The water temperature had dropped from 31C to 28C (85F to 82F) through the week, but in my 3mm wet sit was still quite comfortable.

Turtle feeding

Turtle feeding

During the dive we came upon this Turtle feed from some vegetation growing on this rock. It completely ignored several divers getting close-up photos and just continued to eat.

There was also a Barracuda on this dive, picture below, that appears to have a fish-hook in its mouth. I didn’t notice it until a few minutes ago while I was preparing the photograph for posting.

Barracuda with fish hook in right hand corner of its mouth

Barracuda with fish hook in right hand corner of its mouth

It’s hard to see the fish hook in the above photo, but easier with the close-up on the right. coz-2006-day-4-barracuda-closeupOn the second dive, on EAN37 as I measured it, I saw a school of about 20 Barrucuda right near the end of the dive while I was on my 5 minute safety stop. This dive, which lasted almost an hour and a quarter, maxed out at 53 feet in Pasa del Cedral. Despite my love for deep diving, some of the shallower stuff in Cozumel is really great because the colours are so much brighter, both live and for photography.

We saw Morays, Puffers, Angel Fish, Grouper, Lobster and Grunts. The plentiful Grunts in these shallower dives make good photo opportunities,  and while I’ve taken better pictures than the one below, this is the best I have right now from Cozumel because my hard drive bit the dust a few weeks back and I lost most of my 2007 photography.

Between dives, as is the custom with Blue XT Sea diving, we parked on a deserted shore of the island and had a snack and a swim. The surface interval was 1 hour and 3 minutes. This meant that I was back on the dock not long after 4pm much to the surprise of my wife, who was accustomed to me being away for long periods. I told her that the fast turnaround was the way it was supposed to work, with a total time of about 4 hours, which has now made Cozumel her favourite destination for a combined non-dive/dive vacation. For me, the diving is great, the hotel is wonderful, and its a really good value for the money.

coz-2006-day-4-grunts

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