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Cozumel Day 4: Cantarell Reef March 3, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log.
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Instead of being picked up at the dock, I took a taxi ($15 US) to La Caleta Marina to meet the dive boat, Shamu, at its mooring, not far from the gas station. Our first dive of the day was to be at Cantarell Reef, which is frequently visited by Spotted Eagle Rays. Divemaster and Guide Pedro from Blue XT Sea Diving told us that he’d seen several the week before, but the season was drawing to close. We were not to be disappointed.

La Caleta is just south of the town of San Miguel. Shamu, with its single 200 hp outboard motor left its little harbour, going around the huge cruise ships that frequent the town, arriving in the Northern End not far from the shore. The 6 divers (including Pedro) splashed in just before 8:30 AM into the strongest current I’d experienced so far on the trip. We dropped down a little away from the wall and had to swim hard against the current which was flowing northward and away from the island. Not wanting to use up all my air right at the beginning of the dive, I noticed that the wall jutted out a little North of where we were, so I just drifted into it saving a considerable amount of effort.

That's a Moray

That's a Moray

After a short encounter with this little Spotted Moray, we settled down to watch the show. Pedro indicated the spot to hold on to in the current, and we waited for the Eagle Rays to appear. It didn’t take long.

Swimming against the current, we saw group after group of them going by, for a total of 16, with some groups as big as 7 together. They were at various distances, and they’re difficult to photograph at the best of times, but I managed to get several good photographs in addition to some terrible ones. Trying to adjust your camera while holding on with one hand in a strong current isn’t the easiest thing to do.

cozd4-eagle-ray-1

I went as deep as 104 feet on the dive, and while I don’t recall the exact depth where we watched them I believe it was as least 80 feet. My bottom time was a mere 34 minutes, and my computer gave me 4 minutes at 10 feet deco, to which I added a 3 minute safety stop. The water temperature was 26C (79F).

cozd4-eagle-ray-2

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1. Cozumel Day 4: San Juan Reef « Chronicle of an older diver - March 6, 2009

[…] deepstop The second dive of the day on February 11th, 2009 after our spectacular Spotted Eagle Ray encounter at Cantarell Reef, was at nearby San Juan Reef, beginning quite close to shore north of the town of San Miguel. It […]

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2. Cozumel Wrap Up « Chronicle of an older diver - March 21, 2009

[…] Cozumel Day 4: Cantarell Reef […]

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3. Cozumel 2011 Day 4 – Cantarell Reef « Chronicle of an older diver - March 2, 2011

[…] The first of these was Cantarell Reef, which on my map is called “Eagle Ray Reef”. When I dove it two years ago there were tons of them, but you never know whether they’ll show up or not, and this time they […]

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