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Cozumel Day 6: Maracaibo Reef March 11, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log.
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February 14th, 2009: Maracaibo Reef is so far my favourite spot in Cozumel. I’ve been there twice, although never to the deepest part – perhaps next time. I’ll have to talk to Blue XT Sea Diving about that next time I’m there. The reef was less affected by Hurricane Wilma than most other dive sites around the island, with plentiful soft corals that were ripped away elsewhere.

cozd6-soft-coral

There was a strong wind and waves as Capitan Mago piloted the Shamu to the site, and so was quite rough on the divers, although none was seasick. The trip took a little less than 20 minutes from the Grand Cozumel, around Punta Sur and the Celarain Lighthouse at the southern end of the island. There were 4 divers besides me,  Rick, Steve, Doris and Gail from San Diego, plus Pedro the divemaster, entering the water at 9:18 AM.

The dive would have been a good candidate for Nitrox. With a maximum depth of 77 feet I managed to rack up 8 minutes of deco in the 48 minutes of bottom time. Like other times, there were lots of crabs around.

cozd6-crab

The site has a sandy bottom with lots of large coral formations, which as you can see from the first picture sometimes reach quite high in the water. On each formation you can find all kinds of sea life, although in Cozumel we often go for distance rather than detail due to the current – it’s easier just to drift along most of the time. I managed to stick my head in a hole to catch this Nurse Shark having a nap. It turned out to be the only one I saw on the entire trip, which is quite unusual.

cozd6-nurse-shark

There was also a couple of turtle encounters, which I’d expect at Maracaibo, and a couple of large Green Moray Eels. The boat ride back North was much smoother as we weren’t fighting the wind and waves, and we spotted a couple of dolphins, although they were gone in a flash. Once again the site lived up to my expectations.

Green Moray

Green Moray

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Comments»

1. Cozumel Day 6: Yucab & Tormentos Reefs « Chronicle of an older diver - March 12, 2009

[…] Chronicle of an older diver Never too old to go diving « Cozumel Day 6: Maracaibo Reef […]

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2. Cancun Travel - March 20, 2009

Thanks for this article I was born in Maracaibo, not on this reef, but in Venezuela, thanks for let me know about this interesting reef!
I a couple I will take a trip to cancun and I will visit this Maracaibo reef!
thanks

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

[…] Cozumel Day 6: Maracaibo Reef […]

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