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Cozumel 2011 Day 4 – Cantarell Reef March 2, 2011

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log.
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Today were the last dives with Joe and Grunt, and I’d agreed to take a taxi ($16 for gringos) from the Occidental Grand Hotel to the Marina (La Caleta) so that we could dive the reefs north of San Miguel. 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 didn’t.

Blue XT Sea’s owner, Christi Courtney, also showed up for the dive, as she’d known Joe and Grunt on-line for several years but never met them. So there were 6 of us the on the dive, including our guide Pedro, and we dropped down into the current, sometimes quite strong, sometimes almost non-existent.  All of us from time to time grabbed a handy Sponge to keep the group together. Some divers view this practice dimly as it is interfering with the marine life, but until I find out differently I believe there is little or no damage done to a big Sponge if it is held gently. It might be worth looking inside the Sponge before grabbing it, though, as you never know what might be in there!

Lion Fish in Sponge

The picture above was actually from San Juan Reef about an hour later, but it fits better in the story here… At one point, one of the divers, Joe I think, was hanging on to a sponge and noticed that he was inches away from a Scorpion Fish. These remarkable creatures are so well camouflaged I bet many people wouldn’t notice it in this picture unless told it was there.

Scorpionfish at Cantarell

Again we saw Juvenile Spotted Drums but the pictures aren’t worth posting here. Once more the shutter lag on my camera made it difficult to frame them well.

I hit a max of 108’ on the dive and the majority of the dive was fairly deep, so after 36 minutes bottom time I had 6 minutes of deco at 10’ on my computer (the 20’ stop cleared well before I got there). No one else went into deco because they were all diving Nitrox – Jackie because she always did, while Joe and Grunt decided to because they were flying the next day.

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