In May 2012, I volunteered with All Out Africa for 3 1/2 weeks doing fish surveys and Whale Shark research in Tofo, Mozambique. I was the only Boomer! Age aside, I invited my fellow volunteers to come and visit me at my home in Cozumel, Mexico for some fun diving, and in July 2013, 3 of them did!
Marcel and Daniela arrived from Cancun around lunchtime, as we had a night dive planned. Felix, who had arrived the day before, and I were so excited to see them! It was as if no time had passed at all since our time in Tofo a year ago. Randy and I took everyone to the other side of the island for a drink. We were all excited for the night dive, it was Felix’s first, and Daniela and Marcel’s second (but they said their first night dive was not a big deal). A night dive in Cozumel is almost always gorgeous so I could not wait to get them down there. Felix was a bit on the nervous side, but that is completely normal. We got to the boat, a 35 foot luxury liner compared to the zodiac we dove off of in Tofo, we were briefed, and we descended during twilight. It is best to do a night dive with beginners at sundown, the darkness comes on gradually, almost unnoticed, and it eases them into the experience. Night brings out different fish, different animals, and I so very much wanted them to see an octopus.
It would be really unusual for one to do a night dive in Cozumel and not see an octopus, but hey, you never know. I was worried during the dive until we spotted that first octopus, then ahhhhhh….I relaxed and enjoyed the next 5 octopi! Huge crabs, eels, open corals, lobsters, brittle stars…night diving is wonderful. And the colors are amazing! Using lights really shows the beauty and color of the reef and the corals. Just gorgeous. They LOVED the night dive (of course!). Afterward, we went to the Money Bar to eat. Diving makes one hungry!
The next morning Felix left us for Cancun and home to London…he starts an internship next week, so…holiday time is over for now for him! But 3 weeks in Mexico was a great way to celebrate his graduation! On the way home from dropping him off at the ferry Marcel wanted to know if we could do another night dive! Sure! I’m always up for a night dive! So the three of us went again, and had another great dive. There were several first timers on the boat for the night dive, so there was nervous energy down below. Everything went well, though. Home to bed for our early morning dive adventure!
Off we went the next morning to Punta Palancar and El Paso de Cedral. Diving with us were Carol and Brian. Brian is a quadriplegic, and still is able to dive. He was a Salvage Diver in the Air Force, and I thanked him for his service. I don’t know if that is how he was hurt, but salvage diving can be quite dangerous. After they “gear” him up, the dive master on the boat holds Brian’s tank and that is how he dives. I am full of admiration for him…he and his wife are obviously strong minded individuals.
The dives were beautiful….we saw turtles and groupers and giant parrotfishes and eels and a nurse shark….very beautiful dives. We went to dinner with my husband and daughter, Ally, and our next door Cozumel neighbors, Lyn and Mark. It was a fabulous meal in great company.
Alas, all wonderful things have an end, and Marcel and Daniela headed out this morning for Cancun to Philadelphia, then Daniela home to Munich and Marcel home to Zurich. It was so natural to be together, as though no time had passed. We discussed doing another volunteer trip together…maybe to Thailand. We will try to make that work! It meant so much to me that they came to Cozumel to visit me this summer…we had a very strong group in Tofo, and I feel connected to all of them. Living in the same house with people for weeks does tend to create bonds of affection, and I am very fond of Felix, Marcel, and Dani. Hasta Luego, mi amigos!
Why don’t YOU visit Cozumel? Check out our beautiful home, we rent it so come visit! http://www.vrbo.com/368692