Diving in the rain, oh diving in the rain…can’t remember the rest of it. Anyway, it poured. It was warmer down below on Santa Rosa Reef. Divers usually don’t care if it is sunny or not….what matters are conditions UNDER the water! With all of the rain, conditions below are still “stirred up”, there is still 80 ft or more of visibility, but there are particles in the water, and unless you are right on the subject, photos have backscatter. That probably has more to do with my lack of ability than the water. 🙂 So although it was absolutely POURING on the surface with rough water, it was calm and peaceful on the reef. The only problem? Too many divers. When the weather is bad, dive operations don’t want to go too far south because it would take forever to get there, so they tend to stay on the northern southern reefs (I hope that makes sense). So there were far too many groups on the reef. Our second dive was better, we did El Paso de Cedral (Cedar Pass), where only one other group was diving. The current on Cedar Pass was swift, it’s like being on a conveyor belt or an amusement park ride. We saw a nurse shark on Cedar Pass, on Santa Rosa I saw a Hairy Clinging Crab next to a “sucking in” giant anemone….very cool! I confess an absolute love for anemones…there are so many different kinds, and they fascinate me. I also saw a butterfly fish I’ve never seen here: Longsnout Butterfly. I took a lousy picture of it (there were two, as always, as they travel in mated pairs) just to be sure. I haven’t seen large amounts of butterflies or surgeon fish this trip….and that is a concern. The health of a reef can be measured by the fish present on the reef. I do volunteer fish surveys for REEF, so I try to notice the presence of certain species. Most of the time I do species surveys, I always have a camera with me so it becomes difficult to keep the counts, though sometimes I do that as well. Doing these surveys while you dive is a great way to give back, it is essential to keep track of life on the reef to determine its health.
Today is the 4th of July, and we expected fireworks this evening, but the wind is blowing a bit, and I heard from a friend today that last year, they did them in wind and caught the palapa of Carlos and Charlies on fire! I don’t think anyone wanted a repeat of that! We enjoyed a nice dinner at Primas, a long time standard in Cozumel that used to be on the Plaza downtown. It has moved, and the atmosphere has never really been the same since, although the food is every bit as good. I was saddened tonight to discover that the former Maitre’D, Juan Carlos, passed away of a heart attack in January. He was only 44 years old, and a very sweet man. It is always so hard to take when a person dies so young, with so much life ahead of them.
Primas has almost always had a roaming guitarist at the restaurant, and he is still there. Luis is an incredible musician, and although he is mostly playing La Bamba and Oye Como Va for tables, he truly is a musician. He plays the Malaguena for me, a classic flamenco piece, and Morena de Mi Corazon, a mariachi piece. He is gifted, playing a beat up guitar with nylon strings he has had since the beginning of time, I think, but getting incredible sound out of it. When in Cozumel, go to Primas and ask Luis to play for you. Amazing. My cousin, Kathy, is here with Randy and I, and she is becoming rather attached to scuba diving (it’s all part of the plan!). Another cousin, Lisa, is also a diver, as are my husband and children. The family that dives together, stays together! More diving tomorrow, and I hope you had a wonderful 4th!