Mayan Paradise ~ Part 3 ~ After The Course

22 11 2008

Saturday, November 8th – Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 ~

Since we had all done well on our courses, we wanted to go put our new skills to work. We figured we would start out with a system that we had already done, so that we had a bit of familiarity on our first time out (without a guide). We rented a big arsed van, in which we loaded up with 5 people’s gear and 10 sets of doubles.

We decided to go to Taj Mahal for a couple of dives. We did both the Upstream and the Downstream lines. Oren, Jen, and I were a team of three, and Steve and Francois were a team of two. Everything seemed a bit different this time out, as we actually got to see it on the way out (no multiple, expected gear failures this time around).

Dive 1 ~ Upstream
Bottom Time ~ 33 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 43′
Water Temp. ~ 77

Dive 2 ~ Downstream
Bottom Time ~ 35 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 41′
Water Temp. ~ 77

We saw Alessandra there again, with a class she was teaching.

Here are a few pics of us in between dives…

Oren and Francois…


Steve and I…

After the dives, we were packing up, and met another couple of divers from Ontario Diving, that we had known of from the board. They recommended some great locations for us to dive as well.

What a small world.

Sunday, we went to the Jungle Fill Station, exchanged a few tanks, and headed over to El Eden again. We did 3 dives here ~ Counterclockwise, Clockwise, then a fun play around in the basin!

Dive 1 ~ Counterclockwise
Bottom Time ~ 39 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 50′
Water Temp. ~ 77

Dive 2 ~ Clockwise
Bottom Time ~ 37 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 47′
Water Temp. ~ 77

Dive 3 ~ Basin
Bottom Time ~ 24 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 13′
Water Temp. ~ 77 – 80

During our basin dive, we did numerous dances (including the Heleen dance), played with the fish, did valve drills, saw an eel with funky eyes (he actually looked prehistoric), and just generally had a blast!

Oh yes, and we saw Alessandra yet again!

Monday, we headed over to Zero Gravity, where we returned a few items for Jen and Robert (they were flying out today), paid the bills (oh my…), and got directions to a couple of places to dive. Today, we were going to dive something we hadn’t done before. w00 h00!

We had our hearts set on Nohoch Nah Chich, and started out on the road. We had the mile marker number, and did remember to reset the tachometer when we left. We were also given a couple of landmarks to look for, that would mark the road through the jungle.

Well… we stopped at the mile marker, but did not see the sign that was supposed to be there. We pulled into a driveway, spoke to a very nice farmer, who pointed out that it was down the road. Down the road we went…

We stopped at another place, where we saw someone cutting tree branches. I walked up to him and said, “Hola! Donde este Nahoch Nah Chich?”

His reply….. “No hablo Anglaise.”

(Didn’t I ask in Spanish?) Ah well…

We went back on the road and decided that we’d try something else. We also had the directions for Mayan Blue. Let’s go diving!!

We found the signs for the place that we needed to get the key from, and the young fellow crossed the street to let us in. We drove down the jungle road, and came up alongside another couple of people that we’d seen along the way (Nando and his student, and Steve Gerrard and friend… and doggy).

We were told that this place was very different from the other caves, that it was much darker, a bit deeper, and a deeper halocline. There is a tannic layer of water, about 10′ deep, and.. of course the entrance to Tunnel A is at about 15′, and that tannic layer is pretty hard to see through. We were happy that we came upon it easily enough (thanks Nando!). There were these little pirahna fish there… ok.. very distant relation, but a relative none-the-less! They attached themselves to our fingers, and scared the living crap out of me, at first.

We dropped into the opening, found the main line, tied off on it, and in we went. This was indeed different than the other caves we had seen so far. It was quite a bit darker, a bit deeper, and even had blackish stalactites. The halocline was at about 50′. Very interesting to see. We decided to do two dives in this same tunnel, instead of going to Tunnel B (although we did find the opening to it ~ Thanks again, Nando)! When we were debriefing, I had one mini shark attach its great teeth into my finger, which caused me to jump out of my skin (ok, it was a Tetra, but it seemed like a monster at the time…). While on the surface, I inflated my suit, so that my hands would stick out of the water. We then discovered that if you spit in the water, they would jump out at it. We amused ourselves with this for a while, then finally got out and packed up.

Dive 1
Bottom Time ~ 33 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 57′
Water Temp. ~ 77

Dive 2
Bottom Time ~ 33 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 56′
Water Temp. ~ 77

Entrance to Mayan Blue…

The basin…

Nando and his student had left a bit before we did, and we bid our goodbyes. What we hadn’t planned on, was meeting him again at the gate. Apparently, our gate saviour with the key, was not across the street, at his post. I’m not sure how long we waited, but we hung out at the gate for a bit, chatted, and honked some more (the signal to get out).

Our friend finally came to rescue us, and we were on our merry way. We returned back to the shop, where we dropped off our weights, and headed back to the resort.

It was sad that our honeymoon/course/vacation in the jungle had to come to an end. We learned alot, were joined by wonderful friends (Leigh, we still missed you!), met some new ones, and couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful group of people to learn from.

Many thanks to Chris, Fred, Anjelica, Marcos, Jesus, Alessandra, Carlos, and Dennis (Danny, we’re sorry we didn’t get to see you).

As Fred says, “Let the adventure begin.”

Pic by Carmen…



2 responses

25 12 2009

I met that lady (Alessandra) in Mexico last month and kept thinking that we’ve met before… of course I knew I hadn’t.

Took me a while to realize why I had this feeling of deja vu. Finally this morning the flash finally came up to me that I most likely saw her face on one the cave diving blogs that I follow. Took me 30 mins to “locate” her πŸ™‚

I guess that’s what comes with the internet age, getting to know a bunch of people we’ve never met before πŸ™‚

Merry Christmas!

25 12 2009

Glad you got to meet her. She’s a fantastic lady! Merry Christmas!! πŸ™‚

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