Mexico Part 2 ~ Time To Dive!

30 10 2011

Monday, October 3rd, 2011 ~

We were up and at ’em at 7:25am, when we met the gang for breakfast. We grabbed a quick bite, then headed to the lobby, and hoped we would get a vehicle. Since we had some trouble yesterday, the guy told us that he would be there at 7:45 (for the 8am meeting time). 7:59am.. uh ohhh.. Did they forget us again? 8:05, 06, 07… 8:10.. Is that? Could it be? w00t! There he was!

Thank goodness…

We got a little VW sport van, which was perfect (and similar to what we had originally requested)! We loaded the car, and headed straight to Zero Gravity. We saw Jorge first, then Angelica, and then met a few of the folks from Australia: Team Sombre-Roo. We got our tanks, a couple of stages, and had decided on  heading over to Nahoch. Great way to start the trip! Huw, Pascal, and Cam joined us, too!

We had three teams, doing different things. Oren, Steve, and I were a team, and decided to take two stages, for a longer dive. While we geared up, the clouds came in fast, and we were thankful for the overhead tarps to get changed under. Torrential downpour! The pully was also missing, so we walked all of our gear down, instead of lowering it. No big deal, it just took a little longer.

Steve had Francois’ camera with him, and took some footage. We breathed our first stage to our drop pressures, dropped them, and carried on. We eyed up all of the jumps, but decided to stay on the main line. There were so many jumps! Our plan was to turn the dive at our second stage drop pressure, and turn back.. which we did. We had a nice, leisurely swim back, and were loving how beautiful this cave was.

We saw a few small, white cave swimmies and a cave fish. Steve managed to get some footage, too. What a beautiful dive.

Bottom Time ~ 2 hours, 41 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 24′
Water Temp. ~ 77
Vis. ~ Endless

After our dive, we packed up, and headed back to the shop. We only needed our stages filled, as we didn’t even touch our back gas.

Back to the resort, where we hung up our gear, had a short rest, then off to the buffet! It was Italian night! We all told stories of our day, and then back to sleep…

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 ~

Breakfast at 7:20am. Shop at 9am, and then over to Dos Palmas! We had not been here before, and were looking forward to seeing some new to us cave.

There were definitely a lot of bats, here!

We decided on the upstream line first, and would use stages. There was higher flow here, than we have encountered in Mexico so far, and the further we swam in, the stronger the flow was. We did one jump (5th to the left). Wow.. some gorgeous cave. We reaced the end of that line, came back, and continued in. Very nicely decorated cave! Due to the flow, the swim out was much faster than the swim in!

Bottom Time ~ 1 hour, 49 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 35′
Water Temp. ~ 77

We came in for a spot of lunch, then got ready again.

We were just using back gas for our second dive, and went on the downstream line. This cave would not disappoint, and I thought was even more beautiful than our previous Nohoch dive. The downstream line was a little more restrictive and highly decorated. We went in against the flow, which was not as strong as the upstream line, and out against it. 

There were so many jumps, but we stayed on the main line. There was so much to see! I was completely wide-eyed.  

Bottom Time ~ 1 hour, 3 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 22′
Water Temp. ~ 77

We finished up, dropped gear off at the shop, then back for a little rest. The buffet had Asian food, but there was also a dinner for the Nolitours customers (which most of us were), so we went there, first. We had a piece of the 6′ x 3′ cake, then went for Asian food. 🙂

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 ~

Breakfast, Chedraui, then to the shop for tanks. We decided to go to Mayan Blue, and do the B,E,F tunnels. Chris, Frankie, Jen, and Richard were there too, for Cave 2, along with Jorge, too.


Chris, and the Cave 2 course…

Steve, Oren, and I brought our bottles down, geared up, and away we went. We made our first jump, dropped our first stage bottles, and headed to F tunnel. Absolutely beautiful! We then dropped our second stage bottles, and continued on with back gas. We reached a section that was quite restrictive and silty. We dubbed this part of the cave, The Shredder… although Chris told us that he calls that Swiss Cheese. 🙂

We were watching our gas, and I knew that it would soon be time for us to turn the dive. The spot we were in was very restrictive, and I was looking for places that would be easiest to turn around in, should the dive get called. I was #3, Oren was #2, and Steve was #1. As we moved along, I saw two places that would be half decent to turn around in, and a little bit further, I thought to myself, “Oh, this spot would really suck if we had to turn here..” Then, of course, there was a signal, and thumbs… Of course.. Murphy’s Law, right? Steve was in a decent spot, Oren turned, and although it was extremely silty, Oren did a pretty good job of turning around, without disturbing too much… until his last, tiny fin movement.. zero vis.. Now.. I had to turn around in a spot that was extremely tight, and no vis. I was not at all worried, as I had the line, and was able to get myself around. I’m sure it wasn’t pretty, but it was effective. It didn’t take long for us to move to where we could see, and we continued on towards the exit. I could hear Oren giggling, and he heard me giggling too, so everything was good.

We picked up our bottles, and headed out.

Bottom Time ~ 2 hours, 8 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 81′
Water Temp. ~ 77

We packed up, headed back to the shop, where we met up with Cam and Huw, then to the hotel for a nap. I swear, this napping thing is quite a novelty. I could get used to naps. Mexican food was on the menu tonight! W00 h00!

Of course, we topped off the night with a couple of beverages, and shared stories of our day’s dives.

Thursday, October 6th, 2011 ~

Same morning routine: breakfast, shop, tanks.

Today, Steve, Oren, and I were heading to Grand Cenote/Sac Actun. Rasa was also joining us today, to visit the cenote, and see this crazy cave stuff that we enjoy so much.

We brought along two stages, and since we had never been past Cave 1 limits in this cave, Fred had given us some directions to some cool cave. After finding the right line (yes, we found some exploration-type line first, going left of the cavern line, which was on the ceiling of the cave), we were off and in. We swam along the main line until we got to our jump to the Paseo Lagarto Line. We dropped our first stages before the T, then through the “heart” restriction. This was some really cool cave. We dropped our second stage bottles, then came to some absolutely beautiful cave, with stunning decorations. We reached the Boa Restriction, which was some extremely cool passage. It was up, down, around, and up, down, around some more. We reached a spot where it was going to dip down through a hole, and get even more restrictive, so we decided to turn the dive here. We were getting close to our turn pressures anyway.

I swear.. this was the Best. Cave. Dive. Yet. Period.

It seemed that each day, our dives got even more amazing. I think we all had permagrins on our faces, for the entire swim out, and the smiles extended into the basin. There were moose ears a-plenty!

Bottom Time ~ 2 hours, 25 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 43′
Water Temp. ~ 77

We brought our lunch, which we ate in the company of two extremely adorable puppies, a rooster, and a chicken. I think there may be a joke in there, somewhere…

King puppy, looking for treats and attention. He really did control the others…

This chicken actually pecked at my foot…

We headed back, dropped off tanks at the shop, then back to the resort, where Steve and I actually went for a swim in the pool. We then went and joined Rasa and Oren, and went for a dip in the ocean.

After the ocean dip, we went back to the pool, then grabbed a shower before dinner.. which was at the Mexican restaurant. We had to make reservations for this one, and let’s just say that “big” groups are not their favourite. Oh well… Everyone trickled in, and we shared the stories from our day. Eric and Andy had finished their Cave 1 course, and were looking forward to actually seeing some cave! 😀

Oren had discovered the Creperie, which was extremely dangerous. We all had a bit of a treat before calling it a night. I could seriously get used to this…

Stay tuned for Part 3! More cavez, our jungle adventure, and a bit of tourist stuff. 🙂

Mexico Or Bust… Part 1

20 10 2011

Saturday, October 1st, 2011 & Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 ~

So.. our flight was supposed to leave at 3:40 Saturday afternoon, and while we were getting our luggage, carry-ons, and pretty much everything weighed, we were told that there would be a delay.. Our new flight time was to be 6:45pm, which subsequently changed to 10pm. Wow.. that was going to be a long wait, and we were a bit early, to begin with. They gave us $30 dinner vouchers, and $75 travel vouchers, which.. well.. ok…

When we saw the pilot finally arrive (apparently, they got us another plane from Edmonton, staff from Cornwall, and a pilot from Toronto), the entire terminal started to clap and cheer. We were quite happy to see him. We ended up leaving at around 10:30pm, arrived to a rather huge customs line up, got luggage, then hopped a bus to the hotel. There were six of us  together, on this flight, and were meeting up with 5 others, already at the resort.

We finally arrived at the resort, at 5:30am. We checked in, and found little point in going to sleep. Eric and Andy were being picked up for Cave 1, at 8:30am, and Steve and I were to meet our rental car people at 8am.

First, we sorted out our gear. My pile…

We then went down to the water, and watched the sunrise…

We also saw some fish, a heron, and found Andy!

We grabbed some quick breakfast, then went to wait for the rental car, as we bid a Good Day to Eric and Andy, leaving for their first day of C1!

8am came, and the car rental folks were not there. I had even confirmed with them, two days prior. 9am came and went, and a phone call confirmed that they had forgotten about  us, and would come right away, with our little sport van.

So.. they finally showed up, about an hour later, with a small four door car. This was not going to work for us. We had reserved a completely different car, and got this one. Oren, Steve and I jumped in the car with the nice fellow, and headed to Playa (on the advice of the rental car fellow), where we could see if there was a hatch for us, and the car that Oren had ordered.

When we arrived at the rental parking lot, we saw that there was no hatchback, and no little car that Oren had wanted. The fellow told us that there was a guy bringing us one, from the airport, and that he was on his way. About an hour went by, and there was still no vehicle. He called again, and the guy was still at the airport. So.. we asked him to bring it to our hotel  in the morning. He said he would. We went back with Oren, who had settled on one of the four doors. What an ordeal…

So.. our first diving day busted.. but at least we would get our car in the morning…

We got back to the resort, and joined Oren and Rasa for a beverage. We wanted to go for a dip in the ocean, so we headed back to our room to grab our fins… Yeah.. that turned into a nap…

When we woke up, we went to meet everyone for dinner, at the buffet.

Delicious Daquiris De Mango!

Then.. ocean time! Steve and I really did grab our fins, then met Oren, and headed into the water. When we first got in, I managed to get some sort of sting on my arm, that ended up lasting for a few days. I have no idea what it was, but it did burn like a stinker!

We saw many little fish, scuttle fish, a long pike-type fish, and a small squid. We were hanging out at the same place where we had seen the fish in the morning.   After our dip, we changed, and met up at Pure bar, for a night cap.

There was also a torrential downpour, when we were at Pure.  Water was pouring in through the ceiling in many places. Since Michel didn’t want to get his sandals wet, he took them off, before running back to his room.. He did say that he would end up clothesless by the end of the night. 😉

*Holding back picture, although I really want to post it*    Michel, you owe me one… 😀

After a very long day, it was time to sleep… Cavezzzzzz tomorrow (providing we get a car)!

Stay tuned for Part 2!