Visiting The Old Man

1 08 2020

Saturday, August 1st, 2020 ~

I was having some water withdrawal, so we packed up our gear, and went down to play in the Rivaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Gear, loaded up!

We met at Mike’s, got Zeus (our pony dog) comfy in his digs, and headed out for some Scootery Diving Goodness! We took a bearing of Old Man Island, accounted for some current action, and made our plan. As we scootered in the shallows, we eventually turned south, toward the island. We came upon some really neat formations, and the water got quite shallow. We decided to surface, to see where we were.

Well, would you look at that??? We were right in front of the island (another 10 minutes of scooter time,’ish – 45 to 50 minutes on the trigger, to get there)! Back down we went, and we hit our mark. We scootered around it, then caught the current to come back in .

As we drifted, we found a giant piece of a prop, that looked like it broke off of something almost as large as the Jodrey (640′ steel freighter, for those that don’t know of this most awesome tech dive). We played frisbee with some discs, found some sort of pump, and of course, a few bottles. We drifted along the periwinkle shells, then came up to 60′, where we met up with the bow of the Gaskin.

Weird, that the line has been cut back. Not sure why someone would have done that. We scootered back to 30′, where Steve and Mike rotated their bottles (they were on RB80s), then up to 20′, where we did our deco.

I was convinced that my sac rate was going to be higher than normal, since being out of the water for a bit, but it appears not. I spent an hour and 6 minutes on my stage bottle, and surfaced with 1200 psi in my backgas (double 80s). Deco was on 02.

Bottom Time: 2 Hours, 30 minutes, on the nose.
Max. Depth: 107′
Avg. Depth: 78′
Water Temp.: 80F, near the surface, 77F on the dive.

Gear… loaded up, again!

When we surfaced, we packed up our gear, and went back to get Zeus, then went for some Boston Pizza! w00t w00t!

Zeus, the pony dog! โค
Steve and I. Mike was loading his car!




Day 2 – Rip It Up!

1 12 2019

Sunday, December 1st, 2019 ~ย 

“Woke up, got outta bed, dragged a comb across my head…”

w0000000t! We’re going diving!!! In CAVEZZZZZZZZZ! My favourite!! I would add extra exclamation marks, but I think I got my point across. ๐Ÿ˜›

Steve made eggs for us, but Frankie had already gone to the shop. Steve and Mike went to ย join Frankie, since they were doing an RB dive. I was joining Oren and Chris, and Tina was our Surface Support Manager.

While Oren, Chris, and Tina had some breakfast at Hippo, I had what I believe to be the best freshly squeezed orange juice I have ever had in my life… and I’m not a huge OJ drinker.

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We loaded our gear at the shop, then made our way to the gas station for some sodas. Thanks for the Cherry Coke, Dr. O!

Our destination was Taj Mahal, since we were a little late getting moving, it was close, and Tina could swim there. We paid our 250 pesos, and in we went.

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Oren, Chris, and I brought our doubles down to the water, and we happened to run into our good friend, Peter! We went over to the map, where there were Chantelle-fies. Ok, we made our plan to go to the Chinese Garden, too.

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I’m not really sure why I had the “mouth-open-surprise-look,” on my face for a bunch of photos, but… there it is.

The part of Taj that we were planning on swimming to…

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I put my drysuit on halfway, and made my way down the stairs to finish gearing up.

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As I pulled my suit over my head, it happened… my neck seal blew. It wasn’t a little hole, either. It was the size of a basketball – ok, not exactly a basketball, but it may as well have been. Not even duct tape fixable (even though Tina went to ask everyone in the parking lot, if they had any). My electrical tape wasn’t going to do it. Le sigh.

*Enter sad face, here*

At least it wasn’t a crappy place to float around in, while Oren and Chris abandoned me (no, I wasn’t abandoned – I had Tina to hang around with, and float with my holy suit on). It was Tina’s first ever cenote visit, and I don’t think she minded having company. We did have fun, but I did REALLLLLLLY want to dive!

We did manage to see another young padawan, that seemed to be even larger than the one at our condo, last night…

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Bottom Time: 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0 seconds
Max Depth: 3″
Water Temp.: 77F
Average Depth: 1 ATA

We also did see Peter, Manu, Gus, and Yiannis.

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Chris and Oren surfaced, and had a really awesome dive… *enter another sad face, here* They tried to convince me that it sucked, but the grins on their faces showed otherwise.

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Yiannis and Gus, before their dive…

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We ventured back to the shop, unloaded gear – at least I don’t have to refill for tomorrow – and the others had also returned. I handed my drysuit to Jorge, the Magician (seriously, Jorge is the Lord of the Drysuit Repair), so that I could try this diving thing again, tomorrow.

Chinese Food was on the menu, from inside the Chedraui Mall. Yes, we often get the Chinese Food, when in Mexico. It’s really affordable, you always have leftovers, and it’s pretty good! No picante, for me!

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Oren brought some bad ass chips…

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…and Steve wanted to go for a bike ride…

 

 

After some chat about the day’s Diving Goodness (except for mine, of course), it was time to sleep. Let’s hope I get to dive, tomorrow!! *CHEERS TO TOMORROW’S DIVING GOODNESS!*

 

 

 





Get Back In There!

30 11 2019

Saturday, November 30th, 2019 ~

Well, it’s about time that I got my arse back to Mexico, and back in those cavezzzzzzz. It has just been quite a year, and now it’s time to dive!

We left the house at about 3:15am, got to the airport, saw Mike, checked luggage, yadda yadda yadda, tea and croissant, plane, movies, nap, land, get food. w00t!

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We met our Easy Way people, and went to get our vehicle. If you’ve ever rented a car in Mexico, you’ll know that you very rarely get the car that you’ve booked online. In the 11 years we’ve been traveling here, this is the first time that they have actually called us beforehand, to let us know. They were “upgrading” us to a Jeep , from a Mitsubishi Outlander.ย  It appeared to be a bit smaller, but… in the end, we really liked this vehicle. Thanks for the Jeep, Easy Way! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok… shop time… we saw our wonderful friends from Germany, Peter and Manu, as soon as we pulled in. Then, Annika…. and others. Lots of “how you doin'” hugs and reacquainting with friends that we hadn’t seen in a while. It feels so good to be back in the land of the cavezzzzzz!

Steve and I went down to the Pub to grab a snack and a libation. *Cheers!*

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I had a time of 3pm to pick up the keys to our condo…. We waited, and waited… at 3:40, she said that the keys were left for us… “here.” Grrrrrr… Ok… Thanks. Got keys, unloaded luggage, then back to shop, see other arriving friends, put tanks together for Diving Goodness, tomorrow! Oh, yeah… and go to the Chedraui!

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Of course, we congregated back at Zero Gravity, gathered our people, and went back to the Pub!

Myself, Yiannis, Steve, Frankie, Chris, Tina, Oren, Mike, Gus, and Larry.

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We got lollipops when we paid the bill. If you ever get one of these, I suggest leaving it on the table… unless you like watermelon lollipops with peppers in them, that taste like the wrapper says. Yes, Steve and I both tasted them. I brought one home, if anyone wants it.

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Mike found some mood balls to play with…

Please remember not to feed the monkeys… or shock them, in any way. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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When we returned to our condo, we found a man-eating beast. We found that kindness was our method of passage.

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Tomorrow, there shall be Diving Goodness!! w00t w00t!

Catch you in the cenote!





The South West Came North

27 05 2018

Saturday, May 26th, 2018 ~ย 

It has been a couple of months, since I’ve been in the water, thanks to a knock on the noggin’, but I am back in action! Steve and I were heading to Brockville, for Diving Goodness! Jason Wright was not too far away, and was joining us for a couple of days of diving, too. Of course, Mike P. was in on the action, too!

We met at Centeen, for around 10, got Jason set up with some gear, and were eager to get in the water. It was a bit busy, with courses.

Getting gear ready, and analyzing tanks…

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A big shout out to SOS 1000 Islands, for the work they have done, putting in the second set of steps, to the water. The hooks, for stages and scooters is extra helpful! *GO SOS!*

As I was gearing up, I ripped my glove. I was attempting to wear my 5mm wet gloves, and… rrrrrrrip, right at the seam. I was already committed, so I toughed it out.

We got in the water, did gear checks, and away we went. Mike was on the outside left, then Steve, Jason, and myself, taking up the right side. We scootered upstream, for just over 33 minutes, then dropped into the channel. The sun must have been hiding, because it was pretty much a night dive. We saw a few neat bottles, and Jason even found a bit of a plate, but it wasn’t carry-worthy. Mike did find a pretty neat one, too. We drifted along for a bit, and ย hit a back eddy, that pushed us a little more shallow, so we hit the trigger back to our planned depth (100′).

When we reached our max drift time, we headed back up to 65′, where we visited the Gaskin. Of course, we did… that’s our returning reference! Also, it was neat to show it to Jason, who is used to tiny little boats, at the bottom of the lake he dives. It’s amazing, that the line we ran, years ago, is still in decent shape!

We headed back in, and did our little bit o’ deco, where I managed to get a couple of photos. The vis was terrible, so I didn’t get much.

Mike, Steve, and Jason…

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…and again, with a photobomber…

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Of course, a Chantelle-fie!

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We definitely had a lot of fun!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes
Max. Depth: 106′
Water Temp.: 51F

We went for after-dive food, at Boston Pizza, then back to Mike’s, for a gather-round-the-fire-pit session. Chris P. was also in town, and came over to join us!

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I can’t tell you what we chatted about… you know, because what happens at the fire pit, stays at the fire pit! Ok, ok… we roasted giant marshmallows! Tomorrow’s dive, to follow! ๐Ÿ˜€





11- Iguana Be Here Longer

9 03 2018

Friday, February 23rd, 2018 ~

This dive is brought to you by the letters LOL. After a long gap of not seeing Irene, we were finally able to dive together! We went to a Nohoch, for a nice, easy swim dive… for 3 hours. This was my last dive of the trip, since Steve and I have some gear maintenance to do, tomorrow. That, and dry our gear, pack, switch condos for the night, and maybe relax, a little.

Partial map of Nohoch…

I ran the reel, since I think I need some more practice. I tied into the main line, and our swim began. We jumped left, over to the Parker Line, where the cave has so many decorations, floor to ceiling. Such a beautiful cave, that I could spend so much time just gawking, and looking at absolutely everything. We traveled quite slowly, so that we could look at all of the gorgeous stalactites and stalagmites.

After dropping our stages (a bit early), we made another jump, followed along, going through even more decorations, and then to a T. We traveled left, went to the end, then returned, ogling incredible formations in the cave floor, and calcite sheets, before and traveling right. We arrived at another jump (right beside the line), which we followed upward, where we surfaced into a narrow, cylinder-shaped opening. Of course, we chatted, laughed, and watched a couple of bats flying around, above our heads. Back down we went, and came to a very organic part of the cave, with tree roots, and a silty bottom. We eventually turned around, and headed back.

Of course, there was upside down swimming, giggling at helictites, and having an absolute blast. We surfaced with big grins, for such an awesome dive! Although, it sure was a lot of swimming. Next time, scooters! ๐Ÿ˜›

Bottom Time: 3 hours, 3 minutes

Max. Depth: 23′

Water Temp.: 77F

Avg. Depth: 13′

When we returned to the steps, we saw an iguana that appeared to be trapped against the back of the cenote wall. There was a person reading a book, waiting for other diver friends to surface, that said he fell in, and struggled to get to the far wall. Of course… we had to attempt to “save his life.” The book lady went and got a rescue swim floaty thing, that was for the snorkelers, and I gently pushed it towards him, trying not to scare him. He didn’t move a muscle, except his eyes. He seemed to look at me, and say… “Really?”

That didn’t work, so Irene suggested that I put my fins together, to see if he would climb on (laying on my back, which is easily doable in doubles, but slightly more challenging, with a stage). That didn’t work, either.

One of the snorkeling crew came over, wondering wtf we were doing, and says, “they can swim.” I’m such a dork…

Well, we did have some more laughs about saving the swimming iguana’s life.

This is a terrible photo, but the only one I have. Photo, or it didn’t happen!

We did have a most fun-filled day! Who says that diving is all serious business??

Totally whited-out faces, taken by the book lady (also known as the swim floaty thing provider), with our iguana friend in the background. Irene, we must dive again! Five years is too long!

We swam… here…

At least my last dive of our trip was a fabulous one! Until next time, amigos! ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ