Friday, January 11, 2013

Yucatan Dive Trip, New Years 2012

Here is a map to start with!

I decided to go on a dive trip with Thien-y, her fiance Jason, and our sorority sister Lisa.  Thieny was a marine biologist, Jason has a bunch of dives and Lisa has just gotten dive certified, which means that we will be doing fun dives and not the bunny slope types. I was excited!

First, I arrived in Cancun Airport with not a clue with wtf was going on as I forgot to plan how to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen (Playa).  The nights before, I had been working in San Diego, and had been out having drinks and meals with Elisa, Chris, Monica, Erik, and catching up Harry, with a British friend who was vacationing in SD for the holidays. Needless to say there were some late nights out and getting stranded on Friday (another problem of being a nomad - if you have to check out of a hotel at 12, and your flight is a redeye, you are basically a bum for the next 10 hours.).  So I kind of showed up in Mexico having not slept in two days and without a plan.  I've been to this area multiple times before and have taken the public buses there by myself, as well as driven there, so was not worried.  For those wondering, this area is very very easy to get around in either by bus or car, it is reasonably safe and easy to get around.

Since I was being lazy, this time I opted to take a shuttle straight to our vacation home, where we started the trip off right by convincing the driver to stop at a 7-11 so we could get some cervezas.   By the time I got to the vacation house, we busted open a bottle of tequila and by the time Lisa made it, we had pretty much finished it, went out, had dinner, at this point from adventures in SD, I was so tired I fell asleep sitting at the table.  Good start to the week

 New Year's Eve! See the picture above? We were drinking this booze called tequila cream. It is like Bailey's, but made with tequila. and it's actually pretty good, a little sweet for me but a lot of fun to drink.  I won't recount/can't remember all the details, but there was a nice dinner, a lot more shots being taken, some swimming in the beach, some silly shenanigans and us all being a bit hung over the next night.

  I will end that with a cute picture of Thieny and Jason. I'm no photographer but the intent was good! : )

Moving on, since all of us are divers, we had a lot of fun over there.  We started with some beach dives out of Playa del Carmen, which were fun but nothing to write home about, then took a ferry to Cozumel, where we had some really lovely wall/drift dives. I've been diving in Cozumel before but honestly I'm starting to have trouble remembering places I've been. Much better coral and visibility in Cozumel over Cancun or Playa, I absolutely recommend staying there and doing dives if that's your focus for a weekend. Here's a picture of me and Lisa tanning on top of the boat : )
Thieny gets horribly seasick anywhere we go, so I took a picture of her from the roof of the boat. Jason was like, ugh. hahahhaa.

We also met some really nice Finnish people, a dude named Sami and his friend Ika, they were in town for the BPM electronic music festival, but I don't follow that very well so whatever they were up to, I'm sure they ended up having a good time.

 The third day we went cenote diving. If you don't know what cenotes are, they are freshwater caverns and tunnels which form a network under the Yucatan, and they are really really fun to dive. That is one of the main diving draws of going to Mexico.  This time, Thieny was obsessed in going into this 300 foot (~60m) deep cenote she dubbed "the Harry Potter hole".  And it looks very unassuming here, and I have dove all over the world and hundreds of times, including the Blue Hole where there were hammerhead sharks everywhere, but I will admit, this was the one dive where I kind of freaked out.  Though that was also partially due to my gear. This thing looked like I was diving through a cross of Harry Potter, Tim Burton and the Abyss.  There is freshwater on top, a "cloud" which is basically like a halocline, and then salt water underneath which tastes like sulfur. We only went down about 120 feet (35 m).   Long story but NO ONE WANTS TO SINK LIKE A STONE GOING DOWN A DARK ABYSS THAT SMELLS LIKE SULFUR.  Jason has a great video of this posted up here:  

 We sum up by me being an idiot and deciding to rent a stick shift (manual) car to go to Tulum.  I pretty much learned to change gears on a motorcycle... so I cannot reverse. Or really drive. But I wanted to practice!  I probably made everyone carsick but I did learn a lot and I thank everyone in the car for their patience.  We made it to Tulum, Lisa went to see the ruins and the rest of us were drinking beers on the beach.  Here are some cute pictures of Thieny... and then one of Jason deciding he wanted to shove his butt in my face.
 So that was Mexico for New Years!  We complete this blog post, it was a great holiday hanging out with fantastic people, a lot of taco and ceviche and beer, fantastic diving and I got a tan out of it.  Thanks to Thieny, Jason and Lisa for wanting to take a trip out and having the most awesome GoPro camera so people can see the stupid crap we do! : ) I had a great time!

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