The foul weather cleared and we enjoyed a great week of diving. You can tell the slow season is trickling in upon us as our twice and thrice daily boats are now down to once daily on most days. Doesn’t matter to us – we are still going diving! This week features a few surprise eagle ray visitors and several sleeping sharks.

July 1, 2018 AM Boat Trip

Captain: Domingo
Divemaster / Instructor:
Ray
Weather:
Perfect day for diving!
Water Temperature:
80 degrees

Dive One

Site: Santa Rosa Wall
Max Depth: 70 feet
Dive Time: 45 minutes
Key Animals: Splendid Toadfish, Scorpionfish
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Deep dive on the Santa Rosa wall. We want to capture in video the splendid toad fish couple. Janina and Michael are happy to take this video as Cozumel souvenir. We found them quick, pictures and video taken, and add a few swim throughs to the video as well, Crossing to the shallower part of Santa Rosa we found a scorpion fish, camouflage master!

Dive Two

Site: Yucab
Max Depth: 60 feet
Dive Time: 60 minutes
Key Animals: Midnight Parrotfish, Grunts
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Janina suggested Yucab reef since yesterday we saw two eagle rays, which is unusual for this time of the year but we will try again. The current was a bit fast. I saw a group of divers in the main reef so I asked the divers to follow me to the parallel coral ridge. It paid out nicely. We spot two nurse sharks sleeping, and as they heard our bubbles they start swimming slowly. They were around us for almost five minutes, just swimming in circles, super cool! Among many other colorful fish it is common to find many schools of ocean trigger fish and barracudas. We all loved the dive.

Can you tell I like the Blue Bell tunicates?

July 2, 2018 PM Boat Trip

Captain: Domingo
Divemaster / Instructor:
Ray
Weather:
Mostly sunny
Water Temperature:
80 degrees

Dive One

Site: Yucab
Max Depth: 45 feet
Dive Time: 48 minutes
Key Animals: Horse eye Jacks, Queen triggerfish
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Christine and Nisha first time in Cozumel. They want to do a shallow dive so we choose Yucab as starter. It has many fish and lots of coral and sponges. The current was mild and easy. We saw a few horse eye jacks together, some of them very large size. Another fish that call our attention was a queen trigger fish. Such beautiful colors, neon stripes, just pretty.

Dive Two

Site: Paradise Reef
Max Depth: 45 feet
Dive Time: 53 minutes
Key Animals: Spotted Eagle Ray, Yellow spotted ray
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Paradise reef is famous for its amount of fish and shallow reef. We found this a perfect choice. I particularly like that it has sandy areas and sponges soft coral and hard coral too. It brings many fish around and today a sweet bonus of the super spectacular spotted eagle rays, two of them together, swimming slow in front of us. We were able to swim next to them for a few minutes! We finished the dive really happy!

The Slender Filefish, Monacanthus tuckeri, can always be found hanging within the branches of the Sea Rod, Plexaurella spp.

July 4, 2018 PM Boat Trip

Captain: Domingo
Divemaster / Instructor:
Ray
Weather:
Mostly sunny
Water Temperature:
80 degrees

Dive One

Site: Santa Rosa Wall
Max Depth: 70 feet
Dive Time: 37 minutes
Key Animals: Horse eye Jacks, Queen triggerfish
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Nitrox diving is what Paul and Anne requested this time to go back to their cruise ship on time. They wanted to visit Santa Rosa wall. It is a world famous wall dive and, as we passed to the swim throughs a lobster was walking in front of us. We stopped to enjoy the way it walks. Paul has his camera and the lobster reached out and touched it with its antennas. Then we left the coral to adventure a bit on the sandy bottom finding a scorpionfish. Later we finish the dive above the shallow barrier, nice!

Dive Two

Site: Tormentos
Max Depth: 60 feet
Dive Time: 45 minutes
Key Animals: Ocean triggerfish, Barracudas
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  This shallow dive has a mild current so we found many schools of trigger fish. The ocean type, summer time is when I find many of them in this area. Also barracudas around here are big and abundant. Cool fish, silver and shiny. At the end of the dive Paul practices to send his buoy to the surface and he did a good job!

The Flamingo Tongue snail, Cyphoma gibbosum, is a beautiful find on the reef. Unfortunately they are a parasite feeding upon the coral.

July 5, 2018 PM Boat Trip

Captain: Domingo
Divemaster / Instructor:
Ray
Weather:
Mostly sunny
Water Temperature:
80 degrees

Dive One

Site: Paradise Reef
Max Depth: 40 feet
Dive Time: 50 minutes
Key Animals: Queen Angelfish, Gold spotted eel
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Since it is first dive ever for Kathy we used a descent line. It worked out perfect. We visited the second section of this large reef. It is shallow and really pretty with many colorful fish. The queen angel is one of my favorites and they are plentiful on this reef. We find solitary juveniles to adults in pairs here. We also found a tiny eel with gold spots – nice! That is a rare find in these parts. We finished the dive above the sandy area and we saw a spotted ray. A nice easy dive for the first timer in the group.

Dive Two

Site: Villa Blanca
Max Depth: 40 feet
Dive Time: 50 minutes
Key Animals: Squid, Barracuda
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Kathy did an excellent job in her first dive and Paul wanted to see a wall seascape. We have a shallow wall, Villa Blanca, nearby and its a great choice today. It covers all the requirements plus has lots of marine life. We saw a few squids to begin with, always so cool. The many sponges that are so big that crabs and eels live inside them! What was surprise is a huge barracuda hiding under a soft coral and when we were closer it just took off. Woah!

The Branching Vase sponge, Callyspongia vaginalis, provides refuge for the brittle starfish.

July 6, 2018 AM Boat Trip

Captain: Domingo
Divemaster / Instructor:
Ray
Weather:
Mostly sunny
Water Temperature:
81 degrees

Dive One

Site: Paso del Cedral
Max Depth: 60 feet
Dive Time: 35 minutes
Key Animals: Channel blinging crab, Lobster
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  No current! Cedral pass is normally a drift dive at different speeds. Today no current at all. We took advantage of the rare opportunity to look for the small stuff, but the family was aiming to see a turtle. We did not find it, but many lobster in a single spot and a huge crab, also a big grey grouper. Such a nice dive for the unusual lack of currents!

Dive Two

Site: Yucab
Max Depth: 50 feet
Dive Time: 50 minutes
Key Animals: Nurse shark, Lobster
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Nick was carrying the camera and as we drop in a pair of walking lobster showed up right on cue. I was looking around to perhaps find the turtle that Militza wanted. We found a sleeping nurse shark instead, not bad! We all were together watching him resting. Alexis and I were holding hands, very close to the bottom and the shark. It was nice!

A Knobby anemone, Rhodactis lucida, tucks tightly into crevices to stay protected.

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