As we head into the heart of summer the water is starting to warm up nicely.The wet suits are coming off and all the divers and staying warm throughout their dives. Along with the warmer water comes coral growing at a rapid pace. Rapid, metaphorically speaking, of course. Nevertheless, growing coral means colorful coral – and that makes for happy divers. This week we have a fantastic mom and son combo on a private charter, plus another boat with a group of guys, plus an old college team mate of Henry’s is in for a visit. This week kept both Ray and Henry busy. That’s a good thing!

July 9, 2018 AM Boat Trip

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

Dive One

Site: Santa Rosa Wall
Max Depth: 80 feet
Dive Time: 45 minutes
Key Animals: Splendid Toadfish, Rainbow Parrotfish
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  With advanced divers Santa Rosa can be a deep dive. We planned today a 80ft maximum depth. Sam needed to descend slow so we started at the end of Cedral Wall. We found rainbow parrot fish and midnight too. Scott was excited to see this big fish. We drifted the ridge with many fish to see and the typical search for the splendid toad fish pay off. Cool dive.

Dive Two

Site: San Francisco
Max Depth: 60 feet
Dive Time: 60 minutes
Key Animals: Loggerhead Turtle, School of Grunts
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  This is a colorful dive site, one of my favorites. We started at the shallow platform and as we were descended a huge school of grunts were under the ledge. Later Scott found a loggerhead turtle with so many barnacles on the shell. Sam and I saw it swimming towards the surface – what a big guy! We finish the dive satisfied.

The Branching Anemone, Lebrunia danae, stays tucked into small crevices in the reef and as such are often missed by all but the most observant divers.

July 9, 2018 PM Boat Trip

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

Dive One

Site: Yucab
Max Depth: 45 feet
Dive Time: 60 minutes
Key Animals: Permit, Stoplight Parrotfish
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Logan is a young diver so we need a shallow reef for him and we decided to go Yucab reef. At first we were looking for the shark. We couldn’t find it but instead we spot a group of lobsters. They were mating I believe, walking and swimming in the same area, super cool!, Alicia mention that the stop light parrot fish are some of her favorites and we found several of them in different sizes. At the end a couple of big permits came out to say good bye. It was a very fun dive.

 

There are several Featherdusters that are very similar to each other, visually speaking, but I think this one is the Magnificent Featherduster worm, Sabellastarte magnifica.

July 10, 2018 AM Boat Trip

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

Dive One

Site: Santa Rosa Wall
Max Depth: 70 feet
Dive Time: 25 minutes
Key Animals: Hawksbill turtle, Lobster
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Nice weather to go diving so we picked Santa Rosa wall. Gina, John and Jason are here for only one day and we try to show them one of the best dive sites in Cozumel. It starts shallow and then we visit the wall, no too deep, only 70 ft. The ridge is spectacular we found a turtle at the end along with a stingray and a couple of lobsters under a coral head. The current was a bit strange today, but everybody handle it just nice.

Dive Two

Site: Yucab
Max Depth: 50 feet
Dive Time: 36 minutes
Key Animals: Rainbow Parrotfish, Barracuda
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  The current was a bit tricky here today, running south and pushing a bit to the wall. Despite the current, visibility was great, 100+ as usual. Many colorful fish around here, particularly like the parrot fish, stop light red and blue. The fish I like the most is the rainbow because of its size. We also saw a big amount of barracudas in different sizes, it was a nice dive.

Scaled Lettuce Coral, Agaricia agaricites f. danai, is abundant on top of coral pinnacles and shallow waters throughout Cozumel. Look for the juvenile damselfish, chromis, or angelfish which call it home.

July 11, 2018 AM Boat Trip

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

Dive One

Site: Cedral Pass
Max Depth: 45 feet
Dive Time: 65 minutes
Key Animals: Hawksbill turtle, Lobster
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Logan likes to do only 3 dives a day. Yesterday we did not see a shark, so today we try in Cedral Pass and we succeed. Also we found a baby hawksbill turtle. Many other fish within 65 min dive, Allison was happy too!

I think this close-up is of the Symetrical Brain coral, Diploria strigosa. Tough to tell from the photo, however. It could possibly be the Boulder Brain, Colpophyllia natans. In either case, they often become popular cleaning stations.

July 10, 2018 AM Boat Trip

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

Dive One

Site: San Francisco Wall
Max Depth: 70 feet
Dive Time: 65 minutes
Key Animals: Loggerhead turtle, Dog Snapper
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  No need to go deep, Sam said. Scott and I agreed on the dive plan. It is better to spend more time underwater, 65min was the bottom time. It was enough to find many fish and particularly the dog snapper, super big and healthy. Another highlight from this dive was the huge loggerhead turtle, always amazing! Sometimes 65 min feels like it is not enough.

Dive Two

Site: Yucab
Max Depth: 50 feet
Dive Time: 65 minutes
Key Animals: Rainbow Parrotfish, Barracuda
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Another shallow reef is our next destination. Sam found a nurse shark sleeping and Scott had to swim back to see it since he was a bit ahead. Good thing the current was slow and nice today. Many barracudas in this dive and ocean trigger fish too. Like I said, 65 minute dive is not enough!

I never tire of spotting and photographing the Giant Anemone, Condylactis gigantea.

July 12, 2018 AM Boat Trip

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

Dive One

Site: Villa Blanca Wall
Max Depth: 60 feet
Dive Time: 65 minutes
Key Animals: Midnight Parrotfish, Flounder
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  In order to complete the 60+min dives we need to plan shallow dives. 60ft is plenty to enjoy the Villa Blanca Wall. Today the current was exceptionally slow, ‘we need to take advantage of this’ I thought so we were looking for tiny stuff. Many yellowhead jaw fish, flounders in different sizes, and what i personally really enjoyed was the midnight parrot fish eating the coral. Sam and i were able to stop and see this big guy like in slow motion, nice! Again the dive last 65 min, is it becoming a rule between Sam and I?

Dive Two

Site: Abrigo Wall
Max Depth: 50 feet
Dive Time: 65 minutes
Key Animals: Squid, Barracuda
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Sam has never been in the northern reefs. This is a nice dive, usual slow current and great vis. We are looking for the splendid toad fish. It took us a minute to find a few of them, but we also spotted a barracuda that was almost eye to eye with Sam, wow! At the end the squids that i have seen before still around. The best part? It is just around the corner from our marina spot.

The Sand Diver, Synodus intermedius, is a type of Lizardfish. It is not unusual to come across them holding fish / victims in their mouth.

July 13, 2018 AM Boat Trip

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

Dive One

Site: Cedral Wall
Max Depth: 60 feet
Dive Time: 65 minutes
Key Animals: Hawksbill turtle, Tiger Grouper
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  Last day in this visit for Sam and Cedral wall sounds like a good choice for a plunge. A couple of turtles and a big grouper were at sight to behold. We were looking for the shark but it did not show up. But that is okay, we saw plenty of reef and marine life. The highlight? The current, this time was really going we also cover part of Santa Rosa, cool drift!

Dive Two

Site: Punta Tunich
Max Depth: 60 feet
Dive Time: 65 minutes
Key Animals: Rainbow Parrotfish, Nurse shark
Visibility: 100+ feet
Notes:  We are trying to find the drift again and Frazier thought of Tunich. We all agreed and at first the current was fast. But a few minutes into the dive it literally stopped! Along the way we saw a shark along the wall and the parrot fish that was around for a while, cool dive to end up Sams trip!

The Blue Chromis, Chromis cyanea, can often be found in large schools hanging above the hard coral pinnacles of Palancar reef.

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