December 13, 2015

The hoax of “that one girl”
That one girl that someone of someone always heard of. Yea, I didn’t like Cuba but I heard that this one girl that went solo had a blast and never had a problem. By when you ask, did you talk to her? No, but my friend said she did. Haaaaa. Moving on…
So here is why I left the US. Originally to dive. I currently can’t hear out of my left ear and I have a sinus infection that has robbed me of my scent but I’d be damned if I didn’t do the dives that I went to Mexico for.

This is how it goes.
I got to isla 5 weeks ago to see the underwater museum that I had been longing to see. I rushed my dives mostly cause there were three days in a row filled with 5 rad dives and they ended just as my period was about to start. Let’s be honest, no one wants to attract sharks in the water unless it’s on purpose.
Not to mention I had been sick and puking and *$@?ing my brains out after the wedding in zihuatenajo. But I made it happen. Carefully.
The first two dives were the museum which I felt rushed but mostly cause I could be down there for hours. My love of photographing people AND underwater sports? Awesome. Then a reef. It was cool but wasn’t excited cause it wasn’t what I fancied.


The next dive was pretty legendary in my book. A night dive. I was told it was the last night dive on the island for a while if ever as new sanctions were being put into place thru horror stories that no one really knew the actual reason except it involved deaths in the recent past. Possibly a propeller to the head of a night diver?
Anyway, I now understand with what was ok to do in the previous rules why things needed to change.
We went on our dive where I was still working thru my anxiety and control issues after not diving for 2 years. We did the same reef as my first day and it included a statue from the underwater museum called the dream catcher. Beautiful idea. A man sitting by a bar with his dog at his feet and bottles in the racks. But the bottles were actually filled with messages. Brilliance. And now a new reef system had started to form around it.
I took my torch and saw a crab on the statues leg and followed it up until…..sitting there, was a huge Black Sea urchin perfectly in place on the guys penis!!!! Right there! A bush! Statue got bush! And the crab crawled right up behind it with several others. I almost spit my regulator out. I could see they thought I was panicking by it was absolute hysteria. Did anyone else see this! The dudes got CRABS!!!! NO ON IS SAFE! Ha…

Keeping my computer and moving on, we witnessed puffer fish that were at least 3 ft long. Who knew? And it was time to surface. As we got to the surface from a 12m simple (ish) dive……..I filled my bcd (air in my jacket for non divers to understand so you can float). And as I sat bobbing there…in the water with no moonlight and a tiny flashlight in the huge open ocean…I now understood how it was and why I refuse to watch “open water.” I asked, “where is the boat?”
Couple seconds later….I hear, I dont know.
Don’t panic don’t panic don’t panic.
Then in the distance, I can see the boat. Just after my head told me, now is the time we could totally panic.
Check that one off the list.
The next morning was a wreck and drift. The wreck was way out and I’m so thankful I took a Dramamine. I’ve learned with deep dives and small boats, you have to find the perfect cocktail with pills like Advil, Dramamine, etc. I found mine. Let’s just leave it at that. Everything short of the shot of tequila to get me out there and not die.
The current is usually so strong. This day, we were lucky. Dropping in, you have only a moment to grab the line along the boat to not get carried away. You make your self to the buoy and start to descend. But if anyone misses that line on their entrance or during a string on current while pulling yourself down from the surface towards the ocean bottom, everyone has to let go and the boat scrambles to pick you up in the middle of the ocean. Yep! Swallow that. I’ve heard that the current gets so strong that it will pull your mask off your face or even dislodge your tank from your bed which it did to my friend Linda the following week.

Once we pulled ourselves down, I managed to cut my hand from sea life with green blood spewing out. But it was finally calm. I came on a day that was manageable. We got to the wreck which was actually ripped in half from Katrina. We saw a nurse shark. HUGE barracudas, and swam thru the wreck before “spotting,” the eagle Rays. They came a month early and were gorgeous.

Lion fish clung to the boats crevices, hiding. Here’s this part. They are an invasive species in this part of the ocean. Apparently they have no predators and are killing all the small fish cause not only did the hurricane bring them in…but apparently so do tankers. When they pass trout certain canals, they take on water and so forth for buoyancy and take wildlife with it and when they empty throughout their journey, they pour new wildlife into new systems.
They are tasty I guess but also populate fast so they encourage you to kill those mofos.
The second dive and final of isla was a drift dive. My first. It was awesome. You literally just do that with the current. Boat drops you, you hold a line with a floating buoy and the current takes you and the boat follows. I met a beautiful sea turtle that actually let me get right up to its face and was chill. Just like the stoner from finding nemo!

What a beautiful and freaky group of dives.
It would be weeks til I got in the water again. But holy heck, what a different set of dives this was.
The cenotes…here we go!