January 2011 Cozumel Dive Trip
Denny and I traveled to Cozumel on Delta airlines leaving from Ft. Wayne and connecting through Atlanta.· The flights were uneventful.· The best kind.· We booked our trip with Al from Bay Adventures.· We stayed at Hotel Cozumel and did our diving with Dive Paradise.· The dive operation is top notch and the hotel is very clean with many activities offered every day.· We enjoyed sitting by the pool and drinking the local drinks, which for us was coconut rum/diet coke.·We did an all inclusive and the food at the Hotel·was fine but not exceptional.· We enjoyed the made to order omletes and breakfast the most.· We did walk downtown and had dinner out on two of the nights.· We enjoyed the atmosphere at Jimmy Buffet's Margariteville.· The other night we went to Poncho's Garden.· We ate there back in 2005 with Bart & Jaki.· We had a rental car and drove all the way around the island stopping at Mayan Ruins, the Tequila·factory and the beautiful·beach along the ocean coastline.· I negotiated some good prices on·Black coral jewelry and·we brought several bottles of 100% Agave Tequila home with us.·
We arrived in Cozumel on Saturday, January 22, 2011.· We did our first dive at 0830 on Sunday morning.· We did 5 days of 2-tank morning dives and four afternoon dives.· We enjoyed several dive sites, Tormentos, Columbia (deep & shallow), Villa Blanca Wall, Palancar Gardens and the C-53 wreck.· We saw seahorses, turtles, stingrays, an electric ray, juvenile drum fish, green &·gray spotted moray eels, queen, gray and french angelfish, grouper, lionfish, cozumel toadfish, and octopus, eagle rays, crabs, nurse sharks, juvenile lionfish, arrowcrabs, scrawled triggerfish, cowfish and a pie fish (seahorse family).· I especialy enjoyed the swim throughs and the C-53 wreck.· We also saw the Atlantis submarine·while we were diving.·
Cozumel is on our list of diving places that we would like to go back to.
2010 Dry Tortugas
Paula and I arrived at Key West on October 30th in the afternoon. ·We were transported to the SV Juliet by taxi. ·To our surprise the taxi driver was from Waterloo about 10 miles south of us. ·He told us about going to dances at Cold Springs and we told him that the dances still go on during the summer.
When we boarded the Juliet we were greeted by familiar faces of John and Johnny. ·We were introduced to a new crew member, Alisha. · We introduced ourselves to several other passengers that were already there. ·Later Scott and Kathy returned to the boat from rent a car agency. ·Since the rest of the crew was several hours away, ·Scott, Kathy, Paula, and I decided to walk down Duvall Street during Fantasy Fest. ·I looked at Paula while we were walking down the street and said, "We're not in Indiana anymore!" ·We found the body painting and costumes very interesting.
We returned to the boat and soon the remainder of the crew arrived. ·Rudy, who we knew from a previous trip had been promoted to captain, and Emily, who served as divemaster.
We headed for the Dry Tortugas during the night. ·We woke to the smell of breakfast and hot coffee. ·We were barely done with breakfast when "dive briefing" was announced.
We were at a wreck called "The Windjammer". ·It was a great first dive. ·There was a lot of surge and a Goliath Grouper at the bow of the wreck named Fred. ·The visibility was around 50 feet.
Dive 2: Davis Rock
Soon after entering the water, we saw a small Goliath Grouper under a ledge.· Trying to lead us away from the small grouper was a huge Goliath Grouper.· By huge, I actually mean HUGE.
We did·two dives on the Vandenburg Wreck.· We went to Fort Jefferson while we were in the Dry Tortugas and toured the Fort.· The history behind this fort is very interesting and made it one of the highlights of this trip.· One of my favorite dive sites was "Texas Rocks".· It reminded me of the walls in the Cayman's.· The special fish to me were the Golith Grouper, the Common Comet Star, the jackknife and·the pod of around 20 dolphins.