Adios February

5 Mar

February came to a close with increasing temperatures and more signs of spring.  During the last few days of February the air temperature was 30-32 degrees celsius and it felt like 38 degrees with the humidity.  The sky was blue and the ocean was warm, the water temperature is already rising and was at 27 degrees celsius (81 degrees F) last time we went for a dive.  We had been enjoying the weather by diving a lot and visiting with friends, that was until March rolled in.  A Norte has blown onto the island again, making the seas too rough to dive (the harbour is closed) and causing the air temperature to plummet into the mid 20’s with a cold wind blowing strong.  Twenty five degrees above freezing may not seem cold to the people suffering through a Canadian winter back home, but the “extreme” temperature swing (for the island) has us wearing pants and light sweaters at night instead of shorts and a t-shirt! 

This week we said our final goodbyes to J.P. and Catherine because their five weeks in paradise have come to an end.  They spent the last week of their time here living at “Dave’s Place”, our old apartment.  That is where they had their farewell party and many friends were in attendance.  While they were here they had attained their “Dive Master” certification so their goodbye party was also an initiation of sorts.  J.P. had completed his 100th dive, so complying with tradition he embarked on a naked night dive on paradise reef earlier that week.  Now that they were certified dive masters they also had to pass the “snorkel test.”  As you will see in the pictures below, the test includes chugging a drink through your snorkel tube and then having your mask filled with beer while having to clear it through the nose.  After that they were thrown in the pool and were spanked by a line of people holding diving fins initiation was complete!  We spent the rest of the night celebrating, socializing and enjoying some good BBQ food.  The next day we exchanged a sad goodbye with them as they boarded their plane to Quebec.  Liz and I hope to see you both again!

We also welcomed Denise, Nakitas cousin, on to the island for a week.  Soon after her arrival we took Denise on her maiden voyage under the sea. We Started by snorkeling with her just off the Love Bar beach.  We found many animals just freediving including a rare Flying Gurnard that none of us had seen or heard of before! Too bad we didn’t have a camera with us but I found some pictures to upload just to show how cool it was. Monstro, Nakita and I took Denise for a dive at the Villablanca peer behind La Hach. Daryl and Liz were not there because they were not feeling good.  I took over camera duties while Nakita recorded our dive on film.  There were many species out for viewing and it was another great dive off the shore.  This was my 32nd dive, a far cry from a hundred, maybe next year will be the time for my naked dive.

 

Party at Dave's Place!

 

 

This guy was enjoying the BBQ as much as us.

 

 

Catherine taking the snorkel test.

 

 

J.P. completing his snorkel test.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thing I've learned while living here is that no party in Mexico is complete without someone getting cake in the face and then thrown in the pool with all their clothes on. Viva Mexico!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found this small puffer fish swimming around the dock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Golden Chain Eel was out hunting under the dock as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An adult Drum Fish.

 

 

 

 

These small filter feeders that grow out of the coral resemble christmas trees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monstro showing a lion fish to Denise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Goat Fish combs the bottom with its whiskers while two Wrasse pick up the leftovers.

 

 

 

Trunk Fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The black thing is a Sea Cucumber.

 

 

Sharp Tail Eel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smooth Spotted Trunkfish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow Stingray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A school of Blue-striped Grunt Fish and Cotton-wicks.

   

 

A picture of a Flying Gurnard that we found online.  I wish we had a camera that day!

A picture of a Flying Gurnard that we found online. I wish we had a camera that day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Flying Gurnard uses its small front fins as "hands." They are able to lift rocks and dig through sand for food. The colorful "wings" are used to deter predators.

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