Island Invasion

14 Feb

The population of the island swelled over the last few days due to the influx of Canadians for Lennon and Raccenes wedding.  Jeff has made it back for eleven days and Jackie is with him this time!  All together there are over 50 people who have arrived in the last couple of days!  We have been spending our time having fun and making friends, and we would like to say hola to all who are joining us!

We continued our new exercise routine by doing another shore dive Saturday morning.  It was a fun dive along a familiar reef and we were able to enjoy the water before the rough weather rolled in during the afternoon. Later that day we said goodbye to Daryls parents for now, as they will be back soon for some more Mexican fun later in the year.   Mezcalitos West was finally open so we had dinner and drinks there on Saturday night.

Sunday the 12th was a day for us to relax and get ready for our boat dives on Monday morning.  We hung out with J.P. and Catherine, our new friends from Quebec, went to Primas and played a game of basketball in the courts next to their apartment.  We spent some time relaxing and enjoying the view from the roof of their apartment building, a bonus due to the fact they live in the upper apartment next to the roof access.  Later on we met many of our friends at the Love Bar for the “Love Fest.”  There were a few live bands and fire dancing so the place was packed.  Once we had worked up an appetite we headed to the Burger House downtown for the best burgers in the universe!  Jeff, Jackie, and Nakita joined Liz and I for the midnight snack. 

Monday was a lot of fun starting off with the two boat dives with Lennon, Raccene, Nakita, Daryl, Liz and I.  We went to Columbia for the first and then we dove Cedar Pass for the second.  Besides some technical difficulties for Lennon we had great dives and saw a lot including many sea turtles grazing on sea grass, giant lobsters out for a stroll and a nurse shark in his cave.  After the dives we met up with Hugo, Pepe, Ricky, Jeff, Jackie, Nakita, and Daryl at the Copa Cabana.  We had a great time and Jeff, Jackie and Nakita hit the dance floor with some lucky locals. Later the party moved to Daryls place and the shenanigans continued into the night.  We had a great time!

P.S.  We finally got those pics of dave diving so here they are.

Liz, Tim and Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JP, Catherine, Liz y Yo arriba!

 
 

 

 

 

Love Bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Gridlock!

 

Jackie, Jeff, Nakita and I.

 

Liz, Ricky, Pepe and Hugo.

 
 
 
 

Jeffs dance moves are irresistible to all the ladys!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Adios Amigos

11 Feb

After a four-week vacation from Canada, Dave and Wanita have left for home.  They caught their flight North on Wednesday morning and we can guess that they are already back to their Canadian routine.  Many of our friends have asked about Dave and when he will return, he has made as much of an impression on Mexico as Mexican living did on him.  We also hope to see you back on the island!

Dave and Wanitas last few days were spent ramming in as much island time as they could.  There were many drives to new places and various trips to the beach.  We were able to drive to the North side of the island to show them the raccoons as well as catch a couple sunsets at La Hach.  We ate at all of our favourites restaurants and cantinas including The Fish for lunch and El Moro for a goodbye dinner.  Pancho, Nakita, Daryl, and his parents joined us for their last supper on the night of the 7th. 

After Dave and Wanita left we have been spending our time getting back into our routine.  We got the house and our lives in order and started seeing more of our friends.  We have been swimming everyday and went for an hour-long shore dive yesterday morning for exercise.  We are looking forward to meeting Daryl and Nakitas guests as they now are having non-stop visitors for the next while.  We also have a couple of boat dives booked for next week and soon will be the opening of our friend Hugo’s new cantina the Mezcalitos West. 

Northern island road.

 

Fun in the Sun

7 Feb
 As Dave and Wanitas last week approaches we have been busy with many fun activities. Over the last few days we have enjoyed many different things in Cozumel from relaxing on the beach to going to a wrestling match and an air show.Thursday the 2nd Liz and I took it easy while Dave and Wanita went to Discover Mexico, a museum/attraction which explains the history of the Mayan and the Mexican people. We took the opportunity to relax and visit some of our friends since it has been hard to find time to “hangout” with them because visitors have been here for the last five weeks.

Last Friday (February 3rd) was the night that professional Mexican wrestling came to town. The tickets sold out fast and the place was crowded even though it rained throughout the night. There were matches between the big name wrestlers, women wrestlers, and midget wrestlers, all being filmed for national T.V.! It was an amazing spectacle of acrobatics, costumes and overacting, coupled with a high energy crowd and good food and beer. They had tag-team matches and even triple tag-team matches but my favourite was the tag match between two woman/midget wrestling teams. Folding chairs were turned into twisted metal over the backs of the wrestlers, tables were smashed with power bombs off the top rope, referees were abused, wrestlers left the ring to pick a fight with the crowd, and all while the spectators chanted various insults or cheers in Spanish usually directed at the wrestlers mothers. Many of our friends where there and we all had an amazing time! Too bad it only comes here once a year!

After working off the late night of wrestling we stirred out of bed Saturday and headed for the beach. Dave and Wanita crammed in as much fun and sun as they could, knowing that their days in paradise were numbered. We cruised around the island some more and took a small tour of El Cidrel, a small village that is located South of San Miguel. We wrapped up the day by watching the sun set and the cruise ships leave while drinking margaritas at La Hach. Later that night we went to El Moros for another amazing meal with the best service on the island. We love El Moro!

Sunday we awoke early, packed up the car and drove to the Southern airstrip. We arrived early but there were already many people there and the highway was filling up fast with parked cars. Inside the airport grounds they had many attractions including planes and helicopters you could go inside of, a car and motor cycle show, a military tent filled with all their gear including grenade launchers, M4’s, M80’s, mortars, night vision goggles, camo, etc. Groups of planes did aerobatics right above the crowds (only in Mexico), bi-planes and stunt planes did smoky loops and barrel rolls just meters over the heads of the spectators, and the military did a exercise on the run way. The military exercise was amazing. A flare was dropped on the runway, and out of nowhere a giant marine helicopter flew in full of soldiers. Over a dozen soldiers descended from the helicopter on ropes and secured the area, then they moved forward onto a faux house that had been set up. They set off a stun grenade and exchanged fully auto gunfire (with blanks), then stormed the house and arrested the suspects. Afterwards they landed the helicopter right next to the crowd and everyone could go check it out and get pictures with the military. Later they raced a new Ferrari against a stunt plane up and down the strip, the plane was sideways and just a meter or two off the ground the whole time! It was a great day under a hot sun, and there were so many people there I could have sworn the entire island showed up.

 

 

Turtles love Mango.
 

Bill loves Turtles.

 

Ready to wrestle!

 

Weekly Update.

1 Feb

The last few days following Nakitas birthday have been a continuation of fun and good times.  Janurary 28th was the wedding of our friends Anita and Matt.  Many of our friends were there as well as people from all over the world.  it was a beautiful wedding on a day with perfect tropical temperatures.  They had rented a facility outside of town that was an amazing venue for the event and a beautiful back drop for the festivities. We made new friends and partied into the night, thanks again Anita and Matt!

Wanita decided to try snorkeling on the 29th so once we had recovered from the night before we went to the beach just North of the Love Bar.  It was Sunday so the beach was packed with all the locals and their family having fun. Wanita and Dave snorkeled in the shallows and I went out further to free-dive among the corals and sponges.  I found a spotted eel, some lobster, lion fish, and many others all while diving without air.  I found an underwater vent and it was surrounded by hundreds of fish as the water vented out from the fissure. It was a good day of rest on the beach and it was needed for the long day ahead of us.

January 30th was an amazing day spent at Xcaret, a gift for my Birthday from Dave and Wanita.  We all got up early and Caught the 7 am passenger ferry to Playa Del Carmen.  The seas were rough but the skys parted shortly after arriving on the mainland.  The park was great and it was so big that it would take a couple of days to do it all.  We set out to do the most we could and  covered over 90% of the park making sure to do the things that were important to us.  Between the butterfly gardens, multiple animal exhibits, Mayan Ruins, aquariums, beaches, restaurants, under ground rivers and caves, cultural exhibits, and amazing entertainment we had a full day.  The entertainment was great and went so late we got home at 11:30 pm after catching the last ferry to the island.

We had a great time on my birthday (January 31) with a lot of our friends on another cantina tour.  We started off at The Fish, then after stopping by our house for more beers and fun, we ended up at the Copa Cabana on 65th.  We had rounds of beer and botanas until we could take no more.  It was a good time, thanks to all my friends here and the good food and drink of Mexico.

This morning we took Dave on his first boat dive.  We dove on Chakanaab reef and Paradise reef, both great reefs but with a beginners depth range of 30-40 feet.  It was another beautiful dive and Dave was a natural in the water.  We had a lot of fun and Wilberth took a lot of photos which I will upload when I get them.

Nakita taking Kiteboarding lessons.

 

Black Vulture

 
 

Matt and Anitas wedding.

 

Dave and Wanita snorkeling.

 
 

Best combo store ever! Look out Tim Ho's/ Wendys, these guys have the munchies on their side!

Chubby Chiwawa.

 

Happy Birthday Nakita!

28 Jan

Friday the 27th was Nakitas 25th birthday so I joined them for a couple of birthday dives.  We headed to Punta Sur to dive the famous Devils Throat, then our second dive was at Cedar Pass.  The Devils Throat is an advanced dive due to the depth so Liz sat this one out but I will make sure she comes next time!  We all descended at the same time to hit our target, a small opening in a big head of coral.  We swam down to the entrance at 80 feet and we were greeted by a turtle hanging on the coral wall beside the opening to Devils Throat. We swam past him and worked our way through the cave, it was exciting to see the big blue exits at the end as we made our way to 135 feet!  Nitrogen narcosis set in as I suddenly realized I was having a hard time reading my gauges.  I stopped for a second to grasp the awesomeness of floating on the side of a giant wall while fish and coral surround me.  I looked down as far as I could see and even with amazing visibility everything just disappeared into the blue after 200 feet or so.  We ascended through another series of caves and swim troughs and I only managed to get lost once on our way out.  After finding everyone again we all began our final ascent under poring rain.  I could here the rain on the surface from 100 feet down.  While we were doing our safety stop the rain dotted the surface like a golf ball and it was very interesting to watch rain from the other side of the water.  We came out of the dive to the calmest water we had ever seen on the ocean, the surface was like glass and we could clearly see the bottom.  A cool end to a fantastic dive.  After our surface interval we went to one of our favourites, Cedar Pass.  We drifted along and found many awesome corals and a variety of animals including a nurse shark, a green moray, a midnight blue parrot fish, and more.  After we got back town we all went on a Cantina tour for some beers and botanas to celebrate Nakitas birthday.  We went to Flamboyanes and Las Brisus, we had never been to either before.  With a bucket of six beer plus food for 90-100 peso who could argue!  We will be returning soon!

A Hog Fish changing its colours.

 

Grey Angel

 

A huge Midnight Blue Parrot Fish with a Grey Angel in the background.

 

Giant Grouper.

 
 

Lobsters.

 

Nakita filming a Nurse Shark under the coral edge.

 

The Nurse Shark swimming away.

 
 
 

Outside the Cantina. The name "Flamboyanes" is the name of a drink. It doesn't really translate well....

 

Random Kitty shot!

San Gervasio

26 Jan

We decided to check out some Mayan ruins on Wednesday, so we packed up and headed out to San Gervasio.  The entrance is in the middle of the island, then it is a few more kilometers to the site.  Dave and Wanita have never seen ruins before so they enjoyed it.  All the ruins are connected by old Mayan era roads so by the end of the trip we had walked a few kilometers around the site.  It was a warm day and the humidity of the jungle drove the temperature up more.  There were lizards and butterflies everywhere, and bright-colored birds flew around us.  Near the end of our walk I caught a glimpse what looked like a small clearing in the jungle.  I stepped off the beaten path to do some exploring, and I found what looked like a rocky swath through the jungle.  After following a nearly grown over iguana trail through 100 meters of jungle I emerged at a un-excavated ruin site!  There was  no access to it besides the bushwhacking I just did and it was completely undisturbed!  The structure of two buildings were still visibly intact through the trees, shrubs, and vines that have grown out of the ruins.  After exploring them I realized there was an opening to a cenote right under one of the buildings!  The place was full of iguanas and I was able to see my first jungle snake slither away into the cenotes waters.  I climbed the building that is located directly above cenote and I found a chamber in the middle that is collapsed over but was clearly connected to the cenote below.  There were still distinguishable features like  alters for offerings near this opening and stairs on the one side.  It looked like the ruin could have been one huge temple or two that were located on either side of the natural cenote entrance.  I stood there on top of the one building while I took in the scenery and the eerie feeling of untold history that accompanied the abandoned site, then returned to our group.  The whole experience leaves me wondering how many more of these sites lay in wait throughout the jungles of Mexico, covered in plants and holding untold secrets. We wrapped up or time at the ruins with a visit to the shops then drove back for a nice lunch back in town.  A great adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave in a Cave.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging onto the un-excavated ruins.

 
 

Daves First Caribbean Dive

25 Jan

Tuesday was a hot day and perfect for Daves first dive.  Liz, Dave, Nakita, Daryl, Monstro and I all met in the morning, picked up our air and headed to the Villablanca pier.  Monstro gave dave a refresher and made him perform a skill test prior to going in the water as it has been almost thirty years since Daves last dive. We swam around the familiar site, making sure to check all the usual hangouts for wildlife.  Dave was very lucky on his first dive and had the pleasure of witnessing countless species of fish including a lion fish and a puffer fish, two sting rays, a baby eagle ray, a few eels and much more!  It was a great dive and Dave is ready for more, next stop for him is a boat dive.

 
 

Monstro, Dave, Liz & Tim.

 
 

Lion Fish

 
 

Puffer Fish

 
 
 
 
 

Trumpet Fish