Night Diving

September 21, 2008 - Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Over the past few days I have been trawling round a few dive shops making enquires as to the cost of courses etc.  One of those dive shops was just in the process of opening, with all new kit and a brand new boat just delivered from Cancun.  It's owned by an oil / gas man from New Mexico who's retired at the age of 48, so the gear is all good quality.

Anyway, they chatted through the options with me and then invited me to join them on a night dive to see how I get on and to see the boat etc.  I duly accepted so found myself at the shop by about 4.30pm, enough time to get all the gear together and head out to the dive site before dark.

As I walked to the shop the heavens opened, as they are want to do during the Caribbean rainy season.  So, we all stood around under the canopy of the shop looking at the sky and trying to decide if we should go or not.  Eventually, the clouds looked like they were clearing up so we went for it.  We drove about 20 mins down the road to the harbour where the boat was moored.  We loaded all the gear and climbed aboard.

Just as we cast off, a massive downpour started and lashed rain at us while we crashed through the well at the mouth of the harbour.  We were in for a choppy ride.  I have no idea how long we were going for, as I was concentrating on not shattering my knees each time we hit a wave.  It was good fun with smiles all round, even after leaning at a very improbable angle one way then the other.  I really was thinking we would turn turtle but the boat righted itself, causing most of us to whoop at the driver.  Soon enough we reached the dive site and prepared to hitch up to a buoy.  The guy trying to grab it managed to end up in the drink, much to all our amusement.

We put our gear on and went over the side as the sun went down.  Unfortunately, as I landed the strap for my mask come off and I had to try to get it back on while adjusting all the rest of my gear and swimming over to the rest of the guys.  We descended once we were all together with our torches on which finally got us out of the waves.  However I was having issues with my mask which took me a while to sort out; the rubber seal was folded in on itself in two places...

Anyway, the dive was good fun once my eyes stopped stinging from the salt water and we swam along a reef until the (strong) current pushed us away.  We went back up to the boat and decided one dive was enough in the rough conditions.  We headed back in the pitch black which was weird as you couldn't see the waves to brace yourself, so we were all over the place.  I also got a little queezy as I couldn't see a horizon.  Still, we soon made it back to the dock.  Then, the same guy as last time ended up going for an unplanned swim as he tried to tie the boat off.  Genius.

All in all it was a really good evening.  I was bushed by the time I got back so went to bed after eating a lovely Steak (lovingly prepared by Ana) and enjoying a beer.  What a life, eh?

N.B.  -  Still no photos! My camera should be repaired in about two weeks...

1 Comment

September 24, 2008
Still stuck here at the airport mate. Sounds like you are not missing it you lucky sod!!!
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