Day 12: Cozumel, Mexico

¡Hola! This morning, our ship pulls into the cruise ship port of Cozumel. This Mexican island is famous for it’s diving spots. Therefore, we chose to go on a two tank Scuba tour (visiting some ancient Mayan ruins would have been another option). The dive boat picks us up right at the cruise pier. The boat is rather small for the large group of scuba divers they take on the tour. We’re lucky to get a seat in the shade. The all Mexican boat crew and dive masters are very nice and friendly, but the equipment is not in the best condition. Setting up all the dive gear is quite a bit of chaos. It takes a lot of time until everybody is equipped with everything he needs in the right size, and all the gear is set up and working. In the mean time, we get to know an American couple. The guy’s name is Kenny and he actually works for Disney as a diver at the Living Seas Aquarium in EPCOT – among other things, he does the underwater video taping for the Dive Quest adventure (what we took part in last Tuesday!). After 45 to 60 minutes Mexican time – definitely way more than an hour in my time – we arrive at the first dive site. It’s called “Santa Rosa” and is a drift dive along a wall. The water temperature is great at around 30°C – we probably wouldn’t even need to wear wet suits. The current is not too strong, but since we’re diving in a group of eight divers plus Dive Master you always have to pay attention in order not to pump into someone. We do not encounter a lot of marine life, but the reef is otherwise pretty nice and we can even dive thru a kind of natural bridge. Maximum depth is around 20 m, dive time is 40 minutes. When we come back up to the surface, the boat is picking us up. Off we go to today’s second dive spot, called “Paradise Reef”. Here, there’s hardly any current and we encounter way more fish, among them a nurse shark and a moray eel. There’s also a large hermit crab and an octopus, and I saw to of really cute tiny little trunk fish – they look like swimming balls of about 1 cm diameter, all black with yellow dots. Most of the fish are really friendly down here – they tend to come really close, small ones and large ones - fish can be so cute! I love fish – not to eat them, but just to look at them ☺. The dive takes place at pretty shallow depths, less than 13 m, and lasts for almost 50 minutes. 

Since everything on the Scuba tour took way longer than we thought (Mexican timing) we’re back on the cruise not before 3 PM. We have some snacks like Panini and slices of Pizza for lunch, before we head back to the island. The cruise ship terminal area here is quite nice –unlike the port and town area on Grand Cayman. There  are lots of  shops which sell mostly souvenirs, but hey, there’s also Starbucks! We first go for a walk along the shore area, where there’s a lot of shopping going on. They call this the “international zone” around here – it’s frequented by cruise ship passengers like us. We also go one or to block further away from the main street, where one starts to find the more genuine areas. Overall, we it’s pretty nice to take a walk here. Of course, every time you pass a, owners will try and pull you into their “tienda”, shouting things like “I’ll give you 99% off”. But hey, its Mexico! We head back to the ship to pick up our laptops before we go over to this Mexican Starbucks café, where they promise to have free internet access. We order a cajeta (sweet milk, almost like Caramel) Frappuccino and try to get connected to the internet – well, while it does work if you are very patient, it’s obviously not the best of internet connections. But hey, it’s free and allows us to download some Emails and upload some pictures to our website. We go back to the Disney Magic for dinner – today, we’re in the Animator’s Plate restaurant, where the pictures on the wall change from black & white into color during the meal. Which was, by the way, delicious – so delicious actually, that Pierre ordered his main course (Pasta Alfredo) twice, instead of having desert. We go back to Cozumel for a short evening stroll and then we go to bed even before the all aboard time, which is 1 AM.

© 2008 Susanne & Pierre Bernard - Text & Images