Friday, July 25, 2008

June 30th, 2008: Cozumel Diving Day 2 – Colombia Deep & Punta Dalila

Colombia Deep is one of those sites that you just shouldn’t miss. It is deep, beautiful and fully of life and beauty. It was my birthday so I was really happy that we were going to be doing such an awesome site. After Lisa announced the fact that it was my birthday and the boat sang to ring it in – we were splashing down into the blue. Swim throughs left us on beautiful overhangs, covered in lovely sponges and soft corrals. There were tons of elkhorn coral covered in tiny blue fish just swimming in and out of the coral.

For our surface interval, we headed back to a pier that was covered in conch shells. Pulling up to the dock, I decided I’d dive off the deck and then swim to the shore instead of walking over the beach and getting all sandy. However, while I stood on the end of the pier, the discussion turned to how deep the water was, how much caution I should use if I jumped, I shouldn’t dive, etc. While contemplating the merits of my decision, Alex Dorian, our DM, ran up behind me and grabbed me, both of us splashing into the water below. It was fantastic. We kicked back to the shore where Alex Dorian went back to the boat and I joined Mark and Lisa who were engaged in a conversation in the shallows with another group of divers, also from the San Francisco area.

Soon, however, it was time to head back on the boat and heading off to Punta Dalila for our second dive of the day. The site itself is lovely with a slight to moderate current taking you over lovely reef patches with outcroppings and overhangs onto sandy patches. There were lovely anemone covered in yellow and black fish contrasting in color to the green and blue of the anemone as they swam around the area.

One of my favorite things about this site was the amazing number of Honeycomb cowfish that were all over the site. The first one I encountered was hiding behind some thick sea rods. I slowed myself down, trying to hid behind the other side of the rods; letting the cowfish grow accustomed to me, making him/her comfortable enough to peek out from behind the rods. Sure enough, in a few seconds, its curiosity got the best and it started inching out from behind the frond, the entire time with one of its eyes trained upon me.

But this wasn’t the only encounter with these beautifully odd fish. Between and under ledges, there were groups of them intermingled with Rock Beauties and other fish. They were so adorable and curiously nervous. It felt really special have such close encounters with these lovely fish. We were even able to see a nurse shark hiding under a ledge. An amazing site that I felt really fortunate to have been able to dive on my birthday!

Dive #67 – Monday 6/30/08 – Colombia Deep – Cozumel, Mexico. 9:02 AM. Max depth 96 feet, average depth 46 feet. Bottom time 46 minutes. 600 PSI at end of dive. Water temp 83°, vis approximately 60-70 feet. Surface interval 1 hour.

Dive #68 – Monday, 6/30/08 – Dalila – Cozumel, Mexico. 10:48 AM. Max depth 56 feet, average depth 41 feet. Bottom time 60 minutes. 800 PSI at end of dive. Water temp 82°, vis approximately 70-80 feet.

Favorite Photo of the Day:

Cowfish hiding.

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