Yogurt and a Snickers for breakfast before a day of diving. The wreck dive would take us to 81 feet and allow swim throughs, cutting my pinky on something, and seeing a few lion fish with a couple that’s now local that met in Guadalajara and moved here seven months ago (she’s from Australia) and Ulysses our guide. Our next dive would be 40 minutes later in a sandy and grassy area with a turtle on the surface and a pufferfish below. We average 40 feet swim depth and stay under for 48 minutes.
We’re swimming along and Caleb is taking videos and I get his attention to a moray that makes me feel like the little mermaid — full of wonder — as he opens his mouth and reveals the robins egg blue color inside. What I didn’t know was that eels have a pharyngeal jaw that they thrust into their mouth to grab prey and then pull them into their throat and digestive system. I suppose that’s where the mini snake coming out of the larger snake idea comes from in the movies.
There are schools of blue, yellow, and grey fish among the few sole fish, striped shrimp, porkfish, sea cucumbers, and Christmas tree worms among the bubble gum-like algae growing on wreck and reef. We return to the dive shop for our intermission — surface interval, lunch of sandwiches and salt-free water, and to pick up another diver. Dany, from Beijing, would join us for the underwater museum and the reef wall with his new GoPro Hero 6, as he unwraps his $400 purchase as we get underway.
Ulises was worried about the waterproof depth (which we wouldn’t surpass), but Dany didn’t know enough about this camera to have it ready for the dives, so he asked if any of us had a spare GoPro he could borrow. Divers are known to bring extra goggles, gloves, batteries, o-rings, and snacks, etc., but never a spare camera should you think to put yourself in the same position. Caleb offered instead to lend his wife’s time to get some footage of this guy so he could complete the video he is making of his travels.
The MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) was created as an alternative to the Manchones Reef to divert tourist destruction (hands, fins, anchors) and create the world’s biggest artificial reef with the help of locals who were the molds for most of the statues; of which there are about 400 human figures and one hundred other sculptures. There are over 20 replicas on land at Plaza Kukulcán for those not interested in snorkeling, diving, or sitting on a glass-bottom boat.
We swim up to the statues and I take the tourist-blocking-the-view photo and I will take another one ten minutes later with Caleb and Dany in the background. Dany lets me know he’s ready for me to video. I hold myself steady and watch as he does a ‘hungry power to the people’ thing with his arm. He will ask for a second video, but I only pretend on that one. I take a picture of Caleb next to the businessmen with their heads in the sand, just one of the ways people interact with their environment.
Then I look at the men from behind, not to see if they work out, but to see the round stingray with his buddy fish. We see more schools of blue and yellow fish, a lionfish, some more rockfish, and a remora (also known as a suckerfish attached to sharks and whales) on our way to the surface. I rode stretched out on the front of the boat next to my wet clothes on the ride back. I don’t know if I got sunburned from that or diving without a suit on 3 out of 4 dives.
We walked through the Chedraui Supermarket before dinner and bought donuts and muffins for breakfast tomorrow. We dropped them at the house for exercise and so I could eat a donut before going back to the taco cart for dos pollo con queso tacos.
We stop at the convenience store on the corner for a drink and some chips before bed at 10pm. I will help Caleb edit the footage and email it to Dany when we get back.