another great example of the diverse lifeforms of a reef Our Second 2-Tank Dive
On Wednesday night, Debbie had said we would be going to Palancar Reef. Palancar is supposed to be among the best dives in the world. That was when she thought she would have eight divers. Well a bunch of people cancelled at the last minute; so it was only Christi and Dave, Eileen, who works at Deep Blue, and Cathy, who had taken the resort course on Wednesday afternoon. Because it cost more money to take the boat all the way to Palancar, we didn't get to go.

Actually, it was rather nice to go in a smaller group, considering our relative inexperience. And it turns out we felt more at home than we thought. Eileen and Cathy were having problems equalizing the pressure in their ears. While Luis helped them, we dropped slowly to the sandy bottom and proceeded to look around.

a queen angelfish and a stoplight parrotfish San Francisco Reef
Instead, we made our way to San Francisco Reef. We had decided to rent an underwater camera from Deep Blue for this dive. We got all ready to go. Christi was the first one in the water. She was showing Eileen, who had never dived off a boat before, that it was as easy as falling off a log. Soon there were five of us in the water - four students plus Luis. We began descending when we realized that Cathy was having a bit of trouble. This first dive was our deepest dive. As amateur divers, we could not go deeper than 60 feet. Halfway down Dave motioned that we had forgotten the camera. We were not so deep that we couldn't have gone back, but Luis was busy, so we shrugged and continued to the bottom.

Yucab Reef: Our Brush With Majesty
Since we forgot the camera during the first dive, all of the underwater photos you see on these pages (with the exception of Friday) were taken at Yucab Reef. The lighting conditions were very good, and the only problem was that sometimes the current running along the reef wall made it tough to get the shot before you were swept past the subject.

The biggest thrill of the dive was when we looked off the to left towards the open water and saw a pair of eagle rays pacing us. Their wingspans must have been about eight feet across. There is nothing to describe the beauty and grace of these creatures. As we watched, they began to swim away at an angle, and Christi handed the camera to Luis, who went after them to get a better shot.

Kentucky Fried Chicken
After the dive, we laughed as Luis and some of the others at the dock began singing in spanish (Dave says he thinks they were singing something about making it back without killing the tourists [grin]). Then we crossed the street for some chicken. Yes, we know what you must be thinking - why spend a week in Cozumel and stop at an American fast food place?

Well, the truth is we were both hungry, and it was right there. Unlike the prior dive, this one did not make Dave queasy. It made him ravenous.

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