As with any liveaboard/dive resort, there’s a daily schedule that you may (or may not) choose to follow:
- 7AM – First breakfast (delicious toast!)
- 8AM – Dive #1
- 9AM ish – Second Breakfast
- 11:15 – 11:45 – Dive #2
- 1PM ish – Lunch (Evvy and I called this “Third Breakfast”)
- 2:00 or 3:00 – Dive #3
- Snacks/nap/picture comparisons (“Fourth Breakast”)
- 6:30 – Night Dive (if applicable, which it often was)
- 7:30 – whenever – Dinner (“Fifth Breakfast)
Indonesia is known for its colorful, extensive, stunning reefs, but also for it’s “macro” life. Meaning teeny, tiny, interesting things like pygmy sea horses and nudibranchs. Most of my diving in recent years has been with “big fish”: sharks, whales, dolphins, hammers, etc (aka Wide lens shots). So I haven’t been in a place where the people and photographers are focused solely on macro subjects. It was an interesting lesson… read on.
Pics from our room: (more…)
Departure day. I know I say this in every journal, but it’s always true: departure day is a sad day. E and I caught the first ferry off of the island at 8AM so we could get to Cancun International in time for his 11:00 flight and then my 12:20 flight.
E at the ferry dock (more…)
Another Day, Another Whale Shark
Eric, Wolcott and Sterling made another helicopter reservation for the afternoon, but this time they went out with us. We left the dock at 6:30 o they’d have enough time to snorkel before another boat picked them up and took them in at 10:30.
Eric made plans for a helicopter trip for himself, Sterling, and Wolcott so they could see the aggregation from the air. Alex, Nathalie and I went out with the sharks because there’s room only for three people in the helicopter, and the price was well over my threshold. So the three of us had the boat and the sharks completely to ourselves since we wouldn’t have to cycle in and out of the water three snorkelers at a time. We spent the entire day (five hours) in the water, coming out only for snacks and water.
A and N, with Isla Mujeres in the background
Whale shark nose
Another early morning with our daily routine: sunscreen, cameras, dive skins, and off to the boat. The conditions are still amazing. Not the smooth water from yesterday but so much better than most. Often this trip gets three out of five days worth of whale sharks and already we’ve had three days of hundreds upon hundreds of sharks.
Sterling, Wolcott and I were the first snorkelers in the water, and the effect of the low morning light, slightly-cloudy conditions, and egg-filled water was a spooky, cloudy water with only ten feet of visibility. Sharks emerged from the darkness with no warning, making my heart jump the first few sightings. After a while the eye begins to make adjustments for large shadows and I could recognize the approach of a shark before it arrived. They kept coming, though. The pod was densely packed today and many of the whales fed about 4-6 feet underwater. More than once I was surprised by a bump on my fin when a shark snuck in from behind and swam directly underneath me.
A still ocean (more…)
The ocean was like glass today. The water was completely still and smooth. When we arrived at the group we discovered it was dispersed more than yesterday, but hundreds of sharks swam around that dispersed, soup-like water.
An early morning on Isla Mujeres:
Sunrise at the Media Luna (more…)
Advance warning: I accidentally left my camera at the lodge this morning, so this entry is sadly picture-free except for a few I’ve pilfered from the Internet. This is especially sad since we had so many “firsts” – not to mention a gorgeous light all day long. But if you stick with it – despite the lack of photos – you might read about someone eating termites. That’s all I’m going to give away.
The Blue Hole
This was a big dive day – The Great Blue Hole.
(pic from Wikipedia)