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April 11th 2016 in Cozumel

Today 10 of us board the Coquetta (Flirty Girl) with 2 Divemasters,Jose Chale and Jimmy at the Hotel Cozumel pier at a few minutes past 8 AM. I love the Coquetta because we are at Palencar Gardens in less than 30 minutes. With a few new divers we decide to start the dive by laying in the sand at 30' to catch our breath and gain the calmness that makes the buoyancy thing so enjoyable and addictive. Once over the top of the reef we are in awe of the large coral formations that are the signature of the island. Swimming through the towering coral heads is best way to slip the stream as the current is strong today. At one point Craig Johns, gets caught in a rippin current that funnels between two large formations on the outside and passes us as a blur at what looks like 7 or 8 knots. The current seams to be slowly pulling us out and down as my buddy signals low on air. Staying focused and close to the coral heads is all it takes to reach the top of the reef and over into the shallow sandy area for a safety stop. I inflate my safety sausage at 20' and hand my home-made reel (a chalk line with braided mason line to replace the cotton string) to one of the new divers to help him with  buoyancy during the 4 minute off gas.

One hour later we jump at Punta Tunich where we are please to find the current mild. I find a baby Nurse Shark, maybe 3 to 4' long, early in the dive. Ray Hansen and Mike Barrett are the guys with cameras today and are brought to a screeching halt when Jimmy points out 2 Bat Fish. These guys appear to have red lips when we look at the photos later, but I am not sure what version they are. Jimmy coaches a Sailfin Blenny out of his lair by tapping on the ground next to his front door and these are great photos. 

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