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Mitsugirly had a JOYful cruise

Day 6 April 12, Wednesday: Costa Maya, Mexico

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Rise and shine...it's 6am and we are going to Costa Maya!!

I went outside to see what the weather was like...and...it was DARK! Um, could my time be right? I know they said put the time back one hour but would that make it dark out now?

I ran into two couples that had been up all night partying and hadn't made it to bed yet. I've seen this same lady many times and heard her talking about going to bed at 4am after a night of drinking and getting back up at 6am to go into port. Well tonight...she had set a record and not went to bed at all. She was plastered but having a good time and told the other couple she had met that she was going to go find another bar for another drink. Say What??? She did mention she had kids so would be forced to go to shore but would probably just sleep on a beach somewhere. I don't know how people do it. I couldn't have done that even in my younger years. More power to her I guess. But yikes!

I went back in to wake the family up, but only after hiding a few ducks on the way back of course. At this point, taking a picture of everywhere I hid them had become a nuisance and I know how much you all are missing them right?

It was now 7am and time to head for breakfast. I bet you can't guess what I had right?

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Ah ha! I gotcha!! Yes, I had the eggs and bacon but did you notice that extra item? That sultry piece of hashbrown potato?  Yep, I snuck that in before the hubby sat down. No stink eye coming my way this early in the morning. 

We got done eating and headed back to the room to get ready for the day and grab our bags.  I was really hoping not to have another day like yesterday and forgetting everything so I double and triple checked every item.

I went back out to take some pictures after we pulled in.

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The welcoming committee..

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We noticed people getting off the ship at 7:45am...which was early. Again, where was that announcement?

We headed out and dinged out. 

It was BRIGHT AND SUNNY OUT....ah ha, get it?

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We did stop this time to sign out some beach towels at the station outside the ship. I had completely forgot to go to H20 and grab some.

 

Heading down the pier and there was music in the air.

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So for everyone wondering about the trolley running on the pier, this day it was parked there and not running. We had to walk.

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A pelican perched on the wall as we went by.

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So now came the long winding around the port walk to try to get out of here. This is one of those aggravating ports that they make you take the long route, by each vendor, before they allow you to escape.

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Sakari wanted to stop by and see the dolphins swimming around.

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We kept going and going and finally came to an area that was new since the last time we were there. It looked like they were working on a new area and was expanding.

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We made it out and we were free and got into a taxi and told him we needed to go to Blue Reef. The charge was $4/pp, which had been reported on the boards, as the price had went up. The trolley was not running anymore. I believe it's been said that there has been some conflict between the taxi drivers and the trolley. This would be our taxi today. I took a picture...just in case I would need it. We were once in Cozumel (I think) and the hubby forgot one of the bags in the taxi and we had to locate him. Thank goodness I had taken a picture of it and got the cab number.

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So today, we are going diving!! We have never went diving here in Costa Maya before and due to the lack of snorkeling (from the beach) I never really thought it would be a good place to try out. I have seen other people on the boards say that there's excellent diving here, but we are limited to 40' since we are not certified, which means those people that say there's awesome diving there are probably going further out and deeper. So, I was going in with low standards and hoping to be surprised.

I contacted several dive companies but one stood out to me because the communication was awesome and all of my many questions were answered. This was Pepe Dive. I was reassured that we would be able to see plenty of coral reefs and fish and that it was not all a sandy bottom (as I had been looking at online pictures and video's which showed a lot of sandy bottom). 

They told me that we would be diving at Acuario (which I was told meant Aquarium). Good enough for me. We were going to give it a shot and if it didn't work out, we wouldn't dive in Costa Maya again. But at least we can say that we tried it.

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When we arrived, we were greeted by the owner that I had been talking to by email. She was super nice. They had a few pets and that excited the hubs and Sakari right away. Two large Great Danes. One was old and liked to lay around and the other was young and spunky but an albino and deaf. They kept that one inside most of the time and had to lather it up with sunscreen to keep it from burning. They were super friendly. 

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Our dive instructor was going to be Ivan and he was going to do our class.  We would have one other person with us and he was from Cancun. staying along the Malecon. Then we were ready to go to the beach and practice our skills out in the water in front of the dive shop.

We all headed out and they carried my tank for me.

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We went into the water and they told us to go out as far as we could. The Malecon is a lot different than what it used to be the last time we were here. They now have a fence along the water, I assume to try to keep the sargassum seaweed to a minimum since it has been really bad for awhile. So, the deepest area they had here was right beside the fence and let me tell you it was nothing but sand and very very hard to see because it was all stirred up. 

We did all of our skills even though it was very hard to even see our instructor in front of us. We all passed with flying colors and headed back to the dive shop. There they would load up our equipment and told us that we were walking down a short ways to the boat dock. We had put all of our things away and she told us we might want to take our shoes. However, none of us wanted to and figured we'd be ok walking. If the surface got too hot, we'd walk in the sand along the side. 

I walked along with the guy from Cancun and got to know him a little (boat dock was a little further away than I had originally thought) and he was there vacationing with his family. His wife was pregnant and back at the hotel. They were staying at the Malecon 21. He had 2 other kids and the youngest was 7 years old. He said he had never been diving and wanted to try it out before his son was older to know if he'd be taking him on a dive. 

Our feet were fine on the ground however, we didn't realize that once we went off the Malecon path it would turn into gravel. OUCH! We did the best we could, although the hubby was falling behind quickly. He has sensitive feet. 

We finally made it to the boat and our feet thanked us.

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It was a very short boat ride out to where the dive site was. Now everyone knows I get anxiety at times when I go from a boat. I've had good dives and bad dives because of it. The main issue I have is once I'm in the water I have to prepare myself mentally to take that step to start to go down. I do NOT like to be rushed in this process. 

They immediately told me to go in. "Wait, I would rather have them go first" as I pointed at the family. They looked at me strange and kept telling me to go. Nope, let them go first. I honestly wanted the hubby to go in before me so he could be there with me to reassure me once I got in. But instead they had Sakari go first. They had her go over to the opposite side of the back of the boat and there was a rope from the boat to the water in the way. She kept looking at them like "How am I supposed to do this?" They ended up lifting up the rope and having her go under it to jump off. She said it kinda scared her like she was going to hit the rope or somehow get tied up in it.

Then once again they told me to go. Argh! I didn't know how I was supposed to do this. They had me put the tank on and any weight on my foot still makes it hard on me to walk or stand up or anything...especially on a moving boat. I got up and made my way over to the end of the boat. Then told me to take a step off the edge. We had a girl instructor with us and she was going to be with us as well. The guys on the boat kept telling me to go. I finally went but man they were aggravating me about it and rushing me. 

As soon as I hit the water the waves started taking me toward the boat and the propeller, which was moving and I hit it with my leg. The motor wasn't on, but the water was making it spin and it freaked me out. I tried hard to get away from it and over to the line. I was kicking like crazy and grabbed the line. I was having flashbacks of my terrible experience in Cozumel. I started to panic. I wasn't sure how this dive was going to go at this point. I told the girl instructor how dissatisfied I was with the way they were rushing me and making me go before the hubby. I told her "There's one thing I don't like and that's to be rushed. Don't rush me!" She got the point and once the hubby got in she let me go down the line at my own pace.

We made it down and everything was good and we were off on our dive. 

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I had the Gopro, the hubby had a camera and Sakari had a camera. We were all prepared to get the best shots.

So far, there was a lot of sandy area with some reef in patches, just like I had seen in pictures and videos. 

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We seen a Spotted Trunkfish

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As we went along, we started to see more and more coral and I was pleasantly surprised at this point. It wasn't Roatan for sure, but it was definitely going to be good enough.

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The hubby was doing a good job of taking pictures. He usually stays either far up above the reef or too far away on the side to get decent pictures. However, he manage to pull off some good ones this time around.

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I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised at what it looked like down there. The coral was abundant and it really was pretty. However, there really wasn't a lot of fish or schools of fish or what I consider the "odd" fish (anything other than the damsels, squirrels, wrasse, grunts or yellowtail snappers). I like to see the  groupers, schools of surgeons, triggers, puffers, eels, flounders, big angels and butterflies ....anything you don't normally see just snorkeling. But, it was pretty. I did manage to catch a trunkfish when we first started but the hubby didn't get a picture of it and I did see a four-eyed butterfly fish as well. There was a really pretty yellow and black wrasse and I did see what I think was a smaller spotted grouper at one point scurry into a hole. (All in the video). But most of the fish were juvenile fish and not very big.  There were a lot of smaller parrot fish too.

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We did find some pulsating Xenia's. They are so neat to watch. They open and close over and over and I used to have some in my tank. So mesmerizing.

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Sakari and I were way over here exploring. Yes, you can see that there's a lot of sandy area in between some of the coral reefs, but it was ok, with us.  There was still plenty to see alongside it. Most of the fish we would see would be the black and white Chromis. Man there were a lot of them everywhere.

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At some point the hubby and I switched equipment and I took over the camera and he was in control of the Gopro. He usually does a pretty good job with the Gopro and I wanted to make sure that I got some good pictures close up.  Then at the end, we switched again.

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A conch 

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Squirrelfish

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As you can see, it was pretty colorful down there and that made me happy.

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I did manage to see (I think) a spotted grouper that dashed into a hole as I got closer. I wasn't able to get a photo of it because I had the GoPro and I don't think anyone else seen it because they were ahead of me. Here is a picture that I pulled off the video I took of it going into the hole. 

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Sakari, the real photographer, was very busy getting her close ups of everything and was really putting in some work for me. She does such a good good of capturing everything.

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Does anyone else think this looks like this coral is giving you the bird? LOL

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