© 2015 by Belinda Woodhouse

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Mexican Sharks

November 15, 2015

Hello My Darlings,

Let me tell you about the cheeky little Mexican Shark I encountered whilst snorkelling off Cozumel last week. I know you just probably did a double take in your brain and thought 'what! did I read that right?'...but it's OK, the shark I'm talking about is the Tour Leader of Chac Choc Tours called Tony. Our Captain Claudio and onboard underwater photographer Ivan make up the rest of the ratbag gang onboard the El Dorado, our glass bottom boat that carried us on a three reef snorkelling tour. OK one technically isn't a reef it's a sandbar, but covered with giant starfish the size of your head so i'll count it. The other two are proper reefs and teeming with ocean wildlife.

Always having been a keen diver and snorkeller, my love of the ocean is something embedded in my soul I think. Forever happy in the water, at Cozumel where the waters are so clean and clear it's a snorkelling paradise. This love of the ocean is the reason why working on a dive boat back in Australia when I was younger was never a chore and also one of the main reasons I didn't mind being at sea whilst in the Navy. For me, a three reef tour sounded like bliss. 

Gray Angelfish, Sea Turtles, Crayfish, schools of every colour, size and shape of fish your heart could desire were just some of the wonders seen. A huge school of Blue Tang were kind enough to let me hang out for awhile and the two graceful Anglefish I hovered over and followed as they picked their way along the reef didn't seem to mind either. Even the fish are friendly there. Diving down you can get up close and personal with the reef itself. Huge sea fans and anemone abound complete with their little nemos going in and out just like Marlin was teaching Nemo in the movie. If you aren't that good at diving down it's OK, there is plenty to see up top and the water is crystal clear so you can easily see the bottom.

One of the crews favourite coral formations looked like giant deer antlers so of course I had to get a photo taken with that. It looks like I am holding the coral but I promise I would never do that. Ocean conservation being one of my biggest passions. These clear waters mean photos are clear from 5m away. So no touchy. None needed for a good picture.

 

Amazingly friendly crew are playful once they realise you are a strong swimmer and most of the afternoon was spent playing pranks on each other, like when I dove down and grabbed Tony's fin to see his face - priceless! Or when Ivan thought it would be funny to fish bomb me, attracting all the fish with a tiny piece of tortilla so all of a sudden I was surrounded by a swarm of little fish bodies darting around as he snorkelled away giggling. Yes you can hear someone giggle underwater. 

At one point Claudio yelled 'shark' and looking down there was Tony trying to get me so we named him Mexican Shark. He's OK though, he doesn't bite. Accompanied by alot of giggling and always smiling faces this tour was the perfect day for me. It's hard to imagine a better day with a better crew. And the best part? Beer. Yes that's right, beer. On the way home, relax in the very capable hands of Claudio while the others hand you an ice cold Corona to enjoy the scenery and the sea. Perfect!

From my little turtle mate here and myself.....bye till next time! Adios amigos. 

 

 

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