"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its nets of wonder forever." Spoken and uplifting words from the Father of Scuba diving himself, Jacques Cousteau. Inspiring many others like myself to never stop exploring and to dig deeper to find the meaning of life. I am filled with gratitude to have experienced the depths of the sea at an early age. I become a PADI certified Rescue Diver with over 45 logged dives by the age of 14. Thankful to further appreciate the everlasting beauty of our oceans, I was given the opportunity to live aboard a catamaran for two consecutive Summers in my high school years with Odyssey Expedition. One Summer in the British Virgin Islands, as well as the next in the St Vincent and Grenadine Islands to St. Lucia. Undoubtedly spoiled of my inaugural dives in luminous waters, the bar was set high. This would be the beginning of my new relationship with the sea. With many hopes to be adventurous and explore in pristine waters!
Between my time from adolescence to adulthood, I was able to catch only a single dive. The life of a student called with high school passing before my eyes, college responsibilities, plentiful of obligations, and the limited discretionary income I had for travel. It was not until near the end of my college days I finally had enough waiting. I was reminiscing on the deep blue sea, the schools of tropical fish and the serene feeling of losing all sense of time, island time. A reward to all the hard work that I had achieved through what seem liked endless years of education, a celebration was in order and not to mention my 21st birthday. It was the Spring of 2010 with a few months remaining of my undergraduate studies in Austin, my best friend Aless and I booked a trip for a celebratory cruise and belated birthday festivities aboard a cruise ship. After a refresher dive course at a local dive shop back home, I was finally able to break the streak of putting off any diving by going on a drift dive off Anthony's Key in Roatan, Honduras.
The year rapidly passing and a flash before my eyes, I am sitting here in my 24th year of life. To make up for that missed composition on my dive in Honduras (Helen of Travel didn't exist at the time), I finally told myself, I wanted to share a dive experience through this blog. I want to share my latest entry that covers my most recent dive in Cozumel. A vacation taken on a holiday cruise out of Galvestion, TX on Royal Caribbean with close friends of mine and my fiance Tim. Even though I am not a huge fan of cruises, they are wonderful for allowing you to see multiple places in one trip, eating as much food as your body can handle, some much needed forced relaxation and in my case, forcing me back into the water. My next dive trip would bring me to the lucent waters of Cozumel.
The dives in Cozumel were pretty spectacular. My travel companion, Tim and soon-to-be-husband is also a certified diver. He would join me on a two-tank dive aboard a locally operated diving company. I'm a lucky girl to have found someone who shares so many similar interests and most importantly in this case, a dive certification! Once gathering up our dive gear and climbing aboard an unstable and aging dive boat, we were on our way to what they called the Cozumel National Marine Park, a protected underwater environment in Cozumel covering over 29,000 acres of ocean. Our first dive, Chankanaab Bolones brought us to depths around 60 to 70 feet. As we were descending, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a wreck or perhaps an operating tourist submarine as you notice in the photo below. Our dive boat, separated into two groups, 2 dive masters and 20 other divers. During our descent, we were briefly separated from our dive group and joined the other group. The least of my worries, since my mind was focused on the plentiful of marine animals, as well as large coral heads scattered around. However not as colorful as I would have hope for, the sensation of being in the water overcame anything else on my mind. With a clear visibility and the warm water touching my skin, my soul was happy again, happy to be back in the water where I belong. Here is a video that will give you a better idea of what to expect on the dive. Not a personal video, but one that will allow you to get a sense of what the dive was like.