More Than Diving

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We did do more than go diving in Cozumel, we also shared some good cheer with friends. Part of the reason for the trip was to celebrate my 30th birthday and the 50th of our close friend Scott. We were the only ones going out to dive during the day, of an evening we sat around sharing stories and jokes. Plus the food was amazing. I’m not sure that I mentioned it before but we rented a house instead of going to a resort, Josh and I aren’t huge fans of resorts. There was also a cook that would come in twice a day to prepare delicious meals for us. Having the table filled each morning with fresh fruit, eggs and all kinds of other goodies is what I call a breakfast! Dinner was even more scrumptious, they prepared a wide variety of Mayan and Spanish dishes for us. Nearly every meal contained a flavor unfamiliar but divine.

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The house had a lovely pool and amazing views. Our room was on the third floor with a small balcony. Even our bathroom had a great ocean view.

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Josh keeps saying that this was the best trip he has ever taken 🙂

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Scuba in Cozumel

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I figured it was about time I shared some of the photos we took while on vacation and from the ill-fated dive that sunk my camera. It’s a bit unfortunate that we only took a few shoots of the other people we went with and the house we stayed in. Both were very lovely. Thank goodness for iPhones, we did use those a fair amount. Perfect in a sunny location snapping shots of your friends.

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What I was trying to capture with these dive shots was the way we as divers interact and become part of the landscape. That without trying we create wonderful shapes and openings. Most people take pictures of the fish they see, honestly you can buy a postcard that looks better. You can’t however recreate what it was like to be with that specific group of divers. Each time you go down there is something unique that happens from sort of being a team. Usually you dive with a partner but after a bit others will signal you when see something. Each person trying to make sure that everyone gets to experience that unique. No matter how many sharks, rays and turtles you see each one is awesome.

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So this led me into the goal of capturing the scene and not the little fishies. Josh did bring up one point after reviewing my edits. Something is missing about the mood if you, the viewer, can’t see that the divers are looking at. The reefs in Cozumel were teeming with fish but not a single one shows up in my shots. So I guess there is room for improvement, getting a flash with a red filter might help. Maybe I’ll have to add that into my budget this year too.

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Out of Air

No one ever promised us that SCUBA diving would always be all smooth sailing, that’s why we took classes. That’s why we review the text book before our trips. However all the prepping can’t prevent issues with rental gear. We decided to take it slowly with our investment into our own SCUBA equipment and only purchase a few things at a time. The rest we rent from our outfitter, usually the stuff is fine but heavily used. Well poor Josh got the short end of the functioning gear stick this time.

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On our first three dives he experienced issued that could have been bad had he not remembered his training. On our first dive the tank came lose from Josh’s BCD, when he knew something was wrong he signaled me to look and come fix it. On our second dive his regulator, that wonderful device that allows us to breath underwater, started to “free flow”. Air was pushing through the mouthpiece without Josh drawing it in. This can shorten a dive by draining the tank and there is a constant flow of bubbles in front of your face. After trying what he knew to fix it, he signaled the dive master and they were able to get it back to normal. Neither of these issues are life threatening but scary. However on our third dive something a serious did happen. The needle on his air gauge got stuck, he didn’t notice at first. The reading was matching his accent and air usage. While at a safety stop to “off gas” he knew something was wrong. The gauge hadn’t moved and his air was dragging in. Quick thinking, he signaled the dive master and hooked up on backup air to safely make his assent. After we were back on the boat, his gauge read correctly. His tank was empty .

We are enjoying our dives even after these issues and nothing else has happened. The photo above I shot with my camera using a borrowed housing. I’m thrilled at how these early attempts are coming out and know they will only get better from here.

AHHHHHHH

I’m happy to report that after three days in Cozumel and four dives we are healthy and not sunburned, yet! These are both a bit of a feat, us Midwesterns have skin like glistening ivory in the Mexican sun and Josh had his tank come loose durning a dive. Thankfully he remembered the proper hand signals and I was able to fasten it back on. No, he didn’t just flap his arms around.

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We are certainly enjoying the water.