20 March 2016

Three Weeks on Cozumel Island & the Launch of Dive Group CANUSUKair

It took awhile to get this post completed and published. Slow Mexican internet connections!

We had intended on being away for the whole winter once again, but aging parents and the subsequent family responsibilities that followed, required we re-evaluate those plans. So, instead of a November / December 2015 departure, this years' Sunbird Adventure doesn't begin until March of 2016. This is our fourth SCUBA and Snorkelling trip to Cozumel Island, MEXICO. It’s now become a tradition! We’ll be joined this time by Janet & Andy from Illinois, USA, Joe & Rosa & their daughter Daniella from ENGLAND, UK and Randy & Heather from Saskatchewan; an international group, should be fun.

We have a few days booked at the Explorean Cozumel before joining the others at Hotel Cozumel & Resort. The Explorean is a few kilometres further south along the west coast near the Chankanaab Reef. This is a smaller resort that's part of the much larger Fiesta Americana. It's a bit more private and tucked into the jungle behind the main condominium portion of the resort. Helen scored us a good rate here and we're going to take advantage of some of the activity tours they offer and maybe see some parts of the island in a different way during this trip.

There are about a dozen, small, quadra-plexes scattered behind the pool and restaurant area. 

The meals here, feature local Mexican / Mayan cooking styles and are often prepared and served in traditional cookware.

We will be posting a review of our stay at the Explorian once we return home in April. To read our impressions of the staff, accommodations, facilities and the activities that are offered, go here, once the link is active.
Returning to Hotel Cozumel and Resort is like coming home. The staff know us now and they greet us warmly and sincerely; porters, front desk staff, restaurant and bar servers to the associated PADI Dive Paradise office personnel, boat captains and dive masters ... they are one of the main reasons we keep returning.



There are many good restaurants in the town of San Miguel on Cozumel. We had some great meals, but the one at Pancho's Backyard was exceptional; shared with old friends and new ones.

Clockwise from lower left: Dann  Helen  Joe  Rosa  Daniella  Reese  Mark  Dave  Andy  Roni  Janet  Heather  Randy

The other reason we return is the quality of the diving. Our group has met a few times now, in different combinations in various locations, to dive and snorkel. This year we decided to formally create a Facebook SCUBA/Snorkel Group ... CANUSUKair. It includes the original eight founding members and a new couple from California; Mark & Reese

CANUSUKair is an acronymn for CANadaUSaUnitedKingdomair.

Standing: Joe (Primary Photographer)
Back Row: Randy (Dive Master)  Heather  Mark  Dann
Front Row: Andy  Miguel * (Dive Master/Guide)  Daniel * (Boat Captain)
Missing The Shore Crew: Helen (Logistics Specialist)  Janet  Rosa  Reyes
* Miguel & Daniel from Dive Paradise

The exceptional underwater photographic gallery that follows, is by Joe of  Joseph Tufo Photography with  additional bonus GoPro photos by Randy

The Mesoamerican Reef is second in size to Australia's Geat Barrier Reef. Unlike the Great Barrier, the Mesoamerican is still mostly undamaged and unbleached. The island of Cozumel, in particular has a re-vitalization programn in place, where volunteer divers plant new clusters of coral in the few areas where bleaching or storm damage has occurred.

This photographic gallery is a random compilation of two dozen open water dives, by most of our group. We dove the majority of the dive sites, between the northern and southern tips of Cozumel Islands' west coast.
Baloonfish                                                                                Sharptail Eel
                                                                                                        Redtail Parrotfish (supermale)

                                                          Loggerhead Turtle

Hawksbill Turtle w. Remora on back                                  Queen Angelfish

                                                    Nassau Grouper                                                Blue Chromis / Bluehead / Squirrelfish

Nurse Shark 

Lobster                                                                                  Squirrelfish
Green Moray                                                   Blue Tang with Anemone
Smooth Trunkfish                                                                      Spotted Moray
 Triggerfish                                                                      Scrawled Filefish
Southern Stingray
                                                              Malabar Grouper
Nurse Shark
Spotted Drum (juvenile)                                                  
School of Blackjack

Crusty ... swimmin' with the fishes

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TEAM: LOAF, Crumby, Wry & Crusty