Sunday, February 13, 2011

Snorkeling and Dancing in Cozumel


My Owner and her kids and future son-in-law signed up to go snorkeling in Cozumel on the Palancar Reef made famous by Jacques Cousteau in the 1960s.

Water related activities make me anxious, a floating suitcase is never a good thing. Think end of Titanic.



 MO and her offspring were determined though. They met their group at the end of the pier and were tagged with wristbands. They boarded a boat with a friendly crew and started the hour long journey to the reef.




 On the trip over there was time for a few photos.

ONE of these people doesn't like to have pictures made as much as the other.



BOTH of these people are always camera ready.



MO didn't think to take a water proof camera (a mistake she won't make if she has the opportunity to do this again) so there are no pictures of the coral reef, schools of neon colored tropical fish, moray eel, or sea turtle that she saw.

MO isn't a very strong swimmer and was a bit nervous about going into open water so far from shore. Participants were encouraged to jump off the boat. She knew she wouldn't be doing that. She could imagine how disoriented she would be when she hit the water and her snorkle and mask were askew. The divemaster pointed out what he called "the chicken stairs" and MO breathed a sigh of relief. Her daughter, son, and FSO jumped overboard, while MO eased carefully into the water trying to get used to the fins on her feet and breathing through her mouth. She moved away from the boat and talked herself down from sheer panic. Breathe...breathe...you are fine. You can do this. After a couple of minutes she put her face in the water and looked down. AMAZING! Another incredible world below the surface 20-40 feet down. Clear water, great visibility. She thought momentarily how her fear (not completely gone) had nearly caused her to miss this.

She got the breathing down. Someone splashed next to her irritating her and she moved away from the other swimmers. One of the divers stayed near the back to make sure the group stayed together and every few minutes MO would look up to check where everyone else was. A whistle blew and someone who was struggling gave up and asked to be taken out. Later someone else did, MO determined that would not be her. They swam across a sandy spot with no coral and came to another deeper reef. The water cooled considerably due to it's depth. They hung around this reef for a while moving with the current. MO turned to her side and saw nothing but eternal blue. This was the "drop off" the guides had said would mark the end of the excursion. Later when MO researched this area at home the site said that the reef ends at the "abyss." Better not to have known that.

Time in the water: about an hour and fifteen minutes. 

Shivering with intense cold she and the rest of her party climbed the stairs onto the boat took off silly fins and masks got hosed down and handed margaritas as they made their way up top to warm in the sun. The shook uncontrollably for several minutes barely able to keep from spilling their drinks as the boat sped toward the beach where they would be served lunch and stay for about an hour lounging in chairs in the sand before re-boarding the boat and heading back to the ship.


 "We did it!"

They were a little proud of themselves and decided it was one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences they'd ever had.




Okay so if there is music and MO is (let's say happy) there may be dancing. This is her with Manuel, tour guide and dance partner.


At dinner when the kids showed MO's husband the pictures he asked...

"How many people were on the boat?"

"42."

"And how many were dancing?"

"Oh, just Mom."

Somehow he wasn't surprised.




For reasons that should be pretty obvious MO was oblivious to her kids taking these pictures.






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