When I was a kid my parents learned to scuba dive at a local place called The Scuba Shop. At the time I was too young to get certified, but my parents got into scuba pretty heavily. My whole life I had grown up around water. I was only two years old the first time I went water skiing. (I have the 8mm film to prove it!) Naturally, when my parents started scuba diving I was around other divers and often on dive boats with my parents.
Shortly after my parents were certified the Skin Diver magazines
started rolling in and I was fascinated by all the pictures. One destination
that came up very often was Cozumel, Mexico.
I remember feeling like I would never get to go there or see something like
that. Fast forward a decade or so and I have now had the pleasure of scuba
diving in Cozumel several times. While the magazine pictures were really good,
they just cannot convey the sights and feeling you have while diving in such an
When taking vacation in Mexico I usually stay in Cancun,
In order to dive in Cozumel there is some travel involved to get there. This
might turn some people off to a scuba diving trip in Cozumel while staying in
Cancun, but I like the adventure. It is a lot of fun to travel in a foreign
country when there are language barriers, taxis, shuttles, and ferries
involved. It takes some practice and the first time your nerves will be
shot. Do it a few times and you will be hooked.
I have chartered trips with Aqua World several
times. Aqua World has done a great job guiding me through the experience and I
have always had very knowledgeable and safety conscious dive masters. I
typically take a taxi from the hotel to Aqua World. From there you will take a
shuttle to Playa Del Carmen.
The shuttle will drop you off a couple of blocks from the waterfront and you
will need to walk to the ferries. Aqua World will provide a ticket and you just
board the ferry when it is time.
It will take about 45 minutes on the ferry to get to Cozumel. There are some great ocean views on your way and there is usually a local band playing for tips in the cabin. Once you get off the ferry you will need to meet where the Aqua World guide says. It’s usually by the big eagle statue right beside the pier. Then you will have a short walk to board the dive boat. Every trip I have done with them has been a different dive site, so don’t worry about hitting the same place all the time. Not to mention, the reefs you dive in Cozumel are all part of the second largest reef in the world, the Belize Barrier Reef.
I have done several different types of dives in Cozumel. I have done strong current drift dives, deep dives, and reef dives. The strong current dives were a ton of fun. It sounds scary, but after bailing out of the boat we had to swim hard toward the reef across the current. This was very difficult to do without getting short of breath from a scuba regulator. This type of dive may prove too much for a beginner. Eventually, I figured out you could stretch your arms and hands out over your head and lean your back and body into the current. This provided a flying effect and I used my hands and fins as a rudder. Once I figured out how to use the current to help me I was able to conserve some energy and air.
Our group got back together and we did a nice sloping wall dive. You really didn't have to swim at all! Just float by all the wildlife and reef heads! If you wanted to stop all you had to do was duck in behind a reef head so the current would be blocked.
If you have never gone scuba diving, it is one of the most
relaxing and exhilarating things I have ever done. You are buoyant and
weightless feeling, all movement is slow, and you hear your bubbles rushing
past your ears on the way to the surface. All of these qualities add up to a
relaxed feeling, but then you realize that you are not in your native environment
and you are using life support gear to allow you to explore. This unique mix
makes scuba diving one of my favorite activities. There is so much to learn and
see that most humans will never experience. Aside from space travel, I think
scuba diving is the closest you can get to visiting another world.
What I Learned:
- Diving without a wetsuit is fantastic!
- Reefs actually have a sound. It has a crackling sound from all the life that revolves around a reef.
Genesis 1:20 NIV “And God said, Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”
I know everyone does not believe that God created the heavens and the Earth, but when I see something as vast and complex as a reef system with all the diverse life forms I simply cannot accept any other explanation. To me, the idea that we all came from a single celled organism and evolved to a human is as far-fetched as it gets. In my opinion, it’s a feeble attempt at an explanation a human can understand without acknowledging God. What experiences have you had that forced you to acknowledge the existence of God? Did it change you in any way?