Diving in the Riviera Maya is an incredible adventure that fills you with a sense of freedom you can’t get anywhere else. Let me tell you a little of how I live my diving experiences… Maybe you’ll understand why I’m such a diving enthusiast!
It all starts the day before:
I get all my equipment ready for the next day. Charge the camera and lamp batteries; get my life vest, the regulator, wet suit, boots, visor, laptop… Make sure everything is together and ready!
I also eat healthy, drink lots of water and go to bed early. I must wake up early in the morning and need to be well-rested!
Then comes the diving day!
I have a good, delicious breakfast and head to the dock!
The sun is just rising, there is no traffic, the weather is just perfect and the sea lies still like a mirror.
As I reach the marina, I hear the sound of the tanks as they are lifted onto the boats.
All aboard! The boat is let loose and hits the water at increasing speed. I admire the colors of the sea – this beautiful Caribbean blue, blue sea. The water foam that is formed as the boat speeds by makes the colors look ever brighter.
We go on a 5- to 15-minute ride enjoying the waves, the wind, the birds, the sun… Chatting with other divers – “where do you come from, is this your first dive in this spot?” – Time flies by. We’re almost at the diving spot and we must get ready. I open my tank, verify if I can breathe. Everything is a go! We count down: 3, 2, 1… On to the water!
The descent begins. Goodbye noise, hello new world!
I start sinking in free fall, little by little, releasing bubbles and admiring the panorama, the feeling of weightlessness. Diving is the feeling of utmost freedom. I can’t feel my weight; I’m flying downwards, upwards. I see everything clearly, I see the sand below, the sun above, and I’m floating in the middle of the deep blue that suddenly feels so familiar. Like coming home. Yet I am a visitor in this water planet within planet Earth.
The water current comes alive. The swaying motion of the tide rocks you forwards, backwards, ahead, and back… You learn to wait and kick just when the tide comes, then fly. Then wait for the next right moment to kick again.
Strange figures, hallucinating colors, amazing animals… Like the nudibranchs! They are tiny animals that have so many shapes and colors that you simply can’t stop looking! They have a hypnotizing effect. Yet we respect them. We must respect this world we’re merely visiting for an hour or maybe a little longer, with the right training.
Here is a peek to some of the thousands of creatures I have seen while diving, depending on the region, time of the year and weather:
In time, you learn to sharpen your eyesight to discover subtleties, like a sand sole lurking in the bottom of the sea.
Once the time is up, we must go back up.
Leaving is also interesting. I check my instruments constantly and start rising slowly, pausing along the way. I admire the scenery; see the deep blue colors fade away. I can hear the boat’s engine as it comes closer to get us. We make a safety halt for 5 minutes, 5 meters from the surface. This stop is like a long goodbye to this view, a moment where we can reflect upon what we saw and continue to see.
And suddenly, we’re done. Surface, sun, air. We set the regulators aside and hop into the boat. As we head back to the dock, jumping over the waves, the stories begin. We start sharing what we each experienced, saw, discovered and learned.
We’re back in our world. The world we belong to. The world we’ll hopefully learn to respect too, some day. 😀