I emailed the shop a week before we left for vacation to ensure that they would be available but ultimately did not make any solid plans because Ticklebug wasn't sure if he wanted to dive yet. It wasn't until our first full day on Isla that he decided that he wanted to dive. That day we had rented a golf cart to take around the island and stopped by the shop.
Daisy (one of the owners) was eating lunch when we walked in. We offered to come back later but she said that was unnecessary. We explained to Daisy that we had never dived before and were interested in doing a discovery dive (a dive for uncertified scuba divers). She explained that even though it was a discovery dive we would still have to do a shallow water dive. The shallow dive is just as it sounds, diving in the shallow water, but we would learn basic gear uses, hand signals and emergency skills. Daisy made a few phone calls and arranged it so that we could do the shallow dive within the hour. Doing the shallow dive this early would make it possible for us to do the actual dive the next morning. While Ticklebug and I got fitted with our gear the dive master/instructor, Wilbert, arrived and took care of weights and air tanks. Once everything was ready we drove the gulf cart over to the site.
The site ended up being the pier where all the boats where kept.
Initially going under water (even thought it was only three feet deep) was terrifying for me. I was thinking to myself, "Why did I want to do this? My biggest fear is drowning!" There were a few times I would start to panic and wanted to stand up out of the water. However, I kept reminding myself, "There is air. You're fine. Breathe out your mouth calmly." Wilbert had Ticklebug and me demonstrate hand signals and the emergency skills. I thought that taking the regulator out of my mouth and trying to reclaim it would cause me to panic but it was surprisingly not. Not once did I accidentally intake water.
Once we had demonstrated that we knew all the basics Wilbert had us follow him (still underwater) further out the pier. From there we started the actual shallow dive. I was (again) super nervous because I hadn't mentally prepared myself to go out in the deep water.
Doing the actual dive it was a bit cloudy because of the kick up from some of the boats but it we were still able to see some of the fish hanging out. Just seeing all that was amazing. When we turned around to go back I noticed that I was struggling to keep the same buoyancy as Wilbert and Ticklebug. I was pretty much on the bottom of the ocean floor at one point. This had me freaking out. Have you seen The Blue Lagoon? You know the part where Brooke Shields steps on the poisonous fish and gets really sick? Yea... I was thinking that if I touch anything like that I would die soooo I put more air in my vest. This caused me moments later to be much higher than Wilbert and Ticklebug. So I decreased. I decreased so much that I was back on the ocean floor. As I was trying to figure out the right amount of air to have in the vest I felt something scrap against my leg and didn't think anything of it. When we got back to the shallow water I stood up, lifted my leg and saw that I was bleeding badly.
With so much blood Ticklebug went into a mild panic and insisted that I needed stitches. He was probably right because the fat tissue could be seen because the cut was so deep. However, I refused to get them done because we were in Mexico and with my luck I would end up missing a kidney or something equally as crazy. We went back to the dive shop to see what they thought. Daisy was calm and just suggested bandaging back together. The island didn't have much in medical supplies so we just ended up using medical tape to put me back together. Thanks to my injury Ticklebug and I spent sometime in the hotel with my leg up just to ensure that I was okay.. And he googled everything under the sun to make sure I wasn't going to "die in my sleep."
The next morning was our actual dive. We got up early to eat a big breakfast (this was a bad decision I would learn later on.) After breakfast we walked to get coffee and then to the dive shop. From there we met up with two other divers, Josh a real estate agent from New York and Asher an animal/environmental activist/artist. The four of us chatted while Wilbert and his guys talked with the boat owner and got the gear loaded. Once all this was done we got on the boat and were on our way out to the first site, the Underwater Museum.
|Right before the dive.|
|I forgot to hold my mask when going back.|
I was the first one to descend. It actually wasn't too bad. Ticklebug did have a hard time getting his ears to equalize to the pressure though. Once we were down Wilbert took us around while Jame and Asher worked together on her certifiation.
The Underwater Museum wasn't what I expected. In the pictures it was really clean and clear of moss.
The sculptures were actually cover in moss.
Nonetheless, it was still beautiful and amazing to see the sculptures. Some of them were kind of creepy though. It felt a little eerie underwater because although the water is clear the visibility isn't all the way out. After a while it's just darkness. And the idea of not hearing really any noise.. also eerie... I tried not to think about it though... I was having horrible visions of a shark coming out of the darkness. The sculptures were interesting, here are a few of my favorites.
|Ticklebug with the VW Bug.|
|Heads in the sand.|
|Creepy eel between the legs of the head in the sand statue.|
|Isla Mujeres means Island of Women. Lots of statues of women!|
When we got to the site I was still puking. Since we were diving at a reef the puke was attracting all the fish. Yay? LOL... After I got all my gear on I said, "I think I'm going to be sick....again..." Jame told me, "Get in the water. You will feel better. But if you do have to puke just keep the regulator in your mouth. It will all come out the other way." Ewwwwww.... I did see the logic in that though so I quickly got the mask on and just went back, no anxiety of the water or anything. I just wanted to feel better. Again I was the first to descend. This time we were diving around the reef. It was beautiful! All the fish and the reef. No words can describe this experience...
|The schools of fish were my favorite.|
The remainder of the day Ticklebug and I felt off balance. It took the rest of the day to get back to normal so we ended up calling it an early night. I do want to try diving again, but I am unsure if I want to go as far as to get certified. There was a lot of work in prepping the gear and the anxiety of forgetting something, doing something wrong and potentially being injured... Yikes! I think I should do a few more dives to see if it's something I really want. :)
|First Scuba Diving Experience!|