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Monday, August 24, 2009

Week 7 in Pez Maya--No More Rain!

The past week came and went quickly due to amazing dives, weather and weekend activities. Early on in the week we were still having issues with the compressor but we are happy to report she is now back on base and happily filling tanks. Thanks to her return diving was a great success this week. The new five weekers have all completed their Advanced Open Water training and are now moving on to fish and coral spots, and practice monitoring. The veterans continued moving forward with collecting data at the monitoring sites as well. Rescue divers all completed their skills and rescued some distressed and non responsive divers right off the beach. Next up is Dive Master! The highlight of the week for most was Fun Dive Friday! Each group chose a dive site of their choice and went for a relaxing swim. The five weekers survived their first time diving unsupervised!

A small group went to the Sian Ka’an visitor’s center and learned more about the reserve at a museum. They also got a bird’s eye view of the lagoon and learned more about the importance of the lagoon. At the end of their outing they got a chance to visit one of the cenotes in the reserve for a quick swim

Another cause for excitement this week was the massive grouper we found washed up open the beach during boat push on Monday night. Its cause of death is still unknown but it had some serious looking scratches or stings. Jaen gave a quick grouper anatomy lesson whilst gutting the fish and we all enjoyed a fish fry that night and again the next day. Other wildlife spotted on base this week was a bat in the BCD room, a huge scorpion in hut one, and a massive moth flying around the communal area.

Sadly this week we had to say goodbye to two Pez Mayans, Ian and Kate. The last few days haven’t been the same without them!

We were visited this week by Adam from Cave Heaven who gave us a lecture on cave diving around the Yucatan. He inspired quite a few of us to go on a cavern dive sometime in the next few weeks!

The highlight for most this week was the weekend. Most of the new five weekers headed off for the island of Holbox. Saturday was spent travelling to the tiny island that greeted us with white sand, few tourists, numerous golf carts, and best of all, showers! Pizza for dinner and dancing on the beach made the night a memorable one. Sunday morning we awoke bright and early to swim with whale sharks! The boat ride seemed like years but eventually we began to spot gigantic manta rays and finally a whale shark! We all took turns jumping in and swimming next to the nine meter long fish. Later on we got the chance to swim with the equally majestic manta rays and we also went for a snorkel. Holbox was the perfect weekend getaway and we were all sad to go. Back on base groups went for a dive and went into town for much needed food and internet. Later, Pez Maya had a proper BBQ. The night was spent enjoying burgers, relaxing, and chatting on the step. Sunday was spent catching up on sleep and enjoying a five minute mini hurricane. The Holbox group returned just on time for a Sunday movie night viewing of Shawshank Redemption.

Thank you to all that helped visualize a successful week here at Pez. Perhaps this week you could do the same, but maybe without the scorpions in the huts.