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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Week 9 in Pez Maya- fish & coral monitoring, Coba ruins, dolphin encounter

Week nine in Pez Maya was a pretty amazing week for diving. We’re getting a lot of fish and coral monitoring done so it’s looking like we’re probably going to get 5 of the monitoring sites done this phase, which is not bad for this time of year. All of the Rescue Diver training has been completed now and the Divemaster training is well on the way to being finished too.

There was one dive in particular this week that people will remember for a long, long time. Two boats went out on Tuesday to try and get to one of the monitor sites but the sea was a bit too choppy so they decided to head for Lagrimas Negras for a fun dive instead. As they were approaching a couple of divers spotted fins in the water. And then more fins. And then dolphins were leaping around the boat! They kitted up super quickly and jumped in. They needn’t have hurried though because the pod of 10 bottlenose dolphins stuck around for the entire 30 minute dive! They could hear them clicking and squeaking underwater and they came really close, within a couple of metres at times. There was even a baby!

At the weekend we went to explore the Mayan ruins of Coba. The ruins are all spaced out within the jungle and the site is vast so we all hired bikes for the day and cycled round. It was great fun until some bright spark decided it would be a good idea to “cycle” down a path that looked suspiciously like it wasn’t made for bikes. We ended up carrying our bikes along stretches of the path and lifting them over fallen trees but never mind. Once we found our way back to the main path we set off to find some ruins. There were lots of different types of buildings and a couple of ball courts too. The Mayans used to play this game in teams. The walls are decorated with pictures of seveal heads so it is thought they would sacrifice members of the losing team after the game. Some people think they actually played the game with a head (!) but I’m not sure whether that is a story made up for the tourists. The most spectacular part of Coba is the great pyramid Nohoch Mul. It stands at 42m making it the tallest Mayan building on the Yucatan peninsula. It’s a pretty steep climb but the view from the top is incredible. The horizon is completely flat and all you can see is jungle with a tiny glimpse of the crocodile infested lake near the entrance. It was amazing!

It’s hard to believe it’s the end of week 9 in Pez Maya now. It’s gone really quickly but we’ve still got one week left to enjoy. Hopefully the sun will shine for us and the sea will cooperate!