Friday, 9 July 2010

... Mexico: You'd Better Knock On Wood

"it's like thunder.... lightning...."

Today's reef dive took place south of Playa namely because, given the normal northbound current, most diving in Playa is drift diving. Drift diving is as the name suggests - you are transported by the current and your boat follows you. The area where we were going to had a nice combination wall slope with plenty of caves and several swim-throughs formed when the sea level was lower. It was also a prime area for turtle and tarpon spotting. Sounded like a fanstic dive package to me!

The day had started out beautiful. The sun was shining and even early on it was already pretty hot. Nice. Our small group of 4, including the DM, were soon loaded onto the boat with our gear and zipping down the coast. Bring it!

When I dive I take on the look of a Troll Doll
I convinced myself to ignore the dark ominous clouds in the distance that we appeared to be heading towards - it was still gloriously sunny where we were and that quite simply was all that mattered to me. "We'll soon be going in the opposite direction."

The first dive provided a great zero-G spacewalk as the scenery moved by. The water temperature was nice n' toasty and the viz fantastic despite the storm earlier in the week which we were told might have churned things up a little. Corals & marine creatures of every shape and colour implanted their image firmly on my personal hard drive... and of course lots of turtles & tarpon plus a couple of nosey barracuda.

However it was the second dive that provided quite the show. Whilst I was showing my dive buddy a beautiful spotted moray eel a flash bulb went off. My first thought was 'who is taking photos?' Then the flash happened several more times followed by a strange noise like someone shaking a jar of beads. It was then I realized it was a thunderstorm. Only in Mexico would you go out reef diving during a tropical thunderstorm in an aluminium boat on salt water!

NASA says lightning rarely hits oceans because the surface water does not heat up enough to cause the positive charge needed for lightning to occur. Still, I think I can safely say that I was glad we were at the end of the dive, the storm was still somewhat in the distance when we got back into the boat and we floored it in the opposite direction back to Playa.

It was certainly a very interesting experience. Nature can put on one incredible show in more ways than one. Not shocking at all.

It was time for post-dive eats.

Post-dive drinks... hibiscus
A habanero pepper chutney thing... yum!
Some sweetened rice drink thing... it was bloody good whatever it was

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