Saturday, January 19, 2013

Diving 911 (PDC Day 5 and 6 - Jan. 17th and 18th)

Dad and the best Dive Master ever, Andrea!
Thursday, January 17th: This day found us up early to get some breakfast before heading to dive the cenotes. The cenote dives are my favorite dives in Playa Del Carmen. I love the reefs in Cozumel and the cenotes in Playa. They are just so amazing! We showed up at the dive shop and got on the road shortly after 8:30. It was just me, Dad, and our very favorite dive master, Andrea. We got to the cenotes and got our gear ready to go. I had already dove in the cenotes we were going to, but I can't get enough of them.

Our first cenote dive was Kulkulkan. We entered the water by stepping in off the rocks and we were ready to go. This dive is so beautiful, there are rock formations under the water that are just incredible to see. These places would truly be a geologist's dream. Additionally, the way the light plays on the water is spectacular  It's a natural light show that is not to be missed! One of the most interesting things about this cenote is that it contains a halocline. This is basically where salt water and fresh water mix together. Cenotes are fresh water in general, but in Kulkulkan, there is a layer of salt water that shows up inside the cavern. It's interesting to see the two mix together, it creates a blurred effect in the water.

Chac Mool Cenote. 
We took a break between dives as is the norm for diving and then began our second dive in Cenote Chac Mool. I love this cenote because it has many great geological features, there are a couple of places where you can see shelves of rock. It looks like you could almost sit in them and have dinner if you weren't underwater. There are also fossils in the rocks such as shells. It's really cool to see. 

After the cenote dives, we headed back to the dive shop and then on to dinner at Subway. I had the grilled chicken salad. We headed over to the Mega store and then to Wal-Mart in search of some Sudafed for me. I had woken up with a sore throat this day and I wanted to get something for my congestion that I knew would be coming so I could continue to dive. I got some Afrin, but it didn't help. I ended up with a full-on cold unfortunately, which cut my diving short. I am sad about this, but it gives me something to look forward to for our next trip.

Cenote Angelita
Friday, January 18th: I had the big-time congestion going on so I had to skip the dive this day. My Dad went to Cenote Angelita for diving. I headed over to the dive shop about 1:30 to meet him. The owner of the shop said "there's been an emergency at the dive site." There are no scarier words to hear when your loved one is there. As a diver myself, I know all the things that can go wrong. It wasn't my Dad thankfully. The dive consisted of the dive master, her parents, and my Dad. It seems that the dive master's mom lost her regulator and sucked in some of the water during the dive. This dive is 105 feet and the water has sulfur in it so this is a problem. The dive master got her to the surface and yelled for help. Another dive master came along and my Dad helped get her out of the water. The dive master and her dad took off with her mother to the truck so they could take her to the hospital.

I am so proud of my Dad! He helped get the woman out of the water and then took care of getting all the equipment out of the water too, all by himself! This is no easy feat at some of these cenotes. Usually, what happens is everyone gets out of the water with their BCD and tanks strapped to their backs so getting yourself in and out of the water is a chore sometimes, but getting yourself out of the water and then having to pull out BCDs with tanks strapped to them by yourself is rough. My Dad did it though because he is just that awesome! And of course, he thinks it's no big deal, but I think it's worthy of applause!!

Unfortunately, the second dive they would have made that day was abandoned since the dive master's mom had to be taken to the hospital. But that is small potatoes compared to the safety of a diver! One of the great things about the diving community is that everyone's first concern (in general anyway) is safety. And if your dive buddy has to go back to the surface before the dive is over or has to be transported to the hospital, you make that happen, no questions asked. 

My Dad and I headed back to the hotel and rested a bit before going to dinner around 6:30. We stopped off at the dive shop to let them know that I would not be going on the bull shark dive on Saturday. I was very disappointed about that, I had really wanted to see the bull sharks, but by this time my cold had gotten significantly worse so it just wouldn't have been wise to go diving. If you dive with congestion, you risk a reverse block in your ears, trauma to your ear drums, and even the possibility of fatal lung problems. No thanks, just not worth it. 

Anyway, the dive master told us where her mom was at and we went by to visit her. The doctor told us how she was doing. The good news is that the dive master's mom is OK. She was taken to the hospital and stayed overnight where they gave her some oxygen and antibiotics. She was released on Saturday.

Oreo Blizzard. YUM!
Dad and I continued on to have a great dinner at our mainstay restaurant here, La Vagabunda. It was great as always. I had the filet mignon and Dad had the chicken. Basically a repeat of the food we had there earlier in the week. Delicious!! After that, we hit up Dairy Queen. Dad had the chocolate dipped cone (they had gotten their chocolate shipment in) and I had an Oreo Blizzard. Delicious, again! We headed back to the hotel and watched a video of my Dad from a trip he took here in September. The video is awesome, he's underwater in the ocean with some fish surrounding him. Very cool to see, it's like a wall of fish. 

After that, it was time for sleep. Dad was diving on Saturday and I was just tired from my cold so it was rest time. 


Karen Peterson said...

Cool, your dad is a hero!

That picture of the cenote is amazing. I can't imagine what it must be like to be there!

Lawfrog said...

@Karen - My Dad is absolutely a hero. He never sees himself that way, but he is. He won a Purple Heart in Vietnam and he even thinks that is no big deal. An amazing man for so many reasons!!

The cenotes are incredible. There are no words to describe them, you just have to see them. They are proof that God exists and He is an artist!!