Apparently this is the season for vacation, so what happened? Family vacation. It was amazing that everyone was able to fit it into their schedule. Playa Del Carmen, Mexico in the Yucatan was the spot. Makekal was the resort. Beach, food, and drinks, go without saying. What else happened you say?
Day 1: Harpoon fishing. Soooo intense. Not many fish. Deep water. But, I was successful. In about 30 feet of water we spotted a triggerfish. The guide said it was acceptable to shoot this guy, so I headed down. As I approached, the fish, clearly wary of the descending me, back away against a rock. I shot. Direct hit. I confirmed and swam back up. When I got up, I looked down to see an empty harpoon. Apparently the rock behind him kept the harpoon tip from moving far enough through to hold. It was a rush regardless. If he lived, that’s impressive. If not, he fed the food chain. I don’t think I’ll make harpoon fishing a regular experience. But it was a rush. After snorkeling for an hour in wavy waters, we were all exhausted. Time to hydrate and rest.
Day 2: SCUBA. Sara and I got certified years ago in Thailand. It is such an amazing thing. To be suspended, neutrally buoyant, in the water with the ability to breathe for roughly an hour is spectacular. To be able to intimately inspect the underwater ecosystem is even better. This dive took place not on a reef, but in a Cenote. These are surface connections of underground bodies of water (so says wikipedia). There are hundreds of these pond-like openings in the Yucatan. We dove the Casa Cenote near Tulum, Mexico. It was so cool. We have small caverns to dive in an out of. Rocks covered in Grinch-like hairy algae, dangling mangrove roots, a school of tarpon, crabs below, a couple baracuda near by. This Cenote had a close connection with the ocean so the water was brash. We even found a halophyile where a layer of salt and fresh water create don’t completely mix. Moving between the two was like moving between the layer of cooking oil and water with different visibilities and temperatures. Basically, this was another otherworldly experience. I would dive a Cenote again.
Day 3: Snorkel. Akumal Bay is a protected area designated to preserve some of the local habitat that is important to, most notably, sea turtles. We snorkeled for about an hour in our group of 10. This was a very busy location. Lots of people near by, but it was still very cool. My wife has been hoping to see sea turtles for some time now and she finally got her wish. We got within feet of several. They are beautiful.
All good things come to an end, so someone said. We are home now and have the real-world blues. Luckily, there are lots of good things to look forward to.
Next week is my Big Horn River fly fishing trip. I’m going to have to start preparing for that.