Wow, what a fun vacation! Cozumel definitely has some awesome looking
reefs. Through 5 days of diving I was able to log 17 dives and nearly
1200 underwater pictures - over 70 pictures per dive average! I
saw this sign en route to a morning dive and thought it embodied
the sprit of Coz -
Anyway, in regards to the pictures, Ikelite let me down once again.
For the second dive trip in a row I was unable to use my strobe.
This time it was a short in the strobe wiring. Such is life. I was
hoping to use this trip as an opportunity to learn how to take pictures
with strobes, but instead learned how to use the ambient light.
I tried to make the best of a bad situation. I mean, how bad could
it be? ...I was in Cozumel, after all.
Additionally, I had the chance to concentrate on macro shots. This
is usually a tough objective in Cozumel because of the prevailing
currents, but the multiple shore dives had minimal current and provided
ample opportunity to hone my skills. One of my favorite subjects
of macros were the Condylactis anemones - I believe they were Condylactis
Although the symbiotic cleaner shrimp were very difficult to photograph
via macro (they kept pulling back into the anemone), I was able
to film a short segment of an anemone blowing in the current. In
the video a plethora of symbiotic shrimp are clearly visible. You
can view this video by clicking here. Be forewarned, this is
not for slow connections. The file measures 4.25MB. Also, all videos
in this section are .mov files from Apple QuickTime™.
Cozumel always offers the chance to see some strange underwater
animals. My very first sighting of Myrichthys breviceps was on this
trip and it was kind enough to allow me to get several wonderful
photographs. I do believe this to be a full grown adult.
Another new fish to mark off the want list is the juvenile Equetus
punctatus. The individual pictured below was located no more than
5 feet off the shore of the resort. Constantly moving, it was difficult
to get a good photo of. An adult was spotted the following day,
but their desire to remain fairly well concealed and the lack of
a strobe pretty much eliminated any chance I had at a good photo.
Cozumel offered many turtle encounter opportunities, but it seemed
none of the turtles we encountered were photogenic for whatever
reason. The album has several turtle photos, all of which are about
the same in quality - meaning none are terribly special.
One of my favorite aquarium fishes has always been the Jawfish,
but I have never ran across any in the wild. That all ended on this
trip to Cozumel. This particular trio managed to gain my attention.
I probably spent more time watching these jawfish feed and interact
than I spent with any other single species. In addition to the photo
below, you can view
a short video of Opistognathus aurifrons by clicking here. Warning,
not dial-up friendly - 2.24MB file.
One of the more interesting photo subjects was Bothus lunatus.
They almost seemed to litter the sandbed in front of the resort
and didn't seem to mind getting some photos taken. Although better
photos of this species are included in the album, I choose this
one to display because of the interesting camera angel. I love how
the eye balls stick out -
A neat swim-through...
Jeez, this photo is horrible. After all, how can one manage a decent
photo of a holed-up Splendid Toadfish without strobes? I guess I'll
have to go back to Coz with strobes to get a better photo. Regardless,
I include this here because no Cozumel photo journey is complete
without a picture of Sanopus splendidus.
One of the most awe-inspiring moments I have ever had in my life
happened when a school of over 50 individual Pomacanthus arcuatus
enveloped me for several minutes. They were completely relaxed if
not curious of the group of divers. This afforded me the opportunity
to get many photos of the group. From macros...
to the group photo...
Unfortunately, their close proximity to me did not allow me the
chance for a wide angle photograph showing all the individuals of
One of the biggest reasons Cozumel's reefs are so healthy is the
abundance of urchins that dot the reefs. Although detested by many
of the divers that shared the resort with me on this particular
trip, I think they would quickly changed their mind if they had
a clue how important these grazers are to the reefs.
As could have been expected, Urolophus jamaicensis was plentiful
on shore dives. Most of those I encountered were alone, but the
picture below shows the rare individuals that were paired. In addition
to the photos I managed to get several neat videos of the rays gliding
across the bottom. One
of those can be viewed here. Again, be forewarned, it is a 4.1MB
file and will take a moment to download and begin.
Another Cozumel can't-miss is the Felipe Xicotencatl C-53 wreck
dive. Although not terribly exciting IMHO it was something I was
looking forward to doing if for no other reason to say, "been
there, done that."
The coral formations at depth were simply breath-taking. Looking
back, I didn't take near enough photos of the wide-angle scenery
- a mistake I won't make twice. Additionally, I only took one video
at depth, something I sorely regret. You
can view that video here (warning: 2.8MB).
Enjoy all my other photos
from underwater Cozumel, or have
a look at the dry adventure!
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