"Cozumel... Cozumel...
Bienvenidos a Cozumel!"

Sung to the tune of "The Spiderman Theme" by Mariachis during one night out.

Here we are on the day we rented scooters and rode around the island ... one of there very few days we didn't go scuba diving. It's a rather small island so you don't have to worry about running out of gas ... just running over iguanas crossing the road. This was also a good way to see just how underdeveloped Mexico really is. Everywhere you go there is either run down developments or construction that once got started but never reached completion. I must say, however, there is quite a market for concrete and cinderblocks there. The scooters are also a great way to get in touch with the culture. If you're there on a Sunday definitely go to the Lighthouse at the south end of the island for some seriously traditional Mexican "fish & chips". You won't need any malt vinegar but watch out for the salsa! Don't worry if you can't finish your meal, there's plenty of chickens and dogs aroound, and one ugly turkey!

But (of course), the highlight of the trip was the diving! We took these pictures with a rented underwater camera. Now we just have to buy one. But next time we'll take our regs out so you can recognize us. In any case pictures just can't do it justice. For about six days we were on a boat by 8, back by noon, slept 'til 4, then drank margaritas. The water was 85 degrees, the visibility was dangerous, and the marine life was unbelievable! You ever wonder how full the oceans would really be if all those sponges didn't live there? ;-)

But seriously ... check out the huge Grouper as it chewed off Rene's ankle. OK, so it was just swimming between us minding its own business, but as you can see they grow 'em big down there! Speaking of big ... it's quite a thrill to swim through Palancar Caves, and come out on a living wall that drops into oblivion. Palancar is the second largest reef in the world after the great Barrier Reef, and it is just full of life. Every time out we encountered something new. Even right off the shore of our hotel we came accross a spotted eel and sting rays. And at night, the sea slugs and squid come out to feed. Big squid! And they'll swim right up to your light, but it's hard to tell if they're coming or goin'.

All I wanted to do on this trip was to see a Green Moray Eel up close and personal, but I didn't think I actually would. So, when Clemente (one of our dive masters) coaxed out and hugged one that was bigger than Rene, I couldn't believe my eyes. It made me rent the camera on a subsequent dive, where we only came across this "small" one--only about 4 feet long. Clement even got Rene to pet a smaller spotted eel as he fed it. Though I'm opposed to actually touching the marine life, It is hard not to get caught up in all the excitement!

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