Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Scuba Chick: San Carlos, Mexico

We are officially "Certified Padi Scuba Divers". This weekend we took a 6 hour drive south to San Carlos, Mexico with another couple, and a local dive shop to get our open-water scuba certification.

Let's just say we are now "hooked". We are already working towards getting our "Advanced " certification, so we can go deeper than 60 feet when we travel to Hawaii in August!

There is something so amazing, envigorating, peaceful, breathtaking (literally), and inspiring about exploring a whole new world! I can confidently say that this weekend was probably one of the best weekends I've ever had!

And let me tell you...there was not a single dull moment ;)


We were awake at 4:30 am, to get an early start. As we had to complete our 1st dive on Friday, so we were on a race against time! It's a good thing we got an early start, as we were dead-stopped in traffic for 2 hours somewhere north of Hermosillo, Mexico from the worst semi-truck accident I've ever seen.

Being stuck in traffic sucks. But we kind of had fun with it, as we caravanned with 3 other couples - so we all were getting out of our cars and socializing. It was also good opportunity to catch up on life with Ryan, since he had been in Florida for work the week prior!

When we got to San Carlos, we had to drop our bags, get into our swimming suits, and head to Lalo's Cove. We had to drag our gear, set up a tarp, and complete our 1st dive -- which was about a 30 minute dive. We weren't allowed to bring a camera on this one, since it was our 1st open-water dive.

We saw tons of sting-rays, cornet fish, and lots of beautiful coral!

The beach was incredibly beautiful, and we got out of the water right before sunset!

For dinner we went to a local place near our hotel, that was a straw-thatched roof. We enjoyed their "Cameron Especiale" -- which means "Shrimp special". It was this amazing dish of shrimp, tomatillo sauce, onions, garlic, peppers. It was the cook's "favorito" - and I can see why!!
We were up at 5:30 am, to get breakfast and down to the marina. As our dive boat left shore at 7:45 am.
It was a 1 hour boat ride to San Pedro Island. This is probably the coolest site ever. The "island" is basically a mountain in the ocean. So the mountain goes thousands of feet deep. Obviously we only went down to 30 feet ;). The only "citizens" of the island are wild sea lions. Boy, were they a trip! They love to entertain and play with the scuba divers. While swimming around; they will circle you, clap and laugh at you, and get right up in your face!
We also saw tons of morray eels, which are terrifying, freaky, pre-historic looking creatures. But so neat!!
A rare type of starfish that we only saw 1 of the entire weekend.
There were hundreds of these starfish!!

It's hard to capture in picture, but if you look between the 2 rocks, there is that creepy little guy - that's a Morray Eeel. And they bite! They are so neat to find down there. They pop their head out, and then go back in over and over again.

This is me with my instructor, Larry, doing what's called a "CESA" - Controlled Emergeny Surface Ascent". Which means you start at 30 feet, and you have to ascend on 1 breath of air at a controlled rate. (In SCUBA, you cannot ascend to quickly). As you rise, air expands, and so it's supposed to feel "better". This was freaking torture. By the time we surfaced, I seriously thought I was going to die!

Graceful sea lion!

Sea lion "dive-bombing" us! They would play "chicken" with you - and get right up in your face!

While we were diving, our ship crew were fishing. And they filleted the fresh catch-of-the-day and made us fish tacos. And let me tell you, these were by far the most amazing fish tacos I've ever had!
After we got back to San Carlos, our friends and I went out for a beer before heading the hotel to shower. And then we rushed to dinner, where we ate most seafood tacos. (I cannot get enough of that). We also watched the "Mayweather vs Pacquio fight". You haven't lived until you've watched a boxing match in Mexico at a bar....
Sunday we were at the marina bright & early again. We went to 2 different dive locations - San Antonio Point and "Martini Cove". Martini Cove is definitely my favorite "dive spot" in the area, we decided!
It was an especially fun dive, because we were "certified divers". In other words, we didn't have to stay 5 feet within reach of our instructor!
That's "scuba language" for "I'm Okay". There are hand signals for communicating. I like to use "thumbs up" frequently in my communications. But underwater I cannot. Because "thumbs up" means "ascend" ;)

This piece of coral reminded me of an underwater cactus!

An Obligatory "scuba selfie"

I thought this was such a neat picture. I really fell in love with the world under the sea last weekend!
Until next time.....


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Those pictures are awesome! I bet you guys are glad you bought that go pro. The sea lions looks so cute - I love that they were so playful! The eels sound freaky, though!!

Congrats on being certified! You will have a blast scuba diving in Hawaii!!

Marlys said...

WOW! Those pictures are awesome and the experience sounds like so much fun! You are living out a dream I had since I was very young and watched Sea Hunt on TV with Lloyd Bridges. The sea lions are hilarious - didn't know that about them!

Amber said...

AMAZING! Those photos of the sea lions are so so cool! We went scuba diving when we were in Mexico in 2013 and had a lot of fun, though Eric did have some trouble with his ears bothering him. We also did a TON of snorkelling when we were recently in Maui and absolutely loved it. I would definitely consider getting my scuba diving certificate one day but where we live it's not something we would do super often so I don't know if it would be worth getting certified or where we would even do it... Next time we go to Hawaii I would like to look into going scuba diving though as it was super cool and fun when we were in Mexico!