Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Swimming with the Fishes
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Anticipating that we would not be leaving the ship until 10:00 am or so, when it reached Cozumel, we had a rude surprise to find shoved under our door a note saying our kayaking trip had been cancelled!

So we rushed to see wether we might make it to the Tulume trip with Brenda and Paul (just leaving the boat at Playa del Carmen), but by the time we got down to the gangway on deck one (with nothing to eat yet nor packed for lunch) the timing was just too tight and we decided that we'd find a different excursion instead.

On looking over the remaining choices for a shore excursion (of which there were many for all kinds of folks, including a mini sub going to 800 feet for $324 each), we found one for snorkeling on Paradise Reef that we decided to try, and found a kayaking one on Grand Cayman, so instead of snorkeling on the latter (as we had planned) we would do it today. Cool, all set.

We met our excursion and headed a couple miles up the coast from the ship on a boat with about 20 other people. They let us paddle around with the gorgeous fish and other critters for about an hour, just off-shore of the island in 15-30 foot water. Wow, but it was like being inside a marine aquarium, especially when the sun shone! Gorgeous fish! Cool critters!

I can hardly begin to name all the species of fish and coral and other guys that we saw, but we had a little underwater camera to get some of them on film although the photos aren't great by any means. And the water was so warm and clear -- nothing like Ireland ever was. If we ever go back, we must renew our SCUBA certificates first and go all the way down instead of just hanging around at the surface.

We got back to the ship around 1:00 pm and had quick showers then went into town to buy some souvenirs and see the place. Of course the whole town near the port was TOTALLY touristy. As one of the comedians aboard ship said "Cozumel" means "buy my jewelry!"

A couple of very loud party bars lined the street next to the port, and we stopped in for a bit. I ended up having two yards of margarita and got almost drunk, and perhaps I was. Yeah, probably was, but not enough to get sick or anything -- I've never done that. Good stuff, those margaritas.

Just as we sat down, Tom and Jamie happened by and joined us. Tom had a waitress give him a couple shots where she blows a whistle, pours the drink into him, then rubs his head, tweaks his nipples, and the like. Amusing. And she did this over and over again to people there, both men and women. I doubt it would go over in the States, but it might.

Chas Elstner provided the comedy show tonight and we liked him a lot. Both the comedians hail from Los Angeles, funnily enough.

Shelley got a good photo of the brain coral down on the bottem when she swam down to it.

A shot I took of a whole bunch of sargeant major fish -- they have bright black and yellow and silver colors.

Check out the blob near the bottom: that's the EDGE of a HUGE school of fish!!! Amazing - we could swim down into it and it would just part around us into a big circle/donut of constantly moving individuals.

Tom and Jamie and me back from the bar, ready to reboard our boat.

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