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Cozumel 9 Feb diving

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ColoDale

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Cozumel
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My friend Lou returned with his wife and we went diving for the week of 10 Feb with a day off in the middle for 5 days of diving.

We dove mostly from Palancar north and only once on Palancar Gardens to avoid other groups. One day when the wind picked up making the surface at southern sites (Palancar and south) rough, many boats ended up on Santa Rosa where we were. We finally bailed on Santa Rosa and went towards shore.

We did see eagle rays, mostly singles but did see a pair twice, but they did not stick around. The first day we did see two singles and one pair but of course no camera. That same day we saw a brown toadfish which I identify as a Large Eye Toadfish (Batrachoides Gilberti) and a juvenile Jackknife fish. So with camera the next day I asked to do the same sites and we all agreed. I include photos here. I asked around for the name of the toadfish and I got several different common names. If anyone has a positive ID, let me know.

I included a photo of a grouper with markings and colors which was unusual. It had a tannish/green head and black back half. The marking are that of a Tiger grouper but I am not sure which it is.

Also included what I think is a juvenile Yellowhead wrasse (Halichoeres Garroti) but I could find only a few examples to ID it. The two lines behind the eyes tells me Yellowhead but there is no blue in the body other than a blue dot ahead of the pectoral fin.

I believe the small pufferfish is a Sharpnose.

It seemed that throughout the week that anything really good showed up at the end of the dive or on safety stops , especially the eagle rays, when we were lower on air and my camera was off. There must have been a memo going out.

The photos of the Flying Gurnards pair are a first for me but as usual it was towards the end and as we were cutting across sand towards the island, I was more down current and a fair distance away than the DM, who spotted them. At first I thought he was point to eagle rays in the distance but I couldn’t see anything. Then I saw the two fish but from a distance I thought they were lizard fish. I wasn’t going to swim a lot for them. I then realized they were too big for lizardfish and began a long swim against the current. Prior to that I had been shooting something up close and darker so my camera settings and strobes were not setup correctly so many of the shots were overexposed and the strobes were pointed wrong. The Gurnards kept swimming against the current so I had to keep up while trying to get the settings and strobes right for shooting over sand and bracket, all at the same time. About 600 psi later I was done.

Water temps were a little cool, visibility was down but weather was mostly good. By report today the currents were a little fast with lower visibility (sand). The fill station used by my dive op gave me short tanks again earlier in the week but the last two days I had full tanks. It seems there is one guy who works there that is the issue.

Posting photos in multiple replies (10 photo limit).

Banded Coral Shrimp
Coz Feb 2020 Banded Coral Shrimp 002c.jpg


Black Durgon
Coz Feb 2020 Black Durgon 001c.jpg


Black Grouper
Coz Feb 2020 Black Grouper 001c.jpg


Dusky Damselfish
Coz Feb 2020 Dusky Damselfish 001c.jpg


Flying Gurnard
Coz Feb 2020 Flying Gurnard 002c.jpg


Flying Gurnard
Coz Feb 2020 Flying Gurnard 003c.jpg


Flying Gurnard pair
Coz Feb 2020 Flying Gurnard 005c.jpg


Green Moray Eel
Coz Feb 2020 Green Moray Eel 002c.jpg


Hawksbill Turtle
Coz Feb 2020 Hawksbill Turtle 002c.jpg


Juvenile Jackknife fish
Coz Feb 2020 Juvenile Jackknife fish 001c.jpg
 

ColoDale

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Cozumel
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More photos
Large Eye Toadfish (Batrachoides Gilberti I believe). Seems to be other common names for it in Cozumel.

Coz Feb 2020 Large Eye Toadfish 001c.jpg


Lettuce Sea Slug
Coz Feb 2020 Lettuce Sea Slug 001c.jpg


Nurse Shark (having a heavy snooze)
Coz Feb 2020 Nurse Shark 001c.jpg


Red Banded Hermit Crab
Coz Feb 2020 Red Banded Hermit Crab 001c.jpg


Scorpionfish
Coz Feb 2020 Scorpionfish 001c.jpg


Sharpnose Pufferfish
Coz Feb 2020 Sharpnose puffer 001c.jpg


Southern Stingray. Found in a open area near a swimthrough.
Coz Feb 2020 Southern Stingray 002c.jpg


Splendid Toadfish
Coz Feb 2020 Splendid Toadfish 001c.jpg


Spot Winged Comb Jelly
Coz Feb 2020 Spot Winged Comb Jelly 001c.jpg


Juvenile Spotted Drum
Coz Feb 2020 Spotted Drum 001c.jpg
 

ColoDale

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Cozumel
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Last of the photos

Spotted Eagle Ray

Coz Feb 2020 Spotted Eagle Ray 001c.jpg


Spotted Moray Eel
Coz Feb 2020 Spotted Moray Eel 001c.jpg


Spotted Moray Eel with Coney
Coz Feb 2020 Spotted Moray Eel Coney 001c.jpg


Tiger Grouper. The head pattern seems to be Tiger but the back half is confusing. I was told it might be sick.
Coz Feb 2020 Tiger Grouper Poss 001c.jpg


Whitespotted Filefish
Coz Feb 2020 Whitespotted filefish 001c.jpg


Yellowhead Wrasse probably juvenile
Coz Feb 2020 Yellowhead Wrasse Juv 001c.jpg
 

Cozdreamer

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Thank you for sharing your stunning photos! I feel like I've been on a dive with your treasures you captured!
Well done!
 

ColoDale

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Thank you for sharing your stunning photos! I feel like I've been on a dive with your treasures you captured!
Well done!
Thanks. I am glad I got some winners from all the photos.
 
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