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Trip Report Cozumel Diving 21 - 26 Feb 2021

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ColoDale

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Cozumel
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Cozumel Diving Feb 21-26, 2021

I finished 6 days of diving with a friend who came down from Chicago and we dove with Raul and Bottom Time Divers (Bottomtimedivers.net). Raul is the owner/DM and finished updating and repairing his boat – all new paint, canopy, engine, ladder, and mats. Half the week we had a couple more divers with us and one with a private DM.

The first day we went out late as a norte was leaving and the port captain opened the port at 9:30 am.

We dove:
Santa Rosa wall
San Francisco wall and shallows
Palancar Gardens, Caves and Horseshoe
Dalila
Punta Tunich
Punta Sur Sur (pinnacles)
Combinations of these sites where we would do part and cut over to another.
All dives were daytime.
12 Dives. 70 min avg.

Cedral Pass, Cedral Wall and parts of La Francesa were closed.

We went to Punta Sur Sur (Pinnacles) since we had not been there in a while and because we were hoping to see more eagle rays but saw none. We did see three small black tip reef sharks and a pod of dolphins deep on the sand heading south. Visibility at the end of our dive was poor.

Water temps per my computer were 79-80 F on all dives but it seemed colder to us on some.

Currents were non-existent to very slow on most dives except Punta Tunich which I expected to be higher but was slower than normal. Currents if any were going slowly out to the West

Visibility was down and the water had a lot of plant bits and Jellyfish of all types. Still a lot of comb jellies. A few dives the visibility was also bad due to fresh water I think. It rained a bit more recently especially at night. All the stuff in the water caused a lot of backscatter so any good wide angle shots were difficult.

Weather during the dives was partly cloudy with little rain. Combined with lower vis, many of my photos are darker especially those with any distance to them.

All my tanks had good fills and no O-rings had to be changed (the fill station has a habit of not removing bad O-rings). As I recall, no one on the boat complained of short fills all week.

The first few days I was using wide angle for eagle rays and I tried somewhat successfully to use close focus wide angle on smaller things. I think the small sole and the comb jellyfish were close focus wide angle. It is a lot easier to frame the jellyfish doing that but I have to get close and pay special attention to strobe power and angle. I have found that with wide angle and photographing reefs and swimthroughs that I need to point my strobes up 30-45 degrees to avoid lighting up the sand or base in front too much or point them in for close focus wide angle to avoid lighting up the background (or at least that was the goal – I can’t say I am good at it yet).

There were a lot of Hawksbill turtles, eagle rays on most dives though most were singles, for some reason channel crabs were in the open, lots of Jellyfish but I have few stings (hands, face, or legs – I dive in surf shorts). We did not see a lot of lionfish though Raul did spear a few. He says that there are a lot at around 200+ fsw. Quite a few Green Moray eels, smaller Brown spotted eels and a few larger Goldentail eels. Quite a lot of small stuff – lots of slugs, pipefish, juvenile spotted drums and a few jackknife fish. I have not seen a pipehorse in quite some time. We did spend time in the grass looking for gunards, batfish or seahorses but did not see any. Quite a lot of toadfish. The brown toadfish we could not find on San Francisco wall – it was there last year.

Two Balloonfish. I think they were mating as when they left, one chased the other for quite some time.
Coz Feb 2021 Balloonfish 001c.jpg


Spawning Barrel Sponge
Coz Feb 2021 Barrel Sponge spawn 001c.jpg


Brown Spotted Moray Eel
Coz Feb 2021 Brown Spotted Moray 002c.jpg


Chalk Bass and Stareye Hermit Crab
Coz Feb 2021 Chalk Bass and Stareye Hermit crab 001c.jpg


Clinging Channel Crab
Coz Feb 2021 Channel crab 002c.jpg


Four Eye Comb Jelly
Coz Feb 2021 Four Eye comb jelly 001c.jpg


Giant Hermit Crab
Coz Feb 2021 Giant Hermit Crab 001c.jpg


Goldentail Moray Eel
Coz Feb 2021 Goldentail Moray Eel 001c.jpg


Green Moray Eel
Coz Feb 2021 Green Moray Eel 002c.jpg


Hawksbill Turtle
Coz Feb 2021 Hawksbill Turtle 002c.jpg


More photos to follow
 
OP
ColoDale

ColoDale

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Messages
1,105
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Location
Cozumel
# of dives
1000 - 2499
More Photos

Hawksbill Turtle
Coz Feb 2021 Hawksbill Turtle 005c.jpg


Hawksbill Turtle

Coz Feb 2021 Hawksbill Turtle 007c.jpg


Hawksbill Turtle. Stumpy is still around

Coz Feb 2021 Hawksbill Turtle 011c.jpg


Juvenile Spotted Drum

Coz Feb 2021 Juvenile Spotted Drum 001c.jpg


Leech Headshield slug

Coz Feb 2021 Leech Headshield Slug 001c.jpg


Lettuce Sea Slug

Coz Feb 2021 Lettuce Sea Slug 003c.jpg


Naked Sole

Coz Feb 2021 Naked Sole 001c.jpg


Netted Olive

Coz Feb 2021 Netted Olive 001c.jpg


Octopus

Coz Feb 2021 Octopus 001c.jpg


Pipefish

Coz Feb 2021 Pipefish 001c.jpg
 
OP
ColoDale

ColoDale

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1,105
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Location
Cozumel
# of dives
1000 - 2499
More Photos

Scorpionfish
Coz Feb 2021 Scorpionfish 001c.jpg


Reef wall

Coz Feb 2021 Seascape Raul 001c.jpg


Swim Through

Coz Feb 2021 Seascape Swimthrough 003c.jpg


Southern Stingray

Coz Feb 2021 Southern Stingray 002c.jpg


Splendid Toadfish

Coz Feb 2021 Splendid Toadfish 001c.jpg


Spotted Eagle Ray

Coz Feb 2021 Spotted Eagle Ray 003c.jpg


Spotted Eagle Rays

Coz Feb 2021 Spotted Eagle Ray 005c.jpg


Spotted Eagle Ray

Coz Feb 2021 Spotted Eagle Ray 008c.jpg


Spotted Eagle Ray. I went down to 100' for this one but he did not leave. I was told as I left it followed me up.

Coz Feb 2021 Spotted Eagle Ray 009c.jpg


Tunicate

Coz Feb 2021 Tunicate 001c.jpg
 

lionfish-eater

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Nice pic capturing the spawning sponge
 

lionfish-eater

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and the tunicate
 

lionfish-eater

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OP
ColoDale

ColoDale

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What is that? Some kind of jelly? I don't remember ever seeing one.
This one was fuzzy and opaque. I've seen few but most were clear(er) and in chains. It's a pelagic tunicate and was not in a chain. Honestly when I first saw it from a distance, I thought it was a tampon.
 

Streydog

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I am having trouple seeing the scorpion fish. Usually I can see their pect fins to start to make them out.

Never mind, looked at it again and finaly spotted it. I wonder how many I have missed seeing.
 
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